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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, September 17, 1920, Image 1

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Vol. LXXX No. 26,969
First to Last?the Truth: News?Editorials?Advertisements
Fair ?ad cooler to-day; fahr to-womrw;
freak weat aod aorthweot winds.
rail report ea fawt ????
< Copy-right, 1020,
New York Tribune lue.)
Ib Greater New Vork
WHthtn 200 HUm
?Warning of Catastrophe in
Wall St. Section Issued
Mystery Letter Sent
French Commission Informed
That lives Would Be En?
dangered 'at 2.30'
Warning that a bomb plot was to be perpetrated in Wall Street was
fiven at least twenty-four hours before the explosion occurred. Informa?
ron was received by the French High Commission on Wednesday that the
explosion might be looked for.
A letter in a small white envelope was dropped Wednesday morning
through the mail slot of a door in one of the offices of the French High
Commission at 65 Broadway. This letter, written presumably by a man
formerly in the employ of the commission, gave warning of yesterday's
?plosion. When it was opened and read it was torn into small pieces
and dropped into a waste basket. i
Yesterday after the explosion these bits of paper were taken from j
the basket, pasted together, and turned over to the police. The writer of
the letter, the police believe, was familiar with all plans for the explosion j
utd would be able to point out the responsible ones. j
The letter was addressed to Lieutenant Arnaud, who is attached to :
the French commission. Upon receipt of the letter Lieutenant Arnaud '
opened it casually and smiled as he read its contents.
The letter began widi the word, "Greetings." The writer said that !
vhe thought he wa3 rendering a service to the French Commission by j
advising Minister Plenipotentiary Maurice Casenave and his assistants of j
the fact that a catastrophe would occur in Wall Street about 2:30 !
o'clock. The letter did not say whether it was 2:30 a. m. or p. m. and j
so date was mentioned.
Wanted to Save Lives of Office Force
jjL The writer suggested that Lieutenant Arnaud advise Minister
Ciienave to have the offices of the commission closed and unoccupied
?t 2 o'clock, so that the lives of the office staff might be spared. The ?
letter also mentioned "between 2 and 4 o'clock daylight time" as the
probable hour for the "catastrophe."
It was intimated in the letter that "some people had grievances and
wanted to take revenge." The writer requested Lieutenant Arnaud to
inform him if he thougnt the writer was making a mistake in giving
sach a warning. %
Lieutenant Arnaud read the'letter several times. Feeling assured,
that it had been written by an alarmist and should not be taken seri- j
cosly, he tore it up and threw it into a waste paper basket. He then !
?.iamisscd the incident from his mind.
After the explosion Lieutenant Arnaud remembered the letter. He j
rushed into the office where he had been sitting when the letter was received
and emptied the contents of the basket In a heap on his desk. In the
pile were the bits of the letter he had destroyed. He carefully sorted
tisem, pieced them together and put in a call for the police. The letter
*M turned over to detectives from Police Headquarters.
Efforts to learn whether the letter bore a signature proved futile.
Police Hunt Ex-Employee of Commission
Soon after the letter had been handed to the police it was learned
that detectives had been sent to West Ninety-second Street to seek a
.?can formerly in the employ of the French commission. It was said that
ftt left the service of the French government, on September 1, 1919.
After detectives had examined the letter it was turned over to Deputy
Police Commissioner Joseph A. Fsurot.
George W. Ketchledge, of 2025 Broadway, employed by the brokerage
finn of B. F. Schwartz, of 2 Broadway, said yesterday that two days ago
nt received word that an explosion would occur in Wall Street, on Sep?
tember 15.
On a postcard sent to Mr. Ketchledge from Toronto was the warning:
"Be out of Wall Street after 3 o'clock on September 15.'* The card was
fwm a friend who, four days ago, had suffered a mental breakdown.
"I regarded the card as a jcke," ssaid Mr. Ketchledge, "and I be?
lieve it was merely a coincidence that an explosion should have occurred
?t about the time etated in the warning."
Efforts to get into communication with the writer of the postal card
*ere unavailing last night. He is said to have left Toronto Tuesday night
kran unknown destination. He previously had registered at the Queen's
Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Detectives in the William J. Burns agency also said yesterday that
ti* explosion was not unexpected, although no clues were obtainable in i
*dv??ce to prevent it. Mr. Burns said that the explosion unquestionably >
fed been deliberately planned, and that warnings that radicals were
?boot to initiate a new siege of terror had been sent out to his clients
?"?ral days ago.
