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    Description

    William McKinley: Blue Wool Sailing Hat inscribed in a period hat on the inside band, "President Wm. McKinley's traveling cap. / BUFFALO, N.Y. 1901." The hat is stamped "Keystone Co. / New York" on the lining in silver ink, and the paper label indicating it is a men's size 7 ΒΌ remains. The hat is about 3 inches high with a green knit band adorned with two buttons with an anchor motif; it remains in great condition with only the gentlest of wear. It is accompanied by the original exhibition tag used at the 1954 Somerset, Pennsylvania Sesqui-Centennial exhibit that reads: "Travelling Cap worn by President McKinley on trip to Buffalo in 1901." We have previously sold McKinley's beaver top hat in December 2008 for $17,925, which had no association to the assassination. Found among his personal belongings in Buffalo, the hat we offer at present has a direct connection to the tragic event.

    On September 6, 1901 George B. Cortelyou, as presidential secretary, advised McKinley to forego a planned public reception at the Pan-American Exposition's Temple of Music, fearing the gathering would pose a security risk. McKinley said, "Why should I? No one would wish to hurt me." That afternoon, Cortelyou's fears were realized when the president was shot twice by assassin, Leon Czolgosz. President McKinley was caught and supported by his secretary, he whispered, "My wife -- be careful, Cortelyou, how you tell her -- oh, be careful."

    The hat is accompanied by supplemental materials providing direct provenance to Katherine "Kittie" Endsley Mathews. Among the ephemera are several Executive Mansion envelopes addressed to Henry Mathews, (Kittie's husband), a typed letter from Ida McKinley's secretary requesting Kittie's presence at the White House, a family photo album with pictures of various members of the Endsley and Schell families, Kittie and Henry Mathews original marriage certificate, a memorial book printed on the occasion of Anna McKinley's death, an ALS from Helen McKinley, various printed gift cards, a copy of Munsey's Magazine featuring an article on the McKinley family, and much more.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 524

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