mercoledì 6 luglio 2016

Leon Czolgosz (pron. ˈtʂɔlgɔʂ; Alpena, 5 maggio 1873 – Auburn, 29 ottobre 1901) and Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison (1901)

Leon Czolgosz

First photograph of Czolgosz in jail.
Judge Company - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b46778.

 

Leon Czolgosz (pron. ˈtʂɔlgɔʂ; Alpena, 5 maggio 1873 – Auburn, 29 ottobre 1901) è stato un anarchico statunitense, noto per essere stato ideatore ed esecutore dell'assassinio del 25º presidente degli Stati Uniti William McKinley.

Police mug shot of Leon Czolgosz #757.
unidentified police photographer - Appeared in 1921 "The Manner of Man That Kills" by L. Vernon Briggs
Mugshots of Leon Czolgosz from after his arrest for the assassination of US President William McKinley in 1901.

 

Biografia

Leon Czolgosz nacque ad Alpena, nel Michigan, nel maggio del 1873, da una coppia di immigrati polacchi. Negli ultimi anni della sua vita fu influenzato da anarchici come Emma Goldman (che conobbe di persona a Cleveland, nel 1901) e Aleksandr Berkman. Fu influenzato dall'azione dell'italiano Gaetano Bresci, che il 29 luglio 1900 uccise Umberto I, re d'Italia. Nell'ambiente anarchico non fu ben visto, a causa delle sue idee troppo estreme.

Attentato ed esecuzione

Il 6 settembre 1901, a Buffalo, New York, sparò con un revolver e colpì due volte il presidente William McKinley, che morì il 14 settembre per le ferite riportate. Emma Goldman fu arrestata come sospetta di coinvolgimento nell'assassinio, ma fu rilasciata per mancanza di indizi.
Il 29 ottobre 1901 fu giustiziato mediante sedia elettrica, con tre scosse di 1700 volt ciascuna, nella prigione di Auburn ad Auburn, New York. L'esecuzione fu riprodotta fedelmente e filmata da Thomas Alva Edison. Dopo l'esecuzione, il corpo di Czolgosz fu distrutto con calce viva e acido.

Nella cultura di massa

Il personaggio di Leon Czolgosz è uno dei protagonisti del musical Assassins di Stephen Sondheim. Nel telefilm Reaper, Leon Czolgosz è una delle anime fuggite dall'Inferno che il protagonista deve ricatturare, anche se lui ha cominciato a vedersi con uno psicanalista per i suoi problemi. La capacità dell'anima dell'anarchico è di tramutare le proprie braccia in pistole, chiaro riferimento all'attentato al presidente, a cui viene fatto riferimento in un episodio.

 

unknown photographer about 1900 - Appeared in 1921 "The Manner of Man That Kills" by L. Vernon Briggs 
Photo portrait of Leon Czolgosz

Leon Frank Czolgosz [Slavic, pronounced Zhul-gosh] ( \CHŌL-gōsh\ Polish form: Czołgosz, Polish pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʂɔwɡɔʂ]; was a Polish-American anarchist and former steel worker responsible for the assassination of William McKinley, President of the United States, in 1901. Czolgosz was executed in the same year.

Early life

Czolgosz was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 5, 1873. He was one of eight children of Paul Czolgosz and his wife Mary Nowak. The Czolgosz family moved to Detroit when Leon was five. At the age of 10, while living in Posen, Michigan, Czolgosz's mother died six weeks after giving birth to his sister, Victoria. His first job was at about age fourteen to sixteen in a glass factory in Natrona, Pennsylvania, returning home two years later. By age seventeen he found employment at the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company After the economic crash of 1893, when the factory closed for some time and looked to reduce wages, the workers went on strike, putting Leon and his brothers out of work. With great economic and social turmoil around him, Czolgosz found little comfort in the Polish Catholic Church and other immigrant institutions, and sought others who shared his concerns regarding injustice. He joined a moderate workingman's socialist club, the Golden Eagle Society, and eventually a more radical group known as Sila where he became interested in anarchism.

