Mr. Pratt to Mr. Blaine.

No. 363.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that I have received from Oroomiah, near western Persian frontier, under date of the 25th ultimo, a letter complaining of an assault committed at Gundekta, Tkhoma, Turkish Kurdistan, upon the person of one E. W. McDowell and one John G. Wishard, represented as American citizens peacefully traveling through that region.

Whilst referring the case to the Department in the copy of said communication attached, I have thought it advisable, since the locality mentioned as the scene of the alleged outrage is contiguous, apparently, to Persian territory, to bring the facts to the attention of the Turkish ambassador at Teheran in a note, a copy of which is also respectfully submitted herewith for your consideration.

This course, which I trust will meet with your approval, I adopted in order to afford the official representatives of the Porte an opportunity to investigate the affair of their own accord and properly punish the [Page 646]guilty parties, thereby relieving our Government of the possible necessity of having to resort to the unpleasant expedient of a demand for redress at Constantinople.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 363.]

Mr. McDowell to Mr. Pratt.

Dear Sir: As a citizen of the United States, living and traveling in the East by-permission and under the protection of the same, I beg leave to call your attention to a violation of our rights to safe and unimpeded travel through these countries. Dr. John G. Wishard and the undersigned, E. W. McDowell, while passing through Tkhoma, in Kurdistan, were robbed of our property and had personal violence inflicted upon us.

This was done in daylight in the streets of a village, Gundekta, and the instigator of it was one of the rulers, Malek Baboo, of Tkhoma Gowai, his accomplices being two priests of the village, Kasha Gihjonnis, of Mugrai, and Kasha Yokhonnis, of Gundekta.

They were aided by the people of the village.

This was done without any provocation whatever. On the following day in attempting to pass on our way empty we were again assaulted by the men of Gundekta, stoned, one of us knocked down, our clothing torn from us, and other indignities suffered. We had appealed to the chiefs of this district for protection before passing through the village the second time and placed upon them the responsibility of our safe conduct through their territory. They not only refused protection but in one case, at least, assisted in robbing us. We have abundant and satisfactory proof as to the guilt of these three ring-leaders and of all their confederates. We desire their punishment. This is a serious matter to us, involving much more than the loss of our goods. We do not propose to leave a stone unturned in securing the punishment of these men.

We know that your jurisdiction does not extend to Kurdistan, but we understand that you wish to be kept informed of all matters pertaining to government which affect the interest of American subjects in Persia. If in any way you can assist in bringing these offenders to justice you will have rendered us valuable service, for which we shall be truly grateful.

Very respectfully, yours,

E. W. McDowell.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 363.—Translation.]

Mr. Pratt to Khalil Khalid Bey.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to submit herewith enclosed a translation of a letter which I have received from Oroomiah, dated 25th May, bringing a complaint against the authorities, the inhabitants, and certain priests of the village of Gundekta, in the province of Tkhoma, Kurdistan, for an attack made upon two of my countrymen traveling in these parts. As the unfortunate incident took place in a province of Turkey adjoining the territory of Persia, I thought that in bringing it to your notice you might indicate the simplest and most expeditious manner of obtaining a judgment and bringing the guilty parties to justice.

Confiding in the spirit of justice which has always animated your conduct and the friendship of which you have already given me such repeated proofs, I beg, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.