Saturday, September 27, 2014

McKinley's Will, Czolgosz Convicted, President Roosevelt Supported, 1901

From Fisherman & Farmer, Elizabeth City, October 3, 1901. An alienist was a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

McKinley’s Will Probated…His Wife Made the Sole Legatee for Life—Executors Named
Canton, Ohio, Special—Secretary Cortelyou came here last Friday to assist Mrs. McKinley in disposing of matters connected with the late President’s estate. After meeting Mrs. McKinley, the question of filing the will was taken up. The trying task of reading it to her was undertaken by a faithful secretary. Mrs. McKinley made a heroic effort to bear up and succeeded in doing so, although the ordeal was difficult for her. She is resting well. All legal formalities necessary for her to subscribe to were disposed of. At 3 o’clock Judge Day and Secretary Cortelyou went to the office of the probate judge and offered the will of President McKinley for probate. They carried with them the following:

“I, Ida S. McKinley, widow of William McKinley, deceased, hereby decline the administration of his estate and recommend the appointment of Wm. R. Day and Geo. B. Cortelyou as administrators, with the will annexed.”

This recommendation bears the date of September 27, 1901. Following is the text of President McKinley’s will.

“Executive Mansion, Washington

“I publish the following as my latest will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills: To my beloved wife Ida S. McKinley, I bequeath all of my real estate, wherever situated, and the income of any personal property of which I may be possessed at death, during her natural life. I make the following charge upon all of my property, both real and personal: To pay my mother during her life $1,000 a year, and at her death said sum to be paid to my sister, Helen McKinley. If the income from property be insufficient to keep my wife in great comfort and pay the annuity above provided, then I direct that such of my property be sold so as to make a sum adequate for both purposes. Whatever property remains at the death of my wife, I give to my brother and sisters, share and share alike. My chief concern is that my wife from my estate shall have all she requires for her comfort and pleasure, and that my mother shall be provided with whatever money she requires to make her old age comfortable and happy. Witness my hand and seal, this 22nd day of October, 1897, to my last will and testament, made at the city of Washington, District of Columbia. William McKinley

“The foregoing will was witnessed by us this 22nd day of October, 1897, at the request of the testator and his name signed hereto in our presence and our signature hereto in his presence. Charles Loeffler and G.B. Cortelyou

It is given out on authority that the McKinley estate will total $225,000 or $250,000, including life insurance of $67,000. Aside from this insurance the estate consists of real estate here and contiguous to Canton and of deposits in Washington banks. Monday morning has been fixed by the probate court for a hearing prior to probating the will. The will is in the President’s own handwriting.


Guilty of Murder…Czolgosz, the Assassin, Convicted in Short Order…Jury Was Not Long in Agreeing…The Trial Was Brief But Fair, and the Verdict Was Inevitable—Will Be Sentenced Soon
Buffalo, Special—Leon F. Czolgosz, alias Fred Nieman, was found guilty Tuesday of murder in the first degree by a jury in Part III of the Supreme Court, in having, on the 6th day of September, shot President William McKinley, the wounds inflicted afterwards resulting in the death of the President.

The wheels of justice moved swiftly and covered a period of only two days. Practically all of this time was occupied by the prosecution presenting a case so clear, so conclusive that even had the prisoner entered a plea of insanity, the jury would not have returned a verdict different from the one rendered today.

The announcement made in the afternoon by the attorneys for Czolgosz that the eminent alienists summoned by the Erie County Bar Association and by the district attorney to examine Czolgosz and to determine his exact mental condition had declared him to be perfectly sane, destroying the only vestige of a defense that Judges Lewis and Titus could have put together. Before adjournment Justice White announced that he would pronounce sentence upon the prisoner on Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock. He was taken at once through the tunnel under Delaware avenue to the jail. To all appearances he was in no way affected by the result of the trial.

The crowd gathered at the city hall was the largest which has seen him since his arraignment. People were lined up on both sides of the big rotunda on the second floor when court convened and fringed the stairs leading from the floor above. There was no demonstration except that of curiosity. A large number of women witnessed the proceedings.

At 2:44 in the afternoon District Attorney Penny abruptly announced that the case of the prosecution was ended. Judge Lewis arose slowly and, addressing the court, said that the sudden close of the case against Czolgosz was a surprise to him and his colleague. They had no witness to call for the defense. He asked the court that he be allowed to address the jury at once. The court consented and the venerable jurist began an address that will long be remembered by those who heard it.

The jury retired at 3:51 to consider the evidence. The scene in the court room then became dramatic in the extreme. Decorum was somewhat forgotten and the spectators stood up and many walked about the room and engaged in conversation. The guards about the assassin, who still sat in his seat before the bench, were doubled. Chief of Detectives Cusack and two of his men taking positions just back of Czolgosz’s chair. Others took seats to the left and right and many “plain clothes” men were seen mingling among the crowd surging about the room, closely watching every one whose face was not familiar to them. There was no disposition to crowd about the prisoner, although the object of every one seemed to be to get in a position where he could have a full view of his face.

