The year was 1901 and Leon Czologosz had just arrived by steamer at the Buffalo dock. It was August 31 and on the weeks leading up to this day Leon had had an epiphany. On the steamer, he had worked out some of the details, but he mostly spent his time reading the Anarchist pamphlets he picked up during his brief stay in Chicago. While in Chicago, Leon also read about the president’s plans to visit the Exposition in Buffalo next month.
Leon was a little slippery with facts, perhaps because he couldn’t remember facts or perhaps just because he was a natural liar. At one time he was born in Michigan, another time in Cleveland. His father, a Polish immigrant, lived in Warrensville where he had recently acquired a 55 acre farm.
The last few years had been especially difficult for Leon. The last two decades had been difficult. The new farm gave Leon the space not to be crowded by the capitalists he constantly ran into in the city. He found himself immersed in his inner musings and sat quietly on the farm while his father tried to get the land to give up its reward. His father didn’t mind that Leon did not help. He knew Leon was an intelligent man and needed his time to think, he had always been that way.
It was Saturday when Leon disembarked. He already knew where he was going, he had been here just a few weeks back and was quite familiar with Buffalo and where the Exposition was located. Leon would later say that he hadn’t made up his mind when arrived in Buffalo, but again, Leon was a natural liar. He knew he was going to shoot the President of the United States in less than a week.