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 Charles Julius Guiteau

Charles Julius Guiteau

Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois, USA
Death 30 Jun 1882 (aged 40)
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Plot In storage cabinets within the anatomical collections (not open to the public)
Memorial ID 429 · View Source
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Assassin. Conflict still resides in circles about this man being the assassin of President Garfield. Though in history Charles was to blame for the death of James Garfield, by putting two bullets into the Presidents body. Charles was born in Freeport, Illinois. As a young adult he studied theology and law. He passed the bar exam and used some of his inheritance to start a law firm in Chicago. Once his law practice failed he turned to theology and then to politics. Charles wrote a speech that Garfield delivered and with this Charles would believe that he, and he alone was the reason Garfield was the President. Charles would pen two letters to President Garfield insisting that he appoint him to an ambassadorship to Paris, they would both go unanswered. He would stalk the President waiting for the perfect opportunity, that would happen on July 2, 1881 at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station. Charles took aim and fired, the first bullet hitting Garfield in the back, the second grazing his elbow as he fell forward. As Charles took aim to fire a third time, a police officer grabbed him and took the weapon. The President was taken to the White House where more than 15 doctors would probe his body with unwashed hands and probe his intestinal wound, trying to locate the bullet. After a long, pointless and painful battle with infections, possibly brought on by his doctors and non-sterilized instruments, Garfield died on September 19, eleven weeks after being shot. His trial was a media circus of the time, Charles viewed himself a celebrity and loved the attention. He was found guilty of murder on January 23, 1882. He was sentenced to death by hanging, which took place on June 30, 1882. While awaiting his noose, he wrote a defense of the assassination he had committed and an account of his own trial, which was published as The Truth and the Removal. His body was sent to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland, they would preserve his brain as well as his enlarged spleen and bleach his skull. They are placed in storage at the museum, however, his brain remains on display in a jar at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 429
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Julius Guiteau (8 Sep 1841–30 Jun 1882), Find A Grave Memorial no. 429, citing National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .