First of all it is to be said the anarchist faction in this country has no warrant in the form or administration of our Government. The effort to incite hostility culminating in assassination against those responsible through office for public affairs is a most lamentable perversity.
Three Presidents of the United States have perished by violence, but McKinley is the first killed according to the decrees of the anarchical order. Lincoln fell by the hand of a theatrical egotist. Garfield's slayer was a disappointed office seeker. Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated McKinley, is of the rankest type of anarchy. He represents the history, influence and danger of the anarchical organization and his crime is according to his doctrines, and the culmination of the teaching of false and fatal dogmas. President McKinley has been thoughtlessly blamed for exposing himself to hidden dangers. Of course, he did not avoid the people, but enjoyed being in touch with them. Monarchs who command immense armies and can-and do often hedge themselves with bayonets, do not escape the assassins. Alexander, the emancipator of Russian serfs, had his legs blown off with a bomb because he was brave and benevolent. The ruler of the greatest Empire and the Chief Executive of the greatest Republic, the emancipator of American slaves, were the shining marks for the anarchist and were slaughtered. The graceful Empress of Aus- tria was stabbed to death when walking in Switzerland, for no better reason than that she was the wife of an Emperor who has been the most beloved and competent of the European monarchs for half a cen- tury. A President of France was stabbed to death in his carriage be- cause he was a gentleman representing the best tradition of his coun-try, and was seriously a patriot. Edward VII. of England was before his accession shot at in the railroad station at Brussels, and saved by the nervousness of the would-be assassin. The Emperor William I. of Germany was fired upon as he was riding in a carriage along the principal street in Berlin, and showered with pellets of lead, suffering severely from wounds, saved from fatal mutilation by holding his left hand in the position of military salute, so that the hand saved the features. William II. was assailed by a man conveniently disposed of as insane, who hurled a fragment of iron with such aim as to bruise the Emperor's face. This monarch was not the man to take this insolence as a simple case of insanity, but referred to it as an expression of the existence of desperadoes, and threatened his own Capital in an address to his Guards, with the swift vengeance of the troops if the issue came between Anarchy and Empire. There is no safety in shrinking from the most public places and avoiding the massed people when they are so multitudinous they can not be controlled by any common-places of the preservation of order and mere decorum.
The history of the movements of the assassin of President McKinley before the murder will be studied wherever there is a community of civilized people. It is an element that must be considered that so great are the capacities of the railroad system that the size of audiences has been enormously increased of late years. Where there were thousands a generation ago, there are tens of thousands. The trolleys pour into the great steam roads like rivulets into rivers, and it may happen whenever there are remarkable attractions that there may be collected people in such numbers that they must manage themselves, or they will not be manageable. Everybody has the news nowadays. A cent will buy a paper that tells all that is going on of chief concern. The assassin who took the President's life had been taught by a woman to meditate on the murder of rulers especially "Great Rulers"?and he saw in a paper that the President was going to Buffalo, and began to stalk him to kill him as if he were some monster, and the pursuit continued for several days. The chance of effective shooting in the midst of the shifting scenes was coolly calculated and rejected by the infernal expert in killing. A hungry, fiendish watch was kept for an eligible opportunity to commit murder and it was found. The assassin stood near while the President was speaking at Buffalo?the last speech then and there glaring at him, and was afraid of failing to murder the "Great Ruler." Still the man hunt continued, and the tragedy was not only planned but rehearsed in the President's presence, an accomplice being ahead of the anarchist assassin in the cue. The murderer was anxious to be picturesque.
There was a bloodhound keenness in keeping on the track of the President, knowing from time to time where he would be at certain hours and minutes?the places where the hunted game would ride and where he would walk?and the ways were examined, close calculations made. The multitudes, careless or enthusiastic, swept by like the assassin, desiring to see close at hand the man who had so eminently worked for the people, and the prosperity of the country was the harvest. At last there was the reception under the Gilded Dome, the spot selected by the anarchists to make murder an impressive, educational ceremony, as this monstrous infatuation would have it, and there it was announced the President would shake hands with the people. The President was placed face to face with the assassin, a well dressed person, disguised by his accomplices to be accounted a citizen of respectability. His vanity had been excited, and he had been pampered for what the anarchists regard the reform role of murder. He had been helped to good clothes to do a deed of treachery and savagery, horrible as any traitor's crime in the long annals of stealthy, murderous crime. The assassin was slender of build, an inconsiderable person, not bulky or slow, but alert, urgent, crowding. He knew where the hand-shaking would take place, and he was early in the line as he cared to be, and he was preceded by a dummy to clear the way for bloody murder and the President was in a trap to be slaughtered.
The huntsman had the victim he had followed like a lean wolf. There was one chance for the President to avoid the appointed assassin. There were detectives present?men, educated in suspicion, with trained eyes for criminals, with schooled suspicion, glancing at all comers?and there were others, masters of ceremony. flow was it that no one noted the Hidden Hand? If a man had pressed forward with his right hand in his pocket, it would have been the duty of a detective to see that hand or crowd away the man, and detain him if he resisted. If the murderer drawing near had in either hand a parcel, it was the detectives' duty to know what that parcel meant. Parcels in such places are suspected property. There might he hidden in a sheet of paper a bomb to be hurled on the floor with fatal results. It is one of the terrors of the anarchistic murderers that they are usually ready to die if they can take the "Great Ruler" with them, and they will throw the dynamite where their own legs will be shattered, if the great ruler can be destroyed. This pupil in the school of assassins seems not to have quite reached this point. He had been taught by anarchist lectures, by inflammatory sheets, smeared with foul doctrine, that he had a "duty" to perform, that to commit a murder of a ruler was. a matter of heroism, that this country was the greatest of frauds and the worst of despotisms, the most wretched, false and horrible of lies, that he would at one stroke lift himself to immortal fame. He was a man with his hand within the breast of his coat?his right hand. It was a shrewd trick. Some scoundrel is gloating over that as his idea, but it will never work again. That handkerchief was an appeal to sympathy. It was a false pretense of being a crippled person, and there was evidently an easy way for the man with a wounded hand. What a chance that was for the men on the watch, and thought to be able to outwit the criminal class, who have been so highly cultivated in modern lines. The President's Private Secretary was at hand, but not so expressly to be a guard as a helper in communication with the people. He has been of uncommon usefulness. His remembering the right thing at the right time has been remarkable, and the country owes him a great debt for his masterly management after the President was stricken. His information as to surgeons, his intuition as to the correct thing to say and do, the personal aid and comfort he has been to the President?these are things not to be forgotten.
It seems that it might have been the duty of the detective nearest, when he saw a man with a concealed hand, to make inquiry. The art of the scoundrels engaged in the plot was displayed in the conspicuity of the hand that was bandaged, but the accepted explanation was that the man's hand was wounded. It contained a powerful weapon meant for face to face encounters, one sufficient for rapid and conclusive firing. The instrument of death was self-cocking, and, therefore, it was necessary to be coolly attentive to keep the hammer free from the folds of the handkerchief. The President shook hands in a manly, hearty way, putting out his right hand, with his left on his breast. It was his habit and pleasure to give each person who clasped his hand a look, and often his eyes found those he knew, and all hand shakers were agreeably touched if the President remembered and recalled a pleasant memory with a glance or word. He saw a slender, whitey faced young man he did not recognize, who seemed disabled, possibly some young mechanic who had been nipped in the right hand by machinery! That was the make-up. The President's kindness was in all his acts, and, extending his right hand, met the left hand of a man who confronted him with fixed eyes. The President felt his hand given to the stranger firmly gripped; and that hurtful impoliteness is not rare. All public men who have withstood receptions know the fellow with "the glad hand," who makes a display of his muscular force. This to the President was a case of that sort, and in an instant there was the crackle of two pistol shots. The President, from whose breast one bullet glanced, received the other eight inches below the left nipple, and the conical missile passed through the stomach. The President felt he was shot, and asked in three words whether it was so and was told the truth, and after an effort to maintain his footing, sank into a chair, asked that the assassin should not be harmed, having the presence of mind to know it was important he should be saved that the truth about him and his associates might be ascertained. Then the President desired that the incident should not be rashly told to his wife in an exaggerated way, and regretted that his presence had been unfortunate for those whose guest he was. This was calm, considerate, most thoughtful and manly, and he continued in this temper to the end.
Czolgosz, the name of the man who shot President McKinley, offers a lingual problem to nine-tenths of those who attempt to pronounce it. It is one of those names which the English alphabet cannot spell phonetically, and which the average English-speaking person stumbles over in trying to express after hearing it spoken by a Russian. Written according to its sound, the name Czolgosz, or its nearest equivalent, is "Tchollgosch," or more broadly speaking, "Shollgosch."
The former pronunciation is the one given by Sergeant Ter-Isaian of the Detective bureau, who is a Russian and who is familiar with the varied dialects in Polish Russia, from whence the parents of Leon Czolgosz came to this country.
"Cz" is represented in the Russian alphabet by a character which is pronounced much the same as though one were suppressing a sneeze "tsch." The next two letters?" of "are pronounced in combination as though written "oll," and the remaining letters of the name "gosz"? may be given the sound of "gosch."
