Source: Daily Public Ledger
Source type: newspaper
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “Wipe Them Out!”
Author(s): Deming, O. S.
City of publication: Maysville, Kentucky
Date of publication: 13 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
|Deming, O. S. “Wipe Them Out!” Daily Public Ledger 13 Sept. 1901: p. 2.|
|McKinley assassination; anarchism (personal response); McKinley assassination (public response: Buffalo, NY); William McKinley (last public address).|
|Leon Czolgosz; O. S. Deming; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; Ida McKinley; William McKinley.|
Wipe Them Out!
A LEARNED LAWYER WRITES OF THE PRESIDENT’S ASSASSIN!
B, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1901.
Special Correspondence Public Ledger.
Under the dome of the Temple of Music at the Pan-American, on last Friday about 4 p. m., an assassin’s hand was raised against the President of the United States, and the floor of this magnificent structure was stained with William McKinley’s blood, and a sorrowing people weep and tremble while they pray for the life that still hangs by a brittle thread.
Cool, calculating and determined, the brutal fiend had passed in at the main entrance, and concealing his weapon by wrapping a handkerchief around his right hand in which he held it, carrying his arm across his breast, as though crippled, he deliberately pressed on with the multitude who were so anxious to shake the hand of the President of the United States.
His boldness and apparent effort to favor or support a seemingly injured hand was well calculated to allay all suspicion on the part of the police and private detectives that guarded the passage, and the cunning and effective manner of concealing and using his gun shows plainly to every one that no insane mind conceived and no irresponsible hand executed this hellish crime.
No, Leon Czolgosz, alias Nieman, is not insane, but is a pronounced Anarchist of the bloodiest and most cunning type.
With a kindly smile President McKinley extended his hand to this fiend incarnate and was about to speak a word of sympathy to an apparently crippled admirer, when from the masked battery of his bandaged hand two shots were fired, and the beloved President of the greatest and grandest Nation on earth was pierced by two bullets, and in less time than it takes to write it, 50,000 Exposition visitors, irrespective of party, showed their love for the President and their admiration for his matchless individuality by words and groans and tears; and their threats and attempts of summary vengeance upon the assassin should be a warning to all Anarchists and should teach them that American public sentiment will ere long become sufficiently enlightened, and justly bold, as to deny them an abiding place in the United States, and should they still tarry with us, that we will not wait for some overt act, for more innocent blood to be spilled, for more honored and trusted rulers and statesmen to be assassinated, but will, at once, take such steps as will effectually wipe out such Anarchists and their hellish conspiracies from the United States.
There is a legal as well as a moral line between free speech as guaranteed to the citizens of a free Republic, and such criticisms of men and of governmental policies as tend, in the slightest degree, to the assassination of, or personal violence against, any of its public officres [sic].
While the people on the Exposition grounds were wildly excited and the citizens of Buffalo were stirred up to a degree of indignation and horror not excelled by the cruel assassinations of Lincoln and Garfield, the mystic wires flashed the Nation’s sorrow to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Soon after the shooting, while the President was lying in the Emergency Hospital on the grounds, a scene occurred that showed the great love and veneration of the people for William McKinley.
The surging, excited multitude, which had tried in vain to stop the carriage conveying the assassin to the police station, had rubbed against a flagstaff on the esplanade near the Temple of Music and loosened the halyard, and a large flag that a moment before floated at the top of the pole suddenly fell to half-mast, and the cry went up from thousands of sorrowing men and women that “McKinley is dead!” Women screamed and fainted, strong men wept and cried aloud, officers and guards and soldiers with blanched faces, unnerved by this terrible tragedy, but added confusion for a time to the awful tumult they were trying to quell. God forbid that I shall ever experience such feelings or witness a similar scene. But fortunately it was soon learned that this was a false alarm, and the flag was again raised to the proper place, which told the excited multitude that William McKinley still lived.
The day before President McKinley had made one of the ablest speeches of his life to a throng of people that the voice could not reach and the eye could scarcely scan; yet the patient, admiring crowd stood for two hours in the boiling sun, silent, anxious, satisfied; for those near enough to hear drank in his noble words, and these too far away to hear quietly gazed upon the President and his lovely, charming wife. If President McKinley’s speech captivated those who were so fortunate as to hear it, his devoted attention in aiding Mrs. McKinley on and off the platform captured the hearts of all who witnessed this tender scene.
This is not written as a matter of news merely, for the world knows it all; it is written trusting that it will, in some measure, aid in developing such a public sentiment as will demand and secure the enactment and thorough execution of all necessary laws to eradicate Anarchy, root and branch, from the United States. For when such a man as William McKinley, who has been twice honored by his countrymen by an election to the highest office in their gift, an office more honorable than that of King or Emperor, trusted as an official, honored as a man and loved as a friend, a man whose “virtues will plead like angels, trumpet tongued, against the deep damnation,” is thus stricken down it is high time that this Republic takes immediate steps to free herself of this awful curse.
O. S. D.