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Source: Public Opinion
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “The Week”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 19 September 1901
Volume number: 31
Issue number: 12
Pagination: 355

“The Week.” Public Opinion 19 Sept. 1901 v31n12: p. 355.
full text
William McKinley (death); McKinley assassination (international response); Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency); anarchism (laws against).
Named persons
John R. Hazel; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Ansley Wilcox.


The Week

“GOOD-BY ALL. Good-by. It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.” These were the last words of President William McKinley as his life left the body torn by the assassin’s bullets. Mr. McKinley died early in the morning of September 14, after a week of suffering, during which hopes of his recovery had been steadily encouraged by the reports sent out by his physicians. The immediate cause of death was gangrene, possibly from a poisoned bullet, which followed the course of the wounds. The funeral train with the body of the dead president left Buffalo on Monday for Washington, where the body lay in state at the Capitol until Wednesday. Then the body was taken to Canton, where the interment took place on Thursday, appointed a day of mourning by President Roosevelt.


EULOGY of the dead president we leave to others; there is no lack of it, nor of sincere sorrow, in any part of the world. Here this was to be expected, but judging from the messages received from abroad, the Vienna Neues Weiner Tageblatt does not exaggerate when it says: “The ocean is not wide enough to hold all the sympathy that streams from the old world to the new.”


IT seems as though William McKinley had to die as he did in order that the people of this country and others might know him. Nothing could have been more plain than that President McKinley’s one rule of conduct was the conscientious performance of his duty to the people. This did not secure immunity from the harshest criticism which sometimes amounted to villification. Now his death and the way in which he met it has shamed those who have called him weak, an oppressor and tyrant abroad, and a conspirator against rights and liberties at home.


THEODORE ROOSEVELT, the constitutional successor to the presidency, took the oath of office at Buffalo on Saturday afternoon less than twelve hours after the death of President McKinley. The oath was administered by United States District Judge John R. Hazel at the home of Mr. Ansley Wilcox. Of great importance is the statement which President Roosevelt made just before he took the oath. “I wish,” he said solemnly to the cabinet officers and others who were gathered in the room, “to say that it shall be my aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and the honor of our beloved country.”


THUS while the people of the United States have lost one highly esteemed public servant they see him replaced by another whose character and experience justify the belief that he will in every way be a worthy successor to President McKinley. President Roosevelt’s courage has never been questioned; good administration is with him a passion; he has preached it and enforced it throughout his public life. For these reasons there is every reason to expect that the progress and prosperity of the country will continue under the new chief executive, who has asked the McKinley cabinet to remain in office and secured their promises to do so for the present.


NATURALLY the avoidance of a repetition of crimes of the kind which have deprived the nation of three of its presidents is the subject of most earnest consideration, but no practicable suggestions have yet been made. It is to be presumed that the assailant expects to accomplish the death of his victim; what then is to be gained by making an attempt upon the president’s life punishable by death without regard to the actual outcome of the attempt? Probably nothing can be done to preclude the possibility of such attacks upon the heads of nations, but the preaching if not the mad practise of anarchy can be stopped, and it doubtless will be until we again grow careless of the safety of our highest state officials.



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