James A. Garfield was a Republican and the 20th president who served for 199 days in office. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the … Garfield became the president when he garnered a margin of only 10,000 popular votes against the Democratic nominee, Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock. Before James A. Garfield was U. S. President, he was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Ohio. James A. Garfield - James A. Garfield - Presidency: By the time of his election, Garfield had begun to see education rather than the ballot box as the best hope for improving the lives of African Americans. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.See all videos for this article . Even before Garfield won, Guiteau was convinced his speech — heard by few, noted by none — would make a crucial contribution to victory. An overview of James A. Garfield. In 1880 Garfield was elected to the Senate, and ran as a compromise presidential candidate during this time as well. President James Garfield died on Sept. 19, 1881, after his doctors fed the public weeks of "fraudulently optimistic" and misleading updates about his condition. James A. Garfield, in full James Abram Garfield, (born November 19, 1831, near Orange [in Cuyahoga county], Ohio, U.S.—died September 19, 1881, Elberon [now in Long Branch], New … In June in 1881, the newly elected president was scheduled to provide a speech at Williams College, but was shot on the way. Garfield was elected as president, and was inaugurated in 1881. Observe how former president Garfield thwarted the spoils system before being assassinated by a Stalwart. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, by an attorney who was embittered because he wanted a consular post. James A. Garfield, 49 years old, a robust man at 210 pounds stretched over a six-foot frame, had been elected to the United States presidency the year before, and sworn into office in March. James Garfield rose from humble beginnings to serve as a college president, a nine-time congressman, and military general before his election to the … In the presidential election of 1876, Garfield supported Ohio's governor, Rutherford B. Hayes, for President, in part because of Hayes's "sound money" position and in part because his sheer blandness might make him stronger than such polarizing rivals as Senators Roscoe Conkling of New York and James G. Blaine of Maine. Which president had the last name Garfield?