During the past few weeks many inquiries
have come to this office regarding the politics of Leon Czolgasz,
the slayer of President McKinley.
We have spared no effort in investigating
this matter and [find?] that CZOLGASZ IS A REPUBLICAN.
His relatives are Republicans and
his former friends in the neighborhood of Forest City Park and in
Newburg testify that he attended Republican ward meetings last fall
and declared that he intended to vote the Republican ticket.
In Newburg he visited the home of
an officer of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, of [?] society he
was a member, and, upon being handed a copy of a Socialist paper,
he impatiently threw it into a corner with the remark that he had
no use for such stuff as he was going to vote the Republican ticket.
This incident occurred a year ago.
There are rumors to the effect that
Czolgasz made speeches in the interest of the Republican party in
the Polish language, but we were unable to discover whether such
rumors were facts or not. That he did attend meetings and drink
beer and smoke cigars there is no doubt.
Several years ago he joined the Sila
Socialist Society, an organization of the old Socialist Labor party,
which had a fitful existence, owing to the fact that several Anarchist
and free love advocates were invited to address the meetings and
religious questions were dragged in for discussion, the result being
that most of the active members withdrew. Whether Czolgasz had any
further connection with the old S. L. P. we are unable to state,
as that party is not identified with socialism in Cleveland despite
We do know, as stated above, that
Czolgasz declared himself a Republican last fall on numerous occasions.
He never was a member of or identified
with the Socialist party in any way, as charged in some quarters
A drunken man, named Radientz, was
arrested last Saturday night for claiming that he was an Anarchist
and using uncomplimentary language regarding the late President.
On the witness stand the following dialogue occurred between the
assistant prosecutor and Radientz:
“Did not you and Czolgosz, the
assassin, belong to the same lodge?” asked Assistant Prosecutor
“Yes, but I would not know him
if I should see him today, as that was two years ago.”
“What was the name of the lodge?”
“The Socialist Labor party, and
the meetings were held on Ontario street. I don’t remember the
After some further testimony, Radientz
was fined $10 and costs for disorderly conduct and $1 and costs
No one will deny that a drunken man
will say almost anything, and if he is of an ugly temperament he
will give utterance to mean, low sentiments.
Either Radientz told the truth or
he lied. If he testified falsely, he deserves to be expelled from
his section, although he will be no more guilty of wilful [sic]
misrepresentation than some of his stupid “genossen” who yawp near
the Postoffice and slander men who sacrifice every minute of their
time and every dollar of their money possible in the labor movement.
It is such raving and blackguardism that the Kirchers and Dingers
resort to that disgrace socialism and please the capitalists and
serve to lead unlearned people into the belief that socialism is
anarchy. We frankly confess that we have no use for the methods
of the Socialist Labor party, but we are sorry that many people
have become imbued with the notion that the Saturday night meetings
of that party are anarchistic, and we do not wonder that there is
a growing demand for the abolition of free speech.
If Radientz told the truth and Czolgasz
was a member of the Socialist Labor party, it proves that that party
accepts into membership every rattle-headed crank who comes along
and is willing to pay dues, though he be Republican, Democrat or
Anarchist. The Radientz statement helps to clear up a point that
has heretofore been mystifying. Just two years ago the split occurred
in the Socialist ranks in Cleveland. Although those who now form
the Socialist party outnumbered the Socialist Labor partyites three
to one, the latter suddenly claimed a majority on referendum vote,
and the total membership had been quickly and visibly swelled. It
is, therefore, probable that Czolgasz was one of the new recruits—one
of the “intelligent members”—who was pressed into service to vote
and make a showing.
Howsoever that may be, the Socialist
Labor party IS NOT A SOCIALIST PARTY, and has not been for over
two years. It is a party owned and used by a man named DeLeon, not
for the purpose of spreading the propaganda of socialism, but as
a slandering and villifying [sic] machine. That party, in
two years, 1898 to 1900, dropped in voting strength from 86,000
to 34,000, and today has practically no existence outside of fanatical
circles in a few places. Its mission now is to abuse and attack
the Socialist party more bitterly than the capitalists are capable
of doing. It is no wonder that Czolgasz should find a temporary
refuge in that organization.