James A. Garfield

(James Abram Garfield)

James A. Garfield
James A. Garfield
  • Born: November 19, 1831
  • Died: September 19, 1881
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President

87

Quotes

61

Citations

215

Concepts

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Videos

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881 until his death by assassination six and a half months later. Garfield had served nine terms in the House of Representatives, and had been elected to the Senate before his candidacy for the White House, though he declined the Senate seat once elected president. He was the first sitting member of Congress to be elected to the presidency, and remains the only sitting House member to gain the White House.

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
[Senator Roscoe Conkling is:] A great fighter, inspired more by his hates than his loves. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A noble life, crowned with heroic death, rises above and outlives the pride and pomp and glory of the mightiest empire of the earth.. Miscellaneous
A pernicious error is, that multitude is divine because it is multitude. Power
All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people. Democracies & Republics
All free governments are party governments. Political Parties & Machines
As the Government lights our coasts for the protection of mariners and the benefit of commerce, so it should give to the tillers of the soil the best lights of practical science and experience.
By the experience of commercial nations in all ages it has been found that gold and silver afford the only safe foundation for a monetary system. Money, Coins & Minting
Character is the result of two great forces: the initial force which the Creator gave it when He called the man into being; and the force of all the external influence and culture that mold and modify the development of a life. Human Nature
Coercion is the basis of every law in the universe. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
For mere revenge I would do nothing. This nation is too great to look for mere revenge. But for the security of the future I would do everything. Defense & National Security
Give me a log hut, with only a simple bench, Mark Hopkins on one end and I on the other, and you may have all the buildings, apparatus and libraries without him. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Gold and silver afford the only safe foundation for a monetary system. Money, Coins & Minting
Grave doubts have been entertained whether Congress is authorized by the Constitution to make any form of paper money legal tender. Money, Coins & Minting
History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy. History
History is the unrolled scroll of prophecy. History
I am willing . . . when I cannot get all I wish, to take what I can get. Legislating & Legislative Process
I love to deal with doctrines and events. The contests of men about men I greatly dislike. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I never did care much for the upholstery of office. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
If I find out where every dollar goes, and how it is used, I shall understand the apparatus thoroughly. Management & Managing Government
If nobody is to be appointed because he is your friend or my friend, then nobody should be appointed because he is any other man's friend. The President himself should exercise the same self denial as other officials.
In the long, fierce struggle for freedom of opinion, the press, like the church, counted its martyrs by thousands.. Freedom & Liberty
It had better be known in the outset whether the President is the head of the government or the registering clerk of the Senate. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
It has been a steeple chase, I fleeing and they pursuing.
It is a terrible thing to live in fear of their constituents to the extent which many members [of Congress] do. I would rather be defeated every day in the year than suffer such fear. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is the high privilege and sacred duty of those now living to educate their successors and fit them, by intelligence and virtue, for the inheritance which awaits them. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It now appears we are defeated by the combined power of rebellion, Catholicism, and whiskey, a trinity very hard to conquer. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It will cost me some struggle to keep from despising the office-seeker.
Justice and good will outlast passion. Justice & Injustice
My fellow citizens, the President is dead, but the Government lives and God Omnipotent reigns. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
My God. What is there about this place [the White House] that a man should ever want to get into it? Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither justice nor freedom can be permanently maintained. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Nor can any ecclesiastical organization be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the National Government. Religion & God
Personal liberty and personal rights are placed in the keeping of the nation, that the right to life, liberty, and property shall be guarantied to the citizen in reality . . . We must make American citizenship the shield that protects every citizen, on every foot of our soil. Citizenship & Patriotism
Real political issues cannot be manufactured by the leaders of political parties. The real political issues of the day declare themselves, and come out of the depths of that deep which we call public opinion. Public Opinion & Polling
Teaching is not the work in which a man can live and grow. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The chief danger which threatens the influence and honor of the press is the tendency of its liberty to degenerate into license. Media, Journalism & The Press
The chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people. Government ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;War & Peace
The chief duty of the National Government in connection with the currency of the country is to coin money and declare its value. Money, Coins & Minting
The chief duty of the National Government in connection with the currency of the country is to coin money and declare its value. Grave doubts have been entertained whether Congress is authorized by the Constitution to make any form of paper money legal tender. The present issue of United States notes has been sustained by the necessities of war; but such paper should depend for its value and currency upon its convenience in use and its prompt redemption in coin at the will of the holder, and not upon its compulsory circulation. These notes are not money, but promises to pay money. If the holders demand it, the promise should be kept. Money, Coins & Minting
