Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Date of publication: 3 October 1901
Volume number: 38
Issue number: 987
|[untitled]. Life 3 Oct. 1901 v38n987: p. 264.|
|Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency); lawlessness (mob rule); lawlessness (mob rule: Falmouth, MA); Buffalo, NY.|
|Michael Conway; Elisha; William McKinley; Richard Olney; Theodore Roosevelt; George L. Wellington.|
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT has published his intention of being, in so
far as may be, President McKinley’s political executor as well as his successor.
There is to be no change of policy, he says, but what was planned will be carried
out in so far as its accomplishment lies in him, and he has rehearsed categorically
the declared intentions of his predecessor which it will be his effort to carry
through. We read in the sacred writing that when the cloak of the Tishbite descended
to Elisha, his first use of it was to smite Jordan and divide its waters. To
smite our Jordan and let the waters through it is one of the inherited policies
to which President Roosevelt has specifically committed himself. The analogy
is engaging. Our Jordan is the narrow ridge that separates Atlantic from Pacific.
Whoever of us lives to see it divided, is likely to see the memory of McKinley
and his administration intimately associated with the work.
In retaining the Cabinet unbroken President Roosevelt has done what seems very wise in itself, and has greatly pleased and reassured the country. It is a strong Cabinet. Its members are experienced in their respective duties and have the confidence of the people, and some of the strongest of them are personally as close to Mr. Roosevelt as they were to their late chief, and so all seems to be going well. The young President gives every sign of being old for his years, discreet, conservative and sound of heart. The Presidency in time past has sometimes wonderfully rounded out and perfected character. Its burdens have strengthened and purified most good men who have borne them. They are consecrating burdens to any man who has possibilities of consecration in him, and Roosevelt has such possibilities in abundance. Every one’s hopes for him are high. Every one’s wishes are for his success. The prayers of the prayerful are going up for him everywhere. Stocks have been going up too. That may not be spiritually helpful, but it is significant of the return of confidence.
THE duty of disciplining persons who have expressed satisfaction or indifference at the shooting of the late President has been thoroughly performed all over the country. Zeal in its performance seemed in some instances to exceed discretion, yet no cases are recorded where indignation carried a mob to extreme lengths. That is a thing to be thankful for, for the men who supposed themselves to be pleased at the assassination were doubtless, in most cases, foolish persons, who failed to get the true bearings of the crime, and had not gumption or natural decency enough to restrain them from untimely and scandalous words. Senator Wellington, who ought to have known better, having suffered from his lack of feeling and his bad temper, has explained that he was misquoted by the newspapers, and that what he really said was not so bad as the language imputed to him. One community seems to have been led into rather ludicrous indiscretion in its zeal to honor the dead President’s memory, and that is the town of Falmouth in Massachusetts, which is the summer home of Mr. Richard Olney. It seems, according to a story printed in the Sun, that Mr. Olney had a coachman named Conway, who was accused of saying, when the President was first shot, that it was “a good thing.” That naturally scandalized the Falmouth people, and complaint was made to Mr. Olney. It was announced later that Conway had been discharged, but Falmouth was still unsatisfied and the thoughts of the citizens turned longingly to tar and feathers. A crowd eventually gathered to fix Conway, but not being able to find him, marched to Mr. Olney’s house, sang “Nearer My God to Thee,” and tried to see Mr. Olney. But no one seemed to be at home, and the crowd, marching back to the village, held an indignation meeting, and voted that “the course pursued by the Hon. Richard Olney is an insult to American citizenship.” Heaven knows what the Falmouth folks wanted Mr. Olney to do, but it looks as if he had been twice unlucky—in having a fool for hired man, and for having a lot of geese for neighbors.
PUBLIC sentiment generally towards Buffalo is very sympathetic.
The assassination was especially calamitous to Buffalo. The shock was felt there
in its fullest force. It brought crushing burdens of care on men who were very
heavy-laden already, and it checked at a critical time the prosperity of the
Pan-American. But Buffalo has stood up bravely under affliction. What could
be done it did promptly and perfectly. It showed good feeling, good taste and
good discipline, and seemed, like the rest of the country, to have no thought
for the time being except for its wounded guest.
There is a month left to the Pan-American. Here’s hoping it may be by far the best month the show has seen.