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 TimeLines of Liberty
History - America's Last Words

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Last Words of Famous Americans and a few others.
  Last updated June, 2007.  Ordered by year, No particular order within the year.

In the end we all must die, some will find a beginning as others would eternally wish an end.
The last words of an individual often reflect the life they lived.
 1770s - 1800s - 1900s - 2000
1755-1776 Nathan Hale
- Patriot
- American Spy
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." is attributed to Nathan Hale. "It is the duty of every good officer to obey any orders given him by his commander-in-chief," is thought to be his accurate last words. Hale was arrested, tried, and hanged for spying. Nathan Hale during the U.S. revolution volunteered to spy on the British in New York City disguised as a Dutch school teacher.
1788 Charles Wesley "I shall be satisfied with Thy likeness -- satisfied."
Ethan Allen
U. S. Patriot
"Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well... Let 'em wait." said Ethan Allen in reply to his doctor's attempt to comfort him saying, "General, I fear the angels are waiting for you."
Benjamin Franklin
- inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, statesman & Patriot
"A dying man can do nothing easily." said Franklin, in reply to the suggestion of his daughter that he might breathe easier if he were to lay on his side.
1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "You spoke of a refreshment, Emile; take my last notes, and let me hear once more my solace and delight."
1791 John Wesley "The best of all is, God is with us."
George Washington
- 1st Constitutional President
"Tis well." Washington says after being reassured by his doctor of his request, "I am just going.  Have me decently buried, and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead.  Do you understand?" Another account has him saying  "I die hard but am not afraid to go."
1757-1804 Alexander Hamilton
- founding father
"This is a mortal wound, doctor." stated Hamilton having lost a duel with Aaron Burr, Vice Presidential candidate.
1774-1809 Meriwether Lewis
- explorer
"I am not coward, but I am so strong.  It is hard to die." said Lewis after being shot, shattering his skull. The mysterious but violent incident at a tavern southwest of Nashville, Tennessee was never investigated. President Jefferson believed it was suicide, however the Lewis family thought it to be murder.
1781-1813 James Lawrence
- naval commander
"Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks." Mortally wounded Lawrence delivers his last orders as commander of the frigate Chesapeake during a naval battle in the War of 1812.
Stephen Decatur
- Naval Commander
"I am mortally wounded, I think" says Decatur, after losing a duel with a disgraced Navy Captain who he had presided over the captain's court-martial.
1821 John Keats "Severn -- lift me up -- I am dying -- I shall die easy; don't be frightened -- be firm, and thank God it has come."
1822 Michael Martin
"Captain Lightfoot"
"Captain Lightfoot" was granted permission to signal his own execution. "When shall I drop the handkerchief?" to which came the reply, "Whenever you are ready."
1743-1826 Thomas Jefferson
3rd President
"This is the Fourth? " Jefferson asked, and was consoled that it was, "I resign my spirit to God, my daughter to my country." Jefferson died the next day on the forth of July,1826 just past noon.
John Adams
2nd President
"Thomas Jefferson still surv...[ives]," stated John Adams as he dies, not knowing that Jefferson on the same day, July 4th 1826, preceded him in death. Earlier in the day Adams replying to an inquiry as to what day it is, said "Oh, yes, it is the glorious fourth of July.  God bless it.  God bless you all."
George Appel
- death row
"Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel" George Appel was executed in electric chair in New York.
James Monroe
- 5th President
"I regret that I should leave this world without again beholding him." says Monroe in regard for James Madison.
Nat Turner
- slave rebel
"It's in God's hands now." Turner says before he was hanged.
James Madison
- 4th President
"Nothing more than a change of mind, my dear. I always talk better lying down." replied Madison after being asked by his neice, "What is the matter, Uncle James?"
David Crockett
"Davy Crockett"
- woodsman, politician
"I'm warning you boys, I'm a screamer." Crockett informs his captors, prior to his execution after the Battle of the Alamo.
William Henry Harrison
- 9th President
"Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more." Harrison, delirious, says to Vice President John Tyler.
1845 Andrew Jackson
- 7th President
"I hope to meet you all in Heaven. Be good children, all of you, and strive to be ready when the change comes." Another variation of the same has been credited to Jackson as well, perhaps one is earlier in the conversation. "Oh, do not cry - be good children and we will all meet in heaven."
John Quincy Adams
- 6th President
"This is the last of earth! I am content." John Quincy Adams collapsed during session of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was carried into the Speaker's Room dying two days later. During that last illness he also said, "I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair."
James K. Polk
- 11th President
"I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you." Polk says to his wife after making her aware of the provision he made for her care.
Edgar Allan Poe
- author
"Lord help my poor soul." Poe said from his deathbed when asked, "Would you like to see your friends?"
Zachary Taylor
- 12th President
"I am about to die. I expect the summons very soon. I have tried to discharge all my duties faithfully. I regret nothing, but I am sorry that I am about to leave my friends." Another variation contributed to President Taylor is, "I have tried to do my duty, and am not afraid to die. I am ready."
