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ments, but this was evidently a mistake. The excitement of the occasion for the time overcame his weakness.
All necessary arrangements for the journey were completed on the 5th. They were elaborate and well-developed. For the special railroad train the plan detailed in the previous chapter was adopted and successfully carried out. During the entire evening of the 5th, trunks, boxes, and a great variety of packages, were sent from the White House to the depot for shipment. Messengers were constantly arriving and departing, workmen were busy in special labor connected with various devices for the comfort of the President, and every thing indicated the eve of a great event. The crowd around the bulletin-board, at the front gate, was largely increased, and many held their positions there during the weary watches of the whole night. Every passer-in or out, who was supposed to have information regarding the wounded man, was eagerly besought to impart it. In reply to a question, Colonel Corbin said to a reporter that the trip could not hurt the President, “ because, he added, “ he has been traveling all day.” By this, Colonel Corbin meant that the President had been talking and thinking all day about the trip. This anxiety had characterized the President's moods for some weeks, and it was therefore believed that the realization of his long-cherished desire would have a salutary effect upon his weakened system.
At a few minutes past five, on the morning of the 6th, several carriages were grouped on the drive in front of the White House, and near the main entrance stood an Adams Express wagon, of the largest size, covered, and furnished with side and end curtains. It was near 6 o'clock when quite a commotion became apparent in the Executive Mansion, and a moment later the President, lying upon a stretcher, was borne carefully and slowly to the express wagon, which had previously been connected with the stone steps of the White House by a wooden platform. It was arranged to permit the men to walk directly into the wagon, where they let the bed down slowly until it rested firmly upon its supports. Then the immediate attendants of the President ranged themselves around him, three on each side. At the head of the bed, on the right, sat Dr. Boynton, next was General Swaim, and at the foot was O. E. Rockwell. On the left were Colonel Rockwell, Dr. Bliss, and Dr. Reyburn, the other physicians having gone on before. The horses were attached, and at once the little procession was in motion, led by Private Secretary Brown, in his buggy.
As the President's van passed out through the gate, the eyes of the invalid were closed, and that part of his face which could be seen looked pinched and pallid with suffering. In his general contour, there was something to suggest the face of Garfield to those who had known him long and intimately; but the change was astounding to every one unaccustomed to the daily observation of its progress. Perhaps it was not the face of a dying man, but many observers thought it was. There was something intensely pitiful and tear-compelling in the wasted features, and quiet, passive manner of the Nation's chief executive, and he was thus driven away from his official home, with all the apparent chances largely against his return.
The van was but fairly outside the gate when the horses were urged to a lively walk, which occasionally increased to a slow trot, the pedestrians meantime keeping well up on the pavements. Three policemen walked on either side the wagon to keep the street clear; but there was no attempt at crowding. There was no boisterousness; no unseemly haste to be first; no loud talking. All passion was hushed. The agony of the great soul now going forth to find health for its encasement, subdued and quieted every thing within range of its influence. At one point the President recognized an acquaintance on the street, and slowly lifting his hand, waved a feeble salutation and farewell. At precisely six o'clock this sad procession drove alongside the car, specially fitted the martyred Chief Magistrate, the horses were detached, and twenty strong and willing hands backed the wagon to the opening in the car.
Then the attendants lifted the stretcher and entered the car with its precious burden. The President was carefully adjusted upon his new bed, the foundation of which was a mattress of extraordinary thickness, and so constructed that the motion of the train could not be felt, a few farewells were said, and then the
train moved slowly and smoothly away. Away, with fond hearts full of hope, but soon to be surcharged with dismay and grief!
This seven hours' journey of 233 miles is now historical, and its principal features are full of interest. The train came to a stop in a few minutes after leaving the Washington dépôt, to permit an approaching train to move out of the way on a siding. What does this mean?” inquired the President. “Only a momentary detention,” replied Colonel Rockwell. “But important events are ofttimes the issue of a moment,” rejoined the sufferer. This is the only conversation he joined in during the trip. The train soon
. proceeded, gradually increasing its speed where the track was straight enough to permit, to fifty-five miles an hour, and for a few miles after leaving Philadelphia, it actually attained a speed of sixty miles an hour. The President was watched very closely during the first hour of the journey, in order to detect any symptom of danger from the excitement of the occasion. To the relief and great satisfaction of the physicians, he seemed actually to enjoy the ride and to be improving. His pulse, which reached 118 early in the morning, fell to 110 and then to 108. He did not talk. His voice was too feeble to make his words distinguishable amid the noise of the running train, without too much effort. He occasionally inquired the hour, and once or twice desired to know the names of stopping places. Beef-tea was the sole nutriment given him during the journey, and on two occasions he relished it like a hungry man.
