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Matthew Stanley Quay, 




Matthew Stanley Ouay 


Wednesday, March 22, 1905. 





Honorable Matthew Stanley Ouay 



Wednesday, March 22, 1905. 

In the Senate, 
Tuesday, January 3, 1905. 

On motion, .crfr^Senator'White, the following resolu- 
tion was twice read, considered, and agreed to : 

Whereas, Since the adjournment of this Senate the 
Honorable Matthew Stanley Quay, senior Senator 
from Pennsylvania in the Senate of the United States, 
has been called away from the scene of his earthly 
labors and achievements ; and 

Whereas, In his life, he rendered to his native State 
conspicuous tmd invaluable services as a member of 
the General Assembly, as a soldier in the Civil War, 
as Secretary of the Commonwealth, as State Treas- 
urer and as her representative in the Senate of the 
United States for many years, thus winning for him- 


Memorial Services. 

self one of the foremost places among the citizens and 
statesmen of his State and country; therefore, 

Resolved, That the Senate at a day to be fixed here- 
after, shall hold suitable memorial services in honor 
of this distinguished son and citizen of the Common- 
wealth and that a committee of three be appointed to 
arrange the order of the said memorial services, and 
out of respect to his memory the Senate do now ad- 



Held in honor of the late Matthew Stanley Quay, in the Hall of the 

House of Representatives, Wednesday evening, March 

twenty-second, one thousand nine hundred 

and live, President of the Senate, 

Lieutenant Governor William 

M. Brown in the Chair. 

The PRESIDENT of the Senate announces the 
joint convention will come to order and will be opened 
by the Chaplain of the Senate by reading, first, a les- 
son from the Scriptures. 

REV. J. WESLEY SULLIVAN, Chaplain of the 
Senate, read the twenty-third Psalm as follows : 

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. 

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He 
leadeth me beside the still waters. 

"He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths 
of righteousness for His name's sake. 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with 
me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. 

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence 
of mine enemies ; Thou anointest my head with oil ; 
my cup runneth over. 

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the 
days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the 
Lord forever." 


Memorial Services. 

now be led in prayer by the Chaplain of the Senate. 


THE CHAPLAIN: Oh, Lord, our God, we thank 
Thee that w^e can come into Thy presence under all 
circumstances of life. W'c thank Thee that we can 
come together in this memorial service this night and 
call back to our memories the one who has passed 
away, a prince of the leaders of men in the great ])ath- 
way of Hfc. W'c come to thank thee, dear God, for 
this great life and the lessons which it presents to us, 
teaching us that Thou doest not only call by death 
those in the humljle walks of life, but those in the 
highest sphere; that death is no respecter of persons 
— we don't know who will be the next to answer the 
call. Grant that we may receive from the lessons that 
will be presented to us that helpfulness that will en- 
courage us and make us better and nobler in life, and 
notwithstanding our loss, we recognize Thy good- 
ness to the departed. We thank Thee that he pos- 
sessed the greatest heritage of life, that of being bom 
of humble, consecrated Christians, parents that were 
followers of Thee, for after all, O God, the greatest 
blessing of life is that of being born aright. We thank 
Thee that Thou didst give him such a companion 
in life to be his helpmate and to encourage him in all 
the interests of his life, and we ask that Thy special 
blessing may rest upon the widow who only a few 
weeks ago at the grave, 'midst all the manifestations 
of honor and respect, said that last farewell to her 
companion of life. Enter into her life to-night as 
never before, and we ask Thee for tlie scmis and daugh- 
ters that 1diou didst give to this man and this woman 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 

as they think of their noble father and the great herit- 
age that he has left them, may it be an impulse to 
them of right living that will be pleasing in Thy sight. 
We thank Thee, dear God, for his work for the nation. 
We thank Thee for his life in this Commonwealth, 
and we ask that the people of this State and our Gov- 
ernor and those associated for the welfare of this Com- 
monwealth may receive Thy richest favor and bless- 
ing, and we ask that those who have been associated 
with him in the political life and in the affairs of this 
State and nation, that they may catch the spirit of the 
man, and upon those on whom his mantle has fallen 
to carry out his great w^ork may there descend that 
wisdom which cometh from on high. We ask now 
that Thy favor and blessing may be upon all of us in 
divine presence. Pardon all our sins and direct us 
in all our ways of life until the day dawn, the shadows 
flee away, and we ask it all for Christ's sake. Amen. 

