Publication information
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Source: Report of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association
Source type: book
Document type: public address
Document title: “Address of the President”
Author(s): Rose, U. M. [public address]; American Bar Association [book]
Dando Printing and Publishing Company
Place of publication: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year of publication: 1902
Pagination: 199-249 (excerpt below includes only pages 200-02)

Rose, U. M. “Address of the President.” Report of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association. Philadelphia: Dando Printing and Publishing, 1902: pp. 199-249.
excerpt of address
William McKinley; McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (personal response); anarchism.
Named persons
William McKinley.
The public address (below) was given on 27 August 1902 in Convention Hall, Saratoga Springs, NY.

“U. M. Rose, of Little Rock, Arkansas” (p. 199)

From title page: Report of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, Held at Saratoga Springs, New York, August 27, 28 and 29, 1902.

Alternate book title: Report of the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association.

Alternate book title: Annual Report of the American Bar Association.


Address of the President [excerpt]

     William McKinley manifested his interest in our Association by becoming a member in 1897; a connection which he maintained until his death. The exacting nature of his official duties deprived him of the opportunity of regular attendance at our meetings; but his sympathy with the work in which we are engaged never languished. You will recall that he was present at our meeting held in Cleveland some years ago; and that he made a speech at the banquet given after the meeting had closed.
     President McKinley’s name is indelibly inscribed on the pages of the history of his country; and as his character and the events of his life are well-known to all of you, I shall not dwell on them here. Since our last meeting he was made the victim of an assassination as cruel, as wicked and as heartless as any ever recorded; committed under the most exasperating circumstances, at a time and place dedicated to the arts of peace, in the presence of a large concourse of happy and contented people, by a man who had probably never seen him before, who had no cause of personal ill-will against him, and just as the President was extending his hand in token of friendly greeting. No crime could be more dastardly or more unprovoked.
     No one could attain the high position to which President McKinley was elevated without severe and searching criticism of his political opinions; but it will be universally conceded that his character was singularly free from qualities that excite personal hostility or animosity. The crime acquired a deeper dye from the motives by which it was inspired. It was the [200][201] result of a monstrous propaganda for the total overthrow of law and order, the inauguration of a universal carnival of spoliation, and the successful revolt of every species of villainy; a movement promoted and sanctioned by a considerable number of outlaws scattered throughout the civilized world.
     The almost incredible iniquity of the bands who cultivate the art of political assassination, who seek to invert the whole moral scheme of the universe, saying, with the arch-fiend, “Evil be thou my good,” aspiring to crimes that not only darken homes and fill the hearts of families and friends with sorrow and mourning, but which also plunge whole communities into grief and distress, is only equalled [sic] by the folly and madness of their hopes. Their avowed purpose is to re-enact the scenes of the French Revolution of 1789, with all of its attendant horrors; but with our present means of instantaneous transmission of intelligence and rapid transportation, it is quite as impossible to reproduce that revolution as it would be to revive the Crusades. An effort was made by the Commune in Paris in 1871 to perform a similar feat, under such favorable circumstances as can rarely occur again; when the government of France had been demolished, when her armies had been destroyed and captured, when a hostile force occupied a large part of her territory, when all means of communication were greatly interrupted, when the last policeman had been killed or had been driven from his beat; and yet in a short time the movement was extinguished in blood, and its leaders expiated their crimes by death, in prison or in exile. Since the era of 1789 many additional means for the suppression of anarchy have been supplied; the world has had fair warning of what to expect when attacks are made on the public peace; and public affairs are no longer in the hands of a decayed nobility whose only resource in the hour of danger was to run away, and of a king who could not even do that.
     The prompt execution of the assassin of President McKinley failed to satisfy the just demands of the violated law. Everyone knew that the murderer was only a wretched [201][202] decadent, a mere tool in the hands of conspirators, plotting an endless series of similar outrages in secret meetings and by clandestine correspondence kept up in many lands. A singular feature of the situation is that though the consultations looking to the commission of specific crimes are shrouded in concealment, yet the general purpose to commit crimes of the kind, so as to dry up the very fountains of law and order, is openly proclaimed in a literature of no small bulk or insignificant pretentions, which is disseminated freely through the mails for the purpose of debauching the minds of the ignorant, the weak, and such as are criminally inclined. Public meetings are held in our cities, where speeches of the most incendiary character are made by refugees from foreign lands, felons and escaped convicts who have served for some term of imprisonment, openly denouncing the government and laws of the country beneath whose protection they have sought shelter. Statutes looking to the suppression of this evil have been passed, as we shall presently see.



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