Ambassador Reid to the Secretary of State .

No. 205.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter I have received to-day from Mr. R. E. Stuart, a brother of the late Mr. W. H. Stuart, our vice-consul at Batoum, in which it is requested, on behalf of the deceased’s family that should the circumstances of his death be such as reported in the newspapers the American Government should take action to secure the punishment of the offenders and compensation for his family.

I have been unofficially informed that no claim for compensation from the family of Mr. Stuart, who was a British subject, has yet reached the foreign office, but that should one be made His Majesty’s Government would “take it up.” In my acknowledgment of Mr. [Page 1293] R. E. Stuart’s letter, while advising him that I was forwarding his letter to you, I have also suggested to him that this course should be adopted.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Stuart to Ambassador Reid .

Sir: I venture to call your attention to the circumstances as reported in the daily papers under which my brother, Mr. W. H. Stuart, an English subject and your vice-consul, residing at Batoum, Caucasus, Russia, met with his death on Sunday evening the 19th instant. At present no further details appear to be known in England than those which have appeared in the daily papers.

It is clearly a case in which the circumstances should be thoroughly investigated, and if possible the offenders brought to justice, and I can not doubt that you or the proper representative of the United States will take all prompt and effective measures with this object in view. At any rate, on behalf of Mr. Stuart’s family, I shall feel grateful if you could give them some assurance on the subject.

Whether it is a case in which the Russian Government should be asked for compensation is, I think, a matter for serious consideration, because certain members of his family will, in consequence of his death, be deprived of definite financial assistance which he was rendering them, and I think it is right that this question should be submitted to you at an early date.

I know that Mr. P. Stevens, H. B. M. consul at Batoum, was a great friend of my brother’s and will, I am sure, do all that lies in his power in the matter; at the same time if there is anything which can be done by headquarters to strengthen his hands, I should be grateful.

If the Russian Government are incapable, as they apparently are, of maintaining proper order in their country, and of protecting the life of residents therein, I think they should be made to suffer the consequences of their failure to do so, particularly when a blow is struck at the official representative of a friendly nation.

I feel sure that, as the representative of the United States at the port of Batoum, his case will receive at your hands the best consideration and assistance which can possibly be given with the object of insuring that justice shall be done on all sides.

I shall be glad to furnish you with any further information in my power.

I have, etc.,

R. E. Stuart.

[Inclosure 2.]

[Clipping from The Standard, May 22, 1906.]

Mr. Stuart, an Englishman who occupied the post of American vice-consul at Batoum, has been murdered there. Mr. Stuart was a nephew of the late Major Stuart, formerly British consul-general at Odessa.

A Reuter’s Batoum message adds that the murder took place in a villa at 11 o’clock on Sunday night. The murderer escaped.

Mr. William H. Stuart was, according to one of the principals of the Mac-Andrew Forbes Company, of Cannon street, who knew him well, one of the most popular men in the Caucasus. He was gifted as a linguist, and spoke nearly every continental language. Three years ago Mr. Stuart succeeded Mr. Chambers as American vice-consul at Batoum, but he was a British subject, born in England, where his mother and two brothers now live. Just before his appointment as vice-consul he visited this country, and was at the time of his death contemplating another holiday. Mr. Stuart was managing partner in the firm of F. A. Matinevich & Co., and also represented several British firms, the most important of these being the MacAndrew Forbes Company, already mentioned, and which was the first to have tidings of his death. Details are not expected for another ten days.