Mr. Maynard to Mr. Evarls.
Legation of the United States,
1878. (Received April 1.)
Sir: This month has witnessed the close of the
Turko-Russian war, at least between the two belligerent parties hitherto
engaged. Should hostilities continue, it will be because other powers
are drawn into the controversy.
I mentioned in my dispatch of the 11th instant, No. 222, that an
armistice had been concluded at Adrianople the 31st of January. In my
dispatch, No. 219, of that date I inclosed what had been published as
the terms likely to be agreed upon. The full text of the articles I have
not seen, if indeed it has ever been published. A summary of them was
read in the British House of Commons, during the debate of the 8th
instant upon the six million bill, by the chancellor of the exchequer,
on the authority of Her Britannic Majesty’s ambassador in
Constantinople. The same has been published in this city and is herewith
It will be found entirely different from the terms previously reported as
the basis of the negotiations, so different indeed as to suggest a
purpose in the previous publication. As agreed upon, the armistice might
have been terminated and hostilities renewed by either party after three
days’ notice. To do so neither party has shown the slightest
inclination. On the contrary, the lines of demarkation limiting the
neutral territory were promptly established, the blockade of the Black
Sea was raised, and the other conditions observed.
Arrangements were at once made to negotiate a treaty of peace. On the
part of Russia, General Ignatiew, for many years ambassador near the
government of the Sultan and personally very acceptable, was designated
as plenipotentiary; on the part of Turkey, his excellency Safort Pasha,
imperial minister of foreign affairs, and his excellency Sadonllah Bey,
the Ottoman ambassador at Berlin.
The latter named of the two arrived here five days ago by the way of
The place selected for the meeting of the plenipotentiaries was San
Stefano, a small town on the Sea of Marmora, half way to Tchekmedjé, the
line of the neutral ground, associated with the history of this legation
by having been for many years the official residence of Commodore
Porter, the first United States minister near the Sublime Porte. Of late
years it has become principally a summer resort for wealthy persons, who
have built large houses, which, at this season unoccupied by the owners,
furnish commodious lodgings for the extraordinary visitors.
The Grand Duke Nicholas lends his presence, with some fifteen thousand of
Last Monday, during my usual weekly call on the minister of foreign
affairs, his excellency Assym Pasha, who, in the absence of his
excellency Safvet Pasha, has charge of the foreign office, informed me
that it was expected the treaty would be signed that day. It appears not
to have been, and though we have had similar reports every day since, I
have reason to believe the instrument is still unsigned and incomplete.
Inclosed is what appeared in the press last evening as the chief
In my dispatch No. 219, of January 31, 1878, I mentioned that Sulieman
Pasha had been criticised for failing to concentrate the troops under
his command against the Russian approach south of the Balkans. In a
subsequent dispatch, No. 226, of February 21, 1878, was inclosed a
paragraph from the press, bringing him into the same condemnation with
Server Pasha, late minister of foreign affairs. Undoubtedly he has been
guilty of what in Turkish estimation is a grave military offense—want of
success. * * * * Between him and the minister of war there is understood
to have long existed an unfriendly rivalry, of which he will very likely
experience the ill consequences. Now, I learn, he is under arrest and in
prison. Mehemet Ali Pasha, who was twice superseded by him, has been
restored to favor.
On the 15th instant [dispatch No. 224] I reported the arrival of the
British fleet and its anchorage at the Princes’ Islands; also the
consequent anxiety and public excitement. The next day, at the personal
request of the Sultan, Her Britannic Majesty’s ambassador instructed
Admiral Hornby, in command of the fleet, to take it to the gulf of
Ishmeed (Niconudia). The fleet accordingly left the Princes’ Islands for
the remoter locality and anchored at Touzla Point, near the entrance of
the gulf, distant possibly twenty miles and out of sight of the city,
where it remains. This movement of Her Majesty’s fleet is assigned by
both Turk and Russian as the reason for selecting San Stefano instead of
Adrianople as the place for the negotiations, it being just opposite the
Princes’ Islands and in full view.
It is beyond my province, no doubt, to take note of affairs outside the
limits of the Ottoman Empire, except to report their influence upon
Turkey. Those will be observed and communicated more accurately and
intelligently by my colleagues near at hand. And although the other
European powers have shown a profound interest in the so-called Eastern
question, they do not seem just now to be important factors in its
solution. The recent speech of Prince Bismarck in the German Parliament;
the language of Prince Auersperg, the Austrian prime minister in the
Austrian Chamber of Deputies; the debates in the British Parliament; the
unopposed vote of the six millions; the mobilization of the British army
and the activity of the navy, all full of meaning, if not of menace,
have not swerved the Sublime Porte from its resolution to have peace on
the best attainable terms. How far they may affect the conditions of the
treaty, by modifying demands on the one hand and limiting concessions on
the other, is yet to be seen.
