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No. 109.]

Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward.

Paris, May 31, 1865.

SIR: Among the manifold testimonials of sympathy elicited by the assassi nation of our late President some have seemed worthy of being transmitted to Washington to be read and, perhaps, placed among the archives of the government; others have other destinations, for reaching which the facilities of the State Department are more or less requisite. I transmit them in a body, trusting that you will give them, respectively, their proper direction.

I have divided them into three categories: the first category consists of eleven letters addressed to Mrs. Lincoln; the second category consists of twenty-nine communications from masonic lodges, three addressed to President Johnson, eighteen to the United States minister at Paris, and eight to American lodges; the third category consists of four letters and addresses to heads of the government and of twenty-eight to the United States minister at Paris-making in all seventy-two enclosures.

Though these form but a small proportion, numerically, of the testimonials of sympathy which have been already addressed to me by the people of France, and a still smaller proportion of those yet to be expected, they will suffice to show not only how profoundly the nation was shocked by the dreadful crime which terminated President Lincoln's earthly career, but how deep a hold he had taken upon the respect and affections of the French people. It is difficult to exaggerate the enthusiasm which his name inspires among the masses of Europe at this moment-an enthusiasm before which the ruling classes, however little disposed to waste compliments upon anything tainted with republicanism, are obliged to incline. I think it is generally conceded that the death of no man has ever occurred that awakened such prompt and universal sympathy at once among his own country people and among foreign nations. There can be no better evidence that the world is advancing in civilization than this unprecedented and spontaneous homage to the virtues of Mr. Lincoln. It shows that the moral standard of nations has been greatly exalted within the memory of living men. It does not deserve to be reckoned among the secondary achievements of our people during the last four years to have furnished the world with such a striking demonstration of this gratifying truth.

I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,


Secretary of State.

[For enclosures see Appendix, separate volume.]

[Enclosures to despatch No. 109.]


Letters addressed to Mrs. Lincoln.

No. 1, L'Alliance Religieuse Universelle; 2, Souverain Chapitre des Amis Triomphants, à l'Orient de Paris; 3, the students of the faculty of Protestant theology of Montauban; 4, translation of letter from the conference of French pastors held in Paris April 27, 1865; 5, Madame Sempé and two other ladies; 6, Escarré and twenty others; 7, Ode of M. Descottes; 8, the pastors of the Drôme and Ardèche; 9, the hatters of the house of Didé, of Nimes; 10, sealed letter; 11, Ein Deutsch Amerikaner, in memoriam.

[The above enclosures forwarded to Mrs. Lincoln.]


From Freemason Lodges, addressed to the United States minister at Paris.

1, St. John's Lodge, Amis de la Vérité; 2, Chapter Lodge, les Amis Triomphants; 3, Chapter Lodge, Clémente Amitié; 4, Scotch Lodge, Elus de St. Etienne; 5, Chapter Lodge, Mars et les Arts; 6, Scotch Lodge, No. 146, La Ligne Droite; 7, Chapter Lodge, les Amis de la Patrie; 8, Chapter Lodge, l'Avenir; 9, Scotch Lodge, No. 88, la Prèvoyance; 10, St. John Lodge, No. 147, du Hêros de l'Humanité; 11, Supreme Lodge, Scotch rite; 12, St. John Lodge, St. John of Jerusalem; 13, St. John Lodge, Tolerance et Progrès: 14, Lodge de Henry IV; 15, Lodge Le Berceau d'Henry IV of Pau; 16, Lodge L'Ecole de la Morale of Libourne; 17, St. John Lodge, La Persévérance.

Letters to lodges.

1, La Renaissance par les Emules d'Hiram to the Grand Lodge of New York; 2, La Renaissance par les Emules d'Hiram to the Grand Lodge of Illinois; 3, La Renaissance par les Emules d'Hiram to the Grand Lodge of New York, colored; 4, Les Amis de l'Ordre to the Grand Lodge of New York; 5, Le Temple des Familles to the Freemasons of the United States; 6, Le Temple des Familles to the colored lodge of New York; 7, The Scotch Lodge, No. 176, L'Espérance Savoysienne to the Grand Lodge of New York, No. 17; 8, L'Alliance Fraternelle to the Grand Lodge of New York.

