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James Abram Garfield


Born on a farm in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Graduate of Williams College in 1856. Taught school. Married Lucretia Rudolph November 11, 1858. They had seven children.

Elected to the Ohio Senate in 1859. Served in the Civil War. Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers January 11, 1862. He served under Buell at Shiloh. Served as chief of staff under Rosecrans.

Elected to the House of Representatives and served 1863 to 1880. Elected to the Senate in 1880 but never served. He was elected 20th President in 1880 and served less than a year. On July 22, 1881, Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau in a Washington railway station. (see Arthur) He died in Elberon, New Jersey. Vice President Arthur succeeded him as President.

Garfield appears on paper money:

$5 National Bank Note, second charter

$20 Gold Certificate, Series of 1882

His portrait appeared unnamed on the 1882 note. A law requiring names under portraits was passed March 2, 1889.

Garfield appears on the presidential mint medal (Julian PR-20) with his inauguration date. Dies were by Charles Barber. After the assassination a new reverse die was produced (Julian PR-21) by George Morgan showing his date of death. Modern copies sold at the mint (USM 120) have the second reverse. Two smaller 25 mm medals (Julian PR-40, 41) were also produced with Lincoln on one side and Garfield on the other.

An oval Indian Peace Medal (Julian IP-44) was produced for Garfield after his death. Obverse was by Barber. The reverse used the same oval design previously done by Morgan. Modern copies (USM 629) have been produced in both silver and bronze. Garfield appears on the Assay Commission Medal for 1882 (AC-25). The obverse was by Charles Barber; the reverse by George Morgan.

The James Garfiled dollar coin was launched November 17, 2011, at the James A. Garfiled National Historic Site. The obverse was designed and scuklpted by Phoebe Hemphill. This was the last presidential dollar to have an official launch ceremony and the last coin produced for circulation.

bio: ApCAB; BDC; BDEB; DAB; Drake; EAB; Failor; Limpert; NCAB 4; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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