William McKinley, late President
of the United States, is dead and buried, buried in the quiet churchyard
of the home-folk he loved so well, and by whom he was beloved, at
Canton, Ohio. The home-going from Buffalo to Washington, from Washington
to Canton, through throngs of uncovered heads, was a sad scene but
a magnificent and just tribute to the man.
He died at Buffalo, this State, Saturday
morning, September 14th, at 2:15. Death was due to blood-poisoning
from gangrene in the internal wounds made by the assassin’s bullet.
The people had hoped and prayed for his recovery, and up to the
Thursday night before his death they believed he would recover.
Then the bulletins changes and all day and all night, Friday, all
over this land they watched and waited for information, and when
the sad news of the end came it was a shock as great as the first;
and for nearly a week, from one end of the continent to the other,
and on all the distant islands of the seas that have come under
its protection during his administration, the flag of Freedom has
floated at half-mast, darkened with the emblem of mourning for the
Good President. And not at home only, not in our wide domain alone
were the sad honors paid; the muffled drum-beat of the funeral march
for the murdered President was heard ’round the world.
The President’s last conscious hour
on earth was spent with his invalid wife, to whom he devoted a lifetime
He died unattended by a minister of
the gospel, but his last words were an humble submission to the
will of God in whom he believed. He was reconciled to the cruel
fate to which an assassin’s bullet had condemned him, and faced
death in the same spirit which marked his long and honorable career.
President McKinley was a broad-minded
patriot. He loved his country and his countrymen. He was tolerant
of the opinions of others; he was conspicuously exempt from eccentricity,
hot-headedness, narrow-minded intolerance and rashness. He tried
to do right, and, above all, he was calm, conservative, prudent
and sensible. He was a sober-minded statesman, and a safe President.
Farewell to William McKinley, the
good citizen—the brave soldier—the twice honored chief magistrate.
His life is his monument. His deeds are his epitaph. He served the
Nation, and to-day this great Nation is bowed in grief and wonders
why this had to be. It can be best answered by his own words: “It
is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.”