Thursday, October 27, 2011

Any Last Words?

Last year there was a book by Robert K. Elder containing a collection of the Last Words of the Executed. (You can search inside it at That book describes perhaps the most macabre form of public speaking. It’s certainly one way to get scared for Halloween. Thirteen examples (with Wikipedia links where available) are:

“I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.”
Sarah Good, Salem, Massachusetts, July 19, 1692

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Nathan Hale, New York, September 22, 1776

“It’s in God’s hands now.”
Nat Turner, Virginia, November 11, 1831

“No, I am ready at any time; but do not keep me needlessly waiting.”
John Brown, Virginia, December 2, 1859

“Gentlemen, do you see this hand? Does it tremble? I never hurt a hair of that girl’s head."
Tom Dula, North Carolina, May 1, 1868

“I had a square trial. Everything the witnesses said was pretty much true. I felt at the time that I ought to have done it, and afterwards I felt I did wrong. I tell you it’s a hard thing when a man brings it on himself, but whisky did it.”
Isaiah Evans, Louisiana, May 10, 1878

“What time is it? I wish you’d hurry up. I want to get to hell in time for dinner.”
John Owens, Wyoming, March 5, 1886

“I killed the president because he was an enemy of the good people - of the working people. I am not sorry for my crime. I’m awfully sorry I could not see my father.”
Leon Frank Czolgosz, New York, October 29, 1901

“I have something to say, but not at this time.”
Grover Cleveland Redding, Illinois, June 24, 1921

“Make it snappy.”
Charles H. Simpson, California, July 13, 1931

“Gents, this is an educational project. You are about to witness the damaging effect electricity has on wood.”
Frederick Wood, New York, March 21, 1963

“I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.”
Ted Bundy, Florida, January 24, 1989.

“You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the Grim Reaper.”
Robert Alton Harris, California, April 21, 1992. (This was paraphrased from a movie).

The image depicts the hanging of Jefferson Davis (which did not really happen).

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