1850 William Wordsworth "God bless you! Is that you, Dora?"
John C. Calhoun
- Southern politician
"The South!  The poor South!  God knows what will become of her."
Daniel Webster
- U.S. Statesman
"I still live." Another has Webster's last words as, "Life, life! Death, Death! How curious it is!"
Martin Van Buren
- 8th President
"There is but one reliance..."
John Tyler
- 10th President
"Perhaps it is best." Tyler says in reply to his doctor's reply of "I hope not sir." after his stating, "Doctor, I am going." Tyler died in office of the Confederate Provisional Congress on January 18, 1862 in Richmond, Virginia.
David Henry Thoreau
"Henry David Thoreau"
- writer, philosopher
"I did not know that we had ever quarreled." replied Thoreau to being urged to make peace with God.  Another account has "Moose . . . Indian . . ." as his last words. Still another has "I leave this world without regret."
1824-1863 Thomas Jonathan Jackson "Stonewall Jackson"
- Confederate General
"Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action!  Pass the infantry to the front rapidly!  Tell Major Hawks. . . .  Let us cross over the river and sit under the shade of the trees." Stonewall Jackson was killed in error, "friendly fire," during the Civil War, at the battle of Chancellorsville.
Abraham Lincoln
- 16th President
"It doesn't really matter." was Lincoln's response to his wife's admonition not to hold hands at Ford's Theater, "people might see them." One account has him saying "They won't think anything about it."  Laughter was last heard from President Lincoln in Ford's Theater at an ad-libbed line, "You are mistaken, Miss Mary, the draft has already been stopped by order of the President!" It was at this line he was laughing as he was shot by John Wilkes Booth.
Edmund Ruffin
- Confederate activist
". . .  And now with my latest writing and utterance, and with what will be near my latest breath, I here repeat and would willingly proclaim my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule--to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, and the perfidious, malignant and vile Yankee race." Ruffin wrote in a suicide note as the last entry in his diary.
Mary Surratt
- death row
"Please don't let me fall." asked Mary prior to being hanged as the first woman executed by the U.S. Government. She was executed for her participation as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination.
John Wilkes Booth
- assassin
"Tell mother, tell mother, I died for my country... unless... unless..." mumbled Booth after being dragged from the flames of a burning barn during the man-hunt after John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln at the Ford Theater. Booth had asked a message be sent to his mother and then asked to see his hands which bore an engagement ring. More recently it is believed that his last two word were actually, "Lucy... Lucy..." the name of his lover, Lucy Hale, daughter of Senator John P. Hale.
?-1865 Henry Wirz
- death row
- Confederate officer
"This is too tight." Wirz complains at the gallows, convicted of  ordering or personally committing acts of assault or murder at the Andersonville Civil War prison camp.
William J. Fetterman
- 18th U.S. Infantry
"Give me 80 men and I'll ride through the whole Sioux nation." boasts Fetterman insisting on the mission based on rank. Fetterman and 80 troops were later found stripped and mutilated.
James Buchanan
- 15th President
"Whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that at least I meant well for my country. Oh Lord God Almighty, as thou wilt."
Franklin Pierce
- 14th President
(unknown last words)
1807-1870 Robert E. Lee
- Confederate General
"Strike the tent."
1872 Horace Greeley "It is done."
Millard Fillmore
- 13th President
"The nourishment is palatable." Millard Fillmore in response to the inquiry about the food, as his physician helps with a spoonful of soup.
Andrew Johnson
- 17th President
"I need no doctor. I can overcome my troubles." are Johnson's last words to his daughter as he struggled to move. He had fallen from a chair and said, "My right side is paralyzed."
George Armstrong Custer
- U.S. General
"Hurrah Boys! Let's get these last few reds then head on back to camp. Hurrah!" (attributed) Of course, this would have been prior to Custer's defeat at Little Big Horn. His actual last words were likely to have been orders, or an underestimated observation of the Indian strength.
1877 William P. Longley "I deserve this fate. it is a debt I owe for a wild and reckless life. so long, everybody!"
Sam Bass
- Texas Outlaw
"Let me go - The world is bobbing around me." Is attributed to Sam Bass, however two other quotes are attributed to him as well: "The room is jumping up and down" and "The world is a bubble - trouble wherever you go"
1831-1881 James A. Garfield
20th President
"Oh Swaim, there is a pain here. Swaim, can't you stop this? Oh, oh, Swaim!" begs Garfield of his chief of staff, David G. Swaim. His doctor attempted but could not find the bullet fired by Charles Guiteau.
Henry McCarty
"William Bonney"
"Billy the Kid"
- gunslinger
"Who is it?" asks McCarty, while in a dark room. Sheriff Pat Garrett recognized his voice and, with a single shot to the heart, killed Billy the Kid.
Charles Darwin
- evolutionist.
"I am not the least afraid to die." According to his family Darwin stood firm on his theories of evolution through to his dying day.
