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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, February 16, 1898, Image 1

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Four Hundred and Twenty
of Uncle Sam's Brave
Boys Are Killed.
One of the Most Awful Disasters
That Have Ever Overtaken the
American Navy, and Spain
is Open to Suspicion,
HAVANA, Feb. 15.— The Maine
has blown up. Captain Sigsbee and
various officers saved, and he pays
he believes about 100 men were
killed and injured. The vessel is
now burning and is sinking to the
bottom of the bay. The detonation
was tremendous. All Havana
HAVANA. Feb. 15. — The American
battleship Maine, lying at anchor here,
was destroyed by an explosion at 10
o'clock to-night. Of her crew of 450
officers and men, only 33 are known to
have been saved.
The explosion shook the whole city
and threw Havana into a panic.
It is understood at this writing that |
Captain Sigsbee and a few of his offi
cers were visiting a merchantman in
the harbor at the time of the disaster
and are sdie.
None of the few survivors who have
been seen can tell me how the ex
plosion occurred. The injured are be
ing taken on stretchers to the Casa de
Socorro, where surgeons are in at
James Rowe, the ship's cook, was the
least injured of any that were brought
in when I was there.
"I don't know, sir," he replied,
speaking with difficulty. " I turned in
my hammock at 8 o'clock and heard
three bells strike. I don't remember
anything until I felt myself turning
over and over and falling heavily upon
the deck, in a mass of smoke. I got on
foot and worked my way on deck.
When I got. there the superstructure of
Captain Charles D. Sigsbee, In command of the warship Maine, sent
by the Navy Department to guard American interests in Havana, is one
of the most popular officers in the navy. He was graduated from Annapo
lis in 1863. He served in Mobile Bay, was an active participant in the work
of the North Atlantic blockading squadron in 1865, and helped in the at
tacks and in the final assault upon Fort Fisher.
Not long ago the Maine, with Sipsbee in command, found herself
bearing down on an excursion boat in the East River. Ahead wa.i the
excursion boat, full of human beings. On either side was a barge. The
only clear way showed a pier. Th<* old commander ordered his engines
reversed, and to the amazement of the beholders he steered straight
for the pier and ran into it amuck. The pier was badly torn up, the
Maine's nose was bruised, but several hundred human lives were
saved. The excursion boat ran clear, but ten loaded freight cars, that
were standing on the pier, went to the bottom of the river. There is
no doubt as to Captain Sigsbee's relative valuation of human life and
property. About $4000 in property was destroyed, but 1000 lives were
saved. That was not a bad ten minutes' work for a man whose busi
ness it is to kill.
Captain Sigsbee went to Cuba on board of a fine, stout ship,
manned by a complement of able officers.
The San Francisco Call
HABANA, Feb. 15.— Maine volado.
Capitan Sipsbee salvado, con varios
oflciaies, y dice que cree hayan pere
cido a 100 menos cien hombres. El
buque queesta ardiendo estoa mo
mentos, y a esta descansando fondo
bihia. Detonacion fu tremenda.
1 oda Habana alarmada.
the deck was dipping under water, and
I jumped overboard to keep from be
ing drawn down by the suction.
"I was picked up by a boat from the
Spanish man-of-war. Three more were
picked up by the same boat. They were
Daniel Cronin, a landsman; Charles
Berryman, boatswain; Albert John, a
seaman, and — Bloomer, a landsman."
One poor fellow whose face is in
jured past all recognition is lying
moaning in a cot in the hospital. I
asked him his name and he mumbled
back through horribly swollen lips:
"My folks would feel uneasy if I told
So far as I can learn now the ex
plosion took place in the magazine
used for the storage of gun cotton for
the torpedoes. The vessel lies with her
bow wholly submerged and only a part
of her stern showing.
The explosion shook the city from
end to end, and created the wildest ex
citement. All the electric lights were
blown out by the shock. Fire engines
rushed madly from one district to an
other, and no one knew for certain
from which point the explosion
Some shouted the report that it was
The Maine was commanded by Captain Charles D.
Her other officers were:
Lieutenant-Commander Richard Wainwright.
Lieutenants G. F. Holman, John Hood and C. W. Yungen.
Lieutenants (junior grade) C. W. Blow, J. T. Blandin, F.
