April 11, 1882

Guiteau, Convicted and in Jail, Declares He is Not a Lunatic

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Charles Guiteau, having failed at law, theology, free love and politics, yet managed to succeed at murder; this, chiefly because his victim’s doctors so botched the case, that a treatable wound turned septic. Here the disagreeable, disputatious, and insane assassin of President Garfield declares he is not a lunatic, and that the woman, his sister, who raised him, and the brother-in-law who acted as his lawyer at his trial, are nuisances, with whom he, a convicted assassin awaiting execution in jail, wants nothing to do.

Mrs. Frances 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 of my book, “The Truth and the Removal”, now in press. The absurdity of her pretension is apparent from the fact that I do not live in Illinois, and have not for nearly three years; besides I am not a lunatic. This was officially decided on my trial. I have lived in Washington for over a year… The court had better dismiss the petition peremptorily. The Scovilles are a nuisance, and I want nothing to do with them.


But even as a stopped clock has the correct time twice a day, Guiteau was right to want to avoid his sister: she was institutionalized, for insanity, by her husband, within the year. 

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page, folio, U.S. Jail. Washington, D.C., April 11, 1882. To the Agent of the New York Associated Press.

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Transcript

To the Agent of the New York Associated Press:

Mrs. Frances 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 of my book, “The Truth and the Removal”, now in press. The absurdity of her pretension is apparent from the fact that I do not live in Illinois, and have not for nearly three years; besides I am not a lunatic. This was officially decided on my trial. I have lived in Washington for over a year, and this is my legal residence. The court had better dismiss the petition peremptorily. The Scovilles are a nuisance, and I want nothing to do with them.


CHARLES GUITEAU

U.S. Jail
Washington, D.C.
April 11, 1882