1014-1015

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1014-1015 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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troops were quartered, and walked along immediately in front of where they were quartered, and everything was perfectly quiet. It was just in the gray of the dawn. Everything was perfectly quiet there. There were a few guards on duty; that was all that was visible so far as the troops were concerned. I then walked quite around the palace ground and passed the quarters of the native troops, which were immediately on the opposite side of the palace grounds on which the men of the Boston were quartered. The two were on almost directly opposite sides of the palace. Everything was quiet in the palace grounds.

Senator Gray. Go on in your own way with the events of that day. This was pretty early in the morning; had you your breakfast?

Mr. Stalker. No; I went out pretty early in the morning; I went back to the hotel and had my breakfast as usual; a little later in the morning I went down town. The hotel is away from the business streets of the city, and I went down on the business streets and in some of the business places; dropped in where I had acquaintances and it was all as it had been—business houses were open, men were buying and selling. I saw no demonstration; heard nothing said of an excitable character. I went to the public library for a time and returned to the hotel for my dinner.

Senator Gray. About what time was this?

Mr. Stalker. This was possibly 1 o'clock, I should say; possibly a little after 1 o'clock when I came out from my dinner. I walked out from the dining hall on to a broad lani that runs around the three sides of the hotel; just as I came on to this veranda I heard a shot.

The Chairman. Was this Tuesday?

Mr. Stalker. It was Tuesday morning of which I was speaking. I heard a shot in the direction of the business part of the town. I stood waiting a moment to see whether it was a matter of any consequence. Possibly two or three minutes later a carriage came by at a very rapid pace, with a driver on the front seat and a man on the rear seat with a rifle. This was succeeded in pretty rapid succession by other carriages, being driven at a rapid rate, containing 1, 2, or 3 men with guns. These carriages were driven past the hotel in the opposite direction from the business portion of the city. These carriages came from the direction where the shot was fired, and came in front of the hotel. I walked down in front of the hotel, in the grounds, and asked a gentleman at the telephone station what this meant. He said, "The war has commenced; one man has been killed."

The Chairman. Who told you this?

Mr. Stalker. The man at the telephone station. He said that a policeman was shot. A number of carriages passed by in rapid succession, and occasionally a man on foot. I, with some friends, went to the top of the building, where there is a sort of outlook, an observatory. There is a view in every direction. We could see the palace grounds, the public building, and to some extent the town in other directions. We remained up there twenty minutes, probably thirty minutes; I could not tell the time exactly, and could see little or nothing that was indicative. So we came down, and I remarked to my friends, "Probably it will be uncomfortable for us on the front porch; we had better take the rear of the building if there is to be fighting on the campus." I thought I would go down and see if I could get some word from the seat of war. I walked past the side of the palace grounds and saw no excitement there until I came to the corner, came to the street that passes between the palace and the Government building. On going to the Government building I saw a crowd in the street, quite a

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number, and as soon as I reached a point of vantage where I could see well, I observed there were men inside the grounds with guns, and some few straggling citizens were in there unarmed. Guards were placed at the gates, and after that citizens were not allowed to go in without permission. About the time I arrived, or very soon after, a gentleman commenced reading a document which proved to be a revolutionary declaration and the announcement of the organization of a new government.

Senator Gray. Do you know whether he had commenced reading, or whether it was that you then first perceived that he was reading, and had been for a little while after you arrived?

Mr. Stalker. I did hot hear him reading on my arrival, and did not have the impression that he was reading at the time I arrived, though I did not get a good point of observation at once, and there was some confusion. I could not see very well, and I would not be positive whether the man was reading at the time I arrived or not; my impression is that he began reading after I arrived.

Senator Gray. How long did you stay in the vicinity of the Government building at your point of observation?

Mr. Stalker. I stayed there and thereabout for probably half an hour, possibly longer.

Senator Gray. On which front of the building were you?

Mr. Stalker. I was on the side facing the palace—the main entrance of the building.

Senator Gray. Were you down the street that separates the Government building from the building in which the United States troops were quartered?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; the Goverment building and the building in which the United States troops were located are separated by a narrow alley. It is not a public street; it is a very narrow way, and there is practically no travel along it.

Senator Gray. That is called Arion Hall?

Mr. Stalker. Arion Hall.

Senator Gray. How far is Arion Hall, or the ground on which it is situated, from the public building, as nearly as you can estimate?

Mr. Stalker. Simply a narrow roadway or alley between the two. There is room to drive a carriage between the fence inclosing the grounds of the public building and that of Arion Hall, and that is about all, as I remember.

Senator Gray. When you walked down there did you see the United States troops?

Mr. Stalker. Yes.

Senator Gray. Where were they?

Mr. Stalker. They were at the end of Arion Hall, in a little court or vacant piece of land.

Senator Gray. Outside the Government building?

Mr. Stalker. Outside the Government building.

Senator Gray. Drawn up in a line?

Mr. Stalker. I do not think they were when I saw them. I do not remember observing them when I walked up first. I think as I came away they were not in line. I would not be too positive about that.

Senator Gray. Did you see any of the officers or converse with them?

Mr. Stalker. At that time?

Senator Gray. Yes.

Mr. Stalker. I do not remember talking with any officer on that occasion.


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