Volume XXXI, Number 12
Thursday, 19 September, 1901
355-361 only are reproduced here.
Table of Contents not reproduced here as in the original]
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ALL. Good-by. It is God's way. His will be done, not ours.' These were
the last words of President William McKinley as his life left the body
torn by the assassin's bullets. Mr. McKinley died early in the morning
of September 14, after a week of suffering, during which hopes of his
recovery had been steadily encouraged by the reports sent out by his physicians.
The immediate cause of death was gangrene, possibly from a poisoned bullet,
which followed the course of the wounds. The funeral train with the body
of the dead president left Buffalo on Monday for Washington, where the
body lay in state at the Capitol until Wednesday. Then the body was taken
to Canton, where the interment took place on Thursday, appointed a day
of mourning by President Roosevelt.
EULOGY of the dead
president we leave to others; there is no lack of it, nor of sincere sorrow,
in any part of the world. Here this was to be expected, but judging from
the messages received from abroad, The Vienna Neues Weiner Tageblatt does
not exaggerate when it says: "The ocean is not wide enough to hold
all the sympathy that streams from the old world to the new."
IT seems as though
William McKinley had to die as he did in order that the people of this
country and others might know him. Nothing could have been more plain
than that President McKinley's one rule of conduct was the conscientious
performance of his duty to the people. This did not secure immunity from
the harshest criticism which sometimes amounted to villification. Now
his death and the way in which he met it has shamed those who have called
him an oppressor and tyrant abroad, and a conspirator against rights and
liberties at home.
the constitutional successor the presidency, took the oath of office at
Buffalo on Saturday afternoon less than twelve hours after the death of
President McKinley. The oath was administered by United States District
Judge John R. Hazel at the home of Mr. Ansley Wilcox. Of great importance
is the statement which President Roosevelt made just before he took the
oath. "I wish," he said solemnly to the cabinet officers and
others who were gathered in the room, "to say that it shall be my
aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for
the peace and prosperity and the honor of our beloved country."
THUS while the people
of the United States have lost one highly esteemed public servant they
see him replaced by another whose character and experience justify the
belief that he will in every way be a worthy successor to President McKinley.
President. Roosevelt's courage has never been questioned; good administration
is with him a passion; he has preached it and enforced it throughout his
public life. For these reasons there is every reason to expect that the
progress and prosperity of the country will continue under the new chief
executive, who has asked the McKinley cabinet to remain in office and
secured their promises to do so for the present.
NATURALLY the avoidance
of a repetition of crimes of the kind which have deprived the nation of
three of its presidents is the subject of most earnest consideration,
but no practicable suggestions have yet been made. It is to be presumed
that the assailant expects to accomplish the death of his victim; what
then is to be gained by making an attempt upon the president's life punishable
by death without regard to the actual outcome of the attempt? Probably
nothing can be done to preclude the possibility of such attacks upon the
heads of nations, but the preaching if not the mad practise of anarchy
can be stopped, and it doubtless will be until we again grow careless
of the safety of our highest state officials.
to the Dead President
twenty-fifth president of the United States, was born at Niles, Ohio,
January 29, 1843, and died at Buffalo, New York, September 14, from the
effects of bullet rounds inflicted by the anarchist, Czolgosz.
in the war of the rebellion, which raised him to the rank of captain at
the age of 21; success as a lawyer and politician; great influence in
congress, to which he was repeatedly elected; governor of his state, and
twice elected president of the United States. This, briefly, is the story
of the life of the man who is now mourned in every quarter of the civilized
Mr. McKinley first
gained a national reputation. in congress, to which he was elected in
1876. He was a delegate to the National Republican convention from Ohio
in 1888. It was then that he had his first chance to be a candidate for
the presidency, but he refused the offer made by leaders of the convention
when they found that they could not nominate Blaine. His refusal was due
to a promise he had made to support John Sherman.
The McKinley bill,
relating to the tariff, was passed on May 21, 1890, after a debate, in
which its sponsor had figured notably. Mr. McKinley was defeated for congress
the next time, his district having been gerrymandered against him. But
his defeat made him governor of the state. Then the presidential campaign
began. He worked for Harrison, refusing for the second time the Republican
nomination, when the delegates tried to stampede the convention for him.
After his term as governor expired he lived at Canton in quiet for six
months, and then it became evident that he was to be the choice of the
Republicans for president in the fall of 1896. At the convention of that
year he was nominated on the first ballot. His election followed. The
important events of his first administration are fresh in the public memory.
The war with Spain eclipsed all of them. The second election, last fall,
is also too recent to need recapitulation at this time.
From Maine, where
the Bangor Commercial declares
that "the historian will search the pages of American history in
vain for a purer public man than William McKinley," to Florida, where
the Jacksonville Times-Union
says that the "people mourn his death as a personal loss and bitter
pain, because they knew him to be most lovable in all relations of life
and of unquestioned sincerity and integrity," the note of tribute
to the martyred president is the same-that he was without reproach as
a man and one of the most conscientious state officials with which a nation
was ever blessed. "It is not to be expected," the New York Journal
says, "that his political opponents will be converted by the dreadful
tragedy; but supporters and opponents must agree that McKinley was the
best-beloved president since Lincoln-perhaps with that single exception
the best beloved in our history."
Over and over again
this phrase recurs in the eulogies of the late president. "The best
and best-beloved of all our presidents," are words used by New York
the Burlington Free Press
in the north, the Louisville Courier
Journal, the Norfolk
Landmark, the Atlanta Constitution,
and the Chattanooga Times,
among other papers in the south, and by scores of papers in the middle
west, including the Terre Haute
Gazette, the Indianapolis News,
the Chicago Journal and
Evening Post, the Detroit Free
Press and Newsit were useless to enumerate further.
It is natural that
the comments of the Ohio newspapers upon Mr. McKinley's death should display
the highest appreciation of the man and a corresponding degree of sorrow
at his death. "In the beginning,' says the Cleveland
Leader, "it can be truly said that William McKinley was
a God-fearing and God-serving man. All else is secondary. He was beloved
by a nation because he was virtuous, kind, and faithful in all things.
William McKinley's character brought but love and respect. He stood square
and true to his religion, to his country, and to his home. His exalted
character and his works will live." "Here," comments the
the same city, "where McKinley was so well known, where he had so
many friends and not a single enemy, his death is something more than
the passing away of a president-a friend has departed whose place will
never be filled. To sorrow for the loss of president, neighbor, and friend
is added a keen sympathy for the stricken wife over whom he watched with
such loving solicitude. The hearts of all go out to Mrs. McKinley in this,
her how of supreme trial."
Abroad and especially
in Great Britain the sorrow occasioned by the president's death is universal
and sincere. King Edward has expressed his sympathy in the loss of our
"distinguished and ever-to-be-regretted president ;" Emperor
William hastened to manifest the German people's sorrow at the death of
America's noble son; President Loubet called in person at the United States
embassy to express his sorrow at the loss of "a president so justly
respected and beloved." An so the whole world joins in tribute to
William McKinley, "the best-beloved of presidents of the United States."
President Theodore Roosevelt
who has become president of the United States through the death of Mr.
McKinley, for two decades past has been one of the most picturesque figures
in American public life. His diversified and vigorous activities have
not only brought him recognition and advancement in political life, but
have won him renown upon the field of battle, in the Bad Lands of the
west, as ranchman, hunter, and cowboy, and also in the more peaceful pursuit
of honors in the literary world.
In the veins of his
ancestors there flowed Dutch, Irish, Scotch, and French Huguenot blood.
"He obtained his name," writes one of his biographers, "from
the Dutch, from the Scotch his obstinacy, from the French his impetuosity,
and from the Irish his 'blarney,' or gift of tongue." These constituent
parts of his mental make-up have made the president during his progress
from legislator, police commissioner, and cavalry colonel to president
the exponent of that vigorous and forceful public life which is popularly
birthplace was 28 East Twentieth street, this city; the date, October
27, 1858, which makes him the youngest of all the presidents. Eight generations
of President Roosevelt's family have lived in New York, and from the middle
of the seventeenth century the name has been common in the annals of the
city, having been almost equally prominent in political, business, and
Young Roosevelt graduated
from Harvard in 1880, and after a tour abroad, plunged into politics,
distinguishing himself in the New York legislatures of 1882, 1883, and
1884. In 1886 he was chosen to lead a hopeless fight against Abram Hewitt
and Henry George for the mayoralty of New York city. Though defeated in
this memorable contest, he polled a proportion of the total vote than
any other Republican ever received. For a few years following this defeat
Roosevelt engaged in ranching in the west. Ranching to him meant study
and observation of the country, and that he studied and observed to some
purpose is shown by the popularity of his books on ranch life, and "the
winning of the west." In 1889 President Harrison appointed Roosevelt
a member of the National civil service commission, a position in which
he was continued by President Cleveland. In this position he was the bulwark
of two administrations against the hordes of office seekers who would
have tired out and overcome a less resolute man. In 1895 Roosevelt resigned
this office to become president of the New York board of police commissioners.
Here he had to contend with a force demoralized by years of corruption
and with a large body of public opinion which condemned him for enforcing
obnoxious laws. Two members of the board were hostile to him and made
every effort to discredit his administration by factious opposition. For
these reasons the board presented a very undignified spectacle, but bribery,
corruption, and blackmail came to an end. Roosevelt's next field of activity
was the office of assistant secretary of the navy, under Mr. McKinley's
first administration. To him is due a considerable measure of the credit
for the preparedness of the navy in the Spanish war. Resigning his position
in the navy department, he organized the Rough Riders for service in Cuba,
and his part in the war and his subsequent election to the governorship
of New York and the vice-presidency are of so recent date as to be remembered
The first official
act of the new president was the issuance of a proclamation setting forth
feelingly his grief and that of the nation over the death, of President
McKinley, and naming Thursday, September 19, as a day of mourning to be
observed throughout the United States.
The New York Times
recalls the fact that Theodore Roosevelt was nominated for the vice-presidency
in response to an almost universal demand of the Philadelphia convention;
he was not chosen as most of our vice-presidents have been without regard
to the popular will. "We have lost a good president, whom the people
loved and trusted," says the Times.
"We have a good president, and the people love and trust him also."
"Clearly," says the New York Commercial Advertiser, "the
country has no apprehension as to the stability and safety of its government
under President Roosevelt and needs to have none." "Changes
of administration always create some nervousness," the Philadelphia
"but in the case of Roosevelt we believe that he will have no desire
to stray from the McKinley standard, and that a wise conservatism will
prevail. The nation mourns, but the nation is safe." The expressions
are typical of the east. "The distressing manner in which the office
has come to Mr. Roosevelt will counsel strongly against factionalism,"
the Washington Star thinks,
while the Richmond Times
expresses an opinion common in the south when it says that the "spirit
of McKinley will still be the controlling force in the White House."
In the west a considerable
number of papers do not hesitate to say that Mr. Roosevelt's past reputation
for "strenuousness" and aggressiveness "cause natural apprehension,"
as it is put by the Indianapolis
Sentinel, but wherever this thought finds expression it is
accompanied by a statement of belief that the responsibilities of the
presidency will soften the impetuousness of Mr. Roosevelt's nature. The
says: "It is in the belief that this representative American president
will not fail to meet with high ability and courage the duties facing
him that the American people bow to the calamity of President McKinley's
death-in sorrow, but with unshaken confidence as to the future of the
republic." The Chicago
Chronicle grants that Mr. Roosevelt has every qualification
for the presidency except the right "temperament." "It
is to be hoped," the Chronicle
adds, "that the dignity and responsibility of the office will have
a salutary influence upon his impulsive nature, as like responsibilities
have been known to sober others in high state station." "With
Roosevelt as their president," says the Chicago Post,
"the people know that they are safe, and that order and law at home
and prestige abroad will be completely maintained." "Even in
its hour of grief the nation turns with hopefulness and confidence to
the man who is to take up the burden laid down by William McKinley. Believing
in and loving his country, he may be trusted to give the best that is
in him to her service," declares the Indianapolis News.
declaration that he shall continue unbroken the policies of his predecessor
gives no less satisfaction to Democratic than to Republican papers. Even
those who have condemned the policies of the last administration can not
conceal their satisfaction that these policies are to be continued. "Nothing
more could be desired," says the Philadelphia Record,
in words that are used by many other Democratic papers in the west and
south, "particularly in the words of the incoming executive refer
to the later policy of his lamented predecessor."
