Source: Pittsburg Press
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Czolgosz Fearless of Death”
City of publication: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 28 October 1901
Volume number: 18
Issue number: 299
|“Czolgosz Fearless of Death.” Pittsburg Press 28 Oct. 1901 v18n299: p. 1.|
|Leon Czolgosz (incarceration: Auburn, NY); J. Warren Mead (public statements); Leon Czolgosz (disposal of remains); Leon Czolgosz (execution: preparations, plans, etc.); J. Warren Mead.|
|Cornelius V. Collins; Leon Czolgosz [misspelled once below]; Edwin F. Davis; William McKinley; J. Warren Mead [misspelled once below]; Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.; Walter N. Thayer.|
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 eternity.
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 relatives.
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 brother.
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 of here.
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 the execution.
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 tomorrow.