The people of Great Britain learned of Lincoln's assassination soon after its occurrence. Many towns throughout the British Empire wrote letters reflecting on the changes and improvements that Lincoln had brought to the United States during his time as president. The town of Glasgow in Scotland was no exception to this outpouring of support and sympathy, as can be seen in an 1865 letter expressing the sincere hope that "the prospects of internal peace which had opened to the United States during the last days of Mr. Lincoln's life may not be materially affected by the execrable deed which has brought that life prematurely to an end."

In 2015, a reflection on the 1865 decisions and condolences of the Merchants House of Glasgow highlights the continued respect held for Lincoln by the residents of Glasgow, as well as Scotland as a whole. However, this letter also indicates the implicit dealings with the slave trade that members of the Merchants House had during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Mayor Raymond M. Williamson expresses his regret that such a relationship existed, but recognizes that it was unavoidable due to the widespread nature of the Atlantic slave trade at the time.