Publication information

Medical News
Source type: journal
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “A Mc Kinley [sic] Memorial”
Author(s): Knopf, S. A.
Date of publication: 12 October 1901
Volume number: 79
Issue number: 15
Pagination: 594-95

Knopf, S. A. “A Mc Kinley [sic] Memorial.” Medical News 12 Oct. 1901 v79n15: pp. 594-95.
full text
McKinley memorialization.
Named persons
Frederick III; S. A. Knopf; William McKinley.

A Mc Kinley [sic] Memorial



To the Editor of the MEDICAL NEWS:

     DEAR SIR: During the past week some lay and some medical journals announced that it was intended to erect in Washington a McKinley Hospital in honor of our late beloved president.
     Beautiful as this idea may be, I believe that a little memorial hospital, located in Washington, is not a great enough tribute to a nation’s president such as was William McKinley. Furthermore, while I would not wish to say that there is no room for a hospital for the treatment of general diseases in Washington, I know that there is no urgent need for it. On the other hand, I know, and all physicians and charity workers of our large Eastern and Western cities will bear me out when I say that there is a crying and urgent need of a sanatorium, or rather several sanatoria where the many little scrofulous and tuberculous children of poor parents could receive treatment, care and the necessary education. France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries all have numerous seaside sanatoria where the little sufferers afflicted with the above-mentioned diseases are taken care of. The seacoast climates, combined with proper sanatorium treatment, seem to produce really wonderful results in scrofulous and tuberculous children. The reports of some of the European seaside sanatoria show an average of 75 per cent. of cures.
     We in America have, with the exception of one or two small children’s hospitals and a few floating hospitals during the summer months, no such institutions. In a little address delivered at the recent Congress on Tuberculosis in London, I said that in our eagerness to take care of the consumptive adult we should not forget the little sufferers afflicted with the same or other tuberculous diseases. To treat the scrofulous or tuberculous child (scrofulosis being only a milder form of tuberculosis), or to prevent a child with a hereditary tendency from developing consumption or any other form of tuberculous disease, means the saving of a life and perhaps the preservation of a very useful future citizen.
     To realize the urgent need of a seaside sanatoria for children one must have visited the crowded tenement districts of our great cities and seen the large number of scrofulous and tuberculous children there and the many who bear on their pale little faces the stamp of candidates for consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis).
     There are already laws in some States prohibiting the tuberculous child from attending public school; but as far as I know none of these States have provided other places where children suffering, it is true, from a chronic communicable but also curable disease can receive the education to which they are entitled, much less where they could have a chance of being cured of their affliction. The results obtained in some of our American sanatoria for the treatment of tuberculous adults are as good as any of those obtained in European institutions. The preventive measures inaugurated by our New York Board of Health have not only served as models for other American cities but have been imitated by many European municipalities and found to be the most practical and efficacious. We have already a number of sanatoria for the treatment of the consumptive poor adults, though by no means enough. However, in nearly every State of the Union the question of providing institutions for adult tuberculous patients with little or no means is now being agitated. Only for the countless little ones suffering from the same or other tuberculous diseases there is nothing done.
     Our good McKinley had two children, and these he lost. He dearly loved little children and the creation of a sanatorium for the treatment and prevention of a disease with which so many American children are afflicted would surely be a fitting memorial to this great man and lover of children. “McKinley Sanatorium for the Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculous Diseases in Children” should be the name of such an institution.
     The meaning of the name William McKinley, written on the portals of these houses of hope for many a suffering mother’s heart, will be made clear to these little inmates by their teachers and friends.
     The word McKinley will embody to these little sufferers all that is needed to make them good patients, obedient pupils, noble men and women, true American citizens. McKinley’s fortitude during the last days of his life must teach them what all patients need: Trust in God, confidence in their physician, patience. His words of forgiveness to the very man who slew him must show these little children the sublimity and nobleness of his character. McKinley’s life as a man, citizen, patriot, and president embodies all that is truly American. A better example to teach our children the meaning of true manhood and true patriotism we can not find.
     Let all American men and women who can afford it contribute through their children or through their children friends toward the realization of this McKinley sanatorium.
     In letting the children of parents of means who are happy and will bring their mites toward a movement of this kind a lesson of charity and patriotism may be taught to them as well. There will be found in every community responsible and patriotic citizens to take this matter in hand and bring it to a successful issue. Let each State contribute enough to have its own pavilion in which to place its children. Let the Atlantic and Pacific coast be lined with such institutions, one or two [594][595] pavilions for each State according to its needs. Let good schools be attached to each sanatorium so that the intellectual development of the children may not suffer.
     There exists in the North Sea (German Ocean), on the island called Norderney, a beautiful flourishing sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculous children. Its name is “Kaiser Friedrich Hospiz” and it was erected in memory of that unfortunate emperor Frederick the Third, whom the German people so fondly called “Frederick the Noble.” In the fortitude of this beloved sovereign, in his patience, in his martyrdom, in his love for the people, in his ideas and ideals of what should constitute a free and just nation, there is a great similarity to our beloved McKinley.
     We too may call our martyred ruler “the Noble,” and to his memory erect a memorial of practical utility. Let us build an institution where the lives of American children can be saved, to be sent forth in health and vigor to their respective communities, and to help finish the work for which McKinley lived and died: to make the American nation the greatest, the noblest, the foremost of the world.

Very truly,                         
S. A. Knopf, M.D.     

     New York, October 9, 1901.