Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Medical Fortnightly
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Death of the President”
Author(s): Norbury, Frank Parsons
Date of publication: 25 October 1901
Volume number: 20
Issue number: 8
Pagination: 677-78

Norbury, Frank Parsons. “The Death of the President.” Medical Fortnightly 25 Oct. 1901 v20n8: pp. 677-78.
full text
McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (presidential character); William McKinley (public statements); William McKinley (last public address: personal response); William McKinley (personal character); William McKinley (death: public response); William McKinley (medical care: personal response).
Named persons
Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; George Washington.
Click here to view the Buffalo Medical Journal editorial quoted from below.


The Death of the President

THE most heinous crime of civilization, the most dastardly of history, was the assassination of our beloved President, William McKinley. This event of current history challenged the attention of all nations, but it struck that chord of human sympathy which makes the whole world kin, and draws nations as well as people in closer union. No man has ever stood so near to the heart of the people; had their universal love and respect and gracious trust as did McKinley. A man whose aspiration for the Nation, the destiny of which he guided, that were [sic] expressed in that memorable speech made the day before he was shot down, viz.:

     “Let us ever remember that our interest is concord, not conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. We hope that all who are represented here may be moved to higher and nobler effort for their own and the world’s good, and that out of this city may come not only greater commerce and trade for us all, but more essential than these, relations of mutual respect, confidence and friendship which will deepen and endure. Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all our neighbors and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of earth.”

     This last speech of McKinley’s is now on record as an historical event to be perpetuated with Washington’s address to his army, Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg. These several speeches proclaim the condition of our government at the time they were delivered, and portray the problems of government in which the people were concerned and to whom they were addressed as appeals to vouchsafe the progress, place and prosperity of this the greatest Nation of the world.
     History will record McKinley as one of the greatest characters, transcendent in the virtues which make a man, broad in his statesmanship, lovng [sic] and tender in his manliness, and above all humble in his walk in the steps of the Master. [677][678]
     The attention of the public as well as physician was centered upon the surgical history of the case. Day after day the bulletins were read with anxious expectancy, and hopes for recovery were created and buoyed up by these reports until dispelled by that fatal collapse of the 14th, when in the early morning the turn of the tide came and carried our President on out into eternity. This unexpected termination brought to a climax the awfulness of the crime and gave to the world a display of the depth of affection which held McKinley to his people. This love and respect was shown as never before in the history of the world, the universal mourning was such, that on the day of the funeral the one incident alone reflected this love, was during the lowering of the coffin into the grave, the cessation of all commerce, trade and transportation throughout the land.
     The Buffalo Medical Journal well says, that “In the midst of so much that tends to sadden our hearts, it is some consolation to reflect that men were easily accessible so thoroughly competent to deal with the case.  *  *  Further that three surgeons could be assembled promptly, who had the skill and presence of mind to deal adequately with such formidable wounds without a moment’s unnecessary delay. Each (surgeon) played his part well; all share the honor of having used a combined skill and judgment rarely equaled and never excelled.”
     The history of his care, the death, the autopsy are events well known to all, and it remains for us in viewing the case to say that the surgeons one and all did their duty, there should be no criticism, there can be none when every feature of the case is considered.



top of page