Eliza Garfield

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Eliza Garfield
Eliza Arabella Garfield

(1860-07-03)3 July 1860
Died3 December 1863(1863-12-03) (aged 3)
Hiram, Ohio
Other namesTrot (nickname)
Parent(s)James A. Garfield
Lucretia Rudolph

Eliza Arabella "Trot" Garfield (3 July 1860 – 3 December 1863) was the first child and first of two daughters born to James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States and his wife, Lucretia Garfield (née Rudolph).


The first child of the couple, Eliza was born while her father was a Hiram, Ohio lawyer. Nicknamed "Trot", after the character of Betsey Trotwood from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens,[1] the child was named after both Eliza Ballou, James's mother, and Arabella Mason, Lucretia's mother. She soon became the center of their letters.

How the fact of our little Trot's existence has added to the horizon of our lives. The laws of perspective have placed her in a point where all other things have assumed new and peculiar relations to each other.

— James Garfield, in a January 1861 letter to Lucretia[1]

As an infant, Eliza was not an object of interest for James. A few days after Eliza was born, Lucretia fell ill with a breast infection that resulted from nurturing the infant, but James went on a pleasure cruise to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.[1] Usually, James could not be with Trot anyway, as she and Lucretia lived with her maternal grandparents, Zebulon and Arabella.[2] Trot completed James's picture of a perfect family: mother, father and an energetic child, always in demand of attention.[2] A few days after the family bought their first house, Trot died of diphtheria. James came back from Washington to help care for the sick child in her final hours.[3] She was buried the same day she died on Hiram Hill, Ohio.[4][5]



  • Shaw, John (June 30, 2004). Lucretia. Presidential Wives (illustrated ed.). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers. p. 124. ISBN 1-59454-151-5.
  • Quinn-Musgrove, Sandra L.; Kanter, Sanford (August 30, 1995). America's Royalty: All the Presidents' Children (revised and expanded ed.). Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-313-29535-5. Retrieved 9 November 2013.