While extending in friendly greeting his hand of fellowship, in the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition, William McKinley, President of the United States, was shot down at the hands of either an Anarchist or a lunatic, a few minutes after 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon.
The assassin was captured and is safely in custody, while the President has undergone an operation and is at the home of President Milburn of the Pan-American Exposition, whose guest he has been. Grave fears are entertained as to his recovery, the second bullet having entered the abdomen, completely penetrating the stomach. It has not been found and further search for it has been abandoned for the present. The first bullet struck the breast and did not penetrate. When Mrs. McKinley was told of the tragedy she was at the home of Mr. Milburn and it was reported that she bore up well although still an invalid.
THE WORLD'S ANXIETY
The world is pouring its messages of regret into the doorway of the Milburn home. Thousands of telegrams have been received, and an effort has not yet been made to open them, but they all go to show the effect of the tragedy has had upon the entire world.
Buffalo is now undergoing the most trying ordeal in its history. Her guest of honor, the nation's ruler and the respected colleague of the rulers of all civilized nations, lies between life and death within her own doors. No adequate description may be attempted of the impression this tragedy has made upon the people of Buffalo. Everywhere people are so horrified that the crime is discussed in the shortest sentences, and many are the expressions of revenge.
MILITIA ON WAITING ORDERS
Exciting mobs have gathered about the 1st Precinct Police Station, wherein the assassin is a prisoner, and the police have been kept busy all night dispersing them. Fearing the worst might come, the militia had been ordered into readiness. Governor Odell has arrived and the 65 Regiment is under waiting orders. A few minutes after the President was shot, the Midway closed and last night the entire Exposition grounds were in darkness and deserted.
The assassin, in a confession made to the District Attorney, court officials and the police at midnight, said that his name was Leon Czolgosz, that he was 28 years old, a blacksmith, and that he had come to Buffalo from from his home in Cleveland three days ago with the express intention of assassinating the President. He said he had been a student of Emma Goldberg, the Anarchist, had approved her doctrines and did not believe in this form of government. He described with accuracy and with seeming pride the preparations he had made to kill the President, how he had practiced in folding the handkerchief about his hand so as to conceal the revolver, and described how he had shot the President.
To a Courier reporter District Attorney Penney gave the substance of Czolgosz's confession as follows:
"This man has admitted shooting the President. He says he intended to kill; that he has been planning to do it for the last three days since he came here. He went into the Temple of Music with murder in his heart, intending to shoot to kill. He fixed up his hand by tying a handkerchief around it and waited his turn to get near the President, just as the newspapers have described. When he got directly in front of the President he fired. He says he had no confederates, that he was entirely alone in the planning and execution of his diabolical act."
This in substance is the confession made by Czolgosz, who is a German-Pole and says his home is in the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio. He is 28 years old, unmarried, and has seven brothers and two sisters living there. He worked for a time in the wire mills at Newark, Ohio. He exhibits no signs of contrition and acts as if he had done a praiseworthy, instead of a dastardly, act.
The President, with Mrs. McKinley, had been to Niagara Falls up until 3:30 o'clock, when his special train brought them to the Exposition. There, Mrs. McKinley took a carriage to the Milburn home, she feeling fatigued. The President and his party were driven to the Government building, where a light lunch was served, and then the President, accompanied only by President Milburn, Secretary Cortelyou and the Secret Service men, drove to the Temple of Music, where it had been arranged to have a public reception.
The President had taken his position under a bower of palms, and to his left was President Milburn, to his right Secretary Cortelyou, and opposite them Secret Service operatives Ireland and Foster. They were so arranged that the crowd would have to pass in single file. Along the aisle down which the public must pass were numerous soldiers from the 73d Sea Coast Artillery and guards from the Exposition police.
The President was never in a better mood; he was smiling from the moment he stepped into the building, and when he announced that he was ready for the doors to be thrown open, he appeared as though the coming on-slaught of handshaking was to be a long-looked-for pleasure.
MUSIC OF THE ORGAN
Two hundred people had not passed the President when the tragedy which was to startle the world turned the joyous scene into one of indestructible excitement, assault and pandemonium. Organist Gomph had reached the highest notes in one of Bach's masterpieces on the great pipe organ, and as he stopped at the height to let the strains reverberate through the auditorium the two shots rang out.