Definitions for garfield, james abram

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  1. Garfield, James Abram

    President of the United States, born in Orange, Ohio; reared amid lowly surroundings; at the age of ten began to help his widowed mother by working as a farmservant; an invincible passion for learning prompted him to devote the long winters to study, till he was able as a student to enter Hiram College, and subsequently to William's College, Massachusetts, where, in 1856, he graduated; in the following year he became President of Hiram College, and devoting his attention to the study of law, in 1859 became a member of the State Senate; he took an active part on the side of the Federalists in the Civil War, and distinguished himself in several engagements, rising to be major-general; in his thirty-third year he entered Congress, and soon came to the front, acting latterly as leader of the Republican party; in 1880 he became a member of the Senate, and in the same year was elected to the Presidency; he signalised his tenure of the presidential office by endeavouring to purify and reform the civil service, but this attempt drew on him the odium of a section of his party, and on the 2nd July 1881 he was shot down by Charles Guiteau, a disappointed place-hunter; after a prolonged struggle with death he succumbed on the 19th of September (1831-1881).

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