Source: The Current Cyclopedia of Reference
Source type: book
Document type: article
Document title: “McKinley, William”
Editor(s): Leonard-Stuart, Charles; Morris, Charles Smith
Volume number: 3
Publisher: Syndicate Publishing Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1912
|“McKinley, William.” The Current Cyclopedia of Reference. Ed. Charles Leonard-Stuart and Charles Smith Morris. Vol. 3. New York: Syndicate, 1912: [no pagination].|
|full text of article; excerpt of book|
|William McKinley (personal history).|
|James E. Campbell; Grover Cleveland; Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley; John G. Milburn [middle initial wrong below].|
This book is copyrighted for 1909; however, the year 1912 is given on the title page.
From title page: The Current Cyclopedia of Reference: Complete, Thorough, Practical.
From title page: Editors-in-Chief: Charles Leonard-Stuart, B.A., of the New International, Americana, Britannica, etc., etc.; Prof. Charles Smith Morris, A.M., LL.D., of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.
McKinley, William, an American
statesman, 24th President of the United States; born in Niles, O., Jan. 29,
1843. He was educated at the public schools, and at the Poland, O., Academy.
In May, 1861 he volunteered for the army, and entered the 23d Ohio Infantry
as a private. He served four years, rising by merit and faithfulness to the
captaincy of his company, and to the rank of major when mustered out in 1865.
He at once began the study of law; in 1867 was admitted to the bar, and commenced
practice at Canton, O., where he afterward had his residence. In 1869 he was
elected prosecuting attorney for Stark County, where his success attracted local
attention. Entering politics, he was elected to Congress in 1876, and was reëlected
for six successive terms. In 1882 his election was contested and he was unseated
but triumphantly returned at the next election. His reputation in Congress rests
chiefly on the tariff bill that bears his name. It was drawn by him as chairman
of the Ways and Means Committee, and passed by the 51st Congress. This bill
and his able advocacy of it before the House distinguished him as the leader
of the Republican party, on the tariff question. The Republican party went before
the country in 1892 almost solely on the issue raised by the McKinley tariff,
but a reaction against it had set in, and Mr. Cleveland was elected. Meanwhile
McKinley failed of reëlection in his district, though largely reducing the adverse
plurality created by a redistricting that changed the limits of the district.
In 1891 he was elected Governor of Ohio by a large plurality over former Governor
James E. Campbell, a very popular Democrat, and reëlected in 1893 in the reactionary
tidal wave of politics following a contrary tariff policy that carried the Republican
party back to power in Congress, having a plurality of over 80,000. By this
time his name was frequently mentioned as a future candidate for the presidency.
In 1895 a systematic canvass in McKinley’s behalf was instituted by his supporters
which was continued till the election of 1896. These sagacious and well-timed
efforts, with the general acceptability of Mc- [page break]
Kinley in the Republican party ranks, made it certain long before the convention
met that he would be the candidate. He was nominated and elected by a plurality
of 603,514, and an electoral majority of 95, after a campaign of more intense
interest than was displayed in any election since the Civil War.
President McKinley’s first term is memorable chiefly for the occurrence of the Spanish-American War and its unexpected results. That his policy during 1896-1900 was acceptable was shown by his unanimous renomination and reëlection in 1900 by a plurality of 849,000 and an electoral majority of 137. His second term began most auspiciously and ended tragically. On Sept. 5, 1901, he visited the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N. Y., that day having been set apart in his honor and called the “President’s Day.” On the afternoon of the following day, while holding a public reception in the Temple of Music, he was shot twice by Leon F. Czolgosz, an anarchist, who was at once arrested. The wounded President was first taken to the Emergency Hospital on the exposition grounds for immediate treatment, and then removed to the residence of John N. Milburn, the president of the exposition. Hopes of his recovery were entertained for several days, but on Sept. 13 he began to sink rapidly and died at 2:15 A. M., Sept. 14. His remains were removed to Washington on Sept., 16, laid in state in the Capitol on the 17th, and taken to his home city, Canton, O., where they were interred on the 18th amid universal mourning. The assassin was placed on trial in Buffalo, N. Y., on Sept. 23, and found guilty of murder in the first degree on Sept. 24, in a trial lasting less than nine hours and covering a period of two days. On Sept. 28 he was sentenced to death, and on Oct. 29, the sentence was carried out.