Lodge of La Franché Union
Sir: All honest hearts were filled with indignation at the news of Mr. Lincoln’s death, and earnestly execrated the fratricidal hand that felled the great citizen of the United States. Tell your fellow-countrymen that during this mortal duel between freedom and slavery we never ceased to offer up our prayers for the good cause. Tell our brothers of the great republic we mourn with them the loss of a brother whose memory will be ever dear to patriots and Free Masons. He honored masonry, and we ought to feel more sensibly than others the loss caused by the assassin’s dagger, hid under the cloak of liberty. His death reminds us masons, living in the shadow of Rouget de l’Isle’s tomb, that in times of great convulsions it is from the field and workshop that great men spring with a bound to save their countries; and the history of our two nations furnish many such examples. Honor also to Mr. Lincoln for the simplicity he brought from his home to the palace where he exercised the great trust confided to him, and proved the most perfect model of a chief magistrate. This lodge [Page 56] in its last session decided by acclamation to make known to the brethren in the United States that it wears with them mourning for the hero and martyr whose patriotism has made him the fellow-citizen of all friends of justice and liberty.
From this date the name of Abraham, Lincoln is inscribed on the list of our members, and at each session for three months, a brother will rise at the call of his name, and answer: Abraham Lincoln died like a mason, to elevate humanity outraged by slavery. At the expiration of three months we will celebrate a masonic funeral to his memory, inviting the brethren of all the other lodges.
President of the Franche Union,
and twenty-four other members of the lodge.
To the U. S. Minister.