Newspaper Page Text
THE EVENING STAR.
PUBLISHED DAILY, EXCEPT SUNDAY. Viuhh Offlee Utk Stmt u4 P?nn?jlTini? Anm. Ths Evsnmg SUr Newspaper Company. 8. H KAUF71IANN. President. Ifew York Offlee : Tribune Baiidiag. Chicago Offlee : Tribune Builtinf The- Star la derrwl 10 subscriber* In the city by rirrlon, on th?!r ?>wn account, at 10 cent# per wwk. or 44 v *nta per month. CodM at the counter 2 cent* each By mall ?anywhere In the U. 8. or Canada?pontage prepaid- ftO centa per mont?. Saturday 8tar 32 par*a. $1 per year; with for ?iirn poataee added $8.nO. _ (BoterH) at the I'oat Office at WMbluftoa, l>. w*9 as second clans mat! matter.) CTA11 mail snbacrlptlona moat b*? p*td In adjancaw Ratea of advertising made known on application. OVER GOO DEAD Latest Estimate in Chi cago Holocaust, Down-Town Stores Converted Into Morgues, PUSHING RESCUE WORK WAKEFUL HOURS FOR PHYSI CIANS AND NURSES. Strong Hearts Weaken at Ghastly and Grewsorae Finds in the Ruins. More than six hundred persons burned, suffocated or trampled to death, and hundreds injured, is the frightful story of the destruction of the Iroquois Theater in Chicago. Thirteen hundred persons, fraught with holiday cheer, gathered to wit ness the production of "Mr. Blue beard." During the second act at the mat inee performance a fire broke out on the stage. It is supposed to have had its inception in a broken electric light wire or the bursting of a calcium light tank. The frightful scenes that follow ed the first cry of fire will never be forgotten by those who were fortu nate enough to make their escape. Fumes from the gas tanks, that were exploded by the flames, in vaded the auditorium and killed hundreds of persons. Many occupants of the balcony were burned to death before they could leave their seats. The asbes tos curtain could be lowered only half way. and this gave the flames an impetus. The work of destruction of life and property was of short duration. Policemen and physicians found heaps of bodies that had been tram pled by the more fortunate? in their efforts to save themselves. Throughout the night and all of today the work of identification and efforts to relieve the injured and suffering have been prosecuted without cessation. The people of the civilized world condole with the citizens of Chi cago over the greatest and most ap palling theater fire that has ever been known in the history of the country. FLAMES' QUICK WORK THEATER PATRONS TAKEN COM PLETELY UNAWARES. Slwcliil Dispatch to Th?* Evening S.r. CHICAGO. 111.. DwemWr 31.?Official fig ured issued by ilie police department late last night place the number of victims of lire at the Iroquois Theater at Though only two of the injured in hospitals died last night, the Injuries of many more prob ably will prove fatal and before the fatali ties end the list is expected to reach 700. The formerly magnificent playhouse? upon its' completion considered one of the finest in America?is today a desolate ruin. No sign of the terrible holocaust shows on the outside. Even the awning leading from the curb to the door and placed In position before yesterday's matinee to protect ar rivals from the falling snow was still standing this morning, but the interior in a naked .skeleton of former magnificence. Blackened and Charred. The classic outlines of the theater are blackened and charred; the plush hang ings have gone up in flames; the stained glass in the arched windows has burst, and the stately pillars are scarred by the pass use of flumes. The woodwork of the sea'ts is burned and their plush linings consumed. The gor geous boxes have been denuded of paint and decorations and the whole stage has ta? t-n gu'tc-d of hies and scenery. Everywhere on the floors is a wreckage of broken seats and sodden garments cast aside In the mad rush for life. The police men who went through the house in the early morning found many jewels and watches and well-tilled purses lying In the debris. Employes Exonerated. Will J. Davis and Harry J. Powers of the Iroquois Theater Company were closeted last night from 8 o'clock until 1 o'clock with Attorneys S. S. 1'nge, L. W. Force and W. J. Hlnes. They examined Stage Fire s an Win. Sailers, Electrician Archibald Bernard and Engineer Kdward Murray as to the causes of the lire. . At 11 o'clock they adjourned from their From the New York Hcraiu. office In the Illinois Theater, where the con ference was held, to inspect the ruins of the Iroquois. As a -esult of their investigation, j t/hey issued the following statement to the public: "So far as we have been able to