||Charles Julius Guiteau is born
in Freeport, Illinois. He is the 4th of 6 children born to Luther
Wilson Guiteau and Jane Howe.
||Charles Guiteau's mother, Jane
Howe, dies. Charles is subsequently raised by his older sister Frances,
|1859||Charles receives an inheritance of $1,000 from his maternal grandfather, which provides him the means to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His father, Luther, is very much against sending his son to college and wants his son to join the Oneida Community.|
|June, 1860||Charles is unhappy at Ann Arbor
and leaves college to join the Oneida Community in New York.
||Charles begins to suspect that
his calling is to be a great newspaper editor.
||Charles believes that he has been chosen by God to spread the word of John Humphrey Noyes, the founder of the Oneida Community. With the permission of the Oneida Community, Charles moves to New Jersey to start a newspaper, entitled "The Daily Theocrat."|
||Charles applies to reenter the
Oneida Community after his failure to get the funding he needed in
order to start "The Daily Theocrat" newspaper.
||Charles runs away from the Oneida Community and begins writing letters for the return of the money he had consigned to the Community when he first entered.|
||After spending the money the
Oneida Community had given him, Charles moves to Chicago to live with
his sister, Frances and his brother-in-law, George Scoville.
George Scoville offers Charles a job in his law office in Chicago.
|Fall/Winter 1867||After a few months in Chicago
Charles grows restless, and he moves to New York hoping to work for
Henry Ward Beecher's newspaper, the
Independent. However, to Charles' consternation, he is unable to
get a job as an editor and instead is left to sell subscriptions to the
|Fall/ Winter 1867||
Charles previous worship of Noyes turns into
bitterness. Wanting revenge against the Oneida community, Charles
brings suit against the community for uncompensated work
performed while he was a member of the community. The
suit fails, so Charles resorts to blackmail. Eventually
Charles gives up his blackmail attempts after
|Early 1868||Desperate for money again, Charles returns to his sister in Chicago and works as a law clerk. He passes the Illinois Bar and set up his own law practice. His practice consistsd mostly of bill collecting, although he frequently keeps the money for himself and informs the clients that the money was irretrievable.|
|1869||Charles Guiteau marries Anne
Bunn, a librarian at the YMCA.
||Charles Guiteau decides to
support Horace Greeley, the Democratic candidate for President.
Charles writes campaign speeches, attends public meetings, and pesters
Greeley's friends and acquaintances for their endorsement of his
efforst to obtain an appointment from Greeley as minister to Chile
should Greeley obtain the presidency.
||Anne Bunn divorces Charles on the ground of adultery. Charles had purposely slept with a prostitute so that his wife might have the requisite legal grounds for a New York divorce.|
|Late Spring 1875|
|1877||Charles begins his unsuccessful career as a religious lecturer. He travels the country delivering sermons. Most often, his message is incoherent and consists merely of his repeating John Humphrey Noyes' message and claiming it as his own.|
||Luther Guiteau, Charles' father,
||Charles becomes a member of the
||Charles Guiteau delivers a
speech, "Garfield v. Hancock." The speech is written in hopes of getting Ulysses S. Grant
elected, but after Garfield gets the nomination, Charles merely
replaces the name Grant with Garfield.
|November 11, 1880
||Garfield writes to the Secretary
of State, William Evarts, inquiring whether there would be any new
appointments made by Garfield, should he win the election.
|1881||After Garfield's election to president, Charles moves to Washington D.C. Charles Guiteau believes that his speech was the primary cause for Garfield's victory and eagerly anticipates an appointment by the new administration.|
|January 1881||Charles writes to Garfield, mentioning his impending marriage to a woman of wealth, and his interest in the ministry appointment in Vienna.|
|May 14, 1881
||Charles' repeated attempts to
get an appointment as repayment for the contributions he thought he had
made to the Garfield election are put to a halt by a heated encounter
with Secretary of State, Blaine. Blaine snaps at him, "Never bother me
again about the Paris consulship as long as you live."
||Charles Guiteau conceives the
idea to "remove" the president, concluding that it was a political
necessity and is sanctioned by God.
|June 8, 1881
||Charles Guiteau purchases a .44
revolver and begins practicing in the Potomac's muddy banks.
||Charles writes his "Address to
the American People" and a letter for General William T. Sherman.
