Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham.

No. 61.]

Sir: I beg leave to transmit for your information copies of two letters I have quite recently received from the Rev. James W. Hawkes, an American missionary stationed at Hamadan, asking me to use my good offices with the Government here to procure from the Shah permission to rent premises and open a school for the benefit of the Jews and Christians in the town of Kermanshah, a city a little more than midway between here and Bagdad.

I also inclose a copy and translation of my letter to the prime minister on this subject, to which there has yet scarcely been time for a reply.

I have, etc.,

Alex. McDonald.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 61.]

Mr. Hawkes to Mr. McDonald.

Dear Sir: In reply to a request from a number of Jews of this city several times preferred in writing, and at the expressed desire of the Christians residing here, my wife and I are here for the purpose of starting a school for their children. On my second visit to his excellency the Ameer-i-Nizam, governor of this province, he informed me that his Government is not willing we should establish a school here without first obtaining, through you, permission from the central Government at Teheran.

Being ignorant that such a permission would be required, I did not take the precaution to arm myself with said document before coming down. Now I will be greatly obliged if you will make request in my name, from the prime minister, for the necessary papers to meet the case. Should it be demanded, I have no objection to restricting the attendance of Moslem pupils to such as shall first obtain permission of their own Government.

Hoping for a favorable answer,

I remain, etc.,

Jas. W. Hawkes.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 61.]

Mr. Hawkes to Mr. McDonald.

Dear Sir: We have been here six weeks and all our efforts to rent a house for the winter were ineffectual. Finally we succeeded in effecting the lease of the house of Mirza Ahad, Scrishtadar of the custom house, for a term of three years in consideration of 50 tomans per year, one-half cash down and the other half to be used in repairing the property next summer. I send you herewith the papers pertaining to this lease.

[Page 487]

Now the said Mirza Ahad affirms he has sold the house and wishes us to vacate. I tell him I will do so when the lease has expired. Will you kindly obtain a line or two from the central Government establishing us in our rights in this case, since I understand the governor here, his excellency the Ameer-i-Nizam, is not likely to sustain us without authority from the capital.

Hoping for a favorable reply,

I remain, etc.,

Jas. W. Hawkes.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 61.]

Mr. McDonald to the Sadi Azam.

Your Highness: The Rev. James W. Hawkes, an American missionary, residing in Hamadan, having received several very pressing invitations from the Jews and Christians in Kermanshah to visit that city and open a school for the education of their children, has now, accompanied by his wife, been in Kermanshah for about six weeks, making inquiries into the condition and wants of the children of these people, and he has come to the conclusion that a school would be a great benefit and advantage to them.

Mr. Hawkes is now prepared to accede to the desire of these religious bodies, and will undertake to provide the necessary funds and means for the equipment and maintenance of the school; and he has asked me to bring this matter to the notice of your highness, and on his part most respectfully request that you will have the kindness to obtain His Imperial Majesty’s gracious permission and sanction to rent suitable premises, and to open the school.

Your highness will so readily admit that this is a most useful work in satisfaction of a great need, that it is not, on my own part, necessary to urge any plea on behalf of this proposal of Mr. Hawkes, but I feel confident that I am justified in saying that the privilege, now asked for by Mr. Hawkes, when granted will in no sense be abused.

Permit me to renew, etc.,

Alex. McDonald.