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system in its operation had undoubtedly handicapped the local machine, when it attempted to dictate the party nominees, but it had also encouraged factional quarrels, weakened the organization's fighting power, and produced a lot of second-rate candidates. Mr. Hanna's own opinion of its effects and defects is expressed in a speech made by him to the Tippecanoe and other Republican clubs on May 11, 1901. He said:— “I have watched very closely the workings of these two plans. As to the Crawford County plan, I have found that its application in the rural districts has resulted very successfully, but in the large cities we must judge theory by practice. The arguments in favor of the convention plan are conclusive. In the cities it is impossible to nominate the best candidates by the direct vote plan. The Crawford County plan does defeat the will of the majority. It has done so time and time again. “The primaries in the city of Cleveland last spring, and in fact for several years, have not been representative of the Republican vote. An enrollment of Republican voters is advocated, but even then we are liable to be imposed upon. There are two things of the utmost importance, which cannot be accomplished under the Crawford County plan—the distribution of candidates, geographically; also the proper recognition of nationalities. Both are very important. The good men of all nationalities should have an opportunity, and they do not have it under the Crawford County plan. Only in a deliberative body, such as a convention, are they given consideration. These impressions come from close observation. Change the plan now, and we will change the trend of things in Cuyahoga County.” Not even Senator Hanna's influence, however, sufficed to make Cleveland Republicans go back to the convention system of nominations. In a democracy nothing is more difficult than to withdraw from the people any power which they have once exercised. While Mr. Hanna was meeting with stumbling blocks in Cleveland, the Republicans in the state accepted his leadership without question. The State Convention assembled in Columbus on June 25, and in it Mr. Hanna was the dominating influence. It is a rule in the politics of Ohio that one good term as Governor deserves another. Mr. George K. Nash had served satisfactorily for two years, and there was no question about his renomination. Senator Foraker was as usual the orator of the occasion, and not even Mr. McKinley's warmest friend could have extolled the administration in more glowing terms. Mr. Hanna may have chafed at times, because he was obliged to coöperate in public politics with a man with whom he was on such bad terms in private, but if so, he may have been consoled, because of the part which Mr. Foraker was obliged to play on formal occasions as official praise-monger for the administration. Mr. Hanna followed Senator Foraker, and in his speech brought the gospel of prosperity down to date. Now that it had really come, how was it to be continued ? Manifestly by continuing to support the party who had brought it about. Only in this way could the newly-made confidence be retained. “The foundation of prosperity is confidence—confidence in the future. The business man, the large operator, if he does business but for to-day and to-morrow only considers to-day and to-morrow. If he is limited to that space of action he governs his actions accordingly, and he only operates for a few hours in advance because he knows not what the future may bring forth. Now, I made it as a statement as infallible as the laws of nature that, in order to sustain present conditions in this country he must have absolute confidence as to what is in store for the future. Therefore, resting upon that foundation of security in our finances, upon the policy which has built us up as a nation, upon the policy which has carried us forward as a progressive nation, the great mass of people will continue to trust those men and that party and adopt it as evidence of security in future operations. It is the operation of that future that makes business. It is the confidence in the future which induces capital to expand and develop and that brings to all classes of labor more work.” As there was no disposition in Ohio to displace the ruling powers, the campaign was not very strenuous. Mr. Hanna himself went on the stump for about ten days just before the election, but he could have spared himself the trouble. The result was a foregone conclusion, if only because of Mr. McKinley's assassination, which had occurred in September. Mr. Nash was reëlected by a plurality of 60,000. The whole Republican state ticket was also elected as well as a safe majority in both Houses of the Legislature—thus assuring Mr. Foraker a second term in the Senate.
During the summer a very good-looking and gay little exposition was being held in Buffalo for the sake ostensibly of celebrating the great fact or cause of Pan-Americanism. President McKinley had been scheduled to pay Buffalo a visit early in September, and he decided to take the opportunity of making a speech which would outline the future policy of the administration. The recent increase in the American exports of manufactured goods had convinced him that the country should enter upon a more liberal commercial policy — one which would promote exports from this country by allowing other countries increasing opportunities of trading in the markets of the United States. According to his usual habit he carefully prepared a speech along the foregoing lines; and just before going to Buffalo he met Mr. Hanna by appointment and they discussed fully the text of the proposed address. The speech was delivered on September 5, and was received with an outburst of approval from practically the entire country.
