William McKinley Original Historic Letters and Documents

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Topic

Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (21)

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McKinley's Last Tour: Cortelyou Thanks the Mayor of San Francisco for His Help

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 116

President McKinley's secretary, George Cortelyou thanks the Mayor of San Francisco on behalf of the McKinleys for all the help they received when Mrs. McKinley had taken ill out West.
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On the Day of President McKinley's Death, Asst. Secretary of State Cridler Writes of His Horror and Fury

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 143

Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Wilbur Cridler expresses his anguish at President McKinley's death, and his rage at the assassin. Cridler, as a religious Christian, expresses difficulty conceiving of why God would allow this tragedy to happen.
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Extraordinary Eyewitness Account of the Assassination of President McKinley-Dated One Day After

Typed Manuscript Signed

8 pages

SMC 183

De Benneville Randolph Keim, a Washington reporter, was standing right by McKinley when he was assassinated. He took an active role in responding, including carrying the mortally wounded president to an ambulance. This is his account of the assassination.
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One of the Last Things Signed by William McKinley: A Souvenir Booklet from the Pan-American Exposition

Signed Book

16 pages

SMC 233

President William McKinley was assassinated on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo; it's very possible this souvenir booklet was the very last thing he signed.
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Theodore Roosevelt Confidently Reports that the Mortally Wounded President McKinley is Doing Well

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 245

Roosevelt feels assured not only that McKinley will recover, but that his recovery will be so speedy that in a very short time he will be able to resume his duties.
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President William McKinley Signs Executive Mansion Card on His 55th Birthday

White House Card

1 page

SMC 537

On January 29, 1898, his first birthday in the White House, President William McKinley, turning fifty-five, signed this Executive Mansion card.
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President William McKinley Writes to the Widow of His Vice President and Dear Friend, Mrs. Hobart

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 915

In this letter, written four months after the death of his vice-president and dear friend, Garret Hobart, President McKinley thanks Mrs. Tuttle-Hobart for the gift of fruit, and for the wonderful time spent together with her and her son.
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McKinley is Comforted to Learn That His Gravely-Ill Vice President is Improving - 5 Days Before Hobart Dies

Autograph Telegram Signed

1 page

SMC 916

This letter, in which President McKinley expresses his relief that Garret Hobart-his vice-president and dear friend-is on the mend, was written a mere five days before Hobart's health took a turn for the worse and he died.
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President William McKinley Wires Ailing Vice President Garret Hobart

Autograph Telegram Signed

1 page

SMC 917

Immediately after returning to Washington from visiting the ailing Garret Hobart in New Jersey, McKinley wires him to inquire after his health. Less than three months later, heart disease would finally claim Hobart's life.
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President William McKinley Commissions a Second Lieutenant

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1179

Commission for Second Lieutenant Earnest M. Reeve, signed by President William McKinley in December of 1899.
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Physician of Assassinated President William McKinley Quotes McKinley's Last Words

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1182

Matthew D. Mann, the physician who tended to President William McKinley on his deathbed, confirms McKinley's fabled last words.
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A Contemporary Account of the William McKinley Assassination by a 15 Year-Old Girl

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1183

Edna M. Hurry, a fifteen-year-old bookkeeper, goes into striking detail in her eyewitness account of President William McKinley's assassination.
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Secretary of Navy Long: President William McKinley,

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1186

In this private note to his daughter, in which he discusses, amongst other things, a birthday present for his daughter, Naval Secretary John Long reveals that President William McKinley will absolutely not be seeking a third term.
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President William McKinley Orders Seal Affixed to his Proclamation on the Death of Vice President Hobart

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1187

Death warrant of Vice President Garret Hobart, signed by his dear friend, President William McKinley.
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Document Signed by President William McKinley Close to His Assassination

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1190

Document signed by President William McKinley two weeks before he was fatally shot.
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On the First Day of His Second Term, William McKinley Promotes a War Hero

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1196

Promotion of war hero Lt. Commander James Kelsey Cogswell to Commander; signed by William McKinley on the first day of his second term as president.
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William McKinley Invites Old Friend to Go with Him to His Gubernatorial Inauguration:

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1666

William McKinley urges his friend John Taylor and his wife to join him and his wife to travel together to McKinley's induction ceremony as Governor of Ohio. He would later call upon the same friends to accompany him to his inauguration as president.
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Leon Czolgosz's Incredibly Rare Confession to the Assassination of President William McKinley

Document Signed

2 pages

SMC 1813

Czolgosz's twice-signed confession to assassinating President McKinley, stemming from anarchist convictions.
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Incredibly Rare Czolgosz Letter – 5 Weeks Before He Assassinated McKinley – as

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1817

A rare and disjointed letter from Leon Czolgosz, ominously written in red ink, approximately five weeks before he would assassinate President William McKinley, signed as his alias, Fred C. Nieman.
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President McKinley’s Secretary Cancels McKinley's Engagements

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1861

McKinley’s devoted secretary, George Cortelyou regrets to cancel President McKinley's appearance at Harvard University, "owing to Mrs. McKinley's serious illness."
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President William McKinley's Appointment of the Antisemitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1879

President William McKinley reinstalls Selah Merrill as consul at Jerusalem. Merrill held the post for about thirty years prior to this, his last appointment, and was widely known to revile the Jews in the Holy Land.
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