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Publication information
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Source: Senate Documents
Source type: government document
Document type: interrogation transcript
Document title: “Statement of Leon F. Czolgosz, Taken at Police Headquarters, 10.30 P. M., September 6, 1901, by Mr. Penney”
Author(s): District Attorney’s Office, Erie County, Buffalo, NY
Volume number: 12
Publisher: Government Printing Office
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Year of publication: 1919
Pagination: 64-74

 
Citation
“Statement of Leon F. Czolgosz, Taken at Police Headquarters, 10.30 P. M., September 6, 1901, by Mr. Penney.” Senate Documents. Vol. 12. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1919: pp. 64-74.
 
Transcription
full text of interrogation transcript; excerpt of report
 
Keywords
Leon Czolgosz (interrogation transcript: full text); Leon Czolgosz (interrogation); Leon Czolgosz (confession); Leon Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz (as anarchist); McKinley assassination (Czolgosz account); McKinley assassination (motive); Emma Goldman.
 
Named persons
William S. Bull; Patrick V. Cusack; Leon Czolgosz [also identified as Fred and Leo below]; Michael Donovan; Joseph Fowler; Francis E. Fronczak; John J. Geary; Frank T. Haggerty; Frederick Haller; Lewis W. Henafelt; John W. Holmlund; Samuel R. Ireland; Peter Kropotkin [misspelled below]; John Martin; William McKinley; John Nowak; Mrs. John Nowak; Matthew J. O’Loughlin; Thomas Penney; James L. Quackenbush; Clara M. Ragan [in notes]; Albert Solomon; Horace E. Storey [in notes]; James A. Taggert.
 
Notes
Minor alterations have been made below to adjust for occasional formatting inconsistencies in the original document. Boldfacing has been added in order to facilitate the reading process.

The identity of Valleckt/Valletchy (below) cannot be determined.

Horace E. Storey, a stenographer working for the Erie County District Attorney’s office, is credited in the report (p. 64) with having originally recorded the interrogation. Clara M. Ragan, a Department of Justice employee, is credited (p. 64) with transcribing the interrogation record on 3 October 1919 for the purpose of inclusion in the report.

The document below is a portion of Exhibit VI (pp. 64-74), which comes from a subsection titled “Activities of Emma Goldman.” It is part of a larger section of the report titled “Exhibit No. 6: Emma Goldman” (pp. 35-137).

From title page: Letter from the Attorney General Transmitting in Response to a Senate Resolution of October 17, 1919, a Report on the Activities of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice against Persons Advising Anarchy, Sedition, and the Forcible Overthrow of the Government.

Document No. 153.

66th Congress, 1st Session, May 19-November 19, 1919.
 
Document

 

Statement of Leon F. Czolgosz, Taken at Police Headquarters, 10.30 P. M.,
September 6, 1901, by Mr. Penney

