Tuesday, September 06, 2011

McKinley in Buffalo

The assassination of President McKinley, who was shot on September 6, 1901, and died on September 14, shocked the nation. The president had been visiting the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo when he was attacked -- which unfortunately is what the expo is best remembered for these days.

Pan American Exposition by night

James Hall, a young man employed at the expo, wrote a letter on the day after the president died:

Dear "Liz,"

Isn't it awful? After everything seemed so favorable to recovery that McKinley should pass away so suddenly - I can't realize that he is gone. That one so loved, admired, and respected by all should be called home just in the prime of his life, as he has been, seems rather hard. And to think that it was only a week ago Thursday that I saw him show himself a gracious acquaintance, an able statesman, a loving husband, a man worthy of the trust placed in him, a cautious, far-seeing unselfish leader, the man representative of his race. Yet today I saw what is left of him, quiet in the long rest and he has been called Home to be with Our Father. And so let us pray that the man who succeeds him may prove himself a worthy successor, as we believe he will....

This afternoon I took an old G.A.R. man to see the house in which McKinley died and then down to the city hall where the body was lying in state. We stood in line about two hours before we reached the bier. When we went to take the car to go home there must have been nearly fifty thousand people in line. I never saw such a crowd. Thousands couldn't possibly have reached the city hall before it was closed. Tomorrow morning the body goes to Washington....

Your brudder

This web site, which published James Hall's letter, is devoted to the expo, including the awful event of September 6, but much else besides.

No comments: