Hiram College

Hiram has received a gift of a rare book on the life of its most famous graduate, James A. Garfield, from a well-known donor.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) donated his family’s copy of The Life of James A. Garfield: Late President of the United States, by William Ralston Balch, published in Philadelphia in 1881.

David Everett, Director of the Hiram Library said the library already had a copy of the volume, but that what makes it rare, unusual and valuable for the College, is when it was published. Garfield died in September of 1881 of complications from a gunshot wound inflicted by a deranged gunman. Balch’s biography was published shortly after, but did include his death.

“Even though we had a copy of the book in the library already, we are happy to have the second copy.”   Everett said. “Naturally, we have so many books on Garfield, but that is because it is natural for us to have them. It is one of the things we should have. It is fair to say that they must have hurried to publish this one so soon after his death, and that is what makes it significant.”

The two books will be housed book in the Library’s archives.