Publication information
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Source: Tablet
Source type: newspaper
Document type: news column
Document title: “Chronicle of the Week”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: London, England
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 98
Issue number: 3202
Pagination: 437-40 (excerpt below includes only pages 437-38)

“Chronicle of the Week.” Tablet 21 Sept. 1901 v98n3202: pp. 437-40.
William McKinley (death); William McKinley (personal history); Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency); Theodore Roosevelt (first official proclamation); Theodore Roosevelt (presidential policies).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Abraham Lincoln; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; Theodore Roosevelt.


Chronicle of the Week [excerpt] 



THE hopes which had been given out as we went to press last week that President McKinley’s ultimate recovery from the wounds inflicted by the Anarchist Czolgosz was assured, have been rudely dashed away. Ominous bulletins foreshadowing complications issued forth from Buffalo on Friday, the telegrams fluctuating between a slight hope and utter hopelessness. It was the latter that was justified in the result. The collapse which followed on the confident hopes of the previous day came like the mortal blow of another assassin to the English-speaking world. Every effort was made by the doctors to fight against the heart failure that had supervened, but as the evening came it was felt that nothing more could be done. The patient lapsed into unconsciousness. About eight o’clock he again recovered consciousness and murmured his wife’s name. She was brought to his bedside, and into her ears William McKinley’s last words were breathed. As she took his hand his eyes opened and he spoke several sentences. Those standing near the bed caught only one: “Good-bye! good-bye! It is God’s will; let His will, not ours, be done.” The leave-taking was long, but Mrs. McKinley was at last carried half-fainting from the death-chamber. Again the patient lapsed into an unconsciousness in which he remained till the end, which came about a quarter past two on Saturday morning. An autopsy subsequently held upon the body was at direct variance with the statements made before the President’s death, and showed that death was due to uræmic poisoning along the curve of the second bullet wound. According to the report made by the surgeons who conducted the examination, the bullet which caused the fatal wound passed through both walls of the stomach near its lower border. Both holes were found to be perfectly closed by the stitches, but the tissues around each hole had become gangrenous. After passing through the stomach the bullet passed into the back walls of the abdomen, hitting and tearing the upper end of the kidney. This portion of the bullet-track was also gangrenous, the gangrene involving the pancreas. There was no sign of peritonitis or disease of other organs. There was no evidence of any attempt at repair on the part of nature, and death resulted from the gangrene which affected the stomach around the bullet-wounds as well as the tissues around the further course of the bullet. Death was unavoidable by any surgical or medical treatment, and was the direct result of the bullet-wound. A simple funeral service was privately held in Dr. Milburn’s house, in which the President expired, on Sunday morning, after which the body was carried to the Buffalo City Hall, where it lay in state till Monday. On the evening of that day it was conveyed to the White House at Washington. On Tuesday it was removed to the Capitol, whence it was finally transported to Canton, Ohio, at which place, the residence of the deceased for many years, the interment took place on Thursday.


     William McKinley, the third President of the United States who within a lifetime has fallen a victim to the hand of the assassin, was born at Niles, in the State of Ohio, on January 29, 1843, of simple folk who gave him a good education. On leaving college he became [437][438] himself a teacher, and on the breaking out of the great Civil War enlisted in 1861 as a private, and remained under the colours till the end of the war, going back into private life in 1865 with the brevet of Major, awarded him by President Lincoln for gallantry in battle, and a title by which he was known till his own election as President. He read for the bar, and settled in Ohio, where he worked till 1876, when his political career opened with his election to the House of Representatives at Washington. From that time forward he identified himself with the question of tariff, and stood before the world as a Protectionist of the old school, i.e., as an advocate of sufficient not of universal protection. In 1890, he stood for Congress but was defeated; but the following year was elected Governor of the State of Ohio. A year later his name was put forward by his party as a candidate for the Presidency, to which he was finally elected in November, 1896, on the platform of sound money. In office, he redeemed the pledges he had given to the country and passed an Act of Congress by which gold was made the statutory standard of value. But as finance thus obscured the tariff, so was the money question in its turn obscured by the war with Spain for Cuba. After the war came the settlement which caused him to be held up in some quarters as an Imperialist when he was but a staunch Republican, who was for legitimate inevitable expansion on Republican lines. About the integrity of his personal character there was no doubt even amongst his foes, and throughout his term of office he showed a steadfast goodwill towards this country.


     “Le rei est mort, vive le roi.” Ere yet the body of the murdered President was cold Colonel Roosevelt, the Vice-President, summoned by the Cabinet from his hunting expedition in the Adirondacks, took the oath as twenty-sixth President of the United States. Before swearing to fulfil the high office he said: “In this hour of our terrible national bereavement I wish to say that I shall continue absolutely unbroken the policy of the late President McKinley for the peace, prosperity and honour of our beloved country.” He afterwards requested the various members of the Cabinet to retain their portfolios, at any rate for the present, and to this all consented. President Roosevelt then immediately issued the following proclamation: “A terrible bereavement has befallen our people. The President of the United States has been struck down, and a crime committed not only against the Chief Magistrate, but against every law-abiding and liberty-loving citizen. President McKinley has crowned a life of earnest love for his fellow-men and of most earnest endeavour for their welfare by a death of Christian fortitude; and both the way in which he lived his life and the way in which at the supreme hour of trial he met his death will remain for ever a precious heritage of our people. It is meet that we as a nation should express our abiding love and reverence for his life, and our deep sorrow for his untimely death. Now therefore I, Frederick [sic] Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do appoint Thursday, September 18, the day on which the body of the dead President will be laid in its last earthly place, as a day of mourning and prayer throughout the United States. I earnestly recommend all the people to assemble on that day in their respective places of Divine worship, there to bow down in submission to the will of Almighty God, and to pay, out of full hearts, their homage of love and reverence to the great and good President whose death has smitten the nation with bitter grief.”


     The emphasis which President Roosevelt laid on the word peace was repeated in an outline of his policy which on Sunday he sketched to some of his personal friends in Buffalo and such Cabinet Ministers as were in the town. As thus delineated the new President’s policy will be in favour of more liberal and more extensive reciprocity in the purchase and sale of commodities, so that the surplus production of the United States can be satisfactorily disposed of by fair and equitable arrangements with foreign countries; the entire abolition of commercial war with other countries; the adoption of reciprocity treaties; the abolition of such tariffs as are no longer needed for revenue purposes—if such abolition can be effected without harming American industries or labour; the establishment of direct commercial lines between the eastern coast of the United States and South America and from the Pacific Coast ports of the United States to Mexico, Central America, and South America; the encouragement of the mercantile marine and the building of ships which shall carry the United States flag, shall be owned and controlled by Americans, and shall be built by American capital; the building and completion as soon as possible of the Isthmian Canal; the construction of a cable owned by the United States Government connecting the mainland with the foreign possessions of the United States, notably Hawaii and the Philippines; the use of conciliatory methods of arbitration in all disputes with foreign nations, in order to avoid armed strife; the protection of the savings of the people in banks and other forms of investment by the preservation of the commercial prosperity of the country; and the appointment to positions of trust of men of the highest integrity only.



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