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Took His Own Life

Took His Own Life image
Parent Issue
Day
24
Month
September
Year
1891
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Valparaíso, Sept. 21. - President Balmaceda, of Chili, shot himself through the temple in his room at the Argentino legation inSantiago at 8:30 o'clook Saturday morning. The story teoame known here in the afternoon and created the greatest excitement. Every part of the city gaturday evening was brilliantly illuminated and on every hand were heard sounds of rejoieing. It now leems that Balmaceda left Santiago on August 29 last in hope oí making his escape from Chili, but seeing that every avenue of retreat was cut off he returned there on September 2 and went direct to the Argentine legation. His intention had been to go on board the vessel Condell, which he expected to find lying in Santiago bay. Upon arriving there, however, he discovered to his chagrín that the vessel had sailed. Balmaceda left a letter to his mother; also a statement to the press of the United States. As almost the last declarations of a dying man they are of especial importance. He says. "I acted during all the past eight months wlth the firm convtction that I was right. I had no one in the army on whom I could plaoe any trust. Mv generáis were false to me. They lied all through the war. Had my order been obeyed I believe that the battle of Goncon would have resultcd in a deCisive victory against the enemy. My ieart all through this trouble ha been with Chili. I sought to rescue my country from foreign domination. I strove to make her the fh-st republic in America. My enemles say that I was cruel. Circumstances compelled me to san ction certain acts, but many bad deeds that have been attributed to my orders were never known by me until they had been committed. "Until the flnal battle of Placilla I had strong hopes of triumphing over my foes. Victory was assured by my generáis, Alcerecca, Barbosa and Viel. They all lied. I now know those who pretended friendship for me only because of the money that was to be gotten out of me. All the money that I have in my possession is $3.500. My wife gave it to me on the night of August 28. "Your minister, Patrick Egan, many times -offered me good advice. He urged me to make peace with those opposed to me and to retire from Chili. I did not heed hia wise advice, for I thought he was under the influence of the junta's orders, who were then refugees in the American legation. All through the trouble my Closest advisers were always opposed to any overtures for peace.11 Another letter was found addressed to Senor Urriburia. In it Balmaceda says: "When I saw the perseoutlon directed against me by persons who had supported my administration I came to the conclusión that the only way to put an end to this persecution was to take my liie, as I was the responsible one. Adois, my good fricnd. Give my farewell to my wite and children." Since the fall of Valparaíso and the surrender of Santiago there has been many rumors about the movements of Balmaceda. It was first believed ha had escaped from the capital and had made his way to the mountains. Most people thought he had goue throuph one of the mountain passes and that he would be next heard from in the Argentine Republic. Just before the San Francisco sailed last Monday it became known that Balmaoeihi had been smuggled on board the warship and would he safely at sea. It was too late to go on board the San Francisco and make personal inquines. That vessel was just getting ready to weigh anchor. But the story of Balmaceda's alleged disguiseasa drunken sailor in a uniform said to have been furnished by Admiral Brown was so circumstantial and seeined so plausible that it could hardly be doubted. Unfortunately for the now dead ex-president he did not escape on board the San Francisco, but despairing of his ability to get away, and fearing the vengoanee of his enemies, took his own liie.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Register