Publication information
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Source: Commerce Accounts and Finance
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: September 1901
Volume number: 3
Issue number: 5
Pagination: 16

[untitled]. Commerce Accounts and Finance Sept. 1901 v3n5: p. 16.
full text
William McKinley (last public address: personal response); William McKinley (public statements); McKinley assassination (use of telegraph); McKinley assassination (international response).
Named persons
Edward VII; Andrew Jackson; William McKinley; Nelson A. Miles.



     In his epoch-making speech at Buffalo, which is accepted throughout the world as a classic in commercial literature, President McKinley eloquently and pointedly presented the fact that “the quest for trade is an incentive to men of business to devise, invent, improve and economize in the cost of production. Business life, whether among ourselves or with other people, is ever a sharp struggle for success. It will be none the less so in the future. Without competition we would be clinging to clumsy and antiquated processes of farming and manufacture, and the methods of business of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than the eighteenth century. But though commercial competitors we are, commercial enemies we must not be. After all, how near one to the other is every part of the world. Modern inventions have brought into close relations widely separated peoples, and made them better acquainted. Geographic and political divisions will continue to exist, but distances have been effaced. Swift ships and fast trains are becoming cosmopolitan. They invade fields which a few years ago were impenetrable.”


     In his broad comprehension of commerce the President stated that the “world’s products are exchanged as never before, and with increasing transportation facilities come increasing knowledge and larger trade. Prices are fixed with mathematical precision by supply and demand. The world’s selling prices are regulated by market and crop reports. We travel greater distances in a shorter space of time, and with more ease than was ever dreamed of by the fathers. Isolation is no longer possible or desirable. The same important news is read, though in different languages, the same day in all Christendom. The telegraph keeps us advised of what is occurring everywhere, and the press foreshadows, with more or less accuracy, the plans and purposes of the nations. Market prices of products and securities are hourly known in every commercial mart, and the investments of the people extend beyond their own national boundaries into the remotest parts of the earth.”


     In referring to communication by telegraph and cable Mr. McKinley stated that “vast transactions are conducted and international exchanges are made by the tick of the cable. Every event of interest is immediately bulletined. The quick gathering and transmission of news, like rapid transit, are of recent origin, and are only made possible by the genius of the inventor and the courage of the investor. It took a special messenger of the government, with every facility known at the time for rapid travel, nineteen days to go from the city of Washington to New Orleans with a message to General Jackson that the war with England had ceased and a treaty of peace had been signed. How different now. We reached General Miles, in Porto Rico, by cable, and he was able, through the military telegraph, to stop his army on the firing line with the message that the United States and Spain had signed a protocol suspending hostilities. We knew almost instantly of the first shots fired at Santiago; and the subsequent surrender of the Spanish forces was known at Washington within less time than an hour of its consummation.”


     While these words were echoing from nation to nation and continent to continent, the distinguished speaker was stricken down by the bullet of a cowardly assassin. This event afforded an object lesson in the transmission of news by telegraph and cable even more phenomenal than that which the victim had just described. The news of the attempt on the life of the American executive was known in a few minutes throughout the world, and in less than an hour messages of condolence had been received from kings and emperors in more or less remote sections of the earth. Before the President’s wounds had been dressed by expert surgeons, the words of sympathy cabled by King Edward were posted on bulletins in cities and towns throughout the United States. Such an example of international communication shows in striking form how closely the various peoples of the world have been brought together, not only in the annihilation of distance, but in the establishment of universal human sympathy.



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