Source: Domestic Science Monthly
Source type: magazine
Document type: public address
Document title: “Tribute to the Memory of William McKinley”
Author(s): Irish, John P.
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 4
Issue number: 1
|Irish, John P. “Tribute to the Memory of William McKinley.” Domestic Science Monthly Oct. 1901 v4n1: p. 13.|
|full text of excerpted address as given in magazine|
|John P. Irish (public addresses); William McKinley (memorial addresses); McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (personal response); William McKinley (personal character).|
|From page 13: Extract from address of John P. Irish, Oakland, September 19, 1901.|
Tribute to the Memory of William McKinley
“A widow mourns for her husband,
a nation for its chief, and mankind for a friend.
“It is not a world of chance. Even crimes have causes, and when such a crime as the murder of a President by an anarchist brings sorrow to the republic, grief should not make us forget the cause that made the assassin. Anarchy has taken root in this country since Americans began listening to the gospel of despair. The old Puritan spirit knew no despair. It may have feared God over much [sic], but it did not despair of His mercy. That spirit endured all things in the way of physical hardship and privation, and from it issued the courage of the pioneers who moved the country’s frontier westward until it was lost in the Pacific. Then came a decline in the pioneer spirit, and with it departed some of the independence and self-dependence of the people. Then came the evangelist of despair to deposit in mental conditions the soil on which anarchy feeds, as the germs of the pestilence feed upon the feculence of cities.
“It is a wise and worthy saying, and true, that discontent is a cause of human progress. But, there is discontent and discontent. There is a noble discontent, which seeks betterment of estate and condition by seeking the causes of failure within. This noble discontent by introspection purges the character of man. It seeks within himself the cause of his lack of success. Is it his lack of thrift, temperance, truthfulness, industry? If either or all, and he is a wise man, he immediately repairs the breach in himself, strengthens the weak place, and then goes forward to find every door open to his energy and no prize beyond the reach of his enterprise. President McKinley had failures and defeats, but they roused in his spirit his noble discontent, and after every failure came a success, after every fall he sought the cause within and not without, himself.
“But there is an ignoble discontent, which looks outwardly instead of inwardly for the cause of failure. Lacking thrift, temperance, truthfulness and industry, this ignoble discontent listens to the gospel of despair and finds its failure in external causes. Its ear is poisoned and its heart blackened by the ascription to others of its estate and condition. The assassin of the President represents this ignoble discontent. The two men and the two systems met that day in Buffulo [sic], and the introspective, self-repaired and self-strengthened man fell before the ignoble vagrant. Then and there Americanism fell a victim to un-Americanism.”