Source: Cleveland Journal of Medicine
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Assassination of the President of the United States”
Date of publication: September 1901
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 9
|“The Assassination of the President of the United States.” Cleveland Journal of Medicine Sept. 1901 v6n9: pp. 435-36.|
|William McKinley (death: personal response); McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (personal character); William McKinley (personal history); William McKinley.|
The Assassination of the President of the United States
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.’”