Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 1, 1879
Mr. Comanos to Mr. Evarts.
Cairo , September 2, 1879. (Received September 27.)
Sir: Mr. Van Dyck has arranged for the use of the Department, the most important and interesting documents exchanged during the years 1840 and 1841, between four of the European courts and the Sublime Ottoman Porte, for the “Pacification of the Levant.”
These papers have such a direct historical bearing upon the grounds of the recent action of the great European powers in causing the deposition [Page 1019] of the Khedive, Ismail Pasha, and the appointment of his son, that an acquaintance with them is essential to a thorough understanding of the position in which Egypt is placed toward Europe and the Sublime Porte. I am not aware that they have ever been put before the department in an English form, and now that its interest in Egypt is to be still further increased by the appointment of an American member in the proposed commission of liquidation, I gladly inclose this translation for the use of the Department.
The following short statement will serve as an introduction to those documents:
In 1839, Muhammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt, had at his command an army of at least 140,000 men. His son and General Ibrahim Pasha had conquered all Syria, in the battle of Nizzib, near Aleppo. Hafiz Pasha, general of the only remaining Turkish army, had been completely routed. The Turkish admiral had given up to Muhammed Ali the entire Turkish fleet, and it lay idle in the harbor of Alexandria. The Sultan Mahmoud appealed to Europe; France kept entirely aloof; Prussia and Russia, Austria and England made themselves the allies of Turkey; England and Austria sent their fleets, and bombarded Beyrout and Acre on the Syrian coast. The further details of the united action of those four courts will be found in the accompanying fifteen documents.
I have, &c.,
Convention of the 15th July, 1840, concluded between the courts of Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia on the one side, and that of the Sublime Ottoman Porte on the other, for the Pacification of the Levant, signed at London on the 15th July, 1840.
[Note.—This convention is that diplomatic act which must be considered as the basis of the Egyptian hereditary Pashalic (since called Khediviate) which was created in favor of Muhammed Ali and his family, and was placed under the guaranty of the European powers. It granted to Muhammed Ali, during his natural life, the government of Southern Syria, or Palestine, also; but as he did not, within the ten days delay therein afforded to him, accept the conditions laid down in it, he forfeited that government, and Egypt only was given to him, as will appear in the documents following.]
In the name of the most merciful God:
His Highness the Sultan (of Turkey) having applied to their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russias to invoke their support and assistance in the midst of the difficulties in which he finds himself placed by reason of the hostile conduct of Muhammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt, which difficulties threaten to bring in jeopardy the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, and the independence of the Sultan’s throne, their said Majesties, united by the sentiment of friendship that exists between them and the Sultan, animated by the desire to watch over the maintenance of the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire in the interest of the strengthening of the peace of Europe, true to the engagements that they have contracted by the note delivered to the Porte by their representatives at Constantinople on the 27th of July, 1839, and desiring furthermore to prevent the effusion of blood that would be caused by the continuation of the hostilities that have recently broken out in Syria, between the authorities of the Pasha and the subjects of His Highness (the Sultan), their said Majesties and His Highness the Sultan have resolved, for the purpose aforesaid, to conclude between themselves a convention, and have appointed, for this object as their plenipotentiaries, the following, to wit, &c., &c:
Who, having reciprocally exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and signed the following articles:
- His Highness the Sultan having come to an understanding with their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Emperor of [Page 1020] Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russias, upon the conditions of the arrangement, that it is the intention of His Highness to accord to M. Ali, which conditions are found specified in the separate act hereto annexed, their Majesties engage to act in perfect accord, and to unite their efforts to induce M. Ali to comply with that arrangement, each one of the high contracting parties reserving to itself to co-operate for this end, according to the means of action that each of them may dispose of.
- Should the Pasha of Egypt refuse to adhere to the above-named arrangement, which shall be communicated to him by the Sultan with the co-operation of their said Majesties, the latter engaged to take, upon the requisition of the Sultan, measures, concerted and fixed upon among themselves, in order to carry this arrangement into execution during the interval. Their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, the Sultan having invited his allies to join themselves to him and help him to interrupt communication by sea between Egypt and Syria, and stop the sending of troops, horses, arms, ammunition and provisions of war of every kind from one of these provinces to the other, engage to give immediately, for this purpose, the necessary orders to the commanders of their naval forces in the Mediterranean. Their said Majesties promise, furthermore, that the commanders of their squadrons shall give according to the means at their disposal, in the name of the alliance, all the support, and help in their power to those of the subjects of the Sultan that shall manifest their fidelity and obedience to their sovereign.
- Should M. Ali, after having refused to submit himself to the conditions of the arrangement hereabove, direct his land and sea forces toward Constantinople the high contracting parties, upon the requisition that may be made touching this by the Sultan to their representatives at Constantinople, have agreed among themselves, should the case so require, to accept the invitation of that sovereign, and provide for the defense of his throne, by means of an operation concerted in common, for the purpose of placing the two straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, as well as the capital of the Ottoman Empire, under protection from all aggression. It is furthermore agreed that all the forces to which, by reason of such an attack, shall be given the destination hereabove indicated, shall there remain employed so long as their presence shall be thus required by the Sultan, and when His Highness shall judge that their presence has ceased to be necessary, the said forces shall withdraw simultaneously, and shall return respectively to the Black Sea and Mediterranean.
- It is, moreover, expressly understood that the co-operation mentioned in the preceding article, and intended to place the Straits of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus and the Ottoman capital temporarily under the safeguard of the high contracting parties against every aggression of M. Ali, shall not be considered but as an exceptional measure, adopted at the express request of the Sultan, and solely for his defense in the case alone indicated hereabove. But it is agreed that this measure shall in nothing derogate from the ancient rule of the Ottoman Empire, in virtue of which rule it has been from all time prohibited to the vessels of war of the foreign powers to enter into the Straits of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus, and the Sultan, on the one hand, declares, by these presents, that, with the exception of the eventuality here-above mentioned, he has the firm intention to maintain in future this principle, with invariable fixedness, as an ancient rule of his Empire, and, so long as the Porte is at peace, not to admit any foreign vessel of war into the Straits of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. On the other hand, their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russias, engage to respect this determination of the Sultan, and to comply with the principle hereabove stated.
- The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be Exchanged at London within two months, or sooner, if possible. In faith of which the plenipotentiaries have signed it, and have thereto affixed their seals.
Separate act annexed to the convention concluded at London, July 15, 1840, between the courts of Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, on the one part, and the Sublime Ottoman Porte, on the other.
His Highness the Sultan has the intention to grant and to cause to be notified to Muhammed Ali the conditions of the arrangement here below:
I. His Highness promises to grant to M. Ali, for himself and his descendants in direct line, the administration of the Pashalic of Egypt, and His Highness promises, furthermore, to grant to M. Ali, during his life, with the title of Pasha of Acre, and [Page 1021] with the command of the fortress of St. John of Acre, the administration of the southern part of Syria, the limits of which shall be determined by the following demarcation:
This line, starting from the Cape of Ras-el-Nâkûrah upon the Mediterranean coast, shall extend thence directly to the mouth of the rivulet Seisabân, the northern extremity of Lake Tiberias, shall extend along the western coast of the said lake, shall follow the right bank of the River Jordan and western coast of the Dead Sea, shall extend thence straight to the Red Sea, touching the northern extremity of the Gulf of Akabah, and shall follow the west coast of the Gulf of Akabah and the east coast of the Gulf of Suez to Suez.
Nevertheless, the Sultan, in making these offers, attaches thereto the condition that M. Ali accept them within ten days after they shall have been communicated to him at Alexandria, by an agent of His Highness, and that M. Ali at the same time deliver into the hands of such agent the necessary instructions to the commanders of his land and sea forces to withdraw immediately from Arabia, and from all the holy cities therein situated, from the island of Candia, from the district of Adana, and from all the other parts of the Ottoman Empire that are not included in the limits of Egypt, and in those of the Pashalic of Acre, such as it has been hereabove defined.
II. If within the delay of ten days hereabove fixed, M. Ali does not accept the aforesaid arrangement, the Sultan will then withdraw his offer of his life-long administration of the Pashalic of Acre, but His Highness will still consent to accord to M. Ali, for him and his descendants in direct line, the administration of the Pashalic of Egypt, provided that this offer be accepted within the ten days following, that is to say, within a delay of twenty days, to be counted from the day when the communication shall have been made to him, provided that he likewise deliver into the hands of the agent of the Sultan, the necessary instructions for his sea and land commanders to withdraw immediately within the limits and within the ports of the Pashalic of Egypt.
III. The annual tribute to be paid by M. Ali to the Sultan shall be proportionate to the greater or less territory the administration of which M. Ali shall obtain, according as he shall accept the first or the second ultimatum.
IV. It is further expressly understood that, in the first as well as in the second alternative, M. Ali (before the expiration of the fixed term of ten or twenty days) shall be bound to deliver the Turkish fleet, with all its crews and armaments, into the hands of the Turkish leading personage who shall be authorized to receive it. The commanders of the allied squadrons shall be present at such delivery.
It is understood that M. Ali shall in no case be able to bring into account, nor deduct from the tribute to be paid to the Sultan, the expenses for the maintenance of the Ottoman fleet during the whole time that it remained in the port of Egypt.
V. All the treaties and all the laws of the Ottoman Empire shall be applied to Egypt and to the Pashalic of Acre, such as it has been hereabove designated, the same as to every other part of the Ottoman Empire. But the Sultan consents that, upon the condition of the regular payment of the above-named tribute, M. Ali and his descendants do gather [all the revenues] in the name of the Sultan, and as delegates of His Highness throughout the provinces whose administration shall be to them intrusted. It is furthermore understood that, through the means of the gathering of the taxes and imposts above said, M. Ali and his descendants shall provide for all the exposes the civil and military administration of said provinces.
VI. The land and sea forces that the Pasha of Egypt and Acre shall be able to maintain, forming a part of the forces of the Ottoman Empire, shall always be considered as maintained for the service of the state.
VII. The present separate act shall have the same force and value as though it had been inserted word for word in the convention of this day; it shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at London at the same time as that of the said convention.
In faith whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed it and thereto affixed their seals.
Convention between Commodore Napier, commanding the naval forces of Her Britannic Majesty off Alexandria, on the one part, and His Excellency Boghos Yusef Bey, minister of foreign affairs of His Highness the Viceroy of Egypt, thereto specially authorized by His Highness, on the other part, done and signed at Alexandria on the 27th November, 1840.
[Note.—After the convention of the 15th July, the Sublime Porte sent Rifaat Bey to Alexandria, who, with the consuls of England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, presented [Page 1022] himself to M. Ali, to propose to him the hereditary rule of Egypt and the Acre Pashalic, upon the conditions indicated in said convention, and a communication to him in writing to this effect was made on the 19th of August, 1840. On the 28th August M. Ali rejected the conditions proposed to him. The consuls gave him to understand that after such a refusal he had, according to the convention, still ten days’ time, hut only to obtain the hereditary government of Egypt. This term having also expired, the consuls presented themselves at the Pasha’s palace, and drew up a proces verbal, which set forth his renewed refusal to submit himself to the London treaty. At Constantinople the forfeiture of M. Ali of all government and administration was declared on the 11th September, and for Egypt Isset Pasha was appointed his successor, and at the same time it was decided by the Porte and the signatory powers of the treaty to execute this decision by force. From near Beyrout and St. John of Acre, the British admiral, Stopford, sent Commodore Napier with a part of the fleet to Alexandria, who, without any instruction on the part of his government, notified M. Ali that he must accept the ultimatum of the powers; and then, on the 27th of November, signed with Boghos Bey a convention, by which M. Ali bound himself to evacuate Syria and to restore the Ottoman fleet as soon as the Porte should concede to him, under the guaranty of the powers, the hereditary government of Egypt. Admiral Stopford disapproved the convention; the Porte was indignant and persisted in the declaration of forfeiture; but as Admiral Napier’s convention was approved by the powers, the Sultan was, on the 12th January, 1841, constrained to accord to M. Ali the Pashalic of Egypt, but under certain, to be thereafter determined, conditions.]
- Commodore Napier having, in his aforesaid character, made known to His Highness Muhammed Ali that the powers had recommended the Subiime Porte to reinstate him in the hereditary government of Egypt, and His Highness seeing in this communication an opportunity favorable for putting an end to the calamities of war, His Highness engages to order his son, Ibrahim Pasha, to immediately begin to evacuate Syria. His Highness engages furthermore to restore the Ottoman fleet as soon as he shall have received the official notification that the Sublime Porte has granted to him the hereditary government of Egypt, which concession is and remains guarantied by the powers.
- Commodore Napier will place at the disposal of the Egyptian Government a steamship to convey to Syria the officer designated by His Highness to order the general-in-chief of the Egyptian army to evacuate Syria. The commander-in-chief of the British forces, Sir B. Stopford, will appoint, on his part, an officer to watch over the execution of this measure.
- In consideration of that which precedes, Commodore Napier engages to suspend, on the part of the British forces, hostilities against Alexandria and every other part of the Egyptian territory. He will at the same time authorize the free navigation of the vessels destined for the transport of the sick and wounded, and of every other portion of the Egyptian army that the Government of Egypt may wish to bring into that country by sea.
- It is well understood that the Egyptian army shall have the right to withdraw from Syria with its artillery, its arms) its horses, ammunition, baggage, and in general all that which constitutes the material of the army.
Done in duplicate original.
- CH. NAPIER,
- BOGHOS YOUSSEF BEY.
Letter of Admiral Stopford to Muhammed
In the Bay of St. George, Beyrout , December 2, 1840.
I find myself forced to disapprove the action of Commodore Napier in the convention that he has made with Your Highness, concerning the evacuation of Syria by the Egyptian troops. He was in nowise authorized to make such a convention, which, moreover, ought to have been approved and certified by me. The envoy of Your Highness, Emîn-Bey, has consulted the general commander of the troops as to the best means he could employ in order to rejoin Ibrahîm. The general had good reasons for supposing that Ibrahim Pasha had gone to Damascus, seeing that a large portion of the troops had, a few days previous, left that city, going southward toward the Mecca road. Not having been able to guaranty to your envoy a safe-conduct to be able to pass through to Damascus, he returned to Alexandria, having done his utmost to execute the orders of Your Highness.
I hope this letter will reach in time for Your Highness to countermand the order to the transports, which, according to what Commodore Napier writes me, were soon to start for the Syrian coast to take on board Egyptian troops. Should any of them arrive, I shall order them to return to Alexandria.[Page 1023]
I hope that this convention, which has been made in haste and without authorization, will occasion Your Highness no embarrassment.
There is no doubt that this convention was made in friendship, though the commodore did not know what was going on in Syria, but this will in no way diminish the ardent desire that I have of promptly adopting measures tending to renew that friendship, and those good feelings, that I hope to be able to re-establish between England and Your Highness.
I learn with pleasure that the allied powers accept the conditions of England.
I have, &c.,
Memorandum of the conference of London, addressed to the Ottoman ambassador, by which the Porte is invited to grant to Muhammed Ali the hereditary rule of Egypt.
[Note.—The Porte had revoked the decree of forfeiture, and had bound itself to confer upon M. Ali the hereditary Pashalic of Egypt, but it had made this concession subject to certain conditions. As, however, it stowed a certain reluctance in proceeding to execute that promise, the signatory powers of the London convention addressed to the Porte the present memorandum, inviting it therein to accord to M. Ali the hereditary government of Egypt.]
The undersigned, plenipotentiaries of the courts of Austria, of Great Britain, of Prussia, and of Russia, have taken into serious consideration the dispatch of Rashid Pasha, dated from Constantinople on the 8th of December, which his excellency Chékib Effendi, ambassador of the Sublime Porte, has received the order to communicate to his highness Lord Palmerston, in order that it be brought to the knowledge of the representatives of the courts who signed the convention of the 15th July.
This communication announces that His Highness the Sultan hesitates to accord to M. Ali the hereditary government of the Pashalic of Egypt. The undersigned, after having examined the affair with untiring attention, have unanimously resolved to invite Chékib Effendi to present in this respect to the Sublime Porte the following considerations:
They regard it as a duty to observe at first that, under the date of the above-mentioned dispatch of Rashid Pasha, the representatives of four courts had not yet made in common, near the Sublime Porte, the motion (“demarche”) resolved upon at London on the 15th of October, and it appears from the most recent reports from Constantinople, under date of December 27, that even at this epoch the representatives of the four courts had not thought it their duty to give to the Ottoman minister the counsel that they had been directed to offer him.
In the mean time the intentions of the allied courts have not changed. Separated by great distances, and having no need of again agreeing among themselves, they sent to their representatives at Constantinople orders which bear the stamp of unanimity. Such being the case, the British Government addressed, on the 17th December, to its ambassador at Constantinople, instructions which expressly confirm those of October 15. On the 29th December the court of Vienna addressed positive orders to the same effect to the Austrian internuncio. The court of Berlin acceded to the instructions fixed upon at London in common on the 15th October and 14th November. On the 25th December the court of Russia addressed to its chargé d’affaires at Constantinople orders conceived in the same spirit.
In mentioning these facts the undersigned confidently believe that the counsel thus given by the representatives of four courts has exercised an efficacious influence upon the views expressed by Raschîd Pasha on the 8th of December, and have put an end to the uncertainty that that minister had expressed concerning the course which the Ottoman Porte would hereafter follow but in order to do away with this uncertainty, and stop all farther loss of time, the undersigned have judged fit not to wait for any later reports from Constantinople, and without hesitating any longer in replying to the communication of Chékib Effendi, they have thought it their duty to express once again to Monsieur, the Ottoman ambassador, the views of their respective courts, and to set them forth in writing, even as they have already had the honor of explaining them to him verbally. The powers invite the Sultan not only to show himself generous towards M. Ali, by revoking the decree of forfeiture, but by promising him also that his direct lineal descendants shall be successively appointed pashas of Egypt whenever that post shall become vacant by the death of the preceding pasha. The four courts, in counseling the Porte to grant this favor to M. Ali, express no new idea, but only recall to the Sultan the views that he himself expressed at the commencement of the crisis in the affairs of the Orient, which views served as a basis for the convention of the 15th July. The four courts, in giving to the Porte the counsels that the present communication reproduces, had the conviction of not having counseled it, neither to a transaction contrary to the rights of sovereignty and legal authority of the Sultan, [Page 1024] nor to a measure contrary to the duties incumbent upon the pasha of Egypt as the Sultan’s subject, whom His Highness has called to administer, in his name, a province of the Ottoman Empire. The fact is confirmed not only by Articles 3, 5, and 6 of the separate act, annex to the treaty of July 15, but also by the instructions given by the four courts to their representatives at Constantinople in consequence of the deliberation of the 15th October.
Paragraph 5 of that act has established that all the treaties and all the laws, present and future, of the Ottoman Empire should receive their application to the Pashalic of Egypt just as well as to every other province of the Ottoman Empire. This condition, which the four courts consider indispensable, forms, in their eyes, one of the most solid ties for attaching Egypt to Turkey as an integral part of the Ottoman Empire.
Paragraph 6 of this act, says that the land and sea forces that may be maintained in Egypt, and which form a part of the Mahommedan army, are to be considered as available for the general service of the State.
Finally, the instruction drawn up at London on the 15th of October, and confirmed by the memorandum of November 14, formally decided that if M. Ali, or one of his successors, should infringe the conditions upon which the hereditary government of Egypt had been accorded to him, this title should be subject to be revoked.
The undersigned believe that the complete execution of the conditions mentioned above would answer perfectly the Sultan’s purpose, would realize all the wishes of the four allied courts, and would lead to a happy consummation of the object aimed at by the reciprocal engagements in the treaty of the 15th of July, to wit, the work of pacification. The objects of the solicitude and forethought of the high contracting parties would be attained by the fulfillment of these conditions.
The Sultan would thenceforth be sure of the obedience and submission of his pasha, the governor of Egypt. The population of that province would be protected against the oppression from which it has for the last few years suffered by the abuse of the local administration. Finally, Muhammed Ali would acquire for himself and his family a position that would insure his future without interfering with his duties of subject of the Sultan.
The undersigned beg Chékib Effendi to submit these observations to his court, and to recommend them to the serious attention of the Government of the Sultan.
The undersigned have the honor, &c.
Proclamation of the Sublime Porte
relating to the conclusion of the Egyptian affair.
[Note.—In this proclamation the Sublime Porte promises to confer the Pashalic of Egypt upon M. Ali. The protocol of London of the 5th of March, 1841, relating thereto, takes note of this promise, and considers the Egyptian question as being definitely settled.]
It was announced in No. 216 of the Official Gazette that M. Ali had offered his submission to the Sultan. * * *
[Here follow the details concerning the sending of Mosloum Bey and Yavir Pasha and the conditions fulfilled by the viceroy at Alexandria.]
These facts having been brought to the knowledge of His Highness the Sultan, on the return of Mosloum Bey, and Muhammed Ali Pasha having again, in his reply to the Grand Vizier, repeated, in the strongest and most solemn manner, the assurance of his submission and obedience, the moment for the fulfillment of the promises of His Highness has thus arrived. His prompt compliance with the orders of his sovereign, according to previous arrangement, has been agreeable to His Highness, who takes pleasure in giving proof of his kindly feelings by treating all his servants with perfect consideration, and who, considering the past events as having never existed, has deigned to grant a generous pardon to Muhammed Ali Pasha, as, also, to all his family, servants, and adherents, and wishing that the effects of his clemency should extend unto his children. His Majesty the Saltan has deigned to confer upon the said pasha the Government of Egypt after the hereditary manner.
Nevertheless, as the concession of this hereditary rule must naturally be subjected to certain indispensable conditions, and as, besides, the government, as well as the inhabitants, of Egypt, are always subjects of the Sublime Porte, and His Majesty the Sultan must watch over the tranquillity and well-being of such government, he has thought it his duty to adopt to this end just and fit provisions. These essential conditions, and all the dispositions that shall arise out of them, will be fixed afterward [Page 1025] and, by the help of the Most High, within a few days, an envoy of the Sublime Porte will be intrusted to go and put into execution the resolutions that have been adopted in this respect.
The Egyptian affair being happily ended, the imperial fleet is now in the bay of Marmarice, fulfilling its quarantine, which is almost ended, and with the first favorable wind it will come to Constantinople.
This matter having been to a certain degree during the past a source of uneasiness, the present proclamation has been made for the purpose of making known to the public that this affair has been fitly arranged.
Protocol of the London
The plenipotentiaries of the courts of Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and the Sublime Porte, have met together to deliberate upon the reports received from Constantinople up to the date of February 4, and upon the communications exchanged between the representatives of the four allied courts and the ministry of the Porte. It appears from the “ensemble” of those communications: 1st. That M. Ali has submitted without conditions to his sovereign, and that he has asked his pardon. 2d. That in testimony of his submission, he has restored the Ottoman fleet, which after having been given over to the commissioners appointed by His Highness the Sultan, has already left the port of Alexandria, and has entered the Bay of Marmarice. 3d. That all Syria has been evacuated by the Egyptian troops. 4th. That the Sultan’s authority has been legally re-established in Syria, and in the island of Candia. 5th. That His Highness the Sultan has deigned to accept the submission of M. Ali, by according to him, to his children, and to his family, an absolute pardon. 6th. That His Highness, yielding to the advice of his allies, has at the same time deigned to make known his intention to reinstate M. Ali in his functions as Pasha of Egypt, with the hereditary rule for his descendants. The conditions which the instructions bearing date the 15th October, and the memorandum of the 14th November, had set down, are consequently fulfilled; the Pasha of Egypt has submitted himself; he has given up the fleet, evacuated the district of Adana, Syria, and the island of Candia, given the necessary orders for the giving back of the holy cities. Finally, a pardon has been granted him after his return to duty and obedience.
At the same time, the hope expressed by the collective note, addressed on the 30th January to Chékib Effendi has been realized. The counsel which the representatives of the four powers have given have been received by the Sultan with that full friendly confidence with which the efficacious co-operation of his allies had inspired him. In consequence of those counsels, His Highness has expressed his resolution to publish a firman, by which is to be granted to M. Ali the hereditary investiture of the Pashalic of Egypt, based upon the conditions indicated in the separate act of the convention of the 15th July. This firman was to be communicated to the Ottoman embassador at London, and brought to the knowledge of the representatives of the four courts, after having received the sanction of His Highness.
Such being the condition of things, the plenipotentiaries of the allied courts, considering the circumstances that brought about the departure of the consuls of the tour powers from Alexandria, have deemed the moment an opportune one to cause the return of those agents to their post. The representatives of the four powers at Constantinople will to this end agree between themselves and the Sublime Porte concerning the fixing of the time when these agents shall simultaneously betake themselves to Alexandria.
Hatt-Sherif of the Sultan, which
confers upon M. Ali the hereditary Government of Egypt, whilst
subjecting it to certain conditions.
[Note.—This first firman of investiture contained such hard conditions for M. Ali that the London conference, although it had in its note of the 5th of March (see No. VII above) congratulated the Sultan on having terminated the Egyptian question by admitting the principle of hereditary rule, yet, in its following note of March 13, 1841 (see note XI below), replied to the firman of investiture with certain reservations couched in the form of counsel, and thus the Porte, in its memorandum of April 19, 1841 (No. [Page 1026] XII), announced to the powers its readiness to revise and correct the said firman of investiture, to which the powers replied in the note of May 10, 1841 (No. XIII), with a: view to justify some of M. All’s demands and to solicit a new firman of investiture.]
My Vizier: I have viewed with satisfaction the proof of submission that you have just given as well as your assurances of devotion toward my august person, and for the interests of my Sublime Porte. Your long experience, and the knowledge you possess of the affairs of the country so long placed under your administration, leave no room for me to doubt that you will be able, by the zeal and prudence that you will bring into play in that same government to acquire new claims upon my good-will and my confidence in you, and that, recognizing at the same time the worth of my goodness to you, you will seek to transmit these qualities which so distinguished you to your descendants. In consideration hereof, I have decided to confirm you in the government of Egypt, according to the limits marked out upon the map which is sent you by my grand vizier, and to confer upon you furthermore the prerogative of the hereditary tenure of that government under the following conditions:
When the government of Egypt shall become vacant, it shall be confided to that one of your male children whom I shall choose, and the same mode of succession shall be applied to the male children of the latter, &c. In case your male line should become extinct, the male children issue of the women of your family can have no right to succession.
He who, of your sons, shall be chosen to succeed you in the government of Egypt, must betake himself to Constantinople, there to receive his investiture.
The prerogative of the hereditary tenure conferred upon the governor of Egypt will give him no rank nor title superior to that of the other viziers (governors-general of provinces), nor any right of preference, “préséance” and he shall be treated on a footing of exactly the same equality with his colleagues.
The provisions of my Hatt-Sherif of Gul Haneh, as also the administrative laws in force or to be enacted in my Empire, and all treaties concluded or that shall be hereafter entered into with the friendly powers, shall be likewise carried out in Egypt.
All the imposts with which the province shall be burdened shall be collected in my name, and in order that the inhabitants of Egypt who form a part of my Sublime Porte be not exposed to humiliations and to irregular taxes, the tithes, duties, and other imposts shall be regulated after the same system as that followed throughout the rest of the Empire.
The fourth part of the revenues from the customs, duties, tithes, and other imposts in Egypt shall be set apart without any deduction, and paid into the treasury of my Sublime Porte; the three remaining fourths shall serve to cover the expenses of collection of civil and military administration, and of the maintenance of the governor, as well as to pay for the wheat that Egypt has to send every year to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The above tribute, due by the governor of Egypt, and the mode of payment shall continue five years, to commence with the year 1257 (February 13, 1841). They can thereafter be regulated in another manner more adapted to the future condition of Egypt and to the nature of new circumstances.
As it is the duty of my Sublime Porte to know the annual amount of the revenues, and the manner of collecting the tithes and other imposts, and as such an object requires a commission of superintendence and control in that province, an understanding will hereafter be come to thereon according to my imperial will.
As so important a matter as the fixing of moneys must be regulated by my Sublime Porte in such a way as to admit of no variation, neither of name nor of value, gold and silver coins, which he shall continue to be permitted to coin in my name in Egypt, must be like those which are issued by the imperial mint of Constantinople, both in name, form, and pattern.
In time of peace 18,000 men of troops suffice for the internal guard of Egypt. This number cannot be exceeded; nevertheless, as the Egyptian forces are destined for the service of the Sublime Porte no less than the other forces of the empire, they can be augmented in time of war in such proportion as shall be deemed fit.
According to the new system of military service that has been adopted for all my empire, soldiers after having served for five years must be replaced by new ones. This same system shall also be followed in Egypt. Thus, out of the last recruits of the Egyptian troops who are to-day serving, there shall be chosen 20,000 men to commence the new service, of whom 18,000 shall be kept for Egypt and 2,000 sent here to serve their time.
As the fifth part of these 20,000 men is to be replaced every year, there shall be taken annually in Egypt 4,000 recruits, according to the method prescribed by the military regulations by means of drawings by lot, proceeding therein with all humanity, impartiality, and diligence.
Of these recruits, 3,500 men shall remain in the country and 400 shall be sent here. [Page 1027] The soldiers who shall have finished their time of service, whether in Egypt or here, shall return to their homes, and cannot he again required. Although the climate of Egypt may require a difference in the stuff of military clothing, the uniform of the Egyptian troops shall nevertheless not differ from those of the other troops of the empire. The same shall be the case with the distinctive insignia and banners, as also with the distinctive insignia of the officers, sailors, and soldiers of the Egyptian navy, as also the flags of war-vessels.
The appointment of land and sea officers up to the rank of lieutenant inclusive, shall belong to the Egyptian Government; that of superior officers shall depend upon my imperial will.
Hereafter the governor of Egypt shall not be able to construct war-vessels without my express permission.
The concession of the hereditary tenure to the Government of Egypt being subject to the conditions above enumerated, the non-execution of one of them will carry with it the immediate withdrawal of this concession.
The present hatt-sherif is therefore addressed to you, in order that you, as well as your descendants, recognizing the imperial favor that I have just granted to you, shall see to it that you fulfill with care the conditions herein established, protect the people of Egypt against all violence by providing for their safety and welfare, and by taking care to in nowise transgress my orders, and, finally; that you have to make known to my Sublime Porte the important affairs of the country intrusted to your government.
To my vizier Muhammed Ali Pasha, governor of Egypt, to whom has been furthermore newly conferred the government of the provinces of Nubia, Darfour, Kordofan, and Sennaar:
As is contained in another imperial firman, I have confirmed you in the government of Egypt, with a hereditary tenure thereof, under some conditions and certain limitations. More than that, I have granted to you, without hereditary tenure, the government of the provinces of Nubia, Darfour, Kordofan, and Sennaar, with ail their dependencies—that is to say, with all their adjoining regions outside of the limits of Egypt. Guided by the experience and wisdom that distinguish you, you will apply yourself to administer and organize these provinces according to my equitable views, and to provide for the welfare of the inhabitants.
Each year you will transmit to my Sublime Porte the exact list of all the yearly revenues.
From time to time the troops attack the villages of the aforenamed provinces, and the young of both sexes that are taken remain in the hands of the soldiers in payment of their wages.
Not only does the ruin and depopulation of the country result therefrom, but moreover such a state of things is contrary to the holy law of right. This abuse, and that other no less baneful abuse of mutilating men for the guarding of concubine houses, being wholly reprobated by my equitable will, and in complete opposition to the principles of justice and humanity proclaimed since my coming to the throne, you will carefully deliberate as to the means for hindering and repressing in the future acts so culpable.
You will not forget that, with the exception of a few known individuals who went to Egypt with my imperial fleet, I have pardoned without distinction all the officers, soldiers, and other employés that are to be found there.
Although according to my other firman the appointment of your officers above the rank of adjutant must be submitted to my decision, you will send to my Sublime Porte a list of such officers in order that their firmans of confirmation be sent to them. Such is my sovereign will, with which you will hasten to comply.
Vizierial letter addressed to His
Excellency Muhammed All Pasha.
His Highness the Sultan, having viewed with satisfaction your promptness in giving effective proofs of submission and in fulfilling the duties of obedience, has confirmed you in the hereditary tenure of the government of Egypt. A hatt-sharif containing some conditions in this respect, a decoration of vizier, a cap enriched with precious stones, are sent to you with his excellency the present minister of justice, said Muhîb Effendi, by His Highness the Sultan.[Page 1028]
Your wisdom and prudence will never permit you to overstep the line of submission and fidelity, which are a source of happiness in both worlds.
The Sublime Porte has full confidence in you, and the insertion of the clauses in question does not arise from any mental reservation toward your excellency.
Such a signal favor as the continuation of the hereditary tenure must be made subject to certain conditions, and the Sultan does not cause these clauses to be inserted save to forestall all contestations that might arise in an unknown and uncertain future, and to insure forever the welfare of the inhabitants of Egypt. There remains no longer any cause that might form the grounds of doubt on the part of the Sublime Porte or of uneasiness in your excellency concerning yourself or your family. The differences that have lasted for so long a time have (thank God) entirely disappeared.
I doubt not that in your wisdom your excellency will appreciate the full worth of the goodness of the Sultan, and that you will put forth your efforts to prove to him your gratitude. Please God, we shall ever hereafter form but one single body, nothing shall separate us, and we shall work under the auspices of His Highness to serve religion, state, paternal country, and the nation. I do herein sincerely congratulate myself and all the ministers of the Sublime Porte.
Note of the London conference addressed
to the Turkish ambassador, Chékib Effendi, in reply to the
firman of investiture which had been communicated by the
ambassador to it.
The undersigned have had the honor to receive the note dated the 11th of this month, in which His Excellency Cliékib Effendi has been pleased to announce to them that, in consequence of the proofs that M. Ali had given of his submission, His Highness the Sultan had graciously fulfilled his promise, and had reinstated him under certain conditions in his post of hereditory governor of Egypt. In announcing this resolution to the plenipotentiaries of the four allied courts, the Ottoman ambassador had the goodness to communicate to them the firman given on the 13th February, 1841, and the note addressed to the representatives of the four powers at Constantinople, by Reshid Pasha, to announce to them that the Egyptian question was settled.
The undersigned deem it their duty to manifest to the Ottoman ambassador, in the name of their courts, the great joy that this event causes them, which, while bringing about a final solution of the Oriental crisis, completely realizes the intentions that have governed the policy of the four powers signing the treaty of July 15. Under this state of things, the four courts responded in advance to the wish expressed by the Porte to see the return of the consuls to Alexandria, and the protocol signed on the 5th instant invited the representatives of the four powers to come to an understanding with the Ottoman Porte as to the time when the said agents should simultaneously be take themselves to Egypt. As for the details concerning the internal administration of that province, to which the firmans of the 13th of February refer, the undersigned have received from Alexandria, under date of the 24th of that month, information that the greater number of those details had been regulated.
In point of fact, M. Ali has acknowledged, without making any reserve, that all the treaties and all the laws of the Ottoman Empire should receive their application in Egypt as in every other province of that empire.
He has submitted himself to the orders of the Sublime Porte concerning the regulation or system of moneys, of recruiting, of service and of uniform of troops, and of the construction of vessels of war. He has replaced, under the orders of His Highness the Sultan, the land and sea forces of Egypt, whose numbers have been prescribed for him by the Sublime Porte; in a word, he is legally, as towards the Sublime Forte, in the condition of a subject, of a delegated governor of a province which forms an integral part of the Ottoman Empire.
Starting with this principle, which the treaty of the 15th of July was intended to re-establish, it now depends solely upon the authority of the Sultan to settle all questions concerning the internal administration that are still to be arranged, and to take into consideration the wishes which M. Ali has in this respect submitted to the supreme arbitrament of the Sultan. To the authority of the Sultan alone does it now appertain to settle the questions of internal administration that still remain to be arranged, and to take into consideration the wishes that M. Ali has in this respect submitted to the decision of His Highness.
Without entering here into an examination that would not be within their sphere the undersigned will limit themselves to recalling to mind the principles that they laid down in the collective note which they had the honor to address, on the 30th of Jan nary last, to the Ottoman ambassador. These principles, which rest upon the conditions of the separate act of the treaty of the 15th of July, will serve as a guide to the friendly explanations which the representatives of the four nations may think it their duty to address to the Sublime Porte. The undersigned are firmly convinced that observations [Page 1029] made in a spirit of sincere reconciliation, will be received by the Sultan with the same good will that he has not ceased to accord to the advice which the powers have hitherto given him. His Highness has known how to appreciate rightly this sincere and disinterested advice by accomplishing by an act of clemency a work of pacification, in the guarantee of which his allies have loyally assisted him.
The undersigned have the honor, &c.
- PALM ERSTON.
Memorandum of the Sublime Porte to the
His Highness the Sultan, in consideration of the well-wishing counsels that have again this time reached him from the high allied courts, has been pleased to grant a new favor to M. Ali, by deigning to make to him, according to his last request, the concessions that are about to be indicated, with the condition, however, that the Pasha shall religiously observe all conventions and treaties concluded, or that shall hereafter be concluded, between the Sublime Porte and the allied powers.
Thus the hereditary tenure of the Government of Egypt shall pass to the sons and to the male descendants of the Pasha, in such manner, however, that the oldest among them shall be always called to succeed to the post of governor, the investiture of which he shall receive from the Sublime Porte each time that post shall have become vacant.
The setting apart of one-fourth out of the revenues of Egypt is given up, and the tribute to be paid by its governor shall be afterwards fixed and regulated, whether as regards the aliquot part or as regards collection, according to the actual state of the receipts of that province.
Concerning the appointments to the different ranks in the army in Egypt, M. Ali Pasha is authorized to confer them of himself up to the grade of colonel only; as for appointments to the other higher ranks he must beforehand refer to the Sablime Porte.
As for that which concerns the system of internal administration that must be in force in Egypt, the same as in the other parts of the Ottoman Empire, inasmuch as M. Ali Pasha did not appear, in his request aforementioned, disposed to enter into the same frankly, and inasmuch as, furthermore, this point has already been fixed in the separate act which follows upon the treaty of alliance; therefore, in order to leave no room for any grievance on the part of the allied powers against the Sublime Porte in case that M. Ali should hereafter betake himself to acts contrary to an essential point founded upon the treaty aforesaid, the ministers of the Sublime Porte have deemed it very important, in this state of things, to ask, before all, precise explanations and declarations on this subject; and it is in order to beg your excellency to be so kind on your part as to give them in writing that the present memorandum is addressed to you.
Note of the London
The undersigned have had the honor to receive the note of the 19–27 April, in which his excellency Chélkib Effendi, ambassador of the Sublime Port, has asked the co-operation of the allied powers to do away with the difficulties concerning the interpretation of certain articles that are found in the firman of the 13th of February last, issued for the purpose of finally terminating the affairs of the Orient.
These provisions concern the three following points: 1st, the question of hereditary tenure; 2d, the fixing of the tribute: 3d, military promotion.
These three questions have been decided according to the treaty of the 15th July, 1841, concluded between the Ottoman Porte, Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia. The undersigned invoked that treaty in the notes of January 30 and March 13, addressed to his excellency the Ottoman ambassador. It is according to that same treaty that the powers hasten to give to his excellency Chékib Effendi the following explanations:
1. Question of hereditary tenure.—In conformity with the intentions by him set forth at the beginning of the crisis relating to the affairs of the Orient, the Sultan declared that he would leave the Pashalic of Egypt to the family of M. Ali, so long as he and his successors should merit this favor by faithfully fulfilling the conditions under which the same should be granted to them. This principle having been once set down, there remained nothing further to be dealt with but the fixing of the manner in which the Government of Egypt should be transmitted from one member of M. Ali’s family to [Page 1030] the other. It was decided that the Saltan would give the investiture to each new titulary of the Pashalik. It is according to this principle that the firman of February 13 was given. The Sultan has besides excused the Pasha from going to Constantinople to receive the investiture. He has added that Ibrahim Pasha would obtain the same dispensation if he should be called to succeed his father, and that the firman of investiture would be sent him to Egypt. The Ottoman Porte has itself informed the allied powers of the mode chosen by the Sultan for the administration of the Pashalic of Egypt, made hereditary in the family of M. Ali.
According to this resolution, and in conformity with the usages introduced into the Ottoman Empire, it is Ibrahim Pasha who, as being the eldest son, shall be called to succeed M. Ali. Following the same rule, the oldest of the family, after Ibrahim Pasha, is to be considered as entitled to succeed him. This is the general rule which the allied courts consider as the most advantageous for the interests of the Sublime Porte, and as the most in conformity with the traditions of the Ottoman Empire. In replying to the question that the Ottoman ambassador addressed to them in behalf of his government, they have thought it their duty to state that the appointment to the functions of governor of Egypt belonged exclusively to His Highness the Sultan; that this right should be exercised and manifested at each new investiture; and that, finally, this investiture, having emanated from the sovereign authority, should form the right by virtue of which each new governor of Egypt shall be called to administer in the name of His Highness, a province which is an integral part of the Ottoman Empire.
2. Fixing of the tribute.—The separate act annexed to the convention of July 15 has made no provision regarding the amount of the tribute; it has only established in principle that the tribute shall be paid to the Porte annually; that it must be in proportion to the extent of the territory whose administration is intrusted to M. Ali; that the pasha, upon condition of the regular payment of the tribute, and in the name of the Sultan, as the delegate of His Highness, should collect the imposts and duties; and that, finally, the Pasha of Egypt should take upon himself all civil and military administration in the Pashalic. The plenipotentiaries of the courts who signed the convention of July 15, while indicating the principle of the provisions that are therein established, believe that they would overstep the bounds of their rights if they should give an opinion as to the amount of the tribute, because this is a financial question relating to the administration of the Ottoman Empire, and which, as they have already said in their note of March 13, is not within their sphere, they, moreover, not possessing the necessary statistical data that could serve as the basis of a sure judgment upon the financial resources of Egypt, can give no opinion as to the amount of the annual tribute that the treasury of the Sublime Porte can draw from this province. Nevertheless, to satisfy, in so far as depends upon them, the wishes expressed by his excellency Chékib Effendi in the name of the Sublime Porte, they think that instead of the tribute which the Pasha shall pay by fixing a proportionate part of the gross revenue of Egypt, it would be preferable, in the real interest of the Porte, to determine the tribute by a fixed sum, thereby insuring to the treasury of His Highness a certain revenue. Still, as the bases upon which this sum would be fixed might change in the course of time, it would perhaps be as well to subject the nominal amount of the said sum to a revision after the lapse of certain epochs.
3. Military promotion.—The sixth paragraph of the separate act of the convention of July 15 provides that the land and sea forces that the Pasha of Egypt shall be able to maintain as belonging to the forces of the Ottoman Empire, must always be considered as maintained for the service of the state. As, according to this principle, the military force employed in Egypt is that of the Sultan, the officers will not have their promotion, but in conformity with the sole authority of His Highness, to whom the Ottoman army and navy belong. Starting with this principle, which ought to have a general application, the undersigned can only give a secondary importance to the difficulties that have come up in connection with military promotions. It belongs to the Sultan to give in this respect the powers that he shall deem necessary to be conferred upon the governor of Egypt, reserving it to himself to enlarge or limit these powers according as experience and the needs of the service shall render necessary.
If the undersigned have thought it their duty to limit their observations to the three above-mentioned points, it is because they have already expressed their opinion in their collective notes of January 30 and March 13, and in the protocol of March 5, upon other conditions that are contained in the separate act annexed to the convention of July, 1840.
The undersigned, keeping to the views and opinions set forth in the said acts, think it their duty to refer to the same. They cannot consider the submission that M. Ali has formally made as other than absolute, and they consequently regard the Turco-Egyptian question as terminated. The undersigned cannot, therefore, suppose that the Pasha, instead of showing himself thankful for the pardon that the Sultan deigns to grant him, and for the favor that His Highness has graciously shown to him [Page 1031] as well as to his family, would overstep the hounds of obedience and submission which are the conditions of this pardon and of these favors.
The plenipotentiaries of the allied courts, in communicating these observations to his excellency Chékib Effendi, beg him to bring them to the knowledge of his court, because they are the complement of their collective note of March 18.
They seize this occasson to renew, &c.
Official copy of the firman sent by the
Sublime Porte to Muhammed Ali.
[Note.—This is the final firman which bestowed the hereditary government of Egypt upon M. Ali and his family; it was published at Constantinople on the 1st of June, 1841, and proclaimed at Alexandria on the 10th of the same month. The preceding documents serve to explain and account for the various clauses it contains; by it the preceding firman was modified by conceding the hereditary tenure of the Pashalic of Egypt to the male issue of M. Ali in a direct line, with preference to the eldest born, by giving to the Pasha the power to appoint army officers up to the rank of colonel (i. e., “bey”) inclusive, and by setting down the tribute at a fixed sum, and not in proportion to the state revenues, namely, at 40 million piasters (about $1,775,600), which sum was afterward reduced to 60,000 purses of 5£ Turkish per purse ($1,331,700), and is now, in 1879, fixed at £ Turkish 775,000 ($3,320,925). In it were maintained also all the clauses calculated to enhance the sovereignty of the Porte over Egypt, and humiliate M. Ali. He, however, as appears from the last document, No. 15, accepted, in all its parts, the firman of investiture) and that, too, in terms of the profoundest submission.]
Your recent act of submission, the assurances of devotion and fidelity that you have given, the upright and sincere intentions that you have manifested towards me and my government, have come to my sovereign knowledge and have filled me with joy.
By reason of the knowledge and experience that you have acquired in the affairs of Egypt during your long government, I have every ground to believe that you are worthy of the favor and confidence which I grant you.
I do not in the least doubt that you will appreciate my good will, and that, out of thankfulness, you will hand down these praise worthy qualities to your descendants. By these presents I bestow upon you the government of Egypt in its ancient limits, such as they are marked out upon the map, duly sealed, which my grand vizier sends you. I join thereto the hereditary prerogatives upon the following conditions: When the government becomes vacant it shall pass from eldest son to eldest son in the direct male line of your sons and descendants. As for the appointment, it shall always emanate from my Sublime Porte. If it should ever happen that the male line become extinct, my government would necessarily designate another individual for the government. In this case the male children of the daughters of the governor of Egypt shall have no right or legal title of succession.
Although the Pashas of Egypt have the hereditary enjoyment of the government, they shall none the less be ranked, as regards the rank of preference, upon the same line as the other viziers (i. e., governor-generals of provinces); they shall be treated as such by the Sublime Porte, from which they shall receive the same titles as those given to every other governor [general] of a province.
The system of security of persons and goods, of protection of individual honor and character—a principle consecrated by the reformed institutions of my Hatt-Snarîf promulgated at Gul-Haneh—and all treaties existing or to be concluded between the Sublime Porte and the friendly powers, shall likewise receive their execution, in all respects, in the province of Egypt.
All regulations made or to be made by the Sublime Porte shall be likewise executed in Egypt, taking into account the local requirements of justice and equity. All taxes and all revenues raised in Egypt shall be so collected in my imperial name.
The Egyptians, being subjects of my Sublime Porte, in order to protect them against all future vexations, the tithes, duties, and other taxes to be raised shall be levied in conformity with the equitable system followed by my government. As soon as the term of payment shall arrive, care shall be taken that the proportion of the taxes, customs, duties, tithes, and other revenues and receipts of the province of Egypt, the amount of which is stated in the special firman on this subject, be duly collected. As [Page 1032] it is customary to send every year from Egypt grain and vegetables to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the same “articles shall continue to be sent to those cities respectively.
My government having resolved to improve its monetary system, the soul of all social transactions, and to do this in such a manner that hereafter the alloy and the nominal value of each piece of money shall remain unchangeably fixed, I hereby permit that money be coined in Egypt, but the gold and silver coins that you shall cause to be struck, must bear my name and be, in all respects, similar as to form and value to the coins struck, at the imperial mint of Constantinople. Eighteen thousand men being sufficient for the local administration of the province of Egypt, this number of the effective forces shall under no pretext whatsoever be exceeded; but, as the military and naval forces of Egypt are essentially devoted to the service of the Sublime Porte, this figure can, in time of war, be increased in such proportion as my government may deem fit and proper.
According to the terms of a regulation in force, the soldiers enrolled in other parts of my empire serve for five years. At the expiration of this service they are replaced by new recruits. It becomes necessary that the same regulation be applied in Egypt. As for the duration of service, the habits and customs of the Egyptians shall be consulted, a perfect equality being in all respects observed in their favor. Four hundred men of Egyptian troops shall be annually sent to Constantinople. There shall be no difference between the decorations and colors [flags] of the troops employed in Egypt and those of the other troops of my government. The officers of the Egyptian navy shall wear the same insignia as the Turks; the vessels shall have the same flag as the Turkish vessels. The Pasha of Egypt shall be able to appoint his land and sea, officers up to the rank of colonel [bey]; but as regards the appointment of officers of a higher rank, to wit, emiîr-liwa [general of brigade], and farîk [lieutenant-general], it is strictly necessary that you ask my acceptance, and take my orders on the subject. Hereafter the Pashas of Egypt shall no more build any war vessel without having beforehand obtained the concurrence of the Sublime Porte, and being first furnished with a direct and positive authorization.
All the present conditions are in the strictest manner attached to the privilege of hereditary tenure. If one of these conditions should remain without execution, the prerogative of hereditary rule would be at the same instant abrogated, and it would cease to exist.
Such is my good pleasure upon all the points about which I have just spoken. You and your sons and descendants like you, will not fail to recognize the very special favor that I grant you. You will make every effort to scrupulously execute the stipulations contained in these presents. You will carefully avoid all semblance of opposition, and you will work without relaxation to insure the welfare and tranquillity of the inhabitants of Egypt, protecting them against all injustice and every vexation, and you will have to ask orders on all important questions that shall relate to the interests of the land.
Reply of Muhammed Ali to the Grand
I have had the honor to receive the letter of Your Highness which announced to mo the sending by the Counsellor of State, Mamil Effendi, to the minister of Justice Muhil, Effendi, now on a mission here, and intrusted with delivering the same to me, of an imperial Hatt-Sharif containing the following clauses: [here follows a recapitulation of the conditions enumerated in the firman of June 1, 1841.]
After having offered up a thousand prayers of gratitude for the signal kindness of which I have been the object, I gave myself up to receiving the Hatt-Sharîf with the marks of respect and honor due to the same. A numerous suite was to accompany it from the residence of Muhib Effendi to my palace. As soon as I saw it coming I “advanced to meet it, full of gratitude and veneration. I took it in my hands and brought if respectfully to my lips. The above-named minister having fixed upon my breast the honorable decoration that has been conferred upon me, the Hatt-Sharîf was opened and publicly read before all the law doctors, chiefs of religion and magistracy, and all the servants of the Sublime Porte, who testified their joy and expressed their thankfulness and their wishes for the eternal prosperity of the empire, and the continuation of the reign of His Highness.
In order that all the subjects of the Sultan might share the satisfaction caused by such happy tidings, and in order that the prayers for the perpetuity of the empire should be general, I ordered the firing at Alexandria of repeated salvos of artillery both from the forts and the ships, and that all the ships be dressed. I also caused cannon to be fired at Cairo, and in the other cities in token of rejoicing. Although my efforts of gratitude and thankfulness can never equal the favor granted by His Highness [Page 1033] to his weak vassal, I shall none the less he proud and happy to consecrate the rest of my days to his august service, and, certain of fulfilling thereby a sacred duty and of meriting happiness both in this world and in the other, I shall faithfully and honorably carry out the conditions set down in the imperial firman here above named, and after me my descendants will find therein the universal rule of their conduct to become vassals subject to the Sublime Porte; their sole wish, like my own, shall be to try and render themselves worthy at all times and in all places of the good graces of their sovereign. It is with these feelings that this humble letter has been written and sent at the return of Muhib Effendi, who will have the honor to deliver it to your highness. When you receive it I beg you to obtain in my favor, unworthy as I am, the continuation of the accustomed bounty of His Highness and of yourself, and to keep for me your good will, which is to me so dear and precious.