Source: Duluth Evening Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The Chamber”
City of publication: Duluth, Minnesota
Date of publication: 29 October 1901
Volume number: 19
Issue number: none
|“The Chamber.” Duluth Evening Herald 29 Oct. 1901 v19: p. 7.|
|Auburn State Prison; Leon Czolgosz (execution: preparations, plans, etc.).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Edwin F. Davis; William McKinley.|
|The sixth sentence in the second paragraph (below) is reproduced as given in the original document.|
Of Death in a Comparatively New Stone Building.
Auburn, N. Y., Oct. 29.—The chamber
in which the murderer of President McKinley was executed was not the same as
the first electrocution that took place here. It is a comparatively new building,
strikingly elaborate in comparison with the old prison structures about it.
It is built of gray stone and is situated about half way down the prison yard
on the left hand or south side. Entrance to it is possible either from the prison
yard or from the main south corridor and the execution room proper may be entered
without passing the condemned cells. From the time of his entry into tho [sic]
death house Czolgosz was confined in the cell nearest to the death chamber so
that when he entered the execution room this morning he had only to step a few
feet through the stone arch and as the great oron [sic] door swung behind
him he was beside the electric chair. The execution room has seats for the witnesses
and is lighted with several windows placed high in the walls. In one corner
of the wall is the closet in which the keyboard is situated and in which Electrician
Davis stood when he switched the current on.
The preliminaries were exactly like those of every other execution. The witnesses gathered in the office of the warden on the second floor of the prison at a quarter of seven. At a few minutes before 7 the witnesses were told to quickly follow the warden and state superintendent of prisons and after walking through the long corridor took their places silently beside the death chair in the execution room. The iron door leading to the condemned cells was closed but behind it the warden’s assistants were preparing Czolgosz for death. The warden waited until the witnesses were seated and then made the usual formal declaration that those present in the room were merely there as witnesses to a legal execution of a murderer and that under no circumstances and no matter what the provocation no one was to leave his seat or make any disturbance. Electrician Davis then put upon the arms of the chair a bank of incandescent lamps and charged the electrical wires passed the current through them so that the lights glowed out brightly. An assistant in the meantime put the two electrodes which were lined with sponges into pails of salt water so as to get them wet enough to prevent the current from burning the victim’s flesh.