Touched By A Letter
Pages 1 and 3 of letter – please see below for type written version of the whole letter
How touching a hand written letter, such as this, is!
President Abraham Lincoln had such a heart for people!
This is what his letter to Queen Victoria, on the death of her beloved Albert, said:
Great and Good Friend,
By a letter from your son, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, which has just been received, I am informed of the overwhelming affliction which has fallen on Your Majesty by the untimely death of His Royal Highness, the late Prince Consort, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg.
The offer of condolence in such cases is a customary ceremony, which has its good uses, though it is conventional and may sometimes be even insincere. But I would fain have Your Majesty apprehend on this occasion, that real sympathy can exist as real truthfulness can be practiced, in the intercourse of nations. The People of the United States are kindred of the People of Great Britain. With all our distinct national interests, objects, and aspirations, we are conscious that our moral strength is largely derived from that relationship, and we think we do not deceive ourselves when we suppose that by constantly cherishing cordial friendship and sympathy with the other branches of the family to which we belong, we impart to them not less strength than we derive from the same connection. Accidents, however incidental to all states, and passions, common to all nations, often tend to disturb the harmony so necessary and so proper between the two countries, and to convert them into enemies. It was reserved for Your Majesty in sending your son, the Heir Apparent of the British Throne, on a visit among us, to inaugurate a policy destined to counteract these injurious tendencies, as it has been Your Majesty’s manifest endeavor, through a reign already of considerable length and of distinguished success, to cultivate the friendship on our part so earnestly desired. It is for this reason that you are honored on this side of the Atlantic as a friend of the American People. The late Prince Consort was with sufficient evidence regarded as your counsellor in the same friendly relation. The American People therefore deplore his death and sympathize in Your Majesty’s irreparable bereavement with an unaffected sorrow. This condolence may not be altogether ineffectual, since we are sure it emanates from only virtuous motives and natural affection. I do not dwell upon it, however, because I know that the Divine hand that has wounded is the only one that can heal. And so, commending Your Majesty and the Prince Royal, the Heir Apparent, and all your afflicted family to the tender mercies of God, I remain
Your Good Friend,
Washington, 1st Feb, 1862
Certainly, Queen Victoria who was inconsolable at the time, must have found some comfort in these words.