1841-1882 Charles Guiteau
- assassin
"Glory hallelujah!  I am with the Lord, Glory, ready, go!" Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882 for the assassination of President James Garfield.
Ulysses Simpson Grant
- Union General
- 18th President
"Water." Another account has him saying, "I want nobody distressed on my account."
William H. Vanderbilt
- Millionaire
"I have had no real gratification or enjoyment of any sort more than my neighbor on the next block who is worth only half a million." Vanderbilt dying with a net worth of 200 million dollars.
Chester Alan Arthur
- 21st President
Last words unknown  -  The man's words for the future :
Emily Dickinson
- poet, author
"I must go in, the fog is rising" Emily Dickinson possibly recalling her poem "I've seen a dying eye."
Henry Ward Beecher
-abolitionist, clergyman
"Now comes the mystery."
Doc. Holliday
- gun fighter, Earp deputy
"This is funny," exclaimed Doc Holliday, looking down at his bootless feet. During his life he had thought he would die from lead poisoning (gun fight), the end of a rope, knife in his ribs, or drink himself to death, however "with his boots on."
August Vincent Theodore Spies
- anarchist, labor activist
"There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!"
Louisa May Alcott
- Novelist
"Is it not meningitis?"
1889 Jefferson Davis "Saying"
Sitting Bull
- Indian Leader
"I am not going.  Do with me what you like.  I am not going.  Come on!  Come on!  Take action!  Let's go!" said Sitting Bull as a skirmish broke out among a crowd of supporters and the police. Sitting Bull was shot accidentally in the side by Lieutenant Henry Bull Head discharging a round as he fell, who had just been shot by Catch the Bear.
Phineas Taylor Barnum
"P. T. Barnum"
- Barnum and Bailey
"How were the circus receipts in Madison Square Gardens?"
1892 Walt Whitman "Garrulous to the very last."
Rutherford Birchard Hayes
"Rutherford B. Hayes"
- 19th President
"I know that I am going where Lucy is." referring to his wife who had preceded him in death.
1893 Robert Louis Stevenson "My head! My head!"
Crawford Goldsby
"Cherokee Bill"
"No! I didn't come here to make a speech. I came here to die." answered Goldsby when asked if  he wished to say something prior to his being hanged. Earlier when stepping into the court yard and seeing the gallows he said, "This is as good a day to die as any."
Oscar Wilde
- Irish writer
"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."
Benjamin Harrison
- 23rd President
"Are the doctors here? lungs."
William B. McKinley
- 25th President
"Good-bye -- good-bye, all. We are all going. It's God's way. His will be done, not ours. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee. We are all going, we are all going, we are all going. Oh, dear." McKinley said having suffered days of pain after being shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.
Leon Czolgosz
- death row
- anarchist
"I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people, the good working people.  I am not sorry for my crime." Convicted, of the assassination of President William McKinley, Czolqosz was executed in 1901.
"Black Jack" Ketchum
- death row
- notorious train robber
"I'll be in Hell before you start breakfast!" said Ketchum as he then stepped up his pace to the gallows. The rope was too long and his head was wrenched off.
Stephen Grover Cleveland
"Grover Cleveland"
22nd & 24th President
"I have tried so hard to do right."
Frederic Remington
- Artist
"Cut 'er loose, Doc!" Remington said, prior to an appendectomy in which complications killed him. Frederic Remington was an artist of the American West.
1862-1910 William Sidney Porter
"O. Henry"
- writer
"Don't turn down the light.  I'm afraid to go home in the dark." O. Henry quoting a popular song.  A famous American writer, he wrote, "The Gift of the Magi."
Another account has him saying "Turn up the lights— I don't want to go home in the dark."
1910 Leo Tolstoy "But the peasants- how do the peasants die?"
John Jacob Astor, IV
- richest man in the world
"The ladies have to go first. . . .  Get in the lifeboat, to please me. . . .  Good-bye, dearie.  I'll see you later." said Astor, bidding farewell to his much younger but pregnant wife, Madeline, as the Titanic takes on water.
1860-1915 Charles Frohman
theatrical manager
"Why fear death?  Death is only a beautiful adventure." encouraging passengers of the British passenger ship, Lusitania that was sank by a German submarine in 1915.
Joe Hill
- Labor Activist
"Don't mourn for me! Organize!" Hill shouted at supporters while being led to to the firing squad for his execution. He was convicted in a controversial trial, for murder.
1917 Buffalo Bill Cody

"Let's forget about it and play high five."  "I wish Johnny would come."

Lyman Frank Baum
- Author
"Now I can cross the Shifting Sands." L. Frank Baum wrote "The Wizard of Oz."
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
- 26th President
"Please put out the light."
Bat Masterson
- U. S. Marshal
We all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summer. The poor get it in the winter.
Alexander Graham Bell  - inventor "No," signed Bell, in reply to his wife signing, "Don't leave me." Another quote contributed to him is "So little done, so much to do."
Warren Gamaliel Harding
"Warren G. Harding"
- 29th President
"That's good. Go on, read some more." Harding requesting his wife continue reading flattering newspaper articles about him.
