No. 430.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 362.]

Sir: In the affair of Messrs. Knapp and Reynolds, I have the honor to report some advance toward an end.

The Sublime Porte has been induced at last to dismiss the governor [Page 559] of Bitlis. That you may be able to form an opinion as to how far that is likely to forward the business, I take the liberty of inclosing a copy of a letter received yesterday from Mr. Knapp. For my part, I fear the step comes too late to give hopes of the punishment of Moussa Bey.

The new governor may have the best intentions, and may go out fully energized by orders, and yet fail.

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Very respectfully,

[Inclosure in No. 362.]

Mr. Knapp to Mr. Wallace.

My Dear Sir: I received 7th instant your unexpected letter of 20th ultimo, in which you speak of having changed the demand from the Imperial Government, in relation to Moussa Bey, to one of money. Allow me to inquire whether this is an unconditional demand.

Suppose the officials here choose to deliver up Moussa Bey, shall you insist upon the payment of the indemnification notwithstanding?

On the day your letter arrived, I was told that several days previous our governor-general received two most inexorable orders from the minister of foreign affairs to attend to this matter at once; but that he laid by the papers, affecting no concern; about it. I have received a letter from Dr. Reynolds, of Van, of February 26th, in which he states he was the day before cited by the officials to answer some questions with reference to this case, which were sent, they said, from Bitlis. He referred them to Mr. Eyres, Her Britanic Majesty’s consul, as his representative.

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I am now credibly informed that, on October 22, the day I identified Moussa Bey as the assailant, his father, Meza Bey, was in town, and that he paid the officials a bribe of £200 (T.), and the result was that his son was allowed to return home; that subsequently to this, on hearing that the affair was still being followed up, he resolved to take £400 (T.) in cash, and sixty botmans (1,000 pounds) of butter and bring here, with a few friends as mediators, present me in person the above, kiss my hand, and secure my forgiveness; but that, when he arrived here with his money, the voli and other officials, hearing of his intention, persuaded him to desist, which he did, they assuring him that nothing more would come of it.

I am furthermore informed—I cannot vouch for its accuracy—that on October 22, when Mussa Bey was brought before me, and I then stated, “That is the man,” the scribe wrote, “This resembles the man.” Be this as it may, it is certainly in keeping with what is really being done to thwart justice.

I sincerely hope that you will be able to secure the sum demanded, for I am sure the recovery of it will have a greater moral effect than the imprisonment of the assailants in comparison, for life is held of little account among the twenty or more Kurdish clans in this vilayet.

Meanwhile, what are we to do in regard to the future? I am informed that there were over a dozen murders, mostly for money, say nothing of the many wounded and robbed, in this vicinity last summer. If there shall continue the same degree of anarchy here as last summer, I fear we shall not be wholly without apprehension about our personal safety.

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I send to-day a copy of your letter to Dr. Reynolds.

Thanking you for your noble efforts in our behalf,

I am, &c.,