McKINLEY, President William

Bust-length facing left. Charcoal, heightened with white, on cardboard, 22.1/4″ x 18.1/8″ (56.5 cm x 46 cm), signed and dated lower right ‘A. Muller-Ury, Washington 9ber 1899’

Adolfo Muller-Ury Stiftung, Hospental, Switzerland

The sitter was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio, became a teacher and then enlisted as a private in the army in 1861, where he was given an award by President Lincoln for gallantry in battle, March 13, 1865. After the Civil War he trained as a lawyer in Ohio and in Albany, being admitted to the Bar in 1867, settling in Canton, Ohio. He married Ida Saxton in 1871. He then entered politics and was a member of Congress 1876-91, and re-elected in 1893. Although supported for office of President at the Republican convention of 1892 he chose to support re-nomination of Benjamin Harrison. However, in St. Louis on June 18th, 1896 he received 661 of the 905 votes for the Presidential nomination. He was finally elected President of the United States in November 1896, this being repeated in June 1900 by an increased number of votes. His administration focused on American indignation over conditions in Spanish Cuba which led to war with Spain and the eventual surrender of the Phillipines, Puerto Rico and Guam to American control.  He was assassinated in office as President at Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901.


Margaret Leech, In the Days of McKinley, 1959

Howard W. Morgan, William McKinley and his America, 1964

Charles S. Olcott, The Life of William McKinley, 2 Vols., 1916

William C. Spielman, William McKinley, 1954

Presumably the first sketch which the artist made of the President in November 1899.