Letters to President Johnson.

1, St. John Lodge, Orion, of Gaillac, Tarn; 2, Scotch Lodge, No. 146, La Ligne Droite; 3, Chapter Lodge, de la Bonne Foì.


Miscellaneous letters and addresses to the President and others.

1, Abraham Lincoln in memoriam, by Ein Deutsch-Amerikaner; 2, letter, sealed, to Presi dent Johnson; 3, address of the Evangelical Alliance of Lyons; 4, sealed letter to Mr. Seward.

Letters to United States minister at Paris.

1, Alfred Monod, avocat au conseil d'Etat; 2, La Jeunesse Francaise, a deputation; 3, inhabitants of Boyan; 4, Colonel Count Faubert, of Haité; 5, students of the School of Medicine; 6, Franco-American Colonists; 7, Louis and Casimir, Dìdè of Nismes, manufacturers; 8, Courier du Dimanche; 9, chargé d'affaires of Persia; 10, citizens of Guingamp, presented by M. Edward Laboulaye; 11, Oscar de Lafayette; 12, verses by Auguste Lalure; 13, Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, minister of foreign affairs; 14, Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte; 15, Edward Laboulaye; 16, committee for obtaining a canal by the Isthmus of Darien; 17, address of the Democrats of Tours; 18, Latin poem, by F. B.; 19, Union Nationale du Comme et de l'Industrie; 20, Paul Thouzery, accompanying a poem; 21, members of the Protestant church of Montauban and Toulouse, and of the London Abolition Society; 22, address from people of Strasbourg; 23, F. Campadelli, with poem; 24, inhabitants of Vierzon; 25, address from Americans at Pau; 26, letter from the conterence of French pastors; 27, letter from Rev. Barthe, president of the consistory of Pons; 28, L'Alliance Religieuse Universelle.

No. 110.]

Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Paris, May 31, 1865. SIR: I have pleasure in transmitting to you an elaborate article which has just appeared from the pen of the Count de Montalembert, of the institute, on the recent triumph of the United States over her enemies. It appears in the Revue Correspondent. The position which the Count de Montalembert has occupied for some years, not only as one of the most eloquent living writers of France, but as one of the most cherished lay champions of the Latin church, gives a political significance to this article which does not ordinarily attach to contributions to the periodical press. *


I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,


Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.

Article by Count de Montalembert from the Revue Correspondent.



Whilst during the last days of the debates on the address an orator, illustrious for all time, charmed our minds and our hearts in pleading the best of causes; whilst upborne, on the wings of justice and of truth, he soared to unaccustomed heights, and caused his rapt audience to rise with him, news, happy and glorious above all, traversed the seas, and came to bring to souls steadfastly enamored of liberty a trembling sensation of a joy and of a consolation for too long time unknown.

The deep sorrow which has befallen, to impress on the triumph of the northern States a sacred character, should not take anything from this joy. It must survive the consternation, the terror, caused throughout the world by the assassination of President Lincoln, victim immolated on the altar of victory and of country, in the midst of one of those supremely tragic catastrophes which crown certain causes and certain existences with an incomparable majesty, by adding the mysterious grandeur of expiation, and of an expiation unmerited, to the virtues and the glories which humanity the most esteems.

Let us then greet, with unmingled satisfaction, the happy victory which has now assured to the United States the triumph of the north over the south; that is to say, of lawful power over inexcusable revolt, of justice over iniquity, of truth over falsehood, of freedom over slavery.