Interest in anarchism

In 1898, after witnessing a series of similar strikes (many ending in violence), and perhaps ill from a respiratory disease, Czolgosz went to live with his father who had bought a fifty-five acre farm the year before in Warrensville, Ohio[disambiguation needed]. He did little to assist in the running of the farm and was constantly at odds with his stepmother and with his family's Roman Catholic beliefs. It was later recounted that throughout his life he had never shown any interest in friendship or romantic relationships, and was bullied during his childhood by peers.
He became a recluse and spent much of his time alone reading socialist and anarchist newspapers.[citation needed] He was impressed after hearing a speech by the political radical Emma Goldman, whom he met for the first time during one of her lectures in Cleveland in May 1901. After the lecture Czolgosz approached the speakers' platform and asked for reading recommendations. On the afternoon of July 12, 1901 he visited her at the home of Abraham Isaak, publisher of the newspaper Free Society, in Chicago and introduced himself as Fred Nieman (no man), but Goldman was on her way to the train station. He only had enough time to explain to her about his disappointment in Cleveland's socialists, and for Goldman to introduce him to her anarchist friends who were at the train station. She later wrote a piece in defense of Czolgosz.
In the weeks that followed, his social awkwardness, his evasiveness, and his blunt inquiries about secret societies around Isaak and another anarchist, Emil Schilling, caused the radical Free Society newspaper to issue a warning pertaining to Czolgosz, on September 1, reading:
ATTENTION! The attention of the comrades is called to another spy. He is well dressed, of medium height, rather narrow shoulders, blond and about 25 years of age. Up to the present he has made his appearance in Chicago and Cleveland. In the former place he remained but a short time, while in Cleveland he disappeared when the comrades had confirmed themselves of his identity and were on the point of exposing him. His demeanor is of the usual sort, pretending to be greatly interested in the cause, asking for names or soliciting aid for acts of contemplated violence. If this same individual makes his appearance elsewhere the comrades are warned in advance, and can act accordingly.
Czolgosz believed there was a great injustice in American society, an inequality which allowed the wealthy to enrich themselves by exploiting the poor. He concluded that the reason for this was the structure of government itself.[citation needed] Then he learned of a European crime which changed his life: On July 29, 1900, King Umberto I of Italy had been shot dead by anarchist Gaetano Bresci. Bresci told the press that he had decided to take matters into his own hands for the sake of the common man.
The assassination shocked and galvanized the American anarchist movement, and Czolgosz is thought to have consciously imitated Bresci.[citation needed] New York police officer Joseph Petrosino believed that the same group had previously targeted President McKinley, but his warnings were useless, because McKinley ignored them.

Assassination of President McKinley

On August 31, 1901, Czolgosz traveled to Buffalo, New York, the site of the Pan-American Exposition, where he rented a room in Nowak's Hotel at 1078 Broadway.
On September 6, Czolgosz went to the exposition armed with a .32 caliber Iver Johnson "Safety Automatic" revolver (serial #463344) he had purchased four days earlier for $4.50. He approached McKinley, who had been standing in a receiving line inside the Temple of Music, greeting the public for ten minutes. At 4:07 P.M., Czolgosz reached the front of the line. McKinley extended his hand. Czolgosz slapped it aside and shot the President in the abdomen twice, at point-blank range: the first bullet ricocheted off a coat button and lodged in McKinley's jacket; the other seriously wounded him in his stomach. President McKinley died eight days later on September 14 of an infection which had spread from that wound.
Members of the crowd immediately attacked Czolgosz, as McKinley slumped backward. The President said, "Go easy on him, boys." The crowd chained Czolgosz before the 4th Brigade, National Guard Signal Corps and police intervened. He was held in a cell at Buffalo's 13th Precinct house at 346 Austin Street until he was moved to police headquarters.

Trial and execution

After McKinley's death, newly inaugurated President Theodore Roosevelt declared, "When compared with the suppression of anarchy, every other question sinks into insignificance."
On September 13, the day before McKinley succumbed to his wounds, Czolgosz was taken from the police headquarters, which were undergoing repairs, and transferred to the Erie County Women's Penitentiary. On September 16, he was brought to the Erie County Jail ahead of being arraigned before County Judge Emery. After the arraignment, Czolgosz was transferred to Auburn State Prison.
A grand jury indicted Czolgosz on September 16 with one count of first-degree murder. Throughout his incarceration, Czolgosz spoke freely with his guards, but he refused every interaction with Robert C. Titus and Loran L. Lewis, the prominent judges-turned-attorneys assigned to defend him, and with the expert psychiatrist sent to test his sanity.
The district attorney at trial was Thomas Penney, assisted by a Mr. Haller, whose performance was described as "flawless".[a] Although Czolgosz answered that he was pleading "Guilty", presiding Judge Truman C. White overruled him and entered a "Not Guilty" plea on his behalf.
In the nine days from McKinley's death to the start of Czolgosz's trial, Czolgosz's lawyers were unable to prepare a defense because Czolgosz refused to speak to either one of them. As a result, Loran L. Lewis argued at the trial that Czolgosz could not be found guilty for the murder of the president because he was insane at the time (similar to the ineffective defense used at Charles J. Guiteau's trial in 1881, after he had shot President James A. Garfield).
On September 23 and 24, the prosecution presented testimony of the doctors who treated McKinley and of various eyewitnesses to the shooting. Lewis did not call any defense witnesses. Czolgosz himself refused to testify on his own defense, nor did he even speak in court. In his statement to the jury, Lewis noted Czolgosz's refusal to talk to his lawyers or co-operate with them, admitted his client's guilt, and asserted that "the only question that can be discussed or considered in this case is... whether that act was that of a sane person. If it was, then the defendant is guilty of the murder... If it was the act of an insane man, then he is not guilty of murder but should be acquitted of that charge and would then be confined in a lunatic asylum."
The prosecutor laid great stress on Czolgosz's anarchist affiliations and called upon the jury to heed the popular demand for a quick trial and execution.[citation needed]
Even had the jury believed the defense that Czolgosz was insane by claiming that no sane man would have shot and killed the president in such a public and blatant manner in which he knew he would be caught, there was still the legal definition of insanity to be overcome. Under New York law, Czolgosz was legally insane only if he was unable to understand what he was doing. At Thomas Penney's request, White closed the trial with instructions to the jury which supported the prosecution's argument that Czolgosz was not insane, and that he knew clearly what he was doing. After this, no chance remained of acquitting Czolgosz on the basis of insanity, for the defense had offered no evidence that he could not understand the wrongfulness of his crime.
Czolgosz was convicted on September 24, 1901, after the jury had deliberated for only an hour. On September 26, the jury unanimously recommended the death penalty. Czolgosz was said to have remained silent and to have shown no emotion upon either his conviction or his sentencing to death. When he was asked by Judge White if he wanted to make any statement in open court, Czolgosz shook his head to indicate that he did not. Upon returning to Auburn Prison, Czolgosz asked the warden if this meant he would be transferred to Sing Sing to be electrocuted, and he seemed surprised to learn that Auburn had its own electric chair