Woodrow Wilson
- 28th President
"I am a broken piece of machinery. When the machine is broken... I am ready." stated Wilson, speaking to his wife, Edith.
Rudolph Valentino "Don't worry chief, it will be alright."
Harry Houdini
"The Great Houdini"
- magician
"I'm tired of fighting." Houdini says after an intestinal rupture that proves fatal caused by a young man who sucker-punches him in the stomach. Houdini would tighten the muscles in his stomach and invite strong men to punch him in the stomach, as one of his tricks, he would withstand the blow. The fatal punch occurred when asked if he could withstand such a blow, Houdini replied yes and was immediately punched before bracing himself, by tightening his stomach muscles. Another account has him concluding with, "I guess this thing is going to get me."
Luther Burbank
- horticulturist
"I don't feel good."
William Henry Johnson
"Zip the Pinhead"
- freak show performer
"Well, we fooled 'em for a long time, didn't we?" Zip the Pinhead was presented as a microcephalic (pin-head) although he was not. He did not have the mental retardation as do the real microcephalics.
Angela Duncan
- Actress
"Farewell, my friends.  I go to glory." Duncan says after her scarf was caught on a vehicle that dragged her, breaking her neck.
Arnold Rothstein
- death row
-Kingpin, organized crime
"Don’t go away. I don’t want to be alone. I can’t stand being alone."
Frank Gusenberg
"Tight Lips"
- mobster
"Nobody shot me." Tight Lips replied to a police officer asking, "Who shot you?" after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Six men died immediately, Frank, the seventh, survived for 3 hours with 14 rounds in his body.
William Howard Taft
- 27th President
Last words unknown  -  The man's words for the future :
"Having thus reviewed the questions likely to recur during my administration, and having expressed in a summary way the position which I expect to take in recommendations to Congress and in my conduct as an Executive, I invoke the considerate sympathy and support of my fellow-citizens and the aid of the Almighty God in the discharge of my responsible duties." - President William Taft Inaugural Address, March 4, 1909
Carl Panzram
- death row
- serial killer
"Hurry up, you Hoosier bastard, I could kill ten men while you're fooling around!" Panzram says to the executioner during the placement of the noose at Leavenworth by order of the State of Kansas.
Thomas Alva. Edison
- inventor
 "It's very beautiful over there." as Edison turns to a window to speak his last words Suffering from pneumonia Edison replied "No, just waiting," to his wife Mina's leaning close asking "Are you Suffering?" Then came the last words.  Edison invented the electric light bulb.
Antonio Mancini
- death row
- mobster
"Cheerio!" says ganster Antonio Mancini after the noose was placed around his neck.
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
- Poet
"They tried to get me - I got them first!" Lindsay committed suicide by drinking Lysol.
Francis Crowley
"Two Gun"
"You sons of bitches. Give my love to Mother."
Hart Crane
- Poet
"Good-bye, everybody." is Crane's bid of farewell prior to jumping overboard, returning from a Guggenheim fellowship in Mexico.
George Eastman
- inventor
"My work is done, why wait?" Eastman wrote in a note along with putting his affairs in order. Eastman at age 77 with a painful spinal disease committed suicide. He was inventor of the mass-produced photographic plate then later the flexible film.
Florenz Ziegfeld
- Broadway Producer
"Curtain!  Fast music!  Lights!  Ready for the last finale!  Great!  The show looks good.  The show looks good." Ziegfield said, hallucinating, about one last show, perhaps.
John Calvin Coolidge Jr.
"Calvin Coolidge"
- 30th President
"Good morning, Robert." Coolidge said to a contractor that was working on his home.
Sara Teasdale
- Poet
"When I am dead, and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain drenched hair,
Tho you should lean above me broken hearted,
I shall not care.
For I shall have peace.
As leafey trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough.
And I shall be more silent and cold hearted
Than you are now. "

From the suicide note Sara Teasdale wrote to the lover who left her.
Giuseppe Zangara
- death row
- would be assassin
"You give me electric chair. I no afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care! Get to hell out of here, you son of a bitch [spoken to the attending minister]... I go sit down all by myself... Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere!... Lousy capitalists! No picture! Capitalists! No one here to take my picture. All capitalists lousy bunch of crooks. Go ahead. Pusha da button!" Giuseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Rooselvelt, mortally wounding Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago. Another account has him saying, "Adios, to the world!"
Huey P. Long
"The Kingfish"
- Louisiana politician
"Don't let me die, I have got so much to do."
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- writer
"When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one." Gilman's Suicide note; she chose an overdose of Chloroform over her condition of cancer.
Robert E. Howard
- writer
"All fled--all done, so lift me on the pyre; The feast is over, and the lamps expire." Suicide note of Robert E Howard, 1936.
Amelia Earhart
- woman pilot
"KHAQQ calling Itasca.  We must be on you, but cannot see you.  Gas is running low." is the last call received from Amelia Earhart prior to the plane's "mysterious" disapperance. In her last letter to her husband before the flight she wrote, "Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others."