Bomb in Destroyed ?Wagon
Said to Have Caused Blast
jJN* explosion which turned Wall
Sr**? ?to a shambles at noon yeiter
rJL*** the result of n deliberate and
*"? Prepared plot, according to Fed?
s' *"w city official?, after an ex
2"eV* investigation at the scene of
"? wafedy. The?? based their con
"*?????? upon thwfollowing fact?:
*2*t- investigation show? that no
???2* .e*n7?n* explosives from au
2rf??d source? was in lower ?Man
W? yesterday.
J**6??- The effect of the explosion
?JV?'/water than any that could b?
Si*?**4 by an ordinary explosive
""ia| wagon.
BaZkirdL!,ron ?Iwile?, made from bro?
il^ ?i? mnJ*'r" ???h wenjfht - unlike any
all ?f* .W*n 8tr?et di?tricv -caused
?ssW.?l?,n?e* ** building? and were
iT r* for m**y ?< the casualtie?.
*?*? ' Th* *"incid<-nre of time
titX^Z" of rhf' ?Menlon.
????F*- TJ** '?ct lhaT- three men were j
JT^?* ruT,r,Uifi *t*<L on Wall Htrcet
jr** t?? minut*? before the explo
Er. ?"**? men are reported to have
?Lit* S?11'"? ?otomobiU.
nJ^Yt' Th* discovery of a pacnlUily
i fty.i. ,*>" ***??* ??"? ?leetrf* batt?rie?
? aW 2? P***?.4 &7 unknown nnrtsrn in
blocks from the scene of the explo?
Seventh. Only four site? in lower
Manhattan are using explosive? in con?
struction work, and not. one of them
received or expected explosives yes?
Both city and Federal official? an?
nounced they were pursuing the Inves?
tigation into the cauB? of the explosion
on the theory that it was caused by a
gigantic bomb carried in the destroyed
wagon and placed in Wall Jftreet by
plotters against the firm of Morgan.
Fife Marshal Thomas Bropby, whose
men collected the iron missiles, after
an investigation said: "I have checked
up all the concern? transporting ex?
plosive? and find that none had any
wagon in the neighborhood. An soon
a? I ?aw the piece? of iron scattered
about the ?cene- I ordered that they
all bo collected, no that we could '*x
amfn?, them carefully.
"We have frot them in a box. Thore
are about forty pound? In wei-cht and
they con?i?t mostly of broken-up jjtiocois
of window ?assh weight.??. W? th?-) care?
fully examined all the v.-ipdow :,j.?h
weight? in the district here and found
then to be entirely.different. Tho
; .j?^**Uf*tt4*\*W%- _
The Center of the Explosion
-.- iii . MB?a
This photograph, taken ten minutes after the detonation, shows Wall Street between the Morgan Building and the Assay Office. The ruins of the
wagon supposed to have carried the explosive lie directly behind the overturned automobile.
Plot Feared
Special Guards Posted at
Treasury in Washington
and Other Gties as Se?
cret Service Begins Hunt
A report of the Wall Street explosion
was,sent to the Department of Justice
in Washington by the local office soon
after it occurred yesterday, and the ac?
tivities of Federal detectives indicated
a suspicion that the explosion might
be part of a plot which extended to
other cities.
Extra guards were stationed at the
United States Treasury in Washing?
ton and will bo maintained, Secretary
Houston said, until the investigation
into the explosion was complete. Other
protective measures were adopted, sr.d
in Philadelphia and other cities which
have cause to remember the mail-bomb
plot of last year similar guards were
Bet about banks and public buildings,
while squads of Federal detectives de?
parted on mysterious missions.
Mysterious Orders Issued
Within two hours of the explosion
agents of the Department of Justice
and the Secret Service in Philadelphia
had received complete details from
New York and Washington, and had
received order? the nature of which
they would not reveal.
The word went out about the Fed?
eral Building here that the officials
were satisfied that the explosion had
been a bomb plot and that a speedy
check-up was being made in all the
haunts of the radicals in this city.
Col<?r was lent to this by the speedy
mobilisation of Federal agents and
their dispersal through the city. The
belief was that before the night was
over there might be raids to arrest the
leaders of the radical movement.
The Philadelphia police attribute the
explosion to the same group that
placed the series of bombs here a lit?
tle more than a year ago, when the
homes of E. T. Triggs, president of
the Chamber of Oommerce; a judge, a
clergyman and Beveral other? were
ruined by bombs.
With the arrival of the word from
(CflntlButa ?? next pag?)
