Mr. Tyler to Mr. Hay.

No. 72.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for your information copy of a letter addressed to the prime minister with reference to the removal from their positions of the governor and the high priest of Urumia and the arrest of the accomplices. These official personages have been closely associated with the murder of the late Mr. Labaree and his servant and the subsequent hesitation and delays which have taken place in the arrest of the murderers and their accomplices.

* * * * * * *

In my interview with the foreign minister, on the 17th, I was assured that the Government was not neglecting any measures that would be likely to attain the object in view.

He told me that every one of my communications had been laid before the Shah, and he showed to me His Majesty’s autograph remarks on the last, in which he said that repeated orders had been sent and that he was then giving further and more imperative commands to have the accomplices arrested.

I told his excellency that there must be an end to these promises without results and excuses devoid of reason or justification, for the United States Government would not understand why, with all the information which had been supplied and the indication of methods which, if adopted, would have insured the arrests, nothing had so far been seriously attempted.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

John Tyler.
[Inclosure.]

Mr. Tyler to the Eyn-ed-Dowlah.

Your Highness: I have the honor to inform you that I have just received from his excellency the Secretary of State a dispatch inclosing certain extracts from letters written from Urumia with reference to the incriminating behavior of Mirza Hussein Aga, the chief ecclesiastic in that city, and instructing me to bring these charges to the notice of His Majesty’s Government.

These letters produce most serious proofs of the complicity of Mirza Hussein Aga in the murder of Mr. Labaree and his servant, and subsequently to the crime giving Mir Ghaffar asylum and protection. He is furthermore accused of speaking and writing with much virulence against foreigners, saying that they must be taught a lesson, especially Doctor Cochran, who gives effective protection to all Christians. He complains that “a great many foreigners have come here and are holding their heads too high.”

Your highness knows as well as I do that the greatest crime that a man can commit against law and society is the taking the life of a fellow-creature, and the instigator to such a deed is equally culpable with the active agent, and deserving of the same punishment.

Mirza Hussein Aga, by inciting to the murder of a person who was neither a brawler nor a preacher of sedition, nor had in any way caused him the least [Page 673]trouble or annoyance, has brought himself into a position with the lowest and most debased of mankind. And it must be admitted that such an act can not, either by the laws of humanity, of religion, or of the state be justified or disregarded. The superiority in social or official position gives no special privilege for the commission of crime, but, on the contrary, rather serves to accentuate a deeper degree of guilt.

The Secretary of State, in transmitting these convincing evidences of the culpability of this personage, has given instructions that I shall, in bringing them to the notice of the Persian Government, ask for a reply to be transmitted as soon as possible for his information.

On the 2d of August, on the occasion of my interview, in company with the English minister, with your highness, the influence exerted by Mirza Hussein Aga, in preventing the arrest of the accomplices of Mir Ghaffar was pressed upon your attention, and the necessity for his removal was urgently and strongly insisted upon. In reply you stated that he had not committed any fault, and was therefore free from blame.

It is, however, the opinion of every reasonable person that the inciting to murden and the provoking to acts of aggression against peacable people under the protection of the Government are among offenses the greatest known to the law.

I have, therefore, to request that you will take immediate measures to have this person removed before he commit crimes greater than these.

I have, etc.,

John Tyler.