Source: Life and Distinguished Services of Hon. Wm. McKinley and the Great Issues of 1896
Source type: book
Document type: preface
Document title: “Author’s Preface”
Author(s): Halstead, Murat
Publisher: Edgewood Publishing Company
Place of publication: none given
Year of publication: 1896
|Halstead, Murat. “Author’s Preface.” Life and Distinguished Services of Hon. Wm. McKinley and the Great Issues of 1896. [n.p.]: Edgewood, 1896: pp. iii-v.|
|full text of preface; excerpt of book|
|William McKinley (political character).|
From title page: Life and Distinguished Services of Hon. Wm. McKinley and the Great Issues of 1896; Containing also a Sketch of the Life of Garret A. Hobart.
From title page: By Murat Halstead, Esq., the Celebrated Journalist and Author; with Chapters by Hon. John Sherman, Gen. C. H. Grosvenor, and Col. Albert Halstead, of Governor McKinley’s Staff; with an Introduction by Chauncey M. Depew, Esq.
ON the day before Major McKinley was nominated for the Presidency, an artist distinguished for the fetching touch of his pencil in catching and fixing in a few lines, stood in the door of a room where the Major was seated, and never having before seen the famous face, was regarding it with personal and professional intensity, when an acquaintance approached him and said, “Have you been introduced to the Governor?” “No,” said the artist; “not yet, presently gladly. Let me study him a moment unbeknown, just as he is. Why there is no picture that does him justice. I am right glad to see him when he has no idea of a possible sketch, and no thought of himself. I did not think so, but he is a great man. He is splendid, and there is no one like him in the country. Why did any one ever say he was not a strong man?” The artist perceived at a glance what all who study Major McKinley find out—that he is a strong man and a great one. He is a fortunate combination of excellent, admirable, and lovable traits and qualities. Alike in his boyish patriotism, adventure and bravery in war, and the experiences of his mature years in [iii][iv] the National Congress, and the straightforward discharge of executive duty as Governor of a great State, there has been the heroic simplicity, unselfish and constant, that has attracted the attention and popular favor of ever-widening circles of his fellow-citizens, until his glory has become a precious possession of the American people, and inspired with it they did not wait for the stated organizations to move, before they proclaimed in many unmistakable ways that he was their candidate for the Presidency, and the National Convention of the Republican party, as a representative assembly, ratified the public will. The life of McKinley shows the stronger and more graceful lines with greater strength and grace the better it is known. The office of his biographer is one of grateful satisfaction. His record is clear. There is no line for love to lament or for charity to cover—no chapter for the advocate to blot or the diplomat to obscure. This is one of the rarest of lives, shining in every part with the inner light of the truth that is honor’s self; and the radiance of unclouded day reveals only stainless symmetry, and the harmony of open motives with consummate achievement. He could not advance to the elevation he occupies without encountering enmity and combating imputation; but no charge was ever contrived that he had other fault than that of friendliness perhaps too forgiving, or of confidence too generous. He is a man who will go on growing in the affection of the gentle and the estimation of the [iv][v] judicious. The potency of his character and intellect and the kindliness of his heart, declare in his presence, that the favorite disparagements in which his assailants indulge, the conventional accusations of partisan warfare, are but fictions that are frivolous. The verdict of the artist, that he is a strong, great man, will be confirmed by all the people, when the performance of the task they appoint for him becomes history.