Before the next Sunday sermon, however, another opportunity presented itself to Guiteau. Destiny of the Republic. "It is the best jail in America, I understand. In order to attract public attention the book needs the notice the President's removal will give it." "He is liable to go at any time any way.". . Despite his prayers and constant vigilance, he had received no such sign. A Booklist Notable Book of 2012 The extraordinary New York Times bestselling account of James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard. He gave up trying to secure an appointment, and he no longer fought the press of divine inspiration. Prepared to kill for God but not to die, his only other option, he suspected, was imprisonment. It was a divine inspiration, a message from God. I'm excited that I'm excited!!!! I knew little of President Garfield before reading this book and I’m only sorry it took me so long to do so. After a few minutes, Guiteau handed the revolver back to O'Meara and told him that he would return in a few days. ", After striking a deal with O'Meara—ten dollars for the revolver, a box of cartridges, and a two-bladed, pearl-handled penknife that had caught his eye—Guiteau asked him where he could take the gun to test it. Get this audiobook free. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. . But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. It was, the shop owner said, a self-cocking .44 caliber British Bulldog. Guiteau was certain the idea had not come from his own, feverish mind. Although he was late, he paused at the door, scanning the congregation for the instantly recognizable figure of the president, who was taller and had broader shoulders than nearly any other man in the church. —USA Today "A staggering tale. The next day, Guiteau began to prepare. There would be a great demand for the book following Garfield's death, he reasoned, so it should be "in proper shape. That Saturday morning he woke up around six, put his gun in his pocket, and walked down to the Potomac to practice his aim one last time. That same day, Guiteau returned to John O'Meara's shop, as he had promised he would. There's also great stuff on the history of medicine, including how long it took before American doctors believed in the importance of sterile instruments and in the dangers of infections in wounds. Have you? He was elected in 1880, shot in 1881 and gone in months, and suddenly it was all Chester Arthur, all the time. Book Review Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. It was written to save souls. O'Meara warned Guiteau that he would need to leave the city limits, and suggested he try the river's edge. He "did not call it by name or ask for any special pistol," O'Meara would later recall. A member of the Disciples of Christ since childhood, and himself a minister, he had faithfully attended the Vermont Avenue Christian Church in Washington since he entered Congress nearly twenty years earlier. "Why, don't you know?" These passages, he said, "reveal God's meaning in dreams. After the secretary of state had snapped at him outside of the State Department, he bitterly recounted the exchange in a letter to Garfield. © Copyright 2016 Candice Millard. "My mind was all made up; I had all my papers with me; I had all the arrangements made to shoot him." Standing in the summer sun, Guiteau could picture the moment when he would raise his gun and take aim. Overview. With Conkling out of the way, he had finally been able to establish a strong, if at times contentious, cabinet, which, as he had always intended, included Stalwarts as well as Half-Breeds. What struck Maynard most of all, however, was the desperation he saw in the man standing before him. Guiteau had tried to persuade D. Lothrop & Co., one of the most respected publishers in Boston, to publish the book, but they had declined. He could have easily killed either man at any moment, but he never raised the revolver. From the alley, Guiteau, who had passed the time examining his gun and wiping it down, watched as the two men walked down the street arm in arm, their heads close together as they spoke. Looking at Guiteau, he noticed that he held his head at an unusual angle, tilted slightly forward. The unhinged assassin's half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation's future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. ", Even after his divine inspiration, Guiteau continued to appeal to Garfield. The book was published in 2005. Several months earlier, drawn to the church out of curiosity, he had watched from one of the pews as Garfield entered with Lucretia and their five children. He and a close friend, General David Swaim, had escaped a sinking ship, only to watch Arthur, who was lying on a couch, very pale and obviously ill, disappear under the surface of the water. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. He had heard, he said, that his father had had a prophetic dream shortly before his assassination, and he wondered if Robert would describe it. Come on, admit it. Narrated by Paul Michael. Marialyce and I chose this as a buddy read, and it's one that deeply moved us both. If you're like me, I'll bet you haven't given President James Garfield much thought either. She is a former writer and editor for National Geographic and the author of The River of Doubt: Theodore Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. That same night, Garfield mentioned the trip in his diary, writing that, in an attempt to help Lucretia's recovery, "we have concluded to take her to the sea shore for its bracing air." I had never heard of its author, Candice Millard, before but I will pick up her other book based solely on how much I enjoyed this one. Brown, Garfield's private secretary, had long before relegated Guiteau's letters to what was known as "the eccentric file," but he continued to welcome him to the White House with the same courtesy he extended to every other caller. For two weeks, he had prayed to God to show him that he had misunderstood the message he had received that night. Library Resources No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Candice Millard is a former writer and editor for National Geographic magazine. Although he wanted to spare the first lady the horror of witnessing her husband's fatal shooting, Guiteau argued that, when he did kill the president, his death would not be any more painful to Lucretia because it was the result of assassination. When nonfiction is well done it is nigh on unbeatable and this text easily fits that bill. In the meantime, he needed money to pay his board bill. Buy Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard online at Alibris. Determined to see The Truth in print, and for it to have the illusion, if not the reality, of respectability, he hired a printing company to produce a thousand copies, all with "D. Lothrop and Company" on the binding and cover page. one of the soldiers replied. He had been twenty-three years old when John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln, and he could not have forgotten the manhunt that had led to Booth's death. Finally, after a heated argument with one of the president's ushers that ended with Guiteau sitting in a corner of the waiting room, glowering, Brown issued orders that "he should be quietly kept away.". Millard is a graduate of Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, and earned a master's degree in literature from Baylor University. As the conversation drifted, Henry would later recall, Garfield began to talk about the times in his life, particularly his boyhood, when he had miraculously escaped death. To see what your friends thought of this book, Garfield walked right past his would-be assassin, his attention focused on Lucretia. As Henry sat in the candle-lit library, listening to Garfield, he realized that he "had never heard him speak . Candice Millard talked about her book, [Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President]. Guiteau knew that the president, who had no Secret Service agents and was in frequent contact with the public, was an easy target, especially outside the White House. The feeling, he said, came to him most often at night, "when all is quiet." This time, for the first time, he hesitated. New York: Doubleday, 2011, 340 pp. On May 23, he again wrote to the president, advising him to demand Blaine's "immediate resignation." "It would not do to go to the White House and attempt it, because there were too many of his employees about," Guiteau wrote. Millard's second book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President, was released in 2011. . The author weaves a number of apparently unrelated storylines together seamlessly, much like "Devil in … James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. ", Guiteau had "no ill-will to the President," he insisted. Heretofore he has been my friend. . As his condition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet. Free shipping for many products! On the contrary, "there could not possibly be a better place to remove a man than at his devotions. . He felt, therefore, that it would be wise to make a trip to the District Jail. After watching Garfield step into a carriage and ride away, Guiteau walked to the side of the church to examine the window near which the president had been sitting. 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