National Geographic : 1898 May
252 RECEPTION TO CAPTAIN C. D. S1GSBEE, U. S . N. reception on Saturday to meet my associates of the Society as well as other residents of Washington, I beg to thank you sincerely for the kind sentiments which you express. The honor which the Society proposes for me I accept most gratefully, not alone for the good will towards my self, but also because the occasion will reflect honor on those who served with me on board the Maine at Havana. To come out of so great a disaster with honor and to have the fact con firmed in so positive a manner is a satisfaction that lies nearest the heart of every survivor of the Maine. With full appreciation of your offer, which please express to the Society, I am, Yours most sincerely and most respectfully, C. D. SIGSBEE, Captain, U. S. Navy. Three days later-namely, on the evening of Saturday, April 2-the parlors of the Arlington Hotel were crowded with one of the most brilliant and distinguished assemblages ever brought together in the National Capital, the President of the United States, the Vice-President and Mrs Hobart, and an exception ally large gathering of statesmen, diplomatists, scientists, mili tary and naval officers of high rank, and other distinguished persons to the number of 1,600 uniting to do honor to the So ciety's guest, to whom each of them was presented by President Bell. Rarely has a purely scientific society performed a function so entirely en rapport with public sentiment and been so truly " national " in any of its doings. Everything conspired to give a national character to the occasion. In addition to the attend ance of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation and of a gathering in which few states of the Union and few departments of the na tional life were not specially represented, a guard of honor was furnished by the U. S. Marine Corps, whose band, stationed in the ball-room, performed a selection of patriotic music, under special orders from the Secretary of the Navy, while the brilliant salons set apart for the occasion were decorated with the hand somest national flags and emblems the resources of the govern ment could furnish. J. H.