“Heart Affection Probable Cause”
BUFFALO, Sept. 13.—“What is the cause
of death?” was asked.
“Apparently it is some affection of
the heart,” Dr. Mann replied, “but we do not know what it is exactly.
“Senator Hanna has given us to understand
that there will be an autopsy, but we are in the dark. The President’s
pulse has been rapid from the start. It has never behaved right.
It has steadily and progressively grown weaker. For the last twenty-four
hours he has been having sinking spells off and on, each one worse
and each one harder to bring him back from.
“The President did not believe until
late to-day that he would die. He told me this morning he had not
“I FEEL THAT I WILL GET WELL”
“We were laughing and
joking while I was dressing the wound. He said to me: ‘I feel that
I will get well.’
“This evening he spoke to Dr. Rixey
about dying. He said he felt it was almost over. He then asked for
“Mrs. McKinley was with him for an
hour and a half. They conversed together making their farewells.
Mrs. McKinley bears up splendidly. While she was with her husband
she sat with her hands clasped in his, and showed no signs of breaking
“The President’s last words to those
about him were: ‘Good-by all, good-by. It is God’s way. His will
be done, not ours,’ and then he said, speaking to no one apparently,
‘Nearer my God to Thee, e’en though it be a cross, it is my constant
prayer.’ His mind wandered considerably to the last and he lay scarcely
MANY FRIENDS SAY FAREWELL
When Dr. Mann was asked
who was in the room he said: “All of the President’s friends went
in and bade him bood-by [sic], most of them went away again, but
some stayed. Senator Hanna was in the room from time to time and
the members of the Cabinet went in. Secretary Root went in several
times. A front bedroom was devoted to their use. Attorney General
Knox was the last of the members of the Cabinet to arrive.”
When the bulletins were issued that
President McKinley had been able to take solid food the country
rejoiced. It was then considered certain that he would recover rapidly.
When the bulletin was issued which said that the stomach had refused
to assimilate the solid food the hearts of the country paused. They
were preparing for the worst news, which came. The food had generated
a gas and the pressure had influenced the action of the heart. This
was the startling message which was given to the world.
DR. ROSWELL PARK’S STATEMENT
When the shock had passed
the people asked who was to blame for giving the President solid
food before he was in condition to receive it. Replying to this
query Dr. Roswell Parks said:
“Solid food was not given to the President
before he could stand it. He was perfectly able to assimilate the
food given him had it not been that the impoverished blood affected
the heart. The heart refused to act properly without strong blood
food, and that was why the toast soaked in hot beef juice was given
to him. He was not given coffee. He relished the food and asked
for a cigar but this was denied. Everything known to medical science
was done for him, and there was no mistake made.”
DR. MYNTER’S STATEMENT
Dr. Herman Mynter said:
“At the time solid food was given
to him he was able to take it. There can be no mistake about that.
I do not believe that the food in his stomach had much effect on
the heart. It was believed from the first that the heart was weak
and that was why ether was given him instead of chloroform when
Dr. Mann made the operation. The heart was believed to be in a fair
condition to supply blood for the body until early this morning,
when the extremities became chilled. The heart beats [sic] had been
as usual, but the valves of the heart seemed to weaken so that the
requisite amount of blood was not supplied the system.
“Everything known to medical and surgical
science was done to get the heart into proper working order, not
to use any scientific terms which the public would not understand.
It was necessary that his mind should be free from worry of any
“It is reasonable to suppose that
he has in his conscious moments worried over the condition of his
wife and has thought much of matters of state.
“To relieve him of these matters he
was kept most of the day under opiates, which would not interfere
with the action of the heart.
“But as to the food I believe with
the other doctors that it was wise to give him the toast softened
by the beef juice. He had no coffee. The President was always cheerful
and appreciated the toast greatly. He had been strong enough to
turn himself in bed without injury and it was to be supposed that
he could take solid food in a very modified manner.”