Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Constantinople, September 28, 1882. (Received October 19.)
Sir: I beg to send you herewith papers of great concern to Mr. Alexander Sidi, a citizen of the United States, residing in Smyrna.
The first is a copy of a dispatch from Mr. Griffith, United States vice and acting consul at Smyrna, directed to Consul-General Heap and by the latter referred to me, stating, amongst other things, that Mr. Sidi owns in Smyrna certain real property which the authorities refuse to transfer either in his name or in that of his sons, who are native [Page 810]born Americans, and that lie (Mr. Sidi) begs the legation to press his claim upon the Porte, in order that the transfer may be made and his property relieved of danger.
Along with Mr. Griffith’s dispatch I send you other papers essential to the subject, amongst them a letter from Mr. Sidi himself.
After some study I concluded to address a communication to the Sublime Porte in Mr. Sidi’s behalf, a copy of which you will please find inclosed. As you will see, the request pertinent to that gentleman is broadly generalized into a demand applicable to all other persons of Ottoman birth who may hereafter become naturalized citizens of the United States. Curiously enough the clause of the article in President Grant’s proclamation acceptive of the Turkish protocol concerning the enjoyment of real property by foreigners, upon which my demand for the special law in question was based, does not seem to have authority anywhere in the protocol. I beg to present the point for your particular examination, since it is but reasonable to anticipate that it will be returned to me as reply to my demand.
I have not consulted the Department before presenting this matter to the Porte, partly because I feel confident that the President will be pleased to manifest his regard for the rights of citizens so peculiarly imperiled, and partly because there will be ample time for me to receive from you such views and instructions as you may think necessary for my Government.
I have, &c.,