Thursday, December 15, 2005
2005 White House Historical Association White House Christmas Ornament
2005 White House Historical Association White House Christmas Ornament. The ornament this year focuses on President Garfield.
A history of President Grafiled is included.
James Garfield, the youngest of four children on a small farm in rural Cuyahoga County, Ohio, was born on November 19, 1831. Left fatherless at age of two, Garfield had to toil on the family farm throughout his childhood. Later he hired out as a farm hand, carpenter, and barge driver to support his widowed mother and to earn tuition to attend college. He studied at Geauga Academy (now Hiram College) of Ohio and Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1856. Garfield returned to Hiram College as a classics professor and became its president in 1857.
Garfield credited the Gospel for saving his life and turning him from work on a canal boat to the pursuit of education and preaching. After a religious experience at age 19, he was baptized in the Church of the Disciples of Christ. He began preaching almost every Sunday, and eventually was ordained a minister in his church.
Elected to the Ohio Senate in 1859 as an antislavery Republican, Garfield left the legislature to join the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1862, when Union military victories were scarce, he led the 18th Brigade at Middle Creek, Kentucky, to a dramatic victory over a superior number of Confederate troops. He rose in the ranks from lieutenant colonel to brigadier general after the battle at Middle Creek. Ohioans elected him to Congress in 1862, but Garfield remained in military service. For his bravery at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863, he was promoted to major general. Garfield finally resigned his commission in December 1863 to take his seat in Congress at the request of President Lincoln. He won re-election for the next 18 years, emerging as the leading Republican in the House. As a congressman and president, Garfield became a faithful and contributing member of the local Disciple church, which has since grown to become the National City Christian Church of Washington, D.C.