Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Parker in Baltimore”
City of publication: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 9
|“Parker in Baltimore.” Afro-American-Ledger 5 Oct. 1901 v10n9: p. 1.|
|James B. Parker; McKinley assassination (news coverage); James B. Parker (public addresses); McKinley assassination (James B. Parker account).|
|Harry S. Cummings; Leon Czolgosz; Lyman J. Gage; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; James B. Parker.|
|As in the original publication, the word president is given inconsistently below with respect to capitalization.|
Parker in Baltimore
DELIVERS A LECTURE IN JOHN WESLEY M. E. CHURCH.
Tells How He Saved the Late President from a Third Shot—Thinks the Court
That Tried Czolgosz Should Have Summoned Him during the Trial—No
Mention of Parker Was Made in Any Way—Probably the Detectives Want
to Take All the Glory—A Fair Sized Audience.
Notwithstanding the pour down of rain a fair-sized
audience greeted James B. Parker, the Afro-American who saved the late President
McKinley from a third shot from the pistol of his assassin. While Mr. Parker
is a giant in stature, he is a most modest man, and told his simple story in
a way that carried conviction with it.
It will be remembered that the great white journals of New York city [sic] and the journals of Buffalo were the first ones to give Parker the credit of being the only man in that vast audience who had the presence of mind to grapple at once with the assassin. Two shots had been fired from a revolver, which was fully loaded, and more shots would have been fired had not the assassin been stopped in time. The New York papers gave a full and graphic account of the incident and gave Parker full credit for his heroic act. Since that time, however, the newspapers and others have had as little to say about the matter as possible. But while they have had little or nothing to say, not one of them have denied Parker’s assertions.
Mr. Parker was introduced by former Councilman Cummings, and among other things said:
“As you all know,” said he, “I was standing near the President that day and I did my best under the circumstances. I would have given my life to have been able to save the President’s life and taken Czolgosz’s bullet into my body.
“I don’t know why so many people have tried to deprive me of the credit of having attempted to save the president nor do I know why I was not called to give my testimony before the court when Czolgosz was tried. Probably the detectives want to take all the credit. But I am certain that if the President were alive today he would say that I was the first one to strike down Czolgosz and prevented him from firing another bullet.
“The President was standing in the Temple of Music, Mr. Milburn being on his right and Mr. Gage on his left. Czolgosz was directly in front of me in the line. I noticed that he was moving very slowly, and I tried to pass him, but he restrained me with his elbow. I did not observe the handkerchief over his hand until the president extended his hand to the assassin. As he did so I glanced down, and, being a much taller man, saw the bandage plainly. Almost instantly two shots rang out in quick succession. As the president fell I swung Czolgosz around with my left arm and struck him a terrific blow on the nose. As I struck the blow I grabbed for the revolver. I missed the revolver and grabbed him by the throat.
“One of the special officers caught the pistol from Czolgosz[’s] hand, and the crowd, mistaking him for the assassin, commenced to assault him. ‘I’m not the man,’ he cried, and then the crowd came to where I was kneeling upon Czolgosz. I had my knee pressing him to the floor, and a couple of artillerymen struck him across the head.
“Some of the men, however, helped me to raise him off the floor and we carried him into a side room. There we threw him on the table as though he were a bag of rags, and, in truth, he seemed to be dead. We searched him, but found nothing of any value.
“The crowd became so dense that it was best to move the prisoner, and he was driven off to the police station in a carriage, the crowd following after. This was the last I saw of him.
“ I did not see the president after the shooting until he was laid in state at Buffalo. This is a correct version of the affair.”
Mr. Parker left on Thursday for Washington, D. C., where he will lecture on October 8, at Metropolitan A. M. E. Church.