bers of the Senate and House of Representatives, 
Ladies and Gentlemen : Upon me has fallen the duty 
and the privilege of presiding over the details of this 
service in memory of him whom we meet to-night 
to honor. This is the day and the hour fixed by the 
Legislature of the great Commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania to commemorate in a memorial service the 
death of one of the greatest characters, if not the 
greatest, that our Commonwealth has produced. 
The President and members of this joint assembly 
and millions of others in Pennsylvania stand with un- 
covered heads and sad hearts in the presence of the 
great and solemn fact that he has forever been taken 
away from those stirring scenes of life wherein for 
more than forty years he stood as one of the most dis- 

Memorial Services. 

tinguished sons and central figures of our great Com- 
monwealth. It is fitting that these services should be 
held here upon this hill. Here was the center around 
which gathered all those stirring events that contri- 
buted to the great fact that Senator Quay, starting 
as a poor boy in Beaver rose up the ladder of fame 
until he stepped upon the highest round of that lad- 
der, and stands to-day enshrined in the hearts not 
alone of Pennsylvanians, but of loyal people through- 
out the length and breadth of this land, enshrined in 
a memory that shall never fade as long as history is 
read. It is fitting that here amidst these scenes mem- 
orial services should be held in honor of one who as 
loving husband, kind father, faithful friend, splendid 
statesman, brave and patriotic soldier, always did his 
duty upon every occasion, whether amidst the small 
and trivial duties of life, or sitting all day upon his 
horse, upon the frightful field of Fredericksburg doing 
what he could in his humble, human way, in order that 
the fairest emblem of human power that ever deco- 
rated any sky might still adorn the blue dome that 
bends above this our dear God favored land. 

It is fitting, too, that here should be heard falling 
from the lips of his life-long friend, the great jurist, 
and the splendid Governor of Pennsylvania, words of 
conmiemoration and commendation of that great 
patient character whom a true and noble American 
woman was proud to call husband, bright and loving 
children delighted to call father, tens of thousands of 
patriotic Pennsylvanians earnestly and lovingly called 
friend, and millions of manhood loving Americans 
were glad to acknowledge as one of the most forceful 
and fair characters that ever adorned American public 
life. He who is more able than anyone within the 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 

confines of her borders to perform this splendid task 
and tell the story of the great deeds and the noble 
virtues of him in whose honor we meet to-night will 
address yon. I now have the great pleasure of in- 
troducing to you the one who will deliver the only 
address upon this occasion, the Governor of Penn- 
svlvania, Samuel W. Pennypacker. 


address by 
Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker, 

Governor of Pennsvlvania. 


12 Memorial Services. 

Matthew Stanley Quay. 

"He reads much; 
He is a great observer and he looks 
Quite through the deeds of men." 

Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II. 

In the township of Schuylkill, in the county of Ches- 
ter, in this State, within two miles of the Valley Forge, 
and within half a mile of the famous colonial mansion 
known as Moore Hall, whence William Moore rode 
forth as a colonel into the French and Indian War, 
a rill of water starting in a spring along the slope of 
a hill finds its way to the Pickering Creek which a 
mile beyond empties into the River Schuylkill. There 
is no habitation in sight, but over the spring stands 
a dilapidated stone spring house and beside the rill 
are the trunks of some cherry trees which fruited 
along ago. On a broken limb the robin unalarmed 
sings his note of hope, and on the decaying roof the 
red squirrel undisturbed sits to crack his nut. At this 
spot, now wild and deserted, blue with the violet and 
yellow with the dandelion, James Anderson, the 
earliest know^n American ancestor of ]\Tatthew Stan- 
ley Quay, built a rude log cabin in 1713 and became 
the pioneer settler in that region of country. His 
life had its chapter of romance. Born on the Isle of 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 13 

