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flagration which is now sweeping over the land like a prairie fire of the West, bearing destruction in its bosom, laying a scene of desolation in its rear, and scattering consternation in every direction? Nay, sir, who is it that has sacrilegiously invaded the sanctuary of the Constitution, and lighted at the very fires of the altar that fatal brand which, desperately and vindictively hurled—with whatever aim-has struck upon the great temple of our national prosperity, involving it in "hideous ruin and combustion"? Mr. Speaker, it was no midnight incendiary that silently stole into the temple with his Ephesian torch, concealed by the mantle of darkness. No; it was the high-priest of the Constitution that violated the sanctuary and desecrated the fires of the altar. It was in the broad glare of noonday, from the imperial heights of power, and in open defiance of all the moral and political guaranties of human right, that this consuming brand was cast into the elements of combustion, and which came upon an astounded people, without cause and without notice, like Heaven's avenging bolt from a cloudless sky. And now that the signal bells of alarm and distress are ringing from one extremity of this Union to the other, mingling their disastrous chimes with those cries of distress which come to us from the four quarters of the heavens on every wind that blows, and forming one mighty chorus of indignant complaint that has forced its way into the sealed ears of infatuated power-with what sympathy, with what feelings of commiseration, with what "compunctious visitings" are these proofs of a nation's suffering received by the authors of the calamity and their accomplices?
WILLIAM ASHMEAD COURTENAY
MCKINLEY was born at Newnan, Coweta County,
Georgia, November 22, 1847, his people having removed to that State from South Carolina during the early part of the last century. He came by his remarkable mental gifts honestly, his father, Judge Charles G. McKinley, having been one of the most distinguished lawyers at the Lexington Bar, and his kinsmen, the Cummingses, Cobbs, and Jacksons, all being men of the highest intellectuality. He did not have a fair chance in his early life because of the disturbed conditions attending the war for Southern independence. At the age of fifteen his studies at the University of Georgia were suspended when he entered the service of the State as a Confederate soldier in the trenches around Atlanta.
After the war he engaged at first in cotton brokerage in Augusta, but after a short time he accepted a position in the United States Marshal's office in Savannah. Realizing his lack of a finished education, he then resumed his academic course at Athens, and subsequently attended the Southern Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Here he attained a very high degree of scholarship, and was graduated in 1874. Soon after, he married Miss Elizabeth Bryce, the daughter of a Columbia lawyer and planter. On account of some change in his religious views he refrained, with admirable conscientiousness, from entering the active work of the ministry. "His mind," says Major James C. Hemphill, editor of The News and Courier, "was thoroughly well ordered, and to the consideration of every question presented to him for mental analysis he reached his conclusions by inexorable logic. He reasoned from cause to effect, and applied the exactness of the higher mathematics, to which he was singularly devoted and in which he was wonderfully expert, to the settlement of whatever questions were presented to him for solution. He took nothing for granted; what he could not determine by the rules of evidence he held in abeyance, but always with unprejudiced and open mind. The extra-natural or super-natural things which he could not adjust by reasoning of time and sense he contemplated with clear-eyed faith, and before his final summons came, 'his cares ebbed out with every tide, and peace came upon the flood.'
For a time McKinley was employed as instructor in Captain (afterward Governor) Hugh S. Thompson's grammar school in Columbia. It was there that he began to give an outlet to his decided literary tastes, and did his first serious writing. In the belief that journalism would afford him the best facilities for his chosen lifework, he formed a connection with The News and Courier in July, 1875, assuming charge of its Columbia bureau during the gloomy but exciting reconstruction times. During Wade Hampton's first term as Senator, McKinley was in Washington as the special correspondent of his newspaper. After a brief term, during which he was in the employment of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, he resumed. (1881) his connection with The News and Courier as a member of its editorial staff, and here he remained to the close of his useful life. He died at Mount Pleasant, on the east shore of Charleston harbor, on August 24, 1904. At his own request his remains were removed to Georgia, his native State, and buried in the Presbyterian churchyard at Lexington, where his kindred rest.