His last words were: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime." As the prison guards strapped him into the chair, however, he did say through clenched teeth, "I am only sorry I could not get to see my father." Czolgosz was electrocuted by three jolts, each of 1800 volts, in Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901, just 45 days after his victim's death. He was pronounced dead at 07:14.
Leon Czolgosz's brother Waldek and his brother-in-law, Frank Bandowski, were in attendance at the execution. When Waldek asked the warden for his brother's body to be taken for proper burial, he was informed that he "would never be able to take it away" and that crowds of people would mob him.
Czolgosz was autopsied by John E. Gerin; his brain was autopsied by Edward Anthony Spitzka. The body was buried on prison grounds following the autopsy. Prison authorities had planned to inter the body with quicklime to hasten its decomposition, but decided otherwise after testing quicklime on a sample of meat. After determining that they were not legally limited to the use of quicklime for the process, they poured sulfuric acid into Czolgosz's coffin so that his body would be completely disfigured. The warden estimated that the acid caused the body to disintegrate within twelve hours.
Czolgosz's letters and clothes were burned, although the names of those who had sent threatening or sympathetic correspondence were recorded for future reference. The gun which Czolgosz used to assassinate McKinley is on permanent display at the Buffalo History Museum.

Legacy

Emma Goldman was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the assassination, but was released, due to insufficient evidence. She later incurred a great deal of negative publicity when she published "The Tragedy at Buffalo". In the article, she compared Czolgosz to Marcus Junius Brutus, the killer of Julius Caesar, and called McKinley the "president of the money kings and trust magnates." Other anarchists and radicals were unwilling to support Goldman's effort to aid Czolgosz, believing that he had harmed the movement.
The scene of the crime, the Temple of Music, was demolished in November 1901, along with the rest of the Exposition grounds. A stone marker in the median of Fordham Drive, a residential street in Buffalo, marks the approximate spot (42°56.321′N 78°52.416′W) where the shooting occurred. Czolgosz's revolver is on display in the Pan-American Exposition exhibit at the Buffalo History Museum in Buffalo.
Lloyd Vernon Briggs, who later became the Director of the Massachusetts Department for Mental Hygiene, reviewed the Czolgosz case in 1901 on behalf of Dr. Walter Channing shortly after Czolgosz's death. Briggs also reviewed the cases of Clarence Richeson and Bertram G. Spencer, men who had histories of mental illness before committing murder.[citation needed] Contrary to views almost universally expressed at the time of the assassination, Briggs concluded that Czolgosz was "a diseased man, a man who had been suffering from some form of mental disease for years. He was not medically responsible and in the light of present-day psychiatry and of modern surgical procedure, there is a great question whether he was even legally responsible for the death of our President."[citation needed]

Use in media

Czolgosz is also featured as a central character of Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins, in which his assassination of McKinley is depicted in a musical number called "The Ballad of Czolgosz". He was also portrayed in the Reaper episode "Leon" by Patton Oswalt as an escaped/captured/released/re-captured soul from Hell who could turn his arms into large guns, but had issues with his father.

 

President McKinley greeting Well-Wishers at a reception in the Temple of Music minutes before he was shot September 6, 1901 
first picture from the Johnson Collection Library of Congress Second picture unknown photographer Library of Congress - http://library.buffalo.edu/pan-am/exposition/law/mckinley.html from the Library of Congress 1901

 Site of McKinley murder-marked by "x" in lower right 
C.D. Arnold - See above 
Photograph of the scene of the en:William McKinley assassination at the Temple of Music, inside the en:Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York, Sept. 6, 1901. Site of the shooting marked with an X. Photographer: C.D. Arnold. Source: President McKinley's Pan-American Address at Buffalo, N. Y., With a Short Biographical Sketch of the Late President. Buffalo, N. Y. : Bensler & Wesley Printers, 1901. Image available here and booklet from Bensler & Wesley with the photo of the assassination scene available here, in the collection of the en:University of Buffalo. Image believed to be in the public domain because it was first published in 1901.

 Illustration of how Czologosz's gun was concealed. Chicago Eagle, 9/14/1901 
Henry Donovan - http://idnc.library.illinois.edu/cgi-bin/illinois?a=d&d=CHE19010914&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-------# 
Illustration of how Czologosz's gun was concealed. Chicago Eagle, 9/14/1901

 
A sketch of Czolgosz shooting McKinley. 
T. Dart Walker (1869-1914) - Artwork by T. Dart Walker. Copy online at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/96521677/. 
Clipping of a wash drawing by T. Dart Walker depicting the assassination of President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz at Pan-American Exposition reception on September 6, 1901.




