University Archives


James A. Garfield Memorial Fundraising Event: Finely Engraved Unused Entrance Ticket

Two pieces of ephemera related to the commemoration of assassinated 20th U.S. President James A. Garfield (1831-1881).

The lot is comprised of:

1. An unused entrance ticket to a fundraising event for the James A. Garfield Memorial. Ticket, serial number 10572, granted admittance to the Annexes of the "National Bazaar, Industrial and Art Exposition [for the] Benefit of the Garfield Monument Fund," held at the U.S. Capitol between November 25 - December 3, 1882. Finely engraved by Homer Lee Bank Note Company of New York. The ticket depicts a portrait of Garfield at left and a vignette of the U.S. Capitol at right, as well as eleven lines of typeface displaying all the artistry of late Victorian printing. The ticket is still attached to its stub. A few minor wrinkles, and some mounting traces verso, else near fine. 6.125" x 2.75."

2. A vintage color postcard, ca. 1890, showing the completed monument: the James A. Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. Published by A.N. Stowell of Cleveland, Ohio. The blank verso provides some interesting statistics about the monument. A few wrinkles, else near fine. 3.375" x 5.5."

President Garfield was shot by disgruntled office seeker Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. After two-and-a-half months of excruciating convalescence--where he was probed by many doctors unfamiliar with basic germ theory--Garfield died from complications of an infection at age forty-nine on September 19, 1881.

Garfield supporters planned to construct a memorial for the slain president as early as 1881. Construction of the James A. Garfield Memorial began in 1885 and the site was dedicated in May 1890. Hartford, Connecticut-based architect George Keller designed the memorial to reflect a combination of three different architectural styles; the monument featured a 180-ft-tall tower, arcades, stained glass windows, terracotta bas relief tablets, mosaics, and a large statue of Garfield. More than half of the project was financed by popular subscription. Garfield, his wife Lucretia, daughter Mary, and son-in-law Joseph are all interred in the crypt.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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