U, S. Squad to Hunt Reds
Disbanded Wednesday
Federal Force Trained to
Trace Anarchists Released
to Cut Down Expenses
The "Red" squad of the Department
of Justice, which ha? been active for
month? in ! ??? Hnr? the movement of
dangerou? i. ? intn and their ilk,
wa? disbanded , ;,;t twenty-four hour?
before the Wall Street explosion of
| It was ?aid that a d??nire to effect
| economies and the fact that "Red"
i violence wan on the decr?..se were the
motives which Inspired the dissolution
of th?r"Rcd" squad.
fioinefttir If'In I'roblem? eiwllv wil??B?t b?r
, ?lonnuliInK Hllu-ttlon Wnnte-1 Ad? thnt
? appear in Th? Tribun? d?Uv or by insert
In?- a lleip Wanted Ail. i'tutne !???? kmun I
?000, or fc-o to ?ny of The Tribune'? Want I
I Art Agent?. Over 60? lo Uxeat-jr New
7?tit*~AAtf^ . I
The Identified Dead
ARAMBARRY, JOSEPH, twenty-nine years old, a clerk, 128 Sherman
ASBREY, THOMAS, twenty-four, a runner, 136 Chester Avenue,
DICKINSON, CAROLINE, forty years old, 73 Hanover Street, Elmhurst,
L. I. ; employed as stenographer by tho brokerage firm of George H.
Burr & Co.
DRURY, MARGUERITE A., twenty-nine years old, of 132 Ridgewood
Avenue, Brooklyn, a stenographer, employed by Curtis, Mallet
Prevost & Colt, 30 Broadway.
ELLS WORTHY, R., 64 Liberty Street, West Orange^ N. J.
ELSWORTH, P., fifty-two, of 1248 Gerard Street, Washington, D. C.
FLANNERY, BARTHOLOMEW, nineteen, a messenger, 310 West 145th
Street. *
KANRAHAN, CHARLES, seventeen, Brooklyn.
HUTCHINSON, WILLIAM F? thirty-two years old, an insurance broker
of 120 Broadway.
JACOBS, IRVING D., a curb broker, of 50 Broad Street.
JOHNSON. JOHN, fifty-five years old, of 60 West Eighty-fourth Street;
a porter in the Bank of America, 44 Wall Street.
JOYCE, WILLIAM, employed in the investment securities department
6f J. P. Morgan & Co., son of T. W. Joyce, head of the gold shipment
department of J. P. Morgan & Co.
KENNEDY, BERNARD J., thirty years old, of 443 Tenth Street, Brook?
lyn. Body identified at the morgue by friends.
LINDROTHE, CHARLES A., twenty-two years old, of 133 Bennett Street,
Great Kills, Staten Island; a clerk in the National City Bank.
MAYER, ALFRED, of 511 West 138th Street.
McCLURE, COLIN BARR, twenty-five years ojd, a banker, of IS Arthur
Street, Yonkers.
McKEAN, JEROME H., a chauffeur.
MILLER, FRANK, 700 West 179th Street.
MOLYNEAUX, E. W?, sixty-five, 173 St. Nicholas Avenue.
NEVILLE, COLONEL CHARLES A., attached to the United States Army
Quartermaster depot.
OSTREY, THOMAS M?, twenty-four, a messenger, 136 Chester Ave?
nue, Brooklyn; employed by Johnson & Wood, brokers, 115 Broad?
PORTONG, RUDOLPH, twenty-eight years' old, of 26 McAuley Avenue,
Jamaica, L. I. ; a teller in the National City Bank.
SCHMIDT, JOSEPH, thirty, Second Street, Bayside, L. I., a clerk.
SMITH, LOUIS K., 136 Greenwich Street, Hempstead, L. I.
SWEET, E. A., Huntington, L. I.
SOLOWAY, BENJAMIN, cixteen years old, a messenger, 1520, Lincoln
Place, Brooklyn; employed by Blum & Sties, brokers, 80 Pine Street.
WESTRAY, ROBERT, sixteen years old, of 232 West Twenty-fourth
ZYLANDER, MILDRED, 44 Commerce Street, Westbury, L. I.
[Two clerks employed in the loan department of the National City
Bank have not yet reported at the bank or at their homes. It is not known,
however, whether or not they were among the^ victims of the explosion.
They are: James Boyd, twenty-one years old, of 154 Norman Avenue,
Brooklyn, and Harold Beatty, eighteen years old, of Elizabeth Avenue,
Ridgefield, N. J.]
