Page images

President, in the words that defined a common purpose, and there had been no communication between them looking to speaking with one voice.

That which happened within four months in two changes in the Cabinet, was not unexpected. The general policy of the Republican party was to be pursued. Still, great changes, not in principle, but in ways and means largely, were unavoidable, for the hands of the President must be free, within the obligations of the Constitution, or the indispensable characteristic individualities wanting. The executive office was not placed by the Fathers in the hands of a committee. A man is foremost and first, and the balances of power are the models of free institutions.

There has been, within recent years, perceptible growth in the functions of Senators, who have—if an expression borrowed from classification in colleges may be applied-placed themselves in the Senior Class. The duty of the Senate to confirm appointments and treaties, has given Senators, by accretion of influence, a share in the appointing power; and the appearance of Senators at the White House, on errands other than pertaining to reformationrather to appointment and confirmation-have been frequently remarked. It was President McKinley's way to be courteous to all callers. He did not discriminate in a marked degree against those who distinguished themselves by misconstruction of his motives and misrepresentation of his policy. There is a keen self-appreciation by the Senators, and some were apprehensive of the coming of Roosevelt, and pained to think they might have to lead a "strenuous life" that would impair the calm they coveted. However, they found the severe decorum of the Vice-President, in the high chair of the representatives of the States reassuring.

There is another body that has had augmentation of consequence within the generation since the War of the States. It is the Cabinet. General Sherman, taking his place on the stand with President Johnson and his Cabinet, when, he had led the army of the West, that marched to the sea, from the Ohio, and then from Savannah to the Potomac, and across the long bridge, was passing the point of official review, declined to respond to the friendly salutation rendered by Secretary Stanton, on the ground that he did not feel like grasping the hand of a “clerk."

The development of the Senate and the Cabinet, is no more or less than evidence of the increase of the dimensions of the country and its weight in the world. There has been far more for the President to do within the last decade than ever before; and in the multiplicity and magnitude of details of business, the Administration of President McKinley has exceeded all precedent. Never before was it necessary for the attention of the President to be called to make so many decisions of moment-called often from bed in the middle of the night to hear news that he must act upon at once. Telegrams from all parts of the country, and remote as well as near Nations, simplified but increased his discharge of responsibilities. As an example, study the archives in which tens of thousands of telegrams are found, as they were sent from and received by all the Departments and the squadrons and camps, noting continually the words that are last and count first are from the President, and how promptly they were rendered into orders.

The Cabinet, like the Senate, accept with general satisfaction a large and increasing responsibility. These words apply, not to Cabinet and Senate only, but to both Houses of Congress. The House directly representative of the people is more and more asserting itself, in executive responsibilities and the more carefully this is observed, the more clearly appear the realities of our representative form of Government.

In all Mr. Roosevelt's official positions, and expounded in his books and public addresses, are prominent, his views on all public questions, arisen within twenty years, distinguished by conspicuity before the country. They are notorious and met without faltering. His Administration as Governor is full of unmistakable messages and memoranda, speeches, addresses and records of official acts, touching, not tentatively but trenchantly, all the multitude of questions upon which the President is profoundly busied; and there is not a “problem” before the people, and will not be two years from this, that President Roosevelt has not written about so freely that what he thinks of the solution has been stated frequently and positively. There is hardly an issue that can come up during his Administration of the Presidential office, upon which his consistent course is not marked out in strong English, with no mental reservation, and his officially published papers. The highest testimonials of his fitness for the Presidency are found in his record as Governor.

The man of the few years and many experiences of President Roosevelt -his activity in meeting all responsibilities, his force of character that evolves leadership and broadens opportunity, his aptitude in finding out the vital points in executive decision—we may count without misgiving that Roosevelt will, as President, keep pace with the progress of the country, and gain with the confidence of the people their affection.

The anarchists of America murdered the most kindly man of his time. If their object in dooming McKinley to death was to make an impression by the slaughter of a man without enemies, the gentlest and most lovable of all rulers of men, they made no mistake in the selection of a victim. The murder was absolutely merciless. That in itself is the challenging warning the Republic has received. The President mortally wounded forgave the assassin and was comforted, as he died, by the spirit of resignation and forgiveness. His life was full of love; his death the testimony. President Roosevelt said in his message to Congress, "No man will ever be restrained from becoming President by any fear as to his personal safety. If the risk to the President's life became greater, it would mean that the office would more and more come to be filled by men of a spirit which would make them resolute and merciless in dealing with every friend of disorder.”

