No. 637.
Mr. Evarts to Mr. Fairchild.

No. 80.]

Sir: The accompanying copy of a letter from Mr. Adolphe L. Sanger, the secretary of the board of delegates on civil and religions rights of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, will explain the circumstances under which this Department has instructed Mr. Mathews, the United States consul at Tangier, to extend all proper countenance and support to Mr. Levi A. Cohen, as the accredited agent of that board to watch over the interests of Hebrews in Morocco, and to present to the consulate authentic facts in relation to wrongs done them.

Mr. Mathews’s instructions, requiring the communication to you of all that he may trustworthily learn respecting the ill-treatment of Jews in Morocco, will cover the transmission to the legation of such facts as he may obtain from Mr. Cohen.

I am, sir, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 80.]

Mr. Sanger to Mr. Evarts.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that this board has designated Mr. Levi A. Cohen as its accredited agent at Tangier, Morocco, to look after the interests of our Israelitish brethren in that locality, and with the view to his presenting to the United States consul at Tangier, authenticated facts in relation to any wrongs done them, so that the perpetrators thereof may be speedily punished and proper reparation made.

I have been requested to communicate this information to the Department of State of the United States, with the view that Mr. Mathews may be officially advised of the facts and his co-operation invited.

In support of our action we find the within statement.

I am, with assurances of regard, very respectfully, yours,

[Appendix to inclosure.]

persecution of jews in morocco.

[From the Pall Mall Gazettei]

The Petit Marseillais prints a letter from Tangier, recounting a horrible crime recently committed by the Moroccan governor at Estifa. During the recent famine a Jew named Bendahan had received in his house an unfortunate woman who implored his charity. After the famine was over, the woman, who was a Mohammedan, begged her benefactor to allow her to stay with him. There was no reason for regarding this as anything but an act of gratitude on her part, or his permission as anything but another proof of the man’s kindness of heart. The fanatic Mussulmans of the place, however, found it intolerable that a Mohammedan woman should live in any sort of relations with a Jew. Some of them made a formal complaint to the governor; the wretched woman, they said, had been seen to kiss Bendahan’s hands.

The governor straightway summoned the Jew before him, and thereupon, without being allowed to say anything in his defense, the unfortunate man was bastinadoed to death. Not content with this punishment, the governor had the body nailed to the ground by the feet and hands. The family claimed the body to give it decent burial; in return for a good round sum, the governor eventually acceded to this request.

Informed of what had happened, the European consuls at Tangier sent a message [Page 1044] to Bendahan’s son, asking him to come to Tangier. Hearing this, and fearing that some overscrupulous persons might think his conduct had been a little arbitrary, the governor offered young Bendahan 7,000 piasters (£1,400) to hold his tongue. The young man repudiated the offer and went to Tangier.

The European ministers are now prosecuting the affair with the utmost activity. The Italian consul, an envoy of whom had been recently well treated at Fez, has shown himself particularly energetic.

Such a crime as this, hideous and enraging though it be, is no new thing in Morocco; but at the present time, when events might at any moment precipitate the European intervention which is dreaded at Fez, it rises to the dignity of a political event.