Publication information
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Source: Sun
Source type: newspaper
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “Secret Service Agents”
Author(s): G.
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 23 September 1901
Volume number: 69
Issue number: 23
Pagination: 6

G. “Secret Service Agents.” Sun [New York] 23 Sept. 1901 v69n23: p. 6.
full text
The Sun [New York, NY]; Secret Service (criticism); Leslie’s Weekly; McKinley assassination (news coverage: photographs); McKinley assassination (news coverage: criticism); Samuel R. Ireland (photographs).
Named persons
G.; Samuel R. Ireland; William McKinley; John Wisser.


Secret Service Agents


Comments on Their Failure to Protect Mr. McKinley at Buffalo.

     TO THE EDITOR OF THE SUNSir: It was not my desire to utter a discordant word or write an unhappy line until after the burial of President McKinley. It is now time for all good citizens to speak in commendation of the recent editorial in THE SUN concerning the conduct of the Secret Service agents of the Government who surrounded President McKinley at the time he was shot.
     THE SUN is right when it asserts that the Secret Service is in great and quick need of a thorough overhauling. I want to call your attention to the pictures in last week’s Leslie’s of the Secret Service agents close to the President on that awful day. They are posing in a group beside the President! A Secret Service agent of the United States Government posing for his portrait in a periodical! What a farce! This group is labelled [sic] “The three men behind the stand are the private detective and Secret Service men who seized the assassin.” All the testimony as sent to Washington in an official report declares that the assassin was seized and arrested by Capt. John P. Wisser’s men who helped arrest the assassin. He is one of the artillery corps.
     There is another picture in Leslie’s. It is of Ireland, one of the Secret Service men close to the President at the time he was murdered. This has the legend “Secret Service Agent S. R. Ireland, of [sic] the most famous detectives in the service.” Famous detectives were all the three who stood beside Mr. McKinley and permitted an agitated stranger with a hand muffled in a handkerchief to shoot down our President! Yes, they are famous in picture papers; very famous indeed. Do you know I was at Buffalo and one of these famous detectives (in the picture papers) whined to the newspaper men and said he hoped nothing more would be said as “he didn’t want to lose his job?”
     These Secret Service agents were appointed to protect the life of the President on just such occasions. They did not do so. They were criminally negligent from every standpoint. I wouldn’t be in their shoes to-night for the wealth of the Indies.
     Some of your correspondents in their letters to THE SUN have called them “dubs;” that’s what they are, “dubs” and “posers” for picture papers. If a Secret Service agent of any foreign government had his picture printed for public inspection he would be summarily dismissed from the service.
     But oh! the pity of it—President McKinley to have been in such careless hands! Wherever I go in clubs, hotels and all public resorts these Secret Service men who didn’t use ordinary care in protecting the President from the assassin are not only roundly denounced but heartily despised.


     NEW YORK, Sept. 20.



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