Czolgosz had been seated in his chair all afternoon, his hands clasped on the arms of the chair and his head bent forward. The room was not warm but he frequently took his handkerchief from his pocket and mopped the perspiration from his forehead and cheeks. At one time during the absence of the jury did he raise his eyes or lift his head or seem to know that he was the object of interest to several hundred men and women. Every time the door was opened all eyes were turned in that direction, the evident thought in every mind being that the jury would take only a few minutes to agree on the verdict.

It was 4:30 when the crier rapped for order and the jury filed into the room. The clerk called their names, each juror responding present as his name was called. No time was wasted. The jurors did not sit down.

Judge White said: “Gentlemen, have you agreed upon a verdict?”

“We have,” responded foreman Wendt.

“What is your verdict?”

“That the verdict is guilty of murder in the first degree.”

There was a moment of silence and then a murmur arose from the lips of crowd. It ended there. There was no handclapping; no cheers. Justice White’s voice could be clearly heard in every part of the room when he thanked the jurors for their work and allowed them to go until 11 o’clock tomorrow morning. Court was at once adjourned. Czolgosz was immediately handcuffed to his guards and hurried from the court room down-stairs to the basement and through the tunnel under Delaware avenue to the jail.


Sentenced to Electrocution…President McKinley’s Murderer Must Pay the Penalty—Date Fixed for Week Beginning October 27
Buffalo, Special—Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley, was Thursday afternoon sentenced to be electrocuted in the Auburn State prison during the week beginning October 28, 1901.

Before sentence was passed the assassin evinced desire to speak, but he could not get his voice above a whisper and his words were repeated to the court by his counsel. “There was no one else but me,” the prisoner said in a whisper. “No one else told me to do it and no one paid me to do it. I was not told anything about the crime and I never thought anything about that until a couple of days before I committed the crime.”

Czolgosz sat down. He was quite calm but it was evident that his mind was flooded with thoughts of his own distress. His eyes were dilated, making them heavy and bright, and his cheeks were a trifle pale. The guards put the handcuffs on his wrists. He looked at one of his officers. There was an expression of the profoundest fear and helplessness in his eyes. He glanced about at the people who crowded together in efforts to get a look at him. The prisoner’s eyelids rose and fell and then he fixed his gaze upon the floor in front of him.

At his point Judge Titus came over to the prisoner and bade him good-bye. Czolgosz replied very faintly, letting his eye rest upon the man who had been his counsel. “Good-bye,” he said weakly. Czolgosz was then hurried downstairs and through “the Tunnel of Sobs” to the jail, where he will remain until removed to Auburn to pay the penalty for his crime.

Although the time announced for the convening of court was 2 o’clock every seat and every foot of standing room was occupied before 1:30 and scores were clamoring outside for admission. The doors were locked and no more were admitted to the room. The prisoner was brought into the room at 5 minutes to 2. Five minutes later Justice White took his place upon the bench.

As soon as Justice White assumed the bench, Crier Hess said: “Pursuant to a recess, this trial term of the Supreme Court is now open for the transaction of business.”

District Attorney Penney said: “If your honor please, I move sentence in the case of People vs. Leon Czolgosz. Stand up, Czolgosz.”

Clerk Fisher swore the prisoner and his record was taken by the district attorney as follows: “Age 28 years; nativity, Detroit; residence, Broadway, Nowak, Buffalo; occupation, laborer; married or single, single; degrees of education, common school and parochial; religious instruction, Catholic; parents, father living, mother dead; temperate or intemperate, temperate; former conviction of crime, none.

Then Justice White passed sentence as follows: “In taking the life of our beloved President you committed a crime which shocked and outraged the moral sense of the civilized world. You have confessed that guilt, and after learning all that at this time can be learned from the facts and circumstances of the case, twelve good jurors have pronounced you guilty and have found you guilty of murder in the first degree.

“You have said, according to the testimony of creditable witnesses and yourself, that no other person aided or abetted you in the commission of this terrible act. God grant it may be so. The penalty for the crime for which you stand convicted is fixed by this statute and it now becomes my duty to pronounce this judgment against you: The sentence of this court is that in the week beginning October 28, 1901, at the place, in the manner and means prescribed by law, you suffer the punishment of death. Remove the prisoner.”

The crowd slowly filed out of the room and court adjourned at 2:26.


From the editorial page, W.J. Crowson, editor and proprietor
Under the New Adminstration

Mr. Roosevelt is winning golden opinions by the wise manner in which he has entered upon the duties of the Presidency of this great Republic.

