Berlin Workingmen’s Union
To the President of the United States, Mr. Andrew Johnson.
Mr. President: In accordance with the resolution unanimously passed May 1 instant, in the Berlin section of the Allgemeiner Deutsche Arbeiter-Verein, we herewith express to you, as the representative of the great American commonwealth, our deep horror at the monstrous deed which robbed your country and the world of the good citizen and man, Abraham Lincoln, and assure you of our warmest sympathy with the cause whose martyr he has become.[Page 500]
Members of the working class, we need not affirm to you the sincerity of these our sympathies; for with pride we can point to the fact, that, while the aristocracy of the Old World took openly the part of the southern slaveholder, and while the middle class was divided in its opinions, the working-men in all countries of Europe have unanimously and firmly stood on the side of the Union. And how could it have been otherwise? as the gigantic battle which the people of the United States have fought so valiantly and gained so gloriously was the battle of free labor against slavery, of truly free labor—that is, in the full possession of its political rights, and therefore enjoys that respect which is due to the mother of all social wealth, and all political liberty, but which in Europe is unfortunately yet denied to labor, because here it has not yet conquered its political rights. The state of Franklin and Lincoln, the state whose first citizen is now again a son of toil, has indeed vindicated the rights of labor; and the example it gives shall not be lost upon us.
Before concluding, we express once more our admiration for Abraham Lincoln, one of the purest and noblest among the pure and noble martyrs of liberty. He has done his duty. And happy the land which, after such a terrible war, after such an enormous crime, could, without the slightest disturbance of the state, make an Andrew Johnson the successor of an Abraham Lincoln.
In the name of the Berlin section of the Allgemeiner Deutsche Arbeiter-Verein:
- W. LIEBKNECHT.
- A. VOGT.
- C. SCHILLING.