An Eerie Prescience: James Garfield Finds a "Streak of Sadness" in His Nomination as President

July 3, 1880

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An Eerie Prescience: James Garfield Finds a "Streak of Sadness" in His Nomination as President
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1216

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      Background

      James A. Garfield did not want to be nominated for the Presidency in 1880; it was bad luck, really, that his nominating speech for another candidate was so stirring, as to inflame the convention - in his own favor. When his name was brought into contention, he rose to his feet to protest and then, by a bruising 36th ballot, he was selected, and mortified. "I am very sorry," he told his supporters, "that this has become necessary."

      A month later, he was still not enamored at having won the nomination. There "is a streak of sadness in it" he writes here, "that I suppose no one else can understand." Garfield was well to feel sad: almost a year to the day - and barely four months into his presidency - he would be shot, mortally wounded.

      Autograph Letter Signed ("J.A. Garfield"), 1 page, quarto, Mentor, Ohio, July 3, 1880. To J.M. Dalzell in Caldwell, Ohio.
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