Attempt to Kill President McKinley
WITHIN the past week the people of the United States have had their
feelings stirred to the very depths by a dastardly attempt to assassinate
President McKinley. The blow fell like a devastating bolt of lightning
leaping from a cloudless sky. Seventy millions of people were smitten
dumb with amazement that such a thing could be possible; then came
a blaze of hot indignation against the assassin, followed quickly
by most intense sympathy for the suffering President and his stricken
wife. Every true American felt that a brother had been struck down.
Messages came thick and fast from all quarters of the earth expressing
the sympathy of rulers and statesmen with the American people in
their sudden calamity. The attempt to kill the President was made
while he was holding a public reception in the Temple of Music,
at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, last Friday afternoon.
Thousands of people were crowding forward to shake hands with him.
Leon Czolgosz, of Cleveland, O., a young anarchist, with a revolver
concealed in a handkerchief wrapped about his right hand, approached
in the throng, holding the bandaged hand as if it were injured.
The President greeted him with his characteristic smile of good-will,
and reached forward to take the left hand which Czolgosz was extending
to him. At that instant the anarchist fired two shots in quick succession.
Before he could fire a third he was struck in the face by a secret
service agent, and knocked down by James Parker, a huge Negro, of
New York city. Mr. McKinley was carried to a seat, and the assassin
seized by the detectives and guards and taken to a place of safety
from the mob. The President, still conscious but in pain, was conveyed
to the Exposition Emergency Hospital. Fortunately, expert medical
attendance was immediately available. One bullet had struck the
breast bone and glanced off harmlessly. The second bullet entered
the abdomen and perforated the stomach, passing through the front
and rear walls. Proper attention was given to the wounds, but the
second bullet could not be found. After the operation the President
was carried to the home of President Milburn of the Exposition.
Later in the day Mrs. McKinley, who was at the Milburn residence,
was tactfully informed of the tragedy. She bore the shock bravely,
and has since shown no sign of breaking down. The tender relationship
existing between Mr. and Mrs. McKinley, and his care for her during
her illness in San Francisco, have deeply impressed the whole world,
and as the devoted wife watches by the bedside of the stricken husband,
millions of hearts throb with inexpressible sympathy for her.
With his fine constitution and the
best of medical attention the President is in a fair way to recover.
The only danger now is from complications that may arise from blood-poisoning.
Czolgosz has made a written confession, in which he states that
he is an anarchist, and that he was influenced to deliberately attempt
the life of the President by the teachings of Emma Goldman, anarchistic
lecturer and agitator. The police are working on the theory that
he is merely the tool of a band of conspirators. Vice President
Roosevelt and the cabinet officers hurried promptly to Buffalo,
where they are awaiting developments.