Union and Emancipation Society
May 26, 1865.
Address of the Union and Emancipation Society of Ashton-under-Lyne to Mrs. Lincoln.
The sorrowful intelligence which has been recently transmitted to us, announcing the death of your much-beloved husband, Abraham Lincoln, has filled our hearts with pain and sadness. We little expected that his valuable life would have been so suddenly destroyed by the treacherous hand of a cowardly assassin, and cannot but lament the irreparable loss which has deprived you of a faithful protector, your children of an affectionate father, and the American people of a thoughtful and sagacious statesman.
We consider the death of the late President a world-wide calamity, because the impression made by it seems to be the strongest and most general that has ever appeared upon the death of a fellow-man; and it is for this reason that we desire to convey to you our united expressions of grief in this severe trial of your affliction and bereavement, and also to declare our abhorrence of the brutal and horrible crime by which his life was sacrificed.
In contemplating his character we have often felt a just admiration which his many virtues command; but to dwell upon them here, in any particular, is unnecessary, and, upon this occasion, would perhaps be improper. That his loss has been generally lamented cannot be wondered at, for certainly there never was a more just cause for universal sorrow. To lose such a man, at such a critical time, so unexpectedly and so barbarously, must add to every feeling of regret, and make the sense of bereavement more severe and acute to all thinking minds. He was snatched away in the midst of a crisis when America could spare him least; at a time when the people hoped to be especially benefited by his energy, his benevolence, and his wisdom. His ardent desire to promote the welfare of his fellow-men was conspicuously the animating motive of his active life His indefatigable labors to strike off the fetters which have so long bound the down-trodden negro have at length been rewarded by a glorious and triumphant victory. Millions of them are already free—free as the very breath of heaven; and the accursed slave-stain, which has ever soiled the American banner, will now be eradicated, and the fate of the accursed system forever sealed with the martyred blood of a holy Christian man. Never was he known to shirk the onerous duties of his responsible office; in every instance we have found him true to his sacred oath; even in the latest hours of his life kindness to his enemies was the uppermost sentiment of his generous heart, prompting the most considerate arrangements for the happiness and comfort of a great and mighty people.
In conclusion, permit us to hope that the humble and genuine affection so widely entertained towards him will tend to mitigate in some degree the heavy bereavement of his afflicted family, consoling them with the knowledge that the labors of the departed are truly appreciated by thousands of earnest hearts in far distant lands.
Signed on behalf of the members of the Ashton-under-Lyne Union and Emancipation Society.
- JAMES BROADBENT, President.
- JOHN HAGUE, Vice-President.
- JOHN GLAZEBROOK, Treasurer.
- JOB ARUNDALE, Secretary.