Source type: newspaper
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “England and McKinley”
Author(s): Collins, Herman L.
City of publication: London, England
Date of publication: 19 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 36564
|Collins, Herman L. “England and McKinley.” Times [London] 19 Sept. 1901 n36564: p. 6.|
|William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (death: international response: Americans outside the U.S.); William McKinley (death: international response); William McKinley (mourning).|
|Herman L. Collins; William McKinley; Victoria.|
England and McKinley
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir,—Englishmen and English newspapers have given
a splendid example of sympathy and regret for the death of the late President
William McKinley. As an American, I have been amazed at the universal kindness
and interest shown; this, notwithstanding past evidences of the truest friendship
between the two great nations. When the news came last Saturday morning of the
final calamity that had befallen the United States the display of grief and
the signs of mourning in this metropolis of the world far exceeded that demanded
by mere international courtesy. The extremely generous tone of the English Press
for the week previous had shown in a great measure how this kingdom regarded
the Republic’s misfortune. Although I had read the newspapers not only of London,
but of many large cities throughout Great Britain, I had not found a false note
in one single instance. American newspapers themselves could not have condemned
the assassin’s crime more severely nor have spoken in more generous terms of
the fallen chieftain. When this was capped on Saturday by the further signs
of genuine grief, marked in many cases by heavy black mourning borders, the
newspapers had omitted nothing that generosity and sympathy could devise.
But the Press was not alone in taking such—as it seems to all Americans—a splendid attitude. It was recorded early on Saturday that, although, for official reasons, it was impossible to close the Stock Exchange of London, the members and stockbrokers quietly resolved to refrain from doing business. At Glasgow and Edinburgh the Exchanges were closed, and the Liverpool Exchange suspended business to adopt a resolution of condolence for the American people. From all parts of the United Kingdom came messages to the American Ambassador from mayors of cities and corporations. Justices in the Courts, coroners at their hearings, and ministers at the Ścumenical Methodist Conference paused in their proceedings to take note of the death of the President. Flags on all the public buildings in London were lowered, and scores of private flags were flying in a similar position of mourning. The Strand, Regent-street, and Oxford-street in particular resembled, for that day and yesterday, at least, almost the appearance of an American city, so frequently were the Stars and Stripes to be seen. There must have been a great many of these shops and places of business that have no direct mercantile connexion with the United States. It was not uncommon—in fact I saw a number of instances of it—for the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes to be together, both draped in black, and both at half-mast. Reports were published that ships in the harbours brought down their ensigns. The pulpits of London yesterday echoed what must have been spoken in the pulpits of America.
So all over and in every way in which it is customary to show grief publicly the people of this English-speaking kingdom did show it. It was all done so spontaneously as to leave not a shadow of doubt that it was genuine.
I was in Bombay when the late Queen Victoria died, and I read in a newspaper there that the American flags over the National Capitol at Washington had been lowered. It was, so it was stated, the first time this had ever been done upon the death of a foreign Monarch, Sovereign, or ruler. There happened to be a number of Americans at Bombay, and it was agreed among them that no more fitting occasion could have been selected for breaking this United States precedent of 125 years. The American feeling is that they have more of a right to share both in the grief and the glory of the mother country than has any other nation; and, while they have a friendship for all, they have for England the added feeling of kinship which at a crisis must outweigh all others. This latest manifestation of true and lasting relationship is perhaps the brightest and best product of that black outrage at Buffalo; and as this sentiment is constantly growing stronger, neither the powerful motherland nor the giant child of her getting need fear the future.
Your obedient servant,
|London, Sept. 16.||
HERMAN L. COLLINS.