American Protestant Community of Constantinople
Honored Minister of the United States of America:
The Armenian Protestant community of Constantinople has the honor to wait upon you, on the occasion of the deplorable occurrence which has plunged the government and people of the United States of America in mourning, for the purpose of offering a respectful expression of our horror of the detestable crime, and of our profound sympathy in the grief of a people which has always taken so active an interest in our welfare.
We have learned with the deepest pain and regret that the execrable act of a vile assassin has deprived the great republic of the New World of its beloved and talented President, the lamented Abraham Lincoln, and greatly endangered the life of William H. Seward, Secretary of State. The Almighty, in his inscrutable providence, has visited a great nation with the most poignant of afflictions in the midst of its joy for the prospect of an early restoration of the blessings [Page 619] of peace, without permitting its illustrious Chief Magistrate to enjoy the fruits of his patriotic labors, as interesting to the nation over which he presided as to the universal cause of humanity. In the death of Abraham Lincoln the world has lost a bright Christian example and a man of irreproachable purity and honesty of character. As a statesman and a patriot he was among the most eminent of his age, and will, therefore, in all time to come occupy a most prominent place in the history, not only of his own country, but in that of the human race, of which he was so great a benefactor. Although so far separated from the scene of his labors, we have been deeply interested spectators of his career, and rejoiced in the prospect of the termination of a struggle which had for its object the preservation of so good a government and the freedom of millions of human beings held in degraded bondage. Honor to the memory of so noble hearted a philanthropist, to a government which has shown itself so fully able to preserve itself against an unhallowed attack upon its existence.
We are fully aware, sir, that the great loss which your country has sustained cannot affect in the smallest degree its vigor or its vitality, or arrest it in its destined career. Its wise Constitution provides for the continuance of its principles under every possible contingency, and we have full confidence in the perfection of the humane policy of the deceased President under the eminent person who succeeds to his office.
May the Most High guide all the councils of the great American nation of the United States so that it may continue to be, as it has always heretofore been, a bright beacon to enlighten the path of man in his loftiest aspirations, and the preservation of those divine principles of benevolence and peace proclaimed by our beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We offer to yourself, honored sir, and to the government and people of the United States of America this very inadequate expression of our sympathies on this mournful occasion, and beg you will do us the honor to convey them to the American government.
Deputy of the American Protestant Community.