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New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. I, No. 1, February 1945

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. I, No. 1, February, 1945

“MY NAME IS CHARLES GUITEAU”

THIS SONG was collected by Charlotte Coryell from her mother, Mrs. H. W. Coryell, of Manlius, Onondaga County, in December, 1942. Mrs. Coryell learned the song as a girl in Bradford County, Pennsylvania between 1895 and 1905. Miss Coryell writes:
My mother sang this to me several times until I learned the tune. As near as I can figure out, it is nearly the tune of “When the Work’s All Done Next Fall.” Mother also said that the children of a family who moved to her community from the west, taught the song to the children in the school, and that they used to sing the song over and over. They were at an age when the words had little meaning to them.
Mrs. Coryell made the following comment:
You know you never hear the name of the assassin of Garfield, and your history book said Garfield was killed by an assassin’s bullet. The story is, that after Garfield had been killed, the man was asked why he had killed him. The assassin replied that he had wanted to do something that would make his name go down in history. For that reason, no newspaper printed the name and no name is given in the history books.
...

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