The Associated Press [excerpt]
the afternoon of September 6, 1901,
worn out by a long period of exacting labor, I set out for Philadelphia,
with the purpose of spending a few days at Atlantic City. When I
reached the Broad-street station in the Quaker City, I was startled
by a number of policemen crying my name. I stepped up to one, who
pointed to a boy with an urgent message for me. President McKinley
had been shot at Buffalo, and my presence was required at our Philadelphia
office at once. A message had been sent to me at Trenton, but my
train had left the station precisely two minutes ahead of its arrival.
Handing my baggage to a hotel porter, I jumped into a cab and dashed
away to our office. I remained there until dawn of the following
The opening pages of the story of
the assassination were badly written, and I ordered a substitute
prepared. An inexperienced reporter stood beside President McKinley
in the Music-hall at Buffalo when Czolgosz fired the fatal shot.
He seized a neighboring telephone and notified our Buffalo correspondent,
and then pulled out the wires, in order to render the telephone
a wreck, so that it was a full half-hour before any additional details
could be secured.
I ordered competent men and expert
telegraph operators from Washington, Albany, New York, and Boston
to hurry to Buffalo by the fastest trains. All that night the Buffalo
office was pouring forth a hastily written, but faithful and complete
account of the tragedy, and by daybreak a relief force was on the
ground. Day by day, through the long vigil while the President’s
life hung in the balance, each incident was truthfully and graphically
reported. In the closing hours of the great tragedy false reports
of the President’s death were circulated for the purpose of influencing
the stock-market, and, to counteract them, Secretary Cortelyou wrote
frequent signed statements, giving the facts to the Associated Press.