Both are to be sent following the assassination of the President
||Charles writes another letter of
explanation for his intended act.
||A few minutes before 9:30 am, at
the Baltimore and Potomac Train Station, Charles Guiteau shoots
President Garfield twice. One bullet inflicts a flesh wound on
the President's arm and the other bullet lodges in his back.
|July 2, 1881
||Guiteau is stopped by Patrick
Kearney of the District of Columbia police, the ticket taker and the
depot watchman. Officer Kearney escorts Charles Guiteau to the station
house but the Police Captain quickly move Guiteau to the District Jail
to await a hearing.
|July 2, 1881
||President Garfield is moved to
the White House. It is presumed that he is dying of internal
hemorrhaging and there seems little chance of his survival.
|July 7, 1881
||The District Attorney, Corkhill,
announces that there would be no formal proceedings against Guiteau
until the President either recovers or dies.
|July 10, 1881
||No effort is spared in helping
the President fight for his life. Because of the heat wave in
Washington, Navy engineers implement a plan for cooling the air in the
President's sickroom. Over a half-million pounds of ice are delivered
to the White House.
|July 16, 1881
||The president sits up and it is
reported that his "ultimate
recovery was beyond all reasonable doubt."
|July 23, 1881
||The President's condition
suddenly grows worse.
|July 26, 1881
||Alexander Graham Bell invents the first metal detector in an attempt to find the bullet lodged in President Garfield. The device consists of two electromagnets connected to a telephone receiver. The device is supposed to click when a metal object passes in between the magnetic field. The metal detector is not able to locate the bullet; possibly because Garfield is on a bed with metal springs or because Bell (like the doctors) searches in the wrong part of Garfield's body.|
|Late August 1881
||President Garfield has shrunk
from 200 to about 120 pounds and appears to be getting worse.
|September 6, 1881
||The president is moved to his
oceanside cottage at Elberon, New Jersey. In an effort to minimize the
effects of the trip on the President's deteriorating condition, a few
more miles of railroad tracks are laid, reaching almost to the door of
the President's cottage.
|September 19, 1881||President Garfield dies at 10:35
|September 20, 1881
||Chester Arthur, the
Vice-President becomes the 21st President.
||Corkhill sets in motion the
procuring of an indictment and issues subpoenas to witnesses.
||The presentment and indictment
for the murder of James A. Garfield is filed
|October 11th, 1881
||The marshall serves a copy of
the indictment, list of the jurors, and a list of the witnesses for the
United States against the defendant.
|October 14, 1881
||Charles Guiteau is arraigned
|October 26, 1881
||Judge Cox appoints Leigh
Robinson, a young District of Columbia attorney, to serve with Scoville
in representing Charles Guiteau.
||The trial first day of trial
||The final juror is chosen.
It has taken three days and 175 potential jurors to complete the
jury. The jury consists of twelve men, including one restaurant
keeper, one retired businessman, one machinist, two plasterers, one
iron worker, two grocers, a cigar dealer, and three merchants.
|November 17, 1881
||The prosecution begins its case
|November 19, 1881
||Bill Jones, a drunken farmer, fires at Guiteau through the bars of the prison wagon. The bullet pierces Guiteau's coat. Bill Jones is quickly apprehended and dubbed a "hero" by the Washington Times.|
||Leigh Robinson is successful in
having himself discharged from the case.
|November 28, 1881
||Charles Guiteau takes the stand
on his own behalf. His direct testimony lasts until December 3,
|December 16, 1881
||The prosecution begins its
succession of medical experts. From Friday, December 16th until
Wednesday January 4, the government presents experts who deny any
possibility that Guiteau might be insane.
|December 23, 1881
||Charles Reed, a defense witness
and former State's Attorney in Illinois, is formally added as one of
|January 4, 1882
||Scoville petitions the court to
be allowed to introduce new witnesses, but his motion is denied based
on a technical objection made by the prosecution. Scoville
requests a recess until Saturday.
||The prosecution begins its
closing plea to the jury
||Scoville delivers his address to
the jury. It lasts five days and is one of the longest ever delivered
in the District's criminal courts.
||Charles Guiteau speaks to the
jury on his own behalf--but his speech had already been printed in the Herald earlier in the week.
|January 25, 1882
returns a verdict of guilty as indicted
||Charles Guiteau's writes an
"Appeal to the American People" in which he expresses his
disappointment in the jury.
||Scoville argues before Judge Cox
a bill of exceptions and a motion for a new trial. The defense
motion is rejected.
|February 4, 1882
||Guiteau is sentenced to be
||Guiteau's last appeal is denied
by the court in banc. Guiteau's only remaining hope lies with
|June 22, 1882
||Dr. Godding, Dr. Beard, and Miss
A. A. Chevaillier visit President Arthur asking for the appointment of
a lunacy commission to review the decision reached in the Guiteau
||President Arthur decides not to
||Charles Guiteau is hanged at the
District of Columbia jail.