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Source: Watchman-Warder
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “President McKinley’s Death”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Lindsay, Canada
Date of publication: 19 September 1901
Volume number: 44
Issue number: 38
Pagination: 8

“President McKinley’s Death.” Watchman-Warder 19 Sept. 1901 v44n38: p. 8.
full text
William McKinley (death: international response); society (criticism).
Named persons
William McKinley.


President McKinley’s Death

     President McKinley is dead. Again, the third time, the American people are bowed in grief and dismay at the taking-off of their chief magistrate by the assassin’s hand. The whole world sorrows with them, for in their president, there has died a man who, as nearly as any, was a citizen of the world.
     It is strange that the nation which is the greatest example of popular government in all history, should suffer most from the king-killer. That the assassins have all used the revolver, is likely because they have a preference for the national weapon. Americans have been fond of clinching an argument with lead.
     There is especial pathos in the grief of the Americans at this time, becanse [sic] it fell upon them in the mid-day of their prosperity. Flushed with easy victory over an old-world power, and proud of the Imperial sweep of their arms and policy over the islands beyond the sea, the cup of their triumph was surely full, when like a bolt from the blue there fell upon them the blight of a great calamity. The cheer became a moan and the song of victory a funeral dirge.
     It may be that in the hour of their sorrow they will consider some great problems that will not be silenced by the commands of wealth or the shouts of victory. There are those who claim to trace the murder of the president to the oppression of capital. That appears an idle claim, [sic] The workingman suffers most from the oppression of capital, but the workingman is not an anarchist. It can scarcely be that anarchy will be traced back to the fued between capital labor [sic], or that it is more or else than a menace imported full-grown from over-seas. But in their quest for the cause of their calamity the American people may come upon and correct many evils that threaten their country more than anarchy as it exists to-day. There is great injustice and great misery in that coun[t]ry. It may be that the Americans have been slow to hear or heed the appeals of those among them who suffer. They have turned away to the carnivals of wealth and war, and in the day of their rejoicing disaster came. The words once uttered by an eminent English speaker are true:

     “We may close the eyes and the ears, and say that we will not look upon the things that affright and affront us. We may close the doors and curtain the windows and hide, as it were, our faces from misery, but it is in vain. The flaring lights flicker, the storm outside begins to mutter and to break, and the inexorable call comes, and we have to open our eyes and look out on the woe and the wrong and the torture of this world, on all the wretchedness that is rising against us to sweep us from our place.”

     Often when the security seems greatest and the feast is at its highest, there comes the handwriting on the wall. There are things that inevitably bring national disaster. The nations of the past have taken hold of them to their overthrow. These things have a strange fascination for the nations of to-day. It may be that in their sorrow the American people will seek again some forsaken paths and take a firmer hold upon those principles by which alone a nation can escape disaster.



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