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James A. Garfield

Data de nascimento: 19. Novembro 1831
Data de falecimento: 19. Setembro 1881

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James Abram Garfield foi um advogado, militar e político estadunidense. Foi o vigésimo presidente dos Estados Unidos, em 1881.

Garfield nasceu como caçula de cinco filhos em Moreland Hills, Ohio, filho de Abraham Garfield, um lutador que morreu quando Garfield tinha 17 meses de idade. Garfield foi criado por sua mãe Eliza Ballou. Ele serviu aos Exércitos da União durante a Guerra Civil Americana, no verão de 1861 ele foi condecorado General da União.

Garfield foi assassinado por Charles Julius Guiteau, após seis meses e quinze dias como presidente, apenas a presidencia de William Henry Harrison foi menor tendo sido de 32 dias.

O atentado ocorreu no dia 2 de julho de 1881, em uma estação de trem em Washington D.C., quando Guiteau atirou contra o presidente Garfield, que agonizou na Casa Branca por semanas. Durante a comoção nacional que se instalou devido ao estado de saúde do presidente, Alexander Graham Bell — inventor do telefone — tentou encontrar a bala no corpo de Garfield com um dispositivo elétrico, mas não teve sucesso. Garfield faleceu dois meses depois, por infecções e hemorragias internas. Garfield também demonstrou que era um grande estudioso e entusiasta da matemática ele demonstrou teorema de Pitágoras com um trapézio enquanto ainda estava na Câmara de Representantes .

Antes de sua eleição para presidente, Garfield serviu como um general no Exército dos Estados Unidos, e como um membro da Câmara dos Representantes Nacional, e também como membro da Comissão Eleitoral de 1876. Garfield foi o segundo presidente a ser assassinado na história dos Estados Unidos; Abraham Lincoln foi o primeiro. O Presidente Garfield, um republicano, esteve no cargo durante escassos quatro meses, quando foi baleado e ferido mortalmente em 2 de julho de 1881. Ele viveu até 19 de setembro do mesmo ano, depois de ter servido na presidência durante seis meses e quinze dias.

Citações James A. Garfield

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„Nothing touches my heart more quickly than a tribute of honor to a great and noble character; but as I sat in my seat and witnessed this demonstration, this assemblage seemed to me a human ocean in tempest. I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all heights and depths are measured.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: Nothing touches my heart more quickly than a tribute of honor to a great and noble character; but as I sat in my seat and witnessed this demonstration, this assemblage seemed to me a human ocean in tempest. I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all heights and depths are measured. When the storm has passed and the hour of calm settles on the ocean, when the sunlight bathes its peaceful surface, then the astronomer and surveyor take the level from which they measure all terrestrial heights and depths.

„No duty can be more sacred than that of maintaining and perpetuating the freedom which the Proclamation of Emancipation gave to the loyal black men of the South. If they are to be disfranchised, if they are to have no voice in determining the conditions under which they are to live and labor, what hope have they for the future? It will rest with their late masters, whose treason they aided to thwart, to determine whether negroes shall be permitted to hold property, to enjoy the benefits of education, to enforce contracts, to have access to the courts of justice, in short, to enjoy any of those rights which give vitality and value to freedom. Who can fail to foresee the ruin and misery that await this race, to whom the vision of freedom has been presented only to be withdrawn, leaving them without even the aid which the master's selfish commercial interest in their life and service formerly afforded them?“

— James A. Garfield
Context: But if we had no respect for the early practices and traditions of our fathers, we should still be compelled to meet the practical question which will very soon be forced upon us for solution. The necessity of putting down the rebellion by force of arms was no more imperative than is that of restoring law, order, and liberty in the States that rebelled. No duty can be more sacred than that of maintaining and perpetuating the freedom which the Proclamation of Emancipation gave to the loyal black men of the South. If they are to be disfranchised, if they are to have no voice in determining the conditions under which they are to live and labor, what hope have they for the future? It will rest with their late masters, whose treason they aided to thwart, to determine whether negroes shall be permitted to hold property, to enjoy the benefits of education, to enforce contracts, to have access to the courts of justice, in short, to enjoy any of those rights which give vitality and value to freedom. Who can fail to foresee the ruin and misery that await this race, to whom the vision of freedom has been presented only to be withdrawn, leaving them without even the aid which the master's selfish commercial interest in their life and service formerly afforded them? Will these negroes, remembering the battlefields on which two hundred thousand of their number bravely fought, and many thousands heroically died, submit to oppression as tamely and peaceably as in the days of slavery? Under such conditions, there could be no peace, no security, no prosperity.

