Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 2, 1878
Mr. Maynard to Mr. Evarts.
Constantinople, September 28, 1878. (Received Nov. 11.)
Sir: I have procured authorized copies of the treaty of Berlin, with an English version, which may be taken as authentic; and transmit them in connection with dispatch No. 269, of July 24, 1878.
This now famous instrument can hardly be deemed successful as a measure re-establishing peace in the East. True, a conflict between Great Britain and Russia has been postponed, if not prevented, and the relations between Turkey and Russia agreed upon at San Stefano confirmed; while in the capital, things have settled into a state little short of apathy or even torpor quite painful to witness.
But in all the provinces there are great disturbances, amounting in some instances to actual war. This is especially the condition in Bosnia and the Herzegovina, where the Austro-Hungarian occupation provided for by the treaty is resisted at every step by a hostile population fully aroused and thoroughly armed.
The occupation has become an invasion, with no alternative, apparently, but conquest or retreat.
In the Rhodope Mountains, has gathered a force, variously reported from 10,000 to 20,000 and even 30,000 men, armed apparently against all comers, of whom two Englishmen are said to be the significant leaders. They are represented to be, many of them, very rough characters, bashi bazouks, brigands, freebooters, and outlaws. They succeed in keeping that region disturbed and preventing all peaceful pursuits. Some weeks ago a commission of delegates from the different powers was sent out to treat with them and ascertain any grievances requiring redress; but I understand it failed to agree, and returned without accomplishing anything.
In Albania affairs appear to be even worse, if possible. With a view to restore tranquillity, Mehemet AM Pasha was sent by the Sublime Porte into the disaffected district.
The first intelligence after his arrival was that he and’ his retinue had been set upon by the Grhys at Diakovo (on Humphrey’s map, Jakova; Arrowsmith’s, Jacova; Kiepertf’s, Diakowitza), a small town not far from Prisrend, and all put to death. Various accounts of this distressing affair have been published, of which I inclose one of the most rational.
The fate of this distinguished officer has made a profound impression and caused much speculation, with reflections, which it might be doing injustice to repeat. He had been one of the Turkish plenipotentiaries [Page 895] at the congress of Berlin, and had but recently returned. Some notice of him will be found in dispatch No. 181, of August 31, 1877.
On the Greek frontier there is little improvement the last month.
Turkey is disinclined to concede the demands of Greece, and Greece has appealed to the treaty powers to enforce their recommendation made in her behalf at Berlin, with what effect is not yet apparent. At the time, Mehemet Ali Pasha was sent into Albania, Ghazi Ahmed Moukhtar Pasha was sent on a similar mission to the island of Crete, and apparently with much better success. If we may trust reports, the ferment of that “excited people has been in a good degree allayed.
The situation in Asia is not much better; Batoum has been abandoned by the Turks to the Russians, who have retired from Erzeroum within the lines fixed by the treaty. Between them, everything was done mutually. Not so with the people. From Batoum the Lazes fled by thousands at the approach of the Russians, and from Erzeroum the Armenian Christians followed the retiring Russians in panic-stricken crowds. Strong appeals in their behalf have been made to the British Government, through the ambassador at the Porte.
A countryman of ours has sent me a copy of one, extracts from which are inclosed.
Insurrectionary movements are reported further south, in the province of the Kozan, but I do not learn their character or extent.
The mutual undertakings between Turkey and Russia by the treaty of San Stefano, with the slight modification by the treaty of Berlin, have been substantially carried into effect.
The Russian armies have retired from around Constantinople as far as Adrianople. The British fleet has also withdrawn about the same distance to Artaki Bay in the southern part of the Marmora, near the site of the ancient Cyzicus; with this difference, however, the fleet can steam back to the former anchorage in a few hours, whereas the places evacuated by the Russians have been occupied by Turkish troops.
I am, & c.,
The Treaty of Berlin.
In the name of Almighty God.
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, & c., and King Apostolic of Hungary, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of all the Pussias, and His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans, being desirous to regulate, with a view to European -order, conformably to the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris of 30th March, 1856, the question raised in the East by the events of late years, and by the war terminated by the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, have been unanimously of opinion that the meeting of a Congress would offer the best means of facilitating an understanding.
Their said Majesties and the President of the French Republic have, in consequence, appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
- Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, the Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, Viscount Hughenden, a Peer of Parliament, Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, First Lord of Her Majesty’s Treasury, and Prime Minister of England; the Most Honourable Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil, Marquis of Salisbury, Earl of Salisbury, Viscount Cranborne, Baron Cecil, a Peer of Parliament, Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and the Right Honourable Lord Odo William Leopold Russell, Member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, Her Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia;
- His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, Otho, Prince Bismarck, His President of the Council of Ministers of Prussia, Chancellor of the Empire; Bernard Ernest de Bülow, His Minister of State and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and Chlodwig Charles Victor, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Prince of Ratibor and Corvey, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the French Republic, Great Chamberlain of the Crown of Bavaria;
- His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, & c., and King Apostolic of Hungary, Jules, Count Andrassy of Csik Szent-Király and Krasna-Horka, Grandee of Spain of the First Class, Privy Councillor, His Minister of the Imperial Household and for Foreign Affairs, Lieutenant Field-Marshal in his armies; Louis Count Károlyi of Nagy-Károlyi, Chamberlain and Privy Councillor, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia; and Henri, Baron de Hay merle, Privy Councillor, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the King of Italy;
- The President of the French Republic, William Henri Waddington, Senator, Member of the Institute, Minister Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Charles Raymond de la Criox de Chevrière, Count de Saint-Vallier, Senator, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from France at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia; and Felix Hippolyte Desprez, Councillor of State, Minister Plenipotentiary of the First Class, charged with the direction of Political Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs;
- His Majesty the King of Italy, Louis, Count Corti, Senator, His Minister for Foreign Affairs; and Edward, Count de Launay, His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia;
- His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, Alexander, Prince Gortchakow, His Chancellor of the Empire; Peter, Count de Schouvaloff, General of Cavalry, his Aide-de-camp General, Member of the Council of the Empire, and His Embassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of Her Britannic Majesty; and Paul d’Oubril, Privy Councillor, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia;
- And His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans, Alexander Carathéodory Pasha, His Minister of Public Works; Mehemed Ali Pasha, Mushir of his Armies; and Sadoullah Bey, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia;
Who, in accordance with the proposal of the Court of Austria-Hungary, and on the invitation of the Court of Germany, have met at Berlin furnished with full powers, which have been found in good and due form.
An. understanding having been happily established between them, they have agreed to the following stipulations:
Bulgaria is constituted an autonomous and tributary Principality under the suzerainty of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan; it will have a Christian Government and a national militia.
The Principality of Bulgaria will include the following territories:
The frontier follows on the north the right bank of the Danube from the former frontier of Servia up to a point to be determined by a European Commission to the east of Silistria, and thence runs to the Black Sea to the south of Mangalia, which is included in Roumanian territory. The Black Sea forms the eastern boundary of Bulgaria. On the south the frontier follows upward from its mouth the mid-channel of the brook near which are situated the villages of Hodžakiöj, Selam-Kïöj, Aivadšik, Kulibe, Sudžuluk; crosses obliquely the valley of the Deli-Kamcik, passes south of Belibe and Kemhalik and north of Hadzimahale after having crossed the Deli Kamžik at 2½ kilom. above Cengei; reaches the crest at a point situated between Tekenlik and Aidos-Bredza, and follows it by Karnabad Balkan, Prisevica Balkan, Kazan Balkan to the north of Kotel as far as Demir Kapu. It proceeds by the principal chain of the Great Balkan, the whole length of which it follows up to the summit of Kosica.