  

Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison (1901)

 Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison is a 1901 silent film produced by the Edison Studios arms of Edison Manufacturing Company. The film is a dramatic reenactment of the execution of Leon Czolgosz by electric chair at Auburn Correctional Facility following his 1901 conviction for the assassination of William McKinley. It is considered an important film in the history of cinema.

Production and influence

Throughout 1901, Edison had produced and released numerous films about the assassination, due to intense public interest. For the final film in the series, producer Edwin S. Porter sought permission to film the execution itself but was denied. Instead, they filmed outside the prison the day of the execution, then recreated the execution on a set.
The film comprises four shots. Two of them are actual footage of the outside of Auburn Prison on the day of the execution. The other two are recreations of the execution with actors, cut together in an early example of continuity editing.
According to the Edison Studios catalog of the time, the film is:
A detailed reproduction of the execution of the assassin of President McKinley faithfully carried out from the description of an eye witness. The picture is in three scenes. First: Panoramic view of Auburn Prison taken the morning of the electrocution. The picture then dissolves into the corridor of murderer's row. The keepers are seen taking Czolgosz from his cell to the death chamber, and shows State Electrician, Wardens and Doctors making final test of the chair. Czolgosz is then brought in by the guard and is quickly strapped into the chair. The current is turned on at a signal from the Warden, and the assassin heaves heavily as though the straps would break. He drops prone after the current is turned off. The doctors examine the body and report to the Warden that he is dead, and he in turn officially announces the death to the witness.
Because copyright did not cover films until The Townsend Amendment of 1912 updated the Copyright Act of 1909, Edison Manufacturing Company submitted a paper copy to the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress, now part of the collection in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.
Film historian Don Fairservice has noted the parallels with the 1901 film Histoire d'un crime by Ferdinand Zecca.




The Tragedy at Buffalo
by Emma Goldman


 Published in the Free Society, October 1901 as a defence of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of William McKinley.
For they starve the little frightened child
     Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scorge the weak, and flog the fool,
    And gibe the old and gray,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
    And none a word may say.

