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PRESIDENT’S ANSWER: “Gentlemen of the Senate:
"I receive with the most respectful and affectionate sentiments in this impressive address, the obliging expressions of your regret, for the loss our Country has sustained in the death of her most esteemed, beloved and admired Citizen.
"In the multitude of my thoughts and recollections on this melancholy event, you will permit me only to say, that I have seen him in the days of adversity in some of the scenes of his deepest and most trying perplexities; I have also attended him in his highest elevation and most prosperous felicity, with uniform admiration of his wisdom, moderation and constancy.
"Among all our original associates, in the memorable League of the Continent in 1774, which first expressed the sovereign will of a Free Nation in America, he was the only one remaining in the General Government. Although, with a constitution more enfeebled than his, at an age when he thought it necessary to prepare for retirement, I feel myself alone, bereaved of my last brother; yet I derive strong consolation from the Unanimous disposition which appears in all ages and classes, to mingle their sorrows with mine, on this common calamity to the world.
“The life of our WASHINGTON cannot suffer by a comparison with those of other countries, who have been most celebrated and exalted by Fame. The attributes and decorations of Royalty could only have served to eclipse the Majesty of those virtues, which made him, from being a modest citizen, a more resplendent luminary. Misfortune, had he lived, could hereafter have sullied his glory only with those superficial minds, who, believing that characters and actions are marked by success alone, rarely deserve to enjoy it. Malice could never blast his honor, and Envy made him a singular exception to her universal rule.-For himself he had lived enough, to life and to glory. For his fellowcitizens, if their prayers could have been answered, he would have been immortal. For me, his departure is a most unfortunate moment. Trusting, however, in the wise and righteous dominion of Providence over passions of men, and the result of their councils and actions, as well as over their Lives, nothing remains for me but humble resignation.
“His example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to Magistrates, Citizens and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read. If a Trajan found a Pliny, a Marcus Aurelius can never want Biographers, Eulogists or Historians. United States, )
"JOHN ADAMS.” Dec. 22, 1799. Š
The loftiest tribute that can be paid the splendor and glory of these memorial papers, that their beauty, truth and grandeur make imperishable, is that they were worthy the mournful elevation of the occasion. It is unknown who again “shall lift the wand of magic power and the lost clue regain,” that the Senate and John Adams wielded in another century, but the "unfinished window of Aladdin's Tower" will not "unfinished remain.” Memorial windows in old capitals, whose foundations are yet to be laid, will be illuminated with the story of William McKinley, by the genius of his countrymen, placing for everlasting commemoration, above even the service of his statesmanship, his true love for humanity. Already his successor has addressed a communication to Congress, destined to live in letters fairer than gold, when the pomp of power has passed away, and inscriptions carved in marble or cast in brass have perished, if the phrases of the praise they record are official only. The ink in which the inspiration of the heart is penned, if it tells of loving kindness and the sacrifices of affection, makes parchment immortal; and paper holds faster the truth, than the rocks that iron engraves, and the lost tales the Pyramids were built in vain to tell are saved in the papyrus that outlasted the tombs.
The Message of the President was sent to Congress in print. The two copies for the two houses were printed on paper of the same size as that used heretofore for the written copies, though the paper is a heavy white instead of the blue tint which has been in use. Each copy was richly bound in brown morocco, with stiff covers, with simple gold border and lettering, the words on the front being, “Message of the President of the United States."
After the reading of the Message, Mr. Foraker, the senior Senator from Ohio, presented the following resolution, for which he asked immediate consideration :
"That a committee of eleven Senators be appointed on the part of the Senate to join such committee as shall be appointed on the part of the House to consider and report by what token of respect and affection it may be proper for the Congress of the United States to express the deep sensibility of the nation to the tragic death of the late President, William McKinley, and that so much of the Message of the President as relates to that deplorable event be referred to such committee."
The resolution was adopted, and then, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late President, the Senate, on motion of Mr. Foraker, adjourned.
In the House on motion of Mr. Grosvenor, that portion of the Message relating to the death of the late President was referred to a committee, to consist of one member from each State and Territory, to join a similar committee of the Senate, to consider and report by what token of respect and affection it may be proper for Congress to express the deep sensibility of the nation to the tragic death of the late President.
It does not seem, from anything in the President's Message, that the issue called “imperialism” is to be given a fresh start or that preposterous imagination accepted as a serious contention. At any rate, there is no purpose in sight to increase the magnitude of the Army and there is no manifestation of alarm that we are below the European standard in numbers of armed men. The President finds promises of peace, saving to "intelligent regard for the rights of others, which will in the end, as we hope and believe, make world wide peace possible. The peace conference at The Hague gave definite expression to this hope and belief and marked a stride toward their attainment. This same peace conference acquiesced in our statement of the Monroe Doctrine as compatible with the purposes and aims of the conference.”
That which is said of the Monroe Doctrine is not put offensively but in plainer terms than have been familiar. He says:
“Just seventy-eight years have passed since President Monroe in his Annual Message announced that‘The American continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power. In other words the Monroe Doctrine is a declaration that there must be no territorial aggrandizement by any non-American power at the expense of any American power on American soil. It is in no wise intended as hostile to any Nation in the Old World. Still less is it intended to give cover to any aggression by one New World power at the expense of any other. It is simply a step, and a long step, toward assuring the universal peace of the world by securing the possibility of permanent peace on this hemisphere.
