Fell Like a Pall
News of the President’s Shooting on Pan-Am. Expo
GROUNDS QUICKLY DESERTED
C. T. Thompson, Who Was on the Grounds, Tells What He Saw.
The spectacle of a city
of 75,000 souls deserted within two hours was presented at Buffalo,
following the attack upon President McKinley, Friday afternoon.
The attendance at the Pan-American Exposition that day was unusually
large. According to C. T. Thompson, who was on the grounds at the
time of the shooting, 75,000 is a conservative estimate, yet the
crowd poured out of the exposition gates until only a handful of
people were left, every one being anxious to get away from the scene
of the murderous assault.
Mr. Thompson is a member of the firm
of Keith, Evans, Thompson & Fairchild, attorneys. He returned
from Buffalo yesterday. When seen this morning he said:
“I got into Buffalo from New York
at 2:30, Friday, and reached the exposition grounds shortly before
4 o’clock. I entered by the gate which opens onto the Midway, and
was strolling u[p] the street when I saw the crowd begin to run
toward the Temple of Music. A moment later I heard that the president
had been shot. At first many people thought the report was a hoax,
but when they came to realize its truth, indignation was wonderful
to see. If there had been a leader present the assassin would never
have gone forth from the exposition grounds alive.
“However, the stunning force of the
blow was in his favor and the police had hurried him into a carriage
and away to Buffalo before the crowd had come to a thorough realization
of his crime.
“I never saw news travel so quickly.
Within five minutes everyone within the vast limits of the grounds
knew that an assault had been made upon the president. The first
report was that he had been shot in the temple and was dead. That
probably arose through someone’s saying that he had been shot in
the Temple of Music, the last two words being lost as the information
was passed from man to man.
“I did not myself see the shooting
and when I reached the scene of the crime both the president and
his assailant had been hurried away. The crowd was very angry, but
it was an anger tempered by regret and pity. There was no speechmaking
and no disorderly demonstration.
“By 6 o’clock the grounds were practically
deserted. Many did not content themselves with leaving the grounds
only, but left Buffalo as well. I myself took an evening train for
home, although I had arrived in the city on that very day and had
expected to remain for some time. All the outgoing trains were crowded,
and I suppose the exodus continued on the following day.”