In a sigued [sic] statement written
for publication Czolgosz says: “I killed President McKinley because
I done my duty.” The g[r]ammar is not good, but the sentiment is
orthodox. To do one’s duty fearlessly has always been regarded as
the sum of human excellence. When the question of the destiny of
this nation arose before William McKinley and those who thought
they saw in his policy a tendency toward imperialism, he replied
that duty determined destiny. He meant that if a man or nation attended
strictly to duty destiny would take care of itself. So both the
President and his  assassin
are martyrs to duty, it being perhaps unavoidable that their duties
should conflict and their destinies get mixed.
In the great book wherein the true
basis of anarchy is expounded—to wit, “Instead of a Book,” by B.
R. Tucker—the author lays down the maxim that anarchists have no
duties, and are under obligation to neither God nor man to do anything;
whence it appears that the act of Czolgosz was wholly unphilosophical
and not anarchical. Of a truth, his deed and the motive he alleges
are both fan[a]tical. There is no argument weaker than murder, and
there are few excuses so vague as duty.
Mr. Czolgosz deserves some credit
for not pleading the “higher law.” In consideration of this, when
he is good and dead we will overlook his grammar.
Now the finger of odium is pointed
from press and pulpit at persons who did not observe the day of
McK[i]nley’s burial as a day of worship and prayer. T[h]e President’s
friends should stop this. H[i]s cla[i]m to martyrdom is not strengthened
by creat[i]ng t[h]e imp[r]ession that he was butchered to make a
Of course the publishers of the
yellow journals that reviled and cartooned McKinley alive and went
into ostentatious mourning when he died, are hypocritical in the
extreme, and deserve condemnation. But there are mitigating circumstances.
F[o]r in[s]tance, their abuse was as insincere as their praise.
All the world sang “Nearer, My God,
to Thee,” on the day the President was buried. It was his favorite
hymn. The world and the President were indebted for that hymn to
M[i]ss Sarah Flower, a young Englishwoman. S[h]e was the daughter
of a Unitarian minister, Benjamin Flower, who in the early part
of the last century went to jail for criticising the Bishop of Llandaff,
author of Watson’s “Apology for the Bible,” a reply to Paine’s “Age
of Reason.” There were two of the Flower girls, Sarah and Eliza.
Sarah wrote the words of the hymu [sic] in 1840, and Eliza set them
to music. Both were regular attendants at the South Place chapel,
London, of which Dr. Moncure D. Conway has long been the minister,
during the term of his predecessor, Mr. W. J. Fox. Many years ago
“Nearer, My God, to Thee,” was condemned as a Unitarian hymn, containing,
“not an atom of gospel.”