ascertain the cause or causes of the most unfortunate accident of the fire at the Iroquois, it ap pears that one of the scenic draperies was noticed 'o have ignited from some cause." Killfyre Not Effective. "It was detected before it had reached any appreciable flame, and the city fireman who is detailed and constantly on duty when the theater is open noticed it simul taneously with the electrician. "The fireman, who was only a few feet away, immediately pulled a tube of killfyre, of which there were many hung about the stage, and threw the contents upon the fire, which would have been more than enough, if the killfyre had been effective, to have extinguished the flame at once;-but for some cause inherent in the tube of kill fyre- it had no effect. "The fireman and electrician then ordered down the asbestos curtain, and the fireman threw the contents of another tube of kill fyre upon the flame, with no better result. "The commotion thus caused excited alarm in the audience, who immediately started for the exits, of which there are twenty-five, of unusual width, all opening out and ready to the hand of any one reaching them. Efforts to Pull Curtain Down. "The draft thus caused, it is believed, he fore the curtain could be entirely lowered produced a bellying of the asbestos cur tain, causing a pressure on the guldts against the solid brick wall of the prosceni um, thus stopping the descent. ??Every effort was made by those on the j stage to pull the curtain down, but the draft was so great, it seems, thatthopres^ sure against the proscenium wall and the friction caused thereby was so strong that they could not be overcome.* "The audience became panic-stricken in their effort* to reach the exits and tripped and fell over each other and blocked the way. , , ? "The audlen<e was promptly admonished by persons employed on the stage and in the auditorium to be calm and avoid any rush; that the exits and facilities for emp tying the theater were ample to enable them all to get out without confusion. Thought to Be Fireproof. "No expense or precaution was omitted to make the theater as fireproof as it could be made, there being nothing combustible in the construction of the house except the trimmings and furnishings of the stage and auditorium. In the building of the theater we sacrificed more space to aisles and exits than in any theater in America." ? , It is now believed that many persons rendered unconscious by the gases and smoke inalde the theater, aud who might have bten revived, were mistaken for dead by rescuing parties and thrown upon the pile of corptes wiiieh lined tiie sidewalk In front of the playhouse, und there froze to death or died from lack of proper medical attention. The majority of those brought from the burning building were unconscious, l'hysi cians in the numerous improvised hospitals in the stores and hotels, in the purlieus of the theater, tested their hearts with a stethoscope to see if life remained. Physicians Worked Over Patients. If even a faint pulsation were registered half a doxor. physicians worked with the patient. One rubbed his lower limbs, while another chafed the torso and a third pumped the arras up and down to restore circulation. At times oxygen was forced into the lungs and the tongue pulled outward with forceps as an aid to respiration. Many persons seemingly dead to the casual eye, when subjected to the stethoscope test, were found alive and were revived. Several hundred dead bodies carried from the theater while the fire was burning and immediately afterward were piled at the, curb In heaps five and six bodies deep and were removed to morgues and undertaking shops in ambulances, trucks and express wagons. One large express wagon was so heavily loaded with corpses that six police men bent to the wheels to assist thi? horses to budge tlie cargo. Made Rounds of Hospitals. All night long people who had lost rela tives and dear ones made the rounds of the hospitals and morgues and many an affecting scene was enacted when the miss ing ones were found dead. In the train of . t ambulances and death carts ns they car ried their freight of corpses to the morgues masses of people struggled along, frantic to resell the undertaking rooms to search for relatives and friends among the dead. When the first idea of the number of vic tims was gained orders were given by Coroner Traeger that the bodies should be distributed among all the private morgues, and within an hour after the tire the streets in iront of downtown undertaking shops were thronged from curb to curb. To