1 page, 4to, with original postmarked envelope." />
19 May 2006
GARFIELD, James A. (1831-1881), President. Autograph letter signed ("J. A. Garfield"), Hiram, Ohio, 5 September 1860. 1 page, 4to, with original postmarked envelope.
A STRESSED OUT GARFIELD, "APPREHENSIVE OF A CRASH," SIGNS HIS OWN NAME INCORRECTLY AND DECLARES HIMSELF "HALF CRAZY"
At the end of this letter expressing his fears about a breakdown, a high-strung Garfield signs the recipient's name, W. J. Ford, instead of his own. When he catches the error he writes: "There!! The above line bears proof that I am half crazy. I will try again and see whether I shall write your name or that of--J. A. Garfield." Earlier in the letter to "brother Ford" he made plans to meet him in Newburgh in the following week, and notes that he was in Warren last night: "I find my strength giving way before the powerful pressure & I am for the first time in my life thoroughly apprehensive of a crash in my constitution. We shall see..."
Four years past his graduation from Williams College, and two years into his marriage to Lucretia Rudolph, Garfield in 1860 was an ardent supporter of the new Republican Party. As a member of the Ohio state Senate, he stumped throughout the state on behalf of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican ticket. When war broke out he served in the Union Army from August 1861 to December 1863, when he returned to politics as a Representative for Ohio in the House of Representatives, a position he would hold until elected President in 1880.
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