Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Outlook
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Deed”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 69
Issue number: 2
Pagination: 95-96

“The Deed.” Outlook 14 Sept. 1901 v69n2: pp. 95-96.
full text
McKinley assassination; William McKinley (surgery).
Named persons
Matthew D. Mann; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; Herman Mynter; Roswell Park; John Parmenter; Presley M. Rixey.


The Deed

The attack upon the President and the seizure of his assailant took place so almost instantaneously that even accounts from near eyewitnesses differ in detail. Some three thousand persons had crowded into the beautiful Temple of Music at Buffalo on Friday afternoon to see the President. A general introduction of the President to the assembly had been made; a recital of organ music was going on. A line had been formed and was passing before Mr. McKinley and President Milburn of the Exposition at about four o’clock. Near by were policemen and detectives in plain clothes who scrutinized the people, looking with special care, as is customary, at the position of their right hands. In the line just behind a little girl who was cordially greeted by the President came a young, smooth-faced workingman of foreign type, not, if one may judge by the photographs, of peculiarly repulsive or degenerate cast of features, but not notably intelligent in appearance. His right hand was wrapped in a handkerchief, as though injured—not an uncommon thing to see in any large crowd; indeed, a [95][96] man with a similar bandage had preceded him in the line. The story that a black-browed Italian immediately preceded the assassin and retained the President’s hand to give his accomplice time for the deed seems to be unconfirmed, and it may be said now that at this writing there appears absolutely no evidence of active complicity on the part of any one. As the President leaned forward to grasp the young man’s left hand, the assassin raised his right hand, dropped the bandage, and fired two shots in close succession; the first struck the breast-bone and glanced off, inflicting, only a flesh wound; the second bullet penetrated the stomach through the abdomen, passed upward, and is probably lodged in the muscles of the back. All accounts agree that the President acted with intrepidity and calmness, and that his first thought was for his invalid wife and that she should not be told of the event. His second thought, according to most accounts, was of his dastardly assailant, who had been instantly seized by a burly negro who followed him in the line and by the detectives, and was badly handled by the infuriated bystanders—“Let no one hurt him,” the President said, and fell half fainting into a chair. Later, as he was being carried to Mr. Milburn’s house after the operation, Mr. McKinley expressed his sorrow at having been a cause of trouble to the Exposition. Thus we have the affecting fact that in the shock and danger of impending death Mr. McKinley’s thoughts and words were all for the feeling and sorrow of others. An operation was performed at six o’clock in the hospital of the Exposition, the openings in the stomach were closed, and the group of eminent surgeons—Dr. Roswell Park, Dr. M. D. Mann, Dr. John Parmenter, Dr. Herman Mynter, Dr. Rixey, the President’s personal physician, and others—declared that from the surgical point of view the operation was a success. By half-past seven Mr. McKinley was quietly resting at Mr. Milburn’s house. Following the President’s own injunctions, Mrs. McKinley, who is always an invalid and has lately been in less than her ordinary health, was not told the full story of the assault, and in so far as possible she was shielded from shock in every way.



top of page