Mr. Pike to Mr. Hunter .


No. 164.]

Sir: * * * * *

The announcement of the assassination of the President, the news of which reached here last week, fills me with profound emotion. The dreadful suspense we were in, for many days, in regard to the Secretary of State and the Assistant Secretary, is happily removed by this mail. The tenor of our first advices was such that we had not dared to hope for the recovery of Mr. Seward, while we had taken for granted that the Assistant Secretary was no longer among the living, It is an inexpressible relief to receive the assurance that the lives of both are saved.

I have forwarded to the department a copy of Galignani’s Messenger, containing one day’s summary of the public commentary upon the hideous crimes committed by the assassins, which is but one of a series of the same character. By this record you may, in some measure, judge of the violent shock these monstrous assassinations have given to the European public. It would be difficult for me to exaggerate it by any description I could give.

I have been called upon by numerous gentlemen of high political distinction, among them the ministers of foreign affairs, who have desired to manifest their sympathy with the government in its distress; to bear their testimony to the pure and lofty character of the deceased President, and to express the universal horror and indignation at the foul deeds which have at once robbed the nation of its head and daringly put in imminent peril the life of his first cabinet officer.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. W. Hunter,
Acting Secretary of State, Washington.