James A. Garfield Writes: a “Streak of Sadness” in his Presidential Nomination

August 17, 2020
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James A. Garfield did not want to be nominated for the Presidency in 1880; it was bad luck that his nominating speech for another candidate was so stirring that the convention was swayed to favor him over the candidate he was supporting. Read more here.


James A. Garfield is considered a dark horse President. Now, he went to the Republican Convention and he made a speech. He was at that point in his life a Congressman from Ohio.

He was speaking on behalf of Candidate John Sherman to be President. And it was just his bad luck that it was such a good speech that the people at the Convention decided they liked him much more than any of the other candidates.

He was despondent. He didn’t want the job. One page letter of James Garfield. “I know you are rejoiced at my nomination. To me, there’s a streak of sadness in it that I suppose no one else can understand.”

It is an intimate look of how a man felt, who was nominated for the President when he didn’t want to be.

Three months later, he was shot. And about three months after that, he died.