James Abram Garfield:
A Presidential Unit

James Abram Garfield the 20th President of the United States of America. He was born 19 Nov 1831 in Orange, Ohio in a log cabin. He died 19 September 1881 after serving only 199 days. He died two and a half months after being shot by Charles Guiteau.

Political Party: Republican
Years Served: March 4, 1881 to September 19, 1881
Vice President(s): Chester A. Arthur
Name of his parents: Abram Garfield and Eliza Ballou
Wife's name: Lucretia Rudolph
Yearly Salary as President: $50,000
Physical Stature: 6 feet
State of Birth: Ohio


"President Garfield enjoyed fishing, playing cards, and chess. He was a 'dark horse' President and only served 199 days in office when he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau in a Washington, DC train station. Guiteau was angry because he didn't get a government job he felt he deserved. Garfield fought for civil service reform - that is, the way government jobs are given out. He believed that people should take a written exam to prove they can do a job, not just get one because they voted for a certain politician."

On Line Lesson Plans:

James Garfield from TeacherVision
James A. Garfield from DiscoverySchool.com
Presidential Thinkquest


Coloring Pages, Crafts, and Fun Activities:

Presidential Finger Puppets
Annie's Page
James A. Garfield from Enchanted Learning


On Line Resources:

James A. Garfield
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Biography of James A. Garfield
American Presidents' Life Portraits
The American Presidency from Grollier
White House Historical Society
The History Buff -- US Presidents
Roll Call of the Presidents


Trivia Questions:

1. What were the names of the Garfield children and how many were there? [Answer: Eliza A. Garfield (1860-63); Harry A. Garfield (1863-1942); James R. Garfield (1865-1950); Mary Garfield (1867-1947); Irvin M. Garfield (1870-1951); Abram Garfield (1872-1958); Edward Garfield (1874-76)]

2. Where was Garfield educated? [Answer: Attended Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College); Graduated from Williams College (1856)]



Of Note:

Garfield was the first left-handed president.

James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other.

The last of seven presidents born in a log cabin, Garfield weighed 10 pounds at birth.

He was the first president to campaign in two languages -- English and German.

On election day, November 2, 1880, he was at the same time a member of the House, Senator-elect and President-elect.

His mother was the first president's mother to attend her son's inauguration.

At the age of twenty-six, Garfield became president of Hiram College. At the time the school only had five faculty members.

After Garfield's shooting, repeated probing for the bullet with non-sterile instruments resulted in blood poisoning which eventually killed him.


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