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Source: The New Complete History of the United States of America
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The McKinley-Roosevelt Administration” [chapter 117]
Author(s): Ridpath, John Clark
Edition: Official edition
Volume number: 14
Publisher: Ridpath History Company
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Year of publication: 1907
Pagination: 5765-820 (excerpt below includes only pages 5785-92)

Ridpath, John Clark. “The McKinley-Roosevelt Administration” [chapter 117]. The New Complete History of the United States of America. Official ed. Vol. 14. Washington, DC: Ridpath History, 1907: pp. 5765-820.
excerpt of chapter
Pan-American Exposition; McKinley assassination; McKinley funeral services; William McKinley (death: international response); McKinley memorial services; Theodore Roosevelt (first annual message to Congress).
Named persons
Alexandra [identified as Alexandria below]; Leon Czolgosz; Porfirio Díaz; Edward VII; James A. Garfield; Marcus Hanna; Abraham Lincoln; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Victoria.
Within this chapter is an unnumbered plate (facing p. 5768) featuring a photograph of McKinley; a second unnumbered plate (facing p. 5786) includes two photographs, the first an exterior shot of the Temple of Music, wherein McKinley was assaulted, and the second an exterior shot of the Pan-American Exposition’s Electric Tower.

From title page: The New Complete History of the United States of America: Including the Traditions and Speculations of the Pre-Columbian Voyagers; the Discovery and Settlement of the New Continent; Its Development under Colonial Government and the Establishment and Progress of the Republic; Appositely Illustrated with Original Drawings, Maps, Portraits and Notable Documents, Selected for Their Contemporaneity from the Royal Archives at Genoa, Madrid, Paris and London, by Special Permission of Their Governments, from the Department of State and the Library of Congress at Washington, and from Private Collections of Rare Americans.

From title page: By John Clark Ridpath, LL.D., Author of Ridpath’s History of the World.


The McKinley-Roosevelt Administration [excerpt]

