General Correspondence, Vols. 41-51, 1876-1877

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The presidential election of 1876 proved a consequential one for James A. Garfield, as well as the nation. Garfield campaigned for his fellow Ohio Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, but electoral irregularities in a handful of states threw the contest into doubt. Garfield participated in electoral investigations in the South, and then served on the Electoral Commission responsible for deciding the outcome of the election in the Compromise of 1877. The Garfields suffered the loss of their young son, Edward (or Neddie) in October 1876, shortly before purchasing a farm in Mentor, Ohio that would become their home base. Although still primarily identified with his service in Congress and his position as the Republican minority leader, Garfield also began to make a name for himself as a published author, including with a piece in which he presented a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.

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