Great Precautions Were Taken
The President Was Surrounded by Secret Service Operatives
Detectives—Bee Reporter’s Attention Directed to Sleuths.
The writer left [t]he Pan-American
exposition grounds at 11 o’clock Thursday night.
“President’s Day,” as yesterday was
styled, was one of the great days of the exposition.
The attendance was near the 100,000
mark, and exerywhere [sic] the nation’s chief executive went he
received an enthusiastic ovation from the assembled multitudes.
That coming events cast their shadows
before may seem a trite saying at this time—but nevertheless the
possible assassination of the president was more than once refer[r]ed
Unusu[a]l and plainly evident precautions
taken to prevent it carried with them a suggestion of the act.
When McKinley entered t[h]e Lincoln
Park entrance to the exposition grounds yesterday his carriage was
followed by another containing a secret service operative and a
well known Buffalo officer.
Another carriage containing detectives
followed the conveyance of the cabinet officers.
A mounted military escort was also
a feature of the president’s party.
Mingling with the exposition crowd
one frequently heard the question, “Who are those men [i]n the carriage
back of McKinley?”
The fact that they were detectives
passed from mouth to mouth as the precession [sic] moved forward.
The grounds were so crowded that the
progress of the party was necessarily slow.
Whenever it was stopped for any length
of time those constituting the body guard [sic] of the president
would alight and walk to and fro remaining close to Mr. McKinley.
“What do you suppose these people
would do if some crank were to take a shot at the president?”
“Oh, I suppose people would go crazy
with excitement for an hour or two. We would have another period
of mourning and the Exposition company would have an added attraction
in the shape of a monument with an inscription, ‘Here Fell President
That was one fragment of many similar
conversations overheard on the esplanade as the president and his
escort passed along.
While people discussed possible assassination,
of course none took the matter seriously.
In fact there was a general sentiment
that “the body guard [sic] business” was a little overdone.
Those in charge of arranging the escort
were criticised right and left for the extraordinary precautions
that were taken.
Frequent references were made to the
way monarchs, czars, emperors and kings travel.
But it appears that all the precautions
were necessary, and ineffectual at that.