No. 552.
Mr. Pratt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 52.]

Sir: I have the honor to report to you that I have received a letter from Dr. E. W. Alexander, local physician to our missionaries established at Hamadan, complaining that, at the supposed instigation of [Page 917] certain fanatical Jews, one Mohammed Hossein Khan, recently appointed ruler over the Jews and Armenians in that district, was attempting, in an arbitrary manner, to prevent the Armenian and Jewish children from further attending the missionary schools.

A copy of Dr. Alexander’s letter I have the honor to inclose you herewith. You will observe that it has no reference to an attack, direct or indirect, upon our citizens themselves.

Taking this into consideration, and finding no such orders as those referred to by Dr. Alexander among the archives of the legation, I did not feel justified in making the matter the subject of official correspondence with the foreign office, but in the interest of the good work the American missionaries were so zealously engaged in and in order to arrest in its incipiency anything like an organized system of sectarian persecution instituted against them, I deemed it best to see his highness Muchir-in-Doulih, minister of foreign affairs, personally, and after laying the case before him, expressed the hope that he would not allow a subordinate official to pursue a policy so directly opposed, as I was satisfied, to his own and so prejudicial to the well being of such a number of His Majesty’s subjects.

His highness listened most attentively to all I had to say, and not only disclaimed any intention on the part of the Persian authorities to interfere with the teachings on the part of our missionaries of Jewish or Armenian children, but assured me that direct instruction would be sent the said Mohammed Hossein Khan to neither permit nor sanction such proceedings in the future.

His highness further thanked me for representing the case to him as I had done, and said that my endeavors to settle all differences in a conciliatory manner were the best proofs of the friendship of my Government for that of His Majesty the Shah.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.
[Inclosure in No. 52.]

Dr. Alexander to Mr. Pratt.

Dear Sir: I beg leave to address you a few lines. During the past, winter we have lived here in harmony with all around us, the old prince governor being particularly friendly.

However, I must tell you that Mohammed Hossein Khan, sent down here lately by the minister of foreign affairs to rule over the Jews and Armenians, has orders from his master to prevent any one from sending their children to our schools, said orders defaming American missionaries in unsparing terms.

This Hossein Khan, in conversation with our people, says he does not wish to interfere with our work, but he has imperative orders to do so, and if he does not carry them out his enemies here (old fanatical Jews, etc.) will telegraph to the minister of foreign affairs that he is an inefficient ruler and have him removed. He wishes us to write to your excellency and get orders through you from the minister of foreign affairs counteracting his orders, which would release him and allow the children of both Jews and Armenians to continue their studies.

Your excellency may deem it better to wait until some direct move is made against us.

If such a move is made I will inform your excellency by telegraph. I think orders from the minister of foreign affairs sufficient for present emergency will be found recorded in the books of the legation.

I am, etc.,

E. Alexander