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We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Tredition Classics. Garfield, it is easy to see that there was the hereditary preparation for a great man.

From the father's side came great physical power, large bones, big muscles, and an immense brain. From the father's line also came the heritage of profound conviction, of a lofty and resistless page: 20 courage, which was ready anywhere to do and die for the truth, and of the exhaustless patience which was the product of ten generations of tilling the soil. On the other hand, the Ballous were "small of stature, of brilliant and imaginative minds, of impetuous and energetic temperament, of the finest grain, physically and mentally.

They were scholars; people of books and culture, and, above all, they were orators. From them, albeit, came the intellectual equipment of their illustrious descendant. From the mother, Garfield inherited the love of books, the capacity for ideas, the eloquent tongue, and the tireless energy.

The Story of Garfield: Farm-Boy, Soldier, and President (2018)

To the earnest solidity and love of liberty of the Welshman, Edward Garfield, mixed with the reflective thought of the fair-haired German wife, was added the characteristic clearness and vivacity of the French mind. The trend of Garfield's mind could not have been other than deeply religious. The Ballous, for ten generations, had been preachers. No man could combine in himself the Puritan and Huguenot without being a true worshiper of God. On the other hand, while Puritans and Huguenots were at first religious sects, their struggles were with the civil power; so that each of them in time became the representative of the deepest political life of their respective nationalities.


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Through both father and mother, therefore, came a genius for politics and affairs of state; the conservatism of the sturdy Briton being quickened by the radicalism, the genius for reform which belongs to the mercurial Frenchman. From both parents would also come a liberality and breadth of mind, which distinguishes only a few great historic characters. The large, slow moving, good natured Garfields were by temperament far removed from bigotry; while the near ancestor of the mother had been excommunicated from the Baptist Church, because he thought God was merciful enough to save all mankind from the flames of ultimate perdition.

In Garfield's ancestry there was also a vein of military genius. The coat of arms, the militia captaincy of Benjamin Garfield, the affidavit of Abraham at Concord bridge, are the outcroppings on the father's side. The mother was a near relative of General Rufus page: 21 Ingalls; and her brother, for whom the President was named, was a soldier in the war of These, then, are some of the prophecies which had been spoken of the child that was born in the Garfield cabin in the fall of Future biographers will, perhaps, make more extended investigations, but we have seen something, in the language of the dead hero himself, "of those latent forces infolded in the spirit of the new-born child; forces that may date back centuries and find their origin in the life and thoughts and deeds of remote ancestors; forces, the germs of which, enveloped in the awful mystery of life, have been transmitted silently from generation to generation, and never perish.

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For two years after the birth of their youngest child James, the lives of Abram and Eliza Garfield flowed on peacefully and hopefully enough. The children were growing; the little farm improving; new settlers were coming in daily; and there began, to be much expected from the new system of internal improvements. With happy and not unhopeful hearts they looked forward to a future of comfortable prosperity.

But close by the cradle gapes the grave. Every fire-side has its tragedy. In one short hour this happy, peaceful life was fled. The fire fiend thrust his torch into the dry forests of north-western Ohio, in the region of the Garfield home. In an instant, the evening sky was red with flame. It was a moment of horror. Sweeping on through the blazing tree-tops with the speed of the wind came the tornado of fire.

Destruction seemed at hand, not only of crops and fences, but of barns, houses, stock, and of the people themselves. In this emergency, the neighbors for miles around gathered under the lead of Abram Garfield to battle for all that was near and dear.

The Story of Garfield Farm-Boy, Soldier, and President by William G Rutherford | Waterstones

A plan of work was swiftly formed. Hour after hour they toiled with superhuman effort. Choked and blinded by volumes of smoke, with scorched hands and singed brows, they fought the flames hand to hand till, at last, the current of death, page: 22 was turned aside. The little neighborhood of settlers was saved. But the terrific exertions put forth by Abram Garfield had exhausted him beyond theeah of recuperation. Returning home, from the night of toil, and incautiously exposing himself, he was attacked with congestion of the lungs.

Every effort to relieve the sufferer was made by the devoted wife. Every means known to her wasnsed to rally the exhausted vitality, but in vain. Chill followed chill. The vital powers were exhanuted, and the life-tide ebbed fast away. In a few hours the rustle of black wings was heard in that lowly home in the wilderness. Calling his young wife to him he whispered, "Eliza, you will soon be alone.

We have planted four saplings here in these woods: I leave them to your care. Little by little the darkness of the night without came in and mingled with the darkness of the night within. Though stunned by this appalling calamity, Eliza Ballou Garfield, true to the heroic ancestry from which she sprung, took up the burden of life with invincible courage.

The prospect was a hard one. Of the four children, the oldest, Thomas, was ten years of age; the two little girls ranged at seven and four, and the blue-eyed baby, James, had seen only twenty months. On the other hand, the widow's resources were scanty indeed. The little farm was only begun. To make a farm in a timber country is a life task for the stoutest man.

Years and years of arduous toil would be required to fell the timber, burn the stumps, grub out the roots, and fence the fields before it could really be a farm. Worse than this, the place was mortgaged. The little clearing of twenty acres, with the imperfect cultivation which one weak woman, unaided, could give it, had to be depended on, not only to furnish food for herself and the four children, but to pay taxes and interest on the mortgage, and gradually to lessen the principal of the debt itself. The pioneer population of the country was, as poor as herself, hardly able to raise sufficient grain for bread, and reduced almost to starvation by the failure of a single crop.

So fearful were the odds against the plucky little widow that her friends pointed out the overwhelming difficulties of the situation, and earnestly advised her to let her children be distributed among. Firmly but kindly she put aside their well-meant efforts. With invincible courage and an iron will, she said: "My family must not be separated. It is my wish and duty to raise these children myself.


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No one can care for them like a mother. She lost no time in irresolution, but plunged at once into the roughest sort of men's labor. The wheat-field was only half fenced; the precious harvest which was to be their sustenance through the winter was still ungathered, and would be destroyed by roving cattle, which had been turned loose during the forest fires.

The emergency had to be met, and she met it. Finding in the woods some trees, fresh fallen beneath her husband's glittering ax, she commenced the hard work of splitting rails. At first she succeeded poorly; her hands became blistered, her arms sore, and her heart sick. But with practice she improved. Her small arms learned to swing the maul with a steady stroke. Day by day the worm fence crawled around the wheat field, until the ends met.

The highest heroism is not that which manifests itself in some simgle great and splendid crisis. It is not found on the battlefield where regiments dash forward upon blazing batteries, and in ten minutes are either conquerors or corpses. It is not seen at itke of martyrdom, where, for the sake of opinion, men for a moments endure the unimaginable tortures of the flames.

It found in the courtly tournaments of the past, where knights, in glittering armor, flung the furious lance of defiance into the face of their foe. Splendid, heroic, are these all. But there is a heroism grander still; it is the heroism which endures, not merely for a moment, but through the hard and bitter toils of a life-time; which, when the inspiration of the crisis has passed away, and weary years of hardship stretch their stony path before tired feet, cheerfully takes up the burden of life, undaunted and undismayed.

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In all the annals of the brave, who, in all times, page: 24 have suffered and endured, there is no scene more touching than the picture of this widow toiling for her children. The annals of this period of life in the Garfield cabin are simple. But biography, when it has for its theme one of the loftiest men that ever lived, loves to busy itself with the details of his childhood and to try to trace in them the indications of future greatness.