Mr. Everett to Mr. Evarts.
Berlin , December 21, 1878. (Received January 9, 1879.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge a telegraphic message from you received early this morning, in answer to one I transmitted to you on the afternoon of the 19th instant, to inform you of the late Mr. Bayard Taylor’s death at his residence in Berlin on that day.
I had the mournful satisfaction of being with him in his last moments. My last conversation with him was on my reaching the legation at 11 a.m., when he inquired if any letters had come requiring his attention, and seemed relieved on hearing that there had not. He was then on his bed, which had been moved into his office, and it was evident that he could not last through the day. I did not see him again until three in the afternoon, when Mrs. Taylor called me to him. He was then apparently asleep in his arm-chair and breathing heavily, with a feeble pulse. In this state he remained until four o’clock, when he quietly breathed his last without awaking from his sleep, and a few moments before the physician arrived.
Mr. Taylor had not left his house for over six weeks, but there have been only two days during his illness when he has not been able to attend to the business of the legation and affix his name when necessary. His last signature was to a note addressed to the foreign office in pursuance of instruction No. 36. Two days before, he had draughted a note to Mr. von Bülow expressing his gratification and gratitude for a kind message sent him by the Emperor through the minister of foreign affairs, [Page 358] in consequence of Mr. Taylor having been obliged, on account of illness, to excuse himself from accompanying the other chiefs of missions to congratulate His Majesty on his safe return to Berlin.
The cause of Mr. Taylor’s death was dropsy, which followed very rapidly on the derangement of the liver which he appears to have had when he arrived in Berlin, and for which he had been ordered to go to Carlsbad, when more serious symptoms developed themselves and prevented. He had undergone two surgical operations, and a third had been decided on for the day of his death, but which he was too weak to endure.
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I took the earliest occasion to address a note to the minister of foreign affairs, informing him of the death of the American minister, and that I had assumed the charge of affairs ad interim. I have received a sympathetic note in reply from his excellency, of which I enclose a copy in English, as was the original.
I have duly informed the two consuls-general of the sad event, with the request that they would make it known in their respective jurisdictions.
The funeral services for the late minister will take place at the legation on Sunday the 22d instant, and his remains be taken to a temporary place of deposit in Berlin, immediately after the ceremonies. The national flag will be hoisted at half-mast over the legation during the day of the funeral obsequies.
I have, &c.,