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Mentor in Lake County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Front Porch Campaign

 
 
Front Porch Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 9, 2011
1. Front Porch Campaign Marker
Inscription.
From July to November 1880, Republican candidate James A. Garfield staged his presidential campaign from his home. Using this porch as his rostrum, Garfield delivered dozens of speeches - some more than two hours long - to more than 15,000 supporters during the campaign.

Garfield's "Front Porch Campaign" was a new approach. Before 1880, presidential candidates usually did not get personally involved in their own campaigns; they typically let their party's best speakers campaign for them. But since Garfield was one of the best orators of his day, he spoke for himself throughout the campaign - and changed the way future candidates ran for president.

[Background photo caption reads]
James A. Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Roscoe Conkling, and Marshall Jewell standing in front of Garfield's front porch in September 1880, after signing the "Treaty of Mentor" which ended a rift in the Republican Party.

[Photo A caption reads] This group of black Civil War veterans from Cleveland came to hear Garfield speak in October 1880.

[Photo B caption reads] The Garfield Band on the front porch, 1880. Music was frequently played during 19th-century election campaigns.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 41° 
Front Porch Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 9, 2011
2. Front Porch Campaign Marker
39.826′ N, 81° 21.064′ W. Marker is in Mentor, Ohio, in Lake County. Marker is on Mentor Avenue (U.S. 20), on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of James A. Garfield National Historic Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor OH 44060, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Campaign Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Expanding the House (within shouting distance of this marker); Windmill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carriage House (about 300 feet away); Gasholder Building (about 400 feet away); James A. Garfield's "Lawnfield" (about 500 feet away); Lawnfield (about 500 feet away); James A. Garfield and the Civil War (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Mentor.
 
Also see . . .
1. James A. Garfield National Historic Site. (Submitted on October 31, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Garfield's "Front Porch Campaign". (Submitted on October 31, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. James Abram Garfield at FindAGrave.com. (Submitted on September 16, 2013, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsEntertainmentPatriots & PatriotismPolitics
 
Photo A on Front Porch Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, October 1880
3. Photo A on Front Porch Campaign Marker
Photo B on Front Porch Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1880
4. Photo B on Front Porch Campaign Marker
Part of Garfield's Front Porch image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 9, 2011
5. Part of Garfield's Front Porch
Front Porch Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 9, 2015
6. Front Porch Campaign Marker
This 1881 portrait of James A. Garfield by Ole Peter Hansen Balling hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“Through repeated balloting at the Republican convention of 1880, delegates remained deadlocked in naming a presidential candidate. Finally, after thirty-five ballots, they were ready for a compromise. Rejecting both front-runners — James Blaine and Ulysses S. Grant — the delegates endorsed Ohio congressman James A. Garfield, whose aspirations had been limited to becoming a senator.

The patronage-driven factionalism that led to Garfield's nomination continued to fester following his assumption of the presidency. On July 2, 1881, angered that Garfield had not awarded him a public office, a member of a GOP faction shot the president as he went to board a train. Eleven weeks later, Garfield was dead from his wound.

This staid portrait by Norwegian artist Ole Peter Hansen Balling may have captured Garfield's physical traits accurately, but it did not convey his spell­binding impact on people. Having once been a lay preacher, Garfield was at his most impressive when speaking. According to one observer, his thoughts sometimes seemed to issue forth at the podium ‘like solid shot from a cannon.’” — National Portrait Gallery
Broadside for the Election of 1880 Republican Candidates image. Click for full size.
By Vic Arnold, 1880
7. Broadside for the Election of 1880 Republican Candidates
James A. Garfield Republican candidate for president - Chester A. Arthur Republican candidate for vice president, published by A.S. Seer's Printing Establishment (New York, N.Y.). Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 537 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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