CHARLES J. GUITEAU - AUTOGRAPH 03/06/1882 - HFSID 30054
CHARLES J. GUITEAU The man who assassinated President Garfield pens his name on this card in iron gall ink Signature: "Charles Guiteau/March 6 - 1882", iron gall ink, 3¾x2¼ card.
Sale Price $595.00
CHARLES J. GUITEAU The man who assassinated President Garfield pens his name on this card in iron gall ink Signature: "Charles Guiteau/March 6 - 1882", iron gall ink, 3¾x2¼ card. Guiteau signed this autograph while incarcerated, seven weeks after he was found guilty and three and a half months before he was hanged there on June 30, 1882. Lawyer Charles Guiteau (1844-1882), unsuccessful in a small legal firm in Chicago, had moved to New York. Unable to find work on a newspaper, Guiteau unhappily returned to the practice of law. Divorced by his wife soon thereafter, Guiteau, despondent and struggling financially, involved himself in the 1880 Presidential campaign, writing a speech on behalf of James Garfield which the Republic Party published and gave some limited circulation. Guiteau credited himself with having secured Garfield's election, and hounded the staff of the President-elect for a diplomatic appointment. Firmly rebuffed by incoming Secretary of State James Blaine, Guiteau decided to assassinate Garfield. After much preparation, he shot the President on July 2, 1881. Garfield finally died on September 2, as much a victim of poor medical practices as of Guiteau's bullet, and the assassin was charged with murder. The delusional Guiteau believed that God had commanded him to slay the President. The insanity defense was used for the first time at his trial. Guiteau, however, was found guilty on January 25, 1882, and executed by hanging on June 30. Garfield had campaigned for civil service reform, balancing the Republican ticket with Chester Arthur, a "Stalwart" defender of the old patronage system. Garfield's murder by a disappointed office seeker caused President Arthur to reverse course, supporting and then signing the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. Tape stains on verso show through to margins. Lightly stained, toned, and worn. Short Guiteau biography penned on verso in unknown hand. Otherwise, fine condition.
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