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The Minneapolis journal. [volume] (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, September 14, 1901, Image 13

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William McKinlcy, President.
His Magnificent Successes—Equal to Exceptional Opportunities—Campaign Prom
ises Kept—Administration Marked an Era—Late President in War and
Peace—But Four Years and Six Months in the Presidency.
"William McKinley had been president of the
United States four years and six month 3
Vihen death put an end to his career. He had
thus served only six months in the second
term of the presidency, to which he vas tri
umphantly elected in November, 1900. The
fifty-four months of the MoKinley adminis
tration have been among the most critical
and eventful in the history of the nation. The
war -with Spain, so little in itself, gave birth
to great events and great policies. It led to
a revolution in the foreign policy of the
United States and started the republic well
on its new career as a great world power. It
Is hard to get a proper perspective of the his
tory of the present, but there are few observ
ers of national history who do not think that
when the history of the nineteenth century is
•written it will be conceded that it was Presi
dent McKinley's good fortune to have been
in th» chair of Washington and Jefferson,
Lincoln and Grant, in one of the great epoch
m&king times in the history of the American
nation. That part of President McKinley"s
first administration which had elapsed when
the presidential campaign of 1900 began ha<l
been thoroughly committed to the policy of
American expansion and the playing of a
larger part on the stage of nations. That
stand being emphatically indorsed at the
polls, the nation became committed to a nev
policy of tremendous import, the credit for
shaping which should be given President
MvKiuley more than any one else.
A ».r«-ut Ol.viiipliitl.
President McKlnley's administration cov
ered one of the most prosperous and success
ful as well as glorious periods iv the nr.
tlou's life. This period was all the more re
epiendent by cdntrast with the gloomy days
of the scoud Cleveland administration. For
four years the country had witnessed some
rommercial failures, with liabilities
aggregating more than $900,000,000; 177 rail
roads had passed Into the hands of receivers;
riore than 170 national banks had suspended;
farm mortgages were foreclosed by thou
eands; agricultural exports declined; the bal
ance of trade became adverse: the gold re
serve was depleted, and the rever.r.es de
clined. It was estimated that nearly one
third of the laborers of the United States were
thrown out of employment, and a million men
chuaorad fur work that was not to be had.
Tue campaign of 1896. iv which President Mc-
Klnley was the nominee of the republican
party for the presidency, was fought iv the
face of these conditions. The republican par
ty was committed to the restoration of the
protective tariff system and a reformation of
our national flnaueial system upon a souul
basis. No sooner was President KeKfnley
Inaugurated Into office on March 4, 1897, than
he called an ex»ta session of congress to act
immediately upct the republican promise of
tariff legislation. This extra cession met on
March ID, 1897, and at once took up the con
sideration of the bill that afterwards became-'
the Dingley tariff act, which became a law
on July 24. As was hoped and expected, the
new law began at once to yield ample reve
nue: the first thirty-two months' operation
giving a surplus oT nearly 1M.40Q.0e0. Tae
p-omtse of the republican party to give the
nation a new currency law was redeemed on
March 14. l9Cw, when the finances of the
United States were established on a gold ba
ds. Thus were kept In© two great promises
made by the party, for the fulfillment of
vhich President McKinley was responsible.
Able Financial Management.
It is proper in this connection to refer to
the other features of the Inaaelal manage
n.*nt wnlch has been so creditable to Presi
dent McKinlev's administration. The refund
ing of the national debt was undertaken and
acoompnshed in 1900. The unexpected burden
of the financial management of the Spanish-
American war fell upon the administration
In the spring of 1898 and was successfully- dis
posed of by a war revenue measure Increas
ing the internal revenue taxation, and an
«C«™ Zl"e rhe treasury «> borrow $400 -
000.000. O f j, hksn ia0.000.000 was actually
borrowed. These operations were so success
full) accomplished that the national credit
end revenues were not in the least strained
by the heavy expenditures entailed by the
var with Spain and the subsequent hostilities
In the Philippines which necessitated the en
rollment, equipment, maintenance and trans
port of large bodies of troops. In fact the
entire management of the war finances' was
conducted with such skill that not for a
moment was there any interruption of the
tide of prosperity. Industrial and commercial
expansion continued as if there had been
ro war, and at its i lose the business of the
country was greater in volume than at the
beginning. The national credit, both at home
and abroad, was raised to the highest point
In our history. It may be said without fear
of dispute that such an achievement is un
paralleled in the history of modern nations
and affords a marked contrast to the straits
to which the treasury of the great British
empire has been reduced by the war in
South Africa.
Ineqiialed Proaneri ty.
Under the stimulus of national solvency
encouraging tariff legislation and the ac
ceptance of the gold standard, the prosperity
of the four years and a half of President
McKinley's administration is almost incon
ceivable. Industrial activity has everywhere
taken the place of idleness and stagnation.
Foreign trade has increased by leaps and
bounds until the United States has become
the greatest exporting nation in the world,
•with a balance of trade in its favor in three
years of upwards of $1,000,200,000,000, a bal
ance that is at once the admiration and the
terror of the industrial nations of Europe.
American foreign trade, stimulated by in
ternal prosperity, has rapidly spread itself
over the world, attacking the trade of other
nations at home and abroad and in its most
Impregnable strongholds. The volume of in
ternal trade was never so great as during
the last years of President McKinley's ad
ministration; wages were never so high, and
general prosperity never so great.
First Step In Expansion.
The first step in that territorial and com
mercial expansion policy which is commonly
accepted as the distinguishing feature of
President MeKinleys career in the presi
dential chair was begun shortly after his
first inauguration, when a treaty of annex
ation of the Hawaiian islands was adopted.
This undertaking, delayed in one way and
another, was finally accomplished in March,
IS9S, when by joint resolution Hawaii was
annexed to the United States. Last year
that country was by a special act of con
gress organized as a territory, :he consti
tution and revenue laws of the United States
being extended to itt Thus was added to the
United States one of the richest island groups
in the world, with a large trade and a
geographical position of great strategic value
Whether in commerce or war.
The Revolt of Cuba.
The problem of Cuba, then in revolt against |
Spain, was a legacy from the Cleveland ad
ministration which early occupied the atten
tion of President McKin'ey and his advisers.
In a measure President McKinley was com
mitted to some action in behalf of the Cubans
by ihe republican national platform of 183t5
Vfetch expressed a hope for the success of the
Cubans in their determin?d contest for lib
erty. The first point of contact with Spain
crme immediately after President McKin
ley's inauguration when he took up the ques
tion of the conflnemen; of twenty-eight
American prisoners in Cuban prisons and se
cured their release. The reconcentration pol
icy Of General Weyler, at that time the
Spanish governor general of Cuba, and the
horror* that followed its cruel application,
arouied American sympathy for the sufferers
and indignation at Spanish methods. At the
height of this outburst of feeling Dupuy de
Lome, Spanish minister at Washington, wrote
a letter grossly reflecting upon President
McKinley, which being published, resulted
in De Lome's immediate withdrawal from
the United States. I
Then.came the momentous event which, in
I William McKinley. §
view of the ardent sympathy of the Ameri
can people for the Cubans, their indignation
at Spain and the irritation caused by many
smaller events, made American military in
tervention Iq Cuba inevitable. On the night
of Feb. IS, 1898, the battleship Maine wmm
blown up in the harbor of Havana with a loss
of life of 2(>G men and two officers. President
ifcKtaley, reluctant to enter upon war, but i
now seeing that war was inevitable, at once !
conferred with the leaders of both the great j
national parties, and on March 8 a bill ap
propriating $50,0t>:j,C00 for national defense
was introduced into congress and unanimous
ly passed. On March 28 the president sent to
crngTMS the findings "of the naval board to
ii-quire into the destruction of the Maine,
and on the following day Senator Foraker in
troduced resolutions recognizing the inde
pendence of Cuba. Events now moved rapidly,
and on April 18 the conference committee
of houee and senate adopted resolutions
declaring that the pc-epl^ of the island of Cuba
"are and of right ought to be free and in
dependent," an<i asserting It to be the fluty
of the United States to demand that the
government of Spain relinquish its authority
in Cuba and withdraw its land and naval
forces from that island. The president was
directed and empowered to use the entire land
and naval forces of the United States to carry
the resolutions into effect, thus practically
declaring war.
