PRESIDENTS YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT (BUT SHOULD): 3. James Garfield

 

20-GarfieldJAMES GARFIELD, 1881

Garfield was hounded through his short presidency by an endless stream of government job seekers. He was also one of a handful of presidents to be born into real poverty. As a boy he was a canal boat driver, as a young man he was a traveling preacher.

He was elected at a time of deep, deep division within his Republican party, between the moderate “Stalwarts,” and the conservative “Half-Breeds.” As the party was being ripped apart, Garfield emerged at the Republican National Convention as a dark horse candidate. He narrowly won by courting support from both factions.

But in office, he was tormented by choices on who to appoint to coveted government jobs, when countless whose help had won him the election came expecting favors in return.

He was shot and killed by deranged job seeker Charles J. Guiteau in a railroad station, barely six months after assuming office.

His successor Chester A. Arthur would pass civil service reform in an effort to rid government employment of corruption.

LEARN MORE: https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/jamesgarfield

SEE THE SHOW: http://www.mrt.org/45Plays

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s