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How Did President Garfield Die? [Part 4]

Posted on September 15, 2016

Continuing our series on Garfield’s death – join us for the talk Thursday.


Thursday: (Harper’s Weekly)

On September 19, 1881, President Garfield died in a New Jersey seashore cottage. He only survived 79 days after the shooting, with his weight falling from 225 pounds to only 130 pounds from July to September. Over a dozen doctors had participated in Garfield’s treatment, including many distinguished surgeons like David Hayes Agnew of the University of Pennsylvania, and Frank Hamilton of Bellevue Hospital Medical College. However, Dr. Bliss would  not allow any others to provide their input. His lack of understanding on the antiseptic methods resulted in poor care that would lead ultimately to Garfield’s death. The wood engraving above was published 5 days after the President’s death; a double page spread (and hand colored), it depicts Garfield lying in the state, adorned with white roses.

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