Ra Is ton's morgue 183 bodies were taken; 33J? to Jordan's; 47 to Sheldon's; 49 to Gavin's; B1 to Buffum's; 2."i to Perrigo's. These are morgues in the central part of town. Cordons of police were thrown about the doors of the undertaking shops and had all they could do to keep back the grief-crazed crowds, which were not allowed to enter until the police had searched the dead bod.es. Faces pressed thick against the window panes of the morgue, staring in vain at the blank walls behind which the victims lay in piles. Scenes Were Hai rowing. Occasionally a man with pallid face and Staring eyes rotted his way past the polico ;>nd clamor-d for permission to enter, fail ing back into the crowd with great sabs as he was denied. Inside the scenes were narrowiujf. When the bodies were received the blan > ts in which they had been shrouded were removed and the uncovered forms were huddled in long lines on the floor. Thi.ty deep they lay in furrows their ghasllintss l)t ought out by the glare of the electric lights. Here lay a gray-haired man, his features recognisable, but the smoky palijr of his face showing death from suffocation. Near by was the body of a child <n Fauntleroy costume, his golden curls in contrast to the scarlet color of his flame-baked cheeks. Some of the bodies were stripped of clothing, and with distorted limbs and mangled and charred features were seen in all their ghastliness. In on- respe-t they were alike. The left arm of nearly every victim was drawn taught to 'lie side while the scarlet right hand had siiffened in an outstretched position as if to ward off some peril. On each body that had been touched by the tire the color of the flames was left in ghastly duplication on the flesh. Restaurant Turned Into Hospital. Thompson's restaurant, adjo'rnng the Iroquois Theater, where thousands of down-town workers eat their meals every day. was turned into a hospital and ir.orgue, in which 20<) injured were carried and more than flfty died. The hurried work of rescue was of a rough character. Men staggered out of the smoke carrying limp forms in then4 arms. Some brought out three children in their arms at once, carrying two across their shoulders like meal sacks, while tin. third was grasped by the arm or clothing. In some caiits dead and living were brought out in the arms of tr.e same rescuer. To make room for the Injured, the long marble-top tables were swept clear of diahes and the bodies were laid upon them. Fifty doctors were soon in the restaurant, having volunteered their services and worked under the direction of Dr. G. Frank Lydston. A surgical instrument firm across Randolph street rushed to the cat? a sup ply of Instruments, lint and bandages and tanks of oxygen for the purpose of resusci tating those who were unconscious fiom In haling gas and smoke. Besieged by Persons Frantic. While the physicians administered restor atives. frantic men and- women besiege 1 the restaurant In hope of flnJtng their lest ones. Black-clad priests, with chanlets of beads, went from table to tabls, cheering the injured with words of religious cheer and shriving the dying. Despairing ones rushed here snd there peering into the faces of the injured, draw ing down the blankets, which covered the dead and seeking to identify the face be neath. But for all the atmosphere of fev erish excitement and hysteria the physic ians worked as quietly as In the calm of an operating chamber. A beautiful girl, whom no one could identify, wa* carried in unconscious, iier heart was beating faintly. Placed in a Pile of Dead. , Five physicians worked with he, for an hour. At the end she gasped and died. Her body was placed In a pile of dead and carted to a morgue, where it lay unclaimed (Continued on Eighth Page.) ? Probability of a Hostile Clash With Colombia Decreasing. ?H c MOBE VESSELS SAIL NAVAL FORCE ON THlj ISTHMUS TO BE REINFORCED. Two Field or Mountain Butteries to Be Prepared for Transportation?Mili tary Operations Held in Abeyance. The administration is somewhat embar rassed with respecL to active inttuary opera tions on the isthmus of Panama pending the ratification by the Senate yf the treaty recently concluded with Panama. It is feared that any radical action based on that instrument in advance of itsjjormal rat.lo cation might result in serious complications. In the opinion of some officials the authority of the United States is at present limited under the treaty of 1M? with New Granada to the preservation of free transit across the isthmus, and that until the Hily-Bunau V'arilla treaty is an