Skye, in Scotland, as a youth he found his way to 
America, went to work for a Quaker preacher and 
miher of means hving in the Chester Valley, eloped 
with the daughter of his employer and brought her 
here to be his wife and companion in the woods. 
Their only neighbors w^re the Delaware Indians, 
who were near and friendly. When their oldest boy, 
Patrick, came into the world, later to be a captain in 
the French and Indian War, a member of the Penn- 
sylvania xAssembly, a major in Wayne's Regiment in 
the Revolution, and Commander of the Pennsylvania 
Musketry Battalion after the battle of Long Island, 
he was at times suckled by an Indian squaw while his 
mother trudged across the Valley Hills to visit her old 
home. Nearly two hundred years afterwards, the 
great grandson of this colonial and revolutionary sol- 
dier arose in his seat in the United States Senate and 
compelled compliance by the National Government 
with contracts, spurned and forgotten by every one 
else, which were for the benefit of the Delaware In- 
dians in their reservation to the west of the Mississippi. 
What manner of man was this who alone had the will 
to take up the cause of the friendless, the strength to 
make his efforts successful, and who refused to per- 
mit two centuries of time to weaken an obligation ? 

Matthew Stanley Quay in his character and work 
was a purely American product. To say that he was 
a typical Pennsylvanian does not much narrow the 
proposition, for Henry Adams has truly written: 'Tf 
the American Union succeeded, the good sense, liber- 
ality and democratic spirit of Pennsylvania had a right 
to claim credit for the result." It has ever been the 
policy of the American government, following the ex- 
ample set by Penn in 1682, to open wide the doors 

14 Memorial Services. 

for the inponr of ])cople of other lands endeavoring 
to escape Ironi the rigidity of institutions and conven- 
tionahties at home, and it is to be hoped this Hberality 
may have long continuance. Nevertheless he has a 
strong incentive to patriotic effort and feels a keener 
interest in the welfare of both Commonwealth and 
nation, who may look back to the participation of 
his forefathers in the early trials and struggles of the 
people. "A human life," wrote George Eliot, "should 
be well rooted in some spot of a native land." 

Major Patrick Anderson married Ann Beaton, sis- 
ter of Col. John Beaton, as deft in penmanship as he 
was vigorous with the sword, who through the whole 
period of the Revolution performed effective service 
in the military affairs of Chester county. Joseph 
Quay wooed and won their daughter, and, with com- 
mendable pride named his son Anderson Beaton 
Quay and trained him to l)ecome a clergyman in the 
Presbyterian Church. 

The inheritance to which Matthew Stanley Quay 
succeeded was one of honorable traditions and little 
substance. No great career ever began under more 
unpropitious auspices and no leader of men ever de- 
pended less upon mere adventitious and personal ad- 
vantages. He was l:)orn September 30, 1833, in Dills- 
burg, York county, where his father then had a 
church, a village which even to-day has a population 
of only seven hundred and thirty-two persons. The 
family income probably never exceeded $800.00 a 
year. He was short in stature, meagre in form and 
had no presence likely to impress the ordinary ob- 
server. His voice had so little volume that he 
shunned public speech. A weakened muscle per- 
mitted one eyelid to droop and seemed to those to 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 15 

whom the cause was unknown to give warning of 
a certain subtlety. A tendency to puhiionary trou- 
ble, which had brought death to many of the imme- 
diate household, was an ever present threat from early 
manhood to late maturity. At the age of seventeen 
years, he was graduated from Jefferson College, at 
twenty-one he was admitted to the bar, and two years 
later became prothonotary of Beaver county. So 
freighted and so equipped he entered upon the strug- 
p-les of a life beset from start to finish with tumultuous 
storm and unrelenting strife. 

The task which nature in its adaptation of means to 
necessary ends had fitted him to perform, or toward 
which the current and pressure of events swept him, 
or, if it be preferred, which he, impelled by the instinct 
for the exercise of conscious power, as some birds 
take to the water and others to the air, set for himself, 
was one of high importance and of vast complication 
and difficulty. Seldom in the history of the world 
have the forces which make for the advancement of 
the people been set in motion or directed by those 
charged wdth the functions of government. The 
ruler, whether hereditary or selected, is apt to be a 
conservative, satisfied with the conditions which have 
led to his elevation and interested that they should be 
continued. It might be written of the uncrowned 
kmg of many other lands beside Miletus that 

"He had grown so great 
The throne was lost behind the subject's shadow." 