It is well known that it is not our habit to offer incense to victory-to applaud the conqueror. This is the first time it has happened to us for more than thirty years. It is very sure we shall not abuse this novelty, and shall not make a practice of applause. Let us then be allowed to-day to abandon ourselves without reserve to a joy so rare, by connecting our present emotions with those days, too quickly passed away, when the charter of 1814, the enfranchisement of Greece, the emancipation of English Catholics, the conquest of Algeria, the creation of Belgium, came in succession to adorn the young years of this century, to rejoice and strengthen liberal hearts, and mark the stepping-stones of true progress. Behold, anew, after a too long interval, a happy victory. Behold once, at least, evil subdued by good, strength triumphant in the service of right, and which procures for us the singular and supreme enjoyment of sharing, on this side the world, in the success of a good cause sustained by good measures and gained by worthy people. Let us then thank the God of armies for this glory and this happiness. Let us thank Him for this great victory which He has now granted, for the everlasting consolation of the friends of justice and of liberty, for the eternal confusion of diverse and numerous categories of those who take advantage of and oppress their fellow-creatures by slavery as well as by corruption; by falsehood as by cupidity; by sedition as by tyranny.


But already I hear the murmur of surprise, of discontent, of protest. Even in the Catholic camp the cause of the north has been, is still, unpopular. Even on the rumor of its victory, this shameful cry, so much the worse," brought home by the Moniteur to the bosom of the legislative body, escaped perhaps from more than one breast, from more than one heart habituated to contend, like ours, for the causes we love and have served from the cradle.

Should we then, we are asked, should we then truly rejoice and bless God for this victory? Without fear we answer, yes, we should. Yes, God should be thanked because a great nation lifts herself up again; because she has cleansed herself forever from a hideous leprosy which served as a pretext and reason to all the enemies of liberty to revile and defame her: because she now justifies all the hopes which rested on her; because we have need of her; and because she is returned to us, repentant, triumphant, saved. Yes, God should be thanked, because that leprosy of slavery has disappeared under the steel of the conquerors of Richmond, extirpated forever from the only great Christian nation which, with Spain, was still infected by it; because this great man-market is closed; and again, because we shall no more see on the glorious continent of North America a human being, formed in God's image, put up to the highest bidder, to be knocked down and delivered as prey, with his female companion and their little ones, to the arbitrary will, the cruel selfishness, the infamous cupidity, the vile passions, of one of his fellow-creatures.

Yes, God should be thanked because in lifting herself up again, and purifying herself, America has done justice to, honored, glorified, France and French policy, her true policy, the old, honest and bold policy of our better times, that which sent forth the foremost men of the chivalric and liberal French nobility on the foot-prints of Lafayette to the camp of Washington; because there, at least, the generous devotion of our fathers would not have led, as elsewhere, to a bloody and cruel miscarriage; because from that results another crown for Louis 16th, for the royal martyr, for him who was himself among us the expiatory victim of a great revolution, victim the more touching and the more sacred because, in place of disappearing like Lincoln in the midst of universal sorrow, he was outraged before he was immolated; that those outrages still endure, and that for this cause he carries along our admiration and our compassion to a height which has nothing above it but that of God crucified.

Yes, God should be thanked, because, in this great and terrible strife between slavery and freedom, it is freedom that remains victorious; freedom, which habituated among us to so many mistakes, to such treachery and confusion, compromised and dishonored by so many false friends and unworthy champions, had great need of one of those grand requitals the inestimable value of which at once shines forth to the view of all.

Yes, God should be thanked, because, according to the best averred narratives, the victory has been unstained; because the good cause has not been tarnished by any excess, nor soiled by any crime; because its advocates have not had to blush for its soldiers, nor the soldiers for their leaders, nor the leaders for their success, nor their success for having crowned base cupidity and perverse conspiracies.

Yes, in fine, God should be thanked, because the aggressors have been conquered; because those who were the first to draw the sword have perished by the sword; because impunity has not been accorded to those who provoked an iniquitous revolt, an impious war; because this time, at least, boldness and cunning have not sufficed to mislead right-minded people; because the authors of the crime have become its victims; because on passing the rubicon of lawful action they have found on the other shore defeat and death; because having hazarded the fortune and the future of their country, with the rashness of the adventurer and the dexterity of the conspirator, the alea jacta est has not availed them, and that at this impious and bloody game they have not succeeded; they have played, and have lost. Justice is done.


