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Premonition

June 24, 2014

President Garfield tried to include both factions of the Republican party in his cabinet.  Secretary of State James G. Blaine was a Half-Breed.  Secretary of War Robert Lincoln was a Stalwart.  On June 30, 1881 just before adjourning a cabinet meeting Garfield felt compelled to ask Secretary Lincoln to discuss an uncomfortable topic.  Garfield, who had a longstanding notion that he would die prematurely, had heard that President Lincoln had a prophetic dream about his own assassination.  Would the late President’s son be so kind as to tell Garfield about his father’s dream?

The next day Garfield received some tragic news for the second time in the last ten days.  On June 22 Uncle Thomas Garfield was killed instantly when his buggy was struck by a train.  Today, July 1, 1881 cousin Cordelia died from injuries she received in the same accident.

President Garfield had been born on Uncle Thomas’s thirtieth birthday.  If Uncle Thomas had lived, he would have been eighty years old next November.  How strange it would be to mark the anniversary without him.

But the President would never have that opportunity.  Although he would live through the summer, President Garfield would never enjoy life after July 2, for on that day he would be shot by the assassin Charles Guiteau.

 

 

 

 

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