The world’s history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto, and every man a word. Its strains have been pealing along down the centuries, and though there have been mingled the discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian philosopher and historian — the humble listener — there has been a Divine melody running through the song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to come.
— from The Province of History, by James Garfield
James Abram Garfield (1831–1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving only a brief time, from March 4, 1881, until his assassination by Charles Giteau on July 2 the same year. Besides being the only sitting House member to be elected president, Garfield made some modest achievements in reforming civil service in the U.S. and political office and built up the American Navy. He was also known for advocating for civil rights on behalf of freed slaves.