No. 549.
Mr. Pratt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 23.]

Sir: In my dispatch No. 22, diplomatic series of the 17th January, I had the honor to give notice that the Shah had granted the concession for the erection of a hospital here under the direction of Dr. W. W. [Page 915] Torrence, missionary physician of the American Presbyterin Board, and now beg to report more fully on the subject. In the summer of 1885, the late prime minister offered Dr. Torrence a decoration and about $1,000 on account of medical services rendered. As Dr. Torrence was then vice-consul-general of the United States at Teheran, he declined the decoration and money, saying that he was thankful for this expression on the part of the first man in the state, bat he would prefer his giving a site of land for the erection of a hospital where all classes could receive medical and surgical treatment. Early in October of the same year, in an audience had with the prime minister, his excellency offered 10,000 square zaurs or about 11,500 square yards, in any one of three localities that Dr. Torrence might designate.

As usual in Persia, the carrying forward of this plan was left to a relative of the p:rime minister’s, who had instructions to make out all necessary papers and close the matter.

In the mean time the prime minister died. His death was a serious blow to the hospital enterprise. Yet, in spite of opposition of various sorts, through the kindness of his excellency Emin l’Doulat, minister of posts and of the Fake l’Mulk, member of the imperial council of state, the affair has at last been satisfactorily arranged.

The hospital as planned will be able to accommodate eighty to one hundred patients, but will begin with six to eight only. The plan is executed by Mr. Ernest Turner, of London, who is understood to have had a large experience in this line. According to the conditions the construction of the hospital, life management, etc., is left entirely to Dr. Torrence, who, from his reputation here and the standing he occupies, both among Christians and Mussulmen, is, I feel, particularly well qualified for the undertaking.

This institution is to be opened to all, irrespective of caste, nationality, or religion.

The site will embrace an area of about 24,000 square yards, upon which it is hoped to erect a plain but substantial building this coming summer.

For the hospital a sum of nearly $4,000 has already been received from Madam W. H. Ferrey, of Lake Forest, Ill., which has been increased by the Presbyterian Board to $5,000.

As the site has to be paid for, walls, buildings, and baths erected, it will be seen at once that the amount in hand is altogether inadequate for the purpose. Since the enterprise is a most worthy one, I thought the Department of State might see proper to bring it to the attention of the American public, and thus lead to its promotion through assistance from home.

I have, etc.

E. Spencer Pratt.