British Community of Constantinople

Address from the British community of Constantinople to the Hon. E. Joy Morris, American minister to the Porte.


On Thursday, May 11, a meeting of British residents was held at Misserie’s Hotel, Mr. Consul General Logie in the chair, The attendance was numerous and influential.

In stating the object for which the meeting had been convened, Mr. Logie said it was not necessary to make any detailed allusion to the crimes which had pained and shocked Englishmen everywhere, little, if at all, less than Americans themselves. He felt confident that every member of our local community would share the sorrow and indignation excited throughout Europe by the cowardly murder of Mr. Lincoln and the attack upon Mr. Seward, and would condole heartily with the American people under the great national disaster which had befallen them. He would, therefore, at once, call on his respected friend, Mr. Hanson, to move a resolution expressive of this unanimous sentiment of our colony.

Mr. Hanson briefly expressed his concurrence in the sympathy so well expressed by the consul-general, and moved:

  • “That this meeting has heard with sorrow and indignation of the murder of the late President of the United States, and of the murderous attack on Mr. Secretary Seward.
  • “That an address, expressive of the feelings of the British community at Constantinople on this subject, be signed and presented to his excellency the American minister.”

Mr. McCoan having seconded the resolution, it was carried unanimously.

The Rev. H. J. Knapp then read a draught of the address—which had been prepared by the consul-general—and moved the second resolution, which was seconded by Mr. E. Lafontaine:

  • “That the address now read to the meeting be adopted, and that it be presented, when signed, by a committee of British residents, composed of the following gentlemen: Mr. Consul-General Logie, Messrs. Hanson, McCoan, Rev. H. J. Knapp, E. Lafontaine, and Lamb.”

Carried unanimously.

Mr. Logie then intimated that the address would lie at the consulate for signature by all British residents from Friday morning till Monday afternoon, when, or on Tuesday, as might be most convenient to Mr. Morris, it would be presented. After a cordial vote of thanks to the consul-general, the meeting separated.

Mr. Morris having appointed yesterday forenoon for receiving the deputation, at 11 a. m. the latter proceeded to the American legation, where, after a short introductory conversation, the address, which was in the following terms, was presented and read by Mr. Logie:

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To his Excellency the Hon. E. Joy Morris, &c, &c.:

Sir: We, the undersigned, British residents at Constantinople, have heard with horror and indignation of the recent crimes at Washington, which have deprived the people of the United States of America of their respected President, and put in jeopardy the life of Mr. Secretary Seward.

We speak, sir, to the representative in this capital of a people of our own blood, with whom we share in so many kindred feelings and so many great memories, and we feel that it would be alike unnecessary and unbecoming to seek for phrases to express that we deeply abhor a cowardly and cold-blooded murder.

We feel that this crime is even made more hateful by the attempt of the assassin to clothe it in the garb of an act of political revenge. To us, sir, it appears that the facility with which the act was perpetrated and the murderer escaped for the moment from the retribution due to his crimes, is in itself a touching proof of the single-minded simplicity with which the late President conformed to the spirit of the institutions of his country, and which ought to have made his person sacred, even to the most bitter and desperate partisan.

Although it would be highly unbecoming in us to say a word to your excellency respecting the domestic politics of the States, we feel that, in joining in a personal tribute to the memory of the late Mr. Lincoln, we do not pass beyond our province.

We are sure that history will bear testimony to the unshaken fortitude which he displayed in difficulty, to the spirit of moderation with which he met success, and to that simple, unselfish, single-minded devotion to his country which he brought to the performance of the duties of his high office.

We desire, sir, to express briefly to your excellency, as the representative of the United States, our hearty sympathy with the great misfortune which they have sustained, our earnest hope for the future welfare and prosperity of the republic, and the unfeigned desire we feel, in common with our fellow-countrymen at home, for the perpetual maintenance of kindly feeling and peaceful intercourse between our nations.


Here follow the signatures of nearly every British adult male resident in Constantinople.]