No. 152.
Mr. Angell to Mr. Evarts.

No. 126.]

Sir: The news of the assassination of the Emperor of Russia reached Peking on the 23d instant.

I called at once on Mr. Koyander, the Russian secretary, now in charge of the legation, to express my sympathy. In view of the very cordial relations which have so long existed between the United States and Russia, I deemed it fitting to address to Mr. Koyander the note a copy of which I inclose. I also forward a copy of the reply of Mr. Koyander (in French), and a translation of it.

On the 24th instant, at 1.30 p.m., the diplomatic body, by invitation of Mr. Koyander, attended a funeral service in the chapel of the Russian legation. The service was conducted by the archimandrite resident at Peking. The foreign ministers here have agreed to keep their flags at half-mast for ten days to give public expression to their sympathy with Russia.

I have, &c.,

[Page 242]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 126.]

Mr. Angell to Mr. Koyander.

Dear Sir: I need not say how shocked I was in common with all my colleagues, in hearing last evening of the assassination of His Imperial Majesty Alexander II. I can assure you even before I hear from home, that the news has caused profound sorrow throughout the length and breadth of my country. For although the relations of Russia and the United States have always been most cordial, they have been especially so during the reign of the late Emperor. Three events have contributed to this: First. Our admiration and sympathy were awakened by that great and courageous act, the emancipation of the serfs, which was followed two years later by the similar act of the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. Secondly, His Imperial Majesty proved himself one of the best friends we had in Europe during the terrible days of our civil war. His noble attitude at that time won for him the deep and imperishable affection and gratitude of my countrymen. Thirdly. The negotiations of the two countries concerning the transfer of Alaska were conducted in a spirit which was most amicable and hearty.

Certain European writers have speculated not a little on the causes of the firm friendship between the great empire of the east and the great republic of the west. But whatever the cause, the fact is one in which my countrymen rejoice, and therefore the grief in the United States at the deep affliction which has come upon Russia will be universal and profound.

I have felt that I should hardly be true to my duty as a representative of the Government and people of the United States, if I did not indicate to you, however inadequately, their sincere sorrow and sympathy in this sad hour.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 126.—Translation.]

Mr. Koyander to Mr. Angell.

Dear Sir: I hasten to communicate to your excellency my warmest thanks for the letter, full of cordiality and sympathy, which you were pleased to address to me yesterday on receiving the terrible news of the death of His Majesty the Emperor Alexder II, the beloved sovereign of my country. I do not doubt that the hateful crime which has been committed in St. Petersburg, will awaken everywhere deep indignation, but especially in the United States, whose government and whose people, as you say with so much justice, have always been bound by ties of sincere sympathy and friendship to the Empire of Russia. I remember still the painful and sad emotion which was produced among my countrymen by the news of the tragic and premature death of President Lincoln, that great citizen of the republic who fell contending for the glory and the greatness of his country. Russia has just been smitten with a similar misfortune in the person of her beloved sovereign. In the midst of our national grief, the expressions of sympathy by foreign nations will certainly be appreciated at their true value by my countrymen, and will greatly contribute to strengthen the bonds of friendship which unite Russia to other countries, and more especially to the great Republic of the United States.

Filled with gratitude for the sentiments which you have been pleased to express in your letter, I beg you to receive the assurance of my high consideration, and to believe me,

Yours, &c.,


His Excellency Mr. James B. Angell,
Minister of the United States, &c., &c., &c., Peking.