Mr. McKinley's Buffalo Speech
Kansas City (Mo.)
Star (Ind. Dem.)
In his Buffalo speech, the president practically admitted that protection,
in its application to certain industries, had outlived its usefulness,
and that the time had come for such modifications of the tariff as would
be calculated to encourage foreign trade. Never before in his presidential
addresses had Mr. McKinley expressed the least lack of confidence in the
permanent efficacy of the policy of high protection. In his Buffalo speech
he declared that the statistics of trade were "almost appalling";
that it could not be well for the United States or for other countries
that one should continue to sell in enormous quantities and buy little
or nothing; that the "period of exclusiveness" was past; that
"no narrow or selfish policy would subserve" the great business
interests of the nation. In other words, that the equilibrium of international
trade is essential to the continuous and equitable prosperity of a great
producing country like the United States. He spoke frankly in favor of
reciprocity treaties. In short, he had come to a stopping place as a national
economist, and was unwilling to drift further without pointing out some
of the dangers that might lie ahead. The committal recorded in this address
may have an important bearing on the future policies of the Republican
It is not easy to reconcile these views with those of William McKinley,
who as a congressman a few years ago advocated tariffs regardless of their
restraining effect on trade and boldly declared that the United States
as a self-sufficient and self-sustaining power had no need to seek foreign
trade. The president's change of view, however, shows that he has followed
the trend of events intelligently, and it is in following opportunities
rather than in premising or creating them that Mr. McKinley is strongest.
He has learned that as a nation we can not maintain high-tariff barriers
if we would hold a commanding position in the world's markets. The policy
he now advocates he styles "reciprocity," but the principle
which it proposes to apply calls for a broader name. Apparently it looks
to a revenue tariff with liberal but incidental protective features rather
than to a consistent protective system modified only in special instances
to secure a better basis for trade operations. Mr. McKinley has outlived
and outgrown the "McKinleyism" of his more callow statesmanship.
That is a most hopeful sign of further progress and of enduring greatness
for the nation which has also outgrown the protective system so long advocated
by Mr. McKinley.
The point in which the president's address most nearly assumes a striking
aspect is in such avowals by the former leader of high protection as:
"The period of exclusiveness is past." "Commercial wars
are unprofitable." "A policy of good-will and friendly trade
relations will prevent reprisals." As an avowal of the future policy,
this is significant. There is no doubt that the turning of statesmanship
to the purposes indicated will accrue to the benefit of industry. But
as the first step in that direction must be to convert the senate from
being the morgue of reciprocity treaties the prospect, if these expressions
are crystallized into action, has strenuous aspects. In the other propositions
for the extension of foreign trade there is a vast amount of detail to
be discussed. But that may be postponed in view of the intimation, both
directly and by the closing tribute to Blame, that the policy inaugurated
by that statesman is to be carried out instead of being nullified, as
it was in the fifty-sixth congress.
In the speech of the president at Buffalo there were many points each
of which might serve as a text. He said, among other things: "The
period of exclusiveness is past." These were true words. If the United
States entertained for a time the idea of being a hermit nation, the idea
has been dispelled. It is now recognized as one of the powers of the world.
It has not sought the recognition; inherent strength and natural growth
have compelled it. Now that it has found its place, to shrink from the
duties involved would be the act of cowardice. The nation is in favor
of expansion, and it is expanding. The process is not one of war, but
of commerce. In this sort of war there is no hostility. On the contrary,
the cultivation of good-will is an essential part of progress. While a
tariff is necessary and desirable, the plan is to induce reciprocal trade
relations. To prevent reprisals is the nice part of trade diplomacy.
Plain Dealer (Dem.)
It was in keeping with the object of the Pan-American exposition that
President McKinley's address on the grounds should have for its keynote
an argument for freer commerce, to be effected either by reciprocity treaties,
or by tariff modification through congressional action. While something
of the kind was to have been expected, careful study of the address will
bring conviction that it was riot a mere perfunctory expression, a "glittering
generality" on the subject of enlarged commerce, but a carefully
worded intimation of administration policy, designed as a feeler of public
sentiment for the guidance of the majority when congress meets.