Evidently he is a man of affairs, and if he does not meet the expectations of the Country it will not be for the lack of effort upon his part.

Mr. McKinley had become so much a part of the whole people that some how all sectional lines had faded and we trust that under the guidance of Mr. Roosevelt all lines which mark sectional differences and strife may be entirely obliterated.

President Roosevelt has pledged himself to conduct the affairs of the government in accordance with the plans marked out by Mr. McKinley, so that on that score we need fear no radical changes.

The democratic simplicity which he has carried into the White House we honestly believe to be his best security against personal danger.

The Fisherman & Farmer propose to stand by the new President to commend what is right and condemn what is wrong, in a spirit of fairness without regard to the mere matter of difference of political faith.

Theodore Roosevelt must be lost sight of in the President of these United States.

God bless the President.


Washington Letter…From Our Regular Correspondent

Washington, Oct. 1st, 1901—In all probability, the post office department at Washington will throw down the gauntlet to publications of an anarchistic character by excluding them from the mails. If the post master General can discover no clause in the regulations authorizing such action, he will, it is believed, proceed on general principles on the ground that those who advocate the destruction of the Government have no right to enjoy its privileges. Anarchists who disseminate their teachings in print will by this method be at least driven to making a test case and thus settle an important point. If it shall ultimately develop that there is no law under which the spread of such indefensible doctrine can be stopped, so far as the post office department is concerned, then it will be high time to enact one, respecting, of course, the rights of decent publications and framing the new statute in such fashion that it will work no hardship on the guiltless.

The Cubans are slowly preparing to try the experiment of self-government. In a comparatively short time, they will launch their own ship of State and, from the present outlook, Senor Tomas Estrada Palma will be the first skipper. Since affairs in the Island have been gravitating toward self control, there have been evidences of thoughtlessness, an apparent failure to appreciate the gravity of the step about to be taken. Fortunately for the American Government has made haste slowly in completing the emancipation of this youth among nations from the bonds of guardianship.

The people that Congress will deal with persons of the Emma Goldman and Herr Most stripe very soon after it convenes for the winter session. While the right of free speech is a sacred legacy from the forefathers, there is not the slightest doubt that the framers of the Constitution, were they living, would be among the first to denounce the vile and criminal harangues of the typical Anarchists. To the criminal the constitution guarantees only a fair trial, and, the penalty having been paid, an opportunity to reform.

At times there is a humorous side even to a great tragedy. Lord Kitchener, the commander in chief of the British forces in South Africa, has ordered that his so-called “Mobile commands” at once discard the furniture, kitchen ranges, pianos and harmoniums which they have carried from place to place, carefully protected from bullets, while they pursued the fighting burghers. This will be a hard blow to Tommy Atkins for he has had little enough to amuse him during his long warfare in Boer land.

In various cities small pox cases have developed recently, but the disease no longer produces the nervous furore it once did. Medical science, with its bacteriological researches and its antiseptic discoveries has made such remarkable strides during the past fifteen years that the public is no longer terrified by the grim spectre of contagion. Epidemics of very destructive diseases are becoming less and less probable, and within another decade, are likely to be all but impossible.

Wireless telegraphy has proven a great boon during the International yacht races. With the old system, when the boats were hidden by mists or swallowed up in the distance, the newspaper correspondents were practically helpless. The Marconi system is enabling thousands of eager individuals to secure early and accurate reports of the progress of the rival sloops and the result of their spirited completion.

It is interesting to note that Russia, Germany and France are considering measures for dealing with the Sultan of Turkey. But the notoriously Sick Man of Europe has so persistently eluded the punishment due him that it is feared he will once more escape justice on the plea of continued and serious indisposition.

Manila dispatches announce that Filipino leaders continue to surrender and take the oath of allegiance to the American Government. They likewise report that an army of 25,000 will be required in the Philippines for some time to come.

It is a peculiar coincidence that the final reinterment of Lincoln, the first martyred President at Springfield, Ill., is being completed at this time when the nation is mourning its third victim of the assassin’s bullet.

It is to be hoped that Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock will continue to be II throughout the Inter-National yacht races. We have become greatly attached to the America’s cup.