A. Jenkins.
Cadets J. H. Holden, W. T. Cluverius, Amos Bronson,
D. F. Boyd Jr.
Surgeon L. G. Heneberger.
Paymaster Ryan.
Chief Engineer L. G. Howell.
Passed Assistant Engineer E. C. Bowers.
Assistant Engineers J. R. Morris and D. R. Merritt.
Cadet Engineers Pope, Washington and Arthur Grenshaw.
Chaplain J. P. Chadwick.
Lieutenant ot Marines A. W. Catlin.
the arsenal, others said it was a bomb,
and it was not until n o'clock that the
real cause was known.
Consul-General Lee, who was at the
Hotel Ingleterra, received a telephone
message from General Blanco telling
him that the Maine had been blown up.
Lee hastened to the palace, where
the Cabinet is now assembled.
Admiral Manterola ordered that
boats of all kinds go to the assistance
of the Maine and her wounded. The
Havana firemen also gave aid, tending
carefully to the wounded as they were
brought on shore. It was a terrible
sight. General Zolano and the other
generals were ordered by Captain-
General Blanco to take steps to help
the Maine's crew in every way possible.
The correspondent went close to the
Maine in one of the boats of the cruiser
Alfonso XII, and saw others of the
wounded who corroborate the state
ment of those first interviewed that
they were asleep when the explosion
Captain Sigsbee said the explosion
occurred in the bow of the vessel. He
received a wound in the head. Orders
were given to the other officers to save
themselves as best they could. The lat
ter, who were literally thrown from
their bunks in their night clothing,
gave the necessary orders with great
The first theory was that there had
been a preliminary explosion of powder
or dynamite below the water, but this
was ascertained to be not true.
Admiral Manterola believes that the
first explosion was of a grenade, but
whether one of the ship's magazines
blew up or whether a bomb was placed
beside her and set off by the Spaniards
is not known.
Because of the excitement in the city
the military authorities ordered the
troops to quarters, and the streets are
filled with jostling crowds of excited
citizens and soldiers.
Wants to Know All the Tacts Before
the American People Lay the
Blame Finally Upon Spain.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15.— I called
upon Secretary of the Navy John T.
Long at an early hour this morning,
and he confirmed the Herald's dispatch
that the Maine had been blown up and
destroyed in Havana harbor. In an
swer to my questions, he said:
"Yes, I have received a report from
Captain Sigsbee of the Maine, announc
ing that the battleship had been de
stroyed by an explosion in the harbor
of Havana.
The captain cables that some were
killed and many wounded, and that the
Spanish soldiers did everything In their
power to rescue those who were thrown
Into the water.
"Moreover the captain's dispatch
speaks of the great kindness of the
officers and citizens of Havana, who
showered attentions upon the sufferers.
They cared tenderly for the wounded.
The captain, in his dispatch to me, also
tells of the heroic work of the officers
and men of the cruiser Alfonso."
"Mr. Secretary," I asked, "does Cap
tain Sigsbee assign any cause of the
"No," replied the Secretary; "I pre
sume that as yet the cause is a mys
The following was the dispatch re
ceived by the Secretary of the Navy
from Captain Sigsbee:
"Maine blown up in Havana har
bor at 9:40 last night and destroyed.
Many wounded and doubtless many
killed and drowned. "Wounded and
others on board the Spanish man-of
war and \vard line steamer. Send
lighthouse tender from Key West for
crew and a few pieces of equipment.
Vessel still above water. No one had
other clothes than those upon him.
"Public opinion should be sus
pended until further report. All the
officers are believed to be saved. Jen
kins and Merritt are not yet ac
counted for. Many Spanish officers,
including representatives of General
Blanco, now with me and express
sympathy. SIGSBEE."
The officers referred to in the above
dispatch, are Lieutenant Friend W.
Jenkins and Assistant Engineer Dar
win R. Merritt.
From the wording of the dispatch
the Navy Department think it is pos-
From a Photograph Taken For the New York Herald at Key West on January 16.
sible that they were on shore at the
time of the acident.
The Secretary of the Navy received
another dispat h from Key West at
the same time with the above, but its
contents were not made public.
The orders for the light-house ten
ders were at once sent to Key West
in plain language, thus avoiding the
delay that would have arisen from the
use of a cipher.
