James A. Garfield Original Historic Letters and Documents

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Topic

Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (7)

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Rare President James A. Garfield Letter in Office

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 315

Garfield, who would be shot and mortally wounded in July 1881, really only fully functioned as Chief Executive for four months; as a result, his autograph letters in office are very scarce.
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James Garfield on Assassination:

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 556

Though he is reviewing the "usual number of threatening letters on that subject," President-Elect James Garfield does not think that assassination is anything to worry about, as it cannot be prevented. He was shot in the back twice by Charles Guiteau eight months later.
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Lucretia Garfield On How Her Husband's Portents at Chicago Convention Foreshadowed His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1150

Lucretia Garfield, President Garfield's widow, writes two months to the day after his death, still in disbelief. She shares with her correspondent that "the spirit of prophecy fell upon" her late husband, with many of his utterances now coming back to her as eerily foreshadowing his own demise.
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An Eerie Prescience: James Garfield Finds a

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1216

President James Garfield, who would be assassinated, or mortally wounded nearly a year to the day he wrote this letter, eerily finds a "streak of sadness" in his nomination for the Presidency. Garfield was shot less than four months into his term; he lingered for seventy-nine days before finally succumbing to his wounds.
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Mark Twain Says He Cannot Deliver a

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1693

Mark Twain explains he cannot deliver a "light & nonsensical speech" while fatally wounded President Garfield is dying. Signed as Samuel Clemens.
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President-Elect Garfield Turns Down a Loan to Tide Him Over Until Assuming the Presidency

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1710

President-elect Garfield graciously turns down Edwards Pierrepont's offer of a loan to tide Garfield over until he resumed the presidency and would earn $50,000 annually.
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President James Garfield's Assassin, Charles Guiteau, Convicted and in Jail, Declares He is Not a Lunatic

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1907

Here the disagreeable, disputatious, and insane assassin of President Garfield, Charles Guiteau, declares he is not a lunatic, and that the woman, his sister who raised him, and the brother-in-law who acted as his lawyer at his trial, are nuisances, with whom he, a convicted assassin awaiting execution in jail, wants nothing to do.
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