Death of President McKinley
The whole country north and south
were shocked beyond measure when the telegraph flashed the news
over the country that the President had been shot down by an anarchist.
We heard soldiers of the Lost Cause say, “Wish we could get at the
fiend, we would soon make short work of it.” Men stood around our
streets in groups paralyzed with horror at the awfulness of the
crime. Words are inadequate to express the grief of this Southland.
Albert Pike Camp of Confederate Veterans
met in council soon after the occurrence and passed resolutions
of sympathy which were telegraphed to Secretary Cortelyou.
For some days we felt absolutely sure
he would recover. We know Drs. Roswell Park and M. D. Mann and Herman
Myn-  ter and felt that their
work was well done. The bullet wounds in front and rear walls of
the stomach sewed up the abdomen cleansed of stomach contents which
had entered it from the wounded organ seemed to leave nothing to
be desired, and the days which followed, led us to hope for his
early recovery. Our hopes were disappointed and our kindly hearted
president is dead. He met the grim destroyer in a brave and manly
way. When he realized that death was inevitable he said, “It is
God’s way. His will be done. Good-bye to all.” Not one word of complaint
against his inhuman assassin.
As one who wraps the drapery of his
couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams, William McKinley,
clasping the hand of his beloved and stricken wife, crossed over
the river. May God bless and comfort his loving companion.
Since his election to the presidency
McKinley had grown greatly in the esteem of his countrymen. Especially
had the South learned to love him. Congressman McKinley warmly advocating
and voting for the Force Bill was a very different man from President
McKinley, when he commissioned Fitzhugh Lee and Joseph Wheeler as
Major Generals in the United States army. Very different from the
man who, in a speech at Atlanta, Ga., said, “In the Province of
God the time has come when the national government should help you
to care for the graves of your dead.” We say McKinley had grown
greatly in breadth of character and gentleness of heart in these
few years, and when he delivered this generous sentiment to a throng
of veterans of the Lost Cause, there was scarcely a dry eye in the
vast audience. He then and there won all our hearts.
McKinley has not died in vain. This
country will rise in its might and wrath and take some step to rid
itself of an element from which we can derive only evil.
A poor boy, a poor young man, he illustrates
again, as did Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Garfield and Cleveland, that
the highest honor in the gift of the people is open to the poorest,
if they are worthy.
In this country we have never thought
it possible that anarchy would strike at the head of our nation.
Where everybody is so free to win the highest prize, why should
anyone wish to strike down the winner? Lincoln met his end at the
hands of a mad man in revenge for the hanging of his friend. Garfield
was assassinated by a disappointed politician who believed that
by reason of the quarrel between Garfield and Conklin and 
Blaine the republican party would be ruined and that it was Garfield
who would bring the ruin. In this case it is anarchism striking
at the very life of the state. Let the state take warning.
When Bob Tombs left the congress of
the United States at the time Georgia seceeded [sic] from
the Union, he delivered a speech which electrified the South. In
it he said, “The price of Liberty is the blood of the brave.”
And the blood of McKinley will not
have been shed in vain, if these United States, stirred from center
to circumference, as it has never been before, shall make it forever
impossible for such a deed to occur again. God grant this time may