Source: Table Talk
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Death of President McKinley”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 10
Pagination: 400, 10
|“Death of President McKinley.” Table Talk Oct. 1901 v16n10: pp. 400, 10.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley (mourning); William McKinley; William McKinley (personal character); William McKinley (presidential character); McKinley presidency; Ida McKinley (public statements); William McKinley (death: personal response).|
|James A. Garfield; Judas; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
|The editorial (below) begins on page 400 and concludes on the second page following, which is page 10 of a separately paginated advertising section.|
Death of President McKinley
Words fail to express the intensity and depth
of the wave of sorrow that swept over the American people when they realized
that their beloved President was dead. How brief the time even as yet reckoned
by only days since happiness and prosperity reigned throughout our country.
In the golden glory of the waning summer afternoon its beloved President was
fatally wounded by the bullet of a loathsome wretch whose name should never
appear in print. The Chief Magistrate on that fateful Friday afternoon, stood
smiling and exchanging greetings with the long line of men and women who felt
it an honor to take the hand of so truly good and great man [sic]. Since the
early transplanting of two dear children from their earthly home to bloom henceforth
in immortal beauty in God’s garden above, all childhood had been sacred to both
husband and wife. But a moment before the hand of the President had rested caressingly
upon the head of a little girl, and on the benevolent kindly face still lingered
the loving smile that had greeted her, when there was extended to him a hand
as false as was that of the kiss of Judas. The cruel bullets that pierced his
body, wounded also the loving loyal hearts of 80,000,000 of his people.
Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley in their honest endeavors to serve the people in conscientious performance of the duties of Chief Magistrate of a great and powerful nation, victims of an assassin’s bullet. What a dark shadow, what gloom it casts over the nation and over every hearthstone in America and in other lands where simple goodness of life, purity of purpose and nobility of character is loved and appreciated.
Like Lincoln, he was esteemed and beloved by all his discerning countrymen. Pure, patriotic, fearless, gentle, tender and unselfish. It is no wonder the heart of the nation is crushed. His ability was always equal to the measure of his responsibilities. His example of a pure and upright life, that priceless treasure, cannot be taken from us by his death. The force of his pure, noble manhood charmed everyone who met him. He was admired and venerated by his fellow citizens. His whole public career was devoted, with an untiring energy to the advocacy of legislation which would improve and maintain the welfare of his country. He was a friend of humanity. His greatest ambition was to serve his country in the fear of God and in the love of men. He was a progressive man and led the people, and under his careful leadership the country attained its highest degree of prosperity. His last public speech was notable. It was not only graceful and eloquent, but it struck the popular chord and received universal approval. It breathed to the whole world a spirit of peace and good will. The people cannot forget what he has done and that in the consummation of his policies we are enjoying the greatest prosperity that we have ever known. He will go down to history and remain in the memories of his countrymen as one of the great Presidents. He met the governments of the old world in the field of diplomacy and directed them to the way out of the Chinese Question. Long before the dark days at Pekin, the McKinley administration had secured by diplomacy the consent of the various powers of the world to the maintenance of the open door. By his courage and splendid diplomacy he won a signal triumph for our country and left the Chinese Empire in tact. He succeeded in practically forcing the whole world to his way of thinking and must, therefore, be considered a strong man and great President. As an executive he was modest, his aim and desire the will of the people rather than that of McKinley.
The home and social life of the President was a valuable example and especially dear to the people whom he typed in so many of their best traits in his private and domestic life. Pure, upright, courageous, chivalric and faithful to every duty.
In this time of bereavement to the cherished wife how tearfully and tenderly are recalled her loving words when herself ill nigh unto death in California a few months since. Gently she said, “Ah, no one can  know him, because to appreciate him they must know him as I do. It is my proudest pleasure to say I am his wife not because he is President, but because he is my husband. So kind, so good, so patient, he gives me all the time he can, he never forgets me no matter how busy he is.” Alas! the pitiful words that follow: “I did not wish him to run a second time, but he thought the country needed him, and when this administration ends we shall live for each other, he will be all mine then!” His first thought in the hour of his extremity was of her that an exaggerated report might not reach her ears.
In the last hours of his consciousness he was unruffled, fearless and confident of the future. This good and great man who passed away was strong in his sense of right and firm in his faith and was thus enabled, as it is given to but few to be, to face the unknown and whatever it might have in store. When the final summons came he was fully prepared to meet it. “It is God’s way, His will be done!” His last words were as brave, as unhesitating as any of the utterances of his life, and will pass into history as among the most notable farewells in the whole record of the human race.