Capital Is Dazed
RESIDENTS OF WASHINGTON WEEP LIKE CHILDREN.
GREAT LOVE FOR M’KINLEY
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
“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
“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.