Chapter XVIII [excerpt]
Just as the “Kaga Maru” was ready
to leave Moji, September 10th, the news was brought on board of
the dastardly attack on the life of the late President McKinley.
This announcement soon spread and brought sorrow not only to the
members of our party, but every one on board. We continued to hope
that this information might only be a rumor, until we reached Kobe,
where it was confirmed by the accounts given in the local newspapers.
We were delighted to learn from the same source here and at Osaka
and Kioto that the President was improving and that everything indicated
an early recovery. The course of events in his case was watched
with intense interest by the natives as well as the foreigners.
The newspapers discussed the case at length, and the cablegrams
were looked for with intense anxiety. Soon after our arrival at
Yokohama, September 16th, a small extra of one of the local Japanese
papers, not larger than a hand, was circulated in the corridor of
the hotel, and contained the terrible news of the unexpected death
in the sentence flashed over the wires to all countries: “President
McKinley died at eight o’clock.” The sorrow caused by this message
was universal. The flags of all nations were lowered to half-mast
at once. Groups of natives and foreigners in low, solemn tones discussed
On September 26th an impressive memorial
service was held in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tokyo. The minister
of the United States, Colonel Buck, made all necessary arrangements,
and it was through his courtesy that the members of our party were
admitted. The Emperor was represented by the Imperial Prince Kom-in.
A detachment of United  States
marines and soldiers, under command of a commissioned officer, constituted
the guard of honor. Every seat was occupied. The front seats and
center of the church were reserved for the nobility, the foreign
legation, and army and navy officers of high rank, all in full court
dress and uniforms. The interior of the church was draped in mourning.
The hymns sung by the choir were “Rock of Ages” and “Nearer, My
God, to Thee.” After reading the service for the dead, Rev. Mr.
Imbrie, a Presbyterian clergyman, delivered an eloquent memorial
address, in which he paid a high tribute to the many virtues of
the late President as a man, husband, soldier, and statesman.
Before the exercises commenced, the
Imperial Prince, accompanied by Colonel Buck, entered, when the
whole audience rose and remained standing until he took his seat
in the front row of pews, opposite the pulpit. The guard of honor,
arranged in a single file between the pews and the pulpit, facing
the audience, in fatigue uniform with fixed bayonets, made a dignified
and creditable appearance. Colonel Buck, in civilian full dress,
was the ideal representative of a republican form of government,
and in strong contrast with the uniformed, profusely decorated foreign
ministers of other countries. All of the ceremonies were well arranged
and passed off without the slightest confusion.