„The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. For the good of the service itself, for the protection of those who are intrusted with the appointing power against the waste of time and obstruction to the public business caused by the inordinate pressure for place, and for the protection of incumbents against intrigue and wrong, I shall at the proper time ask Congress to fix the tenure of the minor offices of the several Executive Departments and prescribe the grounds upon which removals shall be made during the terms for which incumbents have been appointed.

„Let us not commit ourselves to the absurd and senseless dogma that the color of the skin shall be the basis of suffrage, the talisman of liberty.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: But it will be asked, Is it safe to admit to the elective franchise the great mass of ignorant and degraded blacks, so lately slaves? Here indeed is the great practical question, to the solution of which should be brought all the wisdom and enlightenment of our people. I am fully persuaded that some degree of intelligence and culture should be required as a qualification for the right of suffrage. I have no doubt that it would be better if no man were allowed to vote who cannot read his ballot or the Constitution of the United States, and write his name or copy in a legible hand a sentence from the Declaration of Independence. Make any such wise restriction of suffrage, but let it apply to all alike. Let us not commit ourselves to the absurd and senseless dogma that the color of the skin shall be the basis of suffrage, the talisman of liberty. I admit that it is perilous to confer the franchise upon the ignorant and degraded; but if an educational test cannot be established, let suffrage be extended to all men of proper age, regardless of color. It may well be questioned whether the negro does not understand the nature of our institutions better than the equally ignorant foreigner. He was intelligent enough to understand from the beginning of the war that the destiny of his race was involved in it. He was intelligent enough to be true to that Union which his educated and traitorous master was endeavoring to destroy. He came to us in the hour of our sorest need, and by his aid, under God, the Republic was saved. Shall we now be guilty of the unutterable meanness, not only of thrusting him beyond the pale of its blessings, but of committing his destiny to the tender mercies of those pardoned rebels who have been so reluctantly compelled to take their feet from his neck and their hands from his throat? But someone says it is dangerous at this time to make new experiments. I answer, it is always safe to do justice. However, to grant suffrage to the black man in this country is not innovation, but restoration. It is a return to the ancient principles and practices of the fathers. Let me refer you to a few facts in our history which have been but little studied by' the people and politicians of this generation.

„Tell her I am seriously hurt; how seriously I cannot yet say.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: Tell her I am seriously hurt; how seriously I cannot yet say. I am myself, and hope she will come to me soon. I send my love to her. Message to his wife on being shot (2 July 1881), in [http://books.google.com/books?id=vCAFAAAAYAAJ The Life and Public Services of James A. Garfield (1881) by E. E. Brown, p. 217]

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„And now that we have made them free, so long as we live we will stand by these black allies“

— James A. Garfield
Context: And it did gentle the condition and elevate the heart of every worthy soldier who fought for the Union, [applause, ] and he shall be our brother forevermore. Another thing we will remember: we will remember our allies who fought with us. Soon after the great struggle began, we looked behind the army of white rebels, and saw 4,000,000 of black people condemned to toil as slaves for our enemies; and we found that the hearts of these 4,000,000 were God-inspired with the spirit of Liberty, and that they were all our friends. [Applause. ] We have seen the white men betray the flag and fight to kill the Union; but in all that long, dreary war we never saw a traitor in a black skin. [Great cheers. ] Our comrades escaping from the starvation of prison, fleeing to our lines by the light of the North star, never feared to enter the black man's cabin and ask for bread. ["Good, good," "That's so," and loud cheers. ] In all that period of suffering and danger, no Union soldier was ever betrayed by a black man or woman. [Applause. ] And now that we have made them free, so long as we live we will stand by these black allies. [Renewed applause. ] We will stand by them until the sun of liberty, fixed in the firmament of our Constitution, shall shine with equal ray upon every man, black or white, throughout the Union. [Cheers. ] Fellow-citizens, fellow-soldiers, in this there is the beneficence of eternal justice, and by it we will stand forever. [Great applause. ] A poet has said that in individual life we rise, "On stepping-stones of our dead selves to higher things," and the Republic rises on the glorious achievements of its dead and living heroes to a higher and nobler national life. [Applause. ] We must stand guard over our past as soldiers, and over our country as the common heritage of all. [Applause. ]

