Source: Buffalo Courier
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Body Offered to Shield Martyred President Dissected under the Clumsy Knives of Students”
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 27 March 1908
Volume number: 73
Issue number: 87
|“Body Offered to Shield Martyred President Dissected under the Clumsy Knives of Students.” Buffalo Courier 27 Mar. 1908 v73n87: p. 6.|
|James B. Parker (death); McKinley assassination (Samuel R. Ireland account); James B. Parker.|
|Leon Czolgosz; Samuel R. Ireland; William McKinley; James B. Parker.|
Body Offered to Shield Martyred President Dissected
under the Clumsy Knives of Students
James B. Parker, Negro Who Helped to Overpower Czolgosz, Dies
and Alone in Charity Ward of Philadelphia Hospital.
The body of James B. Parker, which on September
5th, 1901, was offered by him as a shield to President McKinley from the bullets
of the assassin Czolgosz yesterday found its way to the dissecting table of
Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
Parker was an obscure negro waiter in a concession at the Pan-American Exposition in this city until his exhibition of self sacrifice and courage made him a central figure in the nation’s tragedy.
Seven years ago Parker was the idol of the negro population of the country. This month he died, friendless, in the insane department of a Philadelphia charity hospital and his corpse was delivered to the dissectors, because no friend or relative claimed it.
The deed which won Parker is [sic] widespread but transitory notoriety is best described in an interview with Special Secret Service Guard Ireland, which appeared in the Buffalo Courier the morning after President McKinley was shot. Detective Ireland said:
“As the President was reaching for the hand of his assassin there were two quick shots. Startled for the moment, I looked and saw the President draw his right hand up under his coat, straighten up and pressing his lips together give Neimann (as Czolgosz then called himself) the most scornful and contemptuous look possible to imagine.”
“At the same time I reached for the young man (Czolgosz) and caught his left arm. The big negro standing just back of him (Parker), who would have been the next to take the President’s hand struck the young man (Czolgosz) in the neck with one hand and with the other reached for the revolver which had been discharged through the handkerchief which Czolgosz had wrapped about his hand, and the shots from which had set fire to the linen.”
“Immediately a dozen men fell on the assassin and he was borne to the floor. While on the floor Neimann (Czolgosz) again tried to discharge the revolver but before he could get it to the President, it was knocked from his hand by the negro (Parker).”