Mr. Robinson to Mr. Hunter .

No. 311.]

Sir: Your despatch No. 159, communicating the sad intelligence of the assassination of President Lincoln, at Ford’s theatre, on the evening of the 14th of April last, and of the horrible attempt that was made about the same time to assassinate the Secretary of State in his own house, when an invalid in bed, suffering from injuries he had previously received from the dangerous accident which lately happened to him, and of the assault on Mr. F. W. Seward, was received by the steamer of the 2d instant.

The same intelligence was received, communicated in the columns of the United States papers and private letters by the mail of the 18th of May. Though I received no official intelligence by that mail, I communicated the notice of the President’s death to the minister of foreign relations, as related in my despatch [Page 518] No. 305, of the date of the 28th of May. The same despatch gives also a narrative of the proceedings at Lima upon this melancholy event.

I can only add that language has no words sufficiently significant to express the abhorrence and detestation entertained by American citizens here, and all other persons, of the crime and its perpetrator; and their regret that he whose policy, integrity of purpose, and unwearied devotion to duty had been so successful in suppressing this gigantic rebellion should not have lived to witness the final and conclusive triumph. We feel that we have lost a friend as well as a statesman, who in the darkest hour of our bloody struggle never deviated from the glorious purpose of sustaining the Constitution and the government against the designs of heartless traitors who attempted their destruction.

The legation is draped in mourning for thirty days, and all our citizens will wear crape upon the left arm for the same space of time.

Your order to all officers and others subject to the orders of the Secretary of State, that the same should be worn by them for six months, has been received, and will be complied with by the members of this legation.

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


Hon. W. Hunter,
Acting Secretary of State.