Baptists and the American Civil War: April 25, 1865

Today Rhode Island Baptists send to President Andrew Johnson a copy of a resolution regarding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Providence, R. I., April 29, 1SG5. Sir: At a meeting of the Rhode Island Baptist State Convention, held in the city of Providence, April 25, 1865, the following resolutions, reported by Rev. Dr. Caswell, were unanimously adopted, and the Secretary was instructed to forward a copy, duly signed, to the President.

A. J. PADELFORD, Secretary.

Resolved, That, in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States, we are compelled to recognize the fruit of that spirit of rebellion, which, blinded by its own wickedness, seeks to found a government on human slavery as its chief corner-stone, and can see no rights in a colored man which a white man is bound to respect. We aver that, in our opinion, murder and assassination, and every outrage which can subserve the ends of unhallowed ambition, may be regarded as the just sequence of trampling under foot the most solemn oaths, and setting at defiance the Constitution and laws which hold a nation in security.

Resolved, That, in the premature death of Mr. Lincoln, the country has lost a great and good man, whose name, in the annals of our history and of freedom, will stand second only to the name of Washington. His life was long enough for fame, but all too short for his country’s good.

Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family in their heavy and most bitter affliction.

Resolved, That we give to President Johnson, in the great and trying responsibilities which the death of Mr. Lincoln has imposed upon him, our united and untiringsupport. As God has permitted one illustrious leader to be cut off by violence, so we believe He has prepared another to conduct the nation to peace and universal freedom; and it is our ardent prayer that this may be done in such a manner as to add new grace to the charms of mercy, and new dignity to the majesty of justice and of law.

We may add that the above resolutions express the unanimous feeling of the largest denomination of Christians in the State.

We are, very truly, your most obedient servants,

JONATHAN BRAYTON, President. Rev. A. J. PADELFORD, Secretary. Hon. William Hunter,

Acting Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Source: Diplomatic Correspondence of 1865, Washington, 1866, p. 707 (link)