Page images
PDF
EPUB

good-bye. Czolgosz replied very faintly, letting his eye rest upon the man who had been his counsel.

"Good-bye," he said, weakly.

The convicted murderer looked fixedly, unflinchingly upon the judge as he pronounced sentence in the following words:

"In taking the life of our beloved President you committed a crime which shocked and outraged the moral sense of the civilized world. You have confessed that guilt, and after learning all that at this time can be learned from the facts and circumstances of the case twelve good jurors have pronounced you guilty of murder in the first degree.

"You have said, according to the testimony of creditable witnesses and yourself, that no other person aided or abetted you in the commission of this terrible act. God grant it may be so. The penalty for the crime for which you stand convicted is fixed by this statute and it now becomes my duty to pronounce this judgment against you.

"The sentence of the court is that in the week beginning October 28, 1901, at the place, in the manner and means prescribed by law, you suffer the punishment of death."

At ten o'clock on the night when sentence was passed, Sheriff Caldwell and sixteen men left Buffalo to convey the condemned man to the prison at Auburn, where it was to be carried into effect. Arriving at Auburn, about three o'clock the following morning, Czolgosz encountered an angry throng of some 300 persons and almost totally collapsed, being stricken twith the most abject fear.

During his progress from the train to the prison gate, between two deputies to whom he was handcuffed, he was mauled by the crowd. So unexpected was the onslaught of the crowd that the police and deputies had scarcely time to draw their revolvers and clubs. The advance guard made a dash for the crowd. A dozen prison keepers threw ajar the gates. Then came a short, sharp conflict.

One burly fist reached his head and brought instant collapse. His guards had to drag him up the stairs to the prison office. Here he tumbled to his knees in abject terror, frothing at the mouth and uttering the most terrifying cries. He stumbled to a cane seat and lay there moaning in terror, while the crowd hung on to the iron gates and yelled, "Give him to us! Let us in at the murderer!"

But scant ceremony was accorded him. The handcuffs were taken off. He was dragged through the heavy oaken, iron-barred door to the warden's office. As a matter of fact he was carried, with his feet dangling behind him on the ground. Four husky keepers held his shoulders and arms.

They dumped him into a chair, a limp, disheveled figure, his cries echoing down the long corridors and arousing all the other convicts. He was in a state of absolute collapse, and when left alone rolled over to the floor, where he lay stretched at full length, his eyes rolling in a frenzy and his frothing lips twitching convulsively. Two keepers seized him and commanded him to stand up. His knees shook and he fell to the floor.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" he shrieked again as the howls from the crowd without came through the windows.

"Shut up! You're faking!" said Dr. Gem, the prison physician. The assassin obeyed the command except that he moaned dismally in a quieter tone and continued to writhe in agony. Two keepers stripped him of his clothing and placed on him a prison suit of clothing. He was not then bathed, nor was his pedigree taken. These formalities were complied with the following morning.

"Such was the end, so far as the outer world is concerned, of the man who deliberately took the life of gentle, genial, generous William McKinley, the most highly appreciated and universally beloved President that living Americans have ever seen. Potent enough to nerve his hand to the commission of a diabolical and most illogical crime, the teachings of anarchy utterly failed to support him as he approached that closing scene when human nature so sadly needs help.

[graphic][merged small]

CHAPTER XXXI.

The Great Speech of Senator J. N. Thurston at the St. Louis Convention, June 17, 1896.

THE NATIONS MAN.

Who can best lead the republican party back to power—grandly, triumphantly back to power?

We have in mind one man who combines all the qualities of American greatness; who has gathered renown upon every field of American achievement; who wears upon his breast the cross of valor, won in the forefront of his country's battles, and on his brow the laurel of many victories earned in the arena of national statesmanship. This man has so far outgrown the environments of state and locality that he stands the acknowledged representative of every section of the Union; he has so long and so ably championed the American protective system that he is today the one accredited representative and accepted spokesman of our toiling masses. His public service has been continuous, diversified and splendidly successful; while his home life, wherein is typified the truest character of the man, is an epic poem of domestic devotion.

And this man upon whose burnished shield malice can find no blemish and slander place no stain; this man, whose whole life has been consecrated to his God, his country and his home; this man whose intense loyalty and devotion to American interests make him the ideal leader for a supreme hour; this man of the people, this uncompromising friend of those who toil, a soldier, a statesman, patriot, without fear and without reproach, our candidate for the presidency of the United States, is William McKinley.

Who is William McKinley? A soldier of the republic, a boy volunteer, knighted by his country's commission for conspicuous gallantry on desperate fields. When Sheridan, summoned by the rising roar of doubtful battle, rode madly down from Winchester and drew nigh to the shattered and retreating columns of his army, the first man he met to know was a young lieutenant, engaged in the heroic task of rallying and reforming the Union lines, ready for the coming of the master, whose presence and genius alone could wrest victory from defeat. That young lieutenant was a private in 1861, a major in 1866. The years

us

« PreviousContinue »