Publication information
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Source: Buffalo Courier
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Amateur Photographs of Czolgosz’s Crime”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 8 September 1901
Volume number: 66
Issue number: 251
Part/Section: 3
Pagination: [23?]

“Amateur Photographs of Czolgosz’s Crime.” Buffalo Courier 8 Sept. 1901 v66n251: part 3, p. [23?].
full text
McKinley assassination (public response: photography); McKinley assassination (popular culture); William McKinley (photographs); Buffalo, NY (curiosity seekers); Buffalo, NY (impact of assassination); presidential assassinations (comparison); Milburn residence (photographs); Milburn residence (curiosity seekers); Milburn residence (outdoors: setup, conditions, activity, etc.); Buffalo, NY (police department: photographs); Pan-American Exposition (impact of assassination); Temple of Music (photographs); Pan-American Exposition (photographs).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz [misspelled once below]; James A. Garfield; Marcus Hanna; Abraham Lincoln; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; John G. Milburn.


Amateur Photographs of Czolgosz’s Crime

     “Johnny with his camera” got in his work yesterday on everything pertaining to President McKinley.
     He really started the day before, and two or three self-possessed snap artists were fortunate enough to secure pictures of the President and Czolgoz just after the latter had committed his cowardly attempt at murder.
     These pictures will be melancholy souvenirs of one of the greatest crimes and news events which has ever startled America. Whether the President lives or dies, they will always be valued highly by those who succeeded in getting the pictures, and in case death should ensue from the assault their value will increase many fold.


     This is the first great crime of the sort in this country, if not in the world, which has ever been successfully snap-shotted. Both Lincoln and Garfield, the two Presidents previously assassinated, were struck down in the presence of large crowds, but amateur photography was practically unknown twenty years ago, at the time of the assassination of President Garfield, and when President Lincoln was struck down in 1865 it was an art unheard of.
     The development of amateur photography in the past ten years has made it a popular amusement and the instantaneous film carrying camera an almost necessary adjunct to a successful outing. Hundreds of cameras are brought on the Exposition grounds eveery [sic] day and a few of these hundreds happened to be within the Temple of Music when President McKinley’s would-be assassin fired the shots. Still less of them were at such vantage points they could be used, and still less of those were in the hands of operators with sufficient presence of mind to press the button at the crucial moment.


     Another thing which makes the successful picture of greater value was the condition of light. Such a picture as the attempted assassination of the President could be taken in no other way than instantaneously. The light was very poor for such purpose and this accounts for the number of failures standing out against the two or three good pictures.
     Many pictures were taken of President McKinley the previous day when he was the especial guest of honor at the Exposition. These pictures are now highly prized, although, of course, they do not have the value of those few which show the President in the group with his startled attendants and the [?].
     No pictures are known to have been taken of President McKinley after his removal from the Temple of Music. When he emerged from the hospital it was too dark to make picture-taking possible, and since he has been in the Milburn home no one has seen him save Mrs. McKinley, the doctors, and a few of his political advisers.


     While no pictures of the President could be secured yesterday, everything in any way connected with his visit to Buffalo and with the great crime was photographed many times. It is no exaggeration to say a thousand pictures were taken of the Milburn house. The first photographers appeared on the scene at daybreak. These were for the most part representing local and outside papers, all of which were anxious to give their readers a pictorial presentation of the crime at the earliest possible moment.
     A little later the amateur photographers began to come, and they came all day. The roadway of Delaware Avenue was roped off for a block either side of President Milburn’s house, but the sidewalk was clear, though guarded at the corners by policemen and by others strung along through the block. These did not offer serious objections to pedestrians passing along the side of the street opposite the Milburn house, and while no one was allowed to loiter in the block, the police permitted the camera fiends to stop long enough to take a snap or two.


     A few snaps were taken of the house showing pictures of Mark Hanna, Senator from Ohio, and members of the Cabinet, standing in front of it, but most of the kodak [sic] artists did not have the good fortune to get anything except the building.
     No. 1 Police Station, Police Headquarters, was another much photographed building. The reason for this is, of course, that Leon F. Czolgosz, the would-be assassin of the President, is imprisoned there.
     At the Pan-American grounds the Temple of Music, the building in which he was shot, was photographed by probably every camera on the grounds, while negatives were taken of every building which he visited in his inspection tour the day before.
     Nothing possible to photograph connected with President McKinley and the all but tragic ending to his visit to the Pan-American Exposition has escaped. When collected and classified later these pictures will form an interesting and authentic history of the greatest crime which ever stirred Buffalo.



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