William McKinley.
The American ultimatum was handed to
the Spanish minister on April 19, and on
April 25 it was declared that war existed be
tween the United States and Spain. The
first shot was fired on April 27, when Ad
miral Sampson"s squadron bombarded the
forts of Matanzas. Battles now followed
each other in rapid succession. On May 1 Ad
miral Dewey. won his immortal victory over
Admiral Montojo in the harbor of Manila,
and preparations were made to land troops
in both the Spanish West and East Indies.
The rsgular army was rapidly placed on a
war footing and 278,000 volunteers were called
out. The events of this short and decisive
war are too fresh in the public mind to re
quire detailed chronicling. Suffice it to say
that on July 3 Admiral Cervera's squadron
was annihilated off Santiago, and on July 17
General Toral, iv command of the Spanish
troops at Santiago surrendered, and that on
Aug. 13 Manila surrendered to General Mer
ritt and Admiral Dewey. Peace negotiations
began as early as tho latter part of July, and
on Aug. 12 the protocols were signed prelim
mary to a treaty of peace. The independence
of Cuba, the cession of Porto Rico, and one
of the Ladrones to the United States, and the
temporary retention of Manila by the Ameri
cans were made the basis of the protocol, the
final disposition cf the Philippines being
left to a joint Spanish and American com
mission. This commission met at Paris, and
on Jan. 4 the treaty formulated by it was
transmitted to vhe senate, and after a long
debate was ratified by that body Feb. 6, 1899.
The Spanish claim to the Philippines was
ceded to the United States in consideration
of a money payment of $20,000,000.
Disposition of the Philippines.
The struggle both in the peace commission
and in the senate was over the question of
tho cession by Spain to America of the Phil
ippines. Subsequent revelations have shown
that while at first the president had not made
up his mind regarding the Philippines, as ne
gotiations proceeded at Paris he finally led
the way in deciding to take the responsibility
of insisting upon the cession of the whole
archipelago. The confirmation of the treaty
was hastened by the insurrection of the Tag
alos, led by Emillo Aguinaldo. who on Feb. 4
had attacked the American troops in Manila
under the command of General Elweli E. Otis.
The presiden". at once took steps to suppress
this rebellion. There had been determined
opposition la' the senate to the annexation of
the Philippines, and it was in the debate over
this portion of the treaty that the anti-impe
rialism agitation was born. At first the
people of the country had been at sea on the
! question of the annexation of the Philippines,
and there had been a good deal of feeling that
Aguinaldo represented a real revolutionary
movement among a people capable of self
government, and that it was the duty of the
United States at once to assist in the erection
of an independent government in the Philip
pines, as It had bound itself to do in Cuba.
But until Manila had actually been occupied
Continued on Page Fourteen.
A Life Full of Triumphs.
Sketch of William McKinley's Remarkable Career—His Ancestry, Early Life and
Services During the War of 1861-s—His Political Career and Public
Services—A Lovable Personality—His Methods of Conciliation.
William McKicley, twenty-fifth president
of the United States, was born in Niles, Ohio,
Jan. 29, 1843. On his father's side his ances
try was Scotch-Irish. Hw forefathers came to
America 150 years ago. Authentic records
trace the "McKinlays" in Scotland back to
1547, where "James McKinlay, trooper," was
an ancestor. The crest of the McKinlay clan
was a mailed hand holding an olive branch
with the motto, "Not too much."
Mr. MeKinley'a direct ancestors came to
this country from the north of Ireland and in
1743 settled in York county, Pennsylvania, at
Chanceford township, where his aon David,
the McKinley of the revolution and great
grandfather of the president, was born in
May, 1755. After serving in the war he re
mained in Pennsylvania till 1814, when he
went to Ohio, whore he died in 1840. The
grandmother of the president, Mary Rose, came
from a Puritan family that fled from England
to Holland and came to Pennsylvania with
William Perm. Wm. McKinley, Sr., father
of the president, was born in Pennsylvania
in 1807, married in 1829 Nancy Campbell Alli
son of Ohio, whose father was of English ex
traction. The union was blessed with nin*
children, William being the seventh.
Education and the War.