There it leaves the crest of the Balkan, descends southwards between the villages of Pirtop and Dužanci, the one being left to Bulgaria and the other to Eastern Roumelia, as far as the brook of Tuzlu Dere, follows that stream to its junction with the Topolnica, then the latter river until it meets the Smovskio Dere near the village of Petricevo, leaving to Eastern Roumelia a zone with a radius of 2 kilom. above that junction, ascends between the brooks of Smovskio Dere and the Kamenica, following the line of the watershed so as to turn to the southwest at the level of Voinjak and reach directly the point 875 of the Austrian Staff map.
The frontier line cuts at right angles the upper basin of the brook of Ichtiman Dere, passes between Bogdina and Karaúla, so as to rejoin the line of the watershed separating the basins of the Isker and the Marica, between Camurli and Hadžilar, follows [Page 897] that line by the summits of Velina Mogila, the “col” 531, Zmailica Vrh, Sumnatica, and rejoins the administrative boundary of the Sandjak of Sofia between Sivri Tas and Cadir Tepe.
From Cadir Tepe, the frontier, taking a southwesterly direction, follows the watershed between the basins of the Mesta Karasu on the one side and the Struma Karasu on the other, runs along the crests of the mountains of Rhodope called Demir Kapu, Iskoftepe, Kadimesar Balkan, and Aiji Gedük up to Kapetnik Balkan, and thus joins the former administrative frontier of the Sandjak of Sofia.
From Kapetnik Balkan and the frontier is indicated by the watershed between the valleys of the Rilska reka and of the Bistrica reka, and follows the ridge called Vode hica Planina, descending into the valley of the Struma at the junction of this river with the Rilska reka, leaving the village of Barakli to Turkey. It ascends then south of the village of Jelešnica, and reaches by the shortest line the chain of Golem a Planina at the summit of Gitka, and rejoins there the former administrative frontier of the Sandjak of Sofia, leaving, however, to Turkey the whole of the basin of the Suha reka.
From Mount Gitka the western frontier goes towards Mount Crni Vrh by the mountains of Karvena Jabuka, following the former administrative limit of the Sandjak of Sofia in the upper part of the basins of Egrisu and of the Lepnica, ascends with it the crests of Babina Polana, and reaches Mount Crni Vrh.
From Mount Crni Vrh the frontier follows the watershed between the Struma and the Morava by the summits of the Strešer, Vilogolo, and Mešid Planina, rejoins by the Gračina, Crana Trava, Darkovska, and Drainica Plan, then the Deščani Kladanec, the watershed of the High Sukowa and of the Morava, goes straight to the Stol, and descends from it so as to cut the road from Sofia to Pirot, 1,000 metres northwest of the village of Seguša. It ascends in a straight line the Vidlic Planina, and thence Mount Radočina in the chain of the Kodža Balkan, leaving to Servia the village of Doikinci, and to Bulgaria that of Senakos.
From the summit of Mount Radocina the frontier follows towards the west the crest of the Balkans by Ciprovec Balkan and Star a Planina up to the former eastern frontier of the Principality of Servia, near to the Kula Smiljova Čuka, and thence that former frontier as far as the Danube, which it rejoins at Rakovitza.
This delimitation shall be fixed on the Spot by the European Commission, on which the signatory powers shall be represented. It is understood—
- That this Commission will take into consideration the necessity for His Imperial Majesty the Sultan to be able to defend the Balkan frontiers of Eastern Roumelia.
- That no fortifications may be erected within a radius of 10 kilom. from Samakow.
The Prince of Bulgaria shall be freely elected by the population and confirmed by the Sublime Porte, with the assent of the Powers. No member of the Reigning Dynasties of the Great European Powers may be elected Prince of Bulgaria.
In case of a vacancy in the princely dignity, the election of the new Prince shall take place under the same conditions and with the same forms.
An Assembly of Notables of Bulgaria, convoked at Tirnovo, shall, before the election of the Prince, draw up the Organic Law of the Principality.
In the districts where Bulgarians are intermixed with Turkish, Roumanian, Greek, or other populations, the rights and interests of these populations shall be taken into consideration as regards the elections and the drawing up of the Organic Law.
The following points shall form the basis of the public law of Bulgaria:
The difference of religious creeds and confessions shall not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries in any locality whatsoever.
The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship are assured to all persons belonging to Bulgaria, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.
The provisional administration of Bulgaria shall be under the direction of an Imperial Russian Commissary until the completion of the Organic Law. An Imperial [Page 898] Turkish Commissary, as well as the Consuls delegated ad hoc by the other Powers, signatory of the present Treaty, shall he called to assist him so as to control the working of this provisional régime. In case of disagreement amongst the Consular Delegates, the vote of the majority shall he accepted, and in case of divergence between the majority and the Imperial Russian Commissary or the Imperial Turkish Commissary, the Representatives of the Signatory Powers at Constantinople, assembled in Conference, shall give their decision.
The provisional régime shall not be prolonged beyond a period of nine months from the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty.
When the Organic Law is completed the election of the Prince of Bulgaria shall be proceeded with immediately. As soon as the Prince shall have been installed, the new organization shall be put into force, and the Principality shall enter into the full enjoyment of its autonomy.
The Treaties of Commerce and of Navigation as well as all the Conventions and arrangements concluded between Foreign Powers and the Porte, and now in force, are maintained in the Principality of Bulgaria, and no change shall be made in them with regard to any Power without its previous consent.
No transit duties shall be levied in Bulgaria on goods passing through that Principality.
The subjects and citizens and commerce of all the Powers shall be treated in the Principality on a footing of strict equality.
The immunities and privileges of foreigners, as well as the rights of Consular jurisdiction and protection as established by the Capitulations and usages, shall remain in full force so long as they shall not have been modified with the consent of the parties concerned.
The amount of the annual tribute which the Principality of Bulgaria shall pay to the Suzerain Court—such amount being paid into whatever bank the Porte may hereafter designate—shall be fixed by an agreement between the Powers Signatory of the present Treaty at the close of the first year of the working of the new organization. This tribute shall be calculated on the mean revenue of the territory of the Principality.
As Bulgaria is to bear a portion of the public debt of the Empire, when the Powers fix the tribute they shall take into consideration what portion of that debt can, on the basis of a fair proportion, be assigned to the Principality.
Bulgaria takes the place of the Imperial Ottoman Government in its undertakings and obligations towards the Rustchuk-Varna Railway Company, dating from the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty. The settlement of the previous accounts is reserved for an understanding between the Sublime Porte, the Government of the Principality, and the administration of this Company.
The Principality of Bulgaria, likewise, so far as it is concerned, takes the place of the Sublime Porte in the engagements which the latter has contracted, as well towards Austria-Hungary as towards the Company, for working the railways of European Turkey in respect to the completion and connection, as well as the working of the railways situated in its territory.
The Conventions necessary for the settlement of these questions shall be concluded between Austria-Hungary, the Porte, Servia, and the Principality of Bulgaria immediately after the conclusion of peace.
The Ottoman army shall no longer remain in Bulgaria; all the old fortresses shall be razed at the expense of the Principality within one year or, sooner if possible; the local government shall immediately take steps for their demolition, and shall not construct fresh ones.
The Sublime Porte shall have the right of disposing as it likes of the war material and other effects belonging to the Ottoman Government which may have remained in the fortresses of the Danube already evacuated in virtue of the Armistice of the 31st January, as well as of those in the strongholds of Shumla and Varna.[Page 899]
Mussulman proprietors or others who may take up their abode outside the Principality may continue to hold there their real property, by farming it out, or having it administered by third parties.
A Turco-Bulgarian Commission shall be appointed to settle, within a period of two years, all questions relative to the mode of alienation, working, or use on the account of the Sublime Porte, of property belonging to the State and religious foundations (vakoufs), as well as of the questions regarding the interests of private persons engaged therein.
Persons belonging to the Principality of Bulgaria, who shall travel or dwell in the other parts of the Ottoman Empire, shall be subject to the Ottoman authorities and laws.
A province is formed south of the Balkans which will take the name of “Eastern Roumelia,” and will remain under the direct political and military authority of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, under conditions of administrative autonomy. It shall have a Christian Governor-General.
Eastern Roumelia is bounded on the north and north-west by Bulgaria, and comprises the territories included by the following line:—
Starting from the Black Sea the frontier follows upwards from its mouth the mid-channel of the brook near which are situated the villages of Hodžakiöj, Selam-Kiöj, Aivadšik, Kulibe, Sudzuluk, crosses obliquely the valley of the Deli Kamčik, passes south of Belibe and Kemhalik, and north of Hadžimahale, after having crossed the Deli-Kamčik at 2½ kilom. above Cengei; reaches the crest at a point situated between Tekenlik and Aidos-Bredza, and follows it by Karnabad Balkan, Prisevica Balkan, Kazan Balkan to the North of Kotel as far as Demir Kapu. It proceeds by the principal chain of the Great Balkan, the whole length of which it follows up to the summit of Kosica.
At this point the western frontier of Roumelia leaves the crest of the Balkan, descends southwards between the villages of Pirtop and Duzanci—the one being left to Bulgaria and the other to Eastern Roumelia, as far as the brook of Tuzlu Dere, follows that stream to its junction with the Topolnica, then the latter river until it meets the Smovskio Dere near the village of Petričevo, leaving to Eastern Roumelia a zone with a radius of 2 kilom. above that junction, ascends between the brooks of Smovskio Dere and the Kamenica, folio wing, the line of the watershed so as to turn to the south-west at the level of Voinjak and reach directly the point 875 of the Austrian Staff map.
The frontier line cuts at right angles the upper basin of the brook of Ichtiman Dere, passes between Bogdina and Karaúla, so as to rejoin the line of the watershed separating the basins of the Isker and the Marica, between Camurli and Hadzilar, follows that line by the summits of Velina Mogila, the “col” 531, Zmailica Vrh, Sumnatica, and rejoins the administrative boundary of the Sandjak of Sofia between Sivri Taš and Cadir Tepe.
The frontier of Roumelia leaves that of Bulgaria at Mount Čadir Tepe, following the line of the watershed between the basins of the Marica and of its affluents on one side, and of the Mesta Karasu and of its affluents on the other, and takes the direction southeast and then south along the crest of the Despoto Dagh Mountains, towards Mount Kruschowa (whence starts the frontier line of the Treaty of San Stefano).
From Mount Kruschowa the frontier is the same as the line laid down by the Treaty of San Stefano, that is to say, the chain of the Black Balkans (Kara Balkan), the mountains Kulaghy-Dagh, Eschek-Tschepellii, Karakolas, and Ischiklar, from whence it descends due south-east till it reaches the River Arda, and follows the mid-channel of this river up to a point close to the village of Adacali, which remains to Turkey.
From this point the frontier line ascends the crest of the Beštepe-Dagh, which it follows, then descends and crosses the Maritza, at a point situated 5 kilom. above the bridge of Mustafa Pasha; thence it takes a northerly direction by the line of the watershed between Demirhanli Dere and the small affluents of the Maritza to Küdeler Baïr, whence it runs east to Sakar Baïr; from this point it crosses the valley of the Tundža in the direction of Büjük Derbend, which is left to the north, as also is Soudzak. From Büjük Derbend it regains the line of the watershed between the affluents of the Tunzda on the north and those of the Maritza on the south, up to the level of Kaibilar, which is included in Eastern Roumelia, and passes to the south of V. Almali between the basin of Maritza to the south and the various streams which flow straight into the [Page 900] Black Sea, between the villages of Belevrin and Alatli; it follows to the north of Karanlik the crests of Vosna and Zuvak, the line which separates the waters of the Duka and those of the Karagač-Su, and rejoins the Black Sea between those two rivers.
His Majesty the Sultan shall have the right of providing for the defence of the land and sea frontiers of the province by erecting fortifications on those frontiers, and maintaining troops there.
Internal order is maintained in Eastern Roumelia by a native gendarmerie assisted by a local militia.
In forming these corps, the officers of which are nominated by the Sultan, regard shall be paid in the different localities to the religion of the inhabitants.
His Imperial Majesty the Sultan undertakes not to employ irregular troops, such as Bashi-Bazouks and Circassians, in the garrisons of the frontiers. The rugular troops detailed for this service must not in any case be billeted on the inhabitants. When they passs through the province they shall not make a stay there.
The Governor-General shall have the right of summoning the Ottoman troops in the event of the internal or external security of the province being threatened. In such an eventuality the Sublime Porte shall inform the Representatives of the Powers at Constantinople of such a decision, as well as of the exigencies which justify it.
The Governor-General of Eastern Roumelia shall be nominated by the Sublime Porte, with the assent of the Powers, for a term of five years.
Immediately after the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty, a European Commission shall be formed to arrange, in concert with the Ottoman Porte, the organization of Eastern Roumelia. This Commission will have to determine, within three months, the powers and functions of the Governor-General, as well as the administrative, judicial, and financial system of the province, taking as its basis the various laws for vilayets and the proposals made in the eighth sitting of the Conference of Constantinople.
The whole of the arrangements determined on for Eastern Roumelia shall form the subject of an Imperial Firman, which will be issued by the Sublime Porte, and which it will communicate to the Powers.
The European Commission shall be charged to administer, in concert with the Sublime Porte, the finances of the province until the completion of the new organization.
The Treaties, Conventions, and international arrangements of any kind whatsoever, concluded or to be concluded between the Porte and foreign Powers, shall apply in Eastern Roumelia as in the whole Ottoman Empire. The immunities and privileges acquired by foreigners, whatever their status, shall be respected in this province. The Sublime Porte undertakes to enforce there the general laws of the Empire on religious liberty in favour of all forms of worship.
The rights and obligations of the Sublime Porte with regard to the railways of Eastern Roumelia are maintained in their integrity.
