No. 677.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Blaine.

No. 366.]

Sir: The news of the atrocious and fatal attempt on the life of the Emperor of Russia was first made known here yesterday morning. I called at once on the Russian envoy to express to him my feelings of regret and sympathy at the loss which his country had sustained. I felt that I was but executing your wishes and those of the President in so doing and in conveying to him the assurance of the regret at the success and the horror at the perpetration of the crime.

Afterwards I wrote a letter to Mr. de Hamburger to the same effect. I inclose a copy thereof. I report my action to you as required by the regulations, in the confident assurance that it will meet your commendation. There is no people on the face of the globe that more thoroughly condemns the cowardly assassination of rulers, and none that is better able to appreciate the enormity of such an offense than ours. I did not, therefore, hesitate to exhibit every mark of respect to the memory of a man who had set his name to the edict of freedom of the serfs in his own country, and who, of all the crowned heads of Europe, had exhibited the moss sympathy for us in our struggle for the Union and the emancipation of the slaves.

This morning, the President and Vice-President of the Confederation and the entire diplomatic body attended a funeral service at the Russian legation. It was attended with all the solemnity and grandeur of the rites of the Russian church. The black drapings of the chapel, the dim light of the tapers, and the deep mourning of the ladies served to set in bold relief the uniforms of the military representatives, and all, with the chanting of the funeral service, combined to render it one of the most impressive and solemn occasions at which I have assisted.

Fortunately there has been as yet no attempt made to connect the assassins of the Emperor of Russia with Swiss antecedents.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 366.]

Mr. Fish to Mr. Hamburger.

My Dear Colleague: The atrocious crime perpetrated, with fatal result, on the life of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, naturally brings to recollection the generous and heartfelt sympathy of His Majesty, the Government and people of Russia for us when the people and Government of the United States stood aghast at the loss, by an assassin’s hand, of one who gave freedom to millions. To-day the United States will be pervaded with horror and consternation at the terrible loss that in another land has been occasioned by assassination to a government and people always friendly to the United States.

The sympathy and regret at the loss your country has sustained, and the abhorrence of the crime, will De all the more deeply felt when the people realize that the name of Alexander II, which stands imperishably recorded as an emancipator of men, is enrolled on the list of those whom foul murder has claimed as its victims.

The terrible affliction that has fallen upon the imperial family, and upon all classes in your country, is too deep and too recent to allow of intrusion, but I beg you to rest [Page 1120] assured that you have in this trying moment my most sincere condolence and heartfelt sympathy for the loss with which you have been so crully stricken.

I beg you, my dear colleague, to accept the renewed assurance of my most distinguished consideration.