Source: Oratory of the South
Source type: book
Document type: public address
Document title: “Tribute to President McKinley”
Author(s): McClurg, Monroe
Editor(s): Shurter, Edwin DuBois
Publisher: Neale Publishing Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1908
|McClurg, Monroe. “Tribute to President McKinley.” Oratory of the South. Ed. Edwin DuBois Shurter. New York: Neale, 1908: pp. 70-71.|
|full text of excerpted address as given in book; excerpt of book|
|Monroe McClurg (public addresses); William McKinley (memorial addresses); William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley.|
|William McKinley; Montesquieu.|
Title of address herein taken from table of contents.
From page 70: Monroe M’Clurg, Ex-Attorney General of Mississippi.
From title page: Oratory of the South: From the Civil War to the Present Time.
From title page: By Edwin DuBois Shurter, Associate Professor of Public Speaking in the University of Texas, Editor of “The Modern Speaker” and “Masterpieces of Modern Oratory.” Author of “Science and Art of Debate,” “Public Speaking,” and “Extempore Speaking.”
Tribute to President McKinley
President McKinley came of a sturdy
Scotch ancestry and possessed the incomparable heritage of being a native, free-born,
Anglo-Saxon American citizen. By birth he was neither a patrician nor a peasant,
but the offspring of a plain, honest stock that filled his veins with the best
blood of both classes and his heart with all of the sympathies, all of the hopes,
and all of the aspirations of the great heart of his country. His life had been
a training school for the presidency: a teacher, a post office clerk, a soldier,
a politician, a Congressman fourteen years, and two terms Governor of his native
In peace and in war, under all circumstances, he deported himself as became the chief executive of a free and independent people. The gold standard, the highest tariff, the freedom of Cuba, the subjugation and purchase of the Philippines, industrial combinations, the softening of sectional hatred, the surprising exhibition of American courage, valor, and power in the army and navy, especially the history of Manila Bay, San Juan, and Santiago, and the adjustment of international complications in China,—will  all be closely associated with his name as President of the United States.
And yet higher still—supremely higher than party politics and enforced national glory—McKinley as a President in his private and domestic life was a living lesson to all Christian civilization. His daily walk and conversation was a living lesson constantly exemplifying the real strength of the national character—the purity of individual conscience, the strength of personal will, the reverence of Divine power. As a President of eighty millions of free people he measured up to the most exalted standard for him who fills that office. He loved and served all sections and all classes, and was an exemplar worthy of all imitation. He lived and died a manly man.
We are told that when Montesquieu came to die his spiritual adviser said to him, “No man, better than you, sir, can realize the greatness of God.” “No one,” he replied, “knows better the littleness of man.”
So it was with our President. Passing into that artificial sleep that robs the surgeon’s knife of pain, the last whisper caught from his lips by the attending men of science was, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In his delirium he murmured, “Nearer, my God, to Thee,” and when the final summons came he said, “Good-by, all, good-by. It’s God’s way. His will be done.” Then he took his chamber in the silent halls of death.
“Not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, he approaches his grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”