Mr. Riotte to Mr. Hunter .


No. 123.]

Sir: I had the honor of receiving on the 13th instant at Punta Arenas, whither I had gone for the purposes indicated in my despatch No. 122, your despatches Nos. 100 and 101 and your order of 17th April last.

The terrible tragedy recited in your despatch No. 100 has created a degree of painful sensation in this country altogether unexpected and heretofore evinced on no occasion. The President immediately upon the arrival of the mail raised the flag on his mansion half-mast, and the same was done by his order on all public buildings. The foreign diplomatic and consular representatives followed, and most of them wrote me letters or paid me visits of condolence. And the grief was not merely an official one, as to my sincere satisfaction I had abundant proof to convince myself. A real gloom was spread over the whole community.

It would not be proper in this place to speak of my personal feelings, but I hope I will be pardoned for saying that the great debt of gratitude I owed Mr. Lincoln made me feel his loss like that of a brother. In the miraculous salvation of the venerable chief of our department I rejoice most heartily, with every true friend of the great cause of our country, which, I am persuaded, in the hands of Mr. Johnson will be sustained ably and energetically.

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I have the honor, sir, to be your obedient servant,


Hon. William Hunter,
Acting Secretary of State.