Source: Black and White Budget
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “News and Views”
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 103
Pagination: 2-4 (excerpt below includes only pages 2 and 4)
|“News and Views.” Black and White Budget 28 Sept. 1901 v6n103: pp. 2-4.|
|William McKinley (death: international response); McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: Soford F. Dixon); McKinley assassination (eyewitnesses); McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: T. M. Geddes); T. M. Geddes (public statements).|
|Soford F. Dixon; T. M. Geddes; William McKinley.|
|The excerpt below comprises two nonconsecutive portions of the column (p. 2 and p. 4). Omission of text within the excerpt is indicated with a bracketed indicator (e.g., [omit]).|
News and Views [excerpt]
Twas something unspeakably touching in the last words of the murdered President. The man who rose to one of the highest positions of power in the world was gentle and submissive to the last. The was no pomp at [the] White House in Mr. McKinley’s life; there was no ostentation at Buffalo in his death. Those who saw him in his day of power can almost hear his last words and see the gentle look on his face as he bade good-bye to the world in which he was one of the foremost men. “Good-bye, good-bye all. It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.” It was a noble close to a great life; it would have been a fitting close to the noblest life a man could live. It is passing strange, one thinks sometimes, that a great man dying, as Mr. McKinley did, in the height of his power and the fulness of his strength, does not leave to his people a great message which will be engraven on every page of their future history; but, after all, great men do not die for stage effects, and the simple farewell of the passing President is the more precious because it is simple. It is like the bursting of a great heart on the borders of two worlds.
R. S. F. D , of Seagrave, Canada, a Methodist minister, who was visiting the Pan-American Exhibition, was in the Temple of Music at the time of the assassination and had shaken hands with the President not a minute before the outrage. Mr. Dixon’s account of the affair, as related to the Toronto Globe, is of considerable interest. The President stood well within the room, near the platform. On entering the building by the eastern or corner door, the visitor found seats directly in front of him, and to his right an aisle leading to the platform. Up this he was to go, and after shaking hands with the President he was expected to pass down by another aisle to the left, and out by the western door. Contrary to some reports, the building was not crowded; the guards would not allow more than thirty or forty people in at a time, and told them to “step lively.” A few paces up the right-hand aisle the guards were met. Mr. Dixon had shaken hands with the President, had gone on a few steps, and had stepped out of the line to get another look at Mr. McKinley, when he heard the two reports and saw the spurt of smoke of the second shot darting towards the President. Then someone fell—he could not see who—and there was a scene of great confusion. The guards put everybody out. In the grounds the scene was one of wild confusion, and though some counselled moderation, Mr. Dixon thinks that if the man could have been got at he would have been torn to pieces. He saw the closed hack with the prisoner inside driven off; it was twice almost stopped, and once the driver lost his whip. Someone apparently handed it back to him, and he finally got away, largely by the judicious course he steered, misleading and avoiding the crowd.
M. T. M. G , of Clarksburg, Canada, was standing almost within ten feet of the President when the latter was shot down. Speaking of the tragedy to a reporter of the Toronto Globe, Mr. Geddes said:—“There were two lines of guards extending from the street into the Temple of Music. The President walked through the centre of these guards into the main entrance. He had just entered the building, when a young man pushed through the guards and extended his hand to the President. Mr. McKinley shook him by the hand, and then we heard the reports and saw the smoke from the revolver shots. At the second shot the President staggered and fell backwards, not uttering a sound. Two of the guards immediately seized the man who did the shooting. There was a scene of wild excitement.”