William McKinley obtained his education in
the public schools at Nilec, Ohio, at Union
seminary, where lie persued his studies ,
he was. 17. In 1860 ho was sent to Allegheny
college, Meadville, P.i., where he entered the
junior class and would have graduated but
for the failure of his health, due to severe
study. He taught in the public schools and
joined the Methodist church.
When the war broke out in the spring of
1861 he was clerk in the Poland postoffice.
He at once enlisted as a private in Company
E of the Twenty-third volunteer Infantry,
fantry. This was on June 11, IS6I.
General William McKinley Osborne, now
consul general In London, gives the follow-'
ing account of his eniistmeut with his young
There wa3 a great excitement at that time,
and hundreds of people followed the soldiers.
Will and I were among them. We drove in
a buggy over to Youngstown, and there saw
the company leave for Columbus. On our
way back to Poland that night, we discussed
the matter together and decided that it was
our duty to volunteer, and we thought that
the men who stayed would be despised by
the community.
When we reached home. Will told his
mother what be had concluded to do, and
she at once replied: "Well, boys, if you
think it is your duty to fight for your coun
try, I think you ought to go." A few days
after this, I left Poland for home and told
father I wanted to go to the army. I knew
he would allow me to go, as Aunt Nancy
advised. I was not disappointed. My father
was a democrat, but he was a liberal man.
~>ii me 1 could do v i wished, and he
gave me some money (it was gold, I remem
ber,) to fit me out. Will McKinley left Po
land and we went to Cleveland together.
From there we went to Columbus and en
listed at Camp Chase. General Fremont
swore us In. Our enlistment was in cold
blood, and not through the enthusiasm of
the moment. It was done as McKinley has
done the most of things of his life—as tha
logical offspring of careful conclusion.
Deeds of Valor Recounted.
The battle of Antietara was followed bf
engagements at Bufßngton's Island, Ohio,
and at Cloyd Mountain, in which latter tha
Twenty-third Ohio again did deeds of valor.
Several other battles were fought between
the date of that of Cloyd Mountain and July
24, 1864, on which date a battle was fought
at Kernstown, near Winchester, Va., in which.
the Twenty-third Ohio lost over 150 men and;
officers. General Russell Hastings, who took
part in it, gives a glimpse of McKinley dur
ing that engagement.
They were in the same regiment, on tha
same staff, and slept under the same blanket.
Oh the union side was only Crook's corps,
some 6,000 s'rong, while opposed to it was the
full farce cf Early's army. The odds were
too great, so, after some severe fighting.
Hayes' brigade, which was engaged, drew
back in the direction of Winchester :
Just at that moment, says Qeneral Hast
ings, it was discovered that one of the regi
ments was still in an orchard where it ha 4
been posted at the beginning of the battla.
General Hayes, turning to Lieutenant McKin
ley, directed him to go forward and brinp
away that regiment, if it had not already
fallen. McKinley turned his horse and,
keenly spurring it, pushed it at a flerca
gallop obliquely toward the advancing enemy.
A sad look came over Hayes' face as he
saw the young, gallant boy pushing rapidly
forward to most certain death. • • • Xone
of us expected to see him again as we
watched him push his horse through the open
fields, over fences, through ditches, while a
well-directed flre from the enemy was poured
upon him, with shells exploding all around,
about and over him.
Clone to Exploding Shell.
Once he was completely enveloped in the
smoke of an exploding shell, and we thought
he had gone down; but no, he was saved for
better work for his country In his future
years. Out of this smoke emerged his wiry
little brown horse, with McKinley firmly
seated and as erect as a hussar.
McKinley gave the colonel the orders from
Hayes to fall back, saying, in addition: "He
supposed you would have gone to vie rear
without orders." The colonel's reply was:
"I was about concluding I would retire with
out waiting any longer for orders. I am
now ready to go wherever you shall lead,
but, lieutenant, I "pintedly" believe I ought
to give those fellows a volley or two before
I go." McKinley's reply was: "Then up and
at them as quickly as possible," and as the
regiment arose to its feet the enemy came
on in full view. Colonel Brown's boys gave
the enemy a crushing volley, following it up
with a rattling fire, and then slowly re
treated toward some woods directly in their
rear. At this time the enemy halted all
along Brown's Immediate front and for some
distance to his right and left, no doubt feel
ing he was touching a secondary line, whipli
should be approached with all due caution.
