No. 918.
Mr. Pratt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 282.]

Sir: I have the honor, in referring to my dispatches Nos. 275, diplomatic series, and 277, diplomatic series, of the 28th August, 1888, and 1st September, 1888, respectively, concerning the alleged Kurdish attack upon the Nestorian Christians on the West Persian frontiers, to herewith submit for your consideration the copy of a letter addressed by Rev. Mr. F. G. Coan at Kochannes to Rev. Dr. J. H. Shedd at Oroomiah, and forwarded by the latter to Rev. S. Lawrence Ward, in this city, who gave it into my hands.

In this connection I beg to state that the “Mar Shimoon” mentioned in Mr. Coan’s letter is the Nestorian patriarch, and that the Maleks are elders of the tribes.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.

Rev. Mr. Coan to Rev. Dr. Shedd.


My Dear Dr. Shedd: Tuesday, August 21, a.m., we came on here to Kochannes. We had heard rumors of trouble down in Tiary, but here got full particulars, and they are sad and terrible. Their import is such that I send Benjamin down immediately as a special messenger to you with the following particulars:

A band of Koords came up by stealth on to the Asheetha zozanee pasture lands. Here were only women with the flocks. They took off 12,000 sheep, outraged and killed all the women, cutting one woman to pieces, and killing, besides, a small child. This is more than man can stand, and so the Tiary people went to see what could be done and found that the Koords, certain of revenge for such an attack, were combining in numerous numbers to completely destroy Tiary. Tkhoma has been warned and Tkhoma with the Apies-Arai Koords are now united with the Tiary people for the defense of their homes. It looks like a gigantic thing, as thousands and thousands [Page 1364] of Koords are gathering for war; it is hut a fulfilling of the plan laid out in the spring.

I read two of the letters sent from Tiary and in both the post people are making an urgent appeal for help, and state that the beginning was by the Koords, and that they are anxious to prevent bloodshed, but will fight when it is necessary.

The Pasha is encamped above here, and to-day the Vali comes. Troops are being collected. All communication with Mosul is cut off by the Koords, so that there is no reliance in them. If Mimrod goes down to Tiary to scatter the people they will only fall an easy prey to the Koords. If there is a fight while he is there, the Government will say he precipitated it, so he is at a loss. Mar Shimoon and Mimrod say that God brought us here just at this crisis when we are greatly needed for advice and for witnesses to the truth. The Government lays the blame upon the Nestorians. We, who happen to know the truth, know how matters be. I can see help in only one way. To appeal to the Government is in vain; to telegraph here by Turkish lines is useless, so I send Benjamin to you as rapidly as possible, begging you, in the name of Mar Shimoon and Mimrod and this Christian people, to telegraph immediately to the consul at Tabreez, asking him to telegraph to Constantinople immediately that other powers interfere in behalf of the Nestorians. Benjamin will arrive Saturday. Write Dr. Holmes and the English consul the particulars and have them do something at once before it is too late.

Mimrod says if an answer or some word can come to the Turkish Government here and at Amadia within six to ten days, ordering them to disperse the Koords, it may save the whole of Kiary, Tkhoma, and the rest. He says he can hold the Nestorians in check if we only can hold back the Government and the Government the Koords. The English consul had better telegraph through Russia, not Turkey. All that is needed is orders from Constantinople to the Government here to interfere and let them know that Christians can not be massacred in the nineteenth century without arousing a Christian world.

I am, fraternally,

T. G. Coan.

Later.—The Maleks Mutron and Shorn Yohannare of Dizare all summoned to Julamuk. Something is brewing, and the opinion is almost universally prevalent that foul play is to be made on Tiary. Authorities at Constantinople must be kept informed fully so as to be able to interfere if a general massacre of the Nestorians is contemplated.

T. G. Coan.

Later.—The party from Gawar have come and the danger is passed for the present. The Vali heard from the telegrams on Sunday and Monday and he took a decided stand, summoned the chiefs of the Koords, at the same time he did those of the Christians or he would be after them. The head of the Kurdish army is Sheikh of Madumu in Susma. He is in that region much as Sheikh Abdullah was in this region. Great gratitude is due to Mr. Abbott and to Mr. Coan.

J. H. Shedd.