No. 1077.
Mr. Straus to Mr. Bayard.

No. 69.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 21st instant I returned to my post after an absence of six weeks and three days.

I visited Cairo, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Beirut, Messina, and Smyrna, and conferred with our consuls in these several districts, also with the governors and governors-general of the respective vilayets in the Empire. I desire to acknowledge the universal courtesy I met with on the part of these officials, and to express my satisfaction as to the very pleasant relations existing between them and our consuls.

[Page 1582]

While at Cairo his highness, the Khedive, showed me every possible courtesy.

I had so arranged my trip that I might be at Beirut at about the time the order for the re-opening of the schools of the American Presbyterian Board of Missions in the vilayets of Syria and Beirut was to go into effect. I am gratified to report that fifteen of said schools had been re-opened in anticipation of my arrival, and that orders were received from the Porte for the immediate re-opening of five additional schools in the Syrian vilayet the day I left Beirut, namely, April 4. These are pretty much all, if not the entire number, that the missionaries care to re-open at this time. Such was my understanding of their wishes when the waited on me in a body, while at Beirut, to express their gratification upon the result.

I make this preliminary report as to schools to inform the Department, at the earliest possible time after my return, of the result in general terms. A more detailed report will be made when I receive the consuls’ official statements, should it appear to be necessary.

I desire in this connection to commend the zeal, tact, and energy shown by Mr. Bissinger, our consul at Beirut, and to testify to the valuable aid he afforded in the accomplishment of the result.

I have, etc.,

O. S. Straus.