James Abram Garfield
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Cleveland, Ohio  June 21, 2005 22nd Visited

Of all the graves I have visited, I
would be hard-pressed to think of
one that is more impressive than
James Garfield's towering tomb.

The memorial also contains a
larger-than-life marble statue
of President Garfield. The crypt
where he and his family are
interred is located beneath the
main room.

Features of the tomb include stained glass
windows, gargoyles, and sculptures that
depict moments from the president's life.
The scene shown in the video still above
is representative of his Civil War years.

The crypt is enclosed by barred gates, behind
which most people pay their respects. This
was only the second time in fifty years the
crypt was unlocked for visitors, with the first
being for Brian Lamb of C-SPAN.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Raised by his widowed mother in the rural Midwest, James Garfield was not born into prosperity. His mother gave birth to him in a small log cabin in Northeastern Ohio, and she was forced to provide for her children when her husband, Abram Garfield, passed away in 1833, when the president was not even two years of age. James Garfield ran away when he was sixteen years old, and was able to find work. He labored on canal boats and tugboats for several weeks, but having fallen overboard fourteen times, he contracted malaria and returned home.

* James Garfield's presidency was one of America's shortest. Unfortunately for him, he had crossed a man named Charles Guiteau. A deranged man who thought that Garfield's victory was his doing, Guiteau went to the Executive Mansion and requested that he be made the ambassador to France in return. The man's request was not fulfilled, and Guiteau decided to act more aggressively to get his desired post. He began sending numerous letters to Garfield and could often be found in Lafayette park across the White House, wandering inside the White House, or pestering presidential cabinet members. At one point, Guiteau had enough. Purchasing a revolver, he waited for Garfield at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station, where the president was to take a train down to see his ill wife in New Jersey. Once the president entered the building, Guiteau took his weapon and shot him twice. One bullet grazed Garfield's arm, while the other struck the president's back, never exiting his body.

* Though the injury to James Garfield's back was not necessarily fatal, his hope of recovery was killed by his doctors. They probed his bullet-torn back with unsterile hands, infecting the president's wound. Many times the doctors tried, and many times they failed, to locate the bullet. Alexander Graham Bell was enlisted to help, bringing with him a type of metal detector to find the projectile. However, this attempt was not successful because the machine was affected by the metal springs in the president’s mattress. Doctors failed to move Garfield to a different spot, and Bell left. The president lingered in agony for two and a half months until he passed away on September 19, 1881.

First Lady: Lucretia Rudolph Garfield

  - Spouse: Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (m. 1858-1881)

Political Party:
Republican Party

Vice President:
Chester Alan Arthur

Last Words:
"Oh, Swaim, there is a pain here. Oh, Swaim!"

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