At every one of the forty-six cities and towns and villages, > through which the train passed, great crowds thronged the streets. They stood silently, with uncovered heads and eyes wet with tears. The grief of the people was too deep for other demonstration. Words could not express it, and weeping came unbidden. Strong men, rough men, weak men and cultivated men; women of all grades and classes, and even little children, joined in their silent anguish with each other and the world, and poured their lamentation from streaming eyes. In many places, crowds of workingmen left their mills and forges as the train approached, and, ranging themselves alongside the track in an orderly line,
stood with hats in hands and heads bowed till it passed beyond range of their vision.
Then they solemnly returned to their vocations. There was a feeling of awe beyond expression in the mind of every spectator, and to some extent it entered every thinking mind in the land. Life and death were in fierce conflict upon that lightning train, and the madness of its speed looked like an effort to distance the subtle foe of mortality; but it was only in appearance. Death had long before marked our noble President for his own, with the bullet of the assassin. More than sixty days before the date which identifies this chapter with current history, he was as surely slain at Washington as was Richard III. at Bosworth, in 1485. Such was, in large measure, the feeling of the people. The dark foreboding of calamity began to overshadow them when the foul work of Guiteau's pistol was flashed over the land on that fatal second of July, and now their hearts were sick with the President's wounds. They felt with him the pain, and, without his hopefulness, saw the beloved head of the Nation approaching the last dread extremity, with faith undimmed and bravery undaunted.
It was a time for weeping and anguish and silence. And a time for thought. For severe self-examination. For national inquiry. A time to find out for what new crime atonement is required, in such measure as impoverishes all that is noble, and all that is above reproach in gur poor world! Do we ever explore the logic of crime until forced to the task ? And the lesson of Lincoln's martyrdom-how was that learned? Had it been remembered, would there have been occasion for this later sacrifice upon the altar of political acrimony?
The lightning train sped onward. A pilot engine preceded it, <and its passage was a signal to all approaching trains to get out
of the way and remain silent until the convoy had passed. Trains upon side-tracks, wherever they were encountered, were crowded with people, all desirous of obtaining a glimpse of the President, but not obtrusive nor demonstrative beyond the overwhelming influence of great sorrow. Their silence was more expressive than language. It indicated the deepest sympathy, the profoundest respect, the heartiest love. On three or four occasions the poor sufferer waved his hand feebly to the people, but the effort was painful. The journey was devoid of incident beyond what has been related. The train arrived at Elberon at three minutes past 1 o'clock, and the transfer of the President from the car to his > quarters at Francklyn Cottage was promptly made, without trouble or disturbance. His room had been elegantly prepared for his occupancy, and it was made pleasant with many beautiful bouquets and rare plants sent by personal friends. The physicians pronounced the arrangements perfect, and could suggest no improvement. They stated that the journey had done the patient no harm, although in the official bulletin, issued at 6:30 P. M. on the day of arrival at Long Branch, they announced his pulse at 124; temperature, 101.6; respiration, 18,—a condition not calculated to reassure the country.
Prayers had been offered during the day in thousands of churches, and by millions of people in their homes and places of business, for the restoration of the President. Faith in the efficacy of prayer seemed to be almost universal, and it is thought that thousands upon thousands of people who had never prayed before, made Garfield the object of their supplications at the throne of God. At a concert of prayer held at the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City, which was largely attended by Christians of all denominations, the following extract from a letter written by the President's pastor in Washington, Rev. Frederick D. Power, was read:
“His life is before the world, a living epistle, to be known and read of all men. To you I may say he has had the ever-present Comforter, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, during all these weary days and nights of suffering. He remembers the Lord's day when it comes ; on Sunday morning last, as he opened his eyes to its holy light, he said: * This is the Lord's day; I have great reverence for it.'
He takes great comfort in prayer. Knowing that my little church was continuing daily in prayer to God for him, he said: “The dear little church on Vermont Avenue! They have been carrying me as a great burden so long, but when I get up they shall have no cause to regret it.'