The story of the assassin in brief is that he was born in Detroit, of parents of Polish blood, twenty-six years ago. He received some educe. tion in the common schools of that city, but left school and went to work when a boy as a blacksmith's apprentice. Later he went to work at Cleveland and then went to Chicago.
While in Chicago he became interested in the Socialist movement.
When he went back to Cleveland his interest in the movement increased. He read all the Socialist literature he could lay his hands on, and finally began to take part in Socialistic matters. In time he became fairly well known in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, not only as a Socialist' but as an Anarchist of the most bitter type.
After returning to Cleveland from Chicago he went to work in the
wire mills in Newburg, a suburb of Cleveland. He says he was working
there up to the day he started for Buffalo to kill the President, thus
contradicting letters written by him from points in New York.
A few weeks ago Czolgosz attended a meeting of Socialists in Cleveland, at which a lecture was given by Emma Goldman, the woman whose anarchistic doctrines have made her notorious all over the country.
The Kind of Italy was murdered by a man sent for the express purpose by a society of anarchists in Paterson, New Jersey, who have been at pains to make known their identity, and have been reported as celebrating the assassination of the King, the charges against him being fanciful and malignant. The vagabond who slew the King was not treated to dainty food and social distinction, made to believe himself a heroic personage, or even sent to execution, so as to give him a chance to pose as a King Killer He was not executed at all, but placed in solitary confinement, and the anarchists have not been pleased with his treat. meet, and have claimed loudly, as though some good man had been ill treated, that he was forced to take his own life to escape the horrors of solitude in a dungeon. In fact, the fate of this murderer does not encourage anarchical aspirations, and there have been threats that all the crowned heads of Europe shall soon be slaughtered because the prison was not made to the slayer of the King of Italy a pleasant and dignified abode. In the place where he died he did not receive applause, not even bouquets. Still, he has had his sympathizers in this country.
It has been suggested that President McKinley had been too much in the habit of answering the calls of the people to shake hands with them and speak to them?to go about in crowds unguarded. It is true that he had not had so much interest in the possibility of being a mark for an assassin, as many have insisted upon having for him. The taking of official precautions for the safety of a man high in office is almost certain to be distasteful to him, and it is often a question not easily decided what can be done or attempted.
When Abraham Lincoln, owing to the pressure of war business, could not leave Washington in summer-time, he found pleasant quarters in a cottage near the soldiers' home, and the military authorities would have him guarded to and from the White House to the cottage by a squad of cavalry; and it was said of him he thought the ceremony absurd, and laughed about his body-guard. It is now known that there was then a plot to capture him, secrete him in a cellar, and run him to Richmond along a line of contraband and medical supply transportation. President Harrison was opposed to the efforts made to shield him from dangers in the dark, but he persisted in his habit of walking about the city, and going without giving notice, when, where and how he pleased.
The last time President Garfield dined out was with Secretary Hunt, of Louisiana; he drove to the White House between ten and eleven o'clock, with Postmaster-General Thomas L. James, who, returning to the Arlington Hotel, met a friend and asked him whether he had seen the President. The friend answered no?he had been over to the White House to make a call, but the President was out driving. James replied that the President had just returned and would be pleased to have a late call, as he meant to drop public cares to go to the commencement at William's College. Upon this, the call at the Executive Mansion was repeated and the President was most agreeable and exceedingly interesting. As the visitor left, it was nearly the middle of the night, and passing out he saw there on guard a familiar face, and asked the question, "Were you not on watch here in Lincoln's time?" "Yes," was the reply. "Many a night before he went to bed, he would walk over to the War Department to see if anything had come in the way of news from the armies." "And," said the watchman, "I often took pains to walk between the old man and the trees?the same trees you see here now?because I had a fear there might be an ambuscade, and some devil would shoot him. The old man never seemed to think anything about possible murderers being about, but walked right along. Sometimes it was quite dark, and I felt sort of responsible for the old man, and I was glad when I got him back and had the door shut on him."
The caller on President Garfield who had just seen him for the last time, said to the watchman, as the trees were dark and the walks silent, "I think it would be well for you to keep a sharp lookout now, for there are queer people about and strange things said?excitements about what the President has done and will or won't do. "It would not be a bad idea to watch carefully now."
The reply was simple and sensible?"These are not war times. Nobody would hurt the President now." Three days later the shot of the assassin gave the President a mortal wound. Of course, that which suggested to the visitor to warn the watchman to be vigilant, was the face of the man who had guarded the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, and the story of the walks at night, under the history haunted trees. It turned out in the testimony in the case of Guiteau, that at that hour the murderer was prowling in the shrubbery in Jackson Square, between the White House and the Arlington House, seeking a chance to shoot the President, having possibly dogged his footsteps and knowing he had gone out.