Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 191, 1901

Diary/Regarding President McKinley's Widow


[Late September] 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in WM 338-339.

I am not able to sleep past two o'clock a.m. I am often awakened at one o'clock at night with my heart drawn out in tender sympathy for the bereaved wife of President McKinley. One is taken and the other left. The strong one upon whose large affections she could ever lean [is not]. While [he was] in health, fulfilling the duties of his office, an apparently friendly hand was extended, which President McKinley was ready to grasp. That Judas hand held a pistol and shot the President. Amid scenes of pleasant life and enjoyment came sorrow and sadness and suffering and woe. How could he do this terrible murderous action? 16LtMs, Ms 191, 1901, par. 1

My heart is in deep sympathy for the one who is left. I have been repeating over and over, Oh, how short come all words of human sympathy. There are thousands that would speak words to relieve, if possible, the breaking heart, but they do not understand how feeble are words to comfort the bereaved one, who in her feebleness ever found in her husband a human heart, full of tenderness and compassion and love. The strong human arm, upon which the frail, suffering wife leaned, is not. 16LtMs, Ms 191, 1901, par. 2

I wish not that our sister should have less regret and less love for the faithful husband, but that she should now look to her best Friend, One whose love has been expressed to her all her life long. I would speak to her [the words of] Isaiah 61:1-3: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” 16LtMs, Ms 191, 1901, par. 3