New York Negro Aided President
“Big Jim” Parker, Well Known in Tenderloin, First
to Strike Down Czolgosz.
Because he preserved his presence
of mind at a crucial moment, preventing thereby the possible firing
of a thirty calibre shot at President McKinley, James B. Parker,
a negro waiter, of this city, is the hero of Buffalo.
His friends here, and they number
nearly all the negroes in the Tenderloin, are rejoicing because
one of their number, as they think, saved the President’s life,
and because it was “Big Jim” Parker.
His courage and quickness in striking
the revolver from the hand of Czolgosz, as it was raised to fire
a third shot, is regarded by them as worthy of remembrance.
“Big Jim,” as he is familiarly known,
was “sure to do something great,” they said yesterday, “for he was
a man who did not know the meaning of fear and who could fight like
Measuring more than six feet in height
and of proportionate build, Parker is regarded as a modern gladiator.
Forty-four years of age, he is of a quiet disposition, never seeks
a fight and is always cool of head when in a tight corner.
These characteristics stood him in
good stead when he saw Czolgosz attempt to shoot the third time.
Of all the men who were near President McKinley when he was shot,
“Big Jim” was the first to act. He had just shaken hands with the
President for the first time in his life, and he felt so proud that
he paused a moment to watch the Chief Executive as he greeted others
in the long line waiting to be received.
In that brief period the shots were
fired. Parker leaped upon the assassin before the last report had
In the hands of the powerful negro
the anarchist was as a child. Parker rained blow after blow on the
man’s face. Fortunately the detectives stepped in at this moment
and rescued Czolgosz or he might have been killed.
Parker begged that he might be allowed
to “finish his job,” and his friends here say they wish he had been
allowed “to proceed.”
When in this city Parker lived at
No. 117 West Twenty-ninth street [sic]. An excellent penman, he
was accustomed, when not engaged as a waiter, to write cards. He
was born in Savannah, Ga., and served as a letter carrier in that
About six years ago Parker was run
down by a Sixth avenue [sic] car and seriously injured. Recently,
it is said, he recovered $1,500 damages by suit.