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People/Characters: Charles Guiteau

People/Characters by cover

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Works (24)

An Alabama Songbook: Ballards, Folksongs, and Spirituals Collected by Byron Arnold by Robert W. Halli Jr.
American murder ballads and their stories by Olive Woolley Burt
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Assassins by Stephen Sondheim
Ballads and Songs From Ohio by Mary O. Eddy
Ballads and Songs from Utah by Lester A. Hubbard
Ballads and songs; collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society by H.M. Belden
Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell
Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield by Kenneth D. Ackerman
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World by John Demos
The Fatal Bullet: The Assassination of President James A. Garfield by Rick Geary
The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends, 1880-1918 by Patricia O'Toole
Folksongs of Florida by Alton C. Morris
Folksongs of Mississippi and their background by Arthur Palmer Hudson
The Gilded Age by Judith Freeman Clark
In the Line of Fire Presidents' Lives At Stake by Judith St. George
James A. Garfield by Ira Rutkow
Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield by Fred Rosen
Native American balladry, a descriptive study and a bibliographical syllabus by G. Malcolm Laws
Our Martyred President: the Life and Public Services of James A. Garfield by James D. McCabe
The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience by Kent A. Kiehl PhD
Southern Folk Ballads by W. K. McNeil
The Trial of the Assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and the Law in the Gilded Age by Charles E. Rosenberg

Character description

Charles J. Guiteau (1841-1882) was the child of an overbearing father and a deranged mother; little wonder that he grew up a near-lunatic. He is said to have stolen from most of those who knew him. He fancied himself a theologian, but no one paid much attention to his work. In 1880, when James A. Garfield was running for President, Guiteau became convinced that he knew how to organize the campaign, and sent Garfield suggestions as well as a request for high office. Both were ignored. Finally Guiteau concluded that it was his duty to assassinate Garfield, the idea being to make vice president Chester A. Arthur (a member of the "Stalwart," or patronage-driven, faction of the Republican Party) president. Guiteau finally shot Garfield on July 2, 1881 at a railway station. The wounds should not have been fatal, but Garfield's doctors were incompetents who spent their time feeling the wounds with dirty hands; Garfield died not of the injuries but of infection caused by his physicians. Still, Guiteau was charged with murder. So complete was his delusion that he did not expect to be convicted, but the crime was obviously first degree murder; Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882.

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