accomplished fact the ; right of the United States, uiwier existing conditions to use force agalns^^olombia in j Its efforts to regain the terrltoflfeof Panama is questionable, if not vi_olative|>of the prin ciples of International law. The .new treaty gives the Ijilted States full authority to maintain the integrity of the new republic of Panama, jfcrid If that agreement were in force there would be no question as to the legal right the Presi dent to send troops to any parfief Panama and keep out any Colombian |roops that might attempt to enter that territory. It Is on this account that the otikers of the admlnisration desire prompt action on the pending treaty, and it also explains In a measure why operations on tfie itshmus have been confined to the navy *nd marine forces instead of using reguia# t^pops in the land operations. Danger of Clash Abat But State Department advlafb of recent date all go to show that the Singer of a hostile clash with Colombia Is Bttttmg, and these, taken in connection vrftSMr. Beau pre's courteous treatment by ihBColomoian cffi( iala on his way home, tettcKto co.pliriA the official impression here tl? Is now a fair chance of reaclihigSk idStaiac tory adjustment of the is'few*# ^twites ihe United States and ColomMta., thing it appears that the sSfcH of Colombia have come to 'n the event of hostilities they?wfBarbe the tiist sufferers by contact <#i*ti * naval force, while the officials at Bogtrtn, two weeks distant from the sea, #ould teive lit tle at stake. ? More Vessels Sail for Panama* Word has been receive^.at the Nary De- | partment from San Francisco that three additional vessels left that'place yesteiday to join the fleet under Admiral Glass at Panama. They are the gunboat Bennington ar.d the destroyers Preble and Paul Jones. The gunboat will act as convoy to the smaller vessels. They will stop at I>a Paz. Mexico, for coal, and also may s op at San Diego for the sar.ie purpose. An almost similar fleet arrived at Kings ton, Jamaica, yesterday on its way to Colon for similar patrol service along tl'.e ooast. This small fleet consists of the gun boat Topeka and the torpedo boat destroy ers Stewart and Truxton. They will re sume their journey as soon as they have taken on coal. The Topeka is convoying the torpedo boats. The collier Caesar arrived at Colon yes terday and the collier Lebanon left Balti more yesterday for the same port. The collier* L.eonidas is loading with coal at Baltimore for the fleet at Colon, and will start today or tomorrow. Movable Batteries to Be Prepared. In accordance with the policy of being pi e pared for a ivy emergency that may arise, the general staff of the army has directed that two field or mountain bat teries o. the army be placed in a state of readiness for prompt transportation to the Isthmus of Panama, or any other point where such artillery may be required. One of these batteries is at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the other is at Fort Riley, Kan., in command of Capt. William S. McNair ol the Artillery Corps. The funs of these batteries may be detached from their mcunts and carried upon the backs of mules through any country accessible to such animals. They were used in the Phil ippines with great success. Volunteers for Colombia. Canadians and Germans from various parts of the United Statep and Canada are applying to the Colombian legation of ficials here for permission to enlist in the Colombian army or navy and assist in iios tilities against the isthmus. These requests have become so numerous the Colom bian charge. Dr. lieiran, lias been forced to abandon his attempt to answer each one personally and he therefore announced that he is without authority to enlist men in the Colombian army or navy and that such matters must, be attended to in . Bogota. It seemH that the Canadian offers of assist ance outnumber those coming from Ger mans in this country and many of the writ ers express their willingness to aid Col ombia In any efforts she may make to avenge the Panama incident. SECRETARY HAY ?ETTKR. He May Soon Be Able Leave His House. | Secretary Hay's condition^ was today re ported by his physician Jo be growing steadily better. Unless he ta?eR a fresh cold or some unlooked-for compilation arises he soon will be able to leave 1^8 houae. It is not likely that he will be able to do the honors of host at the diplomatic b?eakfast at liig beautiful residence tpniorrow morn ing. -+* FEW CLERKS RI All That Could Be Sparisff From War and Navy Department^ Excused. Although neither Secretary Root nor Sec