It was no King of Prussia, but Count Bismarck 
who brought about the consolidation of the German 
Empire. In the struggle of England with Erance 
for supremacy, it was not George III, but William 
Pitt who welded the forces which finally led to the 

16 Memorial Services. 

Gvcrllirow of tlie Corsican. 1 Tow many of us can tell 
which one of the Ijourbons was King of r ranee in the 
time of Cardinal Ivichelieu? There is a catalogue of 
the Kings of England. It is printed in the histories 
and perhaps the children are still compelled to learn 
it by rote, as they certainly at one time were, but the 
men whose characters left their impress upon the de- 
termining events in the development of English life 
and institutions were Becket and Wolsey, Shaftes- 
bury and Clarendon, Disraeli and Gladstone. In the 
main the rulers who have been potent factors in shap- 
ing" the destinies of their time have been those who 
like Caesar, Cromwell and Naooleon grasped sceptres, 
set themselves upon thrones and established dynasties. 
The experience of other countries has been repeated 
in America because it is an evolution, the outcome of 
laws more permanent than any system of government, 
deep seated as nature itself, which influence all human 
institutions. Alexander Hamilton, Albert Gallatin, 
Thaddeus Stevens and many others of a type entirely 
familiar to the student of our affairs, never reached 
the Presidency of the United States, but they formu- 
lated measures and dictated policies to an extent 
which few Presidents have been able to equal. When 
we reflect that the President is elected for a term of 
only four years, the Governors of the States for a term 
of from one to four years, a period entirely too brief to 
])ermit the acquisition of accurate knowledge and 
that they reach these positions only through the nom- 
inations of political parties, it must be plain that men 
will arise who, i)ossessing the capacity, devoting 
themselves to the study of ])ublic interests and the 
methods of advancing them, acquiring the skill and 
proficiency which come with experience, exercise a 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 17 

dominating- influence in public affairs. Fortunately 
they succeed only by a scjrt of divine right and hold 
their power only so long as they serve the public 
need. No other steep is so hard to climb and the 
foothold upon no other crest is so precarious. He 
who reaches the height is a mental athlete and he who 
holds it a marvel of capacity. We give our plaudits 
to the successful general who can command an army 
of a hundred thousand troops, but he has the power 
of life and death to enable him to enforce discipline. 
We W'Onder at the organization of a great railroad sys- 
tem, but every employe knows that the livelihood of 
his wife and children depend upon his attention to 
the orders given him. What are we to think of him 
who without any of these means of control prevails 
upon a million of men to forget their diverse views 
and interests and to work together for a common 
political purpose? Such masters of statecraft, in 
other lands and in earlier days in this country, were 
called statesmen and were honored for their achieve- 
ments. That we have become so prone of recent 
years to apply to them opprobrious epithets only 
shows that we are beginning to forget the philosophy 
of our institutions and to be weary of the system of 
government handed down to us by the fathers. 

In the capacity for the building up and the mainte- 
nance of political forces and for their application to 
the accomplishment of public ends, it may well be 
doubted whether the country ever before produced 
the equal of Mr. Quay. From the time of his election 
to the olhce of State Treasurer in 1885, down until 
his death on the 28th of May, 1904. pul)lic and politi- 
cal results in this State may be said to have rested 
upon his decision. During this long period, every 

18 Memorial Services. 

means which hiinian ing-eiuiity could devise and un- 
limited resources could bring to bear was used to 
overthrow his influence. Coalitions between shrewd 
politicians seeking for substantial reward, heated 
zealots and earnest reformers, looking backward to 
the golden age and forward to Utopia, exerted their 
energies without effect. Men whom he had trained 
and who had gathered information as his allies were 
secured to do battle against him only to meet discom- 
fiture. Scandal intended to be harmful to the State 
and to him, disseminated far beyond the State's bor- 
ders, seemed only to give him strength. Even the 
processes of the criminal court of Philadelphia w^ere 
invoked bv his enemies and in vain. Thrifty commer- 
cialism reaching out to grasp the Senatorship clutched 
the empty air. His final reliance was ever upon the 
confidence of the people. The bourgeoisie and the 
men in blouses never failed him. When in 1885, the 
l)olitical powers then in control decreed his retirement, 
he announced instead his candidacy for a high State 
oflice and he won. Ten years later seemingly over- 
whelming forces united to wrest from him the con- 
trol -of the organization of his party. They included 
the Governor, the mayor of Philadelphia, the party 
organizations in Philadelphia and Pittsburg and the 
strongest corporate influences in the State. The ini- 
tial step was an effort to secure the chairmanship of 
the State Committee and they suggested for the posi- 
tion a gentleman long identified with Mr. Quay in 
political movements. Mr. Quay picked up the glove 
and announced that he himself would contest for the 
chairmanship. No such political battle was ever be- 
fore or since waged in America. Neither Marlbor- 
ough, nor P)Onapartc ever contended with such odds 