     The following parties present all or part of time statement was being taken: Mr. Cusack, Supt. Bull, Inspector Donovan, Inspector Martin, Dr. Fowler, Mr. Quackenbush, O’Loughlin, H. Q.
     Mr. PENNEY. Is your face sore?
     CZOLGOSZ. Where they punched me.
     Dr. FOWLER. Let me see your tongue.
     (Prisoner does so.)
     Mr. PENNEY. Open your eyes.
     Dr. FOWLER. Your head ache any?
     CZOLGOSZ. Not at all. [64][65]
     Q. Are you subject to headache? Have headache much? —A. Sometimes.
     Q. Not lately? —A. No.
     Mr. PENNEY. Been feeling well lately? —A. Kind of tired.
     Q. How long have you been feeling tired? —A. Since they—
     Q. Since those fellows punched you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You were not tired before, you have not worked to-day? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Have you any trade, Fred? —A. Blacksmith’s helper; blacksmith shop.
     Q. Did you ever work in Buffalo? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Ever been here before? —A. Before.
     Q. How long ago? —A. Probably about a year ago; somewheres around there.
     Q. How long did you stay that time? —A. I stayed here for three or four nights, I think.
     Q. Any relatives here? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You have got some friends? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What did you come here for that time? —A. Just to see the Falls.
     Q. Where were you living at that time? —A. Cleveland.
     Q. Is that your home, Cleveland? —A. Yes, sir; it is my home.
     Q. Have you any relatives there? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Who are they? —A. My father and stepmother.
     Q. Have you got any brothers and sisters? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. How many? —A. Six or seven brothers; and two sisters.
     Q. Are they older than you? —A. Some is older, and some is younger.
     Q. You live at home, when you are in Cleveland? Do you? —A. Yes; some of them live at home.
     Q. Do you live with your father and mother? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Are you married? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You have had a gun before, haven’t you, Fred? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. What did you do with that?
     O’LOUGHLIN. Tell him; you said it was swiped on you.
     CZOLGOSZ. It was swiped on me.
     Mr. PENNEY. When? —A. A couple or three weeks ago.
     Q. What did you come to Buffalo this time for? —A. To strike something to do.
     Q. Come here to get work? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Did you go to school in Cleveland? —A. (Not heard.)
     Q. You were born in Detroit? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. What nationality were your parents? —A. (Not heard.)
     Q. Have you ever read any of the works of Prince Kapartkin? —A. Yes, sir; some of them.
     Q. You know what he writes about, do you know his theory of government; do you know what that means, Fred? Do you understand me? Is there anything the matter with your head? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Why don’t you hold it up, so I can see; lean back in your chair, throw your head back, and open your eyes if you are not too tired? You say you have read some of Prince Kapartkin’s writing? Keep your head up so I can see your face? —A. Not very much.
     Q. You don’t believe in the republican form of government; do you? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You don’t believe we should have any rulers? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You believe it is right to kill them, if necessary, don’t you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Was that your notion, when you shot the man to-day? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Was it for that reason? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You went there with the intention of killing him, didn’t you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. How long had you been planning that? —A. Oh, for a couple—about two or three or four days ago.
     Q. Three or four days ago; days or weeks? —A. Days.
     Q. What first put it into your head to do that? Look up and tell me about that, will you? Was it after you came to Buffalo you made up your mind to do that? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Did you talk it over with anyone, or was it something you had read that suggested it to you, or something else? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Something you had read? Was it? Look up, Fred, give your answer. Was it some book you read that suggested the idea to you? —A. Yes. sir.
     Q. What had you been reading that suggested that to you? —A. That paper.
     Q. What particular thing was it that suggested your killing the President? Did you believe it would be a good thing to get rid of him; good thing for the country? —A. Yes, sir. [65][66]
     Q. Did you tell the people down there where you have been rooming that you intended to use that gun that you had bought? —A. No, sir.
     Q. How was it you had the gun when you went in there this afternoon? —A. In my right hand.
     Q. Your handkerchief over it? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Just take your handkerchief and show me how you had it there?
     (Witness indicates covering left hand with handkerchief.)
     Q. Describe it? Hold it up about the way you had it on your hand there?
     (Witness does as directed.)
     Q. It was not hanging down over the sides that way? —A. Yes, sir; I had it fixed up this way.
     Q. Was the gun inside the handkerchief or did you have the gun in your hand and the handkerchief over your hand? —A. The handkerchief was over the gun.