The anarchists are much given to writing, and they have secret channels of circulation, for their productions, and know how to seem brave by keeping just out of harm's way. They have been writing to the President—"open letters”—and were good enough to make up a large list of themselves by writing freely to the assassin, executed as soon as the law permitted, in the State of New York. An anarchist sheet is responsible or irresponsible for a letter covering a page, and it is described as a carefully worded note of "warning and defiance.” Of course, the anarchist attacks the President's logic. He says of the message:

"While you indulge in profuse abuse of the anarchists, you have in this same document practically admitted one of our fundamental contentions. In the paragraph following the subject of anarchy you say in congratulating the nation on the abounding prosperity that 'such prosperity can never be created by law alone, although it is easy enough to destroy it by mischievous laws.'

Then, again, that “The logical deduction from the passage, that if ‘men of a spirit which would make them resolute and merciless in dealing with every friend of disorder' are desirable as presidents—your attitude leaves us to infer that they are—the best way to place them in office is to assassinate the president as often as possible in order to bring about this result. The anarchist does not hold that assassination will abolish government, but so long as murder is indulged in from the top and misery is rampant in society it is inevitable that such methods will be resorted to occasionally from the bottom.”

“The letter is not written," they add, “with the expectation of staying your policy, nor to defy you. It is too much to expect that intelligence will appeal to you; and there is no satisfaction in defying blind prejudice. But understand that neither your prisons nor penal colonies will stop the onward march of our ideas. We would welcome a refuge from all the governments of earth which could be made a real asylum for the outcast and oppressed. But even if you should deport to the most barren rocks the adherents of anarchism, do not think that the dial of progress can be turned back. Persecution will drive from our ranks some few who are unable to stand in the storm—it is not a fact which will be regretted by us. But it will also bring to our ranks those resolute lovers of truth who in all ages have with their own blood fed the lamp of liberty and reason.

"The Paris commune was drowned in the blood of 30,000 human beings, but even today the intelligent prolietaire looks back to that grand uprising with inspiration and hope."


In claiming that the communists were anarchists, injustice is done the believers in Commune government, which in Paris is merely that the mob shall own the city and rule France. The letter of the anarchist closes with references to hanging of the Chicago anarchists, saying: "In the words of August Spies, “We are the birds of the coming storm.'”.

Spies was the author of the terrible tirades, that in the form of poster proclamations called for bloodshed in Chicago. He was totally deceived as to the forces he could command, and of the worst type of malignant visionary.

Of the city of Chicago, Colonel Roosevelt, speaking before the latest murder of a President, said:

"I am in all my feelings national, and neither local nor sectional, and I am happy to add, parenthetically, I am not in the least cosmopolitan, and it is a pleasure for me to speak to you of Chicago, because Chicago is intensely. and typically an American city. Of recent years, Chicago has done two things because of which she deserves well of the whole nation; has put down and punished (even if not altogether adequately) two foul, foreign conspiracies, which were hatched in her midst; dealt with the anarchist dynamite throwers as they deserved and also dealt with, though not as thoroughly as they deserved, the members of a foreign dynamite society, who, on account of a factional quarrel, had murdered an American citizen. I have full faith that any future offenders of the same sort will be visited with even prompter and severer punishment, whether they are found in the ranks of the anarchists on one hand, or of the Clan-na-Gael or some kindred organization, on the other."

This seems to meet the case about as completely and conclusively as possible. The lessons of history are not vague. We have stated of Spies that he was deceived by imperial dreams into the belief that a few dynamite bombs would be sufficient to destroy Empire, but he died on the gallows with a fanatical affectation of triumph, but his death can hardly be an encouraging circumstance.

The error the anarchists have fallen into respecting our Government is one in which they are not alone. They have not come to the understanding that should be common to civilization, to the effect that a Republic is far stronger than a Monarchy to deal with disorder, no matter what the disturbance is called. There is no blotting out a dynasty in this country. The dealing with anarchy by the United States will be infinitely more searching and the punishment more severe and sweeping, than any government in Europe has undertaken. Our troop ships on the Pacific could be used to clear out all the known groups of those who profess destruction as a doctrine, to live by themselves, watched by a gunboat or two, “stewing in their own juice,” as Bismarck said of professional disorderlies.

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »