Source: Converse County Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Assassination of the President”
City of publication: Lusk, Wyoming
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 19
|“The Assassination of the President.” Converse County Herald 12 Sept. 1901 v16n19: p. .|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (personal response); presidents (protection); anarchism (dealing with).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
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 beast.
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 theorist.
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 become necessary.
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.