Cuban and Porto Rican Residents of Madrid
Honored Sir: Our personal experience has taught us that true grief is a friend of silence, and we feel that which overwhelms you and us to be more poignant because we have been silent.
For that reason we have restrained the impulses of our soul till now, and have suppressed the expression of the strong emotions that have agitated our lives. But now that our sincere sorrow has become calm, and reason has resumed her sway, we are going to fulfil a sacred duty—sacred to every generous mind, and most sacred to us because we are young men and Americans.
Sons of the two islands, only separated from you by a narrow sea, strictly connected with the great republic by the interchange of produce and of ideas, whatever relates to her is of interest to us, inasmuch as we have silently sympathized with her in her recent days of glory, and now condole with her in her hour of mourning.
As men we weep for Lincoln; the perfidy that deprived him of his earthly existence is repugnant to the heart of every man; enemies to that social infamy which, under the name of slavery, is a disgrace to the land of liberty, as it is a reproach to the beloved country of our birth, we felt, with Lincoln, the holy emotions that he felt when he saw his great task done; we Cubans and Portoricans, borne by providential destiny towards the future of America, shuddered with the last convulsion of the great man; we spirits, lovers of goodness and of liberty, which is its political expression, would have lamented the eternal absence of that strong mind that gave us the consolation of seeing liberty guaranteed, at least in the land he made greater by his greatness, if we did not know that death kills the body and not the soul; that Lincoln’s body was killed, but his spirit was the soul of the giant nation that he knew how to govern.
After Washington there came other Washingtons; after Lincoln there will come, there has already come, another Lincoln. This hope, this assurance calms our grief, and it is scarcely a condolence that we send you, but a prayer that you may be worthy of America.
- NARCISO URDANEBIO,
- JOSÉ FERNANDEZ,
- TRISTAN MEDINA,
- CALISTO R. LOIRA,
- FEDERICO FERNANDEZ DE LA REGUERA,
- ANTONIO GONZALES Y HERRERA,
- RAMON P. TRUJILLO,
- ALBERTO ABRISQUETA Y EBRENTZ,
- FRANCISCO JAVIER CASERO,
- FRANCO. PUENTO,
and twenty-three other names.
His Excellency Andrew Johnson,
President of the United States of America.