Mr. Wallace to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople, October 20, 1881. (Received November 14.)
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.,