American Boys' Life of William McKinley

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AMERICAN BOYS' LIFE


OF


WILLIAM McKINLEY


BY


EDWARD STRATEMEYER

AUTHOR OF "WITH WASHINGTON IN THE WEST," "ON TO PEKIN"
"THE OLD GLORY SERIES," "SHIP AND SHORE SERIES"
"BOUND TO SUCCEED SERIES," ETC.


ILLUSTRATED BY A. BURNHAM SHUTE

AND FROM PHOTOGRAPHS


BOSTON
LEE AND SHEPARD
1901

Copyright, 1901, by Lee and Shepard.


All Rights Reserved.


The American Boys' Life of William McKinley.


Norwood Press
J. S. Gushing & Co.-Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

American Boys' Life of McKinley p008.jpg

On and on rode Lieutenant McKinley.—(P. 78.)

PREFACE


The life of William McKinley affords a shining example to all American boys of what honesty, perseverance, and a strict attention to duty can accomplish.

The twenty-fifth President of our Nation was born in a humble home, of humble parentage, and had to make his own way in life at an early age. When little more than a boy he taught school for a living, and at the age of eighteen he became a private in the army. He served through the whole of the great Civil War, and so faithful was he and so heroic that he became first a commissary sergeant, next a lieutenant, then a captain, and, finally, left the army a full-fledged major, twenty-two years old.

William McKinley could have remained in the army, and would undoubtedly have risen to a much higher rank had he done so. But this was against his mother's wish, and to please her then, as he had always tried to please her before, he gave up that hope and took to the law. Poor, but persevering, he studied until able to pass his examination, and then set up for himself, in a very humble way, in Canton, Ohio, which from that time on became his home. Here, as a lawyer, he served a term of two years as prosecutor of Stark County, and was a few years later nominated for Congress and elected to that honorable office.

As a congressman McKinley served his State and his Nation well for nearly fourteen years. At the conclusion of that time Ohio wanted a new governor, and McKinley was made such by a large majority of votes. So popular was he that, despite the loss of his private fortune through a friend whom he had endeavored to help, when he came up for reëlection he was kept in the gubernatorial chair by a majority which was as astonishing as it was pleasing to him.

In all his long political career McKinley had been faithful not alone to his party, but also to his friends and to the public at large. Twice he might have had the nomination for the Presidency, but he had given his word to stand up for others and he would not allow that pledge to be broken.

But at last came the time when he stood free to accept the highest office within the gift of the American people. He was made President amid the good wishes of all members of his party, and later on was elected a second time by an increased vote, which showed that many who had formerly opposed him were now his supporters.

Thus it was that this unknown boy, this humble soldier, this obscure lawyer, climbed the ladder of success from the very bottom to the very top, rung by rung, toiling faithfully, conscientiously, and with a strong religious conviction that as long as he did what was right he had no reason to fear for the future. This alone is a lesson which every American youth will do well to remember.

But there are other lessons of equal importance. When William McKinley became President, his aged mother testified to the fact that her son had always been a good boy, that he had never disappointed her, and that she believed he had never told her a lie. Would that every mother in our broad land could say as much of her boy! And when William McKinley married and settled down, his domestic life was above reproach, and thousands can testify to his loving, tender care of a wife who was an invalid for many years.

A character that is so noble and so spotless is certainly well worth studying, and it is for this reason that the author has written this volume, hoping that its perusal will inspire boys to be true to themselves in the best meaning of that saying, doing, as faithfully as they can, all that their hands find to do, and growing up into honest, wide-awake American citizens, to enjoy the prosperity which our departed President did so much to establish.

EDWARD STRATEMEYER.

October 15, 1901.

CONTENTS


CHAPTER I

PAGE

Birth and Birthplace of William McKinley—Ancestry—Early Training—Honesty and Truthfulness—First Days at School

1

Removal to Poland—Life as a Schoolboy—The Debating Society—His Opinion of a Law Case

11

McKinley enters Allegheny College—A Close Student—Sickness and Return Home—Becomes a School Teacher—The Mutterings of Civil War

19

Bombardment of Fort Sumter—McKinley hears the News—The Call for Volunteers—The Enlistment—Off for the War

28

At Camp Chase—The Twenty-third Ohio Infantry and its Officers—A First Engagement—In Battle of South Mountain

