SECOND PRESIDENT TO DIE BY THE HAND OF AN ASSASSIN
Elberon, New Jersey (JFK+50) Abraham Lincoln, the first president of the United States to be shot by a would-be assassin, died the following day, April 15, 1865. One century and thirty-five years ago today, September 19, 1881, President James A. Garfield passed away due to the complications from the wounds he suffered in an assassination attempt 80 days earlier.
Mr. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, as he walked through the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station. The would-be assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, fired two shots from a British Bulldog revolver. The President, accompanied by his two sons and Secretary of State James G. Blaine, was hit once in the shoulder and once in the back.
Guiteau, who had a cab waiting outside, was captured by police officer Patrick Kearney. As he was taken into custody, Guiteau reportedly 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.
First Lady Lucretia Garfield was by the President's side at the end. She said..."Why am I made to suffer this cruel wrong."
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, Charles J. Guiteau, was found guilty of murder and hanged on June 30, 1882.
President Garfield Is Shot