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Source: Butte Inter Mountain
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Capital Is Dazed”
Author(s): Jermain, W. W.
City of publication: Butte, Montana
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 143
Pagination: 5

Jermain, W. W. “Capital Is Dazed.” Butte Inter Mountain 7 Sept. 1901 v21n143: p. 5.
full text
McKinley assassination (public response: Washington, DC); presidential assassinations (comparison); McKinley assassination (news coverage); White House; William McKinley (death: false reports); William McKinley (political character); William McKinley (personal character); William McKinley (relations with American South).
Named persons
George B. Cortelyou; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; George Washington.


Capital Is Dazed


Throngs Crowd the Streets, Eagerly Awaiting Hopeful News from
the Bedside of the President.

(Special to Inter Mountain.)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7.—Not since the days of Lincoln’s assassination has Washington been so stirred as it was last night. Garfield had not been in office long enough to establish himself there and make a record, and while he was shot down in the Pennsylvania passenger depot here, the people were not nearly so disturbed as they are now.
     The first word from Buffalo reached Washington a few minutes after the several department buildings had closed for the day, and the streets were therefore crowded with people.
     Before the first bulletin had been hung out in front of the Post and Star buildings mode [sic] than 1,000 people were standing around these buildings, anxiously inquiring for news.
     At 6 o’clock there were 5,000 people fronting the Post building, which stands on Pennsylvania avenue [sic], and they stretched across the wide thoroughfare, entirely obstructing travel. At 8 o’clock the 5,000 had grown to 10,000.

Waiting for Extras.

     As large a crowd was in front of the Star, waiting for the extra editions, which came out in a very few minutes.
     Newsboys on bicycles, with large bundles of these extras under their arms, visited all parts of the city, and their cries were eagerly listened for by men, women and children in the resident sections, who bought papers by the thousands.
     The white house employes [sic] are prostrated by the news. To them President McKinley was more than president.
     He was a kind and indulgent master. The staff is more loyal to him as a whole than it has been to any president within the memory of persons now living.
     It was after 5 o’clock in the afternoon before any news reached the white house, and it was after 6 before a direct wire to the bedside of the president was established.
     Over this wire bulletins were arriving every few minutes for Private Secretary Cortelyou, and as they proved more hopeful the old white house walls almost shook with the cheering.
     It was estimated that 50,000 people were on the streets last night, and one wondered where they all came from.

Streets Well Crowded.

     When I came down town after dinder [sic] I was more than half an hour working my way through the crowds into the Post building. In addition to an elaborate system of bulletins, the Post, a morning paper, had installed a megaphone service from an upper window, and every cheering telegram brought shouts from two acres of throats at once.
     It reminded one, in some of the features, of the down-town crowds on presidential night, save that they were much larger and that women and children were freely mixed with the men, and an air of solemnity prevailed everywhere.
     The earliest word was to the effect that the injuries were fatal, and the bulletins did not take a more hopeful turn until after 7 o’clock.
     It was a common thing to see people weeping in the streets, men as well as women. Few made any effort to hide their grief.
     Washington had seldom witnessed such a sight. The entire police force was on duty for the purpose of preserving order and keeping the main streets open. The principal crowds, of course, were in front of the newspaper offices.

High Compliment Paid.

     It is a high compliment to the man who lies so grievously wounded in Buffalo that no person in all this city, which is so distinctively southern and democratic in sentiment, mentions him but to praise.
     To everybody he is a friend and well wisher, and it is everywhere being said that no president since Washington has had such a hold upon the love and good will [sic] and confidence of the people as he.
     Lincoln occupies a niche all to himself in the temple of fame, but he acquired it after his tragic death and after subsequent events had demonstrated the wisdom and patriotism of his great war policy.
     But McKinley came into the confidence and love of the people, like Washington, during his lifetime, and this fact explains in large part the tender solicitude of the Washington public.
     Strange enough, not a cabinet officer, save possibly the postmaster general, was in the city last night. All were away on vacations. No members of either house of congress were here, and no prominent public characters.

Correspondents Kept Busy.

     The corps of Washington correspondents was busy since 4 o’clock, when the first word came, trying to find a prominent man who would put into concrete form the feeling of the local public and of the nation, but no such man could be found.
     The Associated Press dispatched three of its best Washington men to Buffalo last night and called for two others to go there from New York.
     I was talking to a well-known subordinate official of the war department last night.
     “I have never seen anything like it,” he said, “and I have been in Washington since the beginning of the civil war.
     “There was no relatively as large crowds on the streets when Lincoln was assassinated, for the event happened after 10 o’clock at night, after most folks fere [sic] home and in bed.
     [“]Pennsylvania avenue [sic] from the Star and Times office to the post Post [sic] [building?] reminded me more of the crowds of inaugural week than anything else, and what is a remarkable thing about it, there are very few strangers in town.”

Interest Is Intense.

     The city seemed tonight to be emptied in Pennsylvania avenue [sic]. The interest that was taken here is almost entirely in McKinley, the man. His personality has endeared him to the local public, among whom he has spent so many years, and they love [him?] for his fine qualities of mind and heart, regardless of how he may differ [from?] them politically.
     A prominent Richmond man said a few minutes ago:
     “We of the South love McKinley because he is the first president who, since the war, in good faith and without self-seeking or ulterior motives of any sort, has held out the olive branch of peace.
     “He has a big heart and it beats for the entire nation. We in the South know this as well as you folks [?] North.
     “McKinley will ever be remembered south of the Potomac because of his earnest and disinterested efforts to abolish sectionalism.”
     The people of Washington, official and otherwise, refuse to discuss the presidential succession in any of its phases, holding stoutly to the belief that President McKinley will survive.



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