New York: J.W. Sheehy & Co., 1882. Lithograph, 25.75 x 21.75 inches. Lightly toned, some light soiling. Several small closed tears at edges, slight loss repaired on left edge. Archivally backed with linen. About very good. Item #1536
A scarce memorial poster commemorating the life of assassinated president James A. Garfield, featuring portraits of his family members and vignettes of his life and lengthy death. The president is pictured in a large central oval, flanked by portraits of his wife and mother; his five children complete the wreath of family members. Scenes at the top of the lithograph depict his boyhood and triumph at the Battle of Chickamauga, as well as his humble birth place and Hiram College where he both taught and educated himself. The lower vignettes show his deathbed, the widow wailing on her knees, the White House, the assassination attempt, his mother anxiously awaiting news, and the New Jersey cottage where he died. The bottom edge bears the title and imprint information, as well as a blurb on the "Derivation of Our Martyr's Name" and a few lines of laudatory in memoriam.
Garfield was a compromise candidate who did not campaign for office, merely receiving visitors from the front porch of his Ohio home when told he was nominated. Once in office, however, he sought to purge corruption and machine politics, and brought his upright Midwestern values to Washington. His attempted assassination by Charles Guiteau, a madman who was convinced he had been slighted for official office at the White House, shocked the nation. Garfield died after nearly three months of agony, killed not by his assassin's bullet but rather by infection caused by his invasive and inept physicians. Rare and striking -- we locate two copies in OCLC, at the Boston Athenaeum and Princeton University.