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Source: St. John Daily Sun
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The President”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: St. John, Canada
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 24
Issue number: 221
Pagination: 4

“The President.” St. John Daily Sun 14 Sept. 1901 v24n221: p. 4.
full text
McKinley assassination (international response); William McKinley (medical care: international response); William McKinley (medical care: compared with other cases); William McKinley (presidential character); McKinley presidency.
Named persons
D. Willard Bliss; James A. Garfield; Charles J. Guiteau; Andrew Jackson; Thomas Jefferson; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Presley M. Rixey; George Washington.


The President

     President McKinley, one of the best loved of all who held that high office, is dead. Hopeful messages from the bedside, cheerful, even confident, bulletins from the group of surgeons about him, were all vain words. The man was dying when the people were rejoicing over his escape. The nation which gave thanks that the assassin failed to kill has found after a week of illusion that the wretched creature has done his work too well. If the murderer in his cell has been told what his shot has accomplished this is his day of triumph. All that the resources of the commonwealth, the love of a devoted people, the best surgical skill in America could do; all that the desires and prayers of good people throughout the world might effect; whatever force there was in the strength, courage and determination of the President himself, were matched against the achievement of one miserable man in one fatal moment. The anarchist has won, and he will probably go to the chair of execution exulting in his victory.
     Some days ago this journal pointed out that the bulletins sent out by Dr. Rixey and his associates bore a painfully exact resemblance to those first issued by Dr. Bliss and his fellow surgeons from the sick room of President Garfield. In this case the change and the end has [sic] come more suddenly than in the other, and the shock will be the greater. No doubt there will be criticism of the doctors, as there was of the surgeons who attended Guiteau’s victim. By the critics it may perhaps be charged that the doctors did too little to ascertain the nature and effect of the injury as before it was charged that they did too much. But when the time for a just judgment comes it will probably be found that these eminent surgeons followed the course that with the information available was the best known to the science of which they are among the masters. It is at least fair to assume that much now even with the delusive bulletins before us.
     Mr. McKinley may not be classed in history as one of the great presidents. He has not been such an imposing personality as George Washington, who was regarded with veneration rather than love. He had not the keen and philosophical intellect of Jefferson, but neither had he the Jeffersonian duplicity. The rude, half-barbaric force of Jackson would be foreign to the last president. In the nature of things President McKinley cannot fill so large a place in history as Lincoln, the war president, with his unique character and singular appropriateness for the work he had to do. But if fortune has not cast the lot of President McKinley amid such memorable events as those which Washington and Lincoln saw, he was not chosen for an altogether unimportant part. In his presidency the United States has entered upon a career of expansion such as Washington or Lincoln never dreamed of, and the republic has for good or evil taken her place among the great powers. No longer isolated, unconcerned what the nations of the old world do, free from the restraints and amenities which hamper the European powers, she has come out in company. She has given hostages in the eastern seas, and on her own coasts. She has greatly extended her assailable frontier. Accepting these international responsibilities and comradeships, the president has sent his soldiers to fight beside European armies in China and his plenipotentiaries to sit with European diplomatists in laying down the law for Pekin. Under this last president the United States has become the third or fourth naval power in the world, and before long she will be the second. He organized a standing army several times larger than was ever known before in time of peace. All this has been done, not without opposition at home, but with little effective opposition. The president was a large part of these developments, and yet he did not make himself personally conspicuous. He through it all maintained in an extraordinary degree the respect of foreign countries, and to a still more striking extent the affection of his own countrymen. His popularity as president came from his skill and success, and from the belief that he was sincere and upright. The personal hold he had on the people was due to his own hearty, genuine, social nature and his exceeding amiability. His domestic life presents an ideal picture, which appeals strongly to a people essentially domestic and home loving.



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