About four o'clock on the afternoon of the following day, during a popular reception held in one of the Exposition buildings, President McKinley was shot by a demented anarchist. The wound was serious, and all of Mr. McKinley's friends and official family hurried to Buffalo. Among them was Mr. Hanna. There was, of course, nothing to do but wait; and it looked, in the beginning, as if the waiting would not be in vain. The wounded man appeared to be recovering. After several days of apparently uninterrupted progress on the part of the patient, the group of secretaries and friends assembled in Buffalo began to disperse. Mr. Hanna finally decided that he himself could risk a brief absence. The national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was being held in Cleveland during the coming week. His attendance had been promised. He wanted to keep his engagement, because he had just been elected a member of the organization, and a political leader always desires to stand well with the Grand Army.
After making up his mind to risk a short absence, he went to the doctors in attendance on the President, and told them that he was going over to Cleveland to keep an engagement with the Grand Army. He asked them for their very best judgment as to Mr. McKinley's condition so that he could give to his audience absolutely authentic news about their President's and comrade's chances of life. The doctors authorized him to say that Mr. McKinley had passed the critical point of his illness and would live. So he went to Cleveland with a light heart and made his speech, part of which has already been quoted in another connection. Before going on the platform he received by telegraph from the President's secretary, Mr. Cortelyou, a final confirmation of the news—which was announced to the audience and which was received with the liveliest expressions of relief and joy. Few Presidents of the United States have been more sincerely and generally liked than was Mr. McKinley. A committee of Cleveland citizens was formed, which organized and held a meeting of thanksgiving for the President's promised recovery.
That same night, however, Mr. Hanna, who had been exhausted by the strain and fatigues of the last week, was awakened at 2 A. M. by a message from Buffalo that Mr. McKinley's condition had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. By four o'clock he was on his way back to Buffalo in a special train, and when he reached there he found the President's condition actually critical. On the evening of that same day, when the doctors realized that death was a matter only of a few hours, a number of relatives and friends, who were waiting in Mr. John G. Milburn's house, were allowed to have a last look at the dying man. First Mrs. McKinley was shown in, then Abner McKinley, Justice Day and Mr. Hanna. The President was unconscious and barely alive. On no other occasion during the illness was Mr. Hanna allowed to see him. Some days before, the President had inquired: “Is Mark there?” and had been told of his friend's attendance but of the impossibility of any interview. Mr. Hanna was very much touched by this evidence of the sufferer's interest. Although a self-contained man, he utterly broke down after his visit to the sick room and cried like a child.
With almost a dozen other relatives and friends, Mr. Hanna waited in the Milburn library from seven o'clock in the evening until the President's death was announced, almost seven hours later. Early in the night he called to him his secretary, Mr. Dover, Colonel Myron T. Herrick and one or two others, and discussed with them the necessary arrangements for the care and transportation of the body and the funeral. The different parts of the work were divided up among the different members of the party, the necessary coöperation of the railroad officials secured, and all the other details planned. Under such circumstances any action was a relief, and even such painful preparations diminished the distress of the dreadful suspense. About 2 A.M. Mr. Cortelyou announced to the group that death had finally come. Not a word was spoken. They all left the room silently and soon afterwards the house.
The next morning Mr. Hanna arose early, and drove down to the business section of the city. There he interviewed the railroad company's officers, and attended to his share of the necessary arrangements. While returning from the undertaker's he passed the house of Mr. Ansley Wilcox, and noticed in its immediate vicinity an unusual commotion. A number of soldiers, policemen, attendants and by-standers were gathered around the entrance. Suddenly he realized that Mr. Roosevelt had been staying in the house, and that the new President must have been taking the oath of office. Mr. Hanna decided to call. As soon as his presence was announced Mr. Roosevelt invited him in and repeated to him the promise of future policy and behavior which had just been made to the members of the Cabinet. The new President, realizing that he had been elected under the shadow of the dead man, had declared that he proposed to continue unbroken his predecessor's policy and Cabinet. What followed can best be narrated in Mr. Roosevelt's own words.
“In the evening Senator Hanna by arrangement came to call. The dead man had been his closest friend as well as the political leader whom he idolized and whose right hand he himself was. He had been occupying a position of power and influence, because of his joint relationship to the President and Senate, such as no other man in our history whom I can recall ever occupied.