Page images

position, executing without precipitation, without flourish and with invincible good sense, the most colossal acts, giving to the world this decisive example of the civil power in a republic, directing a gigantic war without free institutions being for an instant compromised or threatened by military usurpation, dying finally at the moment in which, after conquering, he was intent on pacification— and may God grant that the atrocious madmen who killed him have not killed clemency with him, and determined instead of the peace he wished, pacification by force-this man will stand out in the traditions of his country and the world as an incarnation of the people, and of modern democracy itself.

The great work of emancipation had to be sealed, therefore, with the blood of the just, even as it was inaugurated with the blood of the just. The tragic history of the abolition of slavery which opened with the gibbet of John Brown will close with the assassination of Lincoln.

And now let him rest by the side of Washington, as the second founder of the great republic. European democracy is present in spirit at his funeral, as it voted in its heart for his re-election, and applauded the victory in the midst of which he passes away. It will wish with one accord to associate itself with the monument that America will raise to him upon the capital of prostrate slavery.

In the Corps Legislatif, soon after the opening of that body, M. Rouher, Minister of State, rose and said:

An odious crime has plunged in mourning a people which is our ally and our friend. The report of this crime has produced throughout the civilized world a sentiment of indignation and of horror. Abraham Lincoln had exhibited in the sad struggle which rends his country that calm firmness and indomitable energy which belong to strong minds and are the necessary conditions of the accomplishment of great duties. In the hours of victory he exhibited generosity, moderation, and conciliation. He hastened to put an end to war and to restore peace-America to her splendor and prosperity. The first punishment which God inflicts upon crime is to render it powerless to retard the march of right. The profound emotion and the deep sympathy manifested in Europe will be received by the American people as a consolation and encouragement. The work of peace, commenced by a grand citizen, will be completed by the national will. The government of the Emperor has caused to be sent to Washington the expression of a legitimate homage to the memory of an illustrious statesman, torn from the

government of the United States by an execrable assassination. By order of the Emperor, I have the honor to communicate to the Corps Legislatif the despatch sent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to our representative at Washington. It is conceived as follows:

[blocks in formation]

The news of the crime of which President Lincoln has fallen a victim has caused a profound sentiment of indignation in the imperial government. His Majesty immediately charged one of his aides-de-camp to call upon the Minister of the United States to request him to transmit the expression of this sentiment to Mr. Johnson, now invested with the Presidency. I myself desired by the despatch which I addressed you, under date of yesterday, to acquaint you, without delay, of the painful emotion which we have experienced; and it becomes my duty to-day, in conformity with the views of the Emperor, to render a merited homage to the great citizen whose loss the United States now deplore.

Elevated to the Chief Magistracy of the republic by the suffrage of his country, Abraham Lincoln exhibited in the exercise of the power placed in his hands the most substantial qualities. In him firmness of character was allied with elevation of principle, and his vigorous soul never wavered before the redoubtable trials reserved for his government. At the moment when an atrocious crime removed him from the mission which he fulfilled with a religious sentiment of duty, he was convinced that the triumph of his policy was definitely assured. His recent proclamations are stamped with the sentiments of moderation with which he was inspired in resolutely proceeding to the task of reorganizing the Union and consolidating peace. The supreme satisfaction of accomplishing this work has not been accorded him; but in reviewing these last testimonies to his exalted wisdom, as well as the examples of good sense, of courage, and of patriotism which he has given, history will not hesitate to place him in the rank of citizens who have the most honored their country. By order of the Emperor, I transmit this despatch to the Minister of State, who is charged to communicate it to the Senate and the Corps Legislatif. France will unanimously associate itself with the sentiment of his Majesty. Receive, &c., &c., DROUYN DE LHuys,

M. DE GEOFRY, Chargé d'Affaires de France à Washington.

After the reading of the despatch, which was received with unanimous marks of approbation, M. Rouher continued:

This despatch needs no commentary. The Emperor, all France, are unanimous in their sentiments of condemnation of a detestable crime, in their respect for a grand political character, now a victim of the worst criminal passions, in their ardent wishes for the reestablishment of harmony and concord in the grand and patriotic American nation.

M. Schneider, President of the Corps Legislatif, said:

GENTLEMEN-I desire to be the interpreter of your sentiments in publicly expressing the sorrow and true indignation which we have all felt at the, news of the bloody death of President Lincoln. This execrable crime has revolted all that was noble in the heart of France. Nowhere has the emotion been more profound and universal than in our country. We also desire unqualifiedly to unite our sentiments with the sympathies which have been manifested by the government. Called to the direction of affairs in an ever memorable crisis, Abraham Lincoln showed himself equal to his difficult mission. After displaying unshaken firmness in the struggle, it seemed that he would, by the wisdom of his language and his views, soon bring about a happy and durable reconciliation among the people of the country. His last acts are the crowning ones of the life of an honest man and good citizen. Let us hope that his wishes and his sentiments will survive him and inspire the American people with pacific and generous resolutions. France has herself trembled at these bloody struggles which have afflicted humanity and civilization. She ardently desires the re-establishment of peace in the midst of that great nation, her ally and her friend. May our prayers be heard, and may Providence put an end to these sad trials. The Corps Legislatif will acknowledge to the government the receipt of the communication which it has just made it, and will ask that an extract of the procès-verbal of this session shall be officially addressed to the Minister of State.

