Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward

No. 346.]

Sir: The accompanying address was delivered to me a few days ago by a special committee delegated by an association for the improvement of the working classes of Lisbon. I replied verbally at the time, promising a more formal acknowledgment afterwards, which is now also enclosed.

The presentation of this address was delayed by the illness of the president of the society.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

(For address see Appendix, separate volume.)

[Page 131]


Gentlemen: The address which you did me the honor to deliver personally, in behalf of the “Centro Promoter dos methoramentos das classes laboriosas de Lisboa,” expressive of sympathy and regret on the occasion of the death of President Lincoln, will be immediately communicated to my government, and will be received as an utterance at once worthy in itself, and acceptable from its touching and appropriate sentiments.

Among the many sympathetic expressions which this sad occasion has called forth, none have been more welcome than the voices of associations like yours, whose aim is to elevate and dignify man by enlarging his intelligence and usefulness, and whose ambition is thus to promote the prosperity and happiness of the people at large.

However much the political institutions of the New and Old World may differ, these are objects upon which all men may agree, since they are the necessary foundations of stable and successful government. Enlightened progress marches forward in proportion as popular education is diffused, and it stops and stagnates where free instruction is denied. The civilisation of a state can only be measured by the intelligence of its people.

Abraham Lincoln was a striking illustration of this idea, and his career furnishes an example and an honorable incentive which will endure in all history. Humble in origin, unfavored in fortune, self-reliant, and upright, he rose from obscure beginnings to a position which attracted the gaze of the world. How bravely and well he bore himself; how unselfish and noble was his conduct; how fervent and patriotic were his aspirations; how gentle and guileless was his heart; how simple and yet how grand was his nature, are qualities and virtues for the future historian to describe. It is our pride to point to him as a type of American civilization.

None sympathize more strongly than he with every effort to improve the condition of labor; to educate its children, and to raise it up to a higher dignity. His hands had been hardened by honest toil, and his youth had been disciplined by stern necessity. Therefore his sympathies were ever earnest and practical.

Hence it is fitting that associations with kindred aims to those which illustrated the life of our lamented President should linger over and leave offerings upon his grave, and that we, who in foreign lands witness these voluntary tributes, should feel our hearts swell with mingled emotions of gratitude and manly pride.

I am, with high respect,


Messrs. Francisco Vieira da Silva, President, And Miguel Justiniano Correa el Silva, Alfredo Augusto Correa, Secretaries.