Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts.
Tokei, Japan, June 29, 1878. (Received August 3.)
Sir: Referring to my former dispatches relating to the assassination of the late minister of the home department, his excellency Mr. Okubo, I note in the Tokio Times of this morning a paragraph setting forth that on the evening preceding his murder the doomed minister, referring to a letter which he had received warning him of a conspiracy to take his life, produced the letter to his friends at an entertainment, and, after reading it, said, “One’s fate and life must depend upon the decree of Heaven,” and added, “if my destiny has been fulfilled my end must come, though I should be surrounded by guards of soldiers.”
I inclose the statement as published, and beg leave to add that I am greatly impressed with it because of the fact that our martyr President, Mr. Lincoln, upon the receipt (in November, 1864), by his faithful Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, of the Selby letter, in which the purpose to assassinate the President was expressly declared, said to Mr. Stanton, as the latter informed me, that “if it was decreed he should die by the hands of assassins that it must be so, whatever precautions might be taken to avert their purpose.” The Selby letter of which I speak is published in my argument on the trial of President Lincoln’s assassins, in the volume on the trial, by Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin, page 381, and on page 73 of the printed official copy of my argument.
I have, &c.,