The James A. Garfield Monument stands on the grounds of the United States Capitol in the circle at First Street, S.W., and Maryland Avenue, Washington, D.C. It is a memorial to President James A. Garfield, elected in 1880 and assassinated in 1881 after serving only four months of his term, by a disgruntled office-seeker named Charles J. Guiteau.
The monument, sculpted by John Quincy Adams Ward (1830-1910) and cast by The Henry-Bonnard Co. of New York, with a pedestal designed by Richard Morris Hunt, is an outstanding example of American Beaux-Arts sculpture. It was unveiled on May 12, 1887. Today it stands as part of a three-part sculptural group near the Capitol Reflecting Pool including the Peace Monument and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.
The memorial was commissioned in 1884 by the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, of which Garfield had been a member. The Society raised almost $28,000 to pay the sculptor. Some of the funds were raised by The Garfield Monument Fair, which was held in the Rotunda and Statuary Hall in 1882. Also in that year, Congress appropriated to the Society $7500 in funds from the sale of condemned cannons; in 1884 it appropriated $30,000 for the pedestal. The monument was incorporated into the Capitol Grounds on January 2, 1975.
The inscription reads:
(On Garfield statue:)
THE HENRY-BONNARD BRONZE CO.
(On speech held in Garfield's proper left hand:)
Law, Justice, Prosperity
(On each base figure:)
(Base, top section, front:)
JAMES. A. GARFIELD
(Base, top section, left side:)
MEMBER OF CONGRESS,
(Base, top section, right side:)
ERECTED BY HIS COMRADES
SOCIETY OF THE ARMY
MAY 18, 1887