No. 725.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Blaine.

No. 22.]

Sir: Referring to your dispatch No. 3, dated June 29 last, I have the honor to inform you that having, on the 17th instant, in an interview with His Excellency Assim Pacha, minister of foreign affairs, been verbally assured that Ali, the murderer of Rev. Justin W. Parsons, was still in custody, I forwarded to his excellency a communication demanding the execution of the sentence of death pronounced against the said Ali quite twelve months ago. A copy of this communication is inclosed herewith.

In the dispatch No. 3 you were pleased to direct me “at the same time to present the cases of the American citizens lately robbed while traveling in Turkey, and demand that the most earnest efforts be made to seek out and punish the authors of these outrages,” &c. I must apologize for not making those cases apart of the demand against Ali, or even presenting them in another paper of the same date. The effect of that course would have been, as I viewed it, to furnish his excellency a plausible excuse for delaying an answer touching the execution of the murderer for an indefinite period to come. Accepting my narration of the several robberies as a ground of proceeding, it seemed probable, if the worthy minister pursued his usual course, that they would be severally put through a series of investigations under reference here and there; and the demand against Ali being in the same communication, he would be able to say, often as I pressed it, that he had as yet no report, &c. For this reason it seemed to me best to let at least a week intervene between the demands.

One of the cases of robbery has meantime been disposed of. I mean that of Rev. Mr. Pierce. Day before yesterday the trial was had, resulting in the acquittal of five of them for failure of identification and the conviction of two of them, followed by sentence of condemnation to five years’ imprisonment at hard labor.

I have not seen Mr. Pierce since, but am informed he expresses himself satisfied. An effort will be made to recover the property taken from him; if it is not returned I will have a statement of the effects taken made out, and push for restitution in money to their full value.

The affair of the cavass appears to be perfectly settled.

I have, &c.,

[Page 1190]
[Inclosure in No. 22.]

Mr. Wallace to Assim Pacha.

Excellency: I beg to call your excellency’s attention to a matter which, if further neglected, may come to be of the gravest moment, if not so already.

On the 28th day of July, 1880, three Turkish subjects assassinated an American, the Rev. Justin W. Parsons, who was at the time returning from a mission of charity to his home in Baghchejik.

With most commendable energy the authorities discovered, pursued, and captured the felons, and prosecuted them to conviction. On the 8th of October, 1880, the three were sentenced, two of them to imprisonment, the other to death. In all the cases the judgment was based on the admissions of the accused, of whom, as I am informed, those condemned to imprisonment have since died.

The high authorities of my government, and my countrymen both here and in America, were inexpressibly shocked by the atrocity of the murder; and, while pleased with the disposition of the Ottoman officials shown in the pursuit, arrest, trial and sentence of the assassins, they see with astonishment that, though twelve months have elapsed since the sentence of death was pronounced against Ali, the principal in the murder, the judgment remains unexecuted.

Moved at last by the representations and appeals made to him on this subject, the President of the United States, through his honorable Secretary of State, has instructed me to demand the immediate execution of the sentence pronounced against the living murderer, and to give His Majesty’s Government to distinctly comprehend that no evasions or excuses on its part will be regarded in a friendly light or as warranting further delay of justice.

That your excellency may the better understand the intensity of the feeling upon this subject, and that no one to whom knowledge of this demand may come shall be free to misconstrue the motives that impel it, I submit an extract from the instrucstruction mentioned.

After referring to the murder of Colonel Kummeran, a military attaché of the Russian embassy at Constantinople, who was brutally murdered on the 27th February, 1880, and whose murderer is still alive, I am told:

“It is intolerable to the sense of right doing of foreign nations that such lamentable instances of the miscarriage of justice, amounting to its denial, should occur in the case of their citizens in Turkey, and it cannot be any more tolerable to the Goverment of the Porte to find its administration of the laws constantly open to the serious charge that no Mussulman suffers for any crime, however atrocious, committed against a Christian foreigner.

“The continuance of this state of perversion of the sense of right and justice in the administration of the judicial power in Turkey, by practically promising immunity to thieves and murderers for any outrage they may perpetrate upon foreigners, renders the situation of all these most critical. We have seen that even the aegis of a legation cannot shield its members from murder, nor the sacred duties of international intercourse secure retribution; and it is therefore idle to hope that mere private citizens, dwelling often in less frequented parts of the empire, may receive better protection, unless the Government of the Sultan signally demonstrates its unwavering purpose to vindicate the majesty of its own laws, and do impartial justice alike in the case of the native and the stranger within its gates.

“The time has come when, in the judgment of the President, it is the duty of the Turkish Goverment to manifest this spirit of impartial justice in the instance afforded by the dastardly murder of Dr. Pasons.”

I avail myself, &c.,