     Q. Did you hold the gun outside the handkerchief? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You had hold of the gun, and the handkerchief over your hand and the gun? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Did you have it that way when you started in the line to go up toward the President? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Where did you fix it? —A. In the row.
     Q. While you were going up with the crowd? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. What pocket did you carry the gun in when you took it out in your hand? In your coat pocket or hip pocket? —A. Hip pocket.
     Q. As you were going up in the crowd, you took it out and fixed your handkerchief over it? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Did you say anything to the President before you shot him? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Did he shake hands with you? —A. No, sir.
     Q. He put out his hand to shake hands? —A. I don’t think he did.
     Q. You were close to him? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. When you shot you fully intended to kill him; that was your intention when you started out; you thought it would be a good thing to get rid of him as President, didn’t you? What do you say, Fred?
     Inspector MARTIN. Leo.
     Mr. PENNEY. What do you say, Leo? That is right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You fully intended to kill him when you shot? Answer the question. Yes, you say? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And you have been intending to kill him for the last three days? That has been your plan? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You followed him down to the Falls to-day for that purpose? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You were down to the Falls? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You had your gun with you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And if you had the right opportunity, you would have shot him then? —A. No, I don’t think I would.
     Q. Had you planned to shoot him this afternoon in the Temple of Music? —A. Yes.
     Q. That has been your plan, from the beginning? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Did you read the program in the newspapers? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You knew he was going to be there, and have a public reception? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Do you belong to any societies? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. What kind of societies do you belong to? —A. Knights of the Golden Eagle.
     Q. Any other society? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What do the Knights of the Golden Eagle believe in, so far as government is concerned? —A. Nothing to do with government.
     Q. Fraternal organization? —A. Lodges.
     Q. Social? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Do you belong to any club, number of men, you gather together, and talk over these principles of government? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Haven’t you ever met with men and talked that over? —A. Yes, sir; but I didn’t belong to any society.
     Q. Have you ever taken any obligation or sworn any oath to kill anybody; you have, haven’t you; look up and speak; haven’t you done that? —A. No, sir.
     Q. But you have, haven’t you, taken some obligation upon yourself, or taken some oath, that you would kill the President, have you? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What did she say? —A. She didn’t like them. [66][67]
     Q. Anything else did she say? —A. She said a good deal more, but I can’t remember all.
     Q. You got the idea that she thought it would be a good idea if we didn’t have this form of government? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You wanted to help on in her work, and thought this was the best way to do it; was that your idea; of [sic] if you have any other idea, tell us what it was? —A. She didn’t tell me to do it.
     Q. You thought it would be a nice thing; she would like to have you do it? —A. I didn’t ask her whether she would or not.
     Q. You think she would approve of it? —A. Maybe she would.
     Q. You believed it was the proper thing to do; didn’t you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Does your parents and your brothers and sisters believe the same way you do about these things? —A. I don’t think so.
     Q. Did you ever talk with them about it? —A. No, sir.
     Q. How much did you pay for your gun? —A. $4.50; I paid something like that.
     Q. When you bought that, you intended to use it on the President; didn’t you; what do you say, Leo? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. That is what you came to Buffalo for? —A. To see if I could find something to do.
     Q. Was not one of your objects to shoot the President? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Not until you came out here? —A. Until three or four days ago.
     Q. What was it that suggested it to you three or four days ago? Can you remember? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Can’t you give us some idea what first put it into your mind? Can you? What was the first thing that put this into your mind, you must have had some beginning about it; something must have started it in your mind? —A. I didn’t believe in any government.
     Q. You don’t believe in any rulers; you have not believed in that for a long time? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What was this that first put this into your mind; have you been reading something since you came to Buffalo that suggested it to you, had you? Speak up, Leo? —A. I read some of the papers.
     Q. What did you read? —A. I read something in the papers; I can’t just remember what it was.
     Mr. O’LOUGHLIN. What was the name of the papers you were reading? —A. Free Society papers.
     (Superintendent Bull and Mr. Haller came in; also Detective Geary.)
     Mr. PENNEY. Leo, will you draw up here a little closer, and I will read this statement to you slowly?
     (Mr. Penney reads statement taken by Mr. Haller.)
     Q. You said you thought of shooting President McKinley three days ago; you said you first thought of it three or four days ago—you planned to kill McKinley; is that right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And you intended to do that all the time when you bought the revolver, and you intended to kill him when you fired it off; that is true, isn’t it? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I walked around town” —A. I didn’t go home after 6.
     Q. “I was living with myself?” —A. Yes; my folks live there.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. You didn’t work here at all? —A. No, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. Stayed around. —A. He repeated that twice.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “Reaching home about 11 o’clock.” —A. About half past 10 or 11 o’clock.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I want a clean shirt.” —A. Yes; they told me I should—
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “It is a good many weeks since I saw him.” —A. It is.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. My name is Leon F. How do you pronounce last name? —A. Czolgos [sic].
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “Never was in Buffalo before this year.” —A. That is wrong.
     Mr. HALLER. That is changed.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. I had a letter to him. Had you ever met Nowak? —A. No, sir. [67][68]
     Q. What did you mean by that? —A. I had a letter from the lodge—to which I belong—Knights of the Golden Eagle, written to the Noble Chief; I think it was from the Noble Chief, notifying Noble Chief—
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I said to the officer I done my duty in shooting the President.” Did you say that to the officer? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Which one? —A. The one that brought me down.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I saw it in the papers in Chicago that the President was to be here.” That is right? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I made my plans for shooting the President this morning.” —A. That is a mistake; that should be three or four days ago.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I don’t believe in voting.” Is that your idea? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You don’t believe in the present form of government; is that the idea? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     (Mr. Haggerty makes correction in written statement of prisoner; about place, “it is my principle; I don’t believe in voting.”)
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I am an anarchist.” Is that right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Mr. PENNEY to Haggerty. Put in the words, “Am an anarchist.”
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “About 10 miles from Cleveland on trolley line.” You are watching this, are you? If there is not anything right about this, call my attention to this. —A. I don’t know where she lives.
     Q. I mean any of the substance of this that is not right. —A. That is not right; she lives 10 miles—village of Bedford.
     Q. “I heard her talk in Bedford, Cleveland.” —A. Whether she lives on the trolley line or in the village of Bedford, I don’t know.
     Q. It is in that direction? —A. Yes, sir.
     Mr. PENNEY. You better make that she lives out in the direction of Bedford, south of Cleveland; that is what you mean to say? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Haggerty makes corrections as noted above.)
     Q. “I believe in free love.” That is true? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I know a saloon keeper that belongs to the club.” —A. They asked if I knew the saloon keepers in Cleveland; I told them I knew that fellow; he belonged to that club.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “This man did not belong to the club; my former statement that he did was not correct.” That is true? That corrects that? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I didn’t like their style.” —A. That quarrel wants to be crossed off.
     Q. “I had a quarrel with my father and stepmother”; do you want that, I didn’t just quarrel with them? —A. I want—
     Q. What you want to leave in there is— —A. I didn’t like their style, and left.
     Q. That is the way you want that sentence to begin? —A. Yes.
     Q. I will strike out, “I had a quarrel with my father and stepmother; I didn’t just quarrel with them.” I will strike it out down to there; now it reads, “I didn’t like their style”? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “And I left and went to Cleveland,” etc.
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “After I left farm, I was in the anarchist hall.”
     (Correction made by Haggerty.)
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I had the money to go there; I saved it when I was in the mill; $300 or $400.” Is that right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Read down here with me.
     (Prisoner does as directed.)
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “I gave some to my father.” —A. It says there I gave him $300 or $400.
     Q. No; it says you saved $300 or $400; I will read it to you again.
     (Does so.)
     (Mr. Penney continues reading.)
     Q. “The gun was in my room yesterday.” Is that right? —A. Yes, sir. [68][69]
     Q. “I went right in when he came.” —A. When I went, he was in already.
     Q. When you got to the building, the president was already there? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Do you mean to say that the president got there before you did? —A. The president got in there before I did.
     Q. Didn’t you tell me a little while ago that you waited for him; that you got there about an hour before the president came? —A. On the ground [sic], but I was not in the building.
     Q. Did you get into the building before the president? —A. After.
     Q. What you mean was that you got into the grounds before the President came? —A. It says that I was by the building.
     Q. What you mean to say is that you got in on the grounds before the President came? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. But you didn’t go into the building where the President was until after he was in there? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “I went right in when he came.” —A. He was in there when I came.
     Q. Did you see him go in? —A. They told me he was in.
     Q. Did you see the President go in? —A. No, sir.
     Q. “I wrapped gun in my handkerchief at boarding house.” I thought you said you wrapped it in the building? —A. I could not carry it that way right along. I wrapped it up, and when I got to the building I pulled my handkerchief out.
     Q. When you got into the building the gun was in your pocket? —A. It was in my hand.
     Q. Not when you went in? —A. Not when I went in; but when I went in a little ways.
     Q. But when you went in it was in your pocket? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Was the handkerchief around it? —A. Yes, sir; it was around; I believe I had two handkerchiefs if I am not mistaken.
     Q. How did you fix it up; you fixed it up after you got into the building? —A. I had it fixed up; I stuck the hand under the revolver.
     Q. “I didn’t think one shot was enough.” —A. When I shot twice, I was knocked down; that is what I wanted to say.
     Q. “Tramped on and the gun taken away from you”? —A. Yes, sir; that is right; I got hit with a billy; some of the officers hit me twice over the head.
     Q. If you had not been knocked down, would you have fired off more? —A. I don’t know.
     Q. That was your intention? —A. I don’t know if I would fire any more shots or not.
     Q. You planned three or four days ago to shoot the President? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And when you shot him you intended to kill him? That is what you told me a little while ago; that is right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And the reason for your intention to kill him was that you didn’t believe in having rulers over us, or having presidents? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Didn’t believe in our form of Government? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You fully understood what you were about? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You understood that you were taking the life of a person; that you were willing to do that; you understood that? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. But you were willing to sacrifice his life to benefit the country? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Detective Solomon present.)
     Q. You were willing to sacrifice yourself to benefit the country? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You realize that you are putting yourself in a serious position to do that, you fully understood that it was quite an undertaking? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Few men would have the courage to do anything of that kind? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You knew that, you felt that you had more courage than the average man to do a thing of that kind; that you were willing to take all of the responsibility? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Even though it might put your own life at stake? You were willing to take that chance, weren’t you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You had in these halls or clubs or meetings, you heard people talk about the duty of people who believe as you do, to—in these meetings you used to attend in Cleveland, you heard about the people, men and women, talk about the duty they were under to do great deeds for the benefit of the people? —A. And [sic] do you mean? [69][70]
     Q. For instance, like yourself, it was your duty? —A. I never heard them say that.
     Q. Didn’t you ever swear an oath? —A. No, sir.
     Q. That you would take the life of any ruler, such as president. —A. No, sir.
     Q. You have heard them talk about their duty to educate the people to this form of government? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And to do everything in their power to change the form of government; you have heard them say that, haven’t you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You wanted to have it clear in here that what you meant to say in the former part of this statement was that you were on the grounds about an hour before the President arrived this afternoon? —A. Yes, sir; I was on the grounds.
     Q. And that you didn’t enter the Temple of Music, the building where the shooting occurred, until after the President went in; that is what you meant to say? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Everything that I have read to you in these papers is absolutely true, isn’t it? —A. Yes; but there is somewheres in the start, where you commenced to read, you said you would change it after a while—
     Q. It was corrected later on; for instance, in the beginning of it, a statement is made, but as you did here, you say, I didn’t mean to say that, but I meant to say this; so that the whole thing is explained; you understand that? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You can read, yourself? —A. I can’t read to-night.
     Q. If that is right, just write your name there; right under there; put your handkerchief down, and write on that line in there; sign your name in there; sign your right name.
     (Prisoner does as requested.)
     Q. I will tell you what I would like to have you do. You can write pretty well; just take the pen there; the other hand; start up there on the line and say, write what you intended to do, and what you did do, in the Temple this afternoon; start in: I arrived at the—. —A. Didn’t I tell you I was—
     Q. Write it yourself; so you will have it in the way you wanted to put it yourself. —A. I signed that paper there; it is in there.
     Q. I understand it is in there; if you want to put it in your own way? —A. Didn’t you have it there? I will put it in my own way; I said it, and I signed it. Isn’t it just as good?
     Mr. QUACKENBUSH. I thought he might want to have a statement published to the world showing what his views were.
     Mr. PENNEY. Did you hear what that gentleman said? He said that perhaps you would want to write something that you would want the people to hear. You have done this great deed for their benefit; you want to say something to them that you have done this great deed, this courageous deed for their benefit; write something there that can be published in the newspapers? This won’t be published. They won’t publish anything unless you write it yourself. Write anything that you want to. —A. I don’t want—
     Q. You only need write a few words, simply telling the people that you intended to kill President McKinley and shot him because you believed you were doing your duty to the people. Is that your idea? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Take your pen and write that. —A. The reporter will write that.
     Q. They won’t publish it unless it is your writing. —A. I will sign it; he can put it on, and I will sign it. I don’t see why, if he writes it; I will sign it.
     Q. It will only be two or three lines.
     O’LOUGHLIN. Go ahead. —A. Can’t the reporter write it over there?
     Mr. PENNEY. No; we can not take his writing. Write whatever you please up there about what you did; get at it. —A. I could not. Could not the reporter write it, and I will sign it, just as good?
     Mr. QUACKENBUSH. He might make a statement to the reporter in his own words.
     Mr. PENNEY. All right; make it. Make your own statement to this man, so he will write it out.
     (Haggerty writes at prisoner’s dictation.)
     “I killed President McKinley because”—
     (Prisoner hesitates, and then)—
     “Put on there that I killed President McKinley because I done my duty.”
     Mr. QUACKENBUSH. Do you want to say anything else to the people? —A. I don’t believe one man should have so much service and another man should have none. [70][71]
     (Detective Holmlund present, also Donovan.)
     Mr. PENNEY. Do you know a man by the name of Valleckt here, a shoemaker? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Do you know a shoemaker in Buffalo? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You have got some friends that you have been with since you have been here; been on the street talking with? —A. I have no friends.
     Q. Acquaintances you have been walking around with? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You don’t know a shoemaker by the name of Valletchy? —A. No, sir.
     (Detective Solomon present.)
     (Prisoner puts date on last statement; writes his name.)
     Mr. PENNEY. Put the year down; what is the year?
     (Prisoner writes same in.)
     Q. Now write your name. I suppose you planned this all out for two or three days; been thinking it over? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You knew there would be a big crowd there when the President would be around? —A. I didn’t know.
     Q. You thought there would be? Had an idea there would be a big crowd at the reception? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Was it your idea that you could in the confusion get away, after you had shot him? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What did you intend to do, after you had shot him; what was your intention then? What did you expect to happen after you shot him? —A. I expected after I shot him that I would be catched at it.
     Q. You expected to be arrested? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Didn’t you expect to get away in the crowd? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You didn’t intend to do that? —A. No, sir.
     Q. Didn’t you intend to try to get away? —A. No, sir.
     Q. You were willing to sacrifice yourself to get rid of the President; was that the idea? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Fully realizing the consequences; did you? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You realized that you might be electrocuted or hung for it? —A. Yes. sir.
     Q. You were willing to take that chance? —A. Yes, sir.
     Mr. QUACKENBUSH. You are not sorry now, are you?
     Mr. PENNEY. You are not sorry that you killed him now, are you, you are still willing to suffer for what you have done, aren’t you? It is a great thing that you have done, people all over the country will be talking about it; you are willing to take that for the glory it will give you; speak up; aren’t you? —A. What?
     Q. You are willing to take the chance and consequences of what you have done; you are not sorry you did it, are you? You would do it over again, would you not? —A. I don’t know whether I would or not.
     Q. You are not sorry you did it, are you; just think what all your people will say of you up there in Cleveland in those meetings; the great savior of the country, don’t you know that?
     (Haggerty reads it.) “I was willing to take the chance of being hung if I killed the President; I was willing to take the consequences.”
     Mr. PENNEY. You realized what it meant, and you are willing to take the consequences, if you could accomplish your purpose? —A. Read it over.
     (Haggerty reads.) “I planned this all out for two or three days; I had an idea there would be a big crowd at the reception; I expected I would be arrested; I did not intend to get away. I was willing to take the chance of being electrocuted or hung if I could kill the President; I am willing to take the consequences; I realize what it meant.” Is that right?
     Mr. PENNEY. That is correct? —A. Read it again.
     Q. “I planned it all out for two or three days.” That is right? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “I had an idea there would be a big crowd at the reception.” —A. Yes, sir; that is right.
     Q. “I was willing to take the chance”? —A. No; only before that; I don’t want any further than that.
     Q. “I was willing to take the chance of being electrocuted or hung.” You said you were? —A. No, sir; I want that changed. Just up to that.
     Q. Up to where? If I could kill the President; you knew that when you shot him— —A. I just want to have—
     Q. You knew that when you shot him that you would be arrested. You say that? —A. Yes, sir. [71][72]
     Q. And you knew if you killed a man that you would be hung or electrocuted? You knew that was the penalty, didn’t you; didn’t you know that? You knew that the laws of this country provide if he kills another he is to suffer death. Didn’t you know that? That is right, isn’t it? —A. I would not want to have it in this—
     Q. Well, I want to know whether that is true or not? —A. Up to here it is true.
     Q. I want to know whether this part is true, “I was willing to take the chance of being electrocuted or hung.” Were you willing to take that chance? You must have realized that was the consequence, if that was so then you did take the chance, didn’t you? You understand that without meditating on it so long. —A. I don’t want it that way.
     Q. It is not a question whether it is what you want; it is a question whether it was right. —A. I knew—
     Q. You knew if you killed a man you would be hung or electrocuted, didn’t you? You know that is the law of this country, don’t you? Speak, you know whether that is so or not? —A. I know the law does that—
     Q. You knew if you killed a man you would have to suffer the penalty of the law, isn’t that so? —A. Yes; have to suffer the penalty of the law.
     Q. When you shot the man you knew you were taking that chance, didn’t you; isn’t that right, come now, speak up, isn’t that correct? All I want to know is whether that is a true statement? —A. Some of it is true.
     Q. Isn’t it all true; didn’t you when you shot this man take the chance of being electrocuted and hung, and didn’t you know when you shot him that you were taking that chance?
     Mr. O’LOUGHLIN. Somebody told you that you would not?
     (Mr. Penney leaves room; Detective Henafelt present; Detective Ireland, Secret Service, enters.)
     Q. What do you say about that now? —A. Isn’t that correct?
     Mr. PENNEY. Let me read this to you again. You say that “I planned this for two or three days.” That is correct? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “I had an idea that there would be a big crowd at the reception.” That is correct, is it? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “I expected I would be arrested.” That is correct? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. “I did not intend to get away.” That is correct? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You have already said it is, is it right? “I was willing to take the chance of being electrocuted or hung.” Is that right; you knew that you took that chance, didn’t you? Say yes or no; you knew when you shot the President you were taking that chance? Speak up. —A. What is that?
     Q. “I was willing to take the chance of being electrocuted or hung if I could kill the President.” Is that right? Is it correct? You intended to kill the President? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You fully intended to when you shot him? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. And for all you know he is dead; you intended to kill him? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. You are willing to take the consequences of your act, aren’t you? How will that suit you, “I am willing to take the consequences of what I did”? Will that suit you? Do you want this last part, “I am willing to take the consequences”? —A. I want it struck out up to there. How far do you read?
     Q. From there down? —A. I want this from here to here. (Prisoner indicates.)
     Q. You want him to state on there that it is true, but you rather not have it in the statement? —A. No, sir. I want to have that out.
     Q. That is true, isn’t it? What do you say?
     Mr. O’LOUGHLIN. Yes or no? —A. No, sir.
     Mr. PENNEY. You don’t mean to say that you didn’t intend to kill the President? —A. Yes, I did.
     Q. Well, put it your own way; I would like to have the last four lines stricken out. —A. No; I don’t want to have that that way, at all—
