Detail, Wilcox residence, where Roosevelt became President and promised to continue the policy of the martyred McKinley, Buffalo, N.Y. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division.
The death of President William McKinley on September 14, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, was unexpected. President McKinley had been shot by an assassin on September 6 while attending the Pan-American Exposition. He had been expected to make a full recovery from his injuries. As there was little fear for the president’s life, his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, went back to his vacation with his family in the Adirondacks.
However, by the 13th, it was clear President McKinley would not live and Roosevelt was sent for again. He arrived on the 14th in the early afternoon and went immediately to the house of a friend, Ansley Wilcox. Roosevelt had stayed with Wilcox while in Buffalo when McKinley was first shot and returned to the house again upon his arrival to Buffalo.
There had been confusion as to where the oath of office should be taken. The new President went first to the house where President McKinley’s body was, to pay his respects to the family. However, it was thought improper for the oath to be taken in the same house so it was at 3 p.m. on September 14, 1901, that members of the Cabinet filed into Ansley Wilcox’s library at 641 Delaware Avenue and Theodore Roosevelt was officially sworn in as the 26th President of the United States.
Detail, The place where Roosevelt stood while taking the President's Oath of Office-- Library, Wilcox residence, Buffalo, N.Y. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division.