Letter from Apr. 28, 1865

Dispatch: Charles Francis Adams to Seward

  • Full Title

    Embassy Despatch 936: Charles Francis Adams to William H. Seward

  • Description

    Official dispatch from Charles Francis Adams, U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom, to William H. Seward, Secretary of State, acknowledging receipt of the news of the attacks upon Seward and President Abraham Lincoln, and discussing reaction in London.

  • Transcription

    Aug 13, my [[Lincoln]]
    [[tchfy1408]] [[Abe]]
    No. 936.

    Legation of the United States
    London, 28 April, 1865

    I had the grief to receive the
    day before yesterday the telegraphic
    Despatches from Mr. Stanton, the
    Secretary of War, and from Mr.
    Hunter, the Chief Clerk of your
    Department, announcing the af-
    flicting event of the 14th, Instant
    which has thrown our whole
    people into such deep distress.
    They also give a narrative of the
    simultaneously savage onslaught
    upon yourself in your sick room
    and upon your son, the assistant
    Secretary, which had not at the
    latest date, and which I yet
    permit myself to hope, will not
    The Hon: William H. Seward
    Secretary of State.
    Washington, D.C.

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    prove fatal to either you.

    I immediately took the
    requisite measures to communicate
    the intelligence to the different
    legislators on the Continent.

    It is but consistency that
    a rebellion began in
    perjury, treachery and fraud
    should close with private

    The whole of the day was
    one of the greatest excitements.
    Few events of the present century
    have created such general
    consternation and indignation.
    Many people called personally
    at the legation to express their
    deep sympathy and many more
    sent me notes of the same tenor.

    The notice taken by the
    press are almost all of them
    of a most honorable character.

    (A. Hancock)

    I transmit copies of the
    leading newspapers. There
    seems at last to be a general
    testimony borne to the north noble

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    qualities of the president and
    the friendly disposition of the
    Secretary of State.

    Of all this eulogy he found
    mingled with the alloy of
    unworthy aspersions of the vice
    President who succeeds, he has
    abundant consolation in the
    reflection that, when his predecessor
    began, he was not a whit better
    treated. It is a weakness of the
    press and the people of this country
    not to value some men properly
    until they are lost. The cause of
    the late Prince Consort is a
    unremarkable instance.

    The proceedings in the two
    Houses of Parliament last evening
    mark out the line proposed to
    be adopted by the government
    on this occasion.

    I have the honor to be Sir,
    your obedient servant,
    Charles Francis Adams

    [Transcription Team: Carli G., Summer D., Joslyn P., Tyler R.]
    [New Hampton Middle School, New Hampton, Iowa]

  • Source

    Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State and National Archives, Record Group 84

  • Rights

    This item is in the public domain and may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

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  • Cite this Item

    Charles Francis Adams. "Embassy Despatch 936: Charles Francis Adams to William H. Seward". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 22, 2024. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/745