Hon. Matthe-iV Stanley Quay. 19 

in opposition. But to nse his own metaphor, he ca"r- 
ried the "tiery cross" from Philadelphia to Erie, the 
very audacity of the movement brought the people to 
his support and again he won. None but a real leader 
among men so compels adverse circumstances to 
yield to his will. And when he went physically fee- 
ble, tottering toward his grave, cjuiet had settled over 
all factions and there were none to dispute his mas- 

In Southey's poem of the Battle of Blenheim, when 
little Peterkin asked : 

"But what good came of it at last?" 
the answer was 

"Why that I cannot tell, said he. 
But 'twas a famous victory." 

No such reply can be given by the political leader. 
Mere success, no matter how much we admire the 
skill and the prowess, can never be a justification. 
While he may be excused from adopting the standards 
of the idealist and from pursuing methods wdiich are 
impracticable and lead to inevitable failure, the wel- 
fare of the community and the improvement of pub- 
lic life are the objects for which parties arise and gov- 
ernments are instituted, and unless these ends be 
served the outcome is a barren waste. The work of 
Mr. Quay must be subjected at last to this test. The 
majority for the Repul^lican candidate for President 
in this State in 1888, the first presidential election 
after Mr. Quay became recognized as the leader of 
liis party, was 79,458, and the majority for the Repub- 
lican candidate for President in the year of his death 
had risen to 505,519. In other words, during the 
course of his career, the people of the Commonwealth 

20 Memorial Services. 

were rai)i(lly drifting' into accord with liis political 
views. It at least shows that they were not dissatis- 
fied with prevailing conditions. It may be open to 
dispnte as to whether or not the principles of one 
political party are more nearly correct than those oi 
another, but this much is certain that those of the Re- 
publican party have controlled the affairs of the nation 
throughout a long period of great growth and pros- 
perity, and that Pennsylvania has been their most pro- 
nounced and assured advocate and exponent. In 
1885 her indebtedness amounted to $17,972,683.28 
and since that time it has been entirely liquidated ex- 
cept as to a comparatively small amount not due and 
covered by moneys in the Sinking Fund. Her rev- 
enues are more than twice those of the nation at the 
time Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase. She 
taxes no man's farm or home. Mr. Quay himself as 
chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of 
the House carried into operation the act freeing real 
estate from taxation and resulting in the system of 
collecting her revenues from the corporations of the 
State, a system studied with benefit by those respon- 
sible for the financial methods of Massachusetts, New" 
"^'ork and Virginia. She expends more every year 
for the support of the public schools than any other 
State. W here else on earth is there a people more 
prosperous, contented and happy? Her laborers re- 
ceive in comparison with those of other lands and 
other states remunerative compensation and her pro- 
prietors dissipate the surplus of their large fortunes 
in l)uilding universities in Chicago and libraries over 
the world. The management of her affairs has been 
in the main cleanly and eflicient and conducted with 
a spirit so liberal that many of her judges, for a long 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 21 

time the State Librarian, and throtigh three adminis- 
trations the Superintendent of her Schools, directing 
the annual expenditure of $6,000,000, have been 
retained in office, though of opposite political faith. 
In what other State is there the evidence of such ad- 
vanced political thought? She has had sufficient 
breadth of view to give attention to correct sentiment 
and even to aesthetics. Monuments have been 
erected on distant battlefields to commemorate the 
bravery of her soldiers. She preserved the field of 
Gettysburg and after making it a Valhalla and mark- 
ing it with a care unknown elsewhere, she gave it into 
the custody of the nation. She has established a park 
at Valley Forge that the tenacious courage of the 
American Revolutionary soldiers may not be forgot- 
ten. She has taken means to preserve and cultivate 
her forests. She protects the game in her woods and 
the fish in her waters. No one of these movements 
could have succeeded without the support of Mr. 
Quay and many of them had their origin in his direct 
intervention. In tnat impressive speech in the 
Academy of Music in 1901, wherein he prophetically 
announced that his political race was run, and pathe- 
tically declared: "I have many friends to remember, 
I have no enemies to punish," he did not forget the 
cause of higher education and made this appeal for 
the University of Pennsylvania: "The State and the 
people of Pennsylvania should cherish it and make of 
it, as they can, the first tem])le of science in the 

The time came when the personal influence of Wx. 
Ouav. apart from tliat of tlie State in whose councils 
he was so potent, was exerted in national aft'airs. In 
1887, he took his seat in the United States Senate. 

22 Memorial Services. 

To an extent equalled by few other American States- 
men, he permanently affected the development of our 
national life. For a quarter of a century no Republi- 
can could have been elected President of the United 
States and no national policy have succeeded without 
his consent. Two of the Presidents were placed in 
that high office because of his personal efforts. In 
1888, in charge of the National Republican campaign, 
he confronted his opponents in the city of New York, 
cowed them in their stronghold, where even Mr. 
Blaine had failed, and by the exercise of both strength 
and skill ensured the election of Mr. Harrison. In 
1900, by the defeat of Mr. Hanna, who came to the 
national convention fortified with at least the tacit sup- 
port of the administration, he secured the nomination 
for the Vice Presidency of Mr. Roosevelt with all the 
momentous consequences later to flow from that 
event. The manufacturers of the country made their 
contracts for the erection of mills and the employment 
of workmen with a sense of entire security that so 
long as he remained in the Senate the doctrine of pro- 
tection, so important to them, would be maintained 
as the national policy. The Force Bill stood in its 
way and he defeated the measure. When Mr. Cleve- 
land sought to destroy the tariff system, he thwarted 
the efforts of the President and obtained such a modi- 
fication of the radical views urged as to have the act 
adopted comport with safety. Florida looked up to 
him as her third Senator. Three territories relied 
u])on him to lift them to the dignity of statehood, and 
in all probability only his death disappointed their ex- 
pectations. When the religious sentiment of the 
country was aroused by the proposition to open the 
gates of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago on 

lloii. AlaUhcw Stanley Quay. 23 

Sundays, through his efforts they were kept closed. 
When there was need for wise counsel or energetic 
action, no other Senator had more fully the confidence 
of his fellows and as a result no other of them was 
more effective in accomplishing or preventing legisla- 

To what cause was his continuous success to be at- 
tributed? How did it come about that this bold 
sailor was able to guide his bark over the stormiest of 
seas in safety for a lifetime, when all around so many 
others sank beneath the waves? In the days of our 
savage forefathers, whenever an unusual or extra- 
ordinary event in the domain of nature happened, it 
was explained to their undisciplined minds as the out- 
come of sorcery or witch-craft. The ignorant of our 
own time, when the results of public controversies dis- 
appoint them, and "the rustic cackle of their burgh" 
has been mistaken for "the echo of the great wave tliat 
rolls around the world," find easy consolation in the 
thought that those who differ have been corrupt. It 
is a scientific axiom that whenever a fact is ascertained 
which is not in accord with an accepted theory, the 
theory must be discarded as incorrect. It happened 
in many of the most important of Mr. Quay's politi- 
cal battles, notably in the contests of 1895 ^ind with 
Mr. Wanamaker, such power as comes from the pos- 
session of money was in the league against him. 
There is a story which has come down to us from the 
days of old that once a wonderful nuisician charmed 
the ears of the people with the wild and wierd notes of 
an unearthly music and when the curious listeners 
peered into his instrument, behold ! it turned out that 
he played but upon a single string, stretched across 
a dead man's skull. Mr. Quay was not that kind of 

24 Memorial Services 

an artist. He knew alike what were the needs of the 
manufacturer that the mills might be prosperous and 
what were the aspirations of the laborer that the little 
home might be adorned, he understood the manner 
of life in the trades, in the professions, and on the 
farms, he sympathized with the old soldier, proudly 
w^earing his decorations at his Grand Army Post, and 
with the miner carrying a light in his cap to dispel the 
underground darkness, and all these were chords in 
that mighty instrument which responded to his touch, 
and which embraced all the interests and hopes of a 
great Commonwealth. The successful chess player 
wins his game because he is able to see the plans of 
his adversary and to make the combinations which 
are necessary to overthrow them. It is idle to learn 
his moves because the same situation never again oc- 
curs. Mr. Quay overcame his opponents because he 
saw more clearly, reasoned more accurately and 
delved more deeply. They who thought they knew 
some petty or unscrupulous device which they might 
learn by sitting at his feet and then go off to imitate 
wasted their efforts. Strong men brought into con- 
tact with him, impressed by the extent of his informa- 
tion, the breadth of his views, and the sagacity of his 
conclusions became his adherents. Mr. Johnson of 
Philadelphia, and Mr. Watson, of Pittsburg, both have 
testified to his perception of difficult legal proposi- 
tions, Mr. Swank to his knowledge of the statistics of 
iron manufacture, and Mr. Kii)ling to his accpiaintance 
with literature. He accumulated a large library, car- 
ried books with him when he went to fish, wrote 
from Florida letters in the Latin tongue and discussed 
the merits of the Italian poets over the table with Mr. 
Roosevelt. The only subscribers among the Sena- 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 25 

tors to Brown's Genesis of the United States were Mr. 
Quay and Mr. Lodge. He never doubted the peo- 
ple of the State or the merits of their achievements, 
and they reciprocated the conhdence. There are 
those among us, who Hke the false mother in the time 
of Solomon, would dissever the Commonwealth if 
they could seize a fragment, and who never tire in 
their dispraise, but he wrote and in his heart believed 
that "of all this union of states, Pennsylvania 1? the 
fairest and the happiest and the most intelligent and 
the best governed." He could turn phrases wath the 
same apt skill that he directed conventions. 

He was not without faults. If his conduct some- 
times fell below the highest ethical standards, where 
is the man who can honestly scan his own life and 
throw a stone? Though he cared nothing for the 
mere accumulation of money ; and was little "afflicted 
with the mania for owning things," he exulted in the 
exercise of power and like the war horse in Job 
smelled "the battle afar off, the thunder of the cap- 
tains and the shouting." He regarded men and their 
aims too much as mere counters to be used for his 
purposes. He cared too little for their conuuent. 
But in nature as a distinguished poet has observed : 

"The low sun makes the color." 

However much we may admire, we seldom love the 
austerely virtuous. 

He was simple and modest and absolutely without 
vanity. After his winning the Presidency for Mr. 
Harrison, at no dinners amid the clanking of glasses 
did he tell of what he had accomplished and there is 
no record in his manuscript to narrate to us w^hat he 
thought of the work of his life. Like Wayne and 

26 Memorial Servicer. 

Meade, like Rittenhoiise and Dickinson, he left be- 
hind him no book of memoirs to impress upon future 
generations how much they owed to his efforts, but if 
his letters to politicians and men of affairs could be 
gathered together, and printed, their cleanliness and 
delicacy, their indications of quick perception and 
al)undant information, their gentleness and self re- 
straint would lead to a higher and more just apprecia- 
tion of the rec(uirements of pul)lic life. 

He had a keen sense of duty. There are men who 
would scorn to fail in the performance of the obliga- 
tions of a sealed instrument who without compunc- 
tion pass lightly over the claims of home, friendship 
and country. It signified much that his sons grown 
to young manhood ever gave him a parting kiss be- 
fore they retired for the night. His grandmother as 
she neared her end three-cjuarters of a century ago be- 
sought those around her to bury her among her kin- 
dred in Chester county. Their means were limited 
and her grave was dug in Ohio. Two years ago, Mr. 
Quay hearing of her wish saw to it that thenceforth 
she rested in the family graveyard near the home of 
her youth. A hint was perhaps all that an appealing 
friend could secure, but it was never forgotten and 
seldom ineffective. In 1862, he had resigned from 
the colonelcy of the 134th Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
The Army of the Potomac marched forth to do bat- 
tle. Arising from a bed of sickness he hastened to 
the l\ai)pahann()ck, fcuight as a volunteer aide along 
the front line at Frcdericksl)urg and later received 
from Congress a medal of honor for brave and un- 
usual service. W ith him it meant little to say that 
his term had ended. 

