Louis-Philippe to Mary Todd Lincoln, Friday, May 5, 1865

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Louis Philippe to Mary Todd Lincoln, Friday, May 5, 1865 (Condolences)  (1865) 
by Louis-Philippe, comte de Paris
A letter of condolence to Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of Abraham Lincoln, from Louis Philippe, Orleanist pretender to the throne of France. In his letter, the prince makes reference to his service in the Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan and to the premature death of his own father, Prince Ferdinand-Philippe in 1842.

May 5th

Madam,

The overwhelming affliction which has befallen you and which has spread mourning not only over your country but over the whole world ought perhaps to command my silent sympathy. But that national calamity is also a personal loss to me who had many opportunities of appreciating himself the noble heart, the great qualities of M. Lincoln, who held from him his commission in the Federal Army and who gratefully remembers the gracious and friendly manner in which it was tendered to him. I hope therefore that you will excuse the liberty I take to offer you the expression of my sincere condolence with your grief. It is an impulse which I could not resist, an hommage [sic] which I am anxious to pay to a great and respected memory.

Nobody pretends to offer you any consolation for what mean the voices of the whole world when the only voice which we long to hear once more is silent for ever? But the expressions of sympathy are, perhaps, more acceptable when they come from one who has gone himself through the terrible ordeal of great and untimely family losses.

It is with these feelings that I beg you, Madam, to believe me,

Your most devoted

Louis Philippe D'Orléans