Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Health Magazine
Source type: magazine
Document type: public address
Document title: “Judge Maguire’s Tribute”
Author(s): Maguire, James G.
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 12
Issue number: 5
Pagination: 147-49

Maguire, James G. “Judge Maguire’s Tribute.” Health Magazine Nov. 1901 v12n5: pp. 147-49.
full text
James G. Maguire (public addresses); William McKinley (memorial addresses); McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (political character); William McKinley (personal character).
Named persons
James H. Barry [in notes]; James G. Maguire [in notes]; William McKinley.

The address (below) is prefaced by the magazine’s editor as follows:

     Our readers all know about our President. All have keenly felt the gloom and great loss the American nation has sustained. It is necessary to offer our heartfelt sympathy for the nation’s loss and the irreparable loss forced upon his own beloved wife. We all feel our loss and exclaim how mysterious! We cannot offer to our readers a better tribute than the one below from Judge James G. Maguire, found in The Star September 21, 1901. This weekly is published by James H. Barry every Saturday, at 429 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California, and should be in the hands of every reader on the Pacific Coast. Mr. Barry is the soul of honor and equity, and is one of the longest-headed men in our nation. (p. 147)



Judge Maguire’s Tribute

A SHADOW has fallen upon the souls of men, and a nation with one voice of mourning weeps at the grave of fallen worth. A noble character—a man of gentle heart, great mind and lofty soul—lies dead at the feet of a cold and cruel and worthless assassin.
     The chosen Chief Executive of eighty millions of free people—the highest earthly representative of the holy union of liberty and law—has been foully murdered, solely because the people selected him as the guardian of these great principles of human association. The wretch who murdered him had no grievance against him, but slew him in the vain hope that law and order might perish with him, and that the fear of similar murders in the future might compel society to abandon its organization and fly to the chaos in which fools delight and criminals revel. The murderer’s blow was aimed through the body of President [147][148] McKinley at the heart of popular government, and, indeed, such crimes do shake the faith of men in free government and make them turn in fear and anguish, not to lawless license, but back to the despotism from which, through ages of toil and suffering, the modern republics of the earth evolved.
     President McKinley died for the cause which his official station represents, and he is therefore entitled to be enrolled among the martyrs to the principles symbolized by our flag and proclaimed by our Constitution. As such his untimely death is truly a national bereavement and a source of sorrow to all lovers of liberty, equality and justice throughout the earth.
     His life was glorious and exemplary in its representation of true American manhood and equally glorious and exemplary in its private virtues.
     We bow in sorrow at the portal of his tomb, not as partisans, but as men and as Americans, knowing no distinction of party or of creed in our common and universal grief.
     In his public life, no matter how widely fellow citizens differed from him in opinion concerning public questions, no reasonable man ever questioned the honesty or purity of his motives or the sincerity of his patriotism. His public life was pure and stainless and its memory will long be cherished, as no emolument which he would not have cast aside, as a worthless leaf of the forest, if it conflicted with an example, a model and an in- [sic] inspiration to the succeeding generations of our children.
     With calm, unostentatious courage he met and dealt with the great and trying ordeals which came to his country while he was at her helm of state. In all the range of his public duties he did the right, as God gave him to see the right. No man ever did or ever can do more.
     His private life was governed by the sentiments of love and duty. Among the children of God there was no gentler, kindlier man. He was unselfish to the last degree, patient and pure; earnest but temperate in speech and thought and purpose; ever ready to sacrifice himself upon the altar of personal friendship or domestic duty. Above all else that interested him, the last twenty years of his life were primarily devoted, with an almost tragic devotion, to the care and comfort and happiness of his invalid wife. During all that time there was no honor and that duty of love. None may know the extent or true character of that sacrifice save those who saw him in his daily life as Chief Executive of the greatest nation on earth, dividing his time between bearing the unusual burdens of state which bore heavily upon his sensitive mind, and his efforts to cheer and comfort the stricken and suffering partner of his life. To all who knew him, this devotion was an index to his inmost character, and on account of these never failing qualities of his character, it may be truly said:

“None knew him but to love him,
Nor named him but to praise.”

     But let us not forget that the cause for which President McKinley gave up his life is greater than the man. That the free institutions which we enjoy have been purchased with the precious blood of the best hearts of a thousand generation [sic] of men, and that we must hand them down as a glorious inheritance to our children’s children, even to the remotest generation.
     I have faith that our law-guarded liberty will not and cannot perish from the earth, and that “Our land, the first garden of Liberty’s tree,” will [148][149] forever lead the march of civilization up from the darkness of despotism to ever higher and better social levels, until the perfect realization of that constant aspiration of the universal human heart for Liberty, Equality and Justice, dwelling with harmony and peace and love.
     Not all the enemies of government nor all the friends of despotism can ever destroy the free institutions of this land, which the Pilgrim Fathers consecrated “to Freedom and to God.”
     Let the life and death of him whom we commemorate ever be our inspiration to increasing effort and increasing sacrifice for the land and for the institutions which he loved in life and cherished in death; and now, as we bid an eternal farewell to his mortal remains, let us bow reverently and submissively to his last spoken sentiment: “It is God’s way. Let His will be done.”—Selected.



top of page