IT is a great boon to any nation to have a ruler whose personal
character furnishes a good model of manhood for his people. As has
been said of President McKinley, both the way in which he lived
his life, and the way in which, in the supreme hour of his trial,
he met his death, will remain forever a precious heritage to our
It is doubtful whether if President
McKinley could have lived out his full term, and had a successful
administration for the balance of his second term, that the admirable
traits of his personal character as a man would have become known
and impressed the people of the nation so much as they have by his
untimely death. The day of personal politics, when the narrow prejudices
of partisanship closes the eyes to all that is good in an executive
of the opposite party, is happily passing away, and the American
people are becoming intelligent enough, and broad enough to recognize
and appreciate a genuine manhood wherever it is found whether in
a political opponent or a party friend.
We all rejoice in the example of Christian
manhood manifested in the life of our dead President, and especially
in the simple, impressive and peaceful manner of his death.
No better and more valued legacy could
have been left the people of this nation than that. Its influence
will not soon pass away.
Senator Foraker, of Ohio, who knew
Mr. McKinley intimately, and had been closely associated with him
in public and private life, has given probably, the best and truest
delineation of his personal traits that has been published. At the
Cincinnati Memorial meeting Mr. Foraker said in part:
“The whole world mourns with
us and pays tribute to his memory, 
not because of his public services, for they were rendered for
America, but for the gentleness of his nature and the nobility
of his character. In these respects he is without a rival since
Sir Philip Sydney.
“He was of splendid presence,
of pleasing personality, and of polished and graceful address.
There was no court in Europe where his manner and deportment
would not have commanded the highest respect, and yet it was
all so natural and free from simulation or affectation that
he was always, without any sacrifice of dignity or change of
manner, familiarly at home with Abraham Lincoln’s common people
“He loved his countryman, and
was never so happy as when in their midst. From them he constantly
gathered suggestions and ideas and wisdom. The cares of state
were never so exacting that he could not give consideration
to the humblest, and his mind was never so troubled that his
heart was not full of mercy.
“As a public speaker he had few
equals. His voice was of pleasing tone and unusual carrying
power. He had it under complete control. He could adapt it perfectly
to any audience for any subject. It was always in tune with
the occasion. From one end of the land to the other, he was
constantly in demand for public addresses. He responded to more
such calls, probably, than any other orator of his time. Most
of his speeches were of a political character, yet he made many
addresses on other subjects; but no matter when or where, or
on what subject he spoke, he never dealt in offensive personalities.
He drove home his points and routed his antagonist with merciless
logic. But never in any other way wounded his sensibilities.
“The remarkable tale is not all
told. No language can adequately tell of his devoted love and
affection for his invalid partner of all his joys and sorrows.
Amidst his many honors and trying duties, she ever reigned supreme
in his affections. The story of his love has gone to the ends
of the earth and is written in the hearts of all mankind everywhere.
It is full of tenderness, full of pathos and full of honor.
It will be repeated and cherished as long as the name of William
McKinley shall live. It was these great qualities of the heart
that gave him the place he holds in the affections of other
peoples. They claim him for humanity’s sake, because they find
in him an expression of their highest aspiration. By common
 consent, he honored
the whole human race and all the race will honor him.
“But he was more than gentle.
He was thoroughly religious and too religious to be guilty of
any bigotry. His broad, comprehensive views of man and his duty
in his relations to God, enabled him to have charity and respect
for all who differed from his belief. His faith solace[d] him
in life and did not fail him when the supreme test came. When
he realized the work of the assassin, his first utterance was
a prayer that God would forgive the crime. As he surrendered
himself to unconsciousness, from which he might never awake,
that surgery could do its work, he gently breathed the Lord’
prayer—‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.’ And when the dread
hour of dissolution overtook him and the last touching farewell
had been spoken, he sank to rest murmuring, ‘Nearer, My God,
“This was his last triumph and
his greatest. His whole life was given to humanity, but in his
death we find his most priceless legacy.”