The Injured
ASHLEY, ANTHONY, 3148 Decatur Avenue, the Bronx, lacerations of jaw and
BANKER, WESTON, 229 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, face and hands hurned.
BEEKMAN, JOSEPH, no address.
BOWMAN, WILLIAM, 2(5 South Street, shock.
BRAND. ROBERT, no address.
BURLB?RG, JOHN, J60 East Fiftv-fourth Street, lacerated reck and head.
'A:.SEL. .1AM ES W.. R90 Baat l?7th Street, lacerated head.
CH1LDS, l'. 11., 11D West Thirty-sixth Street, fractured rifjht arm.
CONKLE, JOHN, 12 L.ncoln Avenue, Jeraey City, head injuries.
OONNOR, EMANUKL, thirty-aix, 1187 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, seriously
Panic Amid
Ghastly Scene!
Of Wreckage!
Dead Scattered in Debris, j
Thousands Flee Seek?
ing Safety and Gries of j
Injured Fill the Air i
Wall Street east of Broad instantly
after the explosion presented a picture
of grim tragedy. On the steps of
J. P. Morgan & Co.'s building, on the
corner, lay three bodies. Across the
street on the sidewalk, in front of the
United States Assay Office, were
stretched the bodies of a man and a
woman. Two more bodies of men, who
a second before had formed part of
the financial district's noonday activity,
lay on the sidewalk just around the
corner in Broad Street, and halfway up
Wall Street, toward Broadway, where
the steeple of Trinity Church over?
looked the scene, another body was
But the sight of bodies formed only
a part of the picture. Added to it
was the ruin to building1! wrought by
the explosion. The hors?? which had
drawn the wagon supposs-'d to have
contained the explosives was ^orn to
shreds and lay in a pool of blood in
the middle of the street. Articles of
apparel?a woman's hat, a shoo and a
piece of a man's coat- were scattered
among the broken glass and d?bris
showered down from adjacent sky?
scrapers. Across the sidewalks and
down the steps of the United States
Sub-Treasury, where many of the in?
jured had sought safety, trickled
streams of blood. An automobile,
twisted into a mass, had been picked
up and cast up against the Morgan
? Broken Glass Covers Sidewalks
High above where the concussion
and the flying pieces of iron had
struck in all directions the explosion
evidenced itself by the broken win?
dows, which for more than thirty min
(Contlnued on pats ?lx)
V. S. Troops on Scene
Within Forty Minutes
One Hundred Arrive From Fort
Jay, and, With Bayonets
Fixed, Clear the Streets
Acting on emergency order?, fifty
United States soldiers?Company M,
22d Infantry Regiment, stationed at
Fort Jay, Governor's Island?were at
Broad and Wall streets yesterday
within forty minutes after the explo?
sion, which was plainly heard on the
island. Within another twenty min?
utes, Company K, another fifty men,
arrived from the same station. The
men were transported on motor trucks
and carried their bayonets fixed and
one hundred rounds of ammunition to
the m-.n. A squad armed with light
Browning automatic rifles began to
pace the United States ?SubTrcasury
steps immediately upon arrival.
Company M, the first to arrive, was
commanded by First Lieutenant Ben-,
JBinin Felton. and Campany K by Cap-"
s.ain D. !?. Applcman. Lieutenant Pcl
!on first set his men to clearing the
streets and then lined them up for
th' protection of the Sub-Treasury. ;
Captain Ajpleraan's men upon arrival I
line** iyfrl^otMh*vJM?rg?Rb?aV .... J
? -1
Blast of Loaded Slugs Roc?es
Financial District at Noon; ?
Pro.perty Loss Great
Dead May Reach 50
Wagon Painted Red Seen Shortly
Before Explosion; Three In ves
| tigations Already Under Way
An explosion believed to have been caused by the most powerfal
! infernal machine ever devised wrought destruction and death yesterday
t r.oon at Wall and Broad streets.
Chief Inspector Lahey of the Police Department has evidence, hs
said, that the explosion was that of a hupe bomb loaded with slugs and
charged with TNT, one of the most powerful of explosives.
At least twenty-nine persons were killed and at least two hundred
injured. It was said at the Morgue last night that the list of dead might
be swelled to fifty when those dying during the. night in hospitals were
reported. Windows were shattered for two blocks around, and the dam?
age from this cause alone, exclusive of that suffered by the offices of
J. P. Morgan & Co. and the United States ?\ssay Office, which bore tho
Irunt of the explosion, was estimated at nearly $1,000,000. '
Cast iron slugs, made from window sash weights, which had been
broken up, were volleyed in all direction?, one of them crashing through
the skylight of the forty-story Equitable Building. These slugs,
together with the fact that the explosion took place at the very center
of the financial world and at"* 12:01 precisely, form the basis of the gen?
erally accepted theory that an infernal machine, and not an accident,,
caused the explosion.
