Story of the Exciting Scene
E. C. DELAVAN THINKS CZOLGOSZ WOULD HAVE BEEN
LYNCHED IF MOB HAD HAD A LEADER.
E. C. Delavan, of this city, returned
Saturday from a trip to northern and and [sic] western New York,
Louisville and Cleveland. He was at the exposition grounds at Buffalo
when President McKinley was shot and had seen him only a few minutes
before the shooting occurred.
When seen by a Republican reporter,
Mr. Delavan was able to give a very interesting account of the events
immediately following the assault as they appeared to the onlookers.
“Knowing that the President would
give a public reception at the Temple of Music, a larger number
of people than usual had assembled in that neighborhood. They saw
him enter the building and presently those who still remained outside
heard a sound like the crack of a pistol, but which most of them
thought was caused by the breaking of a platform or some other structure.
“Almost immediately there was a rush
of people out of the doors which were immediately closed. A rumor
which found little credence quickly spread about that the President
had been shot. Doubt, however, speedily changed to certainty when
the ambulance from the emergency hospital came at full speed over
to the Temple of Music, surounded [sic] with mounted guards riding
at a gallop, and Mr. McKinley was brought out and placed in it.
As they went away the people could see the President reclining in
the ambulance and a physician bending over him.
“By this time fully 20,000 people
had assembled. Women and children were crying and tears showed in
the eyes and on the cheeks of many a masculine face, while set jaws,
clenched fists, and the twitching of muscles in face and throat
showed the violent emotion of the entire crowd.”
When asked how it happened that the
culprit was not lynched, Mr. Delavan could speak only as to those
outside the building. He said: “There was a rope which had been
used to fence off the crowd from the driveway so that Mr. McKinley’s
carriage could pass, and this the crowd secured. Meanwhile the detectives
were hurrying to get their man away before the hitherto orderly
crowd should become an ungovernable mob.
“There was an electric patrol wagon
at the Temple of Music, and this was sent away empty, and the prisoner
was hurried into a closed cab. The automobile started first and
drew away many of the people who thought Czolgosz was inside, and
for a moment everybody was in doubt as to where the prisoner was.
“When the cab started away, however,
an attempt was made to stop it and for a moment it seemed as if
the prisoner would certainly be taken by the mob. Some grabbed the
reins; others caught hold of the wheels; and once it looked as if
the cab would be overturned, the wheels on one side being lifted
off the ground. Just at this juncture the driver drew his horses
sharply to the right, the crowd on that side fell back for an instant
and the driver dealt the horses several blows with a very heavy
whip which he carried. The horses leaped forward, guards who had
jumped upon the cab drew their revolvers and kept the crowd at bay
and the cab dashed off the grounds at full speed.”
A great many guards, policemen and
detectives were present, but in spite of that the prisoner would
have been lynched, so thinks Mr. Delavan, if the mob had had any
leaders. As it was, no one knew any one else, everybody was excited,
all was uncertainty and confusion, there was no organized action,
and in the midst of the uproar the officers carried away their prisoner.