Source: Indianapolis Journal
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “An Eyewitness’s Story”
City of publication: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 51
Issue number: 250
|“An Eyewitness’s Story.” Indianapolis Journal 7 Sept. 1901 v51n250: p. 3.|
|McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts); William McKinley (protection).|
|George B. Cortelyou; George F. Foster; Samuel R. Ireland; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; James B. Parker.|
An Eyewitness’s Story
Attack on the President Described by a Bystander.
BUFFALO, Sept. 6.—From a bystander
who witnessed the attempt on the President’s life the following description
was obtained by the correspondent of the Asso[c]iated Press:
“When the man fired the shots President McKinley fell back a step, quivered slightly, but did not fall. Sceretary [sic] Cortelyou, President Milburn and Detective Foster sprang to his aid while Detective Ireland and James B. Parker threw his assaila[n]t to the floor, hurled themselves upon him and attempted to disarm him. Their prisoner struggled desperat[e]ly and wrenching his arm free attempted on[ce] more to fire at the President. The revolver was struck from his hand, however, flying several feet away.
“President McKinley himself plucked from his side the bull[et] which had struck the breast bone and glanced, lodging in th[e] skin, at the same time saying [t]o the [detective]: ‘Foster, I believe there is another bull[e]t in there.’
“Shortly afterwards he said: ‘Do not exaggerate this to Mrs. McKinley.’ Th[e] President throughout displayed the greatest fortitude, and all the time until I saw him carried from the building his coolness and courage were wonderful.”
It was learned to-night [f]rom an authoritative source that the gre[a]test precautions had been taken to guard against the possibility of any such occurre[n]ce as transpired to-day. Not only were th[e] services of the local police and detective [f]orces employed to the fullest extent, but [sp]ecially detailed men have accompanied [t]he presidential party in its travels since i[n]auguration day, and, in addition to this, t[h]e extra precaution was taken upon the occasion of the President’s visit to the Pan-American of having three United States treasury secret service men of long experi[e]nce and proven ability. In fact, to such an extent has this matter of the President’s personal safety been carried by those [r]esponsible for his welfare that it has given rise to some criticism. Upon his visit to the exposition it was fe[l]t by those surrounding him that the President was liable to greater chances of danger than is usual even upon his travels, owing to the great crowds, the diversified character of th[e] people assembled and the necessity for direct contact with the crowds. For thes[e] reasons the strictest precautions abov[e] mentioned were resorted to. The President himself has always been averse to any such protection and the sight of officers of the law constantly near his person has been distasteful. He has alwa[y]s insisted that in all his visits to various cities ther[e] should be at least one public reception where he could be brought face to face with the public and give those who desired it the privilege of a personal meeting.