Statement by Assassin
Czolgosz Confesses His Great Crime When Put under
Pressure by the Police.
ADMITS HE IS ANARCHIST
But Says He Alone Planned the Attack and Had No Confederates.
HE ADMIRED EMMA GOLDMAN
Read the Lurid Literature of the Female Agitator and His Brain Was
HIS HOME WAS IN CLEVELAND
His Parents and Other Relatives Beside There—His Mother Interviewed.
WEAK BODILY AND MENTALLY
Apparently Easily Swayed and Drifted into Degeneracy—Efforts to
Connect Others with Conspiracy.
CZOLGOSZ MAKES A CONFESSION.
Tells All About His Life and His Anarchistic Tendencies.
Chicago, Sept. 7.—A special to the
Daily News from Buffalo says: The statement of Leon Czolgosz made
to the police, transcribed and signed by the prisoner, is as follows:
I was born in Detroit, nearly 29 years
ago. My parents were Russian Poles. They came here forty-two years
ago. I got my education in the public schools of Detroit and then
went to Cleveland, where I got work. In Cleveland I read books on
socialism and met a great many socialists. I was pretty well known
as a socialist in the west. After being in Cleveland for several
years I went to Chicago, where I remained seven months, after which
I went to Newburg, on the outskirt of Cleveland, and went to work
in the Newburg wire mills.
During the last five years I have
had as friends anarchists in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and other
western cities, and I suppose I became more or less bitter. Yes,
I know I was bitter. I never had much luck at anything and this
preyed upon me. It made me morose and envious, but what started
the craze to kill was a lecture I heard some little time ago by
Emma Goldman. She was in Cleveland and I and other anarchists went
to hear her. She set me on fire.
Her doctrine that all rulers should
be exterminated was what set me to thinking so that my head nearly
split with the pain. Miss Goldman’s words went right through me
and when I left the lecture I had made up my mind that I would have
to do something heroic for the cause I loved.
Eight days ago, while I was in Chicago,
I read in a Chicago newspaper of President McKinley’s visit to the
Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo. That day I bought a ticket for
Buffalo and got here with the determination to do something, but
I did not know just what. I thought of shooting the president, but
I had not formed a plan.
I went to live at 1078 Broadway, which
is a saloon and hotel. John Nowak, a Pole, and a sort of politician
who has led his people here for years, owns it. I told Nowak that
I came to see the fair. He knew nothing about what was setting me
crazy. I went to the exposition grounds a couple of times a day.
Not until Tuesday morning did the
resolution to shoot the president take hold of me. It was in my
heart; there was no escape for me. I could not have conquered it
had my life been at stake. There were thousands of people in town
on Tuesday. I heard it was President’s day. All these people seeming
bowing to the great ruler. I made up my mind to kill that ruler.
I then bought a 32-calibre revolver and loaded it.
On Tuesday night I went to the fair
grounds and was near the railroad gate when the presidential party
arrived. I tried to get near him but the police forced me back.
They forced everybody back so that the great ruler could pass. I
was close to the president when he got into the grounds but was
afraid to attempt the assassination because there were so many men
in the body guard [sic] that watched him. I was not afraid of them
or that I should get hurt, but afraid I might be seized and that
my chance would be gone forever. Well, he went away that time and
I went home. On Wednesday I went to the grounds and stood right
near the president, right under him near the stand from which he
I thought half a dozen times of shooting
while he was speaking, but I could not get close enough. I was afraid
I might miss and then the great crowd was always jostling and I
was afraid lest my aim fail. I waited Wednesday and the president
got into his carriage again and a lot of men were about him and
formed a cordon that I could not get through. I was tossed about
by the crowd and my spirits were getting pretty low. I was almost
hopeless that night as I went home.
Yesterday morning I went again to
the exposition grounds. Emma Goldman’s speech was still burning
me up. I waited near the central entrance for the president, who
was to board his special train from that gate, but the police allowed
nobody but the president’s party to pass where the train waited,
so I stayed at the grounds all day waiting.
During yesterday I first thought of
hiding my pistol under my handkerchief. I was afraid if I had to
draw it from my pocket I would be seen and seized by the guards.
I got to the Temple of Music the first one and waited at the spot
where the reception was to be held.
Then he came, the president—the ruler—and
I got in line and trembled and trembled, until I got right up to
him and then I shot  him twice
through my white handkerchief. I would have fired more, but I was
stunned by a blow in the face—a frightful blow that knocked me down—and
then everybody jumped on me. I thought I would be killed and was
surprised the way they treated me.
Czolgosz ended his story in utter
exhaustion. When he had about concluded he was asked:
“Did you really mean to kill the president?”
“I did,” was the cold blooded reply.
“What was your motive, what could
it do you?” he was asked.
“I am an anarchist. I am a disciple
of Emma Goldman. Her words set me on fire,” he replied, with not
the slightest tremor.
“I deny that I have had an accomplice
at any time,” Czolgosz told District Attorney Penney. “I do not
regret my act, because I was doing what I could for the great cause.
I am not connected with the Paterson group, or with those anarchists
who sent Bresci to Italy to kill Humbert. I had no confidants; no
one to help me. I was alone absolutely.”