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Mr. Kirk to Mr. Seward.
[Extract. ) No. 115.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Buenos Ayres, May 30, 1865. Sir: The awful report of the assassination of President Lincoln and the attempted assassination of yourself reached here on the 27th instant. I will not attempt to describe the intense excitement, indignation, and heartfelt sorrow it has produced throughout this part of South America. During Saturday and Sunday I had continual calls from ministers and citizens giving expression to words of condolence. On the same day the news arrived here I received a letter from the minister for foreign affairs, with a resolution passed by his government.
Agreeably to that resolution, on Sunday the national and provincial flags were at half-mast, and the flags of foreign consuls followed the example.
All the newspapers of this city appeared in mourning.
It has never been my lot to witness such intense sorrow as this sad event has produced, and the universal prayer is that you may speedily be restored to health. The same mail which brought the sad news brought the news of the surrender of Lee's army.
The provincial legislature has passed a decree authorizing the next town started in this provinće to be named “ Lincoln.”
Hoping sincerely that you may soon recover from your injuries, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
ROBERT C. KIRK. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Spanish DeMOCRATIC COMMITTEE OF BUENOS AYRES.
BUENOS AYRES, June 4, 1865. The Spanish democratic committee in this city would fail in one of its most sacred duties did it not manifest to the superior government of the United States, which you represent, the sad impression caused by the news of the assassination of the illustrious citizen, President Abraham Lincoln, the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Seward, and all the other victims of that drama of murder and consternation.
The committee earnestly wishes that the tomb of those great men may inspire their successors with fortitude and firmness, so that along with the triumph of the United States of America, republican principles may triumph wherever the want of liberty is felt.
Please then, citizen minister, to lay this manifestation before the superior government of the United States, which you so worthily represent near this republic, and rely on the assurances of the most distinguished consideration and respect of the committee. By order of the committee.
Mr. Tomas Guido to Mr. Kirk.
Buenos AYRES, May 30, 1865. Dear Sir: I do not fear to renew your sorrow by uniting mine to the unutterable grief that the American people and all friends of liberty feel at the sight of Abraham Lincoln's grave.
That great republican, torn from his country, family, and friends at a time when his sacred patriotism had gained its end, has sealed his work with his blood. That blood, though a stain on his murderer's hand, will cherish yet the seed of liberty in all generations.
Peace to the memory of that great and just man, worthy brother of Washington, with whom he is now in a better world to come.
You, dear sir, who so honorably represent your country, let it mitigate your sorrow to find sympathy among Argentines for this great misfortune, and I as one of them feel most deeply affected. I am your most obedient servant,
TOMAS GUIDO. ROBERT C. KIRK, Esq.,
U. S. Minister Resident.
Resolutions adopted at a meeting of American citizens resident in Buenos
Ayres, held May 31, 1865. Whereas the sad tidings have reached us of the death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by the hand of a vile assassin
Resolced, First, that as loyal and ever-faithful citizens of the United States of America, now resident in Buenos Ayres, we have been severely shocked, and at the same time filled with indignation and sorrow, on the receipt here, on Saturday last, the 27th instant, of intelligence of the dastardly murder of the late eminently distinguished President of our country, Abraham Lincoln, in whom we have always recognized inflexible honesty and pure patriotism, and to whom we now assign in our memories a place among the very ablest and best statesmen of America.
Resolved, Second, that to the grief-stricken family of the illustrious deceased we tender our most unfeigned and profound condolence.
Resoloed, Third, that in celebration of the obsequies of our late beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, whom we would proclaim and consecrate to posterity as the second father of his country, the Reverend William Goodfellow, the American clergyman resident in this city, be invited to deliver, at an early day, an appropriate discourse, commemorative of the distinguished virtues of the deceased.
Resolved, Fourth, that as a measure emblematic of our sincere distress at this most deplorable occurrence, we will wear a badge of black crape around the left arm for the space of thirty days.
Resolred, Fifth, that we gratefully accept as a compliment to our country and to ourselves, the voluntary and considerate action of the authorities here on Sunday last, the 28th instant, in causing all the national and provincial flags to be hoisted at half-mast, as a token of grief at the untimely loss of the honored and lamented subject of these resolutions. And we feel thankful that amid the unparalleled trials of the most gigantic rebellion ever organized among rational and misguided men, our leaders and defenders have acted with such moderation and justice as to secure the sympathies of such enlightened and
progressive statesmen as those whom we have the honor to know in the persons of President Mitre and his cabinet.
Resolved, Sixth, that Governor Saavedra and the legislature of the province of Buenos Ayres are equally entitled to our thanks, for their complimentary resolutions of last evening, declaring that the next new town or city which shall be organized within the province shall be designated “Lincoln.”
Resolved, Seventh, that in a corresponding vein of thankfulness and gratitude, we make our acknowledgments to the press of Buenos Ayres for appearing in mourning on Sunday last, and for their numerous and well-expressed eulogiums of our own martyred President, and also to the whole body of the Argentine congress, for their sympathetic resolutions of yesterday, among which was one to signify their sad and painful recognition of this solemn occasion by wearing the badge of mourning for the space of three days; and to the Argentine people, whose sympathies with us have been so unreservedly shown during the long and severe trials of our country, and particularly in this last and saddest event.
Resolved, Eighth, that to our fellow-citizens in the United States we renew our pledge of continued and unfaltering fidelity to the Union and to the federal government as constitutionally organized in Washington.
Resolved, Ninth, that four copies of these resolutions be presented to our minister resident in this city, the honorable Robert C. Kirk, with the request that he will transmit one of them to the bereaved family of our late President, one to the Department of State in Washington, one to the government of the Argentine republic, and the other to the government of the province of Buenos Ayres.
