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RA VIC/MAIN/M/65/63

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Letter of condolence from President Lincoln to Queen Victoria, 1 February 1862

RA VIC/MAIN/M/65/63 (view the document)

After the death of Prince Albert from typhoid fever on 14 December 1861, Queen Victoria received hundreds of condolence messages.

This letter, signed by President Abraham Lincoln (the rest of the text is probably in the hand of William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State), is bound into a volume containing letters sent to the Queen at this time by Heads of State from around the world.

The President refers to the close relationship between Britain and America, and mentions the recent visit to the United States by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), which further served to cement friendly relations between the two countries.

The letter includes the lines:

But I would fain have Your Majesty apprehend, on this occasion, that real sympathy can exist, as real truthfulness can be practised, 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.