Publication information

Buffalo Medical Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “‘The Diseases of Society.’—Letter from the Author”
Author(s): Lydston, G. Frank
Date of publication: October 1905
Volume number: 61
Issue number: 3
Pagination: 185-88 (excerpt below includes only page 188)

Lydston, G. Frank. “‘The Diseases of Society.’—Letter from the Author.” Buffalo Medical Journal Oct. 1905 v61n3: pp. 185-88.
Leon Czolgosz (execution: personal response).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Charles J. Guiteau; Carter H. Harrison, Sr.; Patrick Eugene Prendergast.
The letter (below) is identified as being written at Chicago, 4 August 1905 (p. 188).

“The Diseases of Society.”—Letter from the Author

     With regard to Czolgosz and Guiteau, and Prendergast, the murderer of Mayor Harrison, of Chicago, it would, be very difficult to convince me that any of these men would have been executed had they murdered ordinary citizens. It by no means follows from this that I do not admit that the world is better off without them, and that they should have been removed from the society in which they were unequivocally dangerous elements. That, however, they should have been removed in the manner and form in which they were is to my mind open to serious argument. Frankly, while I do not believe in capital punishment, or in any form of social revenge, I should be heartily in accord with a provision for blotting from existence such dangerous social elements. The insane murderer rather than many of the sane is the one whose life I should destroy,—not for revenge, nor for punishment, but on the same principle that a farmer destroys the thistles in his cornfield.