Wednesday, May 16, 2007

James Garfield and the Front Porch Campaign

Lawnfield, the Garfields’ home was named by the reporters who covered his campaign

James Garfield was the first candidate to run a successful presidential campaign from his front porch in 1880. This started a tradition that William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison and Warren Harding would all emulate.

The biography of Lucretia Garfield at the National First Ladies Library also talks about her role in this campaign:
One of the first "front porch" campaigns was conducted from their Mentor, Ohio farm, "Lawnfield," and thus she was able to occupy a semi-official role without compromising her sense of propriety regarding women's exposure to public life: the front porch may have been where the candidate appeared before large contingents of voters coming to hear him speak, but it was also her private home. In one corner of their property there was even a campaign office equipped with telegraph facilities from which election returns were received.

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