James Garfield Liberia "$100" stamp

Fun Presidential Facts – James Garfield

Here are some quick facts, opinions, quotes and other information on President James Garfield:


Personal Information on James Garfield:

  • Twentieth (1881)
  • Date of Death: September 19, 1881 (Monday)
  • Place of Death: Elberon, New Jersey
  • Place of Burial: Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Cause of Death: Septic shock
  • Age: 49 years old
  • Length of Retirement: Died in office
  • Burial Website: James Garfield’s grave

Interesting James Garfield facts:

  1. James Garfield was the second President to die in office as the result of an assassin’s bullet. Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated. There have been a total of four Presidents who have been assassinated. In addition to Lincoln and Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy were also assassinated. Four other Presidents have also died in office. Although there have been some conspiracies surrounding some of those deaths, and whether they were actually assassinated, too, none has ever been proven. The other Presidents who died in office were: WH Harrison, Taylor, Harding and Franklin Roosevelt.
  2. James Garfield served the second shortest Presidential term. He served 199 days. Only William Henry Harrison served a shorter time as President. WH Harrison served 31 days. There have only been seven Presidents who have served less than a 1000 days. In addition to Garfield and WH Harrison, the other under 1000 days Presidents are: Taylor (492 days), Harding (881 days), Ford (895 days), Fillmore (969 days), and Donald Trump (who is currently serving and is well under the 1000 days at this point).
  3. James Garfield was the second youngest President to die. Garfield was only 49 years old when he died. Only John F. Kennedy was younger when he died. Kennedy was 46 years old. In fact, there have only been six other Presidents who have not reached their 60th birthday: Polk (53 years old), Lincoln (56 years old), Arthur and Harding (both were 57 years old), McKinley (58 years old), and Obama, who is still alive (currently 56 years old). On the flip side, six Presidents have lived into their nineties: Adams and Hoover (both were 90 years old), Ford and Reagan (both were 93 years old), and George HW Bush and Carter, who are both still alive (both are currently 93 years old).

My favorite James Garfield Quotes:

The Chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people.
If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it's the best possible substitute for it.
Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.
Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.

The President is the last person in the world to know what the people really want and think.

A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.

Poverty is uncomfortable; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim.

James Garfield blogs (click the title to go to that page):

James Garfield page on Presidential Crossroads (click “James Garfield” below):

James Garfield

James Garfield Blogs:

Growing up in Poverty

His Death

Election of 1880

Curse of Tecumseh

Robert Todd Lincoln – Near Three Presidential Assassinations

What similar traits do I have with Presidents Garfield to Wilson


Personal thoughts on James Garfield:


Intelligent, Popular wife, Persuasive


Not much of a personality, Tended to change his mind

Presidential Greatness Scale (1-poor to 5-great): NA


James Garfield really didn’t live long enough, as President, to garner a rating. Of the five other Presidents, I’m not including Donald Trump at this point because he hasn’t finished his term, who served less than a 1000 days, in my opinion, I believe he had the best potential to be a great President. Garfield was shot two days short of his fourth month in office. He would live for two more months, but most of that time was spent in his up and down recovery. He did take steps toward ending political corruption and the spoils system that had become a fixture of political office at that time. He did not know much about foreign policy when he entered that Presidency and he relied much on his Secretary of State, James Blaine. They formed a real strong team and a large part of their focus was keeping Britain out of Central America and Hawaii. Garfield would also ask Navy Secretary, William Hunt, to investigate the condition of the Navy and look for ways to modernize it. I believe he was headed in the right direction, but he just didn’t have enough time in office to see how effective his ideas and actions would become.

A Biography of James A. Garfield - The Preacher President by William M. Thayer

A Biography of James A. Garfield – The Preacher President by William M. Thayer

Favorite James Garfield book:

A Biography of James A. Garfield – The Preacher President by William M. Thayer

Favorite James Garfield story:

His father died before he was one year old and he was raised in poverty, yet he worked real hard and he become one of our most intelligent Presidents. It was said he could write in Greek with one hand while writing in Latin with the other hand.

Most memorable James Garfield memory:

I love looking on Ebay for Presidential items. My Dad loves growing and eating tomatoes. This year I found some “President James Garfield Tomato Seeds” on Ebay and won the auction and gave them to him for Christmas. It seemed to be one of his favorite presents.

Favorite James Garfield possession (see picture at the top):

A Liberian $100 (their currency not ours) James Garfield stamp

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