“‘They call a trip of this kind a vacation;’ then with a countenance of sudden gravity he added: ’We no sooner get through one great question than another comes.’ It made me think of the tension on the President’s mind at that time. There was the Venezuelan question. There were suggestions of war with England, and then there was the Cuban matter with suggestions of war with Spain, and all the time the overshadowing financial questions.
“During our conversation the President referred to the conditions ever and anon inflicted upon him by newspaper misrepresentations, particularly those of inebriety, of domestic quarrels, of turning Mrs. Cleveland out of doors at night so that she had to flee for refuge to the house of Dr. Sunderland, my pastoral associate, passing the night there; and then the reports that his children were deaf and dumb, or imbecile, when he knew I had seen them and considered them the brightest and healthiest children I had known.
“All these attacks and falsehoods concerning the President and his family I saw hurt him as deeply as they would any of us, but he is in a position which does not allow him to make reply. I assured him that he was only in the line of misrepresentation that had assailed all the Presidents, George Washington more violently than himself, and that the words cynicism, jealousy, political hatred, and diabolism in general would account for all. I do think, however, that the factories of scandal had been particularly busy with our beloved President. They were running on extra time.
“If I were asked who
among the mighty men at Washington has most
impressed me with elements of power I would say Grover Cleveland.
“June 25, 1896. It seems now that Major McKinley, of Canton, Ohio, will be elected President of the United States. I was in Canton about three weeks ago and called at Major McKinley’s house. He was just starting from his home to call on me. He presided at the first lecture I delivered at Canton in 1871. On my recent visit he recalled all the circumstances of that lecture, remembering that he went to my room afterwards in the hotel, and had a long talk with me, which he said made a deep impression upon him.
“My visit at Canton three weeks ago was to lecture. Major McKinley attended and came upon the platform afterwards to congratulate me. He is a Christian man and as genial and lovable a man as I ever met.”
“September 21, 1897.
Had a most delightful interview with President
McKinley in the White House.
“I congratulated him
on the peaceful opening of his administration.
“‘Yes! I hope it is not the calm before a storm.’