This collection consists primarily of letters written by James A. Garfield, from 1856 to 1881, mostly written while serving
in the U.S. House of Representatives.
James A. Garfield (November 19, 1831-September 19, 1881), the twentieth president of the United States, was born in Orange
(now Moreland Hills), Ohio. In 1858, he married Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918). During the Civil War, Garfield served in the
42nd Ohio infantry as a colonel; he was promoted to brigadier general in 1862 and fought in the battle of Shiloh. Later that
year, he was elected to the U.S. Congress, representing Ohio as a Republican; he continued to serve in the Union Army until
December 1863. During Garfield's lengthy tenure in the House of Representatives, he focused on financial policy and was Chair
of the House Appropriations Committee from 1871 to 1875. In 1873, he was accused of accepting stock during the Crédit Mobilier
scandal, which involved the corrupt financing of the Union Pacific Railroad. That same year he was caught up in another scandal
over the increase in congressional salaries. Garfield was elected U.S. Senator in 1880, but at the Republican National Convention
that year a divided party elected him their presidential candidate; he defeated the Democratic candidate Winfield Scott Hancock
in November. His brief tenure in office was marked primarily by political infighting over cabinet and other presidential nominations.
On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot in Washington, D.C., by the assassin Charles J. Guiteau; he died of his wounds in New Jersey
on September 19, 1881, at age 49.
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