Lucretia Garfield On How Her Husband's Portents at Chicago Convention Foreshadowed His "Fateful Ending"

November 19, 1881

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Lucretia Garfield On How Her Husband's Portents at Chicago Convention Foreshadowed His "Fateful Ending"
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 1150

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      Writing just two months after President James A. Garfield's death, his widow recalls how the "spirit of prophecy" that "fell upon him at the Chicago Convention"  foreshadowed  "the fearful ending" - and mourns her terrible loss:

      Only two months ago this day he was living - looking up into my eyes, talking to me so tenderly of my care of him - so near to me in every way, and yet, since that same night when his spirit went out, an age of loneliness and bitter anguish seems to have intervened.

      Lucretia, during the president's ever-worsening ordeal, had refused to banish hope of his recovery - even as, sick with worry, her hair began to fall out, forcing her to cover her head with a scarf. Now, though, without him, she fears "the utter blackness of despair" will overwhelm her. (She lived, mournful or no, until 1918, however, dying in her Greene and Greene home in South Pasadena.)

      Autograph Letter Signed, on black-bordered monogrammed stationery, 3 pages, octavo, Cleveland, Ohio, November 19, 1881. To Alice.
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      Cleveland  O.
      Nov. 19th 1881

      My Dear Alice --

      Your pretty verses are touchingly beautiful and appropriate and I thank you for them. It seems almost that the spirit of prophecy fell upon him at the Chicago Convention so many of his utterances come back to 

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      me now as foreshadowing the fearful ending.

      Only two months ago this day he was living - looking up into my eyes, talking to me so tenderly of my care of him - so near to me in every way, and yet, since that same night when his spirit went out, an age of loneliness and bitter anguish seems to have intervened.

      My dear friend pity me and pray for me that 

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      the utter blackness of despair do not entirely overwhelm me.

      With loving regard

      Yours

      LUCRETIA R. GARFIELD