Mr. Judd to Mr. Hunter

No. 99.]

Sir: Your official circular, dated 17th April, is received. The intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln, and the attempt upon Mr. Seward, accompanied by the wounding of Mr. F. W. Seward, official notice of which is contained in your circular, reached Berlin on the 26th of April. I need not repeat again the grief and horror felt on receiving the tidings of the sad event.

The Americans in Berlin met at this legation and resolved to hold appropriate divine services, in memory of the lamented President. The original intention of meeting in the little chapel, ordinarily used by us for religious worship, had to be abandoned, on account of the almost universal desire of men of all classes here to afford them an opportunity of participating in the services, and mingling their grief with ours in paying a last tribute to the great and good man departed. We therefore sought and readily obtained of the Berlin city authorities the use of the Dorothea church, one of the most spacious buildings of public worship here. It was arranged that the Rev. H. P. Tappan, D. D., of New York, now temporarily in Berlin, should conduct the services and deliver an address, and the German part of the exercises was intrusted to the very distinguished author and divine, Rev. Dr. Krummacher, chaplain to his Prussian Majesty at Potsdam, who kindly had consented to officiate on the occasion. We also obtained the services of the choir of the Royal Cathedral; the church was draped in black, and the American flags hung in mourning.

The services were among the most significant and solemn ever held in Berlin. The attendance was so large that many persons were unable to obtain admission, and remained standing outside in the church yard. His Majesty the [Page 56] King was represented by Major General Yon Boyen, his aide-de camp. The president of the ministry of state, and minister of foreign affairs, Herr von Bismarck, was also present. So were the members of the diplomatic corps in full, a large number of the Prussian house of deputies, and very many of the distinguished men of science, letters, and art. It was indeed a noble tribute to our martyr President, and the cause in which he had died. I beg leave to en-close the order of exercises as printed for the occasion.

The addresses by Dr. Tappan and Dr. Krummacher were eloquent and feeling tributes to the public and private virtues of the deceased, and to the genius of our institutions in developing character, as illustrated in the life of Mr. Lincoln. Throughout the whole of the exercises the audience remained absorbed and profoundly touched by the simple solemnity and impressiveness of the scene, which will be long remembered by the people of Berlin.

There is no abatement as yet of the intense excitement and heartfelt sympathy in all classes of society, here and elsewhere in Germany, over the sad event, and the possible and probable consequences thereof All are moved, and seeking words and modes to show us their deep emotion and genuine sympathy.

The first feeling of many here and elsewhere, on learning of the assassination of President Lincoln, was one of alarm and apprehension lest his death might be followed by anarchy and confusion, and our government be paralyzed. The quiet and undisturbed assumption of office by President Johnson, his speeches at his inauguration, and on other occasions, have now removed all fear, and convinced all persons that the people, and not dynasties, rule in the United States; that our government and our institutions do not depend upon any man’s life, however great and good that man may be. The American people stand forth greater than ever in the eyes of Germany and Europe.

Whatever may have been done in the United States, Mr. Lincoln is being canonized in Europe. A like unanimity of eulogy by sovereigns, parliaments, corporate bodies, by the people, and by all public journals, was never before witnessed on this continent. The most truthful and eloquent testimonials are now given by some of those that belied him most while living.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State, Washington.