Source: Syphilis in Its Medical, Medico-Legal and Sociological Aspects
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Syphilis in Relation to Degeneracy” [chapter 2]
Author(s): Ravogli, A.
Publisher: Grafton Press
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1907
Pagination: 343-411 (excerpt below includes only page 402)
|Ravogli, A. “Syphilis in Relation to Degeneracy” [chapter 2]. Syphilis in Its Medical, Medico-Legal and Sociological Aspects. New York: Grafton Press, 1907: pp. 343-411.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|Leon Czolgosz (mental health); Leon Czolgosz (medical condition).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Arthur W. Hurd; Carlos F. MacDonald [misspelled below]; Edward A. Spitzka [in notes].|
This chapter features a photograph of Czolgosz on Plate XV (between pages 402 and 403).
This portion of the chapter (below) includes the following two footnotes. Click on the superscripted number preceding each footnote to navigate to the respective locations in the text.
Syphilis in Relation to Degeneracy [excerpt]
Inquiring into the reports of Czolgosz,
we find the assurance of the greatest experts, such as McDonald, Hurd and others,
on his being of a sane mental condition. Yet considering the enormity and brutality
of his offense, the cynicism shown, we cannot fail to see that he belonged to
the class of the obnubilated, and of the morally insane. His photograph published
by Harper’s Weekly, and the photographs of the casts accompanying the
report of the post-mortem examination¹ show a slightly uneven
development of the right eye, which is somewhat uneven with the left. In accordance
with our views this scarcely perceptible dystrophy might have been the result
of a periostitis of the orbits in his infancy, which would have had as cause
a syphilitic taint. Moreover, in the examination, McDonald²
wrote that he found two flat, unindurated cicatrices on the mucous surface of
the prepuce, probably the result of previous chancroids. Here is an extremely
important point for us, for nobody is able to distinguish whether a scar is
the consequence of a chancroid or of a hard chancre. Nobody can persuade us
that those cicatrices were not the result of syphilitic initial papules, as
the door of entrance for the virus. He denied having contracted any venereal
disease, but the cicatrices were there. The finding of all organs perfectly
normal does not exclude the possibility of spirochaetæ in the system or of toxins
in the blood, which affect the nervous centers.
The blurred ideas of an ardent anarchist, which he proclaimed in his reply, “I don’t believe in the republican form of government, and I don’t believe we should have any rulers,” show clearly an exaltation and an extravagance bordering on the abnormal condition.