Source: Broome Republican
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Story of the Exciting Scene”
City of publication: Binghamton, New York
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 71
Issue number: 9
|“Story of the Exciting Scene.” Broome Republican 14 Sept. 1901 v71n9: p. [3?].|
|E. C. Delavan; McKinley assassination (persons present on exposition grounds); E. C. Delavan (public statements); McKinley assassination; McKinley assassination (public response: Buffalo, NY).|
|Leon Czolgosz; E. C. Delavan; William McKinley.|
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. He said:
“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.