retary Moody would order .the closing of the War or the Navf Department at noon today, they practically accomplished the same purpose by authorising th? excuse at that hour "of all employes w|o could be spared." The number who remained at their desks until the regular closing liour of 4 o'clock were few inde indeeg. Surplus for December. The forthcoming monthljr'ftatement of the government receipts and expenditures will show that the total recelptt for December, 1903, to be about $42.747.5K? and the ex penditures 24^,000. leaving a surplus for the month of $10.4140,532. The surplus for the six months of the present fiscal year will be about |8.43 Mr. W. J. Bryan May Declare for Him. A FRIEND'S STATEMENT IF TAMMANY WERE TO DECLARE FOR ANYONE ELSF Mr. Bryan Would Fight That Man With Hearst?What the Former Thinks of the Latter. A report has been circulating in political circles that William J. Bryan upon Ms return to America would signalize his re entry in active politics by declaring: for the nomination of William R. Hearst for the presidency. It is stated that Mr. Hearst has been anxious for some time for such a declaration from Mr. Bryan, but that Mr. Bryan was disinclined to commit himself at this time. A friend of Mr. Hearst, a man who has the political confidence of those most ac tively engaged in forwarding Mr. Hearst's candidacy for the presidential nomination, made a statement of the case to a Star reporter today, which he said would suf fice for the present as a description of the situation. Mr. Bryan's Position. According to this statement, the only thing which would impel Mr. Bryan to come out flat-footed for Mr. Hearst at this time would be for Tammany to now de clare its preference for Mr. Gorman or Judge Parker. That, it was said, would compel Mr. Bryan to Immediately take sides and his position would be on the side of Mr. Hearst. If Tammany does not take up the cause of an eastern democrat or align itself with the reorganizes of the democracy, Mr. Bryan, it was stated, would keep hands off until close to convention time. But. ac cording to the knowledge of The Star's in formant, Mr. Bryan will fight any man taken up by Tammany and will fight that mm with Mr. Hearst. The speaker pointed out that Mr. Bryan's preferences thus far were men not likely to get the nomination, comparatively un known men. He has not once discussed a name that is likely to be presented to the convention, but lias seemed to try to draw the gossip away from the real prospective candidates for the nomination. The speaker -vent on to say that if Mr. Bryan is not. flushed from cover before the convention approaches, he will; in this man's opinion, declare for Mr. Hearst. The reasons which Induced this, opinion were ? set forth as follows: - Reasons for Opinion. "Mr. Bryan realizes that no man in the east was so effectively loyal to the regu lar ticket in the last two presidential cam paigns as Mr. Hearst. He knows that Mr. Hearst used every effort at his command to forward the campaign of the democracy in the two elections, and that he has been a consistent democrat all along. He knows the strength of Mr. Hearst with the labor elements of the country and he believes that Mr. Hearst would make a good can didate. He prefers Mr. Hearst to any man who thus fat has been named by the 're organizers.' and 1 look to see him announce that preference in due time." GERMANY'S QUIET EFFORT. * [ Seeking to Establish a Coaling Station at St. Thomas. Information has reached Washington to the effect that Germany is making a quiet but determined effort to obtain possession of a coaling station at St. Thomas, one of the Danish West Indian Islands. The news comes in a manner that requires further confirmation before official notice can be taken of it, and as suc'n rumors have not j been infrequent in recent years, and gen erally proven to be groundless, the State Department is disposed to move with the I greatest circumspection In the matter. As ! the United States government has offered a | i fair price for the Danish West India Is ! lands, a price which the executive branch of the Danish government consented to ac cept by the signature of a treaty, even 1 though the agreement was rejected by the Danish rlgsdag, it is the feeling here that tiie matter has progressed too far to allow any third party to come between the United States and Denmark in that transaction. In other words, Denmark is expected to sell the islands to the United States or to , retain them. LONDON'S SYMPATHY. The Lord Mayor Offers Condolence With the American