Dark horse : the surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield.



Transcription of Annotations

Front and back endpapers include notes on the main characters who played a part in the events leading up to the 1880 election: former president Ulysses S. Grant, Winfield Scott Hancock, the Democratic presidential candidate, James A. Garfield, who after 36 ballots won the Republican nomination in Chicago, Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York, Senator James G. Blaine of Maine, Chester A. Arthur, Garfield's vice-presidential running mate, Tom Platt, who asked Garfield for the promise of patronage if the New York delegation was delivered to him, and Charles Guiteau, President Garfield's assassin. Other notes mention the 'unit rule', which was promoted by Conkling who supported Grant for a third term, and opposed by Garfield who believed that each member of a delegation should be able to vote independently. Delegates supporting Grant were referred to as 'Stalwarts'; those against Grant were called 'Half-breeds'. Also included are notes providing biographical information on James Garfield and his assassin, statistics on the 1880 election which resulted in a tie in the senate which would not occur again until 2001, information on the careers of Blaine, Arthur and Conkling after Garfield's assassination, and the accounts of several anecdotes, e.g. the icy standoff between Grant and Garfield at the Hotel Elberon in New Jersey where they were both vacationing, the affair between Conkling and Kate Sprague, the wife of a former Rhode Island senator, and the public discovery of Tom Platt in bed with another woman. -- Annotations by Brian Lamb in the margins and underlining of pertinent phrases throughout the book.


Ackerman, Kenneth D, “Dark horse : the surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield.,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed May 23, 2022, http://booknotes.gmu.edu/items/show/730.


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Dark horse : the surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield.


Ackerman, Kenneth D


Program air date: July 27, 2003


In this book Kenneth Ackerman re-creates an American political landscape where fierce battles for power unfolded against a chivalrous code of honor in a country struggling to emerge from the long shadow of recent war. He casts familiar Civil War figures like Ulysses S. Grant and Winfield Scott Hancock in unfamiliar roles as politicos alongside feuding machine bosses like senators Roscoe Conkling and James G. Blaine and backroom string-puller Chester A. Arthur, Garfield's unlikely vice-presidential running mate. The journey through political backrooms, dazzling convention floors, and intrigue-filled congressional and White House chambers, reveals the era's decency and humanity as well as the sharp partisanship that exploded in the pistol shots of assassin Charles Guiteau, the weak-minded political camp follower and patronage seeker eager to replace the elected commander-in-chief with one of his own choosing. Garfield's path from a seat in the House of Representatives to the White House to martyred hero changed the tone of politics for generations to come.


Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881
Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881--Assassination
Guiteau, Charles Julius, 1841-1882
Presidents--United States--Election--1880
"Presidents--United States--Biography."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Carroll & Graf Publishers
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


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[1st Carroll & Graf ed.]