1856-1939 Sigmund Freud
founder of psychoanalysis
"My dear Schur, you remember our first talk.  You promised to help me when I could no longer carry on.  It is only torture now, and it has no longer any sense." A heavy smoker, after all treatments for cancer had failed Freud commented, "It is tragic when a man outlives his body." Appealing to his personal physician for relief. He slipped into a coma and died the next day.
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
- actor
"I've never felt better."
Virginia Woolf
- British novelist
"I feel certain that I'm going mad again. I feel we can't go thru another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices" Virginia Woolf's suicide note.
John Barrymore (Blyth)
"Jack or Jake"
- actor
"You heard me, Mike." said Barrymore in reply to his brother asking "What did you say, Jake?" having missed the words, Barrymore had just murmured.
1943 George Washington Carver "I think I'll sleep now."
Lupe Vélez
- actress, commedian
"To Harald, may God forgive you and forgive me too but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's before I bring him with shame or killing him, Lupe." Lupe writes in a suicide note after a failed romance with Harald Maresch.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd president
"Be Careful" Roosevelt is heard by Laura Delano as he is carried to his bed. Prior to that during the painting of his picture Roosevelt places his hand to the back of his head and says, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head."  Roosevelt had a cerebral hemorrhage. Lucy Page Mercer Rutherford, was escorted away before his wife, Eleanor arrived.
1880-1946 W.C. Fields
- vaudeville comedian
"God damn the whole friggin' world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta." said W.C. Fields, on Christmas morning of 1946 in excruciating pain of a massive untreatable stomach hemorrhage. WC Fields was a heavy drinker consuming up to two quarts of martinis each day.
Herbert George Wells
"H. G. Wells"
- writer
"Go away.  I'm all right."
Gertrude Stein
- writer, poet
"In that case, what is the question?" asked Stein, after getting no response from Alice B. Toklas when Gertrude asked, "What is the answer?"
1892-1949 James Forrestal
Sec. of the Navy
"Frenzy hath seized thy dearest son,
Who from thy shores in glory came
The first in valor and in fame;
Thy deeds that he hath done
Seem hostile all to hostile eyes. . . .
Better to die, and sleep
The never waking sleep, than linger on,
And dare to live, when the soul's life is gone."

Quoting a poem from the Chorus from Ajax by Sophocles, that turned out to be Forrestal's suicide note.
George Herman Ruth
"Babe Ruth"
"I'm going over the valley." informed Ruth, while wandering around his hospital bed in response to a doctor asking where he was going. He then got back into bed, lapsed into a coma and within the hour died.
George Bernard Shaw
- playwright
"Sister, you're trying to keep me alive as an old curiosity, but I'm done, I'm finished, I'm going to die." Shaw says to his nurse.
Martha Beck
- murderess
"My story is a love story, but only those who are tortured by love can understand what I mean. I was pictured as a fat, unfeeling woman. True, I am fat, but if that is a crime, how many of my sex are guilty. I am not unfeeling, stupid or moronic. My last words and my last thoughts are: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." says Martha Beck before her execution.
Dylan Thomas
- poet
"I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." Thomas says, while in New York City after a long drinking bout.
James Dean
- Actor
 "That guy's got to stop. . . .  He'll see us." said Dean, prior to slamming into a car pulling out ahead of his speeding Porsche. Dean was killed instantly by decapitation. "My fun days are over." said James Dean before embarking on the fatal drive.
Barbara Graham
- Death Row
"Good people are always so sure they're right" states Graham before her execution at San Quentin Penitentiary .
Alben W. Barkley
- Vice President
"I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty." says Barkley after a heart attack as a U.S. Senator speaking at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia on April 30, 1956.
Humphrey Bogart
- actor
"Hurry back", Bogart said to Lauren Bacall, his wife, as she closed the door. She had left the house briefly and returned to find he had died.
Also acredited to him is, "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."
James Whale
"Henry Wales"
- film director
"The future is just old age and illness and pain.... I must have peace and this is the only way." James Whale's suicide note of May 29, 1957.
Louis Burt Mayer
"Eliezer Meir"
"of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer"
- film Producer
"Nothing matters. Nothing matters."
Ethel Barrymore
"Ethel Blyth"
- Actress
"Are you happy?  I'm happy." Said Ethel Barrymore taking her maid, Anna Albert's, hands then fell asleep until her death several hours later.
Lou Costello
- comedian
"That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted."
Errol Flynn
- actor
"I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it."
Eugene O'Neill
- playwright
"I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room - and God damn it - died in a hotel room."
Max Baer
"Oh God, here I go..." Max Baer was the Heavyweight Champion in 1934 & '35
Edmund Gwenn
- British actor
"Yes, it's tough, but not as tough as doing comedy." replied Gwenn when he was asked if dying was tough.
James Thurber
- humorist
"God bless... God damn." Thurber died of a blood clot on the brain in New York in November, 1961.
1917-1963 John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"John F. Kennedy"
- 35th President
"That's obvious," Kennedy replies to the wife of the Governor of Texas who had just said, "Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you," as the first bullet is fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. A secret Service agent says that Kennedy made no remarks after being shot.
Herbert Clark Hoover
"Herbert Hoover"
- 31st President
"Levi Strauss was one of my best friends." replied Hoover after being told that Admiral Strauss had come to pay a visit.  Hoover had began speaking in the past tense.
John Sedgwick
"Uncle John"
- Union General
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--." said Sedgwick, interrupted by a bullet to his head, delivered by a confederate sharpshooter. His men had been urging him to take cover. Scoffing he said "What! What men! This will never do, dodging from single bullets!"
Sam Cooke
- Songwriter Gospel,R&B,Soul,pop
"Lady, you shot me!" exclaimed Cooke in his hotel room.
1890-1965 Stan Laurel
- comedian, actor
- Laural & Hardy
"I wish I was skiing." Said Laural and his nurse asked if he skied to which he replied "No, but I'd rather be skiing than doing what I'm doing." Stan Laurel then died of a heart attack.
Malcolm Little
"El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz"
"Malcolm X"
- black nationalist
"Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!" Malcolm exclaims addressing two men who were staging a fight as a distraction for the two armed assassins drawing their guns. It is reported that before Malcolm hit the floor, he was dead.
James French
- death row
- murderer
"Hey, fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? 'French Fries'!" French punctuated to the press, at his execution in the electric chair in Oklahoma.  James French had been convicted for murder.
Martin Luther King Jr.
- Civil Rights activist
"Be sure to sing "Blessed Lord" tonight — and sing it well."
Tallulah Bankhead
- actress
"Codeine . . . bourbon" Tallulah Bankhead suffered from double pneumonia that had developed from the flu, which was complicated by emphysema. She died in New York City at age of 66.
1890-1969 Dwight D. Eisenhower
- 34th President
"I've always loved my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, and I've always loved my country.  I want to go. I'm ready to go. God, take me."
Harry S. Truman
- 33rd President
Last words unknown  -  The man's words for the future :
"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."  -  Harry S. Truman
Lyndon Baines Johnson
- 36th President
"Send Mike immediately!" Johnson calls over an intercom telephone to a Secret Service agent.
Christine Chubbuck
- TV News Anchor
"In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first -- attempted suicide." as Christine Chubbuck pulls out a revolver and fires a round into her head. Technicians were able to cut the video feed in time but the shot was clearly heard.
Ernest Michael McSorley
- Captain, Edmund Fitzgerald
"We are holding our own." states Captain McSorley moments before the  freighter Edmund Fitzgerald is broken in-two by a wave trough. The giant swell causes the ship to strike the bottom of Lake Superior over 500 feet below the surface level. All 29 men were killed.
Richard Strange
- Musician, actor
I'll tell you something I'd love to own Tesco, and you wanna know why?... What you don't, but its a really good anecdote! I swear! Fine, you can reimburse me for the Pepsi! stated Strange after eating grapes given to him by orphans.
Harold Lillis Crosby
"Bing Crosby"
- singer, actor
"It was a great game." was Crosby's reply to the applause by spectators during a game of golf at La Moraleja golf course in Spain. He collapsed and was carried to the clubhouse by three of his golfing partners. One report says he stated, "That was a great game of golf, fellers."
Charles Chaplin
"Charlie Chaplin"
- comedian, actor
"Why not?  After all, it belongs to him." said Charlie quipping a reply to the attending priest saying "May the Lord have mercy on your soul."
Julius Henry Marx
"Groucho Marx"
- comedian, actor
"Die, my dear? Why that's the last thing I'll do!"
Joan Crawford
- actress
"Dammit…Don't you dare ask God to help me." Joan Crawford's housekeeper had began to pray out loud.
Freddie Prinze
- comedian, actor
"I must end it. There's no hope left. I'll be at peace. No one had anything to do with this. My decision totally." - "I love you, Kathy. I love the baby, but I need to find peace. I can't go on." Prinze writes in his suicide note.
Gary Gilmore
- death row
"Let's do it!" Gary Gilmore is executed in Utah by firing squad.
1978 Terry Kath
- rock musician
"Don't worry, it's not loaded." says Kath playing Russian roulette.
1979 John Spenkelink
- death row
"Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment." Spenkelink was executed by electrocution in the Florida electric chair.
David A. Johnston
- volcanologist
"Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it! This is..." exclaimed Johnston, transmitting the first report of the 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens. He was lost in the lateral blast that resulted from the collapse of the North Face.
John Lennon
- musician
- Beatles
"I'm shot, I'm shot." Lennon exclaimed, after he was fired upon by Mark David Chapman in front of the New York apartment building where Lennon lived. Some say that when being loaded into the back of a police car and when asked if he was John Lennon, he replied, "Yeah."
