No. 613.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Blaine.

No. 93.]

Sir: On yesterday afternoon, at three o’clock, I sent you the following telegram:

Emperor wounded in carriage to-day by bomb. Extent injury not yet known.

And at 4.15 p.m. I sent second telegram, as follows:

Emperor dead.

The circumstances of this terrible event are briefly these:

Following his frequent practice, His Majesty the Emperor went on yesterday to the Sunday morning review in the riding-school of the Palace of Engineers. He left the review about one o’clock, and drove to the Michel Palace, where he made a short call upon his niece, the Grand Duchess Catherine, and then continued on his return to the Winter Palace. Just before crossing the stable bridge of the Catharine Canal, at 1.45 p.m., a hand-bomb was thrown by a young man, dressed in the garb of a street-cleaner, directly under the Emperor’s carriage, shattering in its explosion the rear of the vehicle, but without injuring the Emperor. His Majesty jumped from the carriage, and while the guards were arresting the assailant a second bomb, thrown by another person, was exploded at the feet of the Emperor, shattering both his legs below the knees and inflicting other serious wounds on his person. He was placed in the sleigh of the military officer who accompanied him and driven immediately to the Winter Palace. The loss of blood was so great and the wounds so severe that he expired at 3.35 p.m., within less than two hours after this explosion. The holy communion [Page 1009] was administered just before his death, but it is not certainly known that he recovered his consciousness after the assault.

It is understood that one Cossack of the Emperor’s guard was killed, and one officer and a number of soldiers and civilians (variously estimated) were wounded by the explosion. The two authors of the assassination are believed to have been arrested.

At a late hour last night the Czarevitch, the heir apparent, assumed the supreme power of the empire as Alexander III, and his proclamation of ascension of the throne, of which I inclose herewith a translation, was published this morning. I have also advised you of this latter event by telegram at eleven o’clock to day in these words: “Czarevitch ascended throne as Alexander Third.”

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 93.—Translation from Journal of St. Petersburg. Extra bulletin 2d (14th) March, 1881.]

Proclamation of His Majesty the Emperor.

By the grace of God we, Alexander III, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, &c., &c., &c.

Make known to all our faithful subjects:

It has pleased the Lord, in His inscrutable ways, to inflict a fatal blow upon Russia, and to call suddenly to Himself the benefactor of Russia, the Emperor Alexander II.

He fell under the sacrilegious hand of assassins who had already many times placed his precious life in peril.

They attempted that life so precious because they saw in it the pledge and the safeguard of the greatness of Russia and the prosperity of the Russian people.

Bowing before the mysterious decrees of Divine Providence, and raising to the All-Powerful our prayers for the pure soul of our deceased father, we ascend the throne of our ancestors, the throne of the Empire of Russia, as well as of the Kingdom of Poland, and of the Grand Duchy of Finland, which are inseparable from it.

We assume the heavy burden which it has pleased the Lord to impose upon us with an immovable confidence in His all-powerful aid. May He bless our labors for the good of our dear country and direct our efforts for the happiness of our faithful subjects.

Renewing the sacred vow made by our father before the All-Powerful, to consecrate, according to the example of our ancestors, all our life to the care of the happiness, the power, and the glory of Russia, we invite all our faithful subjects to unite their prayers to ours before the altar of the Most High, and we order them to take the oath of fidelity to us and to our heir, his imperial highness the Czarévitch, Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovitch.


Gazette of the senate.