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Collection James A. Garfield Papers

Timeline

A chronology of key events in the life of James A. Garfield (1831-1881), U.S. president, army officer, lawyer, and educator.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881)

  1. 1831, Nov. 19

    Born, Orange, Ohio, the youngest of five children of Abram Garfield (1799-1833) and Eliza Ballou Garfield (1801-1888)

  2. 1848, Aug.-Oct.

    Worked on a canal boat

  3. 1849

    Entered Geauga Seminary, Chester, Ohio
    Taught in district schools in Ohio

  4. 1850, Mar.

    Joined the Disciples of Christ

  5. 1851-1853

    Attended Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (later Hiram College), Hiram, Ohio. Taught in district schools between terms.

  6. 1854-1856

    Attended Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.

  7. 1857-1861

    President, Eclectic Institute of Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio; taught Latin, Greek, mathematics, history, philosophy, English literature, and rhetoric

  8. 1858, Nov. 11

    Married Lucretia Rudolph (Apr. 19, 1832-Mar. 14, 1918), daughter of Zeb Rudolph (1803-1897) and Arabella Mason Rudolph (1810-1879)

  9. 1859

    Elected to Ohio state senate
    Law student, office of attorney Albert Gallatin Riddle, Cleveland, Ohio

  10. 1860, July 3

    Daughter Eliza Arabella ("Trot") Garfield born (d. Dec. 1, 1863)

  11. 1861, Jan. 26

    Admitted to the Ohio state bar

  12. 1861, Aug. 21

    Commissioned lieutenant colonel, 42nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry

  13. 1861, Nov. 27

    Promoted to colonel

  14. 1862, Jan. 11

    Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers

  15. 1862, Sept. 25

    Assigned to court martial board in Washington, D.C., and heard the Fitz-John Porter court martial External case among others

  16. 1863, Feb.

    Appointed chief of staff under General William S. Rosecrans

  17. 1863, Sept. 19

    Participated in the Battle of Chickamauga

  18. 1863, Sept. 19

    Appointed major general; received notification of the promotion in November 1863

  19. 1863, Oct. 11

    Son Harry Augustus Garfield born (d. Dec. 12, 1942)

  20. 1863, Dec. 5

    Resigned from army to take seat in U.S. House of Representatives

  21. 1863, Dec.-1880

    Member, United States House of Representatives

  22. 1865, Oct. 17

    Son James Rudolph Garfield born (d. Mar. 24, 1950)

  23. 1867, Jan. 16

    Daughter Mary ("Mollie") Garfield Stanley-Brown born (d. Nov. 30,
    1947)

  24. 1869, Jan.

    Purchased home at 1227 I Street, NW, at the corner of 13th and I Streets, NW, on Franklin Square in Washington, D.C.

  25. 1869-1871

    Chair, Committee on Banking and Currency

  26. 1870, Aug. 3

    Son Irvin McDowell Garfield born (d. July 19, 1951)

  27. 1871-1875

    Chair, Committee on Appropriations

  28. 1872, Sept. 4

    New York Sun reporting on the Credit Mobilier scandal implicated Garfield and other political figures of having profited in the scheme by receiving shares of railroad stock in exchange for legislative support; Garfield denied the allegation.

  29. 1872, Nov. 21

    Son Abram Garfield born (d. Oct. 16, 1958)

  30. 1874, Dec. 26

    Son Edward ("Neddie") Garfield born (d. Oct. 25, 1876)

  31. 1876, Oct. 31

    Purchased property for home in Mentor, Ohio, named "Lawnfield" during the 1880 presidential campaign

  32. 1876-1880

    Served as Republican minority leader in U.S. House of Representatives

  33. 1877

    Member, Electoral Commission charged to decide disputed presidential election of 1876

  34. 1879-1881

    President, Literary Society of Washington, Washington, D.C.

  35. 1880, Jan. 13

    Elected to the United States Senate from Ohio

  36. 1880, June 8

    Nominated on the thirty-sixth ballot as Republican Party’s presidential candidate, with Chester A. Arthur as the vice presidential candidate

  37. 1880, Nov. 5

    Elected President of the United States

  38. 1880, Dec. 23

    Declined seat in United States Senate

  39. 1881, July 2

  40. 1881, Sept. 6

    Moved to house at the seashore at Elberon, N.J.

  41. 1881, Sept. 19

    Died, Elberon, N.J., and buried at Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio