to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople , May 11, 1881. (Received June 4.)
Sir: I called on the minister for foreign affairs on the 9th instant, and and spoke to him about the robbery of the Rev. Mr. Pierce, of Baghchejik, near Ismid, on the 30th ultimo, by a band of eight Circassian brigands, report of which I had the honor to make to the Department on the 5th instant in my number 6.
His excellency assured me that as soon as my note of the 5th instant was received he had communicated it to the prefect of Stamboul, who is the governor of the district, and that, orders were immediately sent for the search and arrest of the robbers.
I took this occasion to ask his excellency if he could inform me when the sentence rendered by the criminal court of appeal on Ali, the murderer of the Rev. Dr. Parsons on the 28th of July last, would be carried into execution; adding that had this sentence been duly carried out it would probably have had a salutary effect in the district, and that I feared that the inertness of the authorities in repressing and punishing crime was calculated to render the lives and property of Americans residing [Page 1181] in Turkey insecure. I mentioned several assaults on Americans in the interior, which had occurred within the last year or two, none of which had received redress.
His excellency replied that Ali would, he thought, be executed, but that this depended on the will of the Sultan, whose royal prerogative it is to approve the sentence of death, or to commute it, or to pardon the prisoner.
I remarked that we did not for a moment question the right of His Majesty to exercise his prerogative. We only asked for a decision of some kind, and if the assassin of two unresisting men was considered deserving of a mitigation of the sentence passed on him by the highest Turkish tribunal, or even of a pardon, it should be declared without delay.
I repeat now what I said from the first in this case, that the execution of a Mahometan for the murder of one or more infidels will not be tolerated. Ali will remain in prison until he dies or escapes.
I am, &c.,