Mrs. Bigelow to Mr. Seward .
Paris, April 28, 1865.
Sir: An aide-de-camp of the Emperor called early yesterday morning at the legation, officially to testify the horror and sorrow which his Majesty experienced on learning the crime which had just deprived the United States of its [Page 67] President. On the receipt of the first report, his Majesty had refused to credit it, but a second despatch later in the evening left no room to doubt its correctness. It was then too late to send to the legation, but the aide-de-camp was instructed to come at an early hour the next morning to express the sentiments of his Majesty, and to request, on behalf of the Emperor, that I would transmit an expression of them to the Vice President.
It is my duty to add my conviction that his Majesty, in the communication which he has requested me to make, is but a faithful interpreter of the sentiments of his subjects, who have received the intelligence with a unanimous expression of horror for the crime and of sympathy for its victims.
You will find some of the evidence of this in the journals which I send you.
I have been occupied most of the afternoon in receiving deputations from students and others, who have called to testify their sorrow and sympathy. Unfortunately, their feelings were so demonstrative in some instances as to provoke the intervention of the police, who would only allow them in very limited numbers through the streets. One of the delegations told me that there were three thousand of them who would have wished to have united in a formal expression of their feelings, if the police had not stopped them. I am sorry to hear that some have been sent to prison in consequence of an intemperate expression of their feelings. I can now count sixteen policemen from my window patrolling about in the neighborhood, who occasionally stop persons calling to see me, and in some instances, I am told, send them away.
I had no idea that Mr. Lincoln had such a hold upon the heart of the young gentlemen of France, or that his loss would be so properly appreciated.
I have received many letters of condolence already from distinguished citizens, of which I send copies of two; the first from his excellency Drouyn de Lhuys and the second from his Imperial Highness Prince Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte.
I must reserve for another mail the expression of my own feelings under a dispensation which has almost paralyzed me, and which yet seems to me like the revelations of a troubled dream. I hope this may find you recovering from your wounds, and mercifully sustained under the great trials with which God has been pleased to visit you and yours.
I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.