Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Wallace.
Washington, January 7, 1882.
Sir: Adverting to the paragraph in the President’s recent message to Congress touching the insecurity of life and property in Turkey, I have now to transmit for your information a copy of a letter from the secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, of the 13th ultimo, respecting the reported action of the Turkish Government in rejecting the good offices of British consuls in the behalf of our citizens.
Alluding to the uniform courtesy of diplomatic intercourse which permits consuls of friendly powers to exert good offices in the interest of strangers whose country maintains no consular representatives in regions where such offices are be to availed of, I desire to observe that we are naturally anxious to learn what channel of protection will be available for our citizens in those regions, in view of the Turkish Government having withdrawn its courteous recognition of British good offices in behalf of Americans in places where we have no consular officers. The labors of American missionaries in the domains of the Porte, and their exemplary self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of suffering humanity of whatever creed in times of pestilence and famine, entitle them, it is believed, to the respect and gratitude of the Turkish Government and to the consideration of our own government and people in a peculiar degree. This government has been so often assured of the friendliness of the Porte in respect to our citzens in Turkey that we cannot permit ourselves to doubt that it will continue to be shown in this exigency.
You will accordingly bring this subject to the attention of the minister for foreign affairs and report the result of your application to the Department for its information.
I am, &c.,