Publication information
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Source: Baltimore Sunday Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Wild Scramble at the Funeral”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of publication: 29 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 2007
Part/Section: 4
Pagination: 28

“Wild Scramble at the Funeral.” Baltimore Sunday Herald 29 Sept. 1901 n2007: part 4, p. 28.
full text
William McKinley (lying in state: Washington, DC); McKinley funeral services (Washington, DC: panic).
Named persons
James A. Garfield; Ulysses S. Grant; Alexander Hamilton; Thomas Jefferson; William McKinley.


Wild Scramble at the Funeral


Woman Witness Describes Bone-Breaking Crush When McKinley’s
Body Was in Capitol

From the Indianapolis Sentinel.
     All around the great circular room between the historic paintings stand statues in marble and bronze of Hamilton, Jefferson, Grant, Garfield and scores of other national heroes, now all shrouded in black—not as a sign of mourning for him who has joined their number in the better country, but to protect their “counterfeit presentiments” from injury when a pushing, struggling mass of humanity surged around the bier. It would have been wiser had the statues been removed altogether, the bronze doors taken from their hinges and the windows from their frames. Everybody has heard of the disgraceful scene that ensued when the public was first admitted to the rotunda. Tens of thousands of men, women and children had been standing since early dawn in the rain, knowing that the time allotted to the masses for seeing the remains of the beloved President was so short that not one-quarter of them could get in; so, when at last the doors were thrown open a mad rush ensued, breaking the bones and crushing the breath out of many. Even the mounted police were powerless to check the on-coming throng, their horses being swept aside like chaff, and in several instances overthrown, to kick and struggle on their backs in the midst of the crowd. It was an awful sight, that half-hour of pandemonium—the roar of the mob, the shrieks of women, the terrified screams of children, the powerless police clubbing right and left among those who could not help themselves, being pushed from behind by a mighty multitude, resistless as the waves of the sea, those in the rear being ignorant of the fatal damage they were doing. It was over soon and order restored; ambulances dashes [sic] up at the hurry call, and the victims who were not cared for in the surrounding committee rooms were conveyed to the hospitals. Many of them had merely fainted, or become hysterical, or been crushed to temporary unconsciousness. At this early writing it is ascertained that upward of 50 are in the various hospitals of the city, with broken ribs or limbs, or internal injuries the seriousness of which cannot yet be determined. Among the never-to-be-forgotten incidents of those dreadful minutes was the sight of trampled children, their blood and tears dropping down together, elevated above the heads of the closely packed wall of humanity; and unconscious women borne upon the shoulders of the police; preceded by other policemen who literally beat a pathway, which instantly closed behind them. The fault was not with the people so much as with those who made inadequate arrangements. Knowing what Washington crowds are, it was a fearful mistake on somebody’s part to give less than four hours for the 300,000 citizens of the national capital, augmented by many thousands of visitors, to see the dead President. It would have been wiser to give less time to Buffalo, where he met his death when merely a visitor, and more to his second home.



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