Autopsy on the President
Bullet Caused Gangrene Where It Penetrated the Walls
of the Stomach, Where It Tore
the Kidney and Where It Lodged in the Muscles of the Back—No Medical
Surgical Treatment Could Have Saved Him.
Milburn House, Buffalo, September
14.—The following report of the autopsy upon the remains of President
McKinley was issued at 5 o’clock:
“The bullet which struck over the
breast bone did not pass through the skin and did little harm. The
other bullet passed through both walls of the stomach near its lower
border. Both holes were found to be perfectly closed by the stitches,
but the tissue around each hole had become gangrenous. After passing
through the stomach the bullet passed through into the back walls
of the abdomen, hitting and tearing the upper end of the kidney.
This portion of the bullet track was also gangrenous, the gangrene
involving the pancreas. The bullet has not yet been found. There
was no sign of peritonitis or disease of other organs. The heart
walls were very thin. There was no evidence of any attempt at repair
on the part of nature, and death resulted from the gangrene, which
affected the stomach around the bullet wounds as well as the tissues
around the further course of the bullet. Death was unavoidable by
any surgical or medical treatment and was the direct result of the
“Signed: Harvey D. Gaylord, M. D.;
Herman G. Matzinger, M. D.; P. M. Rixey, M. D.; Matthew D. Mann,
M. D.; Herman Mynter, M. D.; Roswell Park, M. D.; Eugene Wasdin,
M. D.; Charles G. Stockton, M. D.; Edward G. Janeway, M. D.; W.
D. Jackson, M. D.; W. P. Kendall, surgeon United States army; Charles
Cary, M. D.; Edward L. Munson, assistant surgeon in the United States
army; Hermanus L. Baer, M. D.”
WERE THE BULLETS POISONED?
The report of the autopsy has again
given rise to a theory hinted at a day or two after the President
was shot that Czolgocz, in order to insure the accomplishment of
his purpose, poisoned the bullets which he fired. The gangrene found
in the path of the bullet is thought to be strong evidence in support
of this view by Dr. Wasdin, one of the consulting physicians. Dr.
Wasdin is considered an expert of high standing in the marine hospital
A chemical and bacteriological examination
of the remaining bullets in the pistol will, however, confirm or
abolish this theory, and such an examination will undoubtedly be
made at once by the authorities. But whether this theory is established
or not it seems probable that the result of the autopsy will give
rise to a medical controversy. The gangrened condition of the interior
wounds which the physicians thought were healed, and the fact that
the physicians announced positively that the kidney, which the bullet
tore in its passage through the abdomen, was uninjured were so contrary
to what was expected by the public, after the statements of the
physicians during the progress of the case, that discussion seems
inevitable. The poisonous bullet theory might, of course, account
for the sudden and puzzling reversal of President McKinley’s condition
just when the physicians laid such great stress upon his improved
condition and gave such strong hope of his recovery. The bullet
itself was not found, although an hour’s search was made for it.
The X-ray appliances were not at hand for the use of the physicians
and the location of the bullet is still unknown.