To the Regent Captains of the Republic of San Marino

May 7, 1861

Abraham Lincoln,

President of the United States of America.

To the Regent Captains of the Republic of San Marino Great and Good Friends

I have received and read with great sensibility the letter which as Regent Captains of the Republic of San Marino you addressed to me on the 29th of March last. I thank the Council of San Marino for the honor of citizenship they have conferred upon me.

Although your dominion is small, your State is nevertheless one of the most honored, in all history. It has by its experience demonstrated the truth, so full of encouragement to the friends of Humanity, that Government founded on Republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring.

You have kindly adverted to the trial through which this Republic is now passing. It is one of deep import. It involves the question whether a Representative republic, extended and aggrandized so much as to be safe against foreign enemies can save itself from the dangers of domestic faction. I have faith in a good result.

Wishing that your interesting State may endure and flourish forever, and that you may live long and enjoy the confidence and secure the gratitude of your fellow citizens, I pray God to have you in his holy keeping. Your Good Friend

Washington, May 7 1861 Abraham Lincoln

By the President

WILLIAM H. SEWARD Secretary of State

[San Marino was, and I believe remains, the world’s oldest and smallest republic.]

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