Steven Judy
 - death row
"I don't hold any grudges. This is my doing. Sorry it happened." Steven Judy was executed by Indiana in the electric chair.
John Eldon Smith "Well, the Lord is going to get another one." John Eldon Smith was executed by the State of Georgia in the electric Chair.
Jon Erik Hexum
- actor
"Lets see if this will do it." actor Jon Hexum recited, during a shooting of the TV spy show "Cover Up" actor Jon Erik Hexum then put a pistol, loaded with blanks, to his head and fired. The concussion forced a part of his skull into his brain killing him six days later.
George Engel
- Chicago bomber
- anarchist
"Hurrah for anarchy! This is the happiest moment of my life." cheered George Engel as his last words on the gallows as one of four executed for the 1886 Haymarket, Chicago bombing.
Jimmy Glass
- death row
"I'd rather be fishing." says Glass prior to his execution in Louisiana's electric chair.
Richard Feynman
- quantum physicist
"I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring."
1989 Laurence Olivier
- English Actor
"This isn't Hamlet, you know. It's not meant to go into the bloody ear." complained Olivier, when a distracted nurse dabs his ear intending to moisten his lips.
Ted Bundy
- Serial Killer
"I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends." Ted Bundy prior to his execution in Florida on January 24, 1989. Bundy was the "mysterious Ted" in Washington State.
Sean Flannagan
- death row
"I love you." Sean Flannagan says to the executioner. He was executed by lethal injection in New York.
G. W. Green
- death row
"Lock and load. Let's do it." Green was executed by lethal injection by the State of Texas.
Johnny Frank Garrett, Sr.
- death row
"I'd like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my a__." As Garrett is executed by lethal injection in Texas.
1992 Robert Alton Harris
- death row
"You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the Grim Reaper." Harris stated philosophizing prior to his execution in California's gas chamber.
Westley Allan Dodd
- serial killer, sex offender
- death row
"I was once asked by somebody, I don't remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said no. I was wrong." Westley Allen Dodd, executed in Washington on Jan. 5, 1993. Dodd had expressed the only way to have stopped him was his capture and his death.
James Allen
"Red Dog"
 - death row
"I'm going home, babe." James Allen was executed by lethal injection in Delaware.
Lionel Herrera
 - death row
"I am innocent, innocent, innocent. Make no mistake about this. I owe society nothing. I am an innocent man and something very wrong is taking place tonight." states Lionel Herrera at his execution by lethal injection in Texas.
Richard Milhous Nixon
"Richard M. Nixon"
- 37th President
"... help ..." was just one word Nixon called out to a housekeeper. A blood clot had formed in his upper heart as a result of his heart condition, broke off and traveled to his brain. The stroke leaving him mute and partially paralyzed on one side, deteriorating his condition over the next several days when he slipped into a comma to die the following day.
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
- searial killer
- death row
"You can kiss my a__", John Gacy says to a guard on the way to the execution chamber.
Kurt Cobain
- musician
"Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your altar. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances for her life will be so much happier without me. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU." wrote Cobain in a suicide note.
Robert Drew
- death row
"Remember, the death penalty is murder." Robert Drew was executed by lethal injection by the State of Texas.
John Thanos "Adios." John Thanos was executed by lethal injection in Maryland.
Thomas J. Grasso
- death row
"I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."  Grasso was executed in Oklahoma by lethal injection.
Tupac Amaru Shakur
- rap, poet, artist, actor
"I'm dyin', man" while Shakur was being placed in an ambulance after being shot.
Timothy Francis Leary
"Timothy Leary"
- 60s counterculture icon
"Beautiful," was Leary's final word that followed various inflections of "Why Not," then "Why Not" for several renditions.
Another account has him saying "Why not? Yeah.
Chris Farley
- actor comedian
"Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me." pleaded Farley, after a weekend binge of drugs and sex. A prostitute began to leave and turned to find that Farley had collapsed.
James Maitland Stewart
 "Jimmy Stewart"
- actor
"I'm going to go be with Gloria now."
Mother Teresa
- catholic nun
"Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you." said Mother Teresa at her death. Pope John Paul II had declared her a ‘Doctor of the Church’ like the big St. Teresa who's dying words were similar, "Oh, I love him; my God, I love you".
Clarence Lackey
 - death row
"I love you, mom." Lackey was executed by the State of Texas using lethal injection.
Mario Benjamin Murphy "Today is a good day to die. I forgive all of you. I hope God does too." Murphy was executed in Virginia by lethal injection.
1997 Jessica Dubroff
- seven-year-old pilot
"Do you hear the rain? Do you hear the rain?" asked Jessica Dubroff just minutes before the plane she was piloting crashed.
1998 Frank Sinatra
- singer, actor
"I'm losing." Sinatra said to his daughter, Nancy Sinatra.
Wendy Orlean Williams
"Wendy O. Williams"
- punk singer
"The act of taking my own life is not something I am doing without a lot of thought. I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm. Love always, Wendy." Wendy O. Williams' suicide note.
