to Mr. Straus
Washington , June 18, 1887.
Sir: I inclose for your information copies of correspondence mentioned below, lately exchanged between the representatives of the American Bible Society at New York and this Department concerning the unjust treatment of their agents, and the obstacles constantly interposed to the sale and circulation of the imprint of the Bible, published [Page 1116] in Turkey by the authorities thereof. These appear fully set forth in the printed letter of the Bev. Isaac G. Bliss, the society’s agent at Constantinople, one of the inclosures herewith.
While I think it desirable to bring these matters to your knowledge, I deem it necessary to do but little more in the way of an instruction for your guidance than to refer you to my No. 7, of April 20, 1887, wherein are discussed the rights of our citizens in the Ottoman dominions who are peaceably pursuing their vocations and violating none of its ordinances.
That instruction, and those of a kindred nature, to your predecessors, of which there are a number among your legation’s archives, as well as your own observations, will, I doubt not, have convinced you that the cause of the missionaries and their beneficent labors in Turkish territory is a fruitful source of trouble and complaint because of the absence of stringent and firm measures, as a rule, when complaint is made to check a repetition, not only of petty annoyances, but greater offenses.
Your presence on the spot, however, makes you the better judge of the merits of these complaints and how they can best be dealt with successfully, and gives assurance that whatever can be accomplished for the protection of the interests and the rights of American missionaries will be done.
I am, etc.,