     During the year 1900, preparations were making for the opening of a Pan-American Exhibition at Buffalo, New York, which opened the following spring, in the presence of a vast multitude of people. Its projectors had had the benefit of the lessons taught by the exhibitions at Philadelphia and Chicago, and had improved upon many of the features which made them successful. The grounds were beautifully laid out, and contained some of the finest buildings ever erected. The electrical display, which made the grounds at night almost as light as during the day, far exceeded that of Chicago. The exhibit of the United States government was the largest ever before made, embracing every branch of public service, and was contained in a single building which became the principal place of interest on the grounds. Mexico, Canada, [5785][5786] and a number of states from Central and South America, were also represented. It was a purely American Exposition, intended to bring into closer communion and interest the various nations of the two great American continents.
     The President and Mrs. McKinley took great interest in the Exposition, and made arrangements to visit it together. On their passage from Washington to Buffalo, they were received with extraordinary enthusiasm by great crowds of people at the various centres through which they passed. On the second day after his arrival, the President made an address to an immense crowd of people, which closed as follows: “Who can tell the new thoughts that have been awakened, the ambitions fired, and the high achievement that will be wrought through this Exposition? Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict, and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. We hope that all who are represented here may be moved to higher and nobler effort for their and the world’s good, and that out of this city may come not only greater commerce and trade for us all, but relations of mutual respect and friendship which will deepen and endure. Our prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of the earth.”
     On the day following, the President gave a reception at the Temple of Music, and shook hands with the procession of people as they passed. A [5786][5787] Polish anarchist named Czolgosz walked in the procession with a revolver in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief which was wrapped about his hand, as if to conceal an injury. As he reached the President he extended his left hand, at the same time pressing the revolver close against the President’s breast with his right, and fired. At the first shot the President moved and reeled; the assassin fired a second time, the bullet entering the abdomen and making a fatal wound. As the second shot was fired, Czolgosz was seized by a United States Secret Service man, who stood directly opposite, and at the same time a negro waiter leaped upon him. A detective tore away the handkerchief from his hand, and seized the revolver.
     The President made no outcry, but had sunk back upon the floor. He was gently lifted and placed in a chair, while an ambulance was called and physicians were sent for. He was swiftly conveyed to the Emergency Hospital of the Exposition, and at once placed upon the operating-table. It was shown that the bullet from the first shot had glanced, and that the wound made from it was slight. The second wound, however, was fatal. Death resulted from gangrene a week later. In his last moments he called for Mrs. McKinley, who came and sat by his bedside, holding his hand. His last audible words were, “Good-by, all; good-by; it is God’s way; His will be done.” He died peacefully and without pain, after lying unconscious for several hours. [5787][5788]
     All the members of the Cabinet, together with many Congressmen, had hurried from Washington, and were in the house, though not in the room, at the time of the President’s death. Senator Hanna was telegraphed for, and reached Buffalo just in time for a farewell pressure of the hand.
     Immediately after the President’s death, Theodore Roosevelt, Vice-President of the United States, took the Presidential oath as the successor of Mr. McKinley. In doing so, he said: “In this hour of deep and terrible national bereavement, I wish to state it shall be my intention and endeavor to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and honor of our beloved country.”
     The funeral of the President took place in the house where he died, on Sunday morning, September 15. The body was then removed to the City Hall of Buffalo, and lay in state during the afternoon and evening. On Monday it was removed to Washington by special train, and taken to the Executive Mansion, and from there on the following day to the Capitol. In Buffalo more than 200,000 people passed through the City Hall between the hours of two in the afternoon until eleven at night. On the arrival at Washington, the remains were borne on the catafalque which had borne Lincoln and Garfield over the same route from the White House to the Capitol. They were then taken by a special funeral train to Ohio. All along the route from Washington to Canton, the bells in every town and village were tolled, while throngs of the [5788][5789] people, with bared heads, watched the passage of the train. The remains were accompanied by President Roosevelt, and his Cabinet, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, Senators and Representatives in Congress, heads of military and naval establishments, and the governors of many States. There were services at the church which had been attended by the late President, which were taken part in by clergymen of three denominations. The body was then borne to the Westlawn Cemetery and placed in the receiving-vault. More than 100,000 people were present at the funeral.
     Special ceremonies were held in nearly every town and village of the entire country, in which tributes were paid to the dead President, but the feelings of sorrow and regret were not confined to the American people. In England the United States Embassy was overwhelmed with telegrams and messages from distinguished persons, expressive of the greatest sympathy. Within twelve hours from the time the news was received of the President’s death, telegrams had been received from almost every city in the United Kingdom. Cable messages were received at Washington from all the crowned heads, and those in authority under republican forms in all parts of the world. The King of England was especially sympathetic, and was constant in his inquiries. The French press praised the President for his honorable career. President Diaz of Mexico sent a special message saying that Mr. McKinley’s death would be [5789][5790] mourned in that country hardly less keenly than in the United States. In Cuba all work in the public offices was stopped on the day of the funeral, and most of the business community suspended operations of their own accord. The public buildings in Havana were draped in black, and the mayor issued an order suspending all public meetings and directing the closing of all places of amusement. In London memorial services were held in Westminster Abbey and at St. Paul’s Cathedral, while in hundreds of English churches the worshipers reverently stood and honored the memory of William McKinley. Most of the London newspapers appeared in mourning. The services in Westminster Abbey were attended by the representatives of royalty, the full diplomatic corps, with hundreds of leading Englishmen. The services were modeled closely after the one held after the death of Queen Victoria. In the evening, representatives of the different religious bodies of London united in a memorial service at the City Temple, where the platform was draped with the flags of all nations and occupied by clergymen of many Protestant bodies. At Copenhagen, King Edward and Queen Alexandria, who were visiting there, attended with the Danish royal family a memorial service at the English church. In Rome a memorial service was held at which the entire Italian Cabinet were present. At St. Petersburg impressive services were held at the British-American church, which was largely attended by prominent Russians, several of the royal family being [5790][5791] present. At Berlin the service of mourning was held in the American church, which was heavily hung with crepe and was crowded with prominent people, Americans, English, and German. The Kaiser was present, and the government was represented by high dignitaries. Services were also held in various German cities, Dresden, Munich, Stuttgart, and Cologne. Memorial services were held in Vienna, the Austrian government being represented by its highest officers.
     On December 3, 1901, President Roosevelt sent his first official message to Congress. It had been awaited with unusual interest. Assuming the duties of his high office under extraordinary circumstances, the new President was now to put himself on record. Beginning his message with a high tribute to his predecessor, who had fallen at the post of duty by the hand of an assassin, he denounced with fervor the anarchistic sentiment which prevailed in certain parts of the country. The anarchist, the President declared, was not in the United States the victim of social or political injustice; he had no wrongs to be remedied and was in no sense a product of social conditions save as a highwayman is produced by the fact that an unarmed man happened to have a purse. No man or body of men, he said, preaching anarchistic doctrines, should be allowed at large any more than if preaching murder of some specified private individual. He urged that Congress, in the exercise of its wise discretion, should take into consideration the coming to this country of anarchists or persons [5791][5792] professing principles hostile to all governments and justifying the murder of those placed in authority. They should be kept out of the country, and, if found here, they should be promptly deported to the country whence they came, and far-reaching provision should be made for the punishment of those who remained.



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