The Assassination of the President of the United
THE medical profession has shared to the fullest extent the horror
with which all civilized people have viewed the dastardly crime
which resulted in the death of President McKinley. The editorial
upon this cruel and unnecessary death which appeared in the Journal
of the American Medical Association for September 21, is so
superior to anything that has elsewhere been published or to anything
that we might write, that it seems appropriate to reprint in full
this beautiful tribute to this good man of blame- less life, and
of extraordinary accomplishments.
“Without reproach in life or fear
in death, William McKinley, Christian knight and twenty-fifth President
of the United States, has passed away.
“A fateful fortnight is gliding into
its place in history. A cruel assault; a gallant and blameless man
stricken; a day or so of gloom and the hot wrath of millions; a
day or so of wild joy, with the mirage of health and service luring
on; a day or so of fear and foreboding; a smile, a gasp, a woman
yearning by; and they who thought to change the rule of man by force
began to feel, and long will feel, the dagger of their new dispensation
press hard and cold against themselves.
“The solemn thunder of the funeral
car has ceased; ceased, too, has the sonorous tribute of the minute
gun, and the first flood of neighbors’ silent tears. The dead, who
knowingly wronged no man, is in his grave; and the nation that is
mightier, juster, better for his having lived, sobs ‘Amen,’ faces
front and marches on.
“Few words and simple speech best
voice the dead man’s requiem. 
William McKinley had those things and did those things that mark
a great man. No extravagant eulogy nor intoxicating rhetoric should
cloud or confuse our judgment of the man as he was in his heart.
Years ago, when he first climbed the first steps of his broad career,
he was already an average American. He knew, had sacrificed for,
and was helping to get what his country needed to make it one, to
make it strong, to make it great among the nations. To the knowledge
and deeds of the apprenticeship of this average American came, in
richer form, in the harvest years of his mastery, tact, prudence,
kindliness, brotherly love, and an abiding purpose and courage to
know and do the will of his people and his God. Of such are statesmen
whom nations trust and love.
“In the category of the great we may
write him who sleeps in glorious peace beneath the martyr’s palm.
He has led a pure life and shone a peerless husband. He has taken
up arms for his country. He has put away bitterness from within
his party. He has led his countrymen to the conquering stand of
a nation that makes, sells, and lends, rather than that of one that
begs, borrows, and defaults. He has preached brotherhood and pursued
it, and from his touch no wounds smart. He has made war only when
he must, and when he has ceased he finds no foe. Triumph has brought
new lands and problems of rule without precedent. With his last
breath he has warned his brethren that a nation cannot live in,
upon, and for itself alone; and, hence, for new conditions he has
proclaimed new policies. As a man he has been the American’s ideal,
and higher there is none; as a statesman he has been trustworthy,
if not aggressive in initiative. We know he was good; let us err,
if err we do, upon the right side and also call him great.
“Meantime trade, the nation’s life,
halts not, nor falters the nation’s trust in itself and form of
government. To the widow of the beloved dead goes out sympathy deep
and significant in its universality. Continents and isles mourn
with us. Little that has followed in the train of the martyr’s fall
would we have had unsaid or undone. ‘God’s in His heaven; all’s
well with the world.’
“A great man that was loved has fallen.
In the crises of times primitive virtues revive and rule. An ancient
Roman has passed from among us. Of such they sang: ‘Integer vitæ
sclerisque [sic] purus.’”