Source: Iowa State Register
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “President McKinley Assassinated”
City of publication: Des Moines, Iowa
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 46
Issue number: 210
|“President McKinley Assassinated.” Iowa State Register 7 Sept. 1901 v46n210: p. 4.|
|McKinley assassination; presidential assassinations (comparison); William McKinley (personal character).|
|John Wilkes Booth; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
President McKinley Assassinated
The whole civilized world was shocked Friday afternoon by the news of the shooting of President McKinley by an anarchist, who approached him in the guise of friendship and shot the president with a revolver in his left hand while he was shaking hands with him with his right hand. Three times within the memory of present generations have the people been greatly shocked by the assassination of their presidents—Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley—three of the ablest, most useful and kindest men the Nation has produced. Not one of them was shot by a personal enemy, but all were shot by men who had been inflamed against the government—Lincoln by a Southern sympathizer, who had become crazed from much reading of the attacks upon the martyred president of the of the Civil war period; Garfield was shot by a disappointed office seeker, who became an anarchist because he did not succeed in gaining an appointment; and President McKinley was shot by a fiend who boasts that he is an anarchist, and shot the president because of the anarchistic belief that all rulers oppress the people. President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while attending a theatrical performance at Washington on the night of April 14, 1865. He lingered until the next morning, before death claimed the greatest of all Americans. When the news of the president’s death reached New York city, the enraged people gathered in a large assemblage on Wall street, and were preparing to attack and destroy the New York World office, which had violently opposed Lincoln, but suddenly a strong and clear voice spoke to the enraged people and said:
Fellow Citizens! Clouds and darkness are around about Him. His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. Justice and judgment are the establishment of his throne. Mercy and truth shall go before His face. Fellow citizens! God reigns, and the government at Washington still lives.
That was the most remarkable speech that has
ever been made in the United States, but it was made with all the power of expression
of James A. Garfield, who was the next president to fall by the hands of an
assassin. President Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, as he was proceeding
to a train in the depot at Washington. His strong constitution enabled him to
make a vigorous battle for life, but the long siege of hot weather during July
and August resulted in death gaining the victory on Sept. 19 of the same year.
He had the sympathy and prayers of the entire civilized world, but the assassin’s
bullet was located in a spot which made death only a matter of time.
At this writing, President McKinley is still alive with a fair prospect that he will recover. He has been one of the greatest of presidents, one of the most useful of officials, and no man has ever come nearer the hearts and homes of the American people. He has been kind, courteous and helpful to everybody; and it is said that he has not a known personal enemy, but he has had the constant fierce and unjust criticism of the “anti-imperialist” and “independent” press, and those attacks are responsible for the assassin’s bullets. His devotion to his invalid wife gained the affections of all the people, and their joint sorrow over the loss of their children placed them firmly in the affections of all who appreciate upright living and devotion to the members of the family circle. President McKinley is a model in all home respects, he has been unusually helpful as a citizen, soldier and official, and is one of the greatest and most useful presidents the Nation and world have ever known. “God reigns, and the government at Washington still lives;” and if the sympathy and prayers of the people can be availing, President McKinley will recover, but the days of presidential hand shaking should be forever ended. We can not write of President McKinley dying while there is hope for life, for we know that he has always lived an upright and correct life, and has the constitution and courage to survive the villain’s attack, if recovery is possible.