Let us resume and persist. Let us not be made giddy by the temporary discomfiture of the adversaries of the American cause, and of our own. Let us not believe them to be definitively converted and enlightened. By degrees, as the dazzling brilliancy of the light which the capture of Richmond all at once shed over Europe, followed by the tragic death of Lincoln, begins to fade; by degrees, as the shadows inseparable from all victory and every human cause appear along the horizon, we shall hear anew those invectives, of which the United States in general, of which the northern States in particular, have been the object. Raillery and calumny will recommence the assault to reanimate that ill-natured opinion which we have seen so ably and so wittingly maintained within and without. That perverse joy, so often given utterance to by all the enemies of liberty since the fall of the great republic might have been thought of, will again become noisy and potential on the first embarrassment, on the first mistake, of our friends beyond the sea. To-day all the world denies that it wishes, or that it ever even wished, for the continuance of slavery, but the arguments and interests favorable to slavery have not ceased to maintain their empire.

It has not been an unimportant teaching to watch how, from the first days of the breaking out of the conflict between the north and the south, the classifying of opinions has been going on. I do not say, please God, that all friends of the south are enemies of justice and liberty; still less do I say that all partisans of the north ought to be regarded as truly and sincerely. liberals. But I say that an instinct, involuntary perhaps, all powerful and unconquerable, has at once arrayed on the side of the proslavery people all the open or secret partisans of the fanaticism and absolutism of Europe. I say that all the open or secret enemies, political or theological, of liberty, have been in favor of the south. It would be useless and puerile to deny that the United States count a certain number of adversaries among the Catholics, and that notwithstanding the so prodigious and so consoling progress of Catholicism in that country, a progress no one has witnessed anywhere else since the first ages of the church.* I will carefully refrain from fathoming the causes of this unpopularity of America in general, and of American abolitionists in particular. That investigation would lead me too far. I will confine myself to observing that the men of my time have always encountered in their path an opinion mistakenly religious and blindly conservative. It is that which in 1821 was for Turkey against Greece; in 1830 for Holland against Belgium; in 1831 for Russia against Poland; the same which is to-day for the pro-slavery men of the south against the abolitionists of the north. Events in the first place, and then the sympathies of the mass of the clergy and of Catholics, enlightened by events, have inflicted on this tendency severe contradictions and humiliating recantations on the Oriental question, the Belgian question, and the Polish question. I am convinced the same will happen some day or other on the American question.

But if it is annoying to arrive too late to the aid of justice and truth; if, with the exception of the learned and eloquent Dr. Brownson, we do not discover among Catholics in the United States any champion of the emancipation of the negro race, we have at least the small consolation of being able to prove that there has not issued from their ranks any apology for American slavery. It is repugnant to me to acknowledge the sacerdotal character in the author of a recent and anonymous publication, entitled Slavery in the Confederate States, by a Missionary." If the author of this shameless book were really a priest, and if it suf

In 1774 in all the English colonies, from which the United States arose, were only 49 priests. Tue first bishop appeared in 1790. In 1839 the church counted in the United States 1 province, 16 dioceses, 18 bishops, 478 priests, 418 churches. In 1849, 3 provinces, 30 dioceses, 26 bishops, 1,000 priests, 966 churches. In 1859, 7 provinces, 45 dioceses, 2 vicariats, 45 bishops, 2,108 priests, 2,334 churches.

ficed him, as he affirms, to live among American planters for twenty-four years, to maintain loftily the usefulness and lawfulness of the slavery of the negro, even to discover in their ser vitude the only possible barrier to their loose habits, the fact alone of such a perversion of the moral sense and sacerdotal conscience would in itself constitute the strongest argument against the social and religious rule in slaveholding countries.

But outside of the question of slavery, and even before this question occupied attention, there prevailed among a too large number of Catholics an instinctive aversion towards America, the origin of which it is perhaps proper to trace back to Count de Maistre. His influence, it is known, over the greatest as well as the smallest questions was incontestably the most powerful of all those which the Catholics of the nineteenth century have submitted to. This great man, like many of his peers, owes still more of his renown to his exaggerations than to his great intellect. His paradoxes have had more success, and certainly more resonance, than the genius and good sense of which he has left in the greater part of his works the ineffaceable impress; we yet are too little acquainted with the exquisite tenderness of his charming spirit, and much less still with the haughty independence, the intellect at once chivalric and liberal, the luminous and often very far-reaching policy which are revealed in him through his various correspondence recently published. But he did not like the United States; their origin and their progress contradicted some of his most cherished theories. He fell into the error of transforming his repugnancies into prophecies. We know what has been the fortune of that which he reduced to form about the capital of the United States: "Either that city will not exist, or it will be called by another name than that of Washington." He had more common sense when he restrained himself in the expression of impatience which the extravagant admirers of the new American nation inspired, saying. "Leave, leave that child in the cradle to grow bigger."

Well, we can say, in our turn, the child has grown; has become a man; and the man is a giant. This people, disdained, condemned, calumniated, laughed at, has shown in the most formidable crisis which any nation can pass through, an energy, a devotedness, an intelligence, a heroism which have confounded its adversaries, and surprised its most ardent friends; it now mounts to the first rank among the great nations of earth.

M. de Maistre dies, and in presence of the increasing greatness of the United States other arguments are sought to decry them. It is said to us, Don't talk about your America, with its slavery. Well, our America henceforth is without slaves. Let us talk of it, therefore, although many without doubt would rather talk less than ever about it. It is said especially, "The American people will not know how to make war; and if it does so, conqueror or conquered, it will fall a prey to some fortunate general, some Bonaparte, who will begin with a dictatorship, and end with a despotism which his fellow-citizens will entreat him to save them from, and who, in exchange for this safety, will claim from them that which all Cæsars claim, their honor and liberty.

But the experience has been had, at least on this point, and never has prophecy received & more bloody contradiction.


The Americans have known how to make war; they have made it with an energy, a dash and perseverance that are incontestable; they have not become the prey of any general, of any dictator, of any Cæsar: they have waged the most difficult and most terrible of all wars-civil war; they have made it while developing in its course all the qualities, all the virtues which form great military nations; they have made it on an immense scale. modern nation, not even revolutionary France with its fourteen armies, has set on foot or hurled against the enemy forces proportionately so numerous, so disciplined, so well equipped, so steady under fire. These traders have cast as a prey to the exigencies of war their fortunes with as much prodigality as the English shopkeepers in their struggle against Napoleon, and their children with as much of heroic abnegation as did the France of 1792 in her struggle against Europe. Whilst absurd slanderers denounced to Europe these pretended armies of mercenaries, attaching to them the like stigma as to our young and gallant countrymen of Castel Fidardo, more than a million of volunteers took up arms on one side for the defence of the Union and of republican institutions; on the other, for the setting up of their independence and maintenance of their local franchises; and of this million of armed men not one, thank God, has become the butcher of his brethren or the satellite of a dictator.

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These forces have been commanded by improvised generals, many of whom have shown themselves worthy of marching in the steps of the most celebrated of our republican generals; by men who have been not only masters in tactics and strategy, but heroes in valor and moderation, great statesmen and great citizens; Grant and Lee, Burnside and Sherman, McClellan and Beauregard, Sheridan and Stonewall Jackson, have inscribed their names on the great page of history.

I name, designedly, the chief among the leaders of the two hostile armies; for I am happy to acknowledge that to the whole American people is due, in this relation at least, the homage of our admiration. The two parties, the two camps, have evinced the like bravery, the like indomitable tenacity, the like wonderful energy, the like intrepid resolution, the like self

* The report of the War Department of 1862 showed the presence of 800,000 men in the federal armies, nineteen twentieths whereof were enlisted volunteers. The proportions must have changed, and the draft has filled up the gaps. This omits the confederate forces, less in number, but equals in courage and discipline to the federal force.

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