For the third time in the history
of [t]his country the chief executive has been laid low by the assassin’s
hand. “That death loves a shining mark” has been too well exemplified
by the taking off of three of the most beloved men that ever graced
the presidential chair. Owing to the circumstances of Lincoln’s
day he was not at his death the idol of a united country. But his
vast service to mankind has not failed to wring from mankind a just
recognition of his eminent worth, and to-day he is gloriously memorialized,
immortalized in stone, bronze, and, furthermore, in the hearts of
his countrymen everywhere regardless of sectional lines, races or
President Garfield, like the lamented
McKinley, was enjoying immense popularity at home and abroad, such
as is seldom allotted the heads of governments, when, lo! to the
world’s astonishment, a Giteau rushes on the scene, and the rest
Owing to the high tensioned times
the natural con-commitants [sic] of a civil war the assassination
of Lincoln was not entirely unexpected, or if unexpected was not
the matter for such complete surprise as the two later events. Political
ambition and its disappointments were urged as the actuating motives
for the death of Garfield, a very flimsy reason for plunging the
nation in grief and distress. The individual had to stand for the
very grave crime of murder—a regicide, so to speak, which of necessity
worked harm to the individual’s own family and immediate circle
of friends. When one’s self esteem is carried to such a pitch it
is no wonder that the question of sanity is mooted. For the death
of President McKinley there is no reason assigned. He dies at the
dictates of an order of assassins who have set themselves up as
the high priests of all earth, caballing and plotting for the overthrow
of its rulers because they fail to measure up to their fanatically
conceived standards, signing away the lives of the earth’s best
as they would jostle puppets on a board. This world of governments,
to their notion, must be fashioned according to their liking. The
wisdom of ages, counts, but naught with them; it must be set aside
to accommodate a whim, a caprice, a fancy.
Mr. McKinley was universally loved
and respected; even those whom he opposed through the virtue of
his office were made to feel that it was a reluctant opposition.
The conduct of his administration has been so wise, yet so conservative,
so full of humanity that the era in which we live was bidding fair
to become the country’s greatest in its tendency to wipe out sectional
lines and differences.
In his state papers he always called
attention to the existing wrongs of his own country, disfranchisements,
lynchings or what not. We speak advisedly here, for now and then
in the past, he had been reminded of the outrages against Negroes,
in a manner that would indicate that all was not being done that
could be done; but these wails were few and far between, as is proven
by that generous outburst of sympathy that has welled forth from
the hearts of black men and women the country over.
The death of President McKinley has
called forth more expressions of profound sympathy and regrets than
that of any man of modern times. As before stated, the sympathy
is universal. He grew rapidly in the estimation of the people from
the time of his first inauguration, when his great Godlike qualities
were not so well known. Time has served to fix him an enduring place
in the hearts of the now sorrowing people. He demonstrated his great
capacity, his matchless poise and humanenass [sic], hence
this outpouring of hearts.
The President’s death will justly
call for the expulsion or suppression of societies formed for the
purpose of striking down the heads of governments. Free speech,
guaranteed by the constitution, must not be construed as license,
the liberty to strike down the institution that makes the privilege
possible. Let these discontents ply their vocation elsewhere. Our
country is entirely too small for the introduction of their theories.
They can erect governments to their own liking in other climes.
The many millions here are far too content with their form of government
to allow a handful of revolutionists to change it. The brood of
anarchists and kindred institutions are a menace to civilized society.
Society cannot afford to pay the cost.