Source: Cleveland Citizen
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Citizenisms”
City of publication: Cleveland, Ohio
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 37
|“Citizenisms.” Cleveland Citizen 5 Oct. 1901 v11n37: p. 1.|
|Leon Czolgosz; Leon Czolgosz (activities, whereabouts, etc.: Cleveland, OH); Leon Czolgosz (as socialist); August Radientz; August Radientz (public statements); Leon Czolgosz (friends, acquaintances, coworkers, etc.).|
|Leon Czolgosz [variant spelling all but once below]; Hyman D. Davis; Daniel De Leon [misspelled below]; William McKinley; August Radientz.|
During the past few weeks many inquiries have
come to this office regarding the politics of Leon Czolgasz, the slayer of President
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 its name.
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 unwarrantably.
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 Davis.
“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 number.”
After some further testimony, Radientz was fined
$10 and costs for disorderly conduct and $1 and costs for intoxication.
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.