Mr. Fogg to Mr. Hunter

No. 88]

Sir: I herewith transmit, in copy and translation, the enclosed letter of condolence from the federal council on receiving intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln and of the attempt upon the life of Mr. Seward.

Letters of a similar tenor are being prepared and forwarded to me from nearly all the cantonal governments and from the citizens of every portion of Switzerland. The mourning and regret for the death of our President are universal from the old men to the boys in the schools. I am convinced that no other man in any part of the world held such a place in so many millions of hearts.

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Later I will forward to the State Department copies or the originals of the addresses now coming into the legation from the cantons, cities, and communes, near and remote, of Switzerland.

I herewith append also a copy of my note to the federal council in acknowledgment of theirs.

With the highest respect, your obedient servant,


Hon, William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State of the United States of America.


The federal council have been apprised by the public papers of the horrible crime, the victims of which are two of the most worthy and most noble citizens and statesmen of the United States. One cry of horror and indignation at this act, inspired by the most brutal passion and the most heinous fanaticism, has resounded through the whole civilized world, and particularly through Switzerland, a country whose analogous institutions unite it so closely with its great sister republic.

The federal council hasten to address their most sincere condolence to the honorable minister resident of the United States in Switzerland, by expressing to him their profound grief over this shocking event, and the strong sympathy which they feel at this great calamity.

Free Switzerland, with similar institutions, will not cease to devote all her sympathies to free America and to her tendencies, inspired by truth and humanity—sympathies deriving new strength from this catastrophy.

The federal council cannot conclude without expressing the consoling hope that the new Union, reconstituted under the auspices of fraternity and reconciliation, will follow with increased energy the path which Providence has traced out for her, and erect before the eyes of the world the most sublime monument to the glory of the illustrious victim.

With these sentiments, the federal council have the honor to renew to Mr. Fogg the assurance of their high consideration.

In the name of the federal council.

The president of the confederation, J. SCHENK.

The chancellor of the confederation, SCHIESS.


The undersigned, minister resident of the United States of America in Switzerland, takes the earliest opportunity, after a return from a short journey, to acknowledge the receipt of the note of their excellencies of the high federal council, expressing their horror of the fearful act which has deprived his country of its great and wise chief, and plunged a whole great people in the profoundest grief.

This note will be forwarded without delay to Washington, where, if anything can alleviate the great national bereavement, it is the universal manifestation of regret with which all Europe, and especially Switzerland, share the grief of the American people, and mourn the great and good man, so suddenly struck down in the midst of his labors for the glory and regeneration of his country.

Among the incidents of his residence in Switzerland the undersigned will always remember, with the liveliest satisfaction, that in all the long struggle which, during four years, has developed the great qualities of President Lincoln, now recognized and honored by the whole world, the sympathies of Switzerland have never failed to be on the side of the government of the United States.

If other governments have sympathized with a rebellion against popular institutions and in favor of despotism, the government and people of the Helvetic republic have never wavered in their friendship towards a great sister republic and in fidelity to their own ancient traditions.

For this new testimony of friendship and warm wishes for the reconstitution of the American Union, expressed by the high federal council, as well as for their sympathy in a great national grief, the undersigned tenders to their excellencies his sincere thanks.

With the highest esteem and consideration,