Czolgosz Fearless of Death
President McKinley’s Assassin May Die As a Dog—Preparations
Blot Him from the Earth’s Face.
THE DREADED CHAIR IS NOW READY
Auburn, N. Y., October 28.—Leon F.
Czolgosz has less than 24 hours to live. Before the convicts in
the prison have been marched to their cells tomorrow morning the
electric current will have sent President McKinley’s assassin into
With the shadow of death over him
Czolgosz maintains the same stolid indifference which has characterized
his actions since his reception at the prison 31 days ago.
“Czolgosz passed a quiet night and
his condition is practically the same as it was when he was assigned
to his cell,” said Warden Mead this morning.
While many are of the opinion that
the assassin will make a scene in the death chamber, the prison
officials are inclined to think that he will meet death without
unusual incident. He does not seem to care whether he sees his brother
again or not; has apparently little desire for spiritual consolation
and may go to his death without the presence of the clergy.
It has not yet been decided what disposition
will be made of the assassin’s body. Warden Mean said, this morning,
that a decision would be arrived at this afternoon after the arrival
of Superintendent of Prisons C. V. Collins, who is expected from
Albany at 3 o’clock.
The prison officials desire to dispose
of the body at the earliest possible moment. A grave will be dug
in the prison lot at Fort Hill cemetery about two miles from the
prison. Fifteen bushels of quicklime will be in readiness to consume
the body within 24 hours after its interment. No mound will mark
his final resting place.
His clothing and effects, including
the large amount of mail which has accumulated during his imprisonment,
will be burned immediately after the autopsy.
All this will be done if the prison
authorities can convince Czolgosz’s relatives that the plan is the
best for all concerned. If the latter make a formal demand for the
remains, however, they will have to be turned over to the assassin’s
Arrangements have been made, it is
said, with a local undertaker to prepare the body for shipment to
Buffalo and an undertaker there has been directed to take charge
of the body upon its arrival. The plan is to have the body cremated
and the ashes taken back to Clyeveland [sic] to Czolgosz’s
There is a suspicion here that the
body, once beyond the control of the authorities, may be disposed
of for exhibition or scientific purposes. It is the wish of Governor
Odell that all traces of the assassin be wiped out as soon as possible
and to this end the authorities will endeavor to have the body disposed
State Electrician E. F. Davis is at
the death chamber today testing the chair. The wiring, switchboard
and electrodes have been carefully examined and pronounced in perfect
working order. The death warrant will be read to Czolgosz probably
some time during the afternoon.
Extraordinary precautions are to be
taken tonight to prevent the assassin from cheating justice. Since
his confinement the guards on death watch have paced back and forth
in the corridor in front of the condemned man’s cell. At 6 o’clock
tonight a death watch will be placed in the cell with the assassin
to prevent the possibility of his dashing his brains out against
the side of the cell. His demeanor during the night will be carefully
noted and a statement as to how he passed his last hours, together
with any confession he may make, will be issued by the warden after
It was with considerable effort that
Warden Mead resumed his duties this morning. For the last 48 hours
he has been confined to his bed under the care of a physician. He
contracted a severe cold a few days ago, and this, combined with
the severe mental strain under which he has been laboring during
the past month, prostrated him and it was feared that he might not
be able to officiate tomorrow.
In the warden’s mail this morning
were a large number of letters for Czolygosz. No attention is paid
to them and none of them reach the prisoner.
There is considerable speculation
as to whether Czolgosz will be given any stimulant before his march
to the chair. It is a rule at the prison that if condemned men desire
it they are given a stimulant before execution. Stories are to the
effect that drugs are sometimes administered. Warden Mead declined
to discuss the question this morning.
Ex-Warden Thayer, of Clinton Prison,
visited the prison this morning, and will probably witness the execution