HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
back
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918)

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918), an intellectual woman of keen political insights, became her husband's constant companion. Her genuine hospitality made her a popular First Lady, but early in his administration Garfield was shot by a disgruntled jobseeker. As the president lay dying for three months, Lucretia's devoted nursing and courage won the nation's respect and admiration. An outpouring of donations from the public to the First Lady and her family reached the then unheard of sum of $360,000. As a widow, she supervised the preservation and publication of her husband's extensive political papers.

 


James A. Garfield, Twentieth President, March-September 1881

James A. Garfield was the third Civil War general to become president. In his short time in office, Garfield moved against the patronage system, with plans to reform the civil service system and purge the post office of corruption. But an assassin shot Garfield only four months into his term--he was the second president to be killed in office.

 


"If the Johnnies Get into Power," James A. Garfield campaign song

"If the Johnnies Get into Power" from the recording entitled Presidential Campaign Songs 1789-1996, Folkways 45051, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. © 1999. Used by permission.

Words: Anonymous; Melody: "When Johnny comes Marching Home"; arranged by Oscar Brand/TRO-Hollis Music, Inc., BMI

The Republicans "waved the red flag" using the alarmist song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again," to warn that Southerners, "the Johnny Rebs, "intended to take over the U.S. government. Like other election songs before and since, it was meant to draw people to a candidate out of fear.

Partial lyrics:
"...Then cheer for Garfield three times three
Hurrah, Hurrah
For Arthur and for victory
Hurrah, Hurrah
We’ll put them in there is no doubt
We’ll Kick the Greyback Johnnies Out
And there’ll be no day when the Johnnies Get Into Power
And there’ll be no day when the Johnnies Get Into Power."

 


 



Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy