Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Highways and Byways”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 34
Issue number: 1
Pagination: 3-14 (excerpt below includes only page 3)
|“Highways and Byways.” Chautauquan Oct. 1901 v34n1: pp. 3-14.|
|William McKinley; William McKinley (personal history); William McKinley (political character).|
|Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
Highways and Byways [excerpt]
President McKinley was shot by a man approaching
to shake hands with him, at a public reception held in the Temple of Music at
the Pan-American Exposition, on Friday, September 6. He died during the early
morning hours of Saturday, September 14.
This tragic ending of a remarkable career profoundly affected the civilized world. Mr. McKinley was generally regarded as a typical product of the United States of America. For nearly half of his lifetime he had been a conspicuous figure in the political life of the nation. His early education included part of a course at Allegheny College. Enlisting as a private in 1861, he was breveted major of the United States volunteers by President Lincoln for gallantry in battle, March 13, 1865. In 1867 he was admitted to the Ohio bar, and two years later became prosecuting attorney of Stark county, Ohio. In 1876 he was elected to congress; he served four successive terms, and achieved world-wide reputation as the author of the McKinley (high) tariff bill of 1890. Thereafter he was twice elected governor of Ohio, his native state. In 1896 he was elected president of the United States, and he had served six months of his second term in that office at the date of his death. He reached the age of a little more than fifty-eight and a half years. The day before his assassination Mr. McKinley had delivered a characteristic address at the Exposition, optimistic in tone and emphasizing “reciprocity” as the trade opportunity of the hour for the country.
Without attempting at this time to estimate President McKinley’s ultimate position in history, it is certain that as the chief figure in recent crises of national policy he will be accounted as an international factor of first importance.
Personally, none of our presidents has been more beloved. Tactful use of his personality to allay lingering animosities between people of the south and the north will not be forgotten. The bitterest of political opponents willingly pay tribute to those qualities of character which endeared him to home and to the larger neighborhood of public life. It is the testimony of his intimates that his last prayerful words, “It is God’s way; His will be done,” expressed the habitual attitude of his mind in affairs both great and small.