Publication information
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Source: Truth Seeker
Source type: magazine
Document type: column
Document title: “Note and Comment”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 39
Pagination: 609

“Note and Comment.” Truth Seeker 28 Sept. 1901 v28n39: p. 609.
McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); lawlessness (mob rule); Mary Baker Eddy; William McKinley (death: religious response); anarchism (dealing with); McKinley assassination (public response: prohibitionists, temperance advocates, etc.); McKinley assassination (religious interpretation); William McKinley (detractors); Joseph A. Wildman; Henry Arlen; William Reed Huntington; anarchism (religious response); atheism; Edward G. Andrews (eulogies); Abram S. Hewitt (public statements); McKinley assassination (personal response); the press (criticism); criminals (dealing with).
Named persons
Edward G. Andrews; Henry Arlen [identified as Arian below]; William Blackstone; Oliver Cromwell; Leon Czolgosz; David; Mary Baker Eddy; Abram S. Hewitt; William Reed Huntington; Robert Morris Kemp; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; George Washington; Joseph A. Wildman [misspelled below]; William I.
The following excerpt comprises seven nonconsecutive portions of the column. Omission of text within the excerpt is denoted with a bracketed indicator (e.g., [omit]).


Note and Comment [excerpt]

     The lawless spirit let loose by the act of Czolgosz is shown by personal assaults, more or less deadly, upon persons expressing sentiments regarding President McKinley which in more orderly times would pass unnoticed.

     Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, Christian Scientist, has published a tribute to the late President. The piece begins rather incoherently: “Imperative, accumulative, holy demands rested on the life and labors,” etc., but is appreciative withal.


     The Kings county [sic] Prohibitionists, who met in convention in Brooklyn last week, promised to abolish “anarchy” if their party was put in power, by closing the saloons. The Prohibitionists, like other political doctors, have but a single prescription: “Take my pills.”


     The burden of recent sermons is that the death of President McKinley was ordered by providence, being a rebuke to this nation for allowing too much liberty, and the stamping out of freedom of speech and press is demanded. The clergy of Europe were wont to account for the disasters of Christendom by citing the excessive tolerance shown by Christians to the Jews, who had slain their savior.


     The Rev. Joseph A. Wilman, a United Brethren minister of Elkhorn, Ind., was tarred and feathered by a crowd for saying that while he honored McKinley dead he regarded him when living as a political demagogue. The Rev. Henry Arian of Goshen, in the same state, was ordered out of the county for speaking disparagingly of the deceased President from the point of view of a Prohibitionist.


     The Rev. Dr. Huntington of Grace church assures the public of the “truth” that “anarchy in Atheism” and both are to be stamped out together. As to the “stamping out” of Atheism, we have our doubts, whatever may be done to “anarchy.” The inference from Dr. Huntington’s assertion that anarchy, which means no government, and Atheism, meaning no God, are the same thing, is that Government is God—a doctrine that was discredited when republics were set up against the divinity of kings.


     “We know how in the time of David of old,” says the Rev. Morris Kemp of Trinity church, “that God guided the stone from the stripling’s sling until it struck into the forehead of the mighty Philistine champion, because the Almighty had a purpose to be wrought out. May it not be, beloved, that divine interposition was withheld when our President was stricken down, in order that a great national lesson might be taught?” The theory is indeed plausible, the lesson being that there is not efficacy enough in the prayers of the biggest nation on the globe to induce the Almighty to undo the work of a miserable slum-rat with a pistol.

     The doctrine emphasized by the Positivists, that the dead live in their survivors, found expression in the closing words spoken by Bishop Andrews at Washington on Tuesday of last week. Said the bishop in his peroration: “William of Orange is not dead, Cromwell is not dead, Washington lives in the hearts and lives of his countrymen. Lincoln, with his infinite sorrow, lives to teach us and lead us on. And McKinley shall summon all statesmen and all his countrymen to purer living, nobler aims, sweeter faith, and a moral blessedness.” This is preferable to a harp-playing immortality.


     Former Mayor Hewitt of New York says: “It is easy enough to deal with the poor, wretched degenerate who was the instrument of assassination, but how are we going to deal with that reckless newspaper which we all believe to be responsible for the murder of our dearly beloved President? As long as we continue to countenance such a newspaper by our subscriptions or our advertisements, just so long can assassins justify their dastardly conduct by the specious argument of a press that poses as a moral teacher. Who is responsible for this event? Surely, it is to be found in the perverted teaching of a reckless press that has not hesitated to coin conscience into dollars.” The anxiety of certain conservative gentlemen to throw the responsibility upon freedom raises the suspicion that they are afraid it will found [sic] to rest somewhere else.

     The following is quoted from Blackstone concerning the penalty to be inflicted upon culprits “standing mute,” as the Buffalo criminal chooses to do: “The English judgment of penance for standing mute was as follows: That the prisoner be remanded to the prison from whence he came; and put into a low, dark chamber, and there be laid upon his back, on the bare floor, naked, unless where decency forbids; that there be placed upon his body as great a weight of iron as he could bear, and more; that he have no sustenance, save only, on the first day, three morsels of the worst bread; and on the second day three draughts of standing water, that should be nearest to the prison dooor [sic]; and in this situation this should be alternately his daily diet till he died, or (as anciently the judgment ran) till he answered.” This judgment had been modified before Blackstone’s time. According to the practice in New York, when a defendant says nothing his silence is construed as a plea of not guilty.



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