It will ever be to me a treasured memory that through long years I enjoyed intimate relations with my scholarly and versatile friend, Carl McKinley. It is indeed a precious privilege to pay my personal tribute to so gracious a memory, not for him gone before, but for ourselves, that we may ever readily recall his attractive personality, a character singularly winning through its transparent and unaffected simplicity. He was fortunate in occupying distinct and influential positions, whence issued forces of generous impulse and inspiration, wide and deep in their significance, which were hidden, however, and unidentified in some of their finest efforts. In my deliberate opinion, the man himself was ever larger than the work he was called upon to do; the largeness of his aims attests his high character, and is the symbol of his presence and power. All the varied themes of a daily newspaper, becoming vital in his hands, bear throughout the stamp of right thinking, and a calm, balanced tone. His vision upon the obligations and possibilities of the passing moment was ever clear; his grasp upon all he had acquired had not the mere quality of memory, it was knowledge impressed on his mind by indelible processes. There is another phase of his character that should be recorded here, and I will dwell upon it with supreme satisfaction-his love and devotion to the Southland. This loyalty to his native land, under all circumstances, was a crowning dignity to the man. In him we see the noble citizen, the gifted author, the true Southerner, thoroughly earnest, religious, manly, a life founded in conscious loyalty to God, permeated by a high sense of duty, and warmed by love for his fellow-men.
Besides the practical affairs of life to which McKinley gave so
much thoughtful attention, he possessed a wonderful fancy, and was master of a finished prose style that won attention by its picturesque descriptions and its vigorous narrative power. "The Cyclone of 1885" and "The Earthquake of 1886" are monographs commemorating two great disasters that visited Charleston, and are a distinct contribution to the descriptive prose literature of the country. "An Appeal to Pharaoh" (1889), a strikingly original study of the negro question, has passed through three editions. It was first published anonymously and was attributed to Henry W. Grady and other eminent publicists. It proposed, as a solution of the race question, that the negroes be sent to Egypt, a view highly commended by Henry M. Stanley in a letter to the author. "It will," says Professor Yates Snowden, "doubtless perpetuate his name among those who never knew him."
McKinley's verse is of even finer workmanship than his prose, and it is on a handful of poems of great beauty and high technical merit that his rank in letters must ultimately rest. Most of these are of a subjective and reflective type. The author's young manhood was spent under the dark shadow of reconstruction, with its alien government by force. Some of his poems, like "To-day and Yesterday" and "South Carolina, 1876,” are reminiscent of this period, and breathe the undaunted, hopeful spirit that animated all true South Carolinians in those times that tried men's souls more than the days of marching and fighting. The second poem is an impressive picture of the desolation of an heroic people, and closes with a solemn prophecy of retribution. "McKinley's prevailing mood," says Professor G. A. Wauchope, "is cheerful yet subdued, and his thought and diction are characterized by a fastidious refinement. Though he is not unmindful of the stern and sorrowful side of life, his message is that of a genial, sensitive nature that is sympathetically attuned to its bright and gentle aspects. He is always the artist, and yet a lofty moral purpose and a deep seriousness are never absent from his lines. As he ponders over life's great secrets, he is not always orthodox, but his philosophy is sane, sincere, and warmly human.
""Crucifer," a subtle study of hypocrisy set in vivid contrast with human sin and weakness, reveals a profound religious truth in a vision. of enduring beauty. So too in "The Toilers" we find the same deep and tender note of sympathy for the world's sad and weary workers. "At Timrod's Grave" is a delicate and touching tribute to a once neglected brother poet. Another elegy, "At the Last," is a meditation in a brave, optimistic spirit on the eternal mystery of death. In his treatment of nature, McKinley is at his best. "In Spring" is a joyful hymn of praise to the rejuvenating principle of things, and on its technical side it is entirely adequate in phrase and structure. It