Mr. Hay to Mr. Straus.

No. 196.]

Sir: The Government of the United States has waited with great patience for the fulfillment by the Government of the Sublime Porte of its obligation to pay the claims of American missionaries for damages inflicted upon the persons and property of American citizens during the Armenian troubles, as well as the claim for indemnity for the murder of Frank Lenz and the gross miscarriage of justice in the failure to punish the guilty parties. The merits and the status of the former claims have been so frequently the subject of consideration and discussion, and the liability is so clearly established on principles of international law, that nothing in that regard remains to be said.

Frank Lenz was slain in May, 1894, and although the governorgeneral of Eezerum, in whose province Lenz met his death, was informed, in September, 1894, by the British consul, R. W. Graves, that Lenz had entered Turkish territory from Persia, near Bayazid, about May 5, 1894, and had not been heard of alive since leaving the village of Chilkani, no serious steps were taken by the Turkish authorities to ascertain his fate until September, 1895. The information gathered by Mr. Graves and evidence collected by Mr. Sachtleben, who came to Eezerum on behalf of the mother of Mr. Lenz in May, 1895, which was supplied to Shakir Pasha, the Imperial commissioner of reforms, pointed to the Kurds of Chilkani as the murderers of Lenz. And although the evidence taken by Shakir Pasha indicated Mustanesseh, the leader of the Kurds, as the instigator or author of the crime, shortly after his arrest the doors of his prison were left open, and on his escape no attempt was made to rearrest him. Finally, on December 27, 1897, Mustanesseh and three Armenians were tried and condemned, under section 174 of the criminal law, to fifteen years’ imprisonment in chains for murder without premeditation, although from the circumstances shown in evidence it is certain that the murder was premeditated. But even this penalty was not actually inflicted, the culprits all being allowed to escape.

It is evident from a review of the history of this case, from the time of the commission of the crime down to the present moment, that only the forms of justice have been observed, the substantial pursuit thereof having been grossly ignored or neglected. You will therefore again energetically urge the payment of all these claims, and the Government of the United States will support you in whatever measures may be necessary to secure their prompt settlement.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.