Secretary Long received Captain
Pigsbee's dispatch but a few minutes
before the Associated Press dispatches
were handed him. He received the
news with apparent calm, and his first
act was to comply with f'aptain Rigs
bee's request that assistance be sent
from Key West. He Mired Captain
Forsythe at Key West to proceed with
the navaJ tender Fern to Havana hax
Secretary Long then sent for Captain
Dickens, and the two discussed Captain
Sigsbee's brief telegram. No other
naval officers were present, and besides
the Secretary and Captain Dickens the
naval colony here is ignorant of this
disaster, the greatest which has be
fallen the American navy since the
storm in Apia many years ago.
The Secretary is inclined to believe
that most of the officers of the Maine
were on shore at the time of the acci
dent, as it was still in the night.
While neither the Secretary nor Cap
tain Dickens is inclined to discuss the
probable cause of the accident, seve
ral suggestions were ventured. ' They
Weather forecast for San Fran
cisco: Cloudy and unsettled weather
on Wednesday; probably occasional
showers; southwesterly winds.
Maximum temperature for the past
twenty-four hours:
San Francisco 62 decrees
Portland 52 degrees
Lob Angeles 84 degrees
San Diego 74 degrees
Maine Destroyed In Havana Harbor.
Spaniards Howl for War.
Lawyer Burns His Books.
The Clara Nevada Is Lost.
Relief Train for Dawson.
Rich Gold Finds Reported.
Copper River Party Off.
Miners Need Protection.
Says a Woman Killed Collins.
Tlllman Bound to Be Hoard.
Sensation In the Zola Trial.
Burplar Robs a Sick Nurse.
Appeal to the Silverltes.
Money Wanted for Harbors.
To Reform San Jose.
Fatal Riot In Hungary.
Masked Robbers In a Store.
News Along the Water Front.
More Light on Water Front Work
Celebrate Our Seml-Centennlal.
A Fearful Disaster.
The Dollar Limit.
Cultivating Crime for Profit.
Reform In San Jose.
Stories From the Corridors.
A Treasonable Joke.
Library Trustees Steadfast.
Women at the Poolrooms.
Four Daylight Robbers.
The Commercial World.
News From Across the Bay
Crocker Talked Too Much.
Racing at Emeryville.
Births, Marriages and Deaths.
James L. Flood's Confession.
Volcano in the Federal Camp.
Will Fight the Powder Trust.
Skipped With the Funds.
believe that It may have been caused
by a fire in the bunkers, heating the
bulkhead near a magazine, or that an
accident may have occurred while In
specting high explosives for torpedoes.
Of course, this is mere speculation, and
the Secretary is anxiously waiting a
more detailed report from Captain
Later the Secretary sent another tel
egram to Key West, directing that the
tender Mangrove also be sent to Ha-
Secretary Day received the following
dispatch from General Lee:
"The Maine blew up at 9:40. The ex
plosion occurred well forward, under
the men's quarters, consequently many
were lost. It is believed all the officers
were saved, but Jenkins and Merrit are
not accounted for. The cause of ex
plosion !s yet to be investigated. The
Captain-General and the army and
navy officers rendered every assistance.
Sigsbee and most of his officers are on
board the steamer City of Washing
ton. Others are on the Spanish gun
boat and in the city. I am with Sigs
bee, who has telegraphed the Navy De
partment. LEE."
Great Excitement Created at Key-
West by the Receipt of the
Startling News.
KEY WEST, Feb. 16.— This has cer
tainly been the m*-~t eventful night ev
er witnessed in Key West. The excite
ment commenced shortly before 10
o'clock last night, when the first report
was received that the famous tug
Dauntless had arrived at a port on the
east coast and was taking on arms and
ammunition for Cuba,
The celebrated little filibuster was re
ported to have arrived at Palm Beach
this morning with a load of men and
would sail before any attempt could be
made to detain her. The information
was immediately conveyed to the com
manders of naval vessels in the harbor,
who commenced to make preparations
to Intercept the filibusters.
It was ascertained there were only a
Continued en Second Page.
Copyrighted 1898 by James Gordon Bennett.
MADRID. Feb. 15.— Puplic feeling here against the United States is
very highly strung. In the public mind the firm conviction is that the
United States means to force war upon Spain and that the latter must
absolutely stand her ground; that in Cuba the autonomists would side
■with Spain, righting against United States troops, and that if the
Spaniards would encourage the landing of American troops in the
greatest number possible, now that the unhealthy season is coming on,
it would kill them off like flies.
