Source: One Free Life at a Time
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Retrospection” [chapter 6]
Author(s): Strickland, C. A.
Publisher: C. A. Strickland
Place of publication: Salt Lake City, Utah
Year of publication: 1902
Pagination: 66-81 (excerpt below includes only pages 77-80)
|Strickland, C. A. “Retrospection” [chapter 6]. One Free Life at a Time. Salt Lake City: C. A. Strickland, 1902: pp. 66-81.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|McKinley assassination (personal response: socialists); McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); T. De Witt Talmage (public statements); anarchism (government response); Jonathan P. Dolliver (public statements); anarchism (personal response).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Jonathan P. Dolliver; Emma Goldman; Jesus Christ; William McKinley; Henry R. Naylor; T. De Witt Talmage [middle name misspelled below].|
|From title page: C. A. Strickland, Author and Publisher.|
And now, our Nation weeps in grief,
joined by the whole civilized world in mourning the assassination of our most
dearly beloved citizen and highly honored President, William McKinley, as grand
and noble a man as ever filled the highest position on earth in the gift of
mankind, or as ever will while this baneful system of redeemable dollars controls
the affairs of man. That dastardly crime, which sent a sickening pang to every
human heart that responds to love’s best efforts; so useless and less called
for under our dear flag (I mean our spirit of universal good-will), than in
any other place on earth, was committed by one whose mind had become so diseased
that he was delirious in his reasoning beyond all our comprehensions. He was
not a sane Anarchist; he was a “Nihilist,” a “Nothing.” And shame, like “the
worm that never dies” should burn the cheeks of those who would measure the
efforts of earnest reforms by the act of this poor diseased wretch. Nevertheless,
the deed contains a lesson that none but the foolish can afford to ignore. The
horrible shock will force us to halt in our mad brain-whirl of business affairs
and study the cause. Many barbarous characters have appeared on the surface
of society since the deed was done; people have been tarred and feathered and
run out of town because their style of thinking or thoughtless words did not
fit in the groove of public opinion. The Rev. Dr. H. R. Naylor, President McKinley’s
former pastor, I believe, hinted at skinning the wretch alive or burning him
at the stake. “I wish that policeman in Buffalo who siezed [sic] the
 pistol of the scoundrel who shot our adored
President had taken the butt of the weapon and dashed the man’s brains out on
the spot,” said Rev. T. DeWitt Talmadge in his sermon at Ocean Grove, N. J.,
on the following Sunday. The 10,000 people in the auditorium applauded the sentiment.
This is anarchy with a vengeance, only it shows us that horrible “I’m better than you are” disease from a different standpoint. I thank the Reverend gentlemen though for so plainly showing the results of private ownership, party politics and christian (?) training. This little mistake of theirs may help us, each one, to cease trying to halloo louder than all the rest combined, “My particular method is the only remedy; no solution can be found except through my private opinions.”
This was just what Czolgosz was trying to do when he fired that fatal ball into the ruling head of our nation.
Under Socialist rule, Emma Goldman, these reverend gentlemen and all the rest of us would feel that we were a part of the lawgiving power, and would be governed by “Dignity.” Merit would extinguish the firebrand that is forever being fed and fanned by some kind of an “I command thee.” Then we would cease our two-facedness for policies’ sake; philanthropy would predominate over our bigotry and hypocracy [sic].
Senator J. P. Dolliver of Iowa, the principal speaker at a memorial meeting in Chicago, said in part:
“It cannot be out of the way, even at such time as this, to recognize that in the midst of modern society there are a thousand forces manifestly tending towards the moral degradation out of which this wicked hand was raised to kill the chief magistrate of the American people.
“It ought not to be forgotten that conspirators working out their nefarious plans in secret, in the dens and caves of the earth, enjoy an unconscious co-operation, and side-partnership with every lawless influence abroad in the world.  Legislators who betray the commoner, judges who poison the fountains of justice, city governments which come to terms with crime, all these are regular contributors to the campaign fund of anarchy.
“That howling mass, whether in Kansas or Alabama, that assembly of wild beasts dancing in drunken carousal about the ashes of some negro malefactor, is not contributing to the security of society; it is taking away from society the only security it has; it belongs to the unenrolled reserve crops [sic] of anarchy in the United States.
“The words which came spontaneously to the lips of William McKinley as he sank under mortal wound and saw the infuriated crowd pressing about his assailant, ought to be repeated in the ear of the officers of peace from one end of the land to the other, in all the years that are to come—‘Let no one hurt him; let the law take its course.’”
In summing up the definitions for the word Anarchy, as given by the press, it is made to mean the use of force to coerce the acts of a person or people into line with the principles which the Anarchist thinks is right. That word “Right” has been so abused by “Anarchists” that it has had many meanings over which the human family has suffered more troubles than from all other causes combined. But for all this anarchy is not right.
Every religionist who will antagonize his neighbor’s convictions is an anarchist. Every man who will hold and use a cinch in a business deal is an anarchist. Any man who will pay only $2.00 for a day’s labor that creates a commodity worth more than $2.00 is an anarchist. And every editor who will permit a libelous article or a fake advertisement to appear in his paper is an anarchist. To take the advantage of a person’s circumstances, weakness or ignorance, in any case, is to use the meanest kind of force, it is stealing that force which forces the man to provide for himself and his family. 
Now the cry has gone forth, “The anarchist must go.” Well and good; Amen! But if this means to kill off the leaders of unpopular opinions, where will the slaughter ever stop?