The London Standard,
commenting on President McKinley's speech at the Pan-American exposition,
says it sees in it an expression of the fact that the United States is
preparing for future wars, which will be commercial ones. It adds: "The
United States as become an imperial power, as the history of her diplomacy
for years past conspicuously shows. It is informed by an expansive, even
aggressive spirit. Heedless of scoffers at spread-eagleism, the United
States will go her way regardless of attempted combinations against her,
such as sketched by Count Goluchowski (Austro-Hungarian minister of foreign
affairs), and with a certain carelessness as to whether or snot there
comes a violent conflict with any European power."
The London Chronicle
fixes on the reciprocity passage in the speech as the crux of the address,
contending that it outweighs in importance all the rest. It represents
the president as letting his audience down gently by giving what is virtually
free trade, the conciliatory title of reciprocity. "It sounds very
innocent," says the Chronicle, "but if the justice of the president's
proposal is admitted, the whole principle of free trade gets a foothold
in America and can logically proceed step by step until the fortress is
taken. Reciprocity is the first step, and that step Mr. McKinley is taking."
Suggestions for Dealing with Anarchists
We need in this land a positive and vigorous antidote for the poison that
for years we have allowed to permeate our system in careless reliance
upon its invulnerable beauty. We need a capacity for indignation against
those who habitually defame the institutions, political and industrial,
by which they, have prospered as no other people have prospered. We need
a fierce intolerance of the captious criticism which is forever seeking
to find flaws in the temple of our liberties that it may point them out
to the unreasoning and the intemperate. We need to esteem as an enemy
to his country that man who does not at all times and in all places recognize
it for what it is-the freest, gladdest, greatest association of mankind
on which the sun of heaven has shone since first it quivered out of chaos.
These are the measures of all measures to take against anarchy.
Is it not time that this nation of dearly-won freedom should stamp out
these claimants of the rights of free speech who would only employ those
noble shibboleths to deny a free people their right to choose and establish
their own form of government and institutions? Is it not time that this
brood of foreign riffraff and their domestic fellow-conspirators, who
take refuge under our government only to plan and direct destruction of
all government, our own included, should be crushed? Why longer continue
our policy of waiting till they have executed their crimes against public
life and order before taking them in hand? It is too late then to do any
more than to consign their carcasses to the worms. We do not wait to kill
a rattlesnake until his deadly fangs have struck; we should not wait to
take anarchism by the throat until it has accomplished its openly avowed
ends of assassination.
The fact seems to be, after all, that anarchism can only be expected to
disappear through a farther amelioration of social conditions and through
the increasing enlightenment and education of the people. It finds its
roots in ignorance, in poverty, in filth, and in the instincts of savagery
which are the inheritance of centuries of oppression and degradation.
It will be a slow process. In the meantime, society must do all it can
to protect itself, and good men and women everywhere must strive to spread
the light in dark corners, and do what may be done to thwart oppression,
promote justice and reduce the sum of human misery.
The response of the governors of many states to the inquiry of the World
shows that the one point of emphatic agreement is that a change alike
in our law and practise regarding avowed anarchists is necessary. Acting
Attorney-General Beck, ex-Attorney-General Miller, and other lawyers of
eminence concur in the opinion that an attempt on the life of the president
should be made a capital crime regardless of whether it succeeds or fails.
Governor Stone, of Pennsylvania, while a member of congress, introduced
a bill to that effect which died in committee. Now that public opinion
has been sharply called to the deterrent inadequacy of the punishment
provided for a man who unsuccessfully tries to kill the nation's chief
magistrate, some such federal law will no doubt be enacted.
Every anarchist should be marked and followed by the oversight of the
law, and be subject to arrest wherever found. There should be permitted
no more publications of their evil teachings; there should be no more
meetings allowed, no more street parades with "Death to tyrants"
and other angry legends on their banners; they should be driven to holes
and corners. We have tried the plan of keeping everything in the open,
and it has failed; now it is time to treat these conspirators to rigorous
law. It might be well to consider whether the members of an anarchistic
society should not be punished on the proof of that fact.
