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United States Department of State / Executive documents printed by order of the House of Representatives, during the first session of the thirty-ninth Congress, 1865-'66
(1865-1866)

Chili [Chile],   pp. 25-36 PDF (4.7 MB)


Page 33


33
unjustifiable iniquity, slavery, has concluded by summing up and declaring
itself in the most iniquitous and inexcusable of crimes, the assassination
of Pres-
ident Lincoln, thus confirming, as a sentence without appeal, the anathema
which
all free men and free nations have launched against it.
    Those of your fellow-citizens who, misled, have allowed themselves to
be
 dragged by party passions or by interests of caste into a fratricidal war,
may
 read to-day, in the ashes of their cities, how powerless and direful, and,
in the
 death of Mr. Lincoln, how sterile and perverse, were the designs and instru-
 ments which have served the most odious of causes; and may God grant that,
 horrified by results so lamentable, they may turn to the aggrandizement
of the
 country all the means and all the abilities employed during four years to
destroy
 it. The blood of the President martyr thus counsels them, and thus also
the
 hand of the assassin, from an ignominious solidarity with whom they ought
to
 justify themselves, protesting by deeds, not of a blind party, but such
as are
 worthy a great and enlightened people.
   Amid the painful emotions excited by this atrocious deed, it is at the
same time
 a consolation and a lesson to perceive that the victim and the slayer were
each
 faithful to the principles and the flag which each defended-in the name
of which
 one dies, noble and magnanimous, as he had lived, serving his country and
hu-
 manity; and the other, a brutal assassin, strikes, serving the monstrous
require-
 ments of an oligarchy or the instigations of a shameful speculation.
   The death of the honored and patriotic President is, for your country,
and
 even for the entire world, a just cause for immense grief; but it is not
and can-
 not be a motive for doubting the triumph and final consolidation of the
work
 begun a hundred years ago by Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, converting
 three millions of weak colonists into as many proud citizens, and which,
to-day,
 is crowned by Lincoln, Grant, and Seward, converting four millions of poor
 slaves into as many free men, who will consolidate with their efforts' the
most
 just and prolific of governments.
   Amid the bitter grief which the death of Mr. Lincoln has caused us, and
which
 has crowned with the aureola of martyrdom the defender of the Union, and
has
 placed the stigma of infamy upon the brow of the dying rebellion, we do
not
 cease to feel the most abiding confidence that the situation of your country
must
 continue developing itself in the most prosperous and secure manner; that
the
 bloody hand of an assassin will not be permitted to retard the chariot of
civiliza-
 tion, nor to impede the triumphantly progressive march of democracy.
   The atrocious deed of the parricide Booth has proven that the cause of
law,
of Union, and of true republican government is not bound to the inspiration
and
energy of a single individual, even though that individual be great of soul
as
Lincoln, but to the decision, the prudence, the self-denial of a nation,
which, after
teaching to the world that the practice of liberty is the most fruitful condition
of
prosperity, has taught it that in that practice are to be found the elements
of
war and victory, and will yet teach it that therein alone are rooted and
flourish-
ing the germs of concord and true fraternity.
   And thus will be belied one by one the doleful auguries which badly informed
or evil-intentioned statesmen have not ceased to utter, ever since the shadows
of
civil war came to eclipse the splendor of the stars of your country, which
by its
course, in defeat and victory, in peace or war, has once again proved that
the
only and indispensable conditions for the stability of a government are liberty
in
all its forms, and justice in all its applications.
   In expressing to you, sir, our grief for the death of President Lincoln,
and
also our confidence in the proximate and lasting re-establishment of the
Union,
we believe ourselves to be not only the organ of our society, but that of
our entire
country, which has always found in the events of your prosperity motives
for
cordial rejoicing, and in those of your adversity even more powerful ones
to
sympathize, as to-day, in a grief the most profound and just.
SENTIMENTS OF CONDOLENCE AND SYMPATHY


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