No further remarks were made upon the communication.

In the Senate the same communication was presented, and the following remarks made by the President :

GENTLEMEN-In receiving this communication from the Minister, I ask the Senate to permit me to express, in its name, a sentiment which, by its unanimity and its energy, will be received by every heart. The Senate has experienced a profound emotion at the report of the crime committed upon the illustrious chief of a friendly nation. Mr. Lincoln, placed since 1861 at the head of the American nation, had passed through the saddest trial which a government founded upon liberty could have encountered. It was at the

moment when victory offered itself to him-not as a sign of conquest, but as a time for reconciliation-when a crime, still obscure in its causes, has destroyed the existence of this citizen elected to so high a position by the choice of his fellow-countrymen. Mr. Lincoln fell when he thought he had reached the end of the evils through which his country had passed, and while nourishing the patriotic hope of soon seeing it reconstituted and flourishing. The Senate, which has always deplored this civil war, detests with stronger reason those implacable hatreds which are its fruit, and which produce a bloody policy of assassination. There is in this body but one voice to unite itself with the sentiment expressed by order of the Emperor, in the name of a policy generous and humane.”

[ocr errors]


The Italian Chamber of Deputies was draped in black on the 27th, and continued so for the three following days, in mourning for Abraham Lincoln. The Minister of Finance moved, and the Chamber agreed, to send this address to the American Congress expressing the grief of the country and the House at Mr. Lincoln's assassination.


HON. SIR:-The intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln has moved and profoundly grieved the deputies of the Italian Parliament. From all the political factions of which this Chamber is composed one unanimous cry has arisen denouncing the detestable crime that has been committed, and conveying the expression of deep regret and sympathy for the illustrious victim and the free people whose worthy ruler he was. This Chamber has unanimously resolved to cover its flag with crape for the space of three days, in token of mourning, and has charged me to notify you in a special message its grief, which is also that of Italy, and of all friends of liberty and civilization. The news of the attempt made to assassinate Mr. Seward has inspired the Chamber with like sentiments. In readily, though sadly, fulfilling the mission with which I have been charged, I beg you will accept, Hon. Sir, the assurance of my sympathy and consideration. CASSINIS, President of the Chamber of Deputies.


The King of the Belgians charged one of his aides-de-camp to visit Mr. Sanford, and express the feelings his Majesty experienced at the attacks made upon the President and Minister

for Foreign Affairs of the United States. The Count of Flanders also sent one of his orderly officers to the American Minister for the same purpose. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the other members of the Cabinet have also lost no time in paying their respects to Mr. Sanford, and instructions have been forwarded to the Belgian Legation at Washington to express to the American Government the sentiments of regret and reprobation excited by such disgraceful acts. At Saturday's sitting of the Chamber of Deputies M. le Hardy de Beaulieu stated, in the most sympathizing terms, the emotion produced in Belgium by the news of the tragic event, and recalled all the claims of President Lincoln to general consideration. M. de Haerne spoke in the same sense with much feeling. The Minister for Foreign Affairs said that the government fully agreed with the sentiments which had just been expressed, and that it had already conveyed its opinion to the government of the United States and their representatives at Brussels. He added his sincerest good wishes for the recovery of Mr. Seward, whose. life he considered highly important for the definitive pacification of the country so long desolated by the war, and whose prosperity was earnestly desired by all the friends of liberty.


The death of Mr. Lincoln was received with great concern in this country, and Herr Loewe, himself an old American, and now one of the most active and influential members of the Lower House, rose at the first sitting to devote a few solemn and admiring words to the memory of the deceased republican states


'Gentlemen," he said, "permit me to request your attention to a subject which, though not coming within the limits of our immediate task, is yet one of the gravest interest to us, and, indeed, the world at large. Many of the honorable members have felt it a duty, on the occasion of the untimely death of Mr. Lincoln, to give expression to their sincere sympathy with the nation who now mourn his loss. Abraham Lincoln has been taken away in the hour of triumph. I trust that the task he so faithfully conducted in the service of a great and glorious people will be completed by his successor; and while I cannot but congratulate myself on the earnest and most effective support he received from so many of our countrymen on the other side of the ocean, I wish to assure the German Americans, as well as the Americans generally, that we glory in their glories and sorrow in their sorrows. It was the banner of freedom he carried aloft; and if, while transacting vic

« PreviousContinue »