Since we posted an oddity about McKinley’s assassination yesterday, here is another one:
In the days following the shooting, people speaking out against McKinley were threatened, fired from their jobs, and beaten. It was definitely not a time to be labeled an “anarchist.”
In Manhattan on September 7, a well-dressed young man riled up a crowd on 125th Street and Seventh Avenue to come with him to Paterson, NJ to “exterminate the anarchists.” As the police looked on without interfering, over 100 people came with him as he boarded the elevated to go to Paterson “to kill 10,000 anarchists if President McKinley dies.”
Anarchists as a group were suspected in a vast conspiracy and rounded up for questioning. Antonio Maggio a coronet player and anarchist had made a prediction the previous year while living in Kansas City, MO, that the President would be killed by anarchists. Maggio was arrested in Silver City, NM on September 9 for his prediction. Cleared of wrong-doing, Maggio would go on to play a very important part in the development of American Rhythm and Blues and early Jazz. Maggio composed the first known song with “blues” in the title in 1908 when he wrote, “I Got the Blues.”
In the small town of Scottsville, NY on September 6, in front of the local hotel, someone cried out “McKinley’s been shot.” A stranger said, “That’s all right, he ought to have been long ago.” A crowd gathered around the stranger and chased him down an alley where he escaped. A posse was formed to find the man and kill him.
On September 8, in Chicopee, KA, anarchists held jubilation meetings to give thanks for the shooting of McKinley. Patriots invaded the meeting and several shots were fired at the anarchists.
In Pittsburgh, PA on September 10 an unknown foreigner was driven out of town and threatened with lynching if he returned for expressing gratification over the shooting of McKinley
On September 11 in Danbury, CT, suspected anarchist Albert Weber was dismissed from his job as a hatmaker at the factory of T.C. Millard and Co. when his co-workers refused to work with him. His workmates claimed Weber said, “I am only sorry that Czolgosz did not shoot higher.”
The press did not receive a free pass either. In New York City on September 12 anarchist and editor of Die Freiheit, was arrested for an editorial he wrote on September 7.
After the president died, a sailor J.W. Stoll was beaten by his shipmates when he heard of the president’s death and he said, “The _____ ought to have been killed.” The executive officer of the ship charged Stoll with treason and had him locked in the brig. Stoll later claimed he was referring to Czolgosz, not McKinley.
On September 15 in Saratoga, NY fire commissioners discharged fireman John Doulin for uttering remarks derogatory to President McKinley.
In Huntington, IN on September 15, Joseph A. Wildman a United Brethren minister was tarred and feathered by his congregation after calling McKinley a “political demagogue” from the pulpit.
On September 16, in Newark NJ, anarchist Victor Zagarsky was sentenced to 90 days in prison for toasting McKinley’s death and drinking to the health of Czolgosz.
William Davis a shoemaker from Troy, New York made sneering remarks about a magistrate wearing a McKinley mourning band in New York City on September 18. He was arrested by the magistrate and sentenced to two months at Blackwell’s Island.