— James A. Garfield American politician, 20th President of the United States (in office in 1881) 1831 - 1881
Context: Fellow-citizens! Clouds and darkness are round about Him! His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds of the skies! Justice and judgment are the establishment of His throne! Mercy and truth shall go before His face! Fellow-citizens! God reigns and the Government at Washington still lives!
A declaration reportedly made April 15, 1865, to calm a mob on Wall Street in New York after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, according to a reminiscence of "a distinguished gentleman who was present," published in the Cincinnati Gazette in 1880 and circulated during Garfield's presidential campaign, as recorded in The Republican Manual : History, Principles, Early Leaders, Achievements of the Republican Party with Biographical Sketches of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur http://books.google.com/books?id=enw_AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA241 (1880) Eugene Virgil Smiley, p. 241; after Garfield's assassination, the anecdote was widely reprinted. However, contemporary accounts give a completely different speech by Garfield and no mention of Garfield calming a mob. See The National Calamity in The New York Times (16 April 1865) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9806EFD91F30EE34BC4E52DFB266838E679FDE and Garfield : A Biography (1978) by Allan Peskin, p. 250 http://books.google.com/books?id=SRmY164czTQC&pg=PA250. Reported as a misattribution in Paul F. Boller, John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (1990), p. 32