Ambassador Meyer to the Secretary of State .

No. 532.]

Sir: In regard to the murder of the United States vice-consul at Batoum, Mr. W. H. Stuart, I now beg leave to inclose for the information of the department, a copy of a letter dated May 22, and its inclosure, from the