Mr. Terrell to Mr. Olney.

No. 669.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a statement of the case of Creecor Arakelian, with a memorandum furnished in July last by the Rev. H. O. Dwight.

The release of the man being accomplished, I did not forward it, but do so now that you may be in possession of this paper, should a demand for indemnity be contemplated.

The pressure upon my time at this juncture of affairs here will, I hope, excuse me from copying.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 669.]

The case of Creecor Arakelian, imprisoned at Marsovan, District of Amasia, Province of Sivas.

Creecor Arakelian is a naturalized citizen of the United States, domiciled at Fresno, Cal., where his father resides. He went to Marsovan in August, 1892, at the wish of his father, to study Armenian literature in Anatolia College, and has been a student in the college since that date. On his arrival at the college he was quite illiterate, being hardly able to write his own name. His progress in study was very slow, owing to a lack of natural aptitude, and in April, 1895, it was decided that he should leave the college this year and return to his home in California. Since that time he has been waiting for a money remittance from his father to pay his traveling expenses.

In June, having received the remittance for which he was waiting, Arakelian prepared to leave for the United States, and took out a Turkish traveling permit for the purpose.

On the 1st of July a prominent man of Marsovan, Garabed Agha Kouyoumijou, was assassinated by members of the Armenian revolutionary party (see accompanying note for details). Upon this the Ottoman authorities arrested all persons living near the scene of the murder and all young men whose antecedents were not well known to the Government. Among the persons thus arrested was Creecor Arakelian. It is denied that his American citizenship has anything to do with the arrest, which is merely a precautionary measure, there being no charge and no ground of suspicion against him save that he is a young man.

There is no taint of seditious connection or conspiracy in this man and no reason why he should not be allowed to carry out his plan of returning to his home in California.

The above statement was orally made to me by Professor Hagofrian, of Marsovan.

H. O. Dwight.

[Page 1300]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 669.]

The recent murder at Marsovan.

Garabed Agha Kouyoumijou is a leading member of the Protestant community at Marsovan. He has rendered himself obnoxious to the Armenian revolutionary party by throwing his influence against their efforts to stir the people to sedition. For this he has been warned that he would be killed, but he has been inclined to make light of the warning. On the 1st of July Garabed Agha went to the Protestant church about 5 o’clock in the morning to attend early morning service, The door was not yet open, and Garabed Agha was waiting in the street by the door when two men came up and engaged him in conversation. While one of these men was talking with him, the other moved around behind him and suddenly struck him in the back with a dirk. Garabed Agha cried out and turned upon his assailant, when the other man plunged a dirk into his abdomen. This blow brought him to the ground, and the assassins continued to stab him until his body was pierced with 15 terrible wounds. The assassins then fled. They had done their work so quickly that no one had come up the street, while the people of the neighboring houses who heard the cries of the victim and looked out of their windows did not realize what was taking place until the men had run away.

The police at once arrested all the people in the neighboring houses, and all young men whom they met in the streets. About eighty men and forty women were thus arrested and lodged in prison. Among those arrested were the Protestant pastor, Kirmajian, and the sexton of the Protestant church, and a naturalized American citizen named Arakelian.

The moutessarif of Amasia, Bekir Pasha, at once came to Marsovan on learning of this crime. He summoned the leading Armenians before him and addressed them, urging them to aid him in finding the real criminals—that is to say, those who procured the murder. The Pasha at first spoke kindly, then menacingly, warning the Armenians that by such crimes they could obtain nothing from the Government, would alienate the sympathies of Europe, and could not secure their object of creating another Sassoun massacre, since the Mohammedan population has been warned of their design and of the necessity to thwart it by patient endurance of wrong. Finding that the Armenians remained deaf to all entreaty and argument, persistently replying that they knew nothing, the Pasha threatened them with extermination, reading what appeared to be a telegram of His Highness Said Pasha, in which the moutessarif was ordered to “take any measures deemed necessary,” leaving the responsibility of his acts upon the grand vizier.

The situation at Marsovan is extremely critical, owing to the sudden reappearance there of the revolutionist party. The revolutionists have been encouraged to do their work by the apparent abandonment of the reform scheme by England, This has discouraged the people, has led evil-disposed Ottoman officials to threaten to make it worse for the Armenians than if England had not acted, and has thus left the people an easy prey to the revolutionist propaganda.

The headquarters of the revolutionists in that district are at or near Amasia. The notorious Shemavan, a Russian Armenian, already twice arrested for crimes of violence in connection with the revolutionary movement and twice released through the Russian embassy at Constantinople has again appeared at Amasia and is directing the movements of the revolutionists.

A number of persons have been marked for destruction by the revolutionists, among them two American and two Armenian professors of Anatolia College.

The governor of Amasia, Bekir Pasha, has shown great energy and the will to protect the college and the men whose lives are threatened; but the ability of any Government official to cope with this secret and unprincipled organization is somewhat doubtful.