September 04, 1901

One of the Last Things Signed by William McKinley: An Autographed Souvenir Booklet from the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo

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On his third day visiting the spectacular Pan-American Exposition, President William McKinley stood in the late afternoon at the head of a receiving line, shaking hands. At seven minutes past four, the man next in line to meet McKinley’s grasp stepped forward and shot him, point blank, in the chest and stomach. Eight days later, McKinley died of his wounds, becoming the third president in United States history to be assassinated.
 
This booklet, certainly autographed during McKinley’s ill-fated visit, may well have been one of the very last things he signed. As such, it is a poignant reminder of an act that stunned the nation and the world. “That his life should be sacrificed at such a time,” a contemporary biographer noted, “just when there was an abundant peace, when all the Americans were rejoicing together, is one of the inscrutable mysteries of Providence.”

Booklet Signed (in full), as President, being a souvenir pamphlet entitled “The Pan-American Exposition – Buffalo N.Y., USA," 16 pages in all, octavo, Buffalo, New York, dated in print May 1 to November 1, 1901 but apparently signed during McKinley’s visit to the Exposition, September 4th, 5th or 6th,1901.

 

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Transcript

[front cover]

The PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION
Buffalo, N.Y. USA

From May 1 to November 1, 1901...

[illustration, "Electric Tower"]

* * * *

[page 1]

The Pan-American Exhibition...
History of the Exposition...

[illustration, Niagara Falls]

* * * *
[page 2]

Government Endorsement...
[illustration, Ground Plan for the Pan-American Exposition]

* * * *
[page 3]

Selection of a site...
[illustration, Machinery and Transportation]

* * * *
[page 4]

Objects of Interest Near Buffalo...
Classification of Exhibits...

[illustrations, Lake in Exhibition Grounds, Old Arch in Exhibition Grounds, North Bay]

* * * *
[page 5]

[illustrations, United States Government Buildings; Electricity Building]

* * * *
[page 6]

Electrical Features...

[illustrations, Forestry and Mines; Horticulture, Graphic Arts; Ethnology Building]

* * * *
[page 7]

[illustration, Manufactures and Liberal Arts]

* * * *
[page 8]

Electrical Building...

[illustration, Stadium or Athletic Arena]

* * * *

[page 9]

Landscape Features...[illustration, The Plaza (Restaurant and Entrance to Midway. Colonnade and Entrance to R.R. Station)]

* * * *
[page 10]

Exposition Buildings...

[illustration, in Buffalo Harbor]

* * * *
[page 11]

[illustrations. Lafayette Park, Looking Down Main Street; Ellicott Square, Main Street, Looking North; Corner Main and Niagara Streets]

* * * *
[page 12]

Fine Permanent Buildings...
A Famous Carillon...

[illustration, Interior Power House, Niagara Falls Power Company]

* * * *
[page 13]

[illustrations, Steamer North and, Northland Steamship Company; Steamer Corona, Niagara River Navigation Company; Steamer City of  Buffalo, Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co.]

* * * *
[page 14]

President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Committee, Executive Officers...

[illustrations, Niagara Gorge; Chautauqua Lake; Lakewood, on Lake Chautauqua]

* * * *
[back cover]

The Pan-American Exhibition.

[illustration, Pan-American Exhibition Seal]

WILLIAM McKINLEY