Announcement to Representatives of Foreign Governments in the United States of the Death of President Lincoln
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SIR: It is my great misfortune to be obliged to inform you of events not less afflicting to the people of the United States than distressing to my own feelings and the feelings of all those connected with the Government.
The President of the United States was shot with a pistol last night, while attending a theater in this city, and expired this morning from the effects of the wound. At about the same time an attempt was made to assassinate the Secretary of State, which, though it fortunately failed, left him severely, but it is hoped not dangerously, wounded with a knife or dagger. Mr. F. W. Seward was also struck on the head with a heavy weapon, and is in a critical condition from the effect of the blows.
Pursuant to the provision of the Constitution of the United States, Andrew Johnson, the Vice-President, has formally assumed the functions of President. I have by him been authorized to perform the duties of Secretary of State until otherwise ordered.
I avail myself of the occasion to offer to you the assurance of my distinguished consideration.
W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary.
Abraham Lincoln, Announcement to Representatives of Foreign Governments in the United States of the Death of President Lincoln Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/202924