No. 481.
Mr. Comanos to Mr. Evarts.

No. 325.]

Sir: On the 19th instant I sent from Alexandria a telegram as follows:

State Department, Washington:

American naturalized citizen assassinated Egyptian lawyer, freely surrendered himself and is at my request detained in Egyptian prison for Europeans. Farman gone. Reform tribunals possess no jurisdiction. Fish to Beardsley, June twenty-nine, eighteen hundred seventy-five, forbids my exercising judicial functions; shall I set assassin free, or commit him formally till arrival of consul-general, next winter? Answer to Alexandria.

COMANOS, Vice-Consul-General.

In the evening of the 23d instant, I received your reply, worded as as follows:

Vice consuls-general, by act of February first, seventy-six, have the powers of consuls. Exercise the jurisdiction as Farman would if present. Further instruction by mail.

I have since found the act of February 1, 1876, at the consulate-general here; but I did not have it at Alexandria, nor did Judges Barringer and Morgan possess it.

At about 2½ o’clock on the afternoon of Thursday, the 17th instant, Etienne (i. e., Stephen) Polycarpe Mirzan, a citizen of the United States, naturalized in Boston, Mass., and Dr. Alexander Dahan, lawyer and Egyptian subject, met on the street in the city of Alexandria, conversed together about certain money matters, quarreled, and came to blows. The scuffle ended by Dahan’s running through a corner book-store, in at one door and out of the other, closely followed by Mirzan, who then shot him with a good-sized revolver. The ball struck the back part of the head and pierced through to the forehead, causing instantaneous death. Mirzan then went straight to the United States consular agency at Alexandria, gave up the revolver, and surrendered himself to Acting Consular Agent Zograffo, saying that he had just shot a man. Being at the time in Alexandria, I was immediately sent for; I sent for Judges Barringer and Morgan; and the crowd that gathered around the building in which the office of the agency is found, was immense, and the rush of people upon the doors and windows beyond description. I sent for policemen and for the governor of Alexandria. They all came.

At first Mizan refused to go to prison, wishing to be kept under arrest in his own house. But when his lawyer, Mr. Kirby, came and explained to him that he must go to prison, he went without resistance to the Egyptian prison called “Moharram Bey,” to which all French and English prisoners are now sent, and where he still remains, subject to my orders.

This affair has greatly attracted public attention at Cairo and Alexandria, it being the first case in which a so-called gentleman has, in a respectable part of the town, shot another dead; and both Dahan and Mirzan are well-known persons in Egypt.

I inclose herewith copy of my letter on this subject to the honorable minister resident at Constantinople, and a copy of Mr. Farman’s commission to Acting Consular Agent Nograffo.

I have, &c.

Vice-Consul-General in Charge.

Note.—See dispatch No. 339, dated Constantinople, August 29, 1879, from Mr. Minister Maynard, for the inclosuress referred to.