The citizen is not adequately protected from the danger, or rather the apprehension, that his private affairs, the secrets of his family and his business will be disclosed to his neighbors. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. For the good of the service itself, for the protection of those who are entrusted with the appointing power against the waste of time and obstruction to the public business caused by the inordinate pressure for place, and for the protection of incumbents against intrigue and wrong.
The colonists were struggling not only against the armies of a great nation, but against the settled opinions of mankind; for the world did not then believe that the supreme authority of government could be safely entrusted to the guardianship of the people themselves. Democracies & Republics
The Confederacy was built on a false idea, not of a common government, but a government of gentlemen, of men of money, men of brains, who hold slaves. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The divorce between church and state should be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state, or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community. Taxes
The elevation of the Negro race from slavery to the full rights of citizenship is the most important political change we have known since the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. No thoughtful man can fail to appreciate its beneficent effect upon our institutions and people. Citizenship & Patriotism ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The elevation of the negro race from slavery to the full rights of citizenship is the most important political change we have known since the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. No thoughtful man can fail to appreciate its beneficent effect upon our institutions and people. It has freed us from the perpetual danger of war and dissolution. It has added immensely to the moral and industrial forces of our people. It has liberated the master as well as the slave from a relation which wronged and enfeebled both. Citizenship & Patriotism ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The is an intensity of anxiety here greater than I ever saw during the [Civil] war. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The Mormon Church not only offends the moral sense of manhood by sanctioning polygamy, but prevents the administration of justice through ordinary instrumentalities of law. In my judgment it is the duty of Congress, while respecting to the uttermost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen, to prohibit within its jurisdiction all criminal practices, especially of that class which destroy the family relations and endanger social order. Nor can any ecclesiastical organization be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the National Government. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The possession of great powers no doubt carries with it a contempt for mere external show. Public Relations & Image
The President is the last person in the world to know what the people really want and think. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Equality & Equal Opportunity
This trial has developed in the most remarkable manner, the insane love of speaking among public men. We are wading knee deep in words, words, words …. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
To march a file of soldiers into the Representative Hall of a State ... will not be tolerated by the American people. Miscellaneous
Very well; whatever you say is necessary must be done. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
We are apt to be deluded into false security by political catchwords, devised to flatter rather than instruct. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
We have no standard by which to measure the disaster that may be brought upon us by ignorance and vice in the citizens when joined to corruption and fraud in the suffrage. Voters, Voting & Elections
Whatever help the nation can justly afford should be generously given to aid the States in supporting common schools; but it would be unjust to our people and dangerous to our institutions to apply any portion of the revenues of the nation or of the States to the support of sectarian schools. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
When the shadow of the Presidential and Congressional election is lifted we shall, I hope be in a better temper to legislate. Legislating & Legislative Process
While it is the duty of Congress to respect to the uttermost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen ... not any ecclesiastical organization can be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the national government. Religion & God
Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.
A law is not a law without coercion behind it.
A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.
Few men in our history have ever obtained the Presidency by planning to obtain it. History
He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation. Money, Coins & Minting
I am a poor hater.
I am trying to do two things: dare to be a radical and not a fool, which is a matter of no small difficulty.
I have had many troubles in my life, but the worst of them never came. Life
I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else.
Ideas are the great warriors of the world, and a war that has no idea behind it, is simply a brutality. War & Peace
Ideas control the world.
If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it's the best possible substitute for it. Power ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.
If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it.
Justice and goodwill will outlast passion.
Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter. Humor
Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Freedom & Liberty
Nobody but radicals have ever accomplished anything in a great crisis.
Poverty is uncomfortable; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim.
Right reason is stronger than force.
Suicide is not a remedy.
Territory is but the body of a nation. The people who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life. Life
The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.
The sin of slavery is one of which it may be said that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. Truth
Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.