The strength of the Russian corps of occupation in Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia, which shall be composed of six divisions of infantry and two divisions of cavalry, shall not exceed 50,000 men. It shall be maintained at the expense of the country [Page 901] occupied. The army of occupation will preserve its communications with Russia not only through Roumania, in accordance with arrangements to he concluded between the two States, but also through the ports of the Black Sea, Varna and Bourgas, where it may, during the period of occupation, organize the necessary depôts.
The period of the occupation of Eastern Roumelia and Bulgaria by the Imperial Russian troops is fixed at nine months from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty.
The Imperial Russian Government undertakes that within a further period of three months the passage of its troops across Roumania shall cease, and that Principality shall be completely evacuated.
The Sublime Porte undertakes scrupulously to apply in the Island of Crete the Organic Law of 1868, with such modifications as may be considered equitable.
Similar laws adapted to local requirements, excepting as regards the exemption from taxation granted to Crete, shall also be introduced into the other parts of Turkey in Europe for which no special organization has been provided by the present Treaty.
The Sublime Porte shall depute special Commissions, in which the native element shall be largely represented, to settle the details of the new laws in each province.
The schemes of organization resulting from these labours shall be submitted for examination to the Sublime Porte, which, before promulgating the Acts for putting them into force, shall consult the European Commission instituted for Eastern Roumelia.
In the event of the Sublime Porte and Greece being unable to agree upon the rectification of frontier suggested in the 13th Protocol of the Congress of Berlin, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia reserve to themselves to offer their mediation to the two parties to facilitate negotiations.
The Provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be occupied and administered by Austria-Hungary. The Government of Austria-Hungary, not desiring to undertake the administration of the Sandjak of Novi-Bazar, which extends between Servia and Montenegro in a south-easterly direction to the other side of Mitrovitza, the Ottoman Administration will continue to exercise its functions there. Nevertheless, in order to assure the maintenance of the new political state of affairs, as well as freedom and security of communications, Austria-Hungary reserves the right of keeping garrisons and having military and commercial roads in the whole of this part of the ancient Vilayet of Bosnia. To this end the Governments of Austria-Hungary and Turkey reserve to themselves to come to an understanding on the details.
The independence of Montenegro is recognized by the Sublime Porte and by all those of the High Contracting Parties who had not hitherto admitted it.
The High Contracting parties are agreed on the following conditions:
In Montenegro the difference of religious creeds and confessions shall not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries in any locality whatsoever.
The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to Montenegro, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.
The new frontiers of Montenegro are fixed as follows:
Starting at Ilino-brdo to the north of Klobuk, the line descends to the Trebinjčica towards Grančarevo, which remains to Herzegovina, then ascends the course of that river up to a point 1 kilom, below its confluence with the Čepelica, and from thence passes by the most direct line on to the heights which border the River Trebinjčica. [Page 902] It then proceeds in the direction of Pilatova, leaving that village to Montenegro, and continues along the heights in a northerly direction, maintaining as far as possible a distance of 6 kilom. from the Bilek-Korito-Gacko road, up to the “col” between the Somina Planina and Mount Čurilo, whence it proceeds in an easterly direction by Vratkoviči, leaving this village to Herzegovina, up to Mount Orline. Starting from this point the frontier, leaving Ravno to Montenegro, goes straight to the north-northeast, crossing the summits of the Leberšnik and of the Volujak, then descends by the shortest line on to the River Piva, which it crosses, and rejoins the River Tara, passing between Crkvica and Nedvina. From this point it ascends the Tara to Mojkovac, from which place it passes along the crest of the ridge as far as Siškojezero. Leaving this point it coincides with the former frontier as far as the village of Sekulare. From there the new frontier passes along the crests of the Mokra Planina, the village of Mokra remaining to Montenegro; it then reaches the point 2,166 on the Austrian Staff Map, following the principal chain and the line of the watershed between the Lim on the one side, and the Drin as well as the Cievna (Zem) on the other.
It then coincides with the existing boundaries between the tribe of the Kuči-Drekaloviči on one side, and the Kučka-Krajna, as well as the tribes of the Klementi and Grudi, on the other, to the plain of Podgorica, from whence it proceeds towards Plavnica, leaving the Klementi, Grudi, and Hoti tribes to Albania.
Thence the new frontier crosses the lake near the Islet of Gorica-Topal, and, from Gorica-Topal, takes a straight line to the top of the crest, whence it follows the watershed between Megured and Kalimed, leaving Mrkovič to Montenegro, and reaching the Adriatic at V. Kruči.
On the northwest the frontier will be formed by a line passing from the coast between the villages of Susana and Zubči, and terminating at the extreme southeast point of the existing frontier of Montenegro on the Vrsuta Planina.
Antivari and its sea-board are annexed to Montenegro under the following conditions:
The districts situated to the south of that territory, in accordance with the delimitation above laid down, as far as the Boyana, including Dulcinjo, shall be restored to Turkey.
The Commune of Spiča, as far as the southernmost point of the territory indicated in the detailed description of the frontiers, shall be incorporated with Dalmatia.
Montenegro shall have full and complete freedom of navigation on the Boyana. No fortifications shall be constructed on the course of that river except such as may be necessary for the local defence of the stronghold of Scutari, and they shall not extend beyond a distance of 6 kilom. from that town.
Montenegro shall have neither ships of war nor flag of war.
The port of Antivari and all the waters of Montenegro shall remain closed to the ships of war of all nations.
The fortifications situated on Montenegrin territory between the lake and the coast shall be razed, and none shall be rebuilt within this zone.
The administration of the maritime and sanitary police, both at Antivari and along the coast of Montenegro, shall be carried out by Austria-Hungary by means of light coast-guard boats.
Montenegro shall adopt the maritime code in force in Dalmatia. On her side Austria-Hungary undertakes to grant consular protection to the Montenegrin merchant flag.
Montenegro shall come to an understanding with Austria-Hungary on the right to construct and keep up across the new Montenegrin territory a road and a railway.
Absolute freedom of communication shall be guaranteed on these roads.
Mussulmans or others possessing property in the territories annexed to Montenegro, who may wish to take up their residence outside the Principality, can retain their real property either by farming it out, or by having it administered by third parties.
No one shall be liable to be expropriated otherwise than by legal process for the public welfare, and with a previous indemnity.
A Turco-Montenegrin Commission shall be appointed to settle, within a period of three years, all questions relative to the mode of alienation, working, or use, on the account of the Sublime Porte, of property belonging to the state and religious foundations (Vakoufs), as well as of the questions regarding the interests of private parties engaged therein.
The Principality of Montenegro shall come to a direct understanding with the Ottoman Porte with regard to the establishment of Montenegrin agents at Constantinople, [Page 903] and at certain places in the Ottoman Empire where the necessity for them shall be admitted.
Montenegrins travelling or residing in the Ottoman Empire shall be subject to the Ottoman laws and authorities, according to the general principles of international law, and the customs established with regard to Montenegrins.
The Montenegrin troops shall be bound to evacuate within twenty days from the date of the ratification of the present treaty, or sooner, if possible, the territory that they occupy at present beyond the new limits of the Principality.
The Ottoman troops shall evacuate the territories ceded to Montenegro within the same period of twenty days. A supplementary period of fifteen days shall, however, be granted to them, as well for evacuating the fortresses and withdrawing the stores and material of war from them, as for drawing up inventories of the implements and articles which cannot be immediately removed.
As Montenegro is to bear a portion of the Ottoman public debt for the new territories assigned to her by the Treaty of Peace, the Representatives of the Powers at Constantinople shall determine the amount of the same in concert with the Sublime Porte on an equitable basis.
The High Contracting Parties recognize the independence of the Principality of Servia, subject to the conditions set forth in the following Article.
In Servia the difference of religious creeds and confessions shall not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, in any locality whatsoever.
The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to Servia, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.
Servia receives the territories included in the following delimitation:
The new frontier follows the existing line ascending the mid-channel of the Drina from its confluence with the Save, leaving Mali Zwornik and Sakhar to the Principality, and continues to follow the former boundary of Servia as far as the Kopaonik, leaving it at the summit of the Kanilug. Prom that point it follows at first the western boundary of the Sandjak of Nisch by the southern spur of the Kopaonik, by the crests of the Marica and Mrdar Planina, which form the watershed between the basins of the Ibar and Sitnica on one side, and that of the Toplica on the other, leaving Prepolac to Turkey.
It then turns to the south by the watershed between the Brvenica and the Medvedja, leaving the whole of the basin of the Medvedja to Servia; follows the crests of the Goljak Planina (which forms the watershed between the Kriva-Rjeka on one side and the Poljanica, Veternica, and Morawa on the other), as far as the summit of the Poljanica. It then follows the spur of the Karpina Planina as far as the confluence of the Koinska and the Morawa, crosses this river, and ascends by the watershed between the Koinska brook and the stream which falls into the Morawa near Neradovce, to reach the Sv. Ilija Planina above Trgovište. Thence it follows the crest of the Sv. Ilija as far as Mount Kljuc, and passing by the points marked 1516 and 1547 on the map, and by the Babina Gora, it reaches Mount Crni-Vrh.
From Mount Crni Vrh, the new delimitation coincides with that of Bulgaria, that is to say:
The line of frontier follows the watershed between the Struma and the Morava by the summits of Strešer, Vilogolo, and Mešid Planina, rejoins by the Gačina, Crna Trava, Darkovska, and Drainica Plan, then the Deščani Kladanec, the watershed of the High Sukowa and of the Morava, goes straight to the Stol, and descends from it be as to cut the road from Sofia to Pirot 1,000 metres northwest of the village of [Page 904] Seguša. It ascends in a straight line the Vidlič Planina, and thence Mount Radočina in the chain of the Kodža Balkan, leaving to Servia the village of Doikinci, and to Bulgaria that of Senakos.
From the summit of Mount Radočina the frontier follows towards the northwest the crest of the Balkans by Ciprovec Balkan and Stara Planina up to the former eastern frontier of the Principality of Servia, near to the Kula Smiljova čuka, and thence that former frontier as far as the Danube, which it joins at Rakovitza.
Until the conclusion of fresh arrangements no change shall be made in Servia in the actual conditions of the commercial intercourse of the Principality with foreign countries.
No transit duties shall be levied on goods passing through Servia.
The immunities and privileges of foreign subjects, as well as the rights of Consular jurisdiction and protection, as at present existing, shall remain in full force so long as they shall not have been modified by mutual consent between the Principality and the Powers concerned.
The Principality of Servia takes the place, so far as it is concerned, of the Sublime Porte in the engagements which the latter has contracted as well towards Austria-Hungary as towards the Company for the working of the railways of Turkey in Europe, in respect to the completion and connection, as well as the working of the railways to be constructed on the territory newly acquired by the Principality.
The Conventions necessary for settling these question shall be concluded, immediately after the signature of the present Treaty, between Austria-Hungary, the Porte, Servia, and, within the limits of its competency, the Principality of Bulgaria.
Mussulmans possessing property in the territories annexed to Servia, who may wish to reside outside the Principality, may retain their real property, either by farming it out or by having it administered by third parties.
A Turco-Servian Commission shall be appointed to settle, within a period of three years, all questions relative to the mode of alienation, working, or use, on the account of the Sublime Porte, of the property belonging to the State and religious foundations (Vakoufs), as well as of the questions regarding the interests of private persons engaged therein.
Until the conclusion of a treaty between Turkey and Servia, Servian subjects travelling or residing in the Ottoman Empire shall be treated according to the general principles of international law.
The Servian troops shall be bound to evacuate within fifteen days from the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty the territory not comprised within the new limits of the Principality.
The Ottoman troops shall evacuate the territories ceded to Servia within the same term of fifteen days. A supplementary term of an equal number of days shall, however, be granted to them as well for evacuating the fortresses and withdrawing the provisions and material of war as for drawing up the inventory of the implements and objects which cannot be removed at once.
As Servia is to bear a portion of the Ottoman Public Debt for the new territories assigned to her by the present Treaty, the Representatives at Constantinople shall fix the amount of it in concert with the Sublime Porte on an equitable basis.
The High Contracting Parties recognize the independence of Roumania, subject to the conditions set forth in the two following Articles.[Page 905]
In Roumania the difference of religious creeds and confessions shall not he alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries in any locality whatsoever.
The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to the Roumanian State, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.
The subjects and citizens of all the Powers, traders or others, shall be treated in Roumania, without distinction of creed, on a footing of perfect equality.
The Principality of Roumania restores to His Majesty the Emperor of Russia that portion of the Bessarabian territory detached from Russia by the Treaty of Paris of 1858, bounded on the west by the mid-channel of the Pruth, and on the south by the mid-channel of the Kilia Branch and the Stary-Stamboul mouth.
The islands forming the Delta of the Danube, as well as the Isle of Serpents, the Sandjak of Toultcha, comprising the districts (cazas) of Kilia, Soulina Mahmoudié, Isaktcha, Toultcha, Matchin, Babadagh, Hirsovo, Kustendje, Medjidié, are added to Roumania. The Principality receives in addition the territory situated to the south of the Dobroutcha as far as a line starting from the east of Silistria and terminating on the Black Sea, south of Mangalia.
The frontier line shall be determined on the spot by the European Commission appointed for the delimitation of Bulgaria.
The question of the division of the waters and the fisheries shall be submitted to the arbitration of the European Commission of the Danube.
No transit duties shall be levied in Roumania on goods passing through the Principality.
Roumania shall have power to make Conventions to determine the privileges and attributes of Consuls in regard to protection within the Principality. Existing rights shall remain in force so long as they shall not have been modified by the mutual consent of the Principality and the parties concerned.
Until the conclusion of a Treaty between Turkey and Roumania, fixing the privileges and attributes of Consuls, Roumanian subjects travelling or residing in the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman subjects travelling or residing in Roumania, shall enjoy the rights guaranteed to the subjects of other European Powers.
With regard to public works and other enterprises of a like nature, Roumania shall be substituted for the Sublime Porte as regards its rights and obligations throughout the ceded territory.
In order to increase the guarantees which assure the freedom of navigation on the Danube which is recognized as of European interest, the High Contracting Parties determine that all the fortresses and fortifications existing on the course of the river from the Iron Gates to its mouths shall be razed, and no new ones erected. No vessel of war shall navigate the Danube below the Iron Gates with the exception of vessels of light tonnage in the service of the river police and customs. The “stationnaires” of the powers at the mouths of the Danube may, however, ascend the river as far as Galatz.[Page 906]
The European Commission of the Danube, on which Roumania shall be represented, is maintained in its functions, and shall exercise them henceforth as far as Galatz in complete independence of the territorial authorities. All the treaties, arrangements, acts, and decisions relating to its rights, privileges, prerogatives, and obligations are confirmed.
One year before the expiration of the term assigned for the duration of the European Commission the Powers shall come to an understanding as to the prolongation of its powers, or the modifications which they may consider necessary to introduce.
The regulations respecting navigation, river police, and supervision from the Iron Gates to Galatz shall be drawn up by the European Commission, assisted by Delegates of the Riverain States, and placed in harmony with those which have been or may be issued for the portion of the river below Galatz.
The European Commission of the Danube shall come to an arrangement with the proper authorities to ensure the maintenance of the lighthouse on the Isle of Serpents.
The execution of the works which have for their object the removal of the obstacles which the Iron Gates and the Cataracts place in the way of navigation is entrusted to Austria-Hungary. The Riverain States on this part of the river shall afford every facility which may be required in the interest of the works.
The provisions of the VIth Article of the Treaty of London of the 13th March, 1871, relating to the right of levying a provisional tax in order to cover the cost of these works, are maintained in favour of Austria-Hungary.
The Sublime Porte cedes to the Russian Empire in Asia the territories of Ardahan, Kars, and Batoum, together with the latter port, as well as all the territories comprised between the former Russo-Turkish frontier and the following line:—
The new frontier starting from the Black Sea, and coinciding with the line laid down by the Treaty of San Stefano as far as a point to the northwest of Khorda, and to the south of Artwin, continues in a straight line as far as the River Tchoroukh, crosses this river and passes to the east of Aschmichen, going in a straight line to the south so as to rejoin the Russian frontier indicated in the Treaty of San Stefano, at a point to the south of Nariman, leaving the town of Olti to Russia. From the point indicated near Nariman the frontier turns to the east, passes by Tebrenec, which remains to Russia, and continues as far as the Pennek Tschaï.
It follows this river as far as Bardouz, then turns towards the south, leaving Bardouz and Jönikioy to Russia. From a point to the west of the village of Karaougan, the frontier takes the direction of Medjingert, continues in a straight line towards the summit of the Mountain Kassadagh, and follows the line of the watershed between the affluents of the Araxes on the north and those of the Mourad Sou on the south, as far as the former frontier of Russia.
His Majesty the Emperor of Russia declares that it is his intention to constitute Batoum a free port, essentially commercial.
The valley of Alaschkerd* and the town of Bayazid, ceded to Russia by Article XIX of the Treaty of San Stefano, are restored to Turkey.
The Sublime Porte cedes to Persia the town and territory of Khotour, as fixed by the mixed Anglo-Russian Commission for the delimitation of the frontiers of Turkey and of Persia.[Page 907]
The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the Circassians and Kurds.
It will periodically make known the steps-taken to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their application.
The Sublime Porte having expressed the intention to maintain the principle of religious liberty, and give it the widest scope, the Contracting Parties take note of this spontaneous declaration.
In no part of the Ottoman Empire shall difference of religion be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity as regards the discharge of civil and political rights, admission to the public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries.
All persons shall be admitted, without distinction of religion, to give evidence before the tribunals.
The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship are assured to all, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the various communions or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.
Ecclesiastics, pilgrims, and monks of all nationalities travelling in Turkey in Europe, or in Turkey in Asia, shall enjoy the same rights, advantages, and privileges.
The right of official protection by the Diplomatic and Consular Agents of the Powers in Turkey is recognized both as regards the above-mentioned persons and their religious, charitable, and other establishments in the Holy Places and elsewhere.
The rights possessed by France are expressly reserved, audit is well understood that no alterations can be made in the status quo in the Holy Places.
The monks of Mount Athos, of whatever country they may be natives, shall be maintained in their former possessions and advantages, and shall enjoy, without any exception, complete equality of rights and prerogatives.
The Treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856, as well as the Treaty of London of March 13, 1871, are maintained in all such of their provisions as are not abrogated or modified by the preceding stipulations.
The present Treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged at Berlin within three weeks, or sooner if possible.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed it, and affixed to it the seal of their arms.
[l. s.] (Signed)
The Undersigned having met together for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications of the Treaty concluded at Berlin on the 13th July, 1878, the instruments of these ratifications confirming the said Treaty were produced by the Representatives of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, & c, and Apostolic King of Hungary, His Excellency the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Italy, and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and having, after examination, been found in good and due form, the exchange thereof took place.
The Ambassador of Turkey, while expressing the regret of the Sublime Porte that the Turkish instruments of ratification could not be despatched in time, announces that he is authorized to declare that His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans has likewise ratified the Treaty of the 13th July, 1878, and that he considers the same valid from this day’s date.
Sadoullah Bey announces, moreover, that the exchange of the Turkish instruments of ratification will take place within fifteen days.
In witness whereof the Undersigned have drawn up the present procès-verbal, to which they have affixed the seals of their arms.
Agreement signed by the Marquis of Salisbury and Count Schouvaloff, July 12, 1878.
The more detailed tracing of the line of the Alashkerd shall be carried out on the spot, in conformity with the Treaty of Berlin, by a military commission composed of a Russian officer, an Ottoman officer, and an English officer.
Account of Mehemet Ali Pasha’s death.
A Salonica letter of the 13th ultimo, published in the Pall Mall Gazette of September 25, gives details of the sad death of Mehemet Ali Pasha, some of which I do not recollect to have yet seen in print.
The news of the untoward fate of the gallant Mehemet Ali and his suite has reached you long ago by telegraph. No coherent statement of the occurrences at Diakovo reached Salonica until to-night (September 13). By this evening’s train a brother-in-law of Mehemet Ali, Edhem Bey, and a wounded servant of the same general, arrived from the interior, having narrowly escaped in disguise. I hasten to give you the substance of their verbal report to the governor here, as repeated to me by that official almost immediately after the interview.
When the decision of the congress relative to the cessions to the principalities and the Austrian occupation was made known in Southern Bosnia, the inhabitants—in especial the Ghega Albanians—assembled in large numbers and publicly declared the Porte incapable of guarding their rights. They then took a solemn oath of fraternity for the defense of their country against all aggression or change. This declaration was drawn up in due form, and signed by all who had taken the oath. Foremost among the signers were three leading Albanian chieftains—Abdullah Pasha, Bairam Bey, and Shakyr Bey—men of great influence in the country; indeed, Bairam alone, it is said, could command the services of 5,000 armed adherents. A few weeks ago Mehemet Ali was dispatched on a pacificatory mission to Southern Bosnia and Albania. On reaching Diakovo he had interviews with the Albanians; and, perceiving [Page 909] their disaffection, he demanded to have his guard re-enforced. Accordingly he received (whence not stated), a battalion—a battalion, however, under nominal strength. The sight of these troops cooled the Albanians; and so Mehemet Ali, retaining two companies as his body-guard, sent the rest into quarters. He succeeded in convincing the three chieftains above named of the uselessness of resistance, and they went over to his side. Reconciliation was sealed by Mehemet Ali taking up his quarters, with his staff and escort, in the konak of Abdullah Pasha, a large house in the middle of the town. But when the Albanians learned the defection of the three chiefs they declared them traitors and prepared to take vengeance on them, a course in which they were abetted by the town population, which includes 16,000 Mussulmans. Although their anger was mainly directed against their own leaders, they had a distinct grudge against Mehemet Ali. During a disturbance at Diakovo, some years back, a Hungarian commander, Mahmoud Pasha, treated the townspeople with great harshness. They believed Mehemet Ali to be also a Hungarian and in league with the Austrians. Moreover, as a foreigner, they threw on him all the odium of the concessions of the Congress.
