Source: Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Berlin, Yale, Oxford, and St. Andrews—1901-1903” [chapter 43]
Author(s): White, Andrew Dickson
Volume number: 2
Publisher: Century Co.
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1905
Pagination: 197-217 (excerpt below includes only pages 197-98 and 200-01)
|White, Andrew Dickson. “Berlin, Yale, Oxford, and St. Andrews—1901-1903” [chapter 43]. Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White. Vol. 2. New York: Century, 1905: pp. 197-217.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (death: international response: Americans outside the U.S.); William McKinley (death: international response); William McKinley (mourning).|
|Andrew Carnegie; James A. Garfield; William McKinley.|
The following excerpt comprises two nonconsecutive portions of this chapter (pp. 197-98 and pp. 200-01).
From title page: Special Edition Printed for the Cornellian Council of Cornell University.
Berlin, Yale, Oxford, and St. Andrews—1901-1903 [excerpt]
DARKEST of all hours during my embassy was that which brought
news of the assassination of President McKinley. It was on the very day after
his great speech at Buffalo had gained for him the admiration and good will
of the world. Then came a week of anxiety—of hope alternating with fear; I not
hopeful: for there came back to me memories of President Garfield’s assassination
during my former official stay in Berlin, and of our hope against hope during
his struggle for life: all brought to naught. Late in the evening of September
14 came news of the President’s death—opening a new depth of sadness; for I
had come not merely to revere him as a patriot and admire him as a statesman,
but to love him as a man. Few days have seemed more overcast than that Sunday
when, at the little American chapel in Berlin, our colony held a simple service
of mourning, the imperial minister of foreign affairs and other representatives
of the government having quietly come to us. The feeling of the German people—awe,
sadness, and even sympathy—was real. Formerly they had disliked and distrusted
the President as the author of the protective policy which had cost their industries
so dear; but now, after his declaration favoring reciprocity,—with his full
recognition of the brotherhood of nations,—and in view of this calamity, so
sudden, so distressing, there had come a revulsion of feeling.
To see one whom I so honored, and who had formerly  been so greatly misrepresented, at last recognized as a great and true man was, at least, a solace.
So it was that, on my journey to America, made necessary by the sudden death of my son, I accepted Mr. Carnegie’s invitation to visit him at his castle of Skibo in the extreme north of Scotland. Very striking, during the two days’ journey from London to Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh to Bonar, were the evidences of mourning for President McKinley in every city, village, and hamlet. It seemed natural that, in the large towns and on great public buildings, flags at half-mast and in mourning should show a  sense of the calamity which had befallen a sister nation; but what appealed to me most were the draped and half-masted flags on the towers of the little country churches and cottages. Never before in the history of any two countries had such evidences of brotherly feeling been shown. Thank God! brotherly feeling had conquered demagogism.