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Source: The Last Words (Real and Traditional) of Distinguished Men and Women
Source type: book
Document type: appendix
Document title: “Appendix”
Author(s): Marvin, Frederic Rowland
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1902
Pagination: 323-38 (excerpt below includes only pages 324-26)

 
Citation
Marvin, Frederic Rowland. “Appendix.” The Last Words (Real and Traditional) of Distinguished Men and Women. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1902: pp. 323-38.
 
Transcription
excerpt
 
Keywords
Leon Czolgosz (last words); McKinley assassination (personal response).
 
Named persons
Alexander; Leon Czolgosz; Herostratus; William McKinley.
 
Notes
From title page: Collected from Various Sources by Frederic Rowland Marvin.
 
Document

 

Appendix [excerpt]

     CZOLGOSZ (Leon F., the assassin of President McKinley. He was executed in the State Prison at Auburn, N. Y., October 29, 1901), 1873-1901. “I shot the President because I thought it would benefit the good working people. I am sorry I did not see my father. He had refused to see his father who several times applied for an interview. The words of the assassin are differently reported by [324][325] different witnesses. Some give his dying words thus: “I killed the President because he was an enemy of the good working people.” Others say his last words were: “I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people—the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime. I am sorry I did not see my father.”
     That [sic] is a curious order issued by one Department Commander in the Grand Army of the Republic, forbidding comrades of his command to speak the name of Czolgosz. The name of the assassin of President McKinley, the commander says, should never be pronounced by Americans. Consistent with that commander’s idea and aim, his order does not include the name of Czolgosz, but refers to the criminal only as the assassin of the President. The order, of course, will be obeyed, as it is a military order.
     The commander’s patriotism may not be disputed, but the extent of his profit by the lessons of history is likely to be challenged. When, on the birthday of Alexander the Great in 356 B. C., the Ephesian Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, he committed the crime for the particular purpose of immortalizing his name.
     So soon as he acknowledged this to have been his aim and desire, the Ephesians put him to death and then enacted a law prohibiting the mention of his name forever.
     The law, as a matter of course, effected just the [325][326] opposite of its purpose. The name of the incendiary might easily have been forgotten and lost through the ages, with those of nobler and more infamous men, or of lesser humanity. But it was perpetuated by the historians of Ephesus; and the name of Herostratus will live on, as will that of Czolgosz, immortal in infamy.

 

 


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