to Mr. Blaine.
St. Petersburg, March 14, 1881. (Received March 29.)
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:
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.,