NEW YORK, October 31.—If
the body of Leon Czolgosz were exhumed tomorrow it would be found
well preserved in a plaster of paris cast instead of having been
dissolved and disintegrated by the action of the quicklime and vitriol
with which it was covered when interred in the prison burial lot
at Auburn. It had been determined by Warden Mead and Superintendent
Cornelius Collins to destroy the body so that no trace of the assassin
should remain as a possible incentive to relic hunters. When the
body was interred a layer of quicklime has already been placed in
the grave. On this the coffin, the lid of which had been removed,
was laid, and the body was then covered with two barrels of quicklime.
Over this a carboy of vitriol or sulphuric acid was poured, two
more barrels of quicklime was thrown in, and over all earth was
shoveled until the grave was filled.
It was anticipated that as a result
of the action of the sulphuric acid and quicklime, the body would
be dissolved within twelve hours, but it is improbable that this
has been the case. When quicklime and sulphuric acid are combined
the chemical result is plaster of paris and water. “It is entirely
probable that Czolgosz’ body is inclosed [sic] in a plaster
of paris cast,” said Professor Charles F. Chandler of the College
of Physicians and Surgeons and of the University of New York tonight.
“Plaster of paris would result from the combination of sulphuric
acid and quicklime.”