—Oscar Wilde.
Never before in the history of governments has the sound of a pistol shot so startled, terrorized, and horrified the self-satisfied, indifferent, contented, and indolent public, as has the one fired by Leon Czolgosz when he struck down William McKinley, president of the money kings and trust magnates of this country.
Not that this modern Caesar was the first to die at the hands of a Brutus. Oh, no! Since man has trampled upon the rights of his fellow men, rebellious spirits have been afloat in the atmosphere. Not that William McKinley was a greater man than those who throned upon the fettered form of Liberty. He did not compare either in intellect, ability, personality, or force of character with those who had to pay the penalty of their power. Nor will history be able to record his extraordinary kindness, generosity, and sympathy with those whom ignorance and greed have condemned to a life of misery, hopelessness, and despair.
Why, then, were the mighty and powerful thrown into such consternation by the deed of September 6? Why this howl of a hired press? Why such blood-thirsty and violent utterances from the clergy, whose usual business it is to preach "peace on earth and good will to all"? Why the mad ravings of the mob, the demand for rigid laws to curtail freedom of press and speech?
For more than thirty years a small band of parasites have robbed the American people, and trampled upon the fundamental principles laid down by the forefathers of this country, guaranteeing to every man, woman and child, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." For thirty years they have been increasing their wealth and power at the expense of the vast mass of workers, thereby enlarging the army of the unemployed, the hungry, homeless, and friendless portion of humanity, tramping the country from east to west and north to south, in a vain search for work. For many years the home has been left to the care of the little ones, while the parents are working their life and strength away for a small pittance. For thirty years the sturdy sons of America were sacrificed on the battlefield of industrial war, and the daughters outraged in corrupt factory surroundings. For long and weary years this process of undermining the nation's health, vigor, and pride, without much protest from the disinherited and oppressed, has been going on. Maddened by success and victory, the money-powers of this "free land of ours" became more and more audacious in their heartless, cruel efforts to compete with rotten and decayed European tyrannies in supremacy of power.
With the minds of the young poisoned with a perverted conception of patriotism, and the fallacious notion that all are equal and that each one has the same opportunity to become a millionaire (provided he can steal the first hundred thousand dollars), it was an easy matter indeed to check the discontent of the people; one is therefore not surprised when one hears Americans say, "We can understand why the poor Russians kill their czar, or the Italians their king, for think of the conditions that prevail there; but he who lives in a republic, where each one has the opportunity to become President of the United States (provided he has a powerful party back of him), why should he attempt such acts? We are the people, and acts of violence in this country are impossible."
And now that the impossible has happened, that even America has given birth to the man who struck down the king of the republic, they have lost their heads, and are shouting vengeance upon those who for years have shown that the conditions here were beginning to be alarming, and unless a halt be called, despotism would set its heavy foot on the hitherto relatively free limbs of the people.
In vain have the mouthpieces of wealth denounced Leon Czolgosz as a foreigner; in vain they are making the world believe that he is the product of European conditions, and influenced by European ideas. This time the "assassin" happens to be the child of Columbia, who lulled him to sleep with
"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,"
and who held out the hope to him that he, too, could become President of the country. Who can tell how many times this American child has gloried in the celebration of the 4th of July, or on Decoration Day, when he faithfully honored the nation's dead? Who knows but what he, too, was willing to "fight for his country and die for her liberty"; until it dawned upon him that those he belonged to have no country, because they have been robbed of all that they have produced; until he saw that all the liberty and independence of his youthful dreams are but a farce. Perhaps he also learned that it is nonsense to talk of equality between those who have all and those who have nothing, hence he rebelled.
"But his act was mad and cowardly," says the ruling class. "It was foolish and impractical," echo all petty reformers, Socialists, and even some Anarchists.
What absurdity! As if an act of this kind can be measured by its usefulness, expediency, or practicability. We might as well ask ourselves of the usefulness of a cyclone, tornado, a violent thunderstorm, or the ceaseless fall of the Niagara water. All these forces are the natural results of natural causes, which we may not yet have been able to explain, but which are nevertheless a part of nature, just as force is natural and part of man and beast, developed or checked, according to the pressure of conditions and man's understanding. An act of violence is therefore not only the result of conditions, but also of man's psychical and physical nature, and his susceptibility to the world surrounding him.
Does not the summer fight against the winter, does it not resist, mourn, and weep oceans of tears in its eager attempt to shield its children from the icy grip of frost? And does not the winter enshroud Mother Earth with a white, hard cover, lest the warm spring sunshine should melt the heart of the hardened old gentleman? And does he not gather his last forces for a bitter and fierce battle for supremacy, until the burning rays of the sun disperse his ranks?
