Publication information

Clarksburg Telegram
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Detectives Who Do Not Detect”
Author(s): Gittings, John G.
City of publication: Clarksburg, West Virginia
Date of publication: 13 September 1901
Volume number: 40
Issue number: 45
Pagination: 4

Gittings, John G. “Detectives Who Do Not Detect.” Clarksburg Telegram 13 Sept. 1901 v40n45: p. 4.
full text
McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (protection); Secret Service (criticism); James B. Parker; lawlessness (mob rule); presidents (protection); anarchism (personal response); James B. Parker (dispute over role in assassination).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz [misspelled once below]; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; James B. Parker.

Detectives Who Do Not Detect

     In view of the awful tragedy which befel [sic] President McKinley, at Buffalo on Friday last, and which has filled the breasts of this nation with a dread apprehension of fatal results—which Heaven forefend! [sic]—it is but natural that the people should inquire, in their grief and just indignation, how the dastardly deed was allowed to happen.
     It is a thing incredible, that detectives appointed especially to protect the President in such a motley crowd as thronged the Exposition, and the ways to the Music Hall, where stood the Chief Magistrate of the Nation in friendly greeting of all who might approach—it is incredible, that they should permit to walk up, in that slow moving procession, the deadly assassin—with murder shining in his eyes—extending one hand in simulated friendship, while with the other he held forth the revolver—simply concealed in a handkerchief—from which he fired the shots that cut down the foremost man of the world; and subverted, it maybe [sic], the will and wishes of seventy-million of people!
     Where were the detectives? For we are told, that the assassin would have fired the third shot into the President’s body, had he not been prevented by a negro man standing there as a mere spectator—whose quicker brain realizing the situation, had interposed [?] strong arm and hurled the assassin to earth [?] he would have finished the ingrate wretch, had not the detectives awakened about this time, and prevented it!
     Yes, they did awaken then, and stopped the colored Hercules from pounding the life out of the malignant anarchist—but which they had not done in time to shield the President!
     In this country where the execution of laws is for the most part benign—too benign—no one would like openly, to advocate mob-law—yet, circumstances may arise in which the conditions are intolerable—and this is an instance, in which they did arise!
     When an assassin strikes at the person of a president, he strikes not at one man, but at the whole nation—his crime is national, and his punishment should be commensurate with it.
     What would one think of a body-guard of soldiers—guarding the person of their general—who would permit an assassin who had attempted his life, to live, to boast of the assault? How much more important it is then, than the safe-guarding of a general, that the President—the Commander in Chief of the Armies and Navies, on land and sea—should be better guarded, by a more efficient, and a sterner class of men, than were about him on this occasion, when he came down from his high station to mingle with all sorts and conditions of men.
     All the emotions of the heart are written in indelible characters on the human countenance, and can be surely read by any “detective” worthy of the name. The anarchist, Czolgoez, could not have marched up to the President, with a cocked pistol in his hand, with the full purpose of slaying him, under the guise of friendship, without showing emotion, or excitement in his eyes. And he did show it! But there was only one acute observer there to note this—Parker, the colored giant whose strong arm saved the President’s life—he said: “I saw the man’s eyes looking at the President in a funny way?”
     Where were the detectives all this time that they could not see what Parker saw? But perhaps, their intellects were beer-befogged and they could not formulate ideas so quickly as he, hence, were slower to act.
     Some one has said in extenuation, that they were not expecting anything to happen; and they did not believe that there was a man in that vast throng who would raise his hand against the President who is so universally beloved. This certainly is the reasoning of one possessed of but slight knowledge of men, and a weak memory; he had forgotten that Lincoln and Garfield—so beloved of the people—were murdered in cold blood; either one of whom might have been saved, had there been a single, well-drilled soldier as a guard, about his person.
     This individual has also forgotten that in this free land there is harbored the vile brood of Anarchists who respect no form of government, no law, no religion, no God; and that they are allowed to circulate their papers and to preach their creed which is as the creed of Moloch, the “horrid king” of the heathen, who demanded human sacrifices. It certainly is mistaken kindness, if not the height of folly, to permit Anarchists to congregate in this country—men who are hostes humani generis!—for it is the nature of such ingrates to return evil for good.
     Czolgosz said if he had not attacked the President at the Exposition that he would have done so at the Grand Army meeting at Cleveland. But this is not true, for the cowardly wretch would never have attacked him there, because he knew well, that the old soldiers would have killed him on the spot—they would have “torn him to pieces,” as a veteran has said. For a like reason it is safe to surmise that no attack will ever be made, in the Southland, upon the person of a president—for his assailant would not survive the hour in which the attack was made. All these things may be wrong and are to be deprecated; but if circumstance cannot be controlled, it is the part of wisdom to recognize them as they actually exist.
     Since writing the above, we have learned that the part played by the negro man, in the despatches [sic], was overdrawn; however, the statements made in that regard, may serve to show the necessity of having an adequate guard about the President when his person is exposed to vast masses of people, such as crowd around him at any public reception.