I have, & c.,
[Inclosure 1 in No.
Summary of the articles of the
[From London Times, February 9, 1878.]
Further correspondence respecting the affairs of Turkey was issued
from the Foreign Office last night. In the first dispatch,
Acting-Consul Freeman telegraphs to Lord [Page 857] Derby from Serajevo, February 7: “Vice-Consul
Cooper reports from Novi-Bazar that in spite of the armistice the
Servians continue to advance in the neighborhood of Sjenica.” The
only other dispatch published is that from Mr. Layard to Lord Derby
(received Febuary 8), telegraphed from Constantinople February 7.
The armistice contains ten articles. It is concluded between Russia,
Servia, Roumania, and Turkey:
- “1. A notice of three days must be given before a
resumption of hostilities takes place. The armistice is
to be communicated to Montenegro by Russia.
- “2. Restoration of the guns and territory taken after
- “3. Gives the details of line of damarkation and
neutral zone for Turkey, Russia, and Servia, placing in
Russian hands almost all Bulgaria, Roumelia, and Thrace
up to the lines of Constantinople and Gallipoli.
Fortifications are not to be retained on the neutral
territory, and no new ones are to be raised there. A
joint commission will determine the line of demarkation
for Servia and Montenegro. The Russians to occupy
Bourgas and Midia on the Black Sea in order to obtain
supplies, but no war material.
- “4. Armies beyond line of demarkation to be withdrawn
within three days of signature of armistice.
- “5. The Turks may remove arms, & c., to places and
by routes defined, on evacuating the fortifications
mentioned in article 3. If they cannot be removed, an
inventory of them is to be taken. The evacuation is to
be complete within seven days after the receipt of
orders by the commanders.
- “6. Sulina is to be evacuated within three days by the
Turkish troops and ships of war, unless prevented by
ice. The Russians will remove the obstacles in the
Danube, and will superintend the navigation of the
- “7. The railways to continue to work under certain
- “8. Turkish authorities to remain in certain
- “9. Black Sea blockade to be raised.
- “10. Wounded Turkish soldiers to remain under the care
“The armistice commenced at 7 p.m. on the 31st of
“The Turks have commenced the withdrawal of guns from the
“The Russian and Turkish commanders on the spot are to settle
matters relating to the armistice in Armenia.”
[From Daily Levant Herald, February 20,
Acting-Consul Freeman telegraphs to Lord Derby from Serajevo,
February 7: “Vice-Consul Cooper reports from Novi-Bazar that in
spite of the armistice the Servians continue to advance in the
neighborhood of Sjenica.” The only other dispatch published is that
from Mr. Layard to Lord Derby (received February 8), telegraphed
from Constantinople February 7. The armistice contains ten articles.
It is concluded between Russia, Servia, Roumania, and Turkey:
- A notice of three days must be given before a resumption
of hostilities takes place. The armistice is to be
communicated to Montenegro by Russia.
- Restoration of the guns and territory taken after the
- Gives the details of line of demarkation and neutral zone
for Turkey, Russia, and Servia, placing in Russian hands
almost all Bulgaria, Roumelia, and Thrace, up to the lines
of Constantinople and Gallipoli. Fortifications are not to
be retained on the neutral territory, and no new ones are to
be raised there. A joint commission will determine the line
of demarkation for Servia and Montenegro, The Russians to
occupy Bourgas and Midia on the Black Sea, in order to
obtain supplies, but no war material.
- Armies beyond line of demarkation to be withdrawn within
three days of signature of armistice.
- The Turks may remove arms, & c., to places and by
routes defined, on evacuating the fortifications mentioned
in article 3. If they cannot be removed, an inventory of
them is to be taken. The evacuation is to be complete within
seven days after the receipt of orders by the
- Sulina is to be evacuated within three days by the Turkish
troops, and ships of war, unless prevented by ice. The
Russians will remove the obstacles in the Danube, and will
superintend the navigation of the river.
- The railways to continue to work under certain
- Turkish authorities to remain in certain places.
- Black Sea blockade to be raised.
- Wounded Turkish soldiers to remain under the care of
The armistice commenced at 7 p.m. on the 31st of January.
The Turks have commenced the withdrawal of guns from the
The Russian and Turkish commanders on the spot are to settle matters
relating to the armistice in Armenia.
[Inclosure 2 in No.
