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In fact, he secured fewer votes than had been given him in his previous race. President McKinley secured 7,208,244, against 6,358,789 for Mr. Bryan. In the electoral college the vote stood, President McKinley, 292; Mr. Bryan, 155.
Amidst the applause of admiring thousands, President McKinley, for the second time, took the oath of office, March 4, 1901. He retained his former cabinet ministers, and was steadfastly carrying out the great work he had begun when he was stricken down by the bullets of the assassin.
RESPECT FOR THE SABBATH. He had for the observance of the Sabbath the most profound respect. At one time during the presidential campaign a large party of visitors, who had arrived in Canton on Sunday morning, sent a message to Mr. McKinley, stating that they would call upon him accompanied by a band of music. He sent word in reply: “This is the Sabbath day and I cannot receive delegations, much would I have you to come with a band of music on the Sabbath. I cannot in any event, see you this morning, for I must go to church. I attend the First Methodist Episcopal church and would advise you to be present, and then if you really desire to call during the day, and care to drop into my home individually, or one or two at a time, for the purpose of receiving a friendly greeting, all right, but you must not come as a delegation."
SUNDAY BEFORE INAUGURATION. An interesting incident occurred the last Sunday Mr. McKinley spent in Canton before going to Washington to be inaugurated President. He requested his pastor some days in advance to preach on that Sunday, as he did not wish to have a stranger indulge in words of eulogy to him. He said: “I want my own pastor to preach the last Sunday before I go to Washington.” Once he said: “If you or any one else should begin to gush over me, I would get up and leave the church.” The hymn sung on that occasion was No. 602 in the Methodist hymn-book :
“It may not be our lot to wield
The sickle in the ripened field;
"Yet where our duty's task is wrought
“And ours the greatful service whence
“And were this life the utmost span,
The only end and aim of man,
Than waking dream and slothful ease.” Mr. McKinley was so pleased with the sentiment of the hymn that the next day he asked the board of trustees, as a special favor, to give him the copy of the book from which he sang the day before, saying that he had marked that hymn and that he would like to have that particular book.
MEETING A CRISIS ON A BATTLE FIELD. It is a very dangerous thing for a military man to disobey or change the orders of his commanding officer. But a true soldier, who has later acquired information which such officer does not possess, and which if known would cause a modification of his orders, must be disobedient and take the consequences. Captain McKinley was such a soldier..
It was at the battle of Opequan, fought near Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864. Captain McKinley was acting as an aide-de-camp on the staff of General Sheridan and General Deval was commanding the second division. General Crook sent McKinley with a verbal order to General Deval, commanding him to move quickly by a certain road and take his position on the right of the Sixth corps. In going to General Deval, McKinley took this road, through a ravine, and found it almost blockaded with broken wagons, dead horses and fallen trees. It was with difficulty that he could get through and, when he reached Deval and delivered his order as given him, he added: “But, General, I have come over that road and it is so obstructed that an army could not move that way quickly enough to be of any service. There is another route, by which I am sure you could reach the place assigned you and I suggest that you take that one.”
General Deval was a trained soldier and felt the responsibility of his position too much to disobey an order from his superior officer, even in the letter, but he saw the force of McKinley's suggestion. He hesitated as to what to do, and then said: "Captain, I must obey General Crook's order to the letter. What road did he say I should take?”
It was the captain's time to hesitate. He saw that General Deval's idea of military discipline would compel him to follow the order to
the letter, and he knew, from his own experience, that an army could not move along that route and reach his position in time to be of service. He answered: "General Deval, General Crook commands you to move your division along this road (mentioning the one he had suggested and take up your position on the right of the Sixth corps." General Deval accepted the order and, moving his command as directed. was able to reach his new position in time to be of great service in driving the enemy from their fortified position and saving the Union troops from defeat.
When Captain McKinley reported to General Crook what he had done, the general looked at him in amazement as he asked: “Did you fully understand the risk you took in changing the order you were intrusted to deliver to General Deval?"
"I did," was the captain's reply. .
“Did you know that you were liable to be court-martialed and dismissed from the service, and, had it led to disaster, shot as a traitor?”
"I did, general, but I was willing to take that risk to save the battle.”
General Crook looked the young captain in the eyes for a minute and saw that he was dealing with a man who had the courage to put aside technicalities and do his duty as judgment and conscience and absolute personal knowledge of the situation dictated, without regard to the consequences, and he said:
“Captain, you have saved the battle, and you are a brave man; but I would not advise you to take such risks again, as, in case of failure, even the officer who received the command, to do his duty in the light of your knowledge, the blame would rest upon you alone.'
MCKINLEY'S FIRST LAW CASE. It was a suit of replevin and McKinley received $25 for his work. He was at the time a student in the law office of Judge George W. Belden. He had been admitted to the bar, but having no clients, was still reading law in Belden's office. One day the old judge came in and said to McKinley:
“William, I want you to try the Blank case for me tomorrow. I find that I will not be able to attend it."
“But, judge,” said McKinley, “I don't know anything about it. I have never tried a case in my life. I am afraid I can't do it."
"Oh, yes, you can,” said the judge. "You have got to do it. I must go away and that case is sure to come up. Here are the papers," and with that the judge threw a lot of papers on the table beside McKinley and left.
McKinley took up the case and went into it. He sat up all niglit and worked at it. At 10 o'clock next day he was on hand, when the court opened. He took the place of Judge Belden, made an argument and won the case. As he was speaking he happened to look at the back of the court room and there he saw Judge Belden sitting. This seemed rather queer to him, but he afterward found that Belden had put up the job to test what he could do as a lawyer. The next day the judge came into the office and said to McKinley: “Well, William you've won the case and here is your fee.” As he said this he took out his pocketbook and handed McKinley $25.
"But,” said young McKinley, “I can't take that, judge. It was only a night's work. It ain't worth it and I can't take it," and with that he offered the bill to the judge.
“Oh, yes, you can," was the reply. “You have earned the money and you must take it. Besides it is all right. I shall charge my client $100 for the work and it is only right that you should have this $25." This argument overcame McKinley's scruples and he took the money.
MADE A MINISTER OUT OF A BAD PAGE. When Mr. McKinley was a congressman there was among the pages in the house of representatives one boy who was considered to be a most incorrigible lad. And he was, at the same time, very bright. His mind occupied itself in plotting mischief, which he carried out with spirit. He was impertinent to a degree; he swore with a fluency never heard before and his battles with his companions were of daily occurrence. He was attractive—so attractive that his influence with the other boys was very great. There was danger that the whole company of boys would become demoralized, and the only remedy seemed to lie in dismissal. He had often been reprimanded, so when he was called before the authorities and informed of his dismissal he was stunned.
Mr. McKinley had liked the boy in spite of the fact that he seemed to be a little degenerate, and when he learned that the lad had been discharged he sent for him. After a long talk the future President begged that the boy be given another chance, and, much subdued, the page again took his place in the house. This was the beginning of the little drama of reformation. The boy was not all bad. He was grateful and Mr. McKinley made his good behavior a personal favor to himself. At first the boy tried to do well because it pleased Mr. McKinley, and then, because he was possessed of a strength that would not lead him to do anything by halves, he became as enthusiastic for good as he had been for evil. Time went on, and through Mr. McKinley's influence. he joined the church and, later still, with the