About this collection
James Abram Garfield (1831-1881) was the twentieth president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, Ohio, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858, married Lucretia Rudolph. Garfield served in the Civil War, as a lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise Republican presidential candidate, his campaign was conducted from Lawnfield, his Mentor, Ohio, home. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and died September 19. He was survived by his widow, Lucretia Garfield, and by his children; Mary, who married his former secretary, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Irvin McDowell, Harry Augustus, who became president of Williams College, James Rudolph, a Cleveland attorney, Republican politician and member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet, and Abram, a Cleveland architect. The collection consists of individual and group portraits of James A. Garfield; his wife, Lucretia Rudolph Garfield; his children and grandchildren; other Garfield and Rudolph family members; and portraits of nineteenth century statesmen that hung at Lawnfield and include Otto von Bismarck, Leon Michel Gambetta, William T. Sherman, and Edwin Stanton. Other portraits include James Smithson, Louis Agassiz, Benjamin Peirce, Edward Everett Hale and Carlisle P. Patterson. Views include Lawnfield, in particular a gathering of an unidentified group of African American Civil War veterans at Lawnfield; a lock on the Ohio and Erie Canal; voter turnout at the Mentor, Ohio Township Hall; the Civil War battle of Chickamauga; the James A. Garfield Monument in Lake View Cemetery; the James A. Garfield Memorial Window in The Williams College Chapel; and the James A. Garfield Memorial Statue in Washington, D. C. Also included are images of Lucretia Rudolph Garfield's inaugural ball gown displayed at the Smithsonian and the gown she wore at a White House reception. A presentation album from the Melbourne International Exhibition is also part of the collection.