Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “The Shooting of President McKinley”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 4
Issue number: 89
|“The Shooting of President McKinley.” Success Oct. 1901 v4n89: p. 1088.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley; William McKinley (last public address).|
|Thomas Jefferson; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
|The editorial is accompanied on the same page by a photograph of McKinley.|
The Shooting of President McKinley
President McKinley’s last act before the shooting was an example of the kind, democratic manner in which he held all men. All, to him, were equal; none more lowly than he. He shook hands with those around him, with the loving, tender grasp so many people know, until, alas! he took the hand of the assassin. Was ever a more contemptible, base, vituperable deed recorded in the history of the world?
No President, since Lincoln, has had more trying and difficult duties imposed on him. During his administration, the United States has ascended to a place in the world that gives it rank as the foremost nation. His speech at the Pan-American Exposition, on the day preceding the shooting, was the honest opinion of a broad-minded American who had the very best interests of his country at heart. The adoption of the protective tariff was once his most significant purpose. Yet Mr. McKinley moved with the times, and when he said, at Buffalo, that the protection policy was outworn, and declared it irrelevant, in view of the existing measures of expansion and the great demand for American products in foreign markets, he proved that he was in keeping with the best theories that will tend to advance and increase the United States.
“Reciprocity treaties are in harmony with the spirit of the times; measures of retaliation are not.” These are the words of a man who was striving, with honest effort, to obey the will of the people. They will never be forgotten.
Had Mr. McKinley uttered that memorable Buffalo speech knowing that it was his last, he could not have spoken words of more practical wisdom or sentiments better suited to a policy of prosperity and peace. “We must encourage our merchant marine,” the president declared, and “we must have more ships.” That they must be built under the American flag, and manned and owned by Americans, so that they will be messengers of amity wherever they go, is advice that our country cannot treat lightly. We must build the Isthmian canal, we must construct the Pacific cable, we must take care of our new possessions, we must use the best tariff measures to keep our trade with the world. These are but a few of the ideas of his expressive mind. No American should fail to read and study this speech.
Then, at the close, he spoke these words, which deserve a place beside the expressions of Jefferson and Lincoln:—
“Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. We hope that all who are represented here may be moved to higher and nobler effort for their own and the world’s good, and that out of this city may come not only greater commerce and trade for us all, but, more essential than these, relations of mutual respect, confidence, and friendship which will deepen and endure. Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of earth.”
Does it seem possible that friend or foe, in this land of equality, could have found it in his heart to have shot the man that uttered them?
President McKinley’s life is the story of the true American, and it will ever be held up by the mother as a model for her son to follow. Born January 29, 1843, at Niles, Ohio, his youth was filled with hardships and struggles, and his life-course seemed to be along the vale of poverty.