On Wednesday, September 4, a detachment of Albanians, incited by the townspeople, surrounded the barracks, and, having cut off the water-supply, summoned the troops to surrender. The insurgents promised liberty to the rank and file on condition of their delivering up their officers. The men agreed, and some officers—number not known—were killed; the rest escaped disguised as privates. Meanwhile, 10,000, or, according to Edhem Bey, 12,000, Albanians surrounded the house of Abdullah Pasha, and opened a heavy fire, to which the inmates (including two companies of infantry) replied. This went on for two days. By Friday, however, the little garrison had expended its ammunition, and was reduced in numbers by upwards of sixty persons— namely, several officers, forty soldiers, and twenty servants. In these straits, the remainder of the rank and file laid down their arms and surrendered to the Albanians; some of the officers escaping in the uniform of their men. This was on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, some of the Albanians had mounted a neighboring minaret, from which they were able to take clear aim into the selamlik where Mehemet Ali and his staff were; at the same time they set fire to the opposite (the haremlik) end of the house, whence the women had, fortunately, been removed. The well-directed fire from the mosque and the increasing heat and smoke finally drove Mehemet Ali and his companions, about 3 p.m., to take refuge in an adjoining tower. Now, this tower had a separate entrance, unguarded, and the door was decayed. The fire, or the smoke, now spread to the tower and made it untenable, when Mehemet Ali exclaimed, “At least let me have a soldier’s death I” and rushing down met the Albanians swarming in. He immediately fell, riddled with bullets. The Albanians did not at once discover all the refugees; but Abdullah Pasha, having been wounded in the leg, was easily secured. They took him to the top of the tower and dashed him down into the street below. As the body fell it was the mark of scores of muskets, and reached the ground frightfully, unrecognizably disfigured. The malcontents now sought out Bairam and Shakyr, and put them also to death. Foremost among the assailants were the most trusted adherents of the three chieftains. The Albanians continued to discharge their fire on the dead bodies. That of Mehemet Ali is stated (probably at random) to have received 200 bullets before burial. He was interred the same day. During the whole affair the governor of Diakovo made no attempt to assist the besieged, or even (apparently) to give an alarm to the neighboring districts; although Diakovo is only six hours from Prizrend and nine from Prishtina, the latter a railway as well as telegraph station.
Mr. Cole to Mr. Maynard.
Sir: I inclose a copy of statements made in a letter to Mr. Layard as to political matters this way. Thinking you might have an interest in hearing of these things, I take the liberty to send this along to you as it is, trusting you will pardon me in this instance for not writing you a separate sheet, especially as there is not time, and I wish to send by this courier.
Though the first page has some reference to our work for the poor, the rest of the letter treats of what, to my mind, is of vital importance for these parts.
We doubt not all foreign representatives are doing all they can to introduce reforms into the Turkish Government; but I assure you it must be by some other visible power as the responsible agent, or I for one can hope for little. It is for this visible, tangible exponent that I have appealed, as you will see.
We are happy to report that as Americans we have been, since I wrote you last, treated with the greatest consideration both by Turks and Russians, and have not the [Page 910] least ground for complaint in these respects; though for the poor downtrodden Christians of Armenia our hearts are in much sadness.
I am, sir,
Mr. Cole to Mr. Layard.
Sir: You will be interested in knowing that the great amount of poverty which has been crowding up to our doors for more than six months past has so far decreased that for the present we are relieved for the most part of this compassionate work.* * * Not to dwell longer on this work for the poor, I beg to call your excellency’s attention to another most vital question with reference to this rilajet especially, which has passed for a time under Russian rule. If something is not done at once there will be a perfect stampede of Christians from all these parts to Russian territory. Yon may wonder why this should be, since your excellency’s government has given such strong pledges for future reforms.
But you are probably aware that these interior provinces are steeped in ignorance, there being probably not one in twenty that can read at all, and what can read have not the facilities for getting reliable news, as newspapers, telegrams, & c. But, supposing they had all these facilities even, I should hope for little then, as the past is such a doleful reminder. They know of no way of judging of the future but by the past, and until they can see something besides a Mohammedan head rising up before them for a government, they will not believe nor be persuaded.
The past twenty-five years have been replete with promises of reform, and they regard them as of no more value than the paper on which they are written.
Hitherto we have been able to hold our people in these places, though not a few from other sects have already emigrated; and to me, on the ground, seeing and knowing, as I have opportunity to do, it is no surprise that there should be an uprising on the part of Christians. Can they stand and be smitten down like dogs, see their families subjected to fiendish treatment worse than death?
If I mistake not, my friend Rev. a.m. Barnum, D. D., of Harpoot, has informed Your Excellency as to the direful oppression and misrule in the Geglia region. In view of this I will not take your time in rehearsal, though my heart has been greatly saddened by repeated and full reports of oppression at the hands of such as should constitute a government in that province, but to call your attention to very grave irregularities in the Khanoos region to the south, to illustrate what I have said above, respecting the great importance of some visible exponent of actual reform.
This province was, in the early spring, in such a state of anarchy at the hands of the Koords, that most diabolical work was inaugurated, as Your Excellency may be aware.
It is at the present time bordering upon if not already in such a state. My latest advices are that in place of the local government, which seems powerless to restrain them, two Koordish Beys, at the head of some 200 horsemen, are lording it in most heart-rending ways. They take forcible possession of houses, exact impossible things, demand bribes, thrust into prison, devastate homes, violating its sacred honor. And please bear in mind that these, too, are none other than relations of the commander-in-chief of the Turkish forces in Armenia, Ismail Pasha himself.
Can you wonder, then, with such a state’ of things that people are disheartened and meditate a leap though it be in the dark, as from their poverty must be the case if they rush in crowds to Russia? But, as I have said before, give us the visible sign, a sure voucher for the future, and we might hold them still.
This itis which leads me to take up my pen at the present time. Can you not direct us to some such ground-work on which these timid Christians may rest? What shall be the data? Could you not dispatch some officer of Your Excellency’s government at once to give assurance, to these scattering ones? I am aware that it is much to expect and may be next to impossible. Still, if nothing more than some irregular agent, under your approval, could come it would help so much. The people must have something tangible, must see with their eyes or they will not believe.
You must agree with me that this uprising population is too valuable to be lost to the country that is to be so intimately connected with Your Excellency’s government, and especially if in the transfer untold misery is to be brought upon them.