“During the past century other influences have established the permanence and independence of the smaller states of Europe. Through the Monroe Doctrine we hope to be able to safeguard like independence and secure like permanence for the lesser among the New World Nations.
"This doctrine has nothing to do with the commercial relations of any American power, save that it in truth allows each of them to form such as it desires. In other words, it is really a guaranty of the commercial independence of the Americas. We do not ask under this doctrine for any exclusive commercial dealings with any other American State. We do not guarantee any State against punishment if it misconducts itself, provided that punishment does not take the form of the acquisition of territory by any non-American power.
“Our attitude in Cuba is a sufficient guaranty of our own good faith. We have not the slightest desire to secure any territory at the expense of any of our neighbors. We wish to work with them hand in hand, so that all of us may be uplifted together, and we rejoice over the good fortune of any of them, we gladly hail their material prosperity and political stability, and are concerned and alarmed if any of them fall into industrial or political chaos. We do not wish to see any Old World military power grow up on this continent, or to be compelled to become a military power ourselves. The peoples of the Americas can prosper best if left to work out their own salvation in their own way.”
In this the steady hand of the President, when he aims at the centre of the mark, is distinct. The matter is firm, the form of it respectful to others, the common sense of it plain, and the utility presented in a winning way. There is no swagger here, above all, no suggestion of fighting Europe in Asia on the ground that we are preparing to cover the face of the earth, Asia and Africa included, with the Monroe Doctrine. That formidable purpose was aired in 1900, by public leaders against the McKinley Administration.
If President Roosevelt had proposed to yield our title to the Philippines to any person, faction or tribe in the island, and called the colonization of one or more of the thousand islands, “provoking us to war," he would not have been able to open his remarks about the Army with the satisfactory sentence.. "It is not necessary to increase our Army beyond its present size at this time.” There is need, however, that the Army should be "kept at the highest point of efficiency,” which means that the people provide for a good article, and are entitled to it. We know, from the President's writings about the Cuban war, in his opinion one regiment, in good form and equipped with our magazine rifle, and drilled to a good standard, is equal to three armed and inadequately supplied, black powder and all; as many of those who were sent to Cuba found when they landed and rushed to crush the Spaniards before the yellow fever should help defend the red and yellow flag of Spain.
In discussing the military situation, the President puts in a lesson of wisdom, that is plainly a matter of personal experience. He says:
“The individual units who as officers and enlisted men compose this Army, are, we have good reason to believe, at least as efficient as those of any other army in the entire world. It is our duty to see that their training is of a kind to insure the highest possible expression of power to these units when acting in combination.
“The conditions of modern war are such as to make an infinitely heavier demand than ever before upon the individual character and capacity of the officer and the enlisted man, and to make it far more difficult for men to act together with effect. At present the fighting must be done in extended order, which means that each man must act for himself and at the same time act in combination with others with whom he is no longer in the old-fashioned elbowto-elbow touch. Under such conditions a few men of the highest excellence are worth more than many men without the special skill which is only found as the result of special training applied to men of exceptional physique and moral. But nowadays the most valuable fighting man and the most difficult to perfect is the rifleman who is also a skillful and daring rider."
The President is the highest authority in the world on this subject. He means, in addition to what he says, that the men are shifty in taking care of themselves when hardships thicken. The enlistment of Roosevelt's regiment, that he pushed to the front, and that which followed, made known an element of our military strength that was hardly suspected, and not as now understood to be a substantially available army. He says in his first Presidential Message:
"The American cavalryman, trained to manoeuver and fight with equal facility on foot and on horseback, is the best type of soldier for general purposes now to be found in the world. The ideal cavalryman of the present day is a man who can fight on foot as effectively as the best infantryman, and who is in addition unsurpassed in the care and management of his horse and in his ability to fight on horseback.”
In the President's history Winning the West his account of the charge of General Wayne's mounted men, in the battle with the Indians in the "fallen timbers” on the Maumee river, he gives a thrilling description of the horsemen charging at high speed, winding around trees, jumping those fallen, rushing the red men out of their sheltered places to be run over, put to the sword or shot down, the greater number fleeing in terror to the shelter of the British fort, whose officers were equally astonished and incensed.
The Roosevelt army policy is not to increase the number of men in arms, but their efficacy. A great Navy is, however, recommended, irrespective of the Philippines or the Isthmian canal policy. He says:
“The work of upbuilding the Navy must be steadily continued. No one point of our policy, foreign or domestic, is more important than this to the honor and material welfare, and above all to the peace, of our Nation in the future. Whether we desire it or not, we must henceforth recognize that we have international duties no less than international rights.
“Inasmuch, however, as the American people have nothought of abandoning the path upon which they have entered, and especially in view of the fact that the building of the Isthmian canal is fast becoming one of the matters which the whole people are united in demanding, it is imperative that our Navy should be put and kept in the highest state of efficiency, and should be made to answer to our growing needs. So far from being in any way a provocation to war, an adequate and highly trained Navy is the best guaranty against war, the cheapest and most effective peace insurance. The cost of building and maintaining such a Navy represents the very lightest premium for insuring peace which this Nation can possibly pay."
This is a very handsome example of the President's art and force in putting things. As to the growth of the Navy since 1882, he says: