No. 307.
Mr. Maynard to Mr. Fish.

No. 72.]

Sir: I have the honor to add to the list of grave events which have recently attracted attention to this capital. Early yesterday morning it was reported that several of the imperial ministers had been assassinated the night previous. As usual in such cases the reports were vague and conflicting and much exaggerated.

Later information established the death of Rachid Pacha, minister of foreign affairs, and Hussein Avni Pacha, minister of war, and the serious wounding of Ahmed Kaiserli Pacha, minister of the marine, by Hassan Bey, a young army officer, a Circassian, and a graduate of the military school. He appears to have been a favorite of the late Sultan, and was appointed aide-de-camp of his oldest son, Prince Youssouf Izzedin Effendi, commander of the imperial guard. A sister of his, one of the Sultan’s wives and the mother of one of his sons, had died during the week. He had been promoted to the rank of adjutant major and ordered to join his army corps at Bagdad, and was to have left yesterday.

It is said he was greatly exasperated, and threatened vengeance on [Page 573] the minister of war; that he pursued him to the konak (city residence) of Midhat Pacha, in Stamboul, where the ministers were assembled in council; that, entering by stratagem and armed with revolvers and a dagger, he fell upon his victims, and killed outright no less than five persons and wounded some others before he was overpowered. He was executed to-day.

Such is the account which has been permitted quasi-officially to reach the public, and which represents the tragedy as an act solely of private revenge, devoid entirely of political significance.

The ministry of foreign affairs, made vacant by the death of Rachid Pacha, is filled by his excellency Safvet Pacha, who retired from the same office on the 7th of November last, (see my dispatch No. 35, dated November 8, 1875,) and has since then filled in succession the ministry of public instruction and the ministry of justice.

His highness Hussein Avni Pacha is succeeded in the ministry of war by the generalissimo, Abdul Kerim Pacha; and Khalil Cherif Pacha, minister without portfolio, and a nephew by marriage of the Khedive, is made minister of justice.

The high ceremonial of investing the new Sultan with the sword of Othman has, for various reasons assigned, been postponed from time to time, and no day for it has even yet been announced.

I have, &c.,