Mr. King to Mr. Hunter .
May 6, 1865.
Sir: The terrible catastrophe of the 14th of April at Washington still occupies all thoughts and tongues on this side of the water, and has called forth from the courts and people of Europe an expression of heartfelt sympathy and [Page 528] sincere sorrow unparalleled in history. Appropriate religious services were held in the United States legation rooms here, which were largely attended by Americans and others. * * * * Our latest advices from home, to the 22d of April, encourage the belief that both the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of State have escaped the fate designed for them by their brutal and cowardly assailant, and still live to serve their country. I need not say with what unfeigned gratitude and joy this news has been received, not only by the Americans, but by men of all nations in Rome.
I had an official interview with Cardinal Antonelli a day or two since. His Eminence embraced the opportunity to express to me, for himself and for the Holy Father, the horror with which they regarded the bloody act which had struck down the head of the American republic, and aimed a like blow at the life of his chief counsellor, and of their earnest sympathy for the American government and people in this hour of trial and affliction. His Eminence further begged that 1 would make known these sentiments to the authorities at Washington. * * * * *
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William Hunter,
Acting Secretary of State, &c., &c.