Arp on President…Says McKinley Was a Good and a True Citizen…He Knows Roosevelt’s Uncle…Arp Went to School With Him, and Thinks It Sould Bring a Government Job
The public grief has assayed. The shock that made the nation tremble has passed away. Editors and preachers have had their say and the wheels of government roll on in their established way. Not for a day was there any interruption to commerce or agriculture. Party and partisans softened down and paid regard to the time-honored maxim, “De martimus nil nisibonum,” say nothing but good of the dead. Even the yellow journals stopped their cartoons and gave their readers a rest. But one extreme always follows another and so idolatry began as soon as the president was assassinated. He would have been sainted if sainting was revived. Now that he is dead he is everybody’s president. But time is a good leveler, and history is beginning to be made. Mr. McKinley was no demigod nor will he be written down as a great statesman. He was a Christian gentleman—a better man than his party—but was carried along with it into an unjust war that will not bear the scrutiny of time. He had to fall into line with the greed of commerce, and the consequence is there are thousands of widows and mothers silently mourning for husbands and sons killed in battle or died in hospitals in foreign land. There is no lamentation over them.

But as Governor Oates said, what are we going to do about it: nothing? Some preachers say it is the will of God and the way to spread the gospel. I don’t believe it; and I have not much regard for the preacher who does. It takes more faith than I have got to see the hand of God in any war for dominion or the acquisition of territory. For more than a hundred years Ireland has been held in vassalage against her will. So were the American colonies held until our fathers rebelled. Napoleon coveted the earth and our government coveted Cuba and found a casusbelli in a pretense of feeding her starving people, but never fed them. Then our commercial greed crossed the ocean to the Philippines and bought them for a song with ten millions of negroes thrown in. England coveted South Africa and has already spent millions of money and rivers of blood in an effort to subdue a free people and get possession of their gold mine! I don’t believe that any of this is God’s will. Greece and Rome and Carthage and Napoleon all came to grief. Offenses must needs come, but woe unto those by whom they come. I don’t believe that any war of aggression has the favor of God, but sooner or later the aggressor will rap what he has sown. John Brown was backed by Henry Ward  Beecher and other preachers who thought they saw the will of Good in an uprising of the slaves against their masters, no matter if it resulted in murder and arson and other outrages too horrible to mention. He was as much an anarchist as Czolgosz, and his infamous scheme a thousand times more horrible; but last year they removed his bones to Connecticut and reinterred them with honors and a monument. No, I am still the same old rebel—unreconstructed, unrepentant, and I am incredulous of any real or lasting harmony between the north and the south as long as the pension grab goes on and gets bigger every year and we have to pay a third of it for being conquered.  If peace and love and harmony prevails, why bleed us forever? Why take our hard earnings to support the children and grandchildren of Union soldiers, one-third of whom were Hessians and hirelings who were fighting for $10 a month and rations, with no thought of patriotism? From that imported class, no doubt, sprang these anarchists that breed discord and discontent among our people, Czolgosz was no foreigner. He was born in Detroit; went to school there, learned his trade there, and his elder brother was a soldier in the Union army and he is just as much an American citizen as 54 per cent of the population in New York city—native-born but of foreign parents. The seed of anarchy was sown long ago, and it is too late to drive it out by any legislation. The assassins of our presidents were all native born American citizens. Indeed, it is not surprising that among 75,000,000 of people there are to be found a few men of such abnormal mind as to glory in killing a president. As Roosevelt said, a president must take his chances. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” Why that wretch should wish to kill such a kind-hearted and unselfish man as Mr. McKinley passeth comprehension. If he was jealous of power or great wealth, why didn’t he pursue Morgan or Rockefeller or Carnegie? Oh, the pity of it! An unselfish, great-hearted Christian gentleman. No wonder the women are helping to build the Atlanta monument for Mr. McKInley was a model husband, true to his marriage vows and ever thoughtful of his loving wife. Even in apprehension of his fate he carried $100,000 of life insurance, and it was all for her—yes, all for her whom he loved better than fame or wealth or power.

And now comes President Roosevelt, the first President from Georgia stock. I like the start he has made and I believe he will be as much the president as was Andrew Jackson. If we had a United States bank he would close it and remove the deposits. Yes, I know the stock from away back. When I was a schoolboy I visited Roswell, where the Kings and Dunwoodys and Bullochs and Pratts and Hands all lived in elegant seclusion. Dan Elliott was one of my companions—a mischievous, black-eyed youth of 16; I went to school with him. He was half-brother to our president’s mother. Yes, I know the stock and maybe I can get some little office with good pay and little work—something like a sinecure or a sine qua non—something that would suit my declining years and let me down easy. I think I would like that, and the presieent ought to give it to me because I went to school with his half-uncle Dan or his uncle half Dan. That’s reason enough.

But my time is up, for my wife says she is going to take an evening nap and I must look after the two little granddaughters. Jessie’s children. There is a brand new little boy there now, and the little girls are staying with us till their little brother gets acquainted. Before long I will have to brush up my old baby songs again and sing that boy to sleep. They keep on working me as long as I last. When I die I reckon the women will build a monument to me and say on it:

“He was a faithful husband and father. He nursed the children and grandchildren as long as he lasted.”

                --Bill Arp in the Atlanta Constitution

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