Mr. Wallace to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople, September 19, 1881. (Received October 8.)
Sir: Before presenting to the Porte a demand for the execution of Ali, who, it will be remembered, was sentenced by a Turkish court to death for the murder of Rev. Mr. Parsons, it occurred to me as a prudent preliminary to inquire if the authorities had that personage yet in custody. I am sure you will see the unlikelihood of obtaining concession of the demand if the felon were released, and gone to parts unknown; while if he has been released under a formal pardon the unlikelihood would rise into the impossible. Accordingly, the following note was forwarded and delivered to Assim Pacha, minister of foreign affairs, the day before yesterday:
Constantinople, September 15, 1881.
Excellency: I have the honor to inquire if the sentence pronounced upon Ali, the murderer of Rev. Justin W. Parsons, the American missionary, has been carried into [Page 1189] execution. If not, I beg to know whether the convict is now in confinement; and, if so, where.
I avail myself of this occasion to offer to your excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
His Excellency M. Assim Pacha,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sublime Porte.
If the answer discloses that Ali is still in hand, I shall serve the demand at once; otherwise, the demand for satisfaction must take some other form.
I have, &c.,