Rumored conditions of the treaty of
[From the Daily Levant Herald,
the peace negotiations—the chief
A further conference took place yesterday (Tuesday) at San Stefano
between General Ignatieff and Safvet Pasha, the two first
plenipotentiaries, on the subject of the conditions of the
preliminaries of peace. The instrument embodying these conditions is
on the eve of signature, and we believe that the following will” be
found to be the essential parts of the clauses containing the
principal demands and requirements of Russia:
Bulgaria.—Bulgaria will form an
autonomous (self-governing) tributary principality, with a
national Christian government. The tribute it will pay to
Turkey will be equal to the revenue of the same territory
previously encashed by the Ottoman treasury. The prince of
the new state of Bulgaria (who must not be a member of any
of the reigning families of the great powers) will be
elected by an assembly of Bulgarian notabilities. The
principality of Bulgaria will comprise all the country [now
generally known as Bulgaria proper] lying between the Danube
and the Balkans, and up to the frontier of Servia (with the
exception of the Dobrudja). South of the Balkans [in
Roumelia and Thrace], Bulgaria will extend to and embrace
Midia on the Black Sea, whence the frontier, tending
westward, will pass north of Adrianople, and between that
city and the station of Mustapha Pasha [thus leaving
Adrianople to Turkey], and, following up to the river
Maritza, will include within the territory of Bulgaria the
whole of the right bank of that river as far as its mouth,
and will comprise Cavalla, Mount Athos, and Salonica. [The
new principality of Bulgaria will thus have the port of
Midia on the Black Sea, and the ports of Cavalla and
Salonica on the Archipelago].
Roumania—Cession of the
Dobrudja—Bessarabia.—The Dobrudja [which is not
included in Bulgaria] will be ceded by Turkey to Russia, and
Russia reserves to herself to make an exchange of the
Dobrudja with Roumania, in lieu of Bessarabia, to be
retroceded by Roumania to Russia.
Servia.—The territorial additions
to Servia will comprise certain districts in the direction
of Nish and of Bosnia, heretofore in possession of
Montenegro.—The delimitation of the
frontier of Montenegro will be arranged on the principle of
the uti possidetis [what was held by
the belligerent at the conclusion of the armistice], and the
Principality of Montenegro will thus receive the ports of
Spitza, Antivari, and Dulcigno on the Adriatic.
Bosnia and the Herzegovina.—The
provinces of Bosnia and the Herzegovina will receive an
autonomous (self-governing) organization, according to the
programme of the conference of Constantinople.
The other provinces of European
Turkey.—There shall be applied to the other
provinces of European Turkey the reforms proposed by the
same conference. [That, of course, embraces the Greek
border-provinces of Thessaly and Epirus.]
The Straits of the Dardanelles and the
Bosphorus.—Concerning the question of the Straits
of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, the existing status quo will be maintained for
vessels of war; but there will be complete freedom of
passage and transit for vessels of commerce.
Russian occupation of Bulgaria.—The
newly-formed tributary state of Bulgaria will be occupied
for the period of a year by a Russian army corps of 50,000
men, in order to see to the proper organization of that
The war indemnity.—The indemnity of
war to be paid by Turkey to Russia will amount to an
estimated value of one milliard four hundred thousand
roubles (1,000,400,000 roubles). [Calculating the rouble at
4 francs, this amounts to rather more than four milliards of
francs, or about £160,000,000 sterling. The war indemnity
paid by France to Germany was five milliards of francs, or
£200,000,000 sterling.] Of this indemnity of rather more
than £160,000,000 sterling, the proportion of £40,000,000
sterling (one milliard of francs) will be paid in bonds,
guaranteed upon the tribute of the new Principality of
Bulgaria, the Egyptian tribute, and the revenues of
Anatolia. In payment of the rest of the indemnity [rather
more than £120,000,000 sterling], Turkey will cede to Russia
the following fortified places in Armenia, and the territory
comprised between them, namely, Batoum, Kars, Ardahan, and
Bayazid. This cession will be computed at a money Value, and
Turkey will further give up to Russia, also to be computed
at a money value, six vessels of her fleet.
Further special compensation.—In
addition to this war indemnity, Turkey will pay a sum of
10,000,000 roubles (or about £1,600,000 sterling) as
compensation for the Russian merchants and traders who were
expelled from the “Ottoman dominions at the beginning of the
war, and will also repay its capital to the Russian hospital
in the Ferikeui suburb of Constantinople, which was founded
shortly before the war, such capital consisting [Page 859] in Turkish
consolidés, and estimated probably at something like 50,000
roubles (or about £8,000 sterling).
We believe that the main point in the above conditions upon which
discussion is still maintained between the Russian and Turkish
plenipotentiaries, and which delays the final signature of the
protocol of peace, is that relating to the giving up of six vessels
of the Turkish iron-clad fleet as a part contribution towards the
payment of the war indemnity.