Saturday, July 5, 2014

Biography: Charles J. Guiteau, Presidential Assassin

Charles J. Guiteau is a presidential assassin most Americans do not know much about.  John Wilkes Boothe and Lee Harvey Oswald are names everyone knows, but not Charles Guiteau.  He was always sort of an incompetent man.  The girls didn't really like him, and devised the nick-name for him, Charles Gitout.   After James A Garfield was elected president, Guiteau became convinced in his mind that the president owed him a political appointment and job.  He thought as a foreign ambassador would be nice.  He studied foreign cultures to prepare.  When Garfield ignored his requests, Guiteau had an inspiration.  He felt inspired to remove the president; and he was the person to do it.  He wrote about what he was going to do.  He thought he would be considered a hero.  He put his plan into action.  He entered the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station with a gun concealed in his coat.  The President was expected to arrive any moment.  He went to the restroom, had his shoes shined; and when the president arrived, he put two shots into his back.  President Garfield would not respond to treatment and die two and a half months later. 
Guiteau was tried for his crimes, with the defense of his being insane.  Guiteau said he was only insane in the sense he was doing God’s will, not his own.  He was found guilty and sentenced to hang.  To the end he felt he would be acquitted.  When he wasn’t acquitted he threatened divine retribution.  Maybe he requested this on the other side.

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