Mr. Marsh to Mr. Hunter
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction of April 17, 1865, with the official announcement of the assassination of the President of the United States. I immediately communicated a copy of this announcement to the minister of foreign affairs, and have received a reply, of which a translation is annexed.
I have received a considerable number of addresses, resolutions, and other expressions of condolence with the people of the United States on this sad event, which I shall forward to Washington by the first private conveyance. I retain them in the mean time, because they would form a package somewhat bulky for the mails.
* * * * * *
There are in circulation many rumors of a projected alliance between France, Austria, Italy, and Spain for the maintenance of the new imperial dynasty in Mexico, at a cost, even, of a war with the United States; and a visit of General Cialdini to Spain, at this moment, is suspected by some to be connected with a negotiation for this end. The whole thing seems extremely improbable as to some of the powers in question, and supremely absurd as to the best interests of all of them. In such a crusade I can hardly believe that this or any other European government, except, perhaps, England, would have the support of its own people; and so transparent an attempt to put down republicanism in America as this would be, might very probably teach European statesmen that democracy is a much more powerful element of opposition to measures of despotic policy than they, at this moment, consider it.[Page 145]
The session of parliament is not yet closed, and the minister of foreign affairs is still here, but the transfer of all the public offices to Florence will probably be completed before the month of June, and I intend to go to that city in the course of the present or the next month.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State.