Home > Anarchism > Iowa Newspaper Reactions to McKinely Assassination, 1901

Iowa Newspaper Reactions to McKinely Assassination, 1901

From McKinley Assassination Ink

Suppress the Anarchists

Iowa State Register 8 Sept. 1901

One result of the attempted assassination of President McKinley should be the immediate and complete suppression of the anarchists. This is a free country, but men who are a menace to law and order, life and property, should no more be permitted to run at large than an escaped lunatic or a wild beast. The various states have made it so uncomfortable for the anarchists that they have moved their headquarters, and are now located in New Jersey, a state that seems willing to permit most anything within its borders from the organization of gigantic trusts down to the plotting against the lives of the world’s rulers. A dispatch from Paterson, New Jersey, says the anarchists there are greatly excited over the attack of the president, but deny all knowledge of the man who did the deed. The Paterson anarchists are all hurrying to express their views in the matter, and of course are saying that they deplore the crime, for they realize that to say anything else would be very dangerous. Pedro Esteve, the editor of La Questione Sociale of Paterson, in an interview says: “I do not believe he is an anarchist. I think he is a lunatic with some personal grievance. We have often discussed President McKinley at our meetings and the general opinion always was that he was a good, broad-minded man who would not persecute us. We never plot the death of rulers, but we sympathize with anyone who removes a monarch. I do not believe any anarchist will applaud this deed.” Bresci, who assassinated King Humbert, lived for some time in Paterson, and it was believed that he was sent from that city to perform his death-dealing mission. Paterson is a hotbed of anarchy and should be given a thorough cleaning. If there is no law in existence by which the “reds” may be suppressed let congress take prompt action in the premises. There is no room in America for such creatures, and there is not one of them who is worthy of freedom.

The End of Czolgosz

Iowa State Register 30 Oct. 1901

Child of yellow journalism and anarchy, the most contemptible being that God ever permitted to breathe the breath of life, Leon F. Czolgosz, the cowardly cur who assassinated President McKinley on September 6, went to his death in Auburn Prison Tuesday morning shortly after 7 o’clock, and by the use of a powerful electrical current of 1,700 volts the earth was made rid of the most loathsome creature it has ever known. There have been dastardly deeds of assassination before, but never one more contemptible, for this being extended his hand in mock friendship and, when it was taken by the president, shot him down. Guiteau’s shooting of Garfield in the back was an awful deed, as was the work of Booth in assassinating Lincoln, but we have not the contempt for them that we have for Czolgosz, who offered one hand in friendship and then dealt murder with the other. With a guard on either side holding his arms to support and steady him he stumbled as he entered the death chamber, and the dispatches say that again, when he reached the little platform upon which rested the death chair, he stumbled. “He was intensely pale and as he tried to throw his head back and carry himself erect his chin quivered very perceptibly.” Czolgosz tried to conduct himself as a martyr, but it was not in him. As he was being seated in the chair he stared at the witnesses and said: “I killed the president because he was an enemy of the good people—of the working people.” At 7:11 he crossed the threshold of the room, at 7:12½ he had been strapped in the chair and the warden gave the signal for the current, and at 7:15, after three applications, the current was turned off for good, and the spirit of Czolgosz had passed out of the body and had gone straight to hell, if there is any such place, as all admit there should be for such creatures.

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