to Mr. Evarts.
St. Petersburg November 8, 1880. (Received December 2.)
Sir: An important state trial was commenced before the military tribunal of this city on the 6th instant, being the arraignment of sixteen persons for high treason. The offenses with which they are charged embrace all the important events of the past two years attributed to the socialistic revolutionary party, popularly known as the Nihilists, including the various attempts upon the life of the Emperor, the assassination of the governor of one of the provinces, the maintenance of the revolutionary organization, and the various overt acts connected with this organization.
The prisoners were severally arraigned, and in answer to the questions as to their age, occupation, and religious belief, it appears that none of them exceed thirty years of age and the majority are below twenty-five; [Page 994] three of them are women; eight are without any fixed occupation; ten are of the orthodox Russian church; four are atheists, or without religious connection, one is a Catholic, and one a Jew. The indictment which was read at the opening session was very long, and I have only thought it desirable to send you a brief abstract, which is herewith inclosed. The trial is likely to be of considerable duration, and to attract general attention.
I am, &c.,