Mr. Marsh to Mr. Hunter

No. 119.]

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.

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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.


Mr. Minister: I have received the note which you have done me the honor to address me under date of May 5, transmitting to me a copy of a circular of the Department of State at Washington, which conveys the official announcement of the assassination committed on the person of the President of the United States and of the accession of Mr. Andrew Johnson to the Presidency.

On the 28th of April last, I hastened to transmit to the minister of Italy at Washington the address which the Italian parliament had voted to the Congress of the Union, in order to express to that body its sentiments of lively sympathy and the indignation which the execrable crime of which Mr. Lincoln has been the victim has excited in Italy.

The King, my august sovereign, and his government, fully concur in this manifestation, and I renew to you, Mr. Minister, the warmest expression of the sentiments they have felt, in common with the whole Italian nation, on this sad occasion.

In forming sincere wishes for the prosperity of the States of the Union and of their worthy President, Mr. Andrew Johnson, I beg you to accept, Mr. Minister, the assurance of my high consideration.