Garfield, James Abram (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
James Abram Garfield was a soldier and congressman who became the twentieth president of the United States. His inability to perform the duties of office following an assassination attempt on July 2, 1881, raised, for the second time in U.S. history, the question of presidential succession.
Garfield was born November 19, 1831, in a log cabin near the town of Orange in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He was the fourth and final child of Abram Garfield and Eliza Ballou Garfield. Garfield's father's ancestors were among the original settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1827 the father carried their pioneering spirit to Ohio, where he worked on an Ohio Canal construction crew. By the time Garfield was born, his father was a struggling farmer and a founding member of the local Disciples of Christ church. In 1833, when Garfield was just two years old, his father died suddenly, leaving the family in poverty.
Garfield's mother, a descendant of an old Rhode Island family, was a remarkable woman. After her husband's death, she ran the small family farm on her own and saw to it that Garfield and his siblings worked hard, attended church, and finished school.
After completing his studies at the local school in Orange, Garfield enrolled at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (later Hiram College), at Hiram, Ohio. He eventually went on to Williams College, in...
(The entire section is 2022 words.)
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