Skip to main content

Garfield, James A. (1831–1881)

GARFIELD, JAMES A. (1831–1881)

A civil war general, James Abram Garfield served in Congress from 1863 until 1881, when he became President of the United States. In Congress Garfield was a skilled parliamentarian and self-taught expert on finance. After 1868 he was one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, and served as minority leader from 1876 until 1880. In a period of pervasive corruption Garfield remained relatively untainted. In 1876 he helped frame the legislation that led to the compromise of 1877 that settled the disputed presidential election. He served on the electoral commission, supporting President Rutherford B. Hayes on every issue. In 1880 the Ohio legislature chose him for the United States senate, for a term beginning in 1881. However, that summer he became a compromise candidate for the presidency, after the Republican convention deadlocked. As President, Garfield attempted to root out corruption in the Post Office Department and the notorious New York customs house. Garfield's insistence that he, as President, should make all appointments, regardless of long-standing notions of senatorial privilege, led roscoe conkling of New York to resign from the Senate. In July 1881 Garfield was shot and killed by a disappointed office seeker who shouted that he was a party "stalwart" and that now chester a. arthur would be President. In the wake of this tragedy Arthur continued Garfield's investigation of the Post Office and secured the passage of the first civil service reform law, the pendleton act.

Paul Finkelman
(1986)

Bibliography

Peskin, Alan 1978 Garfield. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Garfield, James A. (1831–1881)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Garfield, James A. (1831–1881)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/garfield-james-1831-1881

"Garfield, James A. (1831–1881)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved November 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/garfield-james-1831-1881

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.