Mavroyeni Bey to Mr. Gresham.
Imperial Legation of Turkey , January 31, 1895 . (Received January 31.)
Mr. Secretary of State: In response to your excellency’s note of yesterday I have the honor to inform you that I have never written to the Sublime Porte that the Armenians of the United States had solicited from the Federal Government any arms whatsoever. Moreover, had so foolish an application been made, the Federal Government would have known what answer to make to requests as absurd as impossible. Without doubt the inaccuracy of the information transmitted by Mr. Terrell seems to me to have originated in the fact that our vice-consul at New York, Assim Bey, had sent, a short time before, through me to the Sublime Porte, a report in which among other things he said that the Armenians of New York, in agreement with what was besides published in the Armenian newspaper of New York, the Haik, had formed the intention to engage in military drill at New York, and even had hopes of procuring arms for that purpose. From this local news, which did not concern the Federal Government but the authorities of the State of New York, our vice-consul at New York prepared a letter to the authorities in question.
I do not truly comprehend how, from such a communication, transmitted besides by our vice-consul at New York, Mr. Terrell could have concluded that the imperial legation could for an instant have associated the Federal Government in a rumor which, in the very nature of things, could have had nothing to do with this same Federal Government. And the proof that this is so is that I have never spoken to your excellency of a matter which, I repeat, has never existed. Mr. Terrell, therefore, finds himself in the most absolute error. I desire that he may be made aware of my response, and that he may know that I never confound [Page 726] the intrigues and threats of the Armenians in question with the constantly frank and honorable conduct of the American Federal Government. Your excellency has, consequently, good reason to write in your aforesaid note that “your long residence in the United States and your opportunity to know the true relation of this Government toward its own citizens in such matters, incline me to withhold credence from this absurd and impossible statement.” Be pleased, etc.,