Also, resolved, That in the attempted assassination of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State, part of the same dastardly conspiracy which resulted in the death of Abraham Lincoln, we recognize as the fitting close of a rebellion begun in robbery and perjury, and ending in cowardly and cold-blooded murder, and we extend to him our warmest sympathies, and offer at the same time our best hopes and wishes for his speedy recovery,
ROBERT C. KIRK, Chairman. GARDNER B. PERRY, Secretary.
BRUSSELS, April 29, 1865. MY DEAR MINISTER : While I transmit to Washington the expression of the sentiments of the government of the king, on account of the horrid crime perpetrated upon your venerable President, I must inform you of our astonishment at the sad news that has resounded through the entire country, and beg you to be the medium of our sentiments to your government.
I also take the liberty of asking you to have the kindness to be my interpreter with the family of Mr. Seward, for whom I have always professed a particular regard. The news given by the papers leave some hope for the recovery of the eminent statesman, and it is my dearest wish that he may be restored to perfect health, and give peace to a country so long desolated by the calamities of a war greatly to be deplored by all friends of liberty.
Accept, my dear minister, the new assurance of my very high and affectionate consideration.
Minister of Foreign Affairs. H. S. SANFORD, Esqr., Minister of the United States.
Washington, April 16, 1865. Mr. Secretary: It is with real grief that I have the honor of acknowledging the reception of your communication of the 15th, announcing the horrid crime that has deprived the United States of its Chief Magistrate.
The government, of the King, my august sovereign, will sympathize sincerely with the American nation.
The sentiments of respect and affection which I personally entertain for the honorable Secretary of State and Mr. Frederick Seward, induce me to hope their injuries will have no serious consequences.
Wishing them a speedy recovery, I beg you, Mr. Secretary, to accept the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.
A. BERGHMANS. Hon. William HUNTER, Acting Secretary of State.
MOTION IN ORDER. Mr. LE HARDY DE Beaulieu. Gentlemen, you were all horrified three days ago on hearing of the assassination of the President of the United States. You all felt that it was not only the chief of a free nation that was struck down, but at the same time it was law, the safeguard of all, and I.may say civilization itself, for there is no longer any personal security when political passion substitutes brutal action for the protective power of law. I have thought it becoming, gentlemen, for us not to let this occasion pass without the expression of our painful sentiments.
I will not give you the history of the eminent man who is no more; he sprung from the humblest ranks of society and elevated himself by labor and industry, when the American nation, with that acumen that rarely fails an intelligent people in important emergencies, chose him as a guide to direct it through a dangerous situation, where a formidable insurrection had placed it.
You all know. gentlemen, what difficulties Mr. Lincoln had to overcome. Confronted by a portion of the nation that rebelled against the laws they themselves had made, he did not falter once in his patriotic duty. In the most perilous circumstances, in face of all kinds of dangers, external and internal, he was always calm, and I may even say benevolent to his bitterest enemies.
Aster gigantic efforts, after a struggle of four years, Mr. Lincoln at last reached the close of that most bloody contest on American soil, and the greatest troubles of his life seemed over. He had already expressed the sentiments of conciliation that animated him—it was in his last message, his political testament—when the assassin's bullet struck him in the back of the heail, and laid him low.
I cannot foretell the consequences of that crime, so horrid that no terms are strong enough to condemn it; all I can say is, that the parliament of a free nation like Belgium would fail in its duties of international confraternity, if it did not express its feelings of borror and regret at a crime that has robbed a great and generous nation of its eminent chief magistrate.
In expressing these sentiments we confirm the unanimous wishes that the deplorable loss may not deprive the American nation of that calmness which is necessary to finish the great work of conciliation and pacification which Jr. Lincoln has so nobly begun. I am done.
Mr. DE HAERNE. I agree with my honorable colleague in the sentiments he has expressed, and I am persuaded that the feeling of horror produced by this sad news from America is felt not only in this house, but in every quarter of the globe. Yes, gentlemen, we feel the greatest indignation at this political crime that has plunged a great people in the deepest mourning, but has not discouraged it, we must hope, for the great President who was the victim of the barbarous and cowardly act has set an example which his successors should follow, for the good of the nation they represent and the enlightenment of a
The dreadful catastrophe that has thrown America into the greatest consternation, and has appalled the world, contains a great lesson for the people, particularly when contrasted with the victories that had rejoiced the American Union only a few days before.
On Palm Sunday the news of General Lee's capitulation was announced in most of the cities of the United States-on that day consecrated to the Prince of Peace, as an American paper expresses it; and on Good Friday Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward were attacked by barbarous assassins. And this recalls a profound remark of the august and holy pontiff Pius IX, who, speaking of the many vicissitudes of his reign, said, “truly Good Friday is very near to Palm Sunday!”
The people of the Union, who were identified with their chief, particularly after the last presidential election, were morally immolated with him, after enjoying the national triumph, to which Mr. Lincoln added glory by his moderation:
The nation is plunged in grief; but hope will resurrect her from the gloom, like the Prince of Peace and Glory. This grand and terrible lesson of misfortune to the people and their government will prove a valuable instruction by the spirit of conciliation bequeathed them by their worthy President, as a mysterious pledge of future prosperity, the secret of which is hidden in their past glory.
If there is a nation that ought to sympathize with America in its grief on this occasion, that nation is Belgium; for we are the only nation that has remained faithful in spirit to traditional rights, and followed America from the foundation of her political establishment and her liberal institutions. Yes, gen