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On that mournful day I was made the recipient of a number of letters of condolence and of visits from many distinguished citizens and the chargés of Peru and Spain. Without one single exception all flags in this capital were at halfmast, some draped in crape. The legation and its flagstaff I had draped in black and white, while long black streamers hung down from the flag. Most Americans wore black, and two of them volunteered to put up the drapery on the legation.
I have the honor, sir, to be
Hon. WILLIAM HUNTER,
your obedient servant,
Acting Secretary of State.
C. N. RIOTTE.
Prince Kung to Mr. Williams.
JULY 8, 1865, (Tungchi, 4th year intercalary, 5th moon, 17th day.) Prince Kung, chief secretary of state for foreign affairs, herewith sends, in reply:
I had the honor yesterday to receive your excellency's communication informing me that the President of the United States had been removed by death, an announcement that inexpressibly shocked and startled me. But, as you add that on the same day the Vice-President succeeded to the position without any disturbance, and the assassin had been arrested, so that the affairs of government were going on quietly as usual, I hope that these considerations will alleviate your grief at the event, and you will be able to attend to public business.
I shall be pleased to embody the particulars connected with this event in a memorial to his Majesty, and thereby evince the cordial relations which now exist between our countries, which is the purpose of sending the present reply. His Excellency S. W. WILLIAMS,
Chargé d'Affaires of United States, in China.
Mr. Williams to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of several despatches addressed to Mr. Burlingame, among them Nos. 123, 126, and 128, enclosing military circulars to the United States ministers in London and Paris; of No. 121, acknowledging receipt of rules for consular courts in China; of No. 125, referring to Mr. Walsh's notes upon steam communication between China and California; and of No. 127, being Mr. F. W. Seward's circular of April 10 respecting the sad accident which happened to you a few days previous, and from which I am happy to learn that you are likely to recover.
Since my last the mail has brought full accounts of the lamentable assassination of our beloved President, and I have taken the telegraphic despatch of the Secretary of War, of April 16, to Mr. C. F. Adams, at London, which appeared in the English papers, as containing the principal facts, and have notified the Chinese government of this sad event. Prince Kung responded in a friendly spirit. Previous to this I had informed the Chinese officials of all the details then known respecting the occurrence.
The telegraph brought the first notice to Peking via Russia in forty days, but nearly a fortnight elapsed before further news arrived to induce us to believe that such a horrid deed could have been committed in the United States.
The contentment and joy caused by the previous news of the fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee's army, foretokening the cessation of arms and final suppression of the rebellion and restoration of the Union, were turned into grief and indignation at learning that the President had been thus removed. All
the Americans in Peking alike mourned his death, and all we could do was to pray that God, who had brought the nation to see the triumph of its arms against treason, would strengthen the national cause by leading to the adoption of those plans which would best uphold justice and best promote union.
The limits of a despatch will hardly allow me more than to add my tribute of admiration to the character of Mr. Lincoln. His firm and consistent maintenance of the national cause, his clear understanding of the great questions at issue, and his unwearied efforts while enforcing the laws to deprive the conflict of all bitterness, were all so happily blended with a reliance on Divine guidance as to elevate him to a high rank among successful statesmen. His name is hereafter identified with the cause of emancipation, while his patriotism, integrity, and other virtues, and his untimely death, render him not unworthy of mention with William of Orange and Washington.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washnigton.
S. WELLS WILLIAMS.
Mr. Raaslöff to Mr. Hunter.
Washington, April 17, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 15th instant, by which you inform me of the death of President Lincoln, and of the attempted assassination of the Secretary of State and of his son, the Assistant Secretary of State.
I need not assure you of the deep and sincere grief with which I have received that information, but I may be allowed to add, that the feelings of my sovereign and of the people of Denmark will, when the news of those sad and terrible events shall reach them, be those of the warmest sympathy, not only with the immediate victims, but with the whole deeply afflicted people of the United States.
Hon. WILLIAM HUNTER, •
Having been informed by this same note that, pursuant to the provision of the Constitution of the United States, Andrew Johnson, the Vice-President, has formally assumed the function of President, and that the President has authorized you to perform the duties of Secretary of State, I beg you to accept the assurance of the high and distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient, humble servant,
Acting Secretary of State of the United States, Washington.
New York, May 20, 1865. PRESIDENT: I have the honor, in conformity with instructions from my government which have just reached me, to tender you, in the name and on behalf of his Majesty, the King, my august sovereign, the assurances of profound grief with which his Majesty has learned the death of the late lamented President Lincoln by the hand of an assassin, and the murderous attempt made to take the life of the honorable Secretary of State.
His Majesty, the King, as well as the whole people of Denmark, sincerely and earnestly sympathize with the people of the United States in their affliction. and their mourning over the loss of a ruler whose great qualities and many virtues were fully appreciated by my countrymen.
Be pleased to accept the expression of the warm and earnest wishes for your prosperity, and for the welfare of the United States, which it is my pleasant duty to offer to you in the name of my sovereign, who will have learned with sincere gratification that the great trial through which this country has had to pass, in consequence of the sad events to which I have alluded, has served to prove once more the strength of its institutions and the patriotism of its people; and that the prospects of this great nation were never more promising or in
spiring greater and more general confidence than at this present moment, when peace and concord are rapidly being restored under the auspices of a wise and magnanimous Chief Magistrate.
I have the honor to be, President, with the highest respect, your obedient, humble servant,
Mr. Wood to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR There was but one feeling of horror here on learning the assassination of President Lincoln and the attempt on your life. As soon as it was authoritatively known, the diplomatic corps and the ministers of state called to express their sympathy, and the King, in a note from Mr. Blumhe, the foreign minister, (who is still confined to his house from illness,) feelingly expressed his; and this on the day of the funeral services for the deceased Czarowitch, his intended sonin-law, and at which all the foreign ministers assisted. I congratulate you on your narrow escape. I hope I can on your son's, but the news is contradictory, and I fear the worst.
This terrible tragedy at Washington is a natural sequence of this rebellion, and in keeping with the murder of Union prisoners by starvation. It is a consequence of slavery. Well if the nation now rouse to the conviction (as I have long since have, as you well know) that there is a class at the south, (of whom Booth was one,) the plotters of this rebellion, and their brigands, who must, as a political necessity, be expatriated, or in some way annihilated from our soil, if the freedman and the northern emigrant are to dwell in peace and safety at the south.
The future of the south demands this.
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
BRADFORD R. WOOD,
Governor Birch to Mr. Perkins.
St. Croix, June 14, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 3d instant, in which you has informed me of the assassination of the President of the United States.
President Lincoln's sudden death has everywhere in the civilized world called forth a profound sympathy, and the nefarious act, a deed in foul atrocity scarcely ever equalled, to which he fell a victim, has awakened a vivid horror and indignation.
I am aware that these sentiments have been fully participated in in Denmark; and here in bis Majesty's West India colonies, connected as they are with the United States by many and near interests, the tidings of the abhorrent crime must necessarily seize all minds.
I beg, sir, to express to you the sincere sorrow I have felt at the great calamity that has befallen the American nation.