Mr. Wallace to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople, November 23, 1881. (Received Dec. 13.)
Sir: When, after addressing the demand to the Porte for the execution of Ali, the murderer of Rev. Mr. Parsons (see dispatch No. 22, October 22), I set about preparing a paper to cover the further instructions in your dispatch No. 3, I could find nothing on file touching eight cases of robbery, &c., of missionaries in His Majesty’s dominions. Only five cases seemed to have been reported, including the matter of Rev. Mr. Knapp, which has to do with a purchase of real property, and is, as I am now informed, pendente lite on appeal to some superior court.
On this I requested Mr. Bliss, of Constantinople, who seems to be the active agent of the American missionaries in general, to send me a statement of all cases of the kind in his knowledge. To-day Mr. Pettibone replies for Mr. Bliss. A copy of his letter is inclosed herewith.
Of the cases reported by Mr. Pettibone, Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 5 were never communicated to the legation. There being no particulars about them at hand, it is not possible for me to decide if they are cases proper for presentation and demand under your instructions.
Of the others—No. 4, Rev. J. W. Parsons—the case is in form of a demand for the execution of Ali, the murderer. In an interview had yesterday the minister of foreign affairs assured me I would have answer about the execution in a few days—probably to-morrow. He gave me no indication of the purport of the reply.
No. 6. Rev. Mr. Barnum is also concluded. The victim got back his property and the robbers are reported to have been all killed.
No. 8. Rev. Mr. Pierce is also at an end. Five of the robbers escaped for want of identification on the trial. Two of them were convicted and sentenced to hard labor in prison.
Mr. Pettibone at my instance has kindly undertaken to write to Mr. [Page 495]Pierce to know if he wants return of the property taken from him; if so, to furnish me with an itemized statement of it,
No. 7. Rev. Mr. Montgomery is the only case really remaining without disposition. As to it, I am informed that the robbers have been arrested. Through Mr. Pettibone, I have sent for a statement from Mr. Montgomery himself as to the present status of the affair, including a statement of the property taken from him, with its value, without which it is not possible to make demand for compensation. When that comes to hand I shall present it according to instructions.
Let me add that an examination of the records of the legation satisfies me, not merely that my predecessors, including Mr. Heap, as chargé d’affaires, are exonerated from the charge of indifference in connection with the foregoing cases of outrage, but that they are entitled to the greatest credit. Mr. Pettibone, in behalf of his brethren here, is about to write to Mr. Clark, at Boston, to that effect.
I have, &c.,