Who is there to-day who cares for the Indian, 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Qtiay. 2i 

whether he comes or whether he goes? We hold by 
an unassailable title the lands that once belonged to 
him, and his braves in their moccasined feet connt for 
nothing in the marts of commerce or in the conven- 
tions of parties. Bnt Pennsylvania, which still looks 
back to that famons treaty at Shackamaxon, which 
was never signed, and never broken, may feel her 
pride stir again when she reflects that the last service 
of her Senator was rendered, not in an effort to gain 
political advantage or to advance her interests, but in 
aid of the wTonged, the down-trodden and the help- 

In every village in the State, and in many beyond it, 
may be heard the tales of his goodness of heart and 
his tender and helpfnl sympathy for the unfortunate. 
An old anxl impoverished widow of a soldier in In- 
diana, who had exhausted, without result, the in- 
fluence of the politicians of her own state as a last re- 
sort wrote to Mr. Quay and in a few weeks the pen- 
sion which gladdened her heart and lessened her mis- 
eries was granted. A little Seminole girl in Florida 
met with an accident which threatened permanent dis- 
ability. He sent her to a hospital and paid the ex- 
penses of the difficult operation necessary for her re- 
storation. In 1886, a political opponent in Lacka- 
wanna county was thrown from a carriage and frac- 
tured his skull. Learning upon inquiry that his re- 
sources w^ere narrow, Mr. Quay sent the noted sur- 
geon Dr. Agnew from Philadelphia to Scranton upon 
a special train to minister to him, and through an 
agent still living who Avith tears in his eyes discloses 
the incident, himself met the large expenditure which 
in all probability saved a life. A great master of 
English fiction in one of the strongest of his novels 

28 Memorial Services. 

wilh a skill which only comes with long discipline has 
woven a scene, the deep pathos of which appeals to 
the sympathies of every reader. An incumbent who 
has done many kindly deeds, w'orn with age and see- 
ing that his end is approaching, is called upon by the 
Archdeacon. At the interview, which ensues, the 
incumbent tells that he is soon to die and asks not for 
prayer and absolution, but that the living be given to 
a clergyman of the neighborhood who has been 
weighed down with many trials and burdens. The 
Archdeacon, himself somewhat gross and worldly, 
overcome by the situation, kneels and kisses the old 
man's hand in mute recognition of superior worth. 
What Anthony Trollope devised in romance in an 
effort to exemplify the most exalted spirit of self 
abnegation was realized in the events of actual life. 
When the clouds began to settle down over Mr. Quay 
and their gloom steadily deepened, he sent for his 
private secretary, who had long been at his side and 
knew his every want, predicted his own death in the 
near future, and while he still had the strength, pro- 
vided for his attendant an employment on which he 
could depend. The good and brave old heart de- 
lil)erately denied himself the comfort and assistance 
wliich he needed more than ever before and accepted 
untrained help in order that one who had been near 
and useful to him should not suffer. Will Pennsylva- 
nia ever fully understand how large in character, as 
well as in strength was this statesman she has lost ! 
The time has gone by and the harvest we might have 
garnered, had we only known, will never be ours. 
The past is rolled up as a scroll. Tn the legend from 
Norseland the strange bird which the dull and grub- 
bing flock pecked at and abused one day rose aloft 

Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay. 29 

upon strong pinion and soared away to the distant 
ether to return to them no more. "It might have 
been" are the saddest of sad words. It is aU too late 
for us to reap, too late even to- bend over as did the 
archdeacon to kiss his hand and acknowledge our 
shortcomings, but we still may implore for him that 
peace for which he uttered his last eloquent prayer 
and which w-e ever denied to him while he was upon 

ercises will now close with a benediction by the Chap- 
lain of the Senate. 

The CHAPLAIN. And now, Lord, as we go from 
this place of sacred memory we ask that the blessing 
of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy 
Spirit may be ours now and evermore. Amen. 


DEC 5 I9t}ti 


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