Source: Nashua Daily Telegraph
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Was Present at Exposition”
City of publication: Nashua, New Hampshire
Date of publication: 9 September 1901
Volume number: 34
Issue number: 161
|“Was Present at Exposition.” Nashua Daily Telegraph 9 Sept. 1901 v34n161: p. 8.|
|Grace E. Smith; McKinley assassination (eyewitnesses); McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: Grace E. Smith); Pan-American Exposition (personal response).|
|George F. Foster; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; Grace E. Smith; William E. Spalding.|
Was Present at Exposition
Grace E. Smith at Buffalo Last Friday.
ATTENDING RECEPTION WHEN M’KINLEY WAS SHOT.
The Tragic Scene Described by a Nashua Girl.
Miss Grace E. Smith, the young Nashua school teacher, who recently won The Telegraph’s teacher’s trip to Buffalo in a well-conducted and close voting contest, was almost an eye witness [sic] of the tragic attempted assassination of President McKinley last Friday. Miss Smith was in the Temple of Music at the time in the very room with the president when the shooting took place, but so great was the crowd that she did not actually see the assassin make his dastardly attempt. A scene followed which Miss Smith will not soon forget and her description of the tragedy and the following events will be read with interest:
Miss Grace E. Smith returned Saturday evening
from a pleasant week at the Exposition. In speaking of the great fair, Miss
Smith said: “I arrived at the Exposition last Monday and spent the entire week
in visiting the various departments. If one wants to know the best way to see
the Exposition it was my experience that the entrance to the grounds through
Lincoln park offered the best inducements.
“The entrance to the grounds through the park takes one in gradually. The broad entrance is lined with trees, along the right hand [sic] side are the state buildings. The two that were the most attractive to me were the New York building and the New England building, the former being built of marble, the latter of brick. In the New England building each state has a room. One of the most interesting of these was the New Hampshire room which was furnished with antique furniture under the direction of Gen. William E. Spalding of Nashua. This room seemed very popular among the visitors to the building and the register seemed to be always in demand.
“One could spend an entire day at the government building. It was a very interesting place. Each department of the government had a room. I found the war department as interesting as any. Here was to be seen all kinds of arms, including one of the largest guns that is made; also pieces of armor plate in various stages of construction.
“Was I on the Exposition grounds the day of the shooting? Yes, I was. Friday morning I went to Niagara Falls to see the sights. I was not aware that the president was going to be there to [sic], but I found out afterwards that he also had taken the trip. The party left during the early part of the afternoon to go to Buffalo as he was to hold a reception in the Temple of Music. I came back during the early part of the afternoon also wishing to attend the reception.
“The reception was held in the large hall in the temple. The president stood in front of a large flag, while on either side were banks of [fl]owers. The station of the receiving party was near one of the large pipe organs. I was in the hall at the time the shot was fired, but could not see the president. Some one cried, ‘He has killed the president.’ Men cried, women were hysterical and dropped fainting to the floor where they were allowed to remain so great was the excitement.
“When the assassin came up to the president there was a fleshy negro behind, who as soon as the man had fired his revolver threw his arms about the man’s neck and held him. Foster, the secret service man who was near, actually pounded the villain’s face into jelly before he was pulled off. There is no doubt, whatever, if the negro had not held the man up he would have dropped to the floor and would have been trampled to death by the throng of people they were so excited. In a few moments the police regained their senses, and took the man into a small anteroom near by [sic] and threw him on the floor, those who saw him said that he was but a quivering mass of jelly.
“In some secret manner the assassi[n] was taken to the police headquarters in the city. The people were wild with excitement, the popular sentiment seemed to be to lynch the man, it had even been shouted in the hall after the shooting. The crowd was so great about the building the street cars were stopped and were obliged to go down a side street to get around. After the shooting, the exhibits in the various buildings were closed, although the buildings remained open.
“The president was taken to the hospital after the sad affair where he remained until nearly 7:30 o’clock. As was usual the electric display was started that evening, but after they had been turned on for a few minutes they were turned out. In the darkness, the ambulance, bearing the president, escorted by a squad of mounted police, went slowly from the hospital to the home of President Milburn. The streets were crowded with people but never a sound was made. I was near enough to the ambulance to see the form of the president as he lay there in his bandages attended by his doctors. Since the sad affair the Exposition is practically closed. I arrived home Saturday evening and had a most pleasant week with the exception of the terrible affair of Friday.”