People. The following cablegram has been re ceived at the State Department- from Am bassador Choate, at London, dated today: "Citizens of London, through lord mayor, offer their deep sympathy and sincere con dolences with the American people in tlie awful loss of life at the Chicago fire." THE GREAT ASPHALT LAKES. Conflicting Claims to Be Decided by Venezuelan Cout. Advices received here from Caracas indi cate that the long-standing issue in Vene zuela arising from the conflicting claims of the New York and Bermudez Company and the Warner-Quinlan syndicate to the great asphalt lakes there is about to te at last settled by judicial decision. It is announced' that the Venezuela federal court, the tri bunal'of last resort, will take up this case immediately and reach a decision by Janu ary 20. This case promised at one time to involve the United States and Venezuela In trouble, but it is now believed that the matter is about to be settled on judicial principles and the result will be satisfac tory to our government. BOND REFUNDING CEASED. About $15,000,000 of Fours and Threes Have Been Exchanged. The Treasury Department' today ceased the refunding of 8 and 4 per cent bonds into 2 per cents. The total amount re funded since Secretary Shaw announced the resumption of operations was $15,691, 200, of which $11,358,300 have been 4 per cents and $4,332,900 3's. During this cal endar year a total of nearly $80.0^0,000 of 3's and 4'g were refunded into 2's. The treasury today also ceastd the re demption of the 5 per cent bonds of 1904, which now become due and must be paid. The total amount of these bonds redeemed in the last six weeks has been $12,802 0*>0. There are about $7.000 000 of them outstand ing which wnl no longer war interest and will probably be returned by degrees. In Charge of Construction Work. Capt. George C. Barnbardt, quartermas ter, 15th Cavalry, has been ordered to as sume charge, under direction of the quar tsrmaster general of the army, of the con struction work at Fort Myer, Va. NTIMATIOH Of WAR Imposition of War Risks at Moscow. CONCENTRATE TROOPS MANCHURIAN CORRESPONDENT DEFINES CHINESE FLAN. Temporary Lull at Tokio?Russian Criuser Sails for Far East?En glish Warships in Dock. MOSCOW, December .31.?The imposition of wav risks today by the insurance com pauios on shipments hence to the far east was the first local intimation that Russo Japanese hostilities were considered within tl.c bounds of possibility. There is no war talk, however, nor ex citement. The general apatlty of the Mus covites Is evidenced by the absence of the slightest editorial reference in the Moscow dally newspapers. The news which is filter ing In is published without comment. The Manchurian correspondent of the Moscow Gazette says the Chinese plan, tn the event of a campalg?, J? to concentrate 50.000 picked troops along the line of the Sinmintun branch of the Manchurian rail road and cut the communications, thus isolating New Chwang and Port Arthur He adds that the reoccupation of Mudken by the Russians was effected chiefly for the purpose of checking this move. No Decision Reached Yet. ST. PETERSBURG, December 31.?The foreign office declares nothing has yet been decided regarding Russia's reply to Japan. M. Kurino, the Japanese minister here, has been conferring actively with Foreign Min ister Lamsdorff, notwithstanding the fact that the Japanese official Is suffering se verely from a cold and from lumbago. No Visible Change at Berlin. BERLIN, December 81.?The far eastern situation has undergone no visible change since yesterday, according to official ad vices received here. Russia still withholds her reply and Japan continues to push the mobilization of her land forces. The solu tion, it is more than ever thought here, will be that Japan will occupy Corea unop posed by Russia. Preparing for Foreign Service. LONDON, December 31.?The British third-class cruisers Intrepid and Latona have been docked at Portsmouth in prep aration for foreign service. It is under stood that they will proceed to China. It is asserted in Dublin that a number of naval reserve men of that district have been instructed to be In readiness to cm bark on the third-class cruiser Mcl.impus if the mobilization of the reservists is or dered. JURYMAN COLLAPSES. Continued Sight of Bodies Proved Al together Too Much. CHICAGO, December 31 (2:45 p.m.).?No decrease In treaty estimatas of the dead, missing and injured in the Iroquois Theater fire. Continued sight of bodies lying huddled on the floors and tables of the various city morgues