The Assassination of the President
The awful news of the attempted murder
of President McKinley was flashed over the wires last Friday afternoon
and stunned the whole world as it never was before since the assassination
of President Lincoln. Such intelligence at first stupefies with
horror, then arouses unnatural and perhaps immoderate passions.
By this time most persons are sufficiently composed in mind to think
and speak rationally upon the subject, but never will any sane or
reasonable man be able to consider the deed of last Friday as anything
else than the act of a madman or of an unnatural and most dangerous
At first impulse it is natural to
wish that the officials had allowed the maddened crowd to stamp
the life out of the wretch as they would that of a venomous serpent.
The deed was so wanton, so cruel, so treacherous. No sane man can
imagine any good that could come to any one from any theory of nihilism
or anarchism. Not for a moment could such a murder shake the form
of office of our government.
One can understand how men living
under a despotism, deprived of liberty or common justice, may be
led by a patriotic emotion or by the sense of injury, to slay the
despot; but in a republic like this, where the chief magistrate
is certainly selected by the people every four years, where the
laws are what the majority of the people ask for, such murder is
without any reason, even in the mind of the most visionary political
Evidently the day of American simplicity
about the chief magistrate has passed; the day when the president
may walk fearlessly among the people, or welcome every man to his
presence to take him by the hand, is passed. Our country has become
the haven of the criminals of Europe, the meeting place of murderers
and king-killers. We have allowed such creatures free speech and
the result is that these crazy theorists have inflamed the shallow
minds of these murderous ones with such thoughts as lead to the
deed of last Friday.
Hereafter the people of the United
States must protect the man they have selected as president from
such creatures as Czolgosz. Hereafter we should have no more unlimited
receptions for the president. Only by card should persons be admitted
to a reception, and we fear it will be necessary to surround the
person of the president with a guard. It is a shame that this has
Hereafter, also, we should prohibit
the incoming of the murderous anarchist and stop the freedom of
speech that incites to such awful crime. It is a misuse of freedom
of speech and of the press when treason and murder is advocated.
Neither speech nor press should be allowed such freedom as that.
Meantime the prayer of the whole people
is that President McKinle[y] may fully recover and that his would-be
murde[r]er may be adequately punished.