No. 956.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Wurts.

No. 144]

Sir: I inclose a copy of a dispatch from the United States minister at Teheran, relating to the case of Mr. Easton, an American missionary at Tabriz, whose passport the Russian consul at that place declines to visa.

[Page 1412]

It would seem that Mr. Easton’s object in seeking a visa to his pass port is simply to quit Tabriz by the shorter and more expedition-route passing through Russian territory via the Baku and Batoum road, instead of being compelled to take the longer and more difficult journey through Armenia to Trebizond.

You are instructed to endeavor to obtain the requisite permission for transit for himself and family.

Should Mr. Easton’s object be to reside in Russia, the Department would wish fuller information touching the circumstances of his expulsion from Turkistan by General Skobeleff, during a state of hostilities which it is believed no longer continues.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 144.]

Mr. Pratt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 270.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that having been advised by Her Britannic Majesty’s minister here, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, that he was informed by Mr. William G. Abbott, British consul at Tabriz, that the Russian consul at that point had given notice that, in accordance with instructions from St. Petersburg, he could no longer visa the passports of missionaries of the English church or of priests of the church of Rome under British protection desiring to enter Russia, but that no similar instructions had been given him concerning American missionaries except in regard to the Rev. Mr. Easton, who he observed was positively prohibited entering Russia under any circumstances, I requested Sir Drummond Wolff, at my expense, to inquire by telegraph of Consul Abbott the cause of the special prohibition in the case of Mr. Easton, all Americans at Tabriz and vicinity being, as you know, under the protection Of the local English consular representative.

A copy of the dispatch received by mail, answering the above inquiry and transmitted me to-day by Sir Drummond, I respectfully submit, inclosed, requesting that you will kindly consider its contents and instruct me by cable, should you deem that necessary, what action I am to take in the premises.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 144.]

Mr. Abbott to Sir Drummond Wolff.

Sir: I had this day the honor to receive from your excellency the following telegram:

“Your dispatch No. 8 I have telegraphed as requested. Can you let me know by post, for the United States minister, reasons for individual prohibition mentioned in inclosure four?”

In reply I have further the honor to state that during the Russian campaign against the Turkomans, Mr. Easton repaired to the scene of action, and arriving at Geog Tepé shortly after the capture of that place by General Skobeleff, commenced preaching amongst the Turkomans, but the Russians taking him for an Englishman he was speedily conducted across the frontier.

Since this incident Mr. Easton’s entry into Russia has been prohibited. He has no intention at present of quitting Persia for America, but he has a delicate wife and a large family of small children for whom the journey to Trebizond would be very difficult. If therefore the United States minister could succeed in removing the prohibition in question the Easton family would be deeply grateful.

I have, etc.,

William G. Abbott.