JAMES A. GARFIELD, 20th president of the United States, was shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, DC, on July 2, 1881, by CHARLES J. GUITEAU, whose motive was revenge for an imagined political debt. Garfield died 79 days later. Guiteau was convicted and executed by hanging, one year after the shooting.
SERGEANT MASON of Battery B, Second Artillery, fired a shot at Guiteau when relieving guards at the jail. He came near killing him. The ball grazed Guiteau’s head and was embedded in the cell wall. Mason was promptly arrested and taken to the arsenal and incarcerated. Mason was convicted in a military trial and dishonorably discharged and sentenced to eight years of hard labor. The conviction was later overturned due to a procedural irregularity in the prosecution. Large numbers of prominent businessmen signed a petition calling for pardoning Mason. On November 24, 1883, President Chester Arthur granted Mason “a full and unconditional pardon.”
2 1/4 x 3 3/4 lithographic image of Mason by Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co., of NY, and attached to an advertising card of George Keyes’ Son & Co., New York city merchant of dry goods “Wonderful Bargains in every department.”
In 1884, an important U.S. Supreme Court decision was decided in Burrow-Giles favor. It upheld the power of Congress to extend copyright protection to photographs.
Expecting toning. A great Garfield-Guiteau item produced by an important lithographic company with period advertising on the verso.
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