Source: Buffalo Review
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Our Stricken Chief”
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 19
Issue number: 79
|“Our Stricken Chief.” Buffalo Review 7 Sept. 1901 v19n79: p. 4.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response).|
Our Stricken Chief
No act in the whole sinister gamut of crime could
have excited deeper horror than the one committed yesterday by an irresponsible
madman at the Temple of Music at the Exposition. The attempt of an assassin
to kill the beloved President of the United States sent a thrill of horror and
indignation throughout the civilized world. No man ever won the hearts of the
American people as William McKinley has won them. No President ever possessed
kindlier, more pleasing, more engaging qualities than this superb gentleman
and Christian magistrate. It is not strange, therefore, that the whole American
people are torn with indignation and sorrow, in face of the calamity which an
unknown criminal sought to force upon them.
Our President came to Buffalo at the request of its citizens, to visit the great Pan-American Exposition, an enterprise in which he had taken the most kindly interest from the day it was unfolded to him by a delegation of Buffalonians, who went to Washington to urge the claims of their city. The President had long looked forward to the trip, anticipating peculiar pleasure in visiting an exposition begotten of the aspirations for commercial unity entertained by the republics of the Western World, an exposition emblematic of many of the best efforts of his own profound statesmanship, both as a legislator and as a President, an exposition dedicated to the interests of the two Americas and the proper place for the enunciation of the lofty ideals of nationality set forth in the powerful speech he delivered Thursday. He came, and the people of Buffalo did him honor in the loyal, enthusiastic fashion which is their habit when entertaining one whom they respect and love. They may have filled the time of the President too thoroughly for his comfort and convenience, but he never showed that he objected; he was willing and ready to do anything to please and gratify his hosts, as they were ready and willing to show him the honors which were his due, and proclaim to all the world that the man they most loved and revered was their guest.
An assassin, let us hope for the sake of humanity that he was insane, fired upon the President as he was receiving long lines of citizens, men, women and little children, who pressed forward to clasp his hand and murmur words of greeting and good will. It was a pitiful thing, but what can be said in connection therewith which is adequate to the pathetic solemnity of the occasion, to the tragic gloom marking the end of a day begun under such auspicious conditions? It is idle to denounce the man who committed the crime. If he is sane words cannot paint the heinous character of his offense against human and divine law. If he is demented, the pathos, the sorrow and the tragedy still remain; and the nation which awaits the word of hope or of despair from the bedside of its stricken President can but put its faith in the mercy of a righteous God whose judgments are just and merciful altogether, and pray for the welfare of the stricken chief and of the sweet woman whom he has cherished and protected through the years of their joint pilgrimage with a tenderness and an affection which are the fairest blooms and the sweetest fragrance of a noble life.