DITTRICK Museum Blog

How Did President Garfield Die? [part 3]

Continuing our series on Garfield’s death–join us for the talk Thursday, and read more at the Plain Dealer, cleveland.com!

Wednesday: (Harper’s Magazine, Volume 25, 628)

On September 17, 1881, Harper’s Weekly published these scenes with the following titles: “Removing the President from the White House” and “Removing the president from the Express Wagon to the Railway car.” He had already been bedridden some time and through the hottest months. When September arrived, the President demanded to be removed from to the seaside; Dr. Bliss tried to forbid it, but Garfield insisted that he was not asking permission. Carefully removed to a train, he was transported to the Francklyn Cottage in Elberon, New Jersey, with loyal followers throwing straw on the tracks to make the ride easier.  Garfield had always found comfort and peace in seeing the ocean; however, the fresh airs and tranquility did not aid to his recovery. In the following weeks the President’s conditioned worsened.

Posting by Celia Wan, Dittrick Museum Intern