Source: My Memories of Eighty Years
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “William McKinley” [chapter 13]
Author(s): Depew, Chauncey M.
Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1922
Pagination: 147-57 (excerpt below includes only pages 156-57)
|Depew, Chauncey M. “William McKinley” [chapter 13]. My Memories of Eighty Years. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922: pp. 147-57.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|William McKinley (death); Chauncey M. Depew; Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency); Marcus Hanna; William McKinley (relations with Marcus Hanna); Marcus Hanna (impact of assassination).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Marcus Hanna; John R. Hazel; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root; Ansley Wilcox [first name misspelled below].|
William McKinley [excerpt]
When President McKinley was lying
seriously wounded at Buffalo from the shot of the anarchist Czolgosz, I went
there to see if anything could be done for his comfort. For some time there
was hope he would recover, and that it would be better for him to go to Washington.
I made every arrangement to take him to the capital if the doctors decided it
could be done. But suddenly, as is always the case with wounds of that kind,
a crisis arrived in which he died.
Vice-President Roosevelt was camping in the Adirondacks. A message reached him, and the next morning he arrived in Buffalo. The Cabinet of Mr. McKinley decided that the vice-president should be at once inaugurated as president. Colonel Roosevelt was a guest at the house of Mr. Ainsley Wilcox. He invited me to witness his inauguration, which occurred the same evening. It was a small company gathered in the parlor of Mr. Wilcox’s house. Elihu Root, secretary of state, choking with emotion and in a voice full of tears, made a speech which was a beautiful tribute to the dead  president and a clear statement of the necessity of immediate action to avoid an interregnum in the government. John Raymond Hazel, United States district judge, administered the oath, and the new president delivered a brief and affecting answer to Mr. Root’s address.
This inauguration was in pathetic and simple contrast to that which had preceded at the Capitol at Washington. Among the few present was Senator Mark Hanna. He had been more instrumental than any one in the United States in the selection of Mr. McKinley for president and his triumphant election. Mr. McKinley put absolute trust in Hanna, and Hanna was the most powerful personality in the country. No two men in public life were ever so admirably fitted for each other as President McKinley and Senator Hanna. The day before the death of the president Hanna could look forward to four years of increasing power and usefulness with the president who had just been re-elected. But as he walked with me from Mr. Wilcox’s house that night, he felt keenly that he never could have any such relation with Colonel Roosevelt. He was personally exceedingly fond of Mr. McKinley, and to his grief at the death of his friend was added a full apprehension of his changed position in American public life.