At the same time ships of war could bombard the coast towns,
which, with the exception of New York, are considered unprotected, the
United States not having sufficient warships to guard them.
Great calculations are also made on the widespread ruin which
would fall upon business men in the United States, whereas the bourse
here would scarcely change, as would be the case with the United
States. A war would merely be the first step toward the solution of a
question which is slowly bleeding the resources of the country to death.
Such is the representative idea of public Spanish feeling to-day;
but, mark you, do not quote it as the Government's. The action of the
Government, telegraphed to you last evening, has not popularized it at
home. There are indications that the Ministers are not displeased to
get rid of a representative who could not sincerely reflect their feel
ings, for Senor de Lome was a fervent member of the National party,
headed by Senor Romero Robledo and General Weyler. The Govern
ment feels relief now at having one of Its own men, who truly repre
sents the most liberal ideas of the Cabinet, and who starts full of the
idea of the importance of pushing the commercial treaty, the details of
which he is far more fitted to deal with than was Senor de Lome.
Clamoring for Conflict While the
Two Nations Are Closing
the De Lome In
NEW YORK, Feb. 15.— The Herald's
Washington correspondent telegraphs:
The administration offices were deeply
gratified to-day by the Herald's an-
nouncement from Madrid that Spain
would make a complete and satisfac
tory disavowal of the De Lome letter.
This is the only authentic information
which has reached here, the only offi
cial dispatch on the subject being the
one received yesterday from Minister
Woodford stating that Senor Sagasta
had promised that a satisfactory dis
avowal would he made. In the light of
this and the Herald's dispatch this
morning the authorities now no longer
hesitate to say that the incident is
closed, and that all that remains is
the publication of Spain's reply, which
will follow as soon as Minister Wood
ford is heard from. With the arrival
of the new Minister active negotia
tions in connection with the proposed
new commercial treaty will begin.
By this action Spain will attempt to
show the world that the statements
made by Senor de Lpme that she was
insincere in her desire to negotiate a
reciprocity convention are untrue.
When Senor Louis Polo de Bernabe is
formally presented to the President it
is expected there will be an exchange
of addresses which will contain ex
pressions of friendship and g^od will
and demonstrate that harmony exists
in the relations between the two Gov
ernments. Calderon Carlisle, attorney
for Senor Canalejas, in the matter of
securing a return of the letter ad
dressed to him by Senor De Lome
and which caused the resignation of
the latter here as Minister, is con
sidering: what steps shall be taken to
detect and punish the person or per
sons who abstracted the commumoa
tion from the mails.
"We know, of course," said an offi
cial in the State Department to me to
day, "that Mr. Carlisle's object in ob
taining the letter is to use it as evi
dence in any prosecution that might be
inaugurated against the person or per
sons who stole the letter or who have
had it in their possession. If the letter
was stolen, then the person or persons
in whose possession it was might be
Indicted for being receivers of stolen
goods. It seems to me that the Cuban
Junta made" a mistake in turning that
letter over to the State Department
without at least securing a promise
for its return."
Mr. Carlisle declines to state what
action he proposes against any of the
persons who may have been responsi
ble for the publication of the letter.
De Lome's Letter Gives the Govern-
merit More Offense Than Was
Copyrighted. 189 R. by James Gordon Bennett.
MADRID, Feb. 15.— The Government
org&D F.i Correo, says of Senor de
Lome's letter: "It gives the Spanish
Government offense far exceeding that
to the President of the United States.
Against the injurious words to the
President we protest. We deplore the
imputation against the Spanish Gov
ernment and we resent it exceedingly.
It is deplorable that a public function- •
ary, invested with a diplomatic char
acter, could write even in a private
letter ideas which are so disgraceful
as those from the pen of the late Min
ister to Washington."
El Heraldo says: "The Spanish Gov
ernment has nothing to do with the
letter. It did not inspire a single par
agraph and had no idea of us exis
liow the Babbling, Disgraced Diplo
mat is on His Way Back
to Spain.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15.— The late
Spanish Minister, Senor Dupuy de
Lorn% accompanied by Mrae. de Lome,

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