Aged Guard of the City of Baltimore, Maryland

Sir: I have the honor to present you the following declaration adopted by the “Aged Guard of 1862, of the city of Baltimore,” at a meeting held at the old City-Hall, on the morning of the 19th instant.

An atrocious crime has been committed in our midst. The great, the noble, the magnanimous, kind-hearted, and too forgiving President, Abraham Lincoln, has been in a most cowardly and dastardly manner murdered by the order and with the connivance of traitors.

While we acknowledge the retributive hand of an Almighty and righteous God in thus afflicting us for our national sins, we also recognize our national duty to drive from our soil the men who have been mainly instrumental in bringing on this great people this heart-crushing calamity.

We hereby tender to the deeply afflicted widow of our late beloved President, and to all the bereaved members of his highly honored family, our heart-felt condolence, hoping and praying that the Father of mercies and God of all consolation and grace will sustain and comfort them under their overwhelming sorrow.

With the honorable Secretary of State and with his suffering family we would sympathize, and would affectionately express our deep sorrow for the portion of this great crime inflicted upon them, praying to Him with whom are the issues from death, to grant unto them a speedy and perfect restoration. May the highly valued life of the honorable William H. Seward be preserved for many years, an honor and blessing to his country.

We must here congratulate the loyal citizens of our whole country on having such a worthy successor to the lamented President Lincoln as Andrew Johnson, who said in the Senate of the United States in 1861, in the face of traitors, “Let it be engraven on every heart that treason is a crime, and traitors should suffer the penalty.” And further, “the halter to the intelligent and influential traitor; but to the honest boy, the deluded man, who has been deceived into the rebel ranks, I would extend leniency.” The stability and future permanency of our Union demand the rigid enforcement of these principles, and no better man is needed than Andrew Johnson to carry them out.

Pledging ourselves in conformity with and obedience to law to do whatever is necessary and in our power to crush out this wicked rebellion, and to put down all who give aid and comfort to those engaged therein, we order that these our sincere expressions of condolence and sympathy, and this our firm resolution, be most respectfully presented to Mrs. Lincoln and family, to the honorable Wm. H. Seward, and to his Excellency Andrew Johnson, President of the United States.

Signed by order and on behalf of the Aged Guard of 1862 of the city of Baltimore, on the 20th day of April, anno Domino one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five.

From the record. A true copy:

Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.