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Address of the working men of South London to Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Johnson,
and the people of America.
South LONDON, April 28, 1865. Bereaved Friends: We, a public meeting of many hundreds of working men of South London, assembled in front of Surry Chapel, Blackfriars' Road, Surrey, desire to convey to you our sincere and sorrowing sympathy in reference to the sad loss you have sustained by the cruel and blood-thirsty assassination of the truly magnanimous and patriotic President, Abraham Lincoln, and to record our unmitigated disgust and horror at the brutal treachery and unparalled baseness of the savage deed of blood which has placed your own and every civilized land in mourning.
The name of Abraham Lincoln had already become famous to the working people of England; he appeared as one of themselves, fighting the battle of freedom for all lands; he is now, and for all coming time, the hero martyr of liberty and right. The American people have acted right nobly under his wise, conscientious, and upright rule. We believe they will not depart from the splendid course he has marked out for the nation. The assassin's hateful blow has sealed with sacred blood the bond which secures freedom in perpetuity to every man on the American continent, irrespective of color or race.
Peace be to the slain! We mourn the mighty dead! Never, in the whole range of the world's history, were hopes so gloriously bright so rudely, suddenly, and atrociously dashed; but we earnestly pray that from out the thick darkness and the fearful evil good may ultimately flow. The twice elected President—the man of the people—is no more; but, Sampson-like, in a moral sense, there will be more slain by his death than in his life; for we see, even now, in clearer character, the diabolical vindictiveness which obtains among the baffled abettors of slavery, and to see a subtle and gigantic evil in its native hideousness is the certain forerunner of its complete and final overthrow. The blow which aimed, alas, too surely, at Abraham Lincoln's life, will send its echoes wherever slavery is felt or known, and will, we trust, prove note of freedom for the oppressed in every land.
We mourn with bitterness and lamentation for the dead; we sorrow for the living; but not as for those who have no hope. The comforter will surely come for them, and their wounds, though many and severe, shall be healed. We
pray for the future of America, that it may be indeed a glorious future of liberty, prosperity, and peace, and notwithstanding the last fearful climax to the treachery and rebellion so recently and gallantly quelled by the victorious bravery and courageous persistence of the northern arms, we trust that moderation and clemency may still rule; justice, as in the past, being ever tempered with mercy, and that the national counsels may be always under the guidance of Him, who has said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay." Signed on behalf of the meeting, and at its unanimous request :
GEORGE M. MURPHY,
Chairman, 55 Finchley Road, London. To Mrs. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, His Excellency the President of the United States, and The People of America.
the keyMeeting held by the members of the “ Working Men's Christian Institute,"
Drury Lane, W. C.
Dear Sir: We, the members of the “ Working Men's Christian Institute,” Parker street, Drury Lane, W. C., in meeting assembled, beg to convey to Mrs. Lincoln, to the United States government, and to the American people, our deep sympathy with them in the great loss they have sustained by the martyrdom of President Lincoln, and we fervently hope that the principles of Union and emancipation, which were so dear to the late lamented President, and in the defence of which his blood was shed, may become still dearer to the American people, and that, from the present struggle, the United States may come forth a glorious, a united, and a free nation. In behalf of the meeting :
R. NICHOLLS, Chairman. His Excellency C. F. ADAMS,
Minister of the United States of America, London.
LONDON, W., 18 Greek street, May 13, 1865. Sir : The demon of the peculiar institution, for the supremacy of which the South rose in arms, would not allow his worshippers to honorably succumb in the open field. What he had begun in treason he must needs end in infamy. As Phillip Second’s war for the inquisition bred a Gerards, thus Jefferson Davis's pro-slavery war a Booth.
It is not our part to cull words of sorrow and horror, while the heart of two worlds heaves with emotion. Even the sycophants who, year after year, and day by day, stuck to their Sisyphus work of morally assassinating Abraham Lincoln and the great republic he headed, stand now aghast at this universal outburst of popular feeling, and rival with each other to strew rhetorical flowers on his open grave. They have now at last found out that he was a man, neither to be browbeaten by adversity nor intoxicated by success—inflexibly pressing on to his great goal, never compromising it by blind haste; slowly maturing his steps, never retracing them; carried away by no surge of popular favor, disheartened by no slackening of the popular pulse; tempering stern acts by the gleams of a kind heart; illuminating scenes dark with passion by the smile of humor; doing his Titanic work as humbly and homely as heaven-born rulers do little things, with the grandiloquence of pomp and state; in one word, one of the rare men who succeed in becoming great without ceasing to be good. Such, indeed, was the modesty of this great and good man, that the world only discovered him a hero after he had fallen a martyr.
To be singled out by the side of such a chief, the second victim to the infernal gods of slavery, was an honor due to Mr. Seward. Had he not, at a time of general hesitation, the sagacity to foresee and the manliness to foretell the irrepressible conflict ?” Did he not, in the darkest hours of that conflict, prove true to the Roman duty to never despair of the republic and its stars? We earnestly hope that he and his son will be restored to health, public activity, and well deserved honors within much less than “ninety days.”
After a tremendous civil war, but which, if we consider its vast dimensions and its broad scope, and compare it to the Old World's one hundred years' wars, and thirty years' wars, and twenty-three years' wars, can hardly be said to have lasted ninety days. Yours, sir, has become the task to uproot by the law what has been felled by the sword, to preside over the arduous work of political reconstruction and social regeneration. A profound sense of your great mission will save you from any compromise with stero duties. You will never forget that, to initiate the new era of the emancipation of labor, the American people devolved the responsibilities of leadership upon two men of labor, the one Abraham Lincoln, the other Andrew Johnson.
Signed, on behalf of the International Working Men's Association, by the central council: CHARLES KAUB.
H. CLUWOSKY. EDWIN COULSON.
JOHN WESTON. FERD. LESSNER.
HENRY BOLLETER. CARL PFAENDER.
BENJAMIN LUCRAPT. N. P. HANSEN.
JAMES BUCKLEY. KARL SCHAPPER.
PETER FOX. WILLIAM DELL.
N. SALVATELLA. GEORGE LOCKNER.
GEORGE HOWELL. GEORGE ECCARIUS.
WILLIAM C. WORL SI ALO FÄNKO.
President of the United States.
LONDON, May 1, 1865. Sir: We, the undersigned, merchants, bankers, and traders of the city of London, are anxious to express to you, as the representative of the United States of America, the horror and indignation with which we have heard of the assassination of the late President, Mr. Lincoln. This event, which, under any circumstances, would have called forth these feelings, seems to do so more strongly at this time, when so much appeared to depend upon Mr. Lincoln's well known character for integrity, and his kindly desire of conciliation in the great task to which he was about to address himself—of restoring peace and concord in that great country over the councils of which he presided.
We also desire to express our deep and heartfelt sympathy in the irreparable loss which his family have sustained; and we beg you will convey to them the assurance of this feeling, which we believe to exist universally throughout this country.
H. L. HOLLANDS, Governor of the Bank of England.
THOMAS N. XUNT, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.
And 300 other names or firms. His Excellency Hon. C. F. ADAMS,
Minister of the United States of America, London.
THE LATE PRESIDENT LINCOLN.
At a great meeting held under the auspices of the Emancipation Society, at St. James's Hall, London, on Saturday evening, the 29th of April
, 1865, (Mr. William Evans, president of the society, in the chair,) the following resolution was proposed by Mr. W. E. Forster, M. P., seconded by Mr. P. A. Taylor, M. P.,
supported by Mr. E. A. Leatham, M. P., and carried unanimously :
That this meeting desires to give utterance to the feelings of grief and horror with which it has heard of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the murderous attack upon Mr. Seward ; and to convey to Mrs. Lincoln and to the United States government and people an expression of its profound sympathy and heartfelt condolence.
Mr. Stansfield, M. P., moved, Mr. T. P. Potter, M. P., seconded, and Mr. W. E. Baxter, M. P., the honorable Lyulph Stanley, Mr. Henry Faucett, professor of political economy in the University of Cambridge, and Mr. G. Shaw Lefevre, M. P., supported the following resolution :
That this meeting desires also to express the entire confidence which it feels in the determination and the power of the government and people of the United States to carry out to the full the policy of which Abraham Lincoln's presidential career was the embodiment, and to establish free institutions throughout the whole of the American republic
It was further resolved, on motion of Mr. Caird, M.P., seconded by Mr. Grenfell
, M. P., and supported by Mr. Crum Ewing, M. P., the Rev. Newman Hall, and Mr. Mason Jones :
That copies of the foregoing resolutions be placed in the hands of the honorable C. F. Adams, the American minister, for transmission to his excellency the President of the United States, Mrs. Lincoln and the Hon. W. H. Seward.
