Mr. Terrell to Mr. Olney.

No. 585.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for your information the copy of dispatch No. 118, of the 20th ultimo, from Consul Jewett in regard to the imprisonment of Krekor Arakelian at Marsovan, and in which Mr. Jewett exxuesses his fear that a massacre of Christians may occur. I also inclose my response to Mr. Jewett’s dispatch. Missionaries, and Mr. Jewett as well, have been so often mistaken about an impending massacre as to justify the hope that Consul Jewett’s apprehensions may be groundless.

I will, however, renew my demand at the Porte for the adoption of all proper precautionary measures.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 585.]

Mr. Jewett to Mr. Short.

No. 118.]

Sir: I have not yet received the telegram and letter which Krekor Arakelian sent me about July 3 and 7 in regard to his imprisonment. I suppose he is still in prison. The Government has not yet reported to me in regard to the matter.

I feel that my position is a very weak one in regard to this affair, as I made no protest to the Government in regard to the imprisonment and reported ill-treatment of an American citizen. I am awaiting instructions.

I am told that Arakelian went to America with his parents when a small boy, and that his parents are citizens of the United States and still reside there.

I regard the present situation as a very critical one for Christians in [Page 1297] the provinces. I think an outbreak of hostilities between Mohammedans and Armenians may be apprehended. The Armenians are getting more bold and desperate; the Turks are getting more morose. Everything is quiet here, but there is a feeling of extreme tension on all sides. The Turks are carrying arms more than ever. Sivas, Karahis-san, and Zarra have recently received powder from the military depot at Erzinghan, and it is being sold freely to theKoords and Turks, but none to the Christians.

At Marsovan July 13 an extensive fire occurred, burning, it is reported, a new Government school building, the house of the kaimakam, 30 houses, 20 shops, and 3 khans. The fire originated in the school building, and was discovered an hour or two after the kaimakam and other officials had left the building. The son of the watchman was burned to death in the school building.

An Armenian, regarded as a “traitor,” was assassinated at Marsovan on the morning following the fire. Numerous Armenians have been arrested. The Turks say the Armenians set the fire. It is reported that they have met in the mosques and discussed the advisability of a general massacre of the Christians. There is a great feeling of insecurity both at Marsovan and Amasia.

I am, etc.,

M. A. Jewett.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 585.]

Mr. Terrell to Mr. Short.

No. 109.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Jewett’s 118, of the 20th ultimo, inclosed in your 143, of the 29th ultimo, which relates to the imprisonment of Krekor Arakelian, and in which he expresses the opinion that his position “is a very weak one,” since he has made no protest against the imprisonment and ill treatment of an American citizen.

Mr. Jewett’s conduct in not demanding to know the charges against Arakelian and demanding his release (if not arrested for conspiracy against the Government) can only be explained on the theory that he has failed to understand his instructions. He may have been misled by your predecessor. You will renew the call upon Mr. Jewett, which you were formerly instructed to make, for the instructions which restrain him from extending his protection to naturalized citizens of the United States of Armenian origin. Inform him that no citizen of that class is ever permitted to remain in prison here; that the release of all such men is promptly demanded and as promptly made, though Turkey, under the authority of the President’s message, is permitted to exclude or deport those recently naturalized without the consent of the Sultan.

Mr. Jewett should also be instructed that Turkey can not treat the naturalization of a native of Turkey as an offense, and either imprison him for that cause or on mere suspicion that he has committed an offense. The threatening condition of affairs at Marsovan and in other provinces, to which Mr. Jewett refers, only emphasizes the necessity for caution and prudence on the part of Americans. The unjust suspicion pervades all classes that missionaries are responsible for the spirit of sedition, and that the popular prejudice against Turkey in England and America is due to missionary influence.

[Page 1298]

While this opinion prevails there will be always danger of a fanatical outbreak. Against violence to our people from any cause the Turkish Government has repeatedly assured me that it had abundantly provided.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.