James Garfield Assassination: Topics in Chronicling America
On July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield is shot and severely wounded by Charles J. Guiteau. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Garfield Assassination” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
President James A. Garfield (1831-1881) is shot by Charles Guiteau at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C on July 2, 1881. Although he was severely wounded, President Garfield initially survived the shooting. He never fully recovered though, and passed away on September 19, a mere six months after his inauguration as President. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
July 2, 1881
President James A. Garfield is shot and severely wounded by Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office-seeker, at a railroad station in Washington, D.C
Alexander Graham Bell unsuccessfully tries to locate the bullet with a metal detector he designed specifically for Garfield.
September 6, 1881
Garfield, in poor condition, is taken to the New Jersey seaside, and dies soon after on
September 19, 1881
Chester A. Arthur assumes presidency.
A funeral procession carrying Garfield’s remains travels from New Jersey to Washington, DC and finally to Ohio, where Garfield is buried.
January 25, 1882
Guiteau is found guilty. June 30, 1882: Guiteau is executed.