Committee Rooms, 106 King Street,
Sydney, July 22, 1865.
New South Wales branch of the Irish National League.
To the honorable the President, the Senate
and House of Representatives of the United States of America:
The members of the New South Wales branch of the Irish National League have instructed us, their central committee, to condole with you (the Congress of America) on the calamity that has befallen your nation, and to convey to you their heartfelt sorrow and sympathy for the loss which, in common with the cause of freedom throughout the world, you have sustained by the foul murder by the hand of an assassin of that great, energetic, untiring, and devoted champion of freedom, Abraham Lincoln.
We, as inhabitants of New South Wales, are actuated to this expression of sorrow for America’s great loss by the feeling, among others, that as possessors of free institutions we were greatly benefited by the talent, energy, and Christian virtues displayed by one in the proud position of President of the greates republic of modern times.
In the high and responsible position in which he was placed, his powers were great for the accomplishment of good or evil, and how those powers were used is manifest to the world. By the efforts of the great mind with which he was endowed, he overcame obstacles which to the most experienced statesmen in Europe seemed insurmountable; he suppressed a rebellion, more formidable than the annals of any other country can record; united and brought into amicable intercourse many who were previously actuated in their opposition by the influence of party spirit or sectarian prejudices, and by his powerful abilities he brought his country safe and triumphant from that terrible ordeal through which she has been passing for the last four years.
The members of the Irish National League are also actuated in this far-off land of Australia by gratitude, which is a national characteristic, to express their feelings on the present occasion; they cannot and do not forget that when a code of the most ill-conceived laws deprived them of freedom and prosperity at home, and even seemed to threaten the total extirpation of their race; when unable to meet their landlord’s call, they were expelled from the homes in which they were born; when they appeared deserted by the world, and nothing seemed to remain but death from cold and starvation by the wayside, it was then that America, noble America, with outstretched arms welcomed them to her shores and bestowed upon them her fertile plains and teeming valleys, where now, beside the grand and majestic rivers that beautify and fertilize your country, they reside in freedom and happiness, with honor and credit to themselves, a lasting memorial of the benefits to be derived from that Constitution and that country whose laws they acknowledge and respect.
For these among other reasons we desire to express our warmest sympathy with America, and to pay a tribute of respect and admiration to the memory of the great departed. In conclusion, we beg to express a hope that the united exertions of America’s patriotic sons will secure her peace and happiness, and that the mighty republic of the west, the great home of freedom, the United States of America, may continue to retain her exalted position of one of the great and free nations of the world.
P. J. GROGAN,
JAMES P. GARVAN,
J. J. CURRAN,
J. I. McDERMOT,