If we might learn at once by telegraph that a commissioner was dispatched for these parts, it would be one of the most joyful messages that could speed over the wires, and the man would doubtless be received here with all the pomp of an incoming king.
One of our people is just in from the Alashgerd region Christians there have become oblivious of the harvest, that demands their time and energies, and were turning their whole attention to preparations for leaving for Russia.[Page 911]
There have been provoking causes on the part of Christians that will be likely to lead the Koords to wreak vengeance on them, as they have vowed again and again they shall do. Two of their number were justly killed in self-defense some time since in an attack they instituted themselves on a Christian village in the plain.
In other places poor Christians, so oppressed and down-trodden in the past, have been over-elated at this seeming promotion and have been insolent to Mohammedans, as I can testify from personal observation; and, moreover, the Russians have not hesitated to solicit volunteers to their army and police force from Christians; and from the poverty of the people during these times a goodly number have responded.
Your Excellency must see what is to be feared from such a state of things, if stern law is not administered at once from some trusty visible power. The Russians are already beginning to move, and will, from present appearance, evacuate the place altogether in a few weeks at most. While we do not apprehend serious danger in this city, believe me, some of the provinces are bordering on a state of anarchy, and if anything is done it must be done at once.
For the sake of downtrodden Armenia; for the sake of poor humanity that now trembles in the balance; for the sake of that which makes life so desirable to us all—home and the home relations—I beg you to listen to this appeal.
I am, in behalf of Christians in Armenia,
Mr. Cole to Mr. Maynard.
Sir: I am waiting with anxiety for a reply to my letter to your excellency and the English ambassador of fourteen days since. All that I anticipated in that letter, and a hundred fold more, is already inaugurated; not only the provinces I referred to but others, and even this plain and city, are up in arms. Yesterday was such a day as we shall not soon forget. The Turks have been most barefaced in their threats toward Christians for some time. For some days they have begun here and there, inside the city and out, to put into execution their threats. Several men were deliberately knocked down in the open market. These were attacked outside of the city, one of them, one of my own employés, and he might soon have been killed but for the interference of others. This is what we were seeing take place right here in the city with the Russian guard in full force. And added to this, and in keeping with these terrible threats, night before last several Turks entered the house of a poor inoffensive man, bound him and his family and outraged the latter in a most shameful manner, so that she now lies at the point of death. The house was also plundered of what they had. This last has been enough to touch the match to such combustible substances as we have in the mass of the people this way, be they Christian or Mohammedan. Hence we had such a scene enacted yesterday in this place as we shall not soon forget.
Christians went in a tumultuous crowd of thousands to the governor-general, first of all, after which they went to the mayor and French consul. Not getting very good satisfaction in any of these places, they become boisterous, crying out, “Protect us or kill us,” & c.
Finally the mayor issued an order for the police to scatter the crowd, which they did with some difficulty, arresting a few of the most boisterous. But they were not to be thus silenced. They now gathered in still greater crowds in the large Armenian cemetery and became all the more vociferous.
The Armenian Church ecclesiastics gathered them into their large church (and the most of them were Armenians), and attempted to make an address, persuade them to be patient, turn to their various employments as loyal subjects of the government. At this the crowd called out, “We can’t receive any such talk,” and the meeting broke up in great confusion. Their bishop also became so intimidated, as it is thought from his own people, since they dealt out threats at him from his seeming inactivity in the matter, that he had a strong Russian guard stationed at his door immediately. Upon this, not a few called out, “Let us turn to the Americans, who secured us from starvation last winter.” They came to us, though not in such a crowd and in a much more honorable way. Yesterday and to-day have been largely to encourage and pacify the poor bewildered, terrified ones that have been crowding upon us in larger or smaller groups. I learned they had the plan of coming by the thousands in front of our door, but I begged their chief men to put a stop to such a course if they had respect to my honor. That what I could do I would do all the more cheerfully if they would refrain from such demonstrations.
Thanks to them that they have heeded our request (and not a few of them have been [Page 912] to our doors for their daily bread the past winter, and we have a good influence over them), and our house has not been put in the least danger as yet, nor we annoyed further than interrupted, so that I find it difficult, with so many coming and going, to lay the whole matter before you in a connected careful manner.
I have this day sent to your excellency a very long telegram, some 150 words, through Russia, and in the Russian language, stating at the beginning that “what I feared in the letter which I sent (that is the copy of letter to Mr. Layard which I sent you, suggesting emigration, great mixtures, anarchy, & c.) to your excellency had already begun.” From this I went on to describe briefly the state of things with us in this city as I have done now with pen.
Though I suggested danger to us as well as to the city in the telegram, still I would not have your excellency think that as yet we have reason to fear for our personal safety unless the condition of the town should become most desperate, which we cannot anticipate, though matters yesterday looked most formidable, indeed.
We and our flag are held in high repute, and all nationalities are on friendly terms with us as far as we can see. Though other ecclesiastics have placed guards at their doors, we feel no need of any at ours, and trust our residence will be kept in safety unless a perfect frenzy should possess the whole town, in which case ours might have to succumb, last of all.
The people have confidence and respect for us, though they seem to look upon their own highest dignitaries with great distrust.
I shall wait with great anxiety a speedy reply to the telegram, as the people crowd upon us for some encouraging news.
As I wrote in the letter to Mr. Layard, the province of Alashgerd has already been given over to the Koords, and the poor Christians have fled toward Russia.
The plain east of us is bordering on such a state, as also the villages of this plain.
I might fill pages more in black rehearsals of what is going on in other regions, which have also had great weight in urging me on to present the matter before you, but it would only weary you, and I forbear.
Am happy to repeat, however, that Ismail Pasha has paid good heed to telegrams I sent him as to Geghi and Khanous regions, and some efforts at reforms are being made.
I am, & c.,
P. S.—The telegram was finally sent in French instead of Russian.
Sir: The letter which I inclose I wrote very hastily, hoping it would go by courier, but in the rush of people upon us and upon the agent who attends to dispatching the courier it failed to be sent. Just at this moment an opportunity to send it presents itself, and I hastily send it away.
I am happy to report more quiet. Yesterday, by beatings in some cases and threats of fines, the shops were opened. The people are waiting anxiously to see what replies will come to the telegrams sent by different ones. We do hope something will be accomplished so that this Armenian race may not be wholly lost to these parts. They are emigrating every day in great numbers.
I can but feel that the English Government is gravely at fault in not dispatching some representatives of their own to these parts to assure these Christians in personal presence.
With great respect, & c.,
American Minister, Constantinople:
We have the panic that I had anticipated and given you notice of. The Turks openly menace the Christians. They are so excited by their vindictive spirit that they have not patience even to wait three days for the retreat of the Russian army, and they are beginning now to post themselves along the roads to pillage the villages; and to-night they have sacked some houses in the city, and in entering them they violated a woman, and in the last twenty-four hours they have wounded several Christians. Now the panic is carrying away everything. All the (Christian bazaars are closed, and if prompt and efficacious measures shall not be taken, we fear for personal safety of the inhabitants and ourselves. If possible, stay the retreat of the Russian army.
If you like, do, in the name of humanity and for the safety of the Christians, that for which we, with all the Christians, shall thank you.