The Attempted Assassination of President McKinley
Late on Friday afternoon, Sept. 6,
the country was thrown into a state of consternation and indignation
by the news that while holding a public reception in the Music Hall
at the Pan-American Exposition, President McKinley had been twice
shot with a revolver by an anarchist. As soon as possible, the president
was removed from the Exposition hospital to the residence of Mr.
Milburn, where he had been staying with Mrs. McKinley, and the wires
of the Western Union, Postal Telegraph and Bell Telephone Companies,
with police and messenger alarm systems were immediately run to
the Milburn property and a force of operators was installed. An
enormous amount of private and press matter was immediately thrown
on the telegraph wires, and the telephone long-distance service
into Buffalo was also soon overloaded. The news was quickly known
around the world, and cable messages have kept the submarine cable
companies also very busy ever since.
On Saturday the physicians decided
that Mr. McKinley’s room ought to be kept cooler, and Mr. Charles
R. Huntley, general manager of the Buffalo General Electric Company,
took the matter in hand personally and spent the morning running
the necessary wires, putting in fan motor equipment for the comfort
of both Mr. and Mrs. McKinley, the latter being also, as is well
known, in a most critical condition of health. Such work was never
done with greater celerity.
At the same time, Mr. Cortelyou, private
secretary to the President, telephoned over the long-distance wires
to Mr. Edison at Orange for the best Röntgen ray outfit he could
send, in order to help the doctors in finding and removing the second
bullet, still in the President’s stomach. Mr. W. E. Gilmore, general
manager of the Edison shops, complied promptly with the unexpected
requisition, and dispatched the outfit the same night, so that it
reached Buffalo on Sunday morning and was at once installed ready
for use. Dr. Knoll, of New York, and Messrs. Luhr and Dollie, from
the Edison laboratory, went with it. At this writing the time of
its use is not settled.
It is interesting to electrical people
to know that in his address at the Pan-American, delivered just
before the attempt at assassination, Mr. McKinley dwelt on the remarkable
achievements of telegraphy, and insisted that one of the things
that this country must do soon was to lay a Pacific cable. On Friday,
just prior to the foul deed, he made a trip to Niagara Falls, and
in company with Secretary W. B. Rankine, of the Niagara Power Company,
spent some time inspecting the great power plant, with which he
expressed himself delighted. On his return from this trip he went
to the Music Hall at the Pan-American.
It will be remembered that when President
Garfield was shot the “induction balance” was suggested and used
with the object of locating the bullet. Although Mr. McKinley is
a man of very sturdy build and solid frame, it is believed by experts
that a successful location of the stray bullet can easily be made.
It would seem that the bullet has probably lodged in the muscles
of the back, where the rays can readily detect its exact location.
Fortunately, up to this time of writing (Tuesday), there are no
symptoms of blood poisoning or peritonitis to complicate matters.