Source: Irrigation Age
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “William McKinley”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 1
|“William McKinley.” Irrigation Age Oct. 1901 v16n1: pp. 1-2.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (personal response).|
|Chester A. Arthur; John Wilkes Booth; Henry Clay; Leon Czolgosz; Stephen A. Douglas; Millard Fillmore; James A. Garfield; Charles J. Guiteau; William Henry Harrison; Andrew Johnson; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Zachary Taylor; John Tyler; Daniel Webster.|
Death makes mourners of us all. There is scarcely an American citizen but has
at some period of time, when visiting the cemetery, shed a gentle tear upon
the green mound raised over the graves of loved ones gone. Well do we remember
when the electric flash brought the sad news that the “God-like” Webster slept
beneath the shades at Marshfield; again when informed through the same instrumentality
that the clarion voice of Clay was hushed and would no more be heard amid the
councils of the nation, that the Great Harry of the West, the ablest Senator
of them all, lay cold in death at Ashland; and again when red-handed treason
stalked boldly forth in the land and strong hearts and able minds were needed
to pilot the old Ship of State to safety, we were called to mourn the death
of our own loved Douglas, who sleeps by the Lake, made classic by his own munificent
hand, left to sing a fitting requiem to his memory as wafted by the gentle winds
of heaven on, on to mid-ocean.
These were all great losses to our nation—there being no one left at the time to take their places—yet they were given in answer to our heavenly Father’s call; and while our loss was great, we could but say amen and go forward with bowed heads and bleeding hearts in the discharge of our duties, as if nothing of the kind had occurred—but not so in the present emergency. Multiply our grief a thousand—yes, a thousand times a thousand-fold over the loss of relatives, friends and statesmen, called in the regular way, and it will not compare with our loss over the assassination of the President of the United States. It is not at the loss of the man we grieve, though great and good he was, but it is the loss of the President of the United States—to strike a blow at him sends a thrill of pain to every true American heart. While this is not the first instance of the kind that has befallen us, yet, if possible, it is more painful to our people and far more dangerous in tendency toward the life of the nation. The assassination of President Lincoln and of General Garfield was the act of the individuals, Booth and Guiteau. There was no political party or body of people behind either of them; theirs was the work of a morbid, vitiated mind, maddened by drink, or a depraved na-  ture lost to all self control. Not so in this case. Czolgosz, the terrible wretch that he is, was only an instrument in the hands of a political organization of people in this country, who have by their actions forfeited all right or claim to citizenship and should be expatriated at the earliest day possible and placed in captivity on some lonely island far removed from all the rest of the world and left there to work or starve and enjoy only the company of themselves.
The fathers in framing the Constitution of the United States made ample provisions for the country in emergencies like the present. At the death of Presidents Lincoln and Garfield, Vice Presidents Johnson and Arthur took the oath of office as President and entered upon the duties of the high office just as Vice Presidents Tyler and Fillmore had done at the death of Presidents Harrison and Taylor. There was no shock to the business or political interests of the country then, and there should be none now. While this occasion calls for prompt, rigid, vigorous legislation to prevent its recurrence, fortunately for our common country we have a president in the person of Theodore Roosevelt who has the ability, courage and firmness to rise to the occasion and who will use all the power at his command to see that adequate laws are enacted by congress to enable him to crush out Anarchism in the United States, and clothed with that power, he will discharge his duty to the letter and spirit of the law; and in the performance of that duty he will be sustained by all true American citizens regardless of party ties, creeds, or religions.
If beauty can come from such a terrible crime as we have just witnessed, it is in the fact of the unanimity of sentiment of love for our President on the part of the people of the civilized world. From the far off countries of the Old World, as well as at home, the South, the North, the East, the West, the Jew and the Gentile, the Catholic and the Protestant, comes the universal cry, as if with one voice saying, God save the President! God have mercy upon the American people!
William McKinley was the obedient son, the true friend, the good husband, the brave soldier, the able statesman, “the noblest work of God, an honest man,” respected and honored by his own political party when living, loved and mourned by all when dead.