Resistance against force is a fact all through nature. Man being part of nature, he, too, is swayed by the same force to defend himself against invasion. Force will continue to be a natural factor just so long as economic slavery, social superiority, inequality, exploitation, and war continue to destroy all that is good and noble in man.
That the economic and political conditions of this country have been pregnant with the embryo of greed and despotism, no one who thinks and has closely watched events can deny. It was, therefore, but a question of time for the first signs of labor pains to begin. And they began when McKinley, more than any other President, had betrayed the trust of the people, and became the tool of the moneyed kings. They began when he and his class had stained the memory of the men who produced the Declaration of Independence, by the blood of the massacred Filipinos. They grew more violent at the recollection of Hazelton, Virden, Idaho, and other places, where capital has waged war on labor; until on the 6th of September the child begotten, nourished and reared by violence, was born.
That violence is not the result of conditions only, but also largely depends upon man's inner nature, is best proven by the fact that while thousands loath tyranny, but one will strike down a tyrant. What is it that drives him to commit the act, while others pass quietly by? It is because the one is of such a sensitive nature that he will feel a wrong more keenly and with greater intensity than others.
It is, therefore, not cruelty, or a thirst for blood, or any other criminal tendency, that induces such a man to strike a blow at organized power. On the contrary, it is mostly because of a strong social instinct, because of an abundance of love and an overflow of sympathy with the pain and sorrow around us, a love which seeks refuge in the embrace of mankind, a love so strong that it shrinks before no consequence, a love so broad that it can never be wrapped up in one object, as long as thousands perish, a love so all-absorbing that it can neither calculate, reason, investigate, hut only dare at all costs.
It is generally believed that men prompted to put the dagger or bullet in the cowardly heart of government, were men conceited enough to think that they will thereby liberate the world from the fetters of despotism. As far as I have studied the psychology of an act of violence, I find that nothing could be further away from the thought of such a man than that if the king were dead, the mob will cease to shout "Long live the king!"
The cause for such an act lies deeper far too deep for the shallow multitude to comprehend. It lies in the fact that the world within the individual, and the world around him, are two antagonistic forces, and, therefore, must clash.
Do I say that Czolgosz is made of that material? No. Neither can I say that he was not. Nor am I in a position to say whether or not he is an Anarchist; I did not know the man; no one as far as I am aware seems to have known him, but from his attitude and behavior so far (I hope that no reader of "Free Society" has believed the newspaper lies), I feel that he was a soul in pain, a soul that could find no abode in this cruel world of ours, a soul "impractical," inexpedient, lacking in caution (according to the dictum of the wise); but daring just the same, and I cannot help but bow in reverent silence before the power of such a soul, that has broken the narrow walls of its prison, and has taken a daring leap into the unknown.
Having shown that violence is not the result of personal influence, or one particular ideal, I deem it unnecessary to go into a lengthy theoretical discussion as to whether Anarchism contains the element of force or not. The question has been discussed time and again, and it is proven that Anarchism and violence are as far apart from each other as liberty and tyranny. I care not what the rabble says; but to those who are still capable of understanding I would say that Anarchism, being, a philosophy of life, aims to establish a state of society in which man's inner make-up and the conditions around him, can blend harmoniously, so that he will be able to utilize all the forces to enlarge and beautify the life about him. To those I would also say that I do not advocate violence; government does this, and force begets force. It is a fact which cannot be done away with through the prosecution of a few men and women, or by more stringent laws-this only tends to increase it.
Violence will die a natural death when man will learn to understand that each unit has its place in the universe, and while being closely linked together, it must remain free to grow and expand.
Some people have hastily said that Czolgosz's act was foolish and will check the growth of progress. Those worthy people are wrong in forming hasty conclusions. What results the act of September 6 will have no one can say; one thing, however, is certain: he has wounded government in its most vital spot. As to stopping the wheel of progress, that is absurd. Ideas cannot be retarded by restraint. And as to petty police persecution, what matter?
As I write this, my thoughts wander to the death-cell at Auburn, to the young man with the girlish face, about to be put to death by the coarse, brutal hands of the law, walking up and down the narrow cell, with cold, cruel eyes following him,
"Who watch him when he tries to weep
And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey."
And my heart goes out to him in deep sympathy, and to all the victims of a system of inequality, and the many who will die the forerunners of a better, nobler, grander life.
Emma Goldman
Czolgosz's prisoner card at Auburn #A2323.
Appeared in 1921 "The Manner of Man That Kills" by L. Vernon Briggs
Auburn, New York prison card for assassin Leon Czolgosz



Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison (Ediso ...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZl-Z8LKSo0
30 ago 2007 - Caricato da RonaldEmmis
Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison (Ediso ... is put to death in the electric chair at Auburn ...
 Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison

Directed by Edwin S. Porter
Produced by Edison Studios
Release dates
November 4, 1901
Running time
3:24 minutes at 15 fps
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

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