Mr. Terrell to Mr. Uhl.

No. 552.]

Sir: Your No. 486, of the 27th ultimo, has been received, and I have the honor to inform you that your telegram of May 20, of which a copy is inclosed, reached the legation before my return. The festivities of Bairam, during which no work is done at the Porte, and recent changes in the ministry have prevented earlier attention to the case of George Webber.

The only fact not already reported, and which is deemed reliable, is that Webber when arrested was making his way on foot to Jerusalem.

The two men who were confined with him in prison when first arrested were, it is believed, Germans. They went to Smyrna when released, and Consul Madden, who was instructed to ascertain their names and residences, reports that they have left Smyrna and that he can ascertain neither.

The small number of European or American Christians residing where Webber was arrested and along the route over which he was taken renders it probable that no further facts regarding Webber’s treatment will be received, except from Turkish sources.

The essential (and I fear the only) facts to be obtained are that Webber, a naturalized American citizen of German origin, was arrested in the interior of Asia Minor, while going on foot to Jerusalem; that he was confined in a dungeon without being charged with any specific offense; that he was taken from it and conveyed in a railway (going on [Page 1270] foot part of the way chained to two suspected Europeans); that had he continued on the railway he would have reached protection in Constantinople; that he was taken from the train and was next seen in Brusa, where we have no diplomatic agent; that he was lifted at Brusa from a wagon, and died the night after his arrival in jail and without medical attendance,

I preferred not to address the Porte on the subject until satisfied that no further facts could be obtained from impartial sources. A copy of my note of this day to the Porte is inclosed.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Inclosure in No. 552.]

Mr. Terrell to Turkhan Pasha.

No. 65.]

Sir: During the past winter an American citizen named George Webber was taken under a Turkish guard to Brusa. On his arrival there he was unable to stand up without assistance, and fell when taken from a wagon. That night he died, without medical attendance, and the next day was buried by Christians. It is known that he was imprisoned at Konia with two European Christians, and it was stated by Turkish officials that he was arrested on suspicion alone. It is also known that when arrested he was walking as a pilgrim to Jerusalem, and after leaving Konia he was marched on foot for a time chained to the two Europeans who were imprisoned with him.

The long delay in addressing your excellency on this subject has been caused by my efforts to procure first every attainable fact relating to Webber’s imprisonment and death.

I now ask that your excellency will be pleased to direct that an inquiry be made by some trustworthy official into the causes for the arrest of that American citizen; the way in which he was treated during his confinement, and the particulars of his illness and death, and that you will at an early day advise me of the result, for the information of the President.

I now also request that your excellency will take immediate measures to prevent the future arrest of American citizens peacefully traveling in the Ottoman Empire. When treaty rights are violated by ignorant and suspicious officials, their punishment becomes a necessity when their Government disapproves their act. In this opinion I feel sure your excellency will concur.

Receive, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.