„Oh Swaim, there is a pain here. Swaim, can't you stop this? Oh, oh, Swaim!“

— James A. Garfield
Context: [To his chief of staff, David G. Swaim] Oh Swaim, there is a pain here. Swaim, can't you stop this? Oh, oh, Swaim! Reportedly his last words. As quoted in [https://books.google.com/books?id=UzEYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA573&dq=%22swaim+there+is+a+pain%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Kb4GVcaIAcjDggSYiYOoCQ&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22swaim%20there%20is%20a%20pain%22&f=false "The Last Hours"], Life of President Garfield: The Complete Record of a Wonderful Career (1881), by William Ralston Balch, p. 573

„The emancipated race has already made remarkable progress. With unquestioning devotion to the Union, with a patience and gentleness not born of fear, they have "followed the light as God gave them to see the light."“

— James A. Garfield
Context: The emancipated race has already made remarkable progress. With unquestioning devotion to the Union, with a patience and gentleness not born of fear, they have "followed the light as God gave them to see the light." They are rapidly laying the material foundations of self-support, widening their circle of intelligence, and beginning to enjoy the blessings that gather around the homes of the industrious poor. They deserve the generous encouragement of all good men. So far as my authority can lawfully extend they shall enjoy the full and equal protection of the Constitution and the laws.

„I must do something to keep my thoughts fresh and growing.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: I must do something to keep my thoughts fresh and growing. I dread nothing so much as falling into a rut and feeling myself becoming a fossil.

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„It is hardly possible God will let us succeed while such enormities are practiced.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: We do not even inquire whether a black man is a rebel in arms, or not, if he is black, be he friend or foe, he is thought best kept at a distance. It is hardly possible God will let us succeed while such enormities are practiced. Regarding slavery (1862), as quoted in Garfield: A Biography (1978), by Allan Peskin, p. 145

„I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept, plighted faith may be broken, and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue. Speech at Arlington Cemetery, Decoration Day (30 May 1868)

„Our comrades escaping from the starvation of prison, fleeing to our lines by the light of the North star, never feared to enter the black man's cabin and ask for bread“

— James A. Garfield
Context: And it did gentle the condition and elevate the heart of every worthy soldier who fought for the Union, [applause, ] and he shall be our brother forevermore. Another thing we will remember: we will remember our allies who fought with us. Soon after the great struggle began, we looked behind the army of white rebels, and saw 4,000,000 of black people condemned to toil as slaves for our enemies; and we found that the hearts of these 4,000,000 were God-inspired with the spirit of Liberty, and that they were all our friends. [Applause. ] We have seen the white men betray the flag and fight to kill the Union; but in all that long, dreary war we never saw a traitor in a black skin. [Great cheers. ] Our comrades escaping from the starvation of prison, fleeing to our lines by the light of the North star, never feared to enter the black man's cabin and ask for bread. ["Good, good," "That's so," and loud cheers. ] In all that period of suffering and danger, no Union soldier was ever betrayed by a black man or woman. [Applause. ] And now that we have made them free, so long as we live we will stand by these black allies. [Renewed applause. ] We will stand by them until the sun of liberty, fixed in the firmament of our Constitution, shall shine with equal ray upon every man, black or white, throughout the Union. [Cheers. ] Fellow-citizens, fellow-soldiers, in this there is the beneficence of eternal justice, and by it we will stand forever. [Great applause. ] A poet has said that in individual life we rise, "On stepping-stones of our dead selves to higher things," and the Republic rises on the glorious achievements of its dead and living heroes to a higher and nobler national life. [Applause. ] We must stand guard over our past as soldiers, and over our country as the common heritage of all. [Applause. ]

„There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.“

— James A. Garfield
Context: No doubt this great change has caused serious disturbance to our Southern communities. This is to be deplored, though it was perhaps unavoidable. But those who resisted the change should remember that under our institutions there was no middle ground for the negro race between slavery and equal citizenship. There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.

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