Mr. F. W. Chesson, the honorable secretary, announced the receipt of letters expressing deep sympathy with the objects of the meeting from Lord Houghton, Sir Charles Lyell, Bart., Mr. Göschen, M. P., Colonel Sykes, M. P., Mr. Thomas Bazley, M. P., Mr. Charles Buxton, M. P., Mr. Thomas Hughes, and Dr. Frederick Tompkins.
A vote of thanks to the chairman was moved by Mr. Edmond Beales, and seconded by Mr. Cyrus W. Field, of New York.
WILLIAM EVANS, Chairman.
Address of the Freedmen's Aid Society of London. Sir: The committee of this society deems it its melancholy duty to give expression to its deep sorrow on account of the sudden removal of President Lincoln, and its intense abhorrence of the crime by which his valuable life has · been terminated. This committee has long cherished the highest admiration for the character, and felt full confidence in the constitutional and genuine antislavery policy, of the late lamented President. It has never traced the sufferings of the freed people to that policy, but to the cruel and unrighteous war, which the slaveholders originated, which having begun, Mr. Lincoln turned to the advantage of the enslaved, by making it the constitutional ground of their emancipation.
This committee tenders its deep sympathy with the widow and other members of the bereaved family, and also to the entire nation which at such a crisis has been so suddenly deprived of its great leader. But this committee, while sorrowing for the loss of this great and good man, and deeply sympathizing with all the American people, has strong faith in the glorious cause of emancipation to accomplish which the President has fallen a sacrifice.
He by whom kings reign and princes decree justice can easily supply the lack of service which has now arisen, and will, it is confidently believed, raise up and duly qualify all needed agency
for effecting the absolute extinction of slavery, the reconciliation of contending parties, and the establishment of universal peace. Signed on behalf of the above society by
T. FOWELL BUXTON, Bart., Chairman.
JOHN CURRVEN, Honorary Secretaries. Hon. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS,
Minister of the U. S. of America at the Court of St. James.
At a general meeting of the committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, held at No. 27 New Broad street, E. C. London, on Friday, the 5th day of May, 1865, the following resolution was unanimously adopted, and the secretary was instructed to forward to the Hon. C. F. Adams, United States minister in London, copies of the same for transmission to Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and to Mrs. Lincoln.
RESOLUTION. The committee desire to record the feelings of dismay and sorrow with which they had heard of the assassination of Abrabam Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and of the murderous attempt upon the life of his colleague, the Hon. W. H. Seward. While they regard these crimes as unparalled in atrocity, deserving, as indeed they have justly excited, universal reprobation, they consider that the peculiar circumstances under which they were perpetrated remove them out of the category of ordinary crimes, and give them a deplorable prominence as the natural manifestations of the execrable system of slavery directed against the exponents of a policy of freedom.
The committee deem it especially their duty to bear their testimony in appreciation of the high qualities which distinguished Abraham Lincoln as the ruler of a great people, who during a season of unprecedented difficulty consistently adhered to principles which have happily been accepted by the nation, and in their application will secure the liberty of four millions of our fellowcreatures, held oppressed and degraded in the very worst form of bondage. As the emancipator of the slaves in the United States, Abraham Lincoln is entitled to the gratitude of all mankind.
The committee, in condoling with the people of the United States on the occasion of the signal loss they have sustained in the sudden removal of their late President, would express the confident hope that they will remain steadfast to the policy of emancipation, to the steady development of which his life was consecrated, and to which he fell a martyr, and will strengthen the hands of his successor to pursue the same noble course. They also fervently trust, that in the high and responsible position which Andrew Johnson, now President, has been called to fill
, he may be guided by the wisdom which cometh from above; that he may be endowed with the forbearance which tempereth justice