to Mr. Evarts.
Constantinople , December 1, 1880. (Received December 21.)
Sir: After more than four months of negotiations, the weary question of Dulcigno is at rest, and that obscure fishing village on the Adriatic, which at one time promised to be the spark that was to set Europe ablaze, has been surrendered to Montenegro. On Saturday last, the 27th ultimo, Dervisch Pacha, the commander of the Turkish forces in Albania, having retired from the town and placed his troops in a position to prevent the Albanian leaguers from anticipating the entry of the Montenegrins, the Black Mountaineers occupied the place with two thousand men without firing a shot.
The remaining question to be settled between the Ottoman and Montenegrin Governments is the difficult and usually irritating one of frontiers.[Page 1176]
The Porte has thus far acquitted itself of the obligations it assumed in its note of the 3d of October last, which caused so much surprise by its outspoken frankness.
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It comes out of this difficulty with no loss of prestige, and notwithstanding the imposing array of power exhibited by the “European concert,” the Sultan has firmly maintained what he considered his rights, and has refused to order the shedding of the blood of the subjects who stubbornly held to their allegiance rather than pass under the dominion of their traditional enemy. It is true that in occupying Dulcigno preparatory to its surrender to Montenegro, Dervisch Pacha met with resistance from the Albanians occupying the town, and was obliged to force an entrance at the cost of a few lives.
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It may be said in conclusion that the surrender of Dulcigno has been accomplished not only with credit, but with an actual increase of prestige, and that the credit and prestige is not on the side of Europe.
The Sultan has offered houses and lands to all the Mohammedan inhabitants of Dulcigno who may prefer to abandon that place rather than remain subject to Montenegrin rule.
I have, &c.,