Publication information
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Source: Daily Picayune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Witnesses of the Tragedy”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: New Orleans, Louisiana
Date of publication: 8 September 1901
Volume number: 65
Issue number: 227
Part/Section: 1
Pagination: 8

“Witnesses of the Tragedy.” Daily Picayune 8 Sept. 1901 v65n227: part 1, p. 8.
full text
McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts).
Named persons
Manuel de Azpiroz [variant spelling below]; George B. Cortelyou; Leon Czolgosz; George F. Foster; Ida McKinley; John G. Milburn; James B. Parker [first name wrong below].


Witnesses of the Tragedy


Fail to Agree on Many Material Points.

     Buffalo, Sept. 7.—On many material points, and particularly the utterances of the president after he was shot, the witnesses of yesterday’s tragedy fail to agree. The action of the tragedy was very fast, and it was followed by a scene of confusion, in which it was difficult to either see or hear with accuracy, however close one stood to the president and his assailant. It is now conceded that the president said “May God forgive him” after he was shot, and agreed that his first audible speech was a reference to his wife:
     “I trust Mrs. McKinley will not be informed of this; at least, I hope it will not be exaggerated.”
     A newspaper reporter who stood just behind the president when the shooting occurred, gave the clearest accounts related so far. He said:
     “I stood about ten feet from the president, and saw Czolgosz approach him. The latter had his right hand drawn up close to his breast and a white linen handkerchief wrapped about it bore the appearance of a bandage. He extended his left hand, and I am quite sure the president thought he was injured, for he leaned forward and looked at him in a sympathetic way. When directly in front of the president, Czolgosz threw his right hand forward and fired. I saw the flash and smoke, followed by the report, and then heard the second shot. Instantly, John Parker, the colored man, and Secret Agent Foster were upon Czolgosz, and they bore him to the floor. Czolgosz, lying prostrate, still maintained a hold on his revolver, and seemed to be trying to get his arm free to fire again. The president did not fall. He raised his right hand and felt of his breast, and seemed to be maintaining his upright position only by wonderful effort. I am sure he did not speak at that moment. He gazed fixedly at his assailant with a look which I cannot describe, but which I shall never forget, and in a moment reeled back into the arms of Secretary Cortelyou. Czolgosz’s revolver had by that time been knocked from his hand, and some one had picked up the burning handkerchief, which lay at his feet. Czolgosz was picked up, forced back, and again knocked down. Mr. Cortelyou and Mr. Milburn supported the president, and led him to a chair. I heard him ask that the news be kept from his wife, and a moment later, when Secretary Cortelyou asked him if he felt much pain, he said:
     “‘This wound hurts very much.’
     “He seemed to be fairly easy as he rested in the chair, and some of the fading color came back to his face. He reached his right hand inside of his shirt, and when he withdrew it his fingers were tipped with blood. He paled again at the sight of the blood, and I think he fainted. Senor Aspiroz, the Mexican minister, broke through the crowd, and, rushing up to the president, cried:
     “‘My God, Mr. President, are you shot?’ The minister seemed about to throw himself at the feet of the president, but was restrained. The president’s answer came very slowly and in a halting, subdued voice he said:
     “‘Yes, I believe I am.’
     “The president was attracted by the scuffle of the officers who were dragging the would-be murderer away, but he did not speak. His head rested on the arm of Mr. Milburn. His courage was superb, and while he was conscious he was the master of the pain which he suffered. When the ambulance came and a stretcher was brought in he started forward and partly regained his feet unassisted. I heard not a word from the assailant of the president. He was struck down the moment he fired the second shot, and if he did speak it probably was in exclamation at the very rough treatment he was receiving.”



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