36

McKinley at Antietam—Rations for Fighting Soldiers—Made a Second Lieutenant—Morgan's Raid—Capture of the Noted Raider

47

Winter in Camp—Dividing up with the Soldier Boys—A Disagreeable March—Battle of Cloyd Mountain—A Teamster's Tribute

59

The End of a Three Years' Enlistment—McKinley on General Hayes's Staff—Battles at Kernstown and Winchester—A Mission of Life or Death

69

Out of a Dangerous Situation—Made a Captain—Up and down the Shenandoah Valley—An Order from General Crook, and how McKinley carried it out

80

Cutting down the Artillery Horses—Cedar Creek—An Early Morning Surprise—Sheridan's Wonderful Ride—Turning Defeat into Victory

90

McKinley appointed a Major—Closing Scenes of the War—Return to Poland—A Mother's Protest—Farewell to Military Life

103

Back to Ordinary Life—McKinley becomes a Law Student—At Albany Law School—Admission to the Bar—The Young Lawyer's First Case

113

A First Case and its Result—The Miserly Soldier and the Trick he played—How McKinley squared the Account—The Man with the Twisted Leg

124

Taking a Case on the Jump—Talking against Time—The Lost Documents—A High Sense of Honor—Running for his First Office

135

McKinley as Prosecuting Attorney—His First and Only Love—Mrs. McKinley and their Two Little Children—The Home in Canton

145

A Private Lawyer again—A Friend in Need—The Call to Congress—Success at the Polls—His Shining Example

153

McKinley in Congress—His Kindness to a Political Opponent—The Farmer and his Creek—A Defeat almost Equal to a Victory

161

McKinley as a Candidate for Governor—An Interrupted Meeting—Scenes of Childhood—Loss of his Fortune—Mrs. McKinley's Nobility of Character

174

Second Term as Governor—Declines the Nomination for the Presidency—The Convention at St. Louis—Triumph of the Gold Standard

185

Sworn in as President—Death of Nancy McKinley—The Old Soldier's Interview—An Old Colored Woman made Happy

198

Revolution in the Hawaiian Islands—Annexation to the United States—The Troubles in Cuba—Blowing up of the Maine—Fifty Millions of Dollars for the National Defence

206

Opening of the War with Spain—Task of Preparing for the Contest—Dewey's Victory in Manila Bay—Far-reaching Results of this Naval Battle

216

Looking for Cervera's Fleet—The War Room at Washington—The President's Undesirable Visitors—Laying out Campaigns on Land and Sea

224

The President at the Camps—Roosevelt's Rough Riders—The Army's Departure for Cuba—Landing at Baiquiri—Battles of La Guasima, El Caney, and San Juan Hill

233

Blockade of Santiago Bay—Sinking of the Merrimac—"The Enemy is Escaping!"—Destruction of the Spanish War-ships—End of the War with Spain

244

The Situation in the Philippines—Fall of Manila—President McKinley's Views—Campaigns against Malolos and San Isidro

252

Additional Campaigns in the Philippines—McKinley's Reëlection to Office—The Troubles in China—Capture of Tien-Tsin

261

Relief of the Legations in Pekin—The President's Views on China—Capture of Aguinaldo—His Peace Manifesto—The President's Trip to the West

271

The Pan-American Exposition—The President's Last Speech—The Temple of Music—The Assassination—Last Words of a truly Great Man

281

Tribute of a Nation—The Funeral and Final Resting-place

290

APPENDIX

A. Last Public Address297

B. Chronology of William McKinley309

ILLUSTRATIONS


On and on rode Lieutenant McKinley (p. 78)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Frontispiece
PAGE
Birthplace of William McKinley, Niles, Ohio
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
And, in his stocking feet, William McKinley took the chair
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17
Sergeant McKinley delivering rations on the firing line
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
50
Major McKinley greeting his mother
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
110
Mrs. McKinley
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
149
McKinley as student, soldier, lawyer, and congressman
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
160
William McKinley
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
174
"Billy McKinley, the rider of the bobtailed nag!" shouted the old soldier
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
196
The White House
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
198
"An' he give my hand a hot squeeze"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
204
President Roosevelt
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
237
McKinley delivering his speech of acceptance
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
266
The second inaugural address
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
274
Temple of Music, Buffalo
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
284
McKinley's residence at Canton, Ohio—The Milburn house—Tomb at Westlawn Cemetery
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
294


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1930, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.