No. 712.
Mr. Heap to Mr. Blaine.

No. 6.]

Sir: I have just received a communication from the Rev. J. E. Pierce, an American missionary residing at Baghchejik, a village near Ismid, the residence also of the late Rev. Mr. Parsons, who was assassinated in its vicinity in July last.

This letter, copy of which is inclosed, gives the details of his robbery by a band of Circassian brigands who infest the country and render the highways so insecure as to stop all travel except in large and well-armed parties.

I have addressed a note on the subject to his excellency, the minister for foreign affairs, of which I inclose a copy, and shall call on him on Monday next, the 9th instant, the first day on which he can be seen, and urge on him to have prompt and energetic measures taken for the security of life and property in the provinces.

The murderers of Mr. Parsons were, after some delay, duly tried, convicted, and sentenced. Two, I am informed, died in prison, but the third and principal convict, who was condemned to death, still awaits the execution of his sentence, which there appears no present probability of being carried out.

Had these sentences been promptly executed, the lesson would probably have prevented much crime in those lawless districts.

* * * * * * *

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 6.]

Mr. Pierce to Mr. Heap.

Dear Sir: I wish to inform you of an incident in my experience, and wish your counsel and aid. While going, on the 30th ultimo, from this place to Kourdbelery, accompanied by three men, at a point on the mountain about three hours from Aislembeg, I was attacked by eight armed Circassians. One of them, putting a revolver to my face, ordered me to dismount; I obeyed, as did our whole party. They then took from us our money, watches, &c. As we had but about 5 liras (£5) in money and two watches, they were not satisfied, but proceeded to threaten us with death if we did not give them more. Two of our number they beat severely; but after searching our persons and baggage three times and finding nothing more of value, they tied us to trees and left. We were subject to their abuse and threats about two hours, during which time they used every means to make us think they would kill us.

We were afterwards liberated by a Turk, when we returned to our homes, our business unaccomplished. A few weeks ago, two young men, natives of Aislembeg, were murdered at that place, and their horses stolen; and such things are of frequent occurrence. There is no security on any road going from this village, and the same insecurity prevails in all the Adabazar and Geiveh districts. This reign of terror has continued for three years. The people of the whole region are terribly oppressed and harassed by this state of things. It is just nine months since my colleague, Mr. Parsons, was brutally murdered only five hours from this village. What am I to do? Must I remain shut up in my house, neglecting all my business? Must the business, interests of all this region remain paralyzed, as they have been for three years, because the government does not protect us from a few Circassian ruffians? If you can do anything for our relief I beg you to do so; and will you please advise me what I ought to do in the circumstances? Shall I relinquish my business, or may I hope for protection from the government?

Very, &c.,

[Page 1179]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 6.—Translation.]

Mr. Heap to M. Pacha.

No. 38.]

Sir: It is my duty to communicate to your excellency a fact of the most painful urgency.

A citizen of the United States, the Rev. J. E. Pierce, residing at Baghchejik, near Ismid, traveling peaceably on business, accompanied by three men in his service, was attacked on the highway, at three hours’ journey from Baghchejik, by a band of Circassian brigands, who robbed them and treated them brutally. The malefactors tied them to trees, where they remained until delivered by a Mussulman.

It is in this district that the Rev. Mr. Parsons was cruelly murdered on the 28th of July, 1880, and his assassins, although tried and condemned, one to death, and the other two to fifteen years’ hard labor, are still unpunished.

It is to be believed that if the sentences given against the murderers of Dr. Parsons had been executed, this punishment would have served as a salutary lesson, and would have prevented many other crimes and offenses.

I bring this new circumstance to your excellency’s knowledge with the firm conviction that you will be pleased to have the necessary measures taken for the arrest, trial, and punishment of the criminals, in order to forestall, by a prompt and efficacious example, more dreadful outrages.

I hand you herewith the translation of a letter that I have just received from Mr. Pierce, dated the 3d instant, giving the details of the outrage.

Relying on your excellency’s well-known justice and equity, I beg you to accept, etc.