Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Solid Food Given to the President”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 61
Issue number: 253
Pagination: 1

“Solid Food Given to the President.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle 12 Sept. 1901 v61n253: p. 1.
full text
William McKinley (official bulletins); William McKinley (medical condition); William McKinley (recovery); McKinley cabinet; Ethan A. Hitchcock; William McKinley (medical care); Presley M. Rixey; Herman Mynter (public statements); Matthew D. Mann (public statements); John N. Scatcherd; Pan-American Exposition (President’s Day: proposed second occurrence); Charles McBurney; Charles McBurney (public statements).
Named persons
George B. Cortelyou; Ethan A. Hitchcock; Matthew D. Mann; Charles McBurney; Abner McKinley; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Herman Mynter; Roswell Park; Presley M. Rixey; Elihu Root; John N. Scatcherd; Charles Emory Smith; Eugene Wasdin; James Wilson.


Solid Food Given to the President


He Felt Better This Morning Than at Any Time Since the Shooting.
Patient Will Not Be Able to Sit Up until Exterior Wound in Abdomen Heals.
Decides That His Presence Is No Longer Necessary—Root and Smith Also
Ready to Depart.

     Milburn House, Buffalo, September 12—The following bulletins were issued by the President’s physicians to-day:
     6:20 A. M.—The President has had a comfortable night. Pulse, 122; temperature, 100.2.

P. M. RIXEY.     
Geo. B. Cortelyou, Secretary to the President.

     9:30 A. M.—The President has spent a quiet and restful night and has taken much nourishment. He feels better this morning than at any time.
     He has taken a little solid food this morning and relished it. Pulse, 120; temperature, 100.2 degrees.

  P. M. RIXEY,
George B. Cortelyou, Secretary to the President.


     Milburn House, Buffalo, September 12—The news from the bedside of the President this morning was all that could be desired. He slept well during the night and was so much improved this morning that he was given a meal of coffee, toast and chicken broth.
     His appetite was good and his spirits were so high that after breakfast he appealed to Dr. McBurney to be allowed to smoke a cigar.
     The bulletin issued after the morning consultation confirmed officially the private reports of the physicians and surgeons.
     Dr. McBurney, who is looked upon as the dean of the corps of physicians in attendance, decided this morning that his presence was no longer necessary and that he would leave at 1 o’clock this afternoon for New York. But it is his intention to return in a few days.
     Secretary Root also was scheduled to leave at the same hour and Postmaster General Smith will probably go to Washington to-night. Secretary Hitchcock and Secretary Wilson, however, will remain indefinitely.
     When Secretary Hitchcock received the news that the President had been shot he was in New Hampshire, with no means of getting away by regular train for six hours. He immediately hired a special to take him as far as Albany, where he made connection with the limited for Buffalo. Since his arrival he has not thought of leaving. “I shall stay,” he always replies to a question as to when he will depart. Secretary Wilson feels the same way.
     Telegrams, cables and letters continue to pour in, but their tone has changed. Expressions of pain, sympathy and grief have given way to congratulations and thanksgiving, and the whole world seems to share in the rejoicing at the prospect of the President’s recovery. The bullet in the body is scarcely mentioned now either by the President, his friends or the physicians. As a factor in the President’s condition it is seemingly ignored.

Outer Wound Not Expected to Heal for Several Weeks.

     The consensus of opinion of the physicians is that the outer wound will not be healed tight for several weeks and that it will be advisable for him to remain quietly here for about a month. They will take no chances.
     Dr. McBurney says the President’s ability to sit up is now purely a question of mechanics. But such a move will not be permitted until the wound is perfectly strong.
     The weather, which last night was stormy, cleared this morning. The rain ceased, the sky cleared and the sun came out, but the wind was high and the giant trees about the Milburn house swayed and shook beneath its blows. The equinoctial seemed to be approaching. But the weather was not oppressive for the patient. The atmosphere remained cool.
     Abner McKinley, the President’s brother, is still here, but has not yet been admitted to his presence. The doctors say it would be safe now for the President to see an occasional visitor, but they desire to put off as long as possible the day when his friends and relatives will be admitted.

Heavy Rain in Early Morning Hours.