Wagon Painted Red Seen in Wall Street
Of the wagon, said by witnesses to have been painted red and of th?
kind used by grocers for deliveries, and which housed th? engine of de?
struction, only a few fragments could be found. Drawn by a plodding
horse, it was seen coming ?up Wall Street from the east ft few minutos
before 12 o'clock. Some of those who saw it declared that it bore the
name of a manufacturer of explosives.
It stopped at the curb jujst about at.the dividing line between the
Assay Office, where $900,000,000 in gold bullion is stored, and the Sub
Treasury, vaults of which hold $1,000,000 more. Directly across- Wall
Street is the $4,000,000 structure which houses the Morgan firm, where,
in an office on an upper floor, members of the firm had just seated them?
selves with a representative of tho coal operators to discuss the strike in
the anthracite fields.
Half a block to the south tho riotous curb market waa surging and
shouting in the roped spaces of Broad Street. The bell of Trinity sounded
noon and like an echo came the bell which marks that hour in the curb
While the latter still was chiming, the explosion came. Buildings
rocked at the shock. A sheet of flame leaped up that licked through
windows shivered by the detonation. Then came a mushroom of smoke,
the convolutions of its under surface tinged with sulphurous yellow. For
a moment the smoke canopy hung solidly above the financial district. Then
it drifted away.
In the streets below all motion was paralyzed for the moment. Three
bodies lay on the steps of J. P. Morgan & Co. Other huddled forms were ,
strewn on both sides of Wall Street, and a few more were prostrate on
Erosad Street. Bits of smoldering cloth which an instant before had formed
part of the clothing of men and women were blowing along the sidewalk!.
Panic Among Employees in Many Buildings
An upturned automobile which had stood at the curb near the red
wagon, with two women in it, was blazing furiously on the sidewalk.
From all sides came the crash and tinkle of falling glass. In a dozen
office buildings persons who had been near the windows were beating
out flames in their clothing and striving to stanch the wounds glass
shards had made.
Others, some of th.pm powerful financiers, were marvelling to dis?
cover that they had escaped scatheless, although their desks were lit?
tered with broken glass, their window sills scarred by slugs or the glass
in the telephone booth in which they happened to be lay in fragments at
their feet.
Although timed to explode at the moment when the activities of the
world of finance are at their height and placed at the very center of
that world, the infernal machine failed to destroy a single financier*
One employee in tte Morgan offices was killed. Junius Spencer Morgan
suffered a cut on the hand. Robert Bacon, who was with him in eos?
ference, was slightly hurt. -
The victims were chance by-passers, men and women of the mor?
ordinary walks of life, whose business, pleasure or Ate had called them
at that hour to' that spot?
The walls of the new Assay Office and of the Morgan Building
showed scars where slugs had struck. Window sills and cornices had
been chipped by the missiles. AU the windows in the Assay Office were
shattered and the steel casements in which the panes were set were bent
Work of Rescue Started by Those injured
Not a sound pane of glass remained in the Morgan Building, Even
the heavy plate glass panels in the dooss were broken. Screens of copper
mesh which were set inside the windows were bent and twisted, but had
fulfilled their mission of protecting those within. Fragments of the glass
dome above the main office lay on the floor, and one of these, or some
similar bit of falling d?bris, is believed to be responsible for the sing)?
death that occurred there. The streets were covered with broken glass?
some of it finely powdered, like sugar.
The heroic statue of Washington on the steps of the Sub-Treasury
was not so much as scratched by the explosion, and stood firmly, with
hand outstretched in a quelling gesture. ?
Those who merely had been thrown to the ground by the shock set
about rescue work as soon as they regained their feet. White-clad sur-?
geons soon were at their elbows, for the clangor of arriving ambulances
and fire apparatus filled the air while glass still was falling.
Policemen were sent to the scene in force and established lines two
blocks from the corner where the explosion occurred. Within forty min?
utes of the blast, army trucks came lumbering up Broad Street from South
Ferry and fifty men of Company M, 22d Infantry, clambered out and
*ell i" line with fixed bayonets, each man with one hundred rounds of
ball cartridges in hi? pouches.
They had *^pn summoned because of .tho JfcVX?B>i&- fil tbj J?M?jj

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