Publication information

Truth Seeker
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Observations”
Author(s): Macdonald, George E.
Date of publication: 30 November 1901
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 48
Pagination: 760

Macdonald, George E. “Observations.” Truth Seeker 30 Nov. 1901 v28n48: p. 760.
C. L. James; anarchists (Eau Claire, WI); McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists); McKinley assassination (religious interpretation); William McKinley (detractors); McKinley presidency (criticism); Leon Czolgosz (disposal of remains).
Named persons
Joseph E. Gary; C. L. James; Jesus Christ; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Silas Swallow; Oscar Wilde.
Click here to view a response by C. L. James to the comments below.


     I wonder what grade of intelligence Mr. C. L. James imagiues [sic] he is addressing, and whether it is the highest he is capable of manifesting, when he advances the proposition that the five Anarchists judicially murdered in Chicago in 1887 have been avenged in the subsequent removal of “five crowned heads, or statesmen with powers similar to those of kings.” Is vicarious sacrifice and atonement, then, recognized by Mr. James as a law of Auarchy [sic]? Is he going to dispute for the possession of President McKinley as a sacrifice with the other faddists who profess to know the cause to which the President’s death stands in the relation of effect? He is of course familiar with the claim that McKinley’s removal was an act of God, and that the reason God removed him was because: (1) He tolerated the army canteen (consult Dr. Silas C. Swallow); (2) He betrayed the principle of republicanism by declaring war (attest many Spauish [sic] republicans); (3) He pursued an imperialist policy (vide scores of sermons by anti-imperialist ministers); He omitted to recognize Jesus Christ in his proclamations (cf. Christian Statesman), and he allowed vice to be licensed in the Philippines (see the New Voice). Besides, there is a local preacher in Delaware who knew that in the Providence of God a death would avenge the ostentatious display made by the President and his cabinet when they swung round the circle last summer, but thought the one taken would be Mrs. McKinley! If Mr. James expects to make good his theory that the President suffered for the act of Judge Gary, who sentenced the Chicago Anarchists, he must show that the claims of all the foregoing are more absurd than his own; and that, I fancy, he will find it hard to do.


     The President’s assassin was buried in the cemetery attached to the Auburn prison, the grave being half-filled with quicklime, by which the body will in a short time be entirely consumed. A similar burial has been described in verse by Wilde:

For where a grave had opened wide,
     There was no grave at all;
Only a stretch of mud and sand
     By the hideous prison wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
     That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
     Such as few men can claim!
Deep down below a prison yard,
     Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
     Wrapt in a sheet of flame.

And all the while the burning lime
     Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by might [sic],
     And the soft flesh by day.
It eats the flesh and bone by turns,
     But it eats the heart alway.