Confederate supporter John Wilkes Booth was angry at the President’s efforts to stop slavery and wanted him dead. His short span of office had not been long enough for the public to form an opinion one way or the other. Exclaiming, "My God, what is this?" The President is dying!' In these later years, Robert was minister to Gt Britain, serving under Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland. But from this senseless horror came good: the use of antiseptics was quickly accepted by American doctors. daily exhibited at the dressings of his wound, which were unavoidably painful, Medicine had not yet fully accepted the relationship between germs and disease. "By the time he was 26 he was his college's president. "A man who had failed at everything he had tried, and he had tried everything," Millard said. Special track was laid from the railroad's mainline to the door of the home. His short span of office had not been long enough for the public to form an opinion one way or the other. "But worse than that, Bliss had believed - and had publicly stated - that the bullet was on the right side of the president's body. Just four months had passed since the former Union general and Ohio congressman had been sworn in as the nations 20th president, but his term had already gotten off to a rocky start. Only a moment elapsed before Mrs. Garfield was present. "So he had what he believed was a divine inspiration, a message from God that he needed to kill the president," Millard said. Guiteau became convinced that Garfield’s death would save the country by allowing Vice President Chester A. Arthur to take his place. Thus she remained for more than an hour, gazing upon the lifeless features, when Colonel Rockwell, fearing the effect upon her health, touched her arm and begged her to retire, which she did. One grazed Garfield's arm; the other lodged Infection invariable set in. As Garfield made his way through the station, Charles Guiteau raced from the shadows and fired two shots point blank into the president. “You stick to me,” he counseled one detective. Robert lived his life judged against a titanic individual. As the summer dragged on, newspapers printed a steady stream of medical updates on Garfield. “Arthur and all those men are my friends, and I’ll have you made Chief of Police.”, Political cartoon showing Guiteau with a banner reading “An office or your life!”. There would be no second opinions. Medicine had not yet fully accepted the relationship between germs and disease. Operations were routinely performed without benefit of surgical gloves, masks, sterile instruments, or any antiseptics to protect the patient. Painting depicting Lincoln’s assassination. As Garfield made his way through the station, Charles Guiteau raced from the shadows and fired two shots point blank into the president. the pallor, the upturned eyes, the gasping respiration, and the total unconsciousness, Delusional and grandiose, he drifted through life. Why am I made to suffer this cruel wrong?' He preceded me to the room, took the candle How To Cite This Article: Garfield was not a particularly popular president. In fact exhaustion from the conflict was what led to him giving Ford’s Theater a miss. Of the four U.S. Presidents who have been assassinated, two - Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy - are engraved in our collective memory. “His eye was steady,” a witness later noted, “and his face presented the appearance of a brave man, who is determined upon a desperate deed, and meant to do it calmly and well.” Guiteau fired two shots at the president from point blank range. He remembers that, not understanding what had happened to Lincoln, he was very concerned for Booth, who broke his leg in the jump. “The upper story is alright,” he assured one of his crying sons. But James A. Garfield - president for less than four months before he was shot is 1881 - is for most Americans an historical footnote. "At this time, as is known, a simple but painful operation was rendered necessary Many of them referred to the doctors as quacks. Guiteau had a point—many historians now believe that Garfield would have lived if not for the limitations of 1880s medicine—but his insanity plea failed to convince the jury, which took less than an hour to return a guilty verdict. Assassination of James A. Garfield. Robert believed his name was valued over his personal qualities, though he achieved a lot in his lifetime. Garfield was then murdered by Charles J. Guiteau at the Sixth St Train Station in D.C., 1881. The shot in the back was not fatal, not hitting any vital organs. I said, 'Mrs. Of course it was shocking enough that his father was assassinated in the first place. On the scene at the train station: Cabinet member Robert Todd Lincoln. And he would only let Bell examine that part of the president's body. .  He married Mary Rebecca Twilley. "And, you know, this is the height of the spoils system" - under which anyone could petition the president in person for a government job, regardless of experience or ability. At last, only moments after the first alarm, at 10:35, I raised my head from the breast of my dead friend and said to the sorrowful group, 'It is over.' “Many believed his mother never had recovered from the loss of her husband and three sons,” Mental Floss says. Letter Signed, as Secretary of War, 2 pages, octavo, War Department, Washington, September 28, 1881. As told to Frances Spatz Leighton in 1954. Engraving depicting the assassination of President Garfield. 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