James Garfield was born in a log cabin in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. After working various jobs to support himself, he graduated from college and worked first as an educator and then as a lawyer. He served in the Ohio Senate from 1859-1861, then served as an officer in the Union army. He was first elected to Congress in 1862, where he served until winning the 1880 presidential election.
However, Garfield’s presidency lasted just 200 days. On July 2, 1881 he was shot twice from behind by Charles J. Guiteau, who had been rejected for a foreign service post. President Garfield died on September 19, 1881 as a result of his wounds.
This invitation to the congressional memorial service for Garfield is part of the Ohioana Library’s Ohio Presidents collection. The recipient is not identified.