     Q. I was going to say that you wanted the last four lines stricken out? —A. No—
     Q. You just want to have it stricken out? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. All right; strike it out.
     (Haggerty does it.)
     Mr. PENNEY. Sign it. —A. Read it.
     Q. “I planned this all out for two or three days; I had an idea that there would be a big crowd at the reception; I expected I would be arrested. I did [72][73] not intend to get away.” Sign on that line. —A. I would like to have fair trial put on there, too.
     Q. You will get a fair trial, all right; write it there yourself, I would like to have a fair trial, and sign it.
     (Prisoner writes, and partially strikes out portion.)
     Mr. QUACKENBUSH. Where did you get the name Fred Nieman? Did your boss give it to you?
     Detective HOLMLUND. Nieman is your English name; didn’t you bring a recommendation from Mrs. Nowak’s friends in Cleveland? Didn’t they give you a writing to Mrs. Nowak? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. They took you in and gave you a room? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Nieman is your English name? —A. No; just picked that up.
     Detective O’LOUGHLIN. Who gave you the card? —A. I don’t remember his name.
     Detective HOLMLUND. Some people in Cleveland? —A. No; here in Buffalo.
     Detective O’LOUGHLIN. Who gave you that card? —A. What?
     Mr. HALLER. Recommendation; when you went out there; you told them some man in Cleveland, you mentioned his name, had been here at the Polish singing celebration; had recommended you to go there, to that place? You met a man in Toledo told you about Nowak’s place? —A. No, sir.
     Q. What was that bundle you took away with you this morning from the house? —A. Lots of letters and papers; no letters; common papers.
     Q. What did you do with them? —A. Throw them in the water-closet.
     Q. Over where? —A. In a saloon there somewhere.
     Q. Where? Near Nowak’s place? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Which saloon was that? —A. Why the street runs across from Broadway, and it runs north.
     Q. Saloon on Boadway? [sic] —A. No—
     Q. First street that crosses Broadway, after you leave Nowak’s? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. How far was the saloon from Broadway? —A. Just a few doors.
     Q. On which side of the street that runs north from Broadway—on the other side or this side—east side or west side? —A. I think the east side.
     Q. The side nearest Nowak’s; on the downtown side? —A. Yes, sir; downtown.
     Q. Left-hand side as you go up from Broadway? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. It was up from Broadway? —A. Toward the market—it is the left-hand side; I threw some of them there, and the rest outside.
     Q. Did you open the bundle? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. What did you do that for? —A. Just common papers that I had saved up for a week or two.
     Q. Why did you save them? —A. I saved them since Monday.
     Q. What did you save them for? —A. They laid there, and I thought I would carry them away some time.
     Q. You threw some in this water-closet in the saloon? —A. Yes, sir.
     Q. Where did you throw the others?
     Detective HOLMLUND. This was not a water-closet; it was a s— house; it was out in the yard; behind the saloon? —A. They have no s— houses; they have sewer pipes out there.
     Mr. PENNEY. What part of Poland does your people come from; are they Russian or Austrian? —A. They come from the German Provinces; they are Polish.
     Q. But there are Russian Poles and Austrian Poles; what part of the old country did they come from? —A. From Russia.
     Q. Russia Poland? —A. Yes, sir.
     (Dr. Fronczak comes in and speaks to prisoner in foreign language.)
     Dr. FRONCZAK. He comes from Germany.
     Mr. PENNEY. You told me Russia. —A. Yes; they come from Germany.
     Dr. FRONCZAK (again talks to prisoner). They come from Inowroclaw, Province of Posen, about 3 miles from the eastern frontier of Russia.
     CZOLGOSZ (in English). I don’t come from there, though.
     (Clerk Taggert, Detective Solomon, Quackenbush, Detective O’Loughlin, Inspector Donovan, Dr. Fronczak, Superintendent Bull, Detective Geary present.)
     Dr. FRONCZAK (after talking with prisoner). I was born in Detroit; educated in Alpena, Mich.; father alive; mother dead; father lives at Warrenville.
     CZOLGOSZ (interrupting in English). Not Warrenville; Warrensville. [73][74]
     Dr. FRONCZAK (continuing). Ten miles from Cleveland; he says the reason why he killed the President is—
     (Prisoner interrupts him; talking some other language than English.)
     Dr. FRONCZAK (continuing). The reason why he was killed is he doesn’t believe one tyrant should rule all and everybody should bow to him or the poor man should look and applaud, and then consider it a great privilege even to do that, and he took three days ago the first notion of killing him, and I asked him didn’t he see the parade yesterday; how he could take the idea three days ago; about bowing to him; he said his Government was pretty bad, and he didn’t think it was proper that a tyrant of that kind should rule the people. (Talks further with prisoner.) He says I was reading various papers; and he names four socialistic papers, the Przedsiit, of New York; the Robotnik (prisoner interrupts Dr. Fronczak) and American, Toledo.
     CZOLGOSZ. And the Free Society.
     Dr. FRONCZAK (continuing). He says he never went to church; used to go to church once in a while, but there was some platonic nonsense, and he quit going to church. He went to public and Polish schools in Alpena.

 

 


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