Source type: book
Document type: public address
Document title: “Introductory Address”
Author(s): Phelan, James D.
Publisher: none given
Place of publication: none given
Year of publication: [1902?]
|Phelan, James D. “Introductory Address.” Addresses. [n.p.]: [n.p.], [1902?]: pp. 47-48.|
|full text of address; excerpt of book|
|James D. Phelan (public addresses); William McKinley (memorial addresses); William McKinley (mourning).|
The title page of the book bears the statement “San Francisco, 1901.” Possibly this is meant to indicate the date of publication, but the fact that the final public address in the book is dated January 1902 suggests otherwise. Page 78 denotes that the book was printed in San Francisco.
In the book’s table of contents the address below is identified as “The Death of President McKinley—Memorial Services.”
“By Mayor James D. Phelan at the Citizens’ Memorial Services, Held on the Day of the Funeral of William McKinley, Late President of the United States, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, Thursday, September 19, 1901” (p. 47).
From title page: By Mayor James D. Phelan.
A sad mission has called us together.
Our city is bowed in grief. We mourn the loss of our President. But recently
he was with us, beloved and honored of all men, and now he is lying low, the
victim of a cruel and cowardly crime which humiliates the Republic and disgraces
humanity. But this hour is sacred to sorrow, and resentment yields to the tender
emotions which have brought us here.
We are a joyous people. We celebrate holidays and welcome distinguished guests with garlanded streets and decorated houses; and so did we go out dutifully, it seems but yesterday, to greet the President of the United States, when, accompanied by his Cabinet, in all the power of his position, he honored our city by a visit. I say, dutifully did we go out to greet him, but well do we remember how duty was enthusiastically transmuted, by his simple presence, into the sweetest offices of love! Our country’s chosen chief at once became our friend, as we became his champion. Ah!  too brief a time did he linger with us, but long enough to awaken in every honest breast the sincerest appreciation of his virtues and his patriotism.
But, now, he is gone forever. His last kindly speech is spoken: “Good by all. It is God’s way. Let His will, not ours, be done.”
Good-by, William McKinley!
No more, my friends, shall his inspiring words fall upon our delighted ears; nor shall his eyes ever again reflect the love he bore his fellowman; nor shall his benignant face picture again for us the unfeigned joy with which he beheld the reciprocal devotion of a happy and prosperous people.
He is dead, and we are assembled to honor his memory. Let us strive to do it worthily. Our feeble expression is burdened, however, with the weight of sorrow; each man’s house is a house of mourning; but each fireside shall be a Temple of Fame and a stronghold of Patriotism! Our people shall, in their heart-offerings of this day, pledge themselves to the God of Nations that the lesson of the life and death of William McKinley shall not be lost, and that the gain in an aroused love of country, which would have been so pleasing in his eyes, shall be equal to the magnitude of the sacrifice. Let this be our consolation.
We cannot recall the past. The President is dead; William McKinley is no more; San Francisco, loyal and loving, mourns passionately at his grave; but our Country survives and is made more sacred to us still by the blood of its martyred President and the tears of an afflicted people.