From the Pan-American
Dear Editor: Mrs. Clarke and I left
Hope Valley Wednesday afternoon, the 4th inst., and went to Woonsocket
and stayed all night at my son’s. Thursday morning we left Woonsocket
and joined our party, fifty-six in all, from Providence at 8:30
a. m. We proceeded via Worcester and Albany to Buffalo. We arrived
at this place about midnight, tired and dirty. We were fortunate
in securing board in a private family, front room, second story,
at reasonable rates.
Friday we visited the exposition.
Our first impressions were very favorable. We went around the grounds
and into the buildings somewhat hastily to get the lay of the land
prior to a more careful examination.
About 3:30 p. m. word was passed around
that President McKinley would be in Music Hall at four o’clock.
Mrs. Clarke and I hastened to the Esplanade in front of the Music
building. This space is said to be large enough to hold 250,000
people. A large crowd was already collecting. We were fortunate
enough to obtain a position near the entrance. Promptly at four
o’clock the immense crowd was parted by the police, and the President
and his suite and escort passed through and into the main entrance
of the building. He was received with great demonstrations of enthusiasm—waving
of handkerchiefs and hats, hurrahs, etc. He made acknowledgement
[sic] by removing his hat and bowing in a genial manner. He looked
well and happy. After he had passed into the building a side door
was opened for the crowd to enter. Then commenced a mighty rush
for the door, the crowd swaying back and forth and pushing so as
nearly to jamb the life out of one. We decided not to venture to
be smothered by this great mass of humanity, though near the door.
We were glad afterwards we did not. Scarcely fifteen minutes had
passed when we heard the report of a pistol. The door of entrance
was instantly closed by the police, and the cry went out, “The President
is shot,” and in a moment the people’s voices were hushed, strong
men trembled and shook with excitement. Women fainted and went into
hysteria. Then cries of lamentation mingled with cries of rage were
heard on every side. An ambulance was hurried to the spot and the
President was brought out of the building on a stretcher, and we
saw him tenderly lifted into it and driven to the hospital. A close
carriage was brought and after a time the assassin was rushed out
and tumbled into it and driven rapidly away, surrounded on all sides
by the military, who ran in double quick time to keep pace with
the carriage. A general sadness spread over the whole city. This
sad incident shows that President McKinley is the best and most
loved of all the presidents since Lincoln. Is it not time to call
a halt in this custom of requiring the chief magistrate of the United
States to hold public receptions, thus becoming an easy mark, exposing
him to malignant attacks of the assassin, who represents the scum
and dumpings of the whole world?
I have no time to speak of the splendid
exhibits, the beautiful illumination of the grounds and buildings
at night, the trip to Niagara Falls, the gorge ride around the Canada
side, across the river, and back on the New York side, etc.
Today we leave Buffalo for Cleveland,
Ohio, to take in the 35th encampment of the G. A. R. Our party will
return, leaving Cleveland at five p. m. Saturday and arriving in
Providence Sunday evening.