Publication information
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Source: Sphere
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: none
Author(s): Lynch, George
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 7
Issue number: 89
Pagination: ii

Lynch, George. [untitled]. Sphere 5 Oct. 1901 v7n89: p. ii.
full text
McKinley assassination (news coverage); William McKinley (mourning); William McKinley (death: public response: New York, NY); Theodore Roosevelt (personal character); Theodore Roosevelt (political obligations); Theodore Roosevelt (compared with William McKinley); Marcus Hanna (impact of assassination); Theodore Roosevelt (compared with William II); McKinley assassination (impact on economy); Roosevelt presidency (predictions, expectations, etc.); Edith Roosevelt.
Named persons
James A. Garfield; Marcus Hanna; William McKinley; Edith Roosevelt; Theodore Roosevelt.
In the original source, the article (below) is preceded by what appears to be a title, “The Funeral of President McKinley,” followed, on a subsequent line, by a subtitle or teaser, “The Scenes at Washington and New York.” Yet the article discusses neither the funeral nor Washington and only briefly concerns itself with New York. Presumably therefore the titling is intended to encompass the entirety of relevant coverage within the magazine, including two illustrations (pp. 7, 8) and two photographs (pp. ii, 8).




NEW YORK, September 18th, 1901.     

We received news of the attack on Mr. McKinley, and as we left the Irish coast we heard by wireless telegraphy throughout the afternoon the latest accounts of his condition; conflicting accounts they were, but on the utmost verge of the ether waves the messages that came were more hopeful. Then there was a blank until seventy miles from Nantucket lightship, when again these ether waves commenced to whisper to us the news of the world—and the message that came was that the President was seriously ill but still alive. Next morning before the tugs reached the Lucanias [sic] side the Marconi instrument had carried the message that the President was dead.
     After landing at the wharf one passes through a fringe of slums on the way to one’s hotel. Already signs of mourning were being hung out, and as I passed a dirty little wooden house in a side street off the quay from an upper window a small flag had been hoisted out on the end of a broom-handle, and a young urchin was stretched out engaged in tying on a black rag by way of crape to the end of it, while a big woman with an upper lip suggestive of Irish origin had hold of him by the seat of his breeches as he leaned perilously out over the street. As I went on the Stars and Stripes over immense buildings wept at half-mast from their flag-poles, but the black rag of that dirty thin-armed youngster had as real a touch of mourning about it as the largest of them. A genuine sense of calamity lay on the whole city, and as the day wore on great buildings were everywhere draped in black. The Stock Exchange was closed and most of the theatres, except, auri sacra fames, some few owned by Jews, whose ruling passion could not even temporarily be stilled by the death of their President. There was no panic or excitement, but on the contrary something very dignified about the restrained fortitude with which this blow was borne by the people.
     In financial circles the character of McKinley’s successor was the absorbing topic of interest. I recall the last time I came in contact with Roosevelt. It was when he was in command of the roughriders in the trenches outside Santiago. For weeks the army had been living in that miasmatic climate that seemed like a perpetual vapour bath. On all sides men were falling ill, and the all-pervading invisible vampire of disease seemed slowly sucking the vitality out of all the soldiers. But I cannot forget the impression left on my mind by Roosevelt. Never have I seen such a combination of physical and intellectual energy. What affected others affected him not. He stood out beyond his fellows as a man born to lead men and to lead them masterfully. He was absolutely unsparing of himself through those trying days, and not less than his energy then does his absolute straightforwardness and honesty shine out luminously in every action of his life. Yet, nevertheless, in conservative minds there are some who see danger in his restlessness and feel apprehensive of his stubbornness, but the majority feel that increased responsibility will bring a corresponding accession of prudence. On one thing everybody agrees, that the new President is a live man. Moreover, he is a man entering on this office absolutely free and untrammelled by any pledges. There is the dramatic element in the position. Singularly attractive and upright as was the private character of McKinley, there was always a sense of pledges given and obligations to those who had placed him in the position of president. In the last scenes in the death chamber we have the sinister figure of Mark Hanna, the wire-pulling president-maker, hovering around. But Hanna no longer holds the same position with the new President that he did with the last. The king-maker is dethroned. Amongst men who hold the first place in states or rule the peoples of the earth to-day the new President resembles more the German Kaiser than any other—the same restless energy, something of the same headstrongness, all of the same honesty.
     And the first of “Teddy’s” triumphs comes to-day. The fears of the little group of brokers and bankers on board the Lucania, and who were playing the big game of poker on board during the voyage, have not been realised; the markets have boomed. When I was at school long ago the master, knowledgable of boys, took early opportunity of making the most obstreperous perfect. Wall Street believes that Teddy will be a concentrated essence of House of Lords conservatism with the assumption of graver responsibilities; but we believe all the same that this boomlet has been engineered by careful arrangement as has also, according to rumour, many other things connected with the President’s illness so as to break the news gently to the markets and prevent any such panic as succeeded the death of Garfield. With stocks at their present giddy price panics would be perilous. This is the first of “Teddy’s” triumphs; the next a quieter but not a less real one do I now prophesy.
     It will be when the world sees a slight dark-eyed woman with brown hair plainly drawn back from her forehead, only a few tiny ringlets clustering around the brow, with perfect teeth through which her words come with peculiarly slow distinction, take one of the children to whom she has devoted the main part of her life off her knee, and leaving the books in which she delights stand up before the world as consort to the President of the United States, as hostess of the White House—by birth and culture and feeling a lady to her finger-tips. As we have glanced around at the aspect of the men leaders of mankind it is even with more assurance of comparison that our mental eye rests upon Mrs. Roosevelt. She has done more for the present President than the world wots of. Society, not of America alone but of the world, will see the great column of American life, rough in its foundation, solid in its structure, crowned now with the Corinthian capital of refinement and intellect at the White House.
     In old days swords flashed from their scabbards in salute to the cry of Le roi est mort; vive le roi. In our commonplace, hard-working, tape-ticking days we don’t enthuse much, yet all the same in the hearts of men there is salute-homage of greeting for clean-handed valour—for queenliness of womanhood—as of old.



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