Francisco (Calif.) Chronicle
Tolerance is abused by a small band of skulking cowards, who lie in wait
under the protection of society until they can find some half-crazed dupe
to do the deed for which they are responsible. It is true that such deeds
avail nothing. Society can not be terrorized by a small band of assassins.
There will never be wanting brave men to take the posts of duty which
are the more honorable because they are the posts of danger. But the deplorable
fact remains that in this free republic, founded in high hopes for the
uplifting of mankind, we have lost three presidents by assassination in
less than a single half-century. The nation which offered itself as an
asylum for the oppressed has been turned, into a lurking place for murderers.
It is time for us to consider how far society is bound to extend its protection
to infamous beings who hover under the cover of its wings only to mature
their plots to compass its destruction.
The truth of the matter is that this country is too free. Its liberty
is used as license by enemies of law and government and open meetings
of these creatures in which anarchy and lawlessness were advocated and
applauded have been allowed when they should have been suppressed as common
menaces to society. Not only are more stringent immigration laws needed,
but avowed anarchy should be made treason and punishable as such.
The creed of anarchy is per se a conspiracy against society. Anarchy seeks
the life of society itself; assassinations of the foremost representatives
of law and order are only a means to an end. Hence it should be met with
the weapons of war. Its apostles and tools have placed themselves outside
the pale of society and should be dealt with in accordance with the principles
of the laws of war. Only the swift sternness and vigor of "war-justice"
will afford society full protection and exterminate the red monster.
The assassin in this case is a confessed anarchist. There are many of
them in this country. They are allowed to come and go, and are accorded
the same privileges of citizenship as are enjoyed by good citizens. Our
laws should be so amended as to make it impossible for them to land, with
a power of deportation of those who are here and bid defiance to the principles
of our government. Let justice be swift and sure, as it should be in every
such case, and a lesson taught to anarchists that they can not ply their
murderous trade in this country.
Boston (Mass.) Journal
It is the clear duty of municipal authorities everywhere to use all the
power which existing laws give them to suppress anarchist literature,
to break up anarchist meetings, and to jail every anarchist who incites
to murder or other crime. If the laws which we have are not enough, sterner
laws can be framed. Now that we have learned by this shocking and infamous
crime just what these men and women mean, there must be a concerted effort
to destroy the anarchists, roof and branch, as conspirators against all
order and enemies of humanity.
The anarchists form but an infinitesimally small element of the population.
So do the insane. But society takes measures to guard itself against outbreaks
of the individual lunatic. The anarchist appears to the community in general
as little other than a lunatic, but, like most lunatics, his insanity
is liable to suddenly take a murderous bent and precautions should therefore
Kings and emperors may be unable to suppress anarchists. But if the American
people take the matter up, the suppression will be effective. The anarcist
scum hasn't been made aware of the quality of American. An assault on
the president of the United States is an assault upon the whole people,
whose representative and chief magistrate he is, and it is worthy of death.
The law should speedily make it so.
Yellow Journalism and Anarchy
Brooklyn (N. Y.)
The journalism of anarchy shares responsibility of the attack on President
McKinley. It did not mean that he should be shot. It only wished to sell
more papers by commenting on and cartooning him as tyrant reddening his
hands in the blood of the poor and filling his pockets and those of others
with dollars coined out of the sweat and tears and hunger of helpless
strikers, their wan wives, and their starving children." Today the
journalism or the oratory which may have inspired Leon Czolgosz to his
deed is the most tearful, sympathetic, and grief-stricken journalism or
oratory in America. It editorializes "interviews" and moralizes
on the lovableness of the man whom it lately and long and habitually portrayed
as monster, a despot, and a coward. It is very scared very sorry-or very
politic, or would like to seem to so. Let us hope it is really sorry.
Then let us hop that its sorrow will last long enough to persuade that
the selling of more papers or the getting of more votes is not the chief
end of journalism or of oratory when it leads one to defamation as a delight,
to vilification as an industry, and to printed, pictorial, or platform
blackguardism as a trade.
