Source: North American Review
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “The Need of National Legislation against Anarchism”
Author(s): Burrows, J. C.
Date of publication: December 1901
Volume number: 173
Issue number: 541
Pagination: 727-45 (excerpt below includes only pages 728-29)
|Burrows, J. C. “The Need of National Legislation against Anarchism.” North American Review Dec. 1901 v173n541: pp. 727-45.|
|William McKinley (personal character); McKinley assassination; anarchism (impact on Czolgosz); anarchism (laws against).|
|James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
The Need of National Legislation against Anarchism [excerpt]
Without reflecting in the least on President
McKinley’s immediate predecessors, it will be conceded that the loss of no other
man who has occupied the executive chair would have been felt so much in a personal
sense by the mass of our citizens. His gentleness, his wisdom, his patriotism,
his splendid domestic fidelity, his unvarying cheerfulness had made him the
friend of every one with whom he came in contact. The hundreds of thousands
who had heard him speak at one time or another were charmed by his magnetic
personality. McKinley had but to show himself anywhere to carry away the hearts
of all beholders. Even the stress of politics, fatal to so many, left no evil
wishers behind. It is of record that Mr. McKinley had almost as many friends
among the active Democrats as among Republicans, and with Republicans he was
a popular idol. His concern for the workingman’s welfare was made manifest on
every occasion. All his efforts were directed towards securing the highest pay
and shortest hours for the toilers, and the laboring people, realizing this,
and in appreciation of the magnificent results he had achieved for them, almost
worshipped him. Altogether, he was a man who in theory and in practice stood
for the best interests of all the people as he understood it, and for everything
that was praiseworthy and progressive in our national life.
In this tragedy at Buffalo there were none of the conditions that made the assassination of Lincoln at least understandable. There was not even the pretext of a reason, such as encompassed the shooting of Garfield. Not the wildest stretch of imagination could conceive any betterment for the masses in Mr. McKinley’s taking off. He simply fell a victim to the unreasoning propa-  ganda of murder. The assassination was inspired by the pernicious teachings of the men and women who are the avowed enemies of all government, and who seek, through the bloody instrumentality of assassination to accomplish their anarchistic purposes.
It remains to be seen whether this crime, striking so near to the nation’s heart, shall at last give some effect to the efforts so often made to secure legislation against its perpetrators and advocates; for, after all, the man who fired the shot at the President was the least of the criminals. The men and women who egged him on by their teaching and preaching were far more guilty than he. Without them he would never have been inspired with his mad design. President McKinley would be alive to-day had these others, who have not even been molested, but permitted to continue their teachings, been dealt with in the first instance as their criminality deserves.