An item on your web site about President Garfield's assassin, Charles Guiteau, states that "Government officials refused to turn Guiteau's body over to his family or to bury it. They had other plans. Army physicians stripped the corpse of all tissue, tendons, and organs with the intention of slaking the public's anger over the assassination by publicly displaying his skeleton. Admission was to be free. Sensibly, this was never done. Doctors did, however, progress as far as producing a cleanly bleached skeleton. The surgeon general, C. H. Crane, took custody of the dismantled bones and is supposed to have secretly disposed of them. However, historians believe that the bones, divided among several metal trays, are in the huge storage vaults of the Army Medical Museum."

There is no mystery here. As stated on the Frequently Asked Questions page on our museum's web site, among the specimens in the collections at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, formerly known as the Army Medical Museum, are the brain, spleen and partial skeleton of President Garfield's assassin.

The connection is that an Army Medical Museum pathologist, Dr. Daniel Smith Lamb, performed the autopsies on both Garfield and Guiteau, and records show "no evidence of unusual pathological changes was found" in Guiteau's brain.

Steven Solomon
Public Affairs Officer
National Museum of Health and Medicine
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
6900 Georgia Ave. at Elder Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20307
202-782-2672 (office)
202-782-3573 (fax)


President James Garfield:
Panati's Extraordinary Endings..., 1989
  How a swarm of physicians can prove more dangerous than any would-be assassin.