New York Commercial
To what extent license of speech, an uncensored press, and increasingly
frequent and insistent appeals to class prejudice in this country have
contributed to the creation in recent years of such unnatural villains
as the assailant of President McKinley can not, of course, be definitely
measured. It is unquestionable however, that a widespread effort to represent
men in authority as owing their positions to the use of money, as standing
only for the moneyed classes, and as the would-be, if not the actual,
oppressors of the masses, is directly responsible for those unwholesome
and dangerous sentiments the fostering of which induces men and women
an uncontrollable desire to murder Is it to be wondered at, then, that
this vicious seed has borne fruit-that here and there it has ripened into
a murderer who somehow fancies that he is a public benefactor? Can men
go on forever preaching that our government is essentially bad, and painting
our governing officials as oppressors, without a belief their misrepresentations
taking firm root somewhere The wonder is that the evil consequences of
this pernicious propaganda have not manifested themselves more frequently
and more disastrously.
Troy (N. Y) Press
It seems to us that the lesson for the America people to learn from this
assault upon the president of the United States is the lesson of conservatism.
If conditions are bad, let us say so and let us all go work in earnest
to reform them. But in order to accomplish this let us be careful not
to do harm by making it appear that conditions are worse than they are.
The people rule in this country, and there is no danger to the republic
and our institutions so long as the people believe in them and stand up
for them. One of southern contemporaries says that in its opinion McKinley
has done more injury to the cause and of the republic than any other of
the men who preceded him in the presidential office. For our part we believe
that far more injury has been done by the exaggerated talk in which stump
speakers and yellow journals have indulged.
Cartoons are appearing daily in some newspapers in this country that,
as Delegate Farrell, of the New York central labor union says, "are
calculated to inspire hatred and contempt for this government." Dr.
Allen McLane Hamilton, one of the most noted experts on mental disorders
in America, is of opinion that the attempt on President McKinley's life
was "largely due to the deplorable influence of certain sensational
papers that have worked upon such minds as that of Czolgosz." To
hold the nation's head up to ridicule and contempt is disloyal, unpatriotic,
and mischievous in the extreme. There is no law, and there can be none,
to prevent these cartoons or this sensationalism of the press. But there
should be an editorial code of ethics governing every newspaper in the
land, and the first article of this code should be due respect for those
whom the majority of the people put in high places of trust and authority.
Neither by printed word nor picture should the discontented or the ignorant
have their worst impulses appealed to.
Who is it that makes the Goldmans and the Mosts, the Spieses and the Parsonses
whose writings and speeches thus incite men to assassination? From whom
do these teachers get their best encouragement in this country? Whose
teaching is it that anarchists think they only carry to its logical conclusion
when they advise and commit murder? Deliberately and without hesitation
we say the "yellow journals" and the men behind them. These
are the wellsprings of discontent, class hatreds, and anarchy. Let us
place the responsibility for this dastardly crime where it justly belongs.
It is due to reckless, unscrupulous, unprincipled journalism such as has
been seen daily in the pages of the New York Journal, the Chicago American,
and the San Francisco Examiner, since William R. Hearst has controlled
From a Sermon
by Bishop McFaul, of Trenton
It is beyond question that many the crimes against individuals and against
society, such as murder, suicide, divorce, and the social evil, are encouraged
and propagated by an unbridled, licentious press, bereft of all sense
of justice, honor, and decency. It caters daily to the worst passions
for a pecuniary consideration. It behooves parents to keep these immoral
sheets away from their homes and out of the hands of their children.
New York Tribune
It is not merely the ravings of the slums that lead to mischief. Those
in high stations and eminent walks of life who-though with no personal
enmity toward him-have been denouncing the president as a "murderer,"
a "tyrant," a "criminal aggressor," and what not,
and have portrayed him as an oppressor, or as a tool of the oppressors,
of the common people-let them look to it that some of his blood be not
found upon their gloved but unclean hands.
There is evidence in the utterance of the responsible newspapers of the
country that no one is in doubt as to where the indirect responsibility
rests for such a hideous crime as that perpetrated in vain wantonness
at Buffalo on Friday. Nothing that that unfortunate creature, Emma Goldman,
ever said against governments and their executives ever sank to the level
of the reiterated note of coarse, vile hatred that has marked the conduct
of certain yellow newspapers.
Public Opinion, vol. 31, no. 12 (September 19, 1901) p.
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