Source: New York Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Boston Witness’s Story”
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 8 September 1901
Volume number: 50
Issue number: 16121
|“Boston Witness’s Story.” New York Times 8 Sept. 1901 v50n16121: part 1, p. 2.|
|McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: Charles J. P. Lucas); Charles J. P. Lucas (public statements); McKinley assassination (eyewitnesses).|
|Leon Czolgosz; George F. Foster; Charles J. P. Lucas; William McKinley.|
Boston Witness’s Story
Says President Prayed That Assassin Might Be Forgiven.
Special to The New York Times.
BOSTON, Mass., Sept. 7.—“I was within five feet
of President McKinley when he was shot yesterday afternoon,” said Charles J.
P. Lucas of Cambridge this afternoon. “The scene that followed the shooting
was one of pandemonium, and the horror of the attempt to murder the Nation’s
Chief was something I do not care to go through again.”
Mr. Lucas is a prominent athlete of Cambridge and was in Buffalo competing in the international events at the Exposition grounds. He went to the Temple of Music to meet the President and was only four persons behind Czolgosz, the assassin, in the line. Mr. Lucas reached home at noon to-day.
“The Secret Service men,” he continued, “seemed to have their eyes on a certain man in the line, several feet ahead of Czolgosz. He was a rather hard looking individual, a foreigner in appearance, with unkempt hair and beard, and a hard look on his face. Secret Service man Foster moved very close to the man, and followed him along, holding his arm in such a manner as would lead one to believe that he was going to grab the man. Nothing happened, however, and after a hearty handshake on the part of the President the man passed on.
“Next came a woman holding a little girl by the hand. President McKinley shook hands with the woman, but his eyes were riveted upon the light-haired child, who seemed to have caught his eye. He stooped over in a kindly manner, and, grasping the hand of the little miss, asked her name, but her answer was inaudible.
“All this time a man with his hand tied up in a handkerchief, resembling a bandage that appeared to be the work of a surgeon, followed. When he came within one person of the President one of the Secret Service men looked him over and also glanced at the man’s right hand, which was held near the region of the diaphragm. No ends were open in the bandage, the hand being done up in a manner that would lead one to think that it was attached to a splint.
“President McKinley slowly raised his hand, as if tired, to grasp that of the would-be assassin. As he took the hand of the foreigner he raised it to the ordinary height in handshaking, and as he did so the man, pressing his elbow close to his side, turned the muzzle of the gun toward the President’s breast, and, without the slightest sign of anything unusual, fired two shots in quick succession.
“So rapidly was the deed committed that the police, detectives, soldiers, and every one stood still without moving a muscle.
“The crowd did not have the opportunity of venting its feelings, however, as the marines and cavalrymen surrounded the man.
“As the President sank into a chair, to which he was half carried, he was heard to say by those within several feet of him, ‘May God forgive him.’ After the shooting I stood near the President for several minutes. He bore his sufferings with fortitude.”