to Mr. Evarts.
Buenos Ayres, August 29, 1879.
Sir: The political situation in this republic is very critical.
The presidential campaign has become so bitter, the worst state of affairs may be anticipated.[Page 26]
A riot occurred in the street and plaza, before the halls of Congress, on the night of the 28th instant, and the assassination of General Roca, minister of war and marine, and candidate for presidential honors, was attempted.
The House of Deputies had held a night session for the interpellation of the ministers, and at the adjournment (11½ p.m.) the members found a mob in the street and plaza in front shouting, “Viva Tejedor” and “Death to Roca.”
After Dr. Plaza, minister of finance, had passed out of the hall and stepped into his carriage with a Mr. Cambaceres, his carriage was surrounded, one of the horses was stabbed, and as one of the ruffians mounted on top of the carriage to stab the coachman, the frightened horses dashed off, throwing the assassin from the vehicle, breaking through the dense mob, and carried the occupants out of the danger which threatened them. Neither of the two gentlemen was injured, although several bullets struck the carriage.
The minister of finance was undoubtedly mistaken by the assassins for the minister of war, who, after the attack began, was quietly placed in a carriage and taken to his home. For some time rumors have been current of coming party strife. Threats of revolution have appeared in some of the journals, and one announced that the life of the minister of war was in danger; another, that Governor Tejedor’s life was not worth an hour’s purchase. It is understood that troops of the line, from the other provinces, are on the way to the capital.
The cabinet crisis which has been threatened for some weeks past, it is believed, culminated with the resignation of Don Laspur, minister of the interior and chief of the cabinet, the 27th instant.
Ex-President Sarmiento was called by the President to the post; he accepted, and to-day he entered upon its duties.
As chief of the cabinet, it is believed the counsel of the ex-President will prevail, and the hope of all who wish well to the country is revived that peace will be maintained.
I have, &c.,