The Return of Diplomats
Several Members of the Party, However, Remain in
Dr. Silva, the Colombian Minister, Tells of the Events before and
Tragedy—The Rainbow City Plunged in Gloom by Crime.
Several members of
the Diplomatic Corps, who, at the time of the shooting of President
McKinley, were in Buffalo attending the exercises of President’s
Day at the exposition, arrived in Washington at 7 o’clock yesterday
morning, in a special car over the Pennsylvania Railroad. Many of
them did not return, but will remain in Buffalo for a few days,
until the condition of the President changes either for the better
The diplomats left Washington a few
days ago to attend the ceremonies incident to President’s Day at
Buffalo, as guests of the exposition during the observances of the
occasion. They left the city light-hearted and cheerful, and returned
saddened by the tragic ending of what was intended as a pleasure
trip. They were present at the exposition, many of them on the grounds,
when President McKinley was shot down by the assassin; and the entire
detail of the tragedy occurred almost in their presence.
After reaching the city most of the
members of the Diplomatic Corps did not return to their legations,
which have been closed for some time. The Costa Rican Minister,
Senor Calvo, and the Minister to the United States from the United
States of Colombia, Dr. Silva, were among those who returned from
the Pan-American yesterday morning.
Dr. Silva told the story of the attempted
assassination of President McKinley as he gathered the details.
Senor Silva said that at the time of the attempt upon the life of
President McKinley none of the members of the Diplomatic Corps was
present, and the shooting was not actually witnessed by them, although
the scene of the tragedy was gained almost immediately by the horror-stricken
representatives to the United States.
“I realized that the reception to
which Presid[e]nt M[c]Kinley was going would produce a great crowd,”
said the Colombian Minister, speaking of the tragic event in the
Temple of Music, “and I, together with many others, decided not
to attend the reception on account of the great crush.
“Just a short time before the tragedy
occurred I r[e]marked upon the great number of ladies and children
present. They were waving and cheering for the President, and it
did my heart good to see them. The sight was a beautifully patriotic
one. The scene immediately before the shooting was an animated one,
gay with color and glowing with happiness and the laughter of light-hearted
women and children.
“I was particularly impressed with
the scene from the acclaim with which the immense throngs cheered
the President, and more especially with the large number of laughing
children in the mass of humanity choking the approaches of the plaza,
awaiting the coming of the President. Several times I remarked upon
the fact, and could not repress a smile at the happy, cheerful sight.
“The entire experience at Buffalo,
up to the time of the attempted assassination of rPesident [sic]
McKinley was a most happy one.
“Then came the tragedy, plunging the
whole city, everyone, in the deepest and blackest gloom. The voices
of the children, such a short time before raised in laughter and
cheers at the approach of the Presidential party, were hushed, and,
indeed, even turned to sobs, as the news of the tragedy became known.
I was affected strongly by the sad climax to a delightful and happy
occasion, and saddened beyond expression. The affair came so suddenly—like
a bolt out of a clear sky, without warning, without word—that it
paralyzed the assembled throngs of sightseers and guests. It is