[GARFIELD ASSASSINATION]. GUITEAU, Charles. Autograph letter signed (''Charles Guiteau'') to Agent of the Associated Press in New York, U. S. Jail, Washington, D. C., 11 April 1882. 1 page, 4to, ruled paper.
[GARFIELD ASSASSINATION]. GUITEAU, Charles. Autograph letter signed ("Charles Guiteau") to Agent of the Associated Press in New York, U. S. Jail, Washington, D. C., 11 April 1882. 1 page, 4to, ruled paper.
"I AM NOT A LUNATIC": GUITEAU RESISTS AN ATTEPT TO SEIZE HIS ESTATE . Garfield lashes out against a move by his sister to have a conservator appointed. Garfield's murderer is in high dudgeon as he puts pen to paper from his jail cell in Washington: "Mrs. Francis M. Scoville according to newspaper report has impudently filed a petition in Chicago for a conservator of my estate. The only estate I have is the copyright on my book, 'The Truth & The Removal,' now in press. The absurdity of his presentation is apparent from the fact that I do not live in Illinois, & have not for nearly three years; besides, I am not a lunatic. This was officially decided in Washington for over a year & this is my legal residence. The court had better dismiss the petition pre-emptively. The Scovilles are a nuisance, & I want nothing to do with them."
Guiteau shot Garfield on 2 July 1881, using a 44-caliber "British Bulldog" revolver, a weapon he reportedly chose because he thought it would look good in a museum. He had been stalking the President for weeks, ever since his rejection for a diplomatic appointment. When Garfield died in September (thanks as much to medical bungling as to Guiteau's attack) Guiteau stood trial for capital murder. At trial he seemed far less eager to prove his sanity than he does here in this letter to the A. P. He made numerous outbursts in the courtroom, often accompanied by manic laughter and singing. Perhaps this was a staged effort to support his lawyer's strategy of pleading not guilty by reason of insanity (his attorney was his "nuisance" brother-in-law George Scoville). It didn't work. The jury deliberated just an hour before finding him guilty, and Guiteau was executed by hanging on 30 June 1882. His autobiography, The Truth and the Removal, was duly published after his own "removal," in 1882.