Mr. Terrell to Mr. Olney.

No. 939.]

Sir: I have the honor to call your attention to the inclosed note just received from Mr. Poche (consular agent at Aleppo), which was in response to an inquiry made by Mr. Riddle when acting as chargé d’affaires, and which shows the imprisonment at Aleppo of certain naturalized citizens of the United States. Yesterday (August 4) I called upon both the Grand Vizier and the foreign minister, and in person presented my written demand for their release, a copy of which is inclosed.

I verbally notified the Porte that I expected a suspension of proceedings against Serkis Havonassian, Hagob Jamogodjian, and Mardiros Simonian, who claimed American citizenship, but possessed no evidence thereof.

The interview resulted in an assurance that the matter will be brought at once, without the usual delay, to the attention of the Sultan, and my demand for compliance with the surrender of the men in accordance with the modus vivendi agreed upon by him personally with me.

That modus vivendi limits the right to expel undesirable persons to those who have been naturalized since 1869 without the Sultan’s consent and prohibits unnecessary imprisonment.

Unless notified before August 8 that the men will be delivered I will renew pressure at the Porte and, if necessary, at the palace.

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
[Page 915]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 939.—Translation.]

Mr. Poche to Mr. Riddle.

Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: On receipt of your telegram of the 6th instant, as follows—

Visit nine Americans in prison, examine their right to American protection, and send report.


I hastened to place myself in communication with the vali, and yesterday, 9th instant, I proceeded to an investigation in the presence of the procureur général, the dragoman of the vali, and the prisoners in question. From an examination of the papers seized by the local authorities it appears that among them are the five following certificates of naturalization: (1) Boghos Chertigian, (2) Nigoghos Vanian, both dated Boston, January 10, 1895; (3) Cenekerian Boujuklian, dated Boston, June 1, 1895; (4) Ephrem Gajarian, dated Boston, January 1, 1895; (5) Setrag Arakelian, dated Boston, June 1, 1895. In addition to their naturalization certificates the above named five persons have passports. (6) Serkis Balian, who has shown me his naturalization certificate, declares that he has lost his passport.

The three other persons—Serkis der Havannessian,Hagob Jamgodjian, and Mardiros Simonian—allege that they have lost their certificates and passports, but furnish the following information in order that their claim to American citizenship may be investigated:

The first of these, Serkis der Havannessian, says that his passport and certificate were delivered to him in Boston, January 10, 1895. The second, Hagob Jamgodjian (a native of Eghin, Turkey), claims that his certificate and passport were given him January 10, in Boston city post-office. The third, Mardiros Simonian, was naturalized in Providence, R. I., and formerly had a passport dated January 17, 1895, No. 17244.

Such, Mr. Chargé d’Affaires, is the information I have in regard to the nationality of these prisoners.

In the course of my conversation with his excellency Raif Pasha, I found out that he had been instructed to begin the trial of these persons and to judge them, no matter what their nationality might be. The vali added that he did not at all approve of the expulsion—pure and simple—of these individuals, as that would be a repetition of the mistake committed in the case of the leaders of the Zeitoun revolt. Raif Pasha’s idea seems to be to punish these persons, who he says have come to stir up disturbances and to excite the subjects of the Sultan to revolt.

Inclosed with this I have the honor to transmit to you the original of the request addressed to me by Boghos Chertigian, who in signing used his pseudonym, Avedis Vartanian.

As you well imagine, the certificates and other papers mentioned above remain in the hands of the procureur général, and will not be delivered to this consular office until orders are sent from the central authority.

Awaiting your instructions, I have, etc.,

Frederic Poche.
[Page 916]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 939.]

Mr. Terrell to Tevfik Pasha.

No. 132.]

Sir: I have learned with astonishment that six naturalized American citizens have for several weeks been confined in prison at Aleppo on a charge of disloyalty to the Imperial Government. Their names are Boghos Ohertigian, Nigoghos Vanian, Cenekerian Boujukliau, Ephrem Gajarian, Setrag Arakelian, and Serkis Balian. All except the last named have American passports.

After the imprisonment in that town last year, and his delivery to me after much delay, of Malcoun Guedjian, it is to be regretted that the local authorities have again disregarded my agreement with His Imperial Majesty, which requires that such men be delivered to me or to a consular officer.

I now demand their immediate surrender to me here, or to the consular agent at Alexandretta, as may be preferred by your excellency.

Receive, excellency, etc.,