proved too much this afternoon for some of the jurors Impaneled by Cor oner Traeger. Several of the members of the jury ob jected to being forced to view the bodies, and one Juror, Mr. Joseph Cummings, prac tically collapsed at Ralston's morgue, where the Jury was forced to step over the dead bodies in their tour of inspection. INTEREST IN VIENNA. Recollection of Ring Disaster Brought Painfully to Mind. VIENNA, December 31.?The catastrophe at Chicago has aroused the most painful interest and the utmost sympathy every where, the Viennese having a keen recol lection of the disaster at the Ring Theater in 1881, when many people lost their lives. Intense anxiety prevails in the American colony. a3 many doctors and musical stu dents, who form the bulk of the colony, come from the middle west. HORROR AND SMYPATHY. Fire Department at Berlin Will Make Fresh Study of Theaters. BERLIN, December 31.?The evening pa pers express horror and sympathy over the Chicago catastrophe, comparing the details with those of the Vienna and Paris theater fires. The fire department here announces that It will immediately make a fresh study of the protective arrangements of the local theaters so as to prevent, if possible, a disaster similar to the one at Chicago. THE QUIROS ON A REEF. Reported Disaster to a Little Gunboat in the Philippines. MANILA, December 31.?The lTnite<i States gunboat Quiros is reported aground on a reef off the coast of Borneo. The Quiros is a single-screw steamer of 400 tons, and is commanded by Lieut. Francis Bouhler. EARTHQUAKE IN ILLINOIS. Distinct Shocks Felt in Different Sec tions?Houses Shaken. PENFIELD, 111., December 31.?Three dis tinct earthquake shocks were experienced throughout this vicinity this morning, ali in rapid sequence. Houses were shaken and occupants aroused from sleep. No damage of consequence has been reported as yet. PARIS, 111.. December 31.?Paris was shaken today by an earthquake, which was very perceptible over the entire olty. No damage is reported. NO QUORUM UNTIL MONDAY. Both Branches of Virginia Legislature Failed to Meet Today. Special Dispatch to The Evenlnjr Star. RICHMOND, Va? December 31.?Neither branch of the legislature could muster a quorum today. This is the third day in which business has been suspended because of absence of members. Impression pre vails that quorum will not be obtained be fore Monday. From Printer*' Tnk, Not. 19. IMS. The Washington Star is gen erally considered one of the ten or twelve choicest advertising mediums that can be named among all the dailies published throughout the United States. AT THE WHITE HOUSE But Three Persons Seen by President This Morning. DEPT. OF COMMERCE CORTELYOT7 EXPECTS ASSISTANCE FROM US. MURRAY. Conference This Afternoon Over North Carolina Post Office Appointments-?i Messages of Sympathy. Secretary Cortelyou. Secretary Root. Act ing Secretary Loomis of the State Depart ment aiul James R. Garfield, commissioner of corporations in the Department of Com merce and Labor, were the only persons who had talks with the President this morning- before he went out for Ills horse back ride. The important and delicate work of Mr. Garfield's bureau of corpora tions requires repeated conference with the President. The shaping of the policy of this bureau has been under consideration by the President, Secretary Cortelyou and Mr. Garfield a number of times, and the de tails of the policy to be followed In the handling of corporations will continue to receive oreful attention at the hands of these officials. The President plates the greatest reliance upon the wisdom of Sec retary Cortelyou and Mr. Garfield, who have been struggling for some time witii the formative period of important executive work. The President will send to the Senate Monday the nomination of Uwrcn> e O. Murray of Chicago as assistant secretary of the Department of Commerce and La bor, and when the nomination has been confirmed Mr. Murray will enter upon the duties of rhe office. Mr. Cortelyou has had the entire responsibility of the new depart j ment upon his shoulders for nine months, and the assistance Mr. Murray will give him will be helpful to a large degree. Mr. Murray will not enter upon his new duUes handicapped by Inexperience. He Is ac quainted with official methods of the Wash ington departments. This familiarity, com bined with excellent executive force and sound Judgment, will enable htm to enter Into his work at once. Messages of Sympathy. The President this morning sent to the mayor of Chicago a message of sympathy over the horrible theater