Prince Gortchacow to Mr. Clay.
Sir: Although the absence of his Majesty the Emperor makes it impossible for me to obtain and communicate to you the expression of the sentiments which my august master would have felt at the news of the foul crime to which the President of the United States has just fallen a victim, and which Mr. Seward has barely escaped, I did not wish to delay in testifying to you the lively and profound sympathy of the imperial cabinet for the federal government in this new trial which Providence had reserved for it. I have asked our minister at Washington to communicate it to the Vice-President, Mr. Johnson. Will your excellency transmit it to him, together with our sincere wishes that this abominable crime will not hinder the progress of the American nation toward the establishment of the Union and of peace, which are the pledges of its power and its prosperity?
Will your excellency be pleased to accept the assurance of my most distinguished consideration?
C. M. Clay, Esq., &c., &c., &c.