     A rain which has been threatening for the past few days began shortly after midnight and increased steadily in volume. By morning it was coming down in torrents. In consequence of the weather the newspaper men who are keeping watch near the Milburn mansion, kept close to their shelter during the night.
     Apparently there was nothing of consequence going on in the Milburn house during the late portion of the night. This conclusion was confirmed when the early morning bulletin prepared by Dr. P. M. Rixey, the President’s regular physician, who remained with the patient all night, made its appearance. It showed that Mr. McKinley had passed a comfortable night with but little change in pulse and temperature from last night’s regular official statement of the President’s condition.

Only One Physician on Duty During the Night.

     Last night was the first during which the President has been ill that but one physician has remained with him during the latter half of the night. Dr. Rixey, who had always remained on duty at night, invariably had the assistance of one other physician, but last night he decided, in view of the favorable aspect of the President’s case, to stay on duty alone.

Short Morning Consultation.

     About 8:30 the doctors arrived for the regular morning consultations. The consultation was brief, the shortest since the President was stricken, and when the physicians came out their elation was evident from their smiling countenances. Dr. Mynter paused, after he jumped into his buggy, to announce that everything continued “eminently satisfactory.”

McKinley Had Toast, Coffee and Beef Broth.

     “The President has had a piece of toast and a cup of coffee this morning,” said he, “in addition to a cup of beef broth.”
     “Will he be able to sit up soon?”
     “No, not for some time,” answered the doctor. “Not until the exterior wound in the abdomen heals and grows strong and his heart action grows normal.”
     “What is the cause of his accelerated pulse?”
     “Oh, I cannot tell you, but it is nothing serious.”
     Dr. Mynter added as he drove away that the exterior wound was progressing satisfactorily.
     Dr. Park and Dr. Wasdin, who followed Dr. Mynter, confirmed the statement that the President this morning had taken food for the first time.
     The rain ceased about this time, the sky brightened and there were signs of clearing weather in the southwest. The soldiers discarded their ponchos and the police their rubber coats.

President Asked for a Cigar.

     Dr. Mann, who remained for some time after the other doctors had gone, said that the patient could not be doing better.
     “Why, he even asked for a cigar,” said he, laughing heartily.
     “Did he get it?”
     “Well, hardly,” replied the surgeon. “He will have to wait a while yet before we allow him to smoke.”
     John N. Scatcherd, chairman of the executive committee of the exposition, who called at the Milburn residence after the doctors had left, was extremely jubilant over the news he had heard.

September 21 Favored as Day of Thanksgiving.

     Mr. Scatcherd said that the people all over the country had urged the management of the exposition to arrange for a day of thanksgiving in the nature of a national jubilee. The exhibitors had also taken the matter up and opinion, he said, seemed to favor September 21 for the celebration. Nothing absolutely definite had, however, been agreed upon.

Dr. McBurney on the President’s Condition.

     Dr. McBurney, the eminent New York surgeon, did not leave the Milburn residence until 10:30. He has private business to attend to and has decided that it is safe for him to leave the city this afternoon for a few days. He will depart this afternoon, at 1 o’clock.
     Dr. McBurney told the newspaper men that the President’s condition had materially improved since last night. “A breakfast of toast, coffee and chicken broth,” said he, “is a pretty substantial meal. We have demonstrated now that the stomach is performing its natural functions and that the President can take a large amount of nourishment. That is a great step. As long as he can eat he is all right. We are looking for an egg,” he added, smiling, “and if we can find a real hen’s egg, fresh laid for invalids, we will give it to him, soft boiled.
     “When the President had finished his meal this morning, he told me he would like a mild cigar. I replied: ‘Well, Mr. President, you cannot have one, but I can.’ The President smiled and told me I could find all I desired downstairs.”
     “How long will it be before the President will be able to sit up?”
     “It is purely a matter of mechanics,” replied the surgeon. “So far as his general condition is concerned, he would be able to sit up long before we will allow him to do so. The wound must heal tight. He is like a man with his vest open.”
     “Can you approximate the time when the wound will be healed and strong.”
     “Probably in three or four weeks,” he responded. “We shall keep him quiet as long as we can. If he should grow restless and complain, we may have to take a few risks.”
     “Has any one seen him outside of the physicians and nurses except Mrs. McKinley and Secretary Cortelyou?”
     “Not a soul,” he replied. “He could see a visitor now and then without injury, but we want to put off the beginning as long as we can. If one of his friends had been admitted three days ago, three would see him to-day. The longer we are able to keep the first visitor away the better it will be.”
     “Now,” said Dr. McBurney, as he turned away, “don’t make it too strong. Say his condition is perfectly satisfactory to his physicians.”



top of page