Source: The Life of William McKinley, Twenty-Fifth President of the United States
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “A Retrospect” [chapter 1]
Author(s): Snow, Jane Elliott
Publisher: Imperial Press
Place of publication: Cleveland, Ohio
Year of publication: 1908
|Snow, Jane Elliott. “A Retrospect” [chapter 1]. The Life of William McKinley, Twenty-Fifth President of the United States. Cleveland: Imperial Press, 1908: pp. 13-14.|
|full text of chapter; excerpt of book|
|McKinley assassination; presidential assassinations (comparison).|
|James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
|From title page: By Jane Elliott Snow, Author of “Women of Tennyson” and “Coates Family History.”|
Late in the afternoon of September
6, 1901, a wave of sorrow swept over this country so intense that words fail
to describe its effect upon the people. This was caused by the report wired
far and near that President McKinley, while holding a reception in the Temple
of Music on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition, at Buffalo, New York,
had received from the hands of an assassin a wound which it was feared would
“Alas for our country, if these things must be!” was the agonized cry that went up from thousands of loyal patriotic hearts.
Within the lifetime of multitudes of people then living, two Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and James A. Garfield, had fallen by the hands of assassins.
And now must the third, one to whom the eyes of the Nation were then devotedly turned, meet with the same cruel fate?
When Abraham Lincoln was stricken  down, the Nation had just emerged from a civil war of four years’ duration. The passions engendered by that long struggle had scarcely time to abate.
James A. Garfield came to the presidency amid the throes of bitter partisan strife. Either of these conditions might lead thinking people to fear some dreadful tragedy at the hands of a misguided, brutal avenger.
But at no time in the history of the country did the “dove of peace” seem to hover nearer to the earth than during the summer when the Pan-American Exposition was in progress, and when everything connected with it breathed harmony and joy.
No man ever sat in a high place who was of a more kindly nature or freer from enmity of his fellow men than William McKinley.
Only the day before he received his death wound he had commanded the attention and respect of the whole world by delivering an address in favor of universal peace and harmony.
His whole life was a benediction—a blessing.