disaster of yes terday. Assistant Secretary Loomis toon to the White House a message received by the State Department from the lord mayor of London, conveying 1Mb profound sorrow at the disaster. Prea dent Roosevelt was deeply touched on reading the news of tlie Immense loss of life, and his feelings were plainly shown in his talks with the few callers who saw him. Two North Caroling Offices. The President has an appointment this afternoon with Thomas S. Rollins, repub lican state chairman of North Carolina, and the authority to whom the President looks for suitable recommendations for ot fices in North Carolina. Mr. Rollins has several very burdensome propositions on ins hands right now. and he haa come to Washington to talk them over with the President and the Postmaster General. Mr. Payne will probably be the one who will have to aid Mr. Rollins in deciding ti.e questions that have arisen, and Mr. Rollins has beejj in conference with him today. Women are the causes of the trouble In two cases. The principal case is that of the postmaster at Wilmington, N. C. That official at this time is Miss Darby, and she wants to remain in the office, which pays a good salary. The wife of former Governor Daniel L. Russell Is understood to desire the position also, and a rather bitter tight is the result. Miss Darby charges that ex Governor Russell, who lives In Wilmington, promised h.s support to her. but that he went back on his word. Gov. Russell is one of the most Influential republicans In the state, and if he desires the appointment of his wife the republican state officials will be in rather bad shape If they refuse his request for a recommen dation. Miss Darby realizes this, and is doing all she can to securc and hold all the influence that will be of use to her in her fight. Mr. Rollins has been much perplexed by the case of another North Carolina woman who wants a post office. She Is Mrs. Shipp, widow of Lieutenant Shlpp, United States army, who lost his life in the battle of San Juan, and who was a comrade and friend of the President. Mrs. Shipp wants the post office at Llncolnton, which Is con ducted by Postmaster Barkley, who nat urally wants the place again. The Presi dent has felt a most kindly interest In the case of Mrs. Shipp. and It is said will lnsirt on her having a good place, even if she Is not made postmaster. . It lias been sug gested that she be given a place in the office of collector of Internal revenue at Raleigh. Another southern woman Is making trouble for politicians because she wants a post office. She Is Mrs. J. Hampton Hoge. widow of Hampton Hoge. republican leader of Virginia during his lifetime. She asked for the small office at Blacks burg. but this has been refused her by Rep resentative Slemp, the republican who slfs in the House from that district Trouble has been made for Mr. Slemp as a result, but nothing has been done about the place! Texas Democrats Are for Gorman. Representative Slayden of Texas called at the White House and has an appointment to see the President this afternoon. As to the choice of Texas democrats for the demo cratic nomination for President Mr. Slayden said: "The majority of people of Texas I have talked with are favorable to Senator Gorman, and I think that is the rule throughout the state. Nearly all southern people have a most kindly feeling for the senator from Maryland." The President will resume the reception of visitors next Monday. He has enjoyed him self during the Christmas holidays and feels thai he has been benefited by his horse back r!de and outdoor exercise. The President Invited to Cincinnati. oenator Koraker has extended to the President an Invitation to attend the Cin cinnati musical festival, which Is to be held next May. The President said it would af ford him great pleasure to be present dur ing the festival, but as yet it was loo early for him to say positively whether he would be able to attend. He promised, however, to notify the senator later of Ids decision. Colombia Will Not Be Represented. Colombia will not be represented at the New Year reception. General Reyes, the special envoy, has asked to be excused from attending in view of the present situation, and Dr. Herran. the Colombian charge, who is not at all well,, will also be absent. A SENSATIONAL FALSEHOOD. Alleged Plot to Blow Up Big Guns of Warships. Admiral O'Nell, chief of the bureau of ordnance, has had his attention called to a dispatch emanating from Philadelphia giv ing the details of an alleged plot of an archist* to blow up the big guns of war*