During the hesitancy of the enemy, McKinley
led the regiment through these woods on,
toward Winchester.
As Hayes and Crock saw this regiment
safely off, they turned and, following tho
column, with it moved slowly" to the rear
flown the Winchester pike. At a point near
Winchester, McKinley brought the regiment*
to the column and to its place in the brigade
McKinley greeted us all with a happy, con
tented smile—no effusion, no gushing palaver
of words, though all of us felt'and knew one
of the most gallant acts of the war had been
As McKinley drew up by the side of Hayes
to make his verbal report, I heard Hayes
say to him: "I never expected to see you
in life again."
He was soon promoted to sergeant, lieuten
ant, captain and lastly to major by brevet
"for gallant and meritorious services at the
battles of Opequan, Cedar Creek and Fiaher'i
Hill. He participated in the last great act
of the war, the grand review at Washing
ton in 1865.
Lav* and Polities.
After the war Major McKinley began the
study of law at Poland and Youngstown.
Ohio, completed his course at the law school
at Albany. X. V., and was admitted to the
bar at Warren, Ohio, in March, 1867. He
settled soon after at Canton, Ohio, and
achieved popularity and success at the bar.
He was an ardent republican, and in 1869
was elected prosecuting attorney for the >
county in the face of a former hostile ma
jority. In 1871 he failed of re-election by 45
votes. After this he practiced law for five
years. In 1875, at the height of the green
back craze, he made many speeches for hon
est money and specie payments. In 1878 be
was nominated for congress and elected by
3,300 majority. He entered congress on the
day his old colonel assumed the presidency
and remained in high favor with him. Here
his first work was opposition to the Fernando
Wood tariff bill, designed to cripple the pro
tective system. In 1880 Speaker Randall ap
pointed him to succeed President Qarfleld oa
the ways and means committee, an honor
much' sought for and which came to him
unsolicited. From this time on he was re
peatedly re-elected to congress and became
known as the champion of the American pro
tective system.
On April 16, 1890, he introduced from the
committee the general tariff measure which
has since borne his name. His speeoh on.
May 7 in support of this measure fully sus
tained his reputation as an orator and a dis
passionate advocate. The bill became a law
Oct. 6, 1890.
From this time on Mr. McKinley was muoh
iv the public eye. The rest of his Ufa 1b too
well known to need extended notioe. He waa
elected governor of Ohio in 1891. He was
nominated for the presidency at St. Louis in
1896 on the first ballot and triumphantly
elected, receiving 271 electoral votes against
176 for Mr. Bryan. He was nominated for a
second term in 1900 and again elected by a
still greater majority, both, popular and
Story of Hl* Marrlase.
Major McKinley married, Jan. 26, 1871, Mist
Ida Saxton, daughter of James Saxton. Her
grandparents were among the founders of
Canton a century ago. Her father was a
banker of large means. She had many ad
mirers, but preferred Major McKinley from
the moment of their acquaintance. Tradition
has it that they first met on. their way to their
respective churches, she to the Presbyterian,
he to the Methodist. The home life of Presi
dent McKinley, in its beauty and tenderness,
was both charming and Ideal. Two daugh
ters were born to them—Katie, on Christmas,
3871, and Ida, in 1873—but both died in early
childhood. Mrs. McKinley's health never
rallied from these two sorrows.
Character of tbe Han.
President McKinley was not naturally com
bative. He preferred to employ peaceful
rather than aggressive methods in the accom
plishment of an object. He never fought un
less clrcumstanoes forced it; yet he domi
nated always, and when a policy was deter
mined upon it was carried out. He has often
been pictured as yielding, but that was un
just. When he had' a purpose in view it
mattered not to him whether he won what
might be termed a personal victory so long
as the purpose was accomplished. He used
tact, was courteous and considerate at all
times, and avoided enmities. This was both
natural and a matter of policy, a course far
more successful In the long run than aggres
The president consulted unreservedly -with
his cabinet on all important questions, with
congressional leaders of both ; parties » and
with prominent men' throughout the country,
giving due weight to all Judgments and opin
ions. He kept in close touch with public sea-

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