PRESIDENT GARFIELD DIED 136 YEARS AGO
Elberon, New Jersey (JFK+50) 136 years ago at 10:35 Eastern time this evening, September 19, 1881, James A. Garfield became the second President of the United States to die by assassination.*
Mr. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881 as he walked through the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station. Charles J. Guiteau fired two shots from a British Bulldog revolver hitting the President in the shoulder and back.
Guiteau, who had a cab waiting outside, was captured by police officer Patrick Kearney. As he was taken into custody, Guiteau said...
"I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts! Arthur is president now!"**
Garfield was taken to the White House where his condition worsened over the rest of the summer. His weight dropped from 200 to 135. The President was transferred to the seashore here at Elberon, New Jersey on September 6, 1881.
Lucretia Garfield was by the President's side at the end. She said...
"Why am I made to suffer this cruel wrong."
*Four POTUS have died by assassination: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley & John F. Kennedy. JFK is the only one, however, to die on the same day he was shot.
**On the morning of the shooting, 38 year old Guiteau, lodging at the Riggs House, 15th & G Streets in Washington, D.C., wrote..."The President's tragic death was a sad necessity, but it will unite the Republican Party and save the Republic." At his trial, Guiteau insisted the act was inspired by God who "left all the details of the assassination to him." Guiteau had written on June 20, 1881...
"The President's nomination was an act of God.
His election was an act of God.
His removal is an act of God."
An autopsy disclosed that pressure from Garfield's internal wound created an aneurysm which was determined to be the cause of death. Garfield's assassin was found guilty of murder and hanged on June 30, 1882.
"The Assassins," by Robert J. Donovan, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, 1952.
President Garfield Is Shot