Source: Ottumwa Semi-Weekly Courier
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Execution of Czolgosz”
City of publication: Ottumwa, Iowa
Date of publication: 31 October 1901
Volume number: 53
Issue number: 66
|“The Execution of Czolgosz.” Ottumwa Semi-Weekly Courier 31 Oct. 1901 v53n66: p. 2.|
|Leon Czolgosz (execution: personal response); William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (religious character); Leon Czolgosz (incarceration: Auburn, NY); Leon Czolgosz (trial: personal response).|
|Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.|
The Execution of Czolgosz
Whether the punishment of crime is for the purpose
of effecting the revenge of society upon the criminal for his wrong doing [sic],
or whether it be for the purpose of affording such an example of penalty and
suffering as will deter others from assaying like evil deeds, the blind Goddess
Justice has weighed Czolgosz in her scales, has found him wanting in moral elements
justifying his living among men, and through the electric chair in Auburn prison
this morning the assassin of the beloved President McKinley was removed from
this earth and sent to the hosts of Satan, there to writhe through all ages
to come in the agony of that worst of all human suffering comprised in a guilty
What a contrast is afforded by comparison of the meeting of death by the victim and by his assassin! What vast superiority of manly and Christian spirit was shown by William McKinley when he commanded that the murderer’s captors not harm him after the fatal shot had been fired; in the admonition to break the news gently to the invalid wife; an[d] when realizing that the forces of life were fast ebbing away, he called this feeble companion, calmly gave directions for details following his decease, and, brave in the positive knowledge that he was at peace with his maker, he said “Nearer My God to Thee.” “Thy will, not ours be done.”
Compare this exhibition of Christian fortitude to the dismal harrowing scenes attending the last days of the dastard assassin on earth; cowering in his lonely cell; watched night and day by prison guards; forsaken by his friends; denied by his own father; helpless and speechless cringing unto the engine of death humanely devised to shock the wicked spirit out of him.
McKinley mourned by eighty millions of people; Czolgosz detested by all peoples of the earth. One the ruler of a great nation guiding his charge unto peace, happiness and prosperity, shot down instantly on a gala occasion by an off-cast of society who never before had seen him and who in his life never did one single deed for the good of mankind.
Czolgosz took the life of his victim without giving him a chance to be heard in warning or in defense and without cause.
The state of New York at great trouble and expense has preserved the assassin’s life from the mobs who would gladly have taken it; he has been executed only after a fair trial before a jury of twelve men, with two of the most able and experienced lawyers paid by the state to see that he had every legal right to which he was entitled; following his trial and sentence he was given six weeks’ time in which to prepare to meet his God (of which he availed not); with the right to kill him any time during the present week the sheriff of Erie county granted him Monday on which to live.
The world moves on, better and happier that William McKinley lived—a world in which the craven is no part and to the sum of whose happiness he has not contributed an iota.