Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Leslie’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The World in Tears”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 93
Issue number: 2404
Pagination: 302

“The World in Tears.” Leslie’s Weekly 5 Oct. 1901 v93n2404: p. 302.
full text
William McKinley (mourning); William McKinley (death: public response); William McKinley (death: international response); presidential assassinations (comparison); William McKinley (compared with Abraham Lincoln); William McKinley (death: personal response).
Named persons
Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.


The World in Tears

     MORE tears have been shed over the mortal remains of William McKinley than have ever fallen over those of any other human being. All the civilized nations knelt at his bier. No royal potentate was ever mourned more deeply than this plain man, who became the President of the greatest republic. Kings, emperors, and queens united in their tributes to the memory of the man who sprang from the common people, and whose only title was the people’s gift, bestowed at the ballot-boxes. No living man has inspired such affection.
     When the bell on the little Methodist church in Canton, at three-thirty o’clock on Thursday afternoon, September 19th, tolled the funeral hour, a nation uncovered and wept. In the great, busy, whirling, selfish city of New York, as in every other city and hamlet in the land, for five minutes silence reigned, while prayers ascended and the voice of tearful supplication was heard on high. No such scene has ever before been witnessed on the face of the globe.
     It would not have been surprising if the common people had mourned the death of William McKinley and shed tears over the grave of the ruler of their splendid republic, but with them stood, in silent grief, the crowned heads of all the world, paying respectful tribute, not to a warrior scarred with the wounds of battle or covered with the laurels of victory, but to the man of humble birth, whose most earnest efforts in life had been as the exponent of peace, prosperity, and good-will, who had sincerely believed and who had had the happy fortune to demonstrate that a nation’s commercial supremacy could be won by the arts of peace rather than the bloody compulsion of war. In their great grief the people remembered not only their President, but also the man of purity, of kindly purpose and gentle disposition, whose domestic virtues had won their admiration and undying love.
     The world mourns the loss of the sagacious ruler of ninety million people, the tramp of whose busy feet, with a message of good-will to all men, has just begun to be heard in lands where the drum-beat alone has always proclaimed authority. Thus does the world pay homage to the great American republic that has reached the golden height of its glory during the chief magistracy of William McKinley. He was fixed by inscrutable fate to fall amid the splendid aggregation of monumental buildings at Buffalo which marked the fruition of his commercial policy. He fell, as Lincoln did, just as his grandest work was completed. He lived to see his beloved nation enjoy the marvelous prosperity which his policy of protection wrought. He entered the promised land with his people, and, had he lived, would have led them farther on in the journey toward unity, peace, and prosperity. When he fell, in the midst of all our joy and expectation, the hearts of the people were broken.
     President McKinley has not died in vain. His achievements will live as long as the nation survives. He has inspired nobler ideals in public and private life, and thus has left a shining example that has stirred the pride and awakened the emulation of the youth of the land. Their scalding tears have fallen upon his mangled body, but their hearts still cherish the glory that was his—a glory they will seek by noble living to make their own.



top of page