Karla Fay Tucker
- death row
- pickax murderer
"I am going to be face to face with Jesus now... Baby, I love you. Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me.  I will see you all when you get there.  I will wait for you." Tucker saying prior to her execution in Texas for two pickax murders. During her interment in prison she professed to have become a Christian. (I was skeptical, but her last words show a peace that few others exhibit at their execution.)
Christina Marie Riggs
- death row
- Murderer
"There is no way words can express how sorry I am for taking the lives of my babies. Now I can be with my babies, as I always. intended... I love you, my babies." Christina Marie Riggs in Arkansas on May 3, 2000 was executed.
Bennie Demps
-death row
- Murderer
"They butchered me back there, I was in a lot of pain. They cut me in the groin; they cut me in the leg. I was bleeding profusely. This is not an execution, it is murder." Bennie Demps referring to his executioner's attempts to meet the state mandated requirement of a second alternate intravenous drip. Giving up, the execution proceeded with just the first injection. Demps was accused and convicted of killing an inmate.
George Harrison
- muscian "Beattles"
"Love one another." Harrison says to his family that was gathered around as he was dying from cancer
Todd M. Beamer
"Todd Beamer"
- citizen hero
"Are you guys ready? Let's roll!" Beamer is last heard by his wife on a cell phone as he sets forth the resistance of passengers to the terrorist hijacking of United flight 93, causing it to crash land in a Pennsylvania field, rather than becoming a weapon against the White House or U.S. Capital building on September 11, 2001.
Clifton Allen White
- death row
- addict, murder
"I just hope everything goes all right. I hope the Lord takes me home. Thank you, warden." Clifton Allen White, executed in North Carolina on August 24, 2001
2002 James Johnson
- death row
- Murderer
"The news reports ... will say Jim Johnson is dead. Those reports will be untrue. Today I shall meet Jesus my Lord and Savior face to face. When the executioners have done their worst, God will be shown to have done his best." James Johnson's last words when executed in Missouri on Jan. 9, 2002.
2003 Timothy Treadwell
- environmentalist
"Get out here. I'm getting killed," yelled Treadwell, as a bear mauled him to death. His girlfriend, Amie Huguenard was also killed by the bear.
Ronald Reagan
- 40th President
"Love," not spoken but expressed with his eyes, was Reagan's last communication. Patti Davis, Reagan's daughter said, "At the last moment, when his breathing told us this was it, he opened his eyes and looked straight at my mother." said Patti Davis, Reagan's daughter who discribed his death as follows, "Eyes that hadn't opened for days did, and they weren't chalky or vague. They were clear and blue and full of love. If a death can be lovely, his was." Nancy said to her husband the expression was, "the greatest gift you could have given me."
Hunter S. Thompson
- journalist, author
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt." in a suicide note Thompson titled, "Football Season is Over." Police say he died of a self-inflicted gun-shot to the head.
Gerald Rudolph Ford
"Gerald R. Ford"
"Gerald Ford"
- 38th President
Last words unknown (at this time)  -  The man's words for the future :
“I hope,” he responded, “that historians, 50 years from now, will record that I helped heal the country from the tragedy of Watergate; and that I brought our economy out of recession and that I put America back on an affirmative path.” - Gerald R. Ford.
James Brown
- god-father of soul
"I don't think I'll be going with you" James Brown says to a friend as he rolls over and is gone. James Brown died Christmas day, 2006.
Danny Harold Rolling
- death row
- serial killer
"None greater than thee, O Lord," Rolling sang. He sung the hymn prior and during the administration of a lethal injection, in Florida.
2007 Robert Comer
-death row
"Go Raiders." were the last words of Robert Comer who held a picture of his daughter when executed on May 22nd in Arizona, after his petition to stop his appeals.
2007 Patrick Knight
- death row
double murderer
"Death has set me free; that's the biggest joke. I deserve this." Patrick Knight had held an internet contest for the best joke, but in sensitivity to his victims and their family he decided against it. He was executed in Texas on June 26, 2007
Presidents still Alive w/quotes that speak to the future.
James Earl Carter
"Jimmy Carter"
- 39th President
  "There should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat." - Jimmy carter

But, Mr. Carter, "When resorting to combat one side has proven itself disingenuous." -PoetPatriot.
George Herbert Walker Bush
"George H. W. Bush"
"George Bush''
- 42nd President
"For more than forty years, America and its allies held communism in check and insured that democracy would continue to exist. And today, with communism crumbling, our aim must be to insure democracy's advance, to take the lead in forging peace and freedom's best hope, a great and growing commonwealth of free nations." - George H.W. Bush
William Jefferson Clinton
"Bill Clinton"
- 43rd President
"What you have to do is find out what you care about and try to apply yourself to it, and not just live with your memories." - Bill Clinton
George Walker Bush, Jr.
"George W. Bush"
"G. W. Bush"
- 44th President
"We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America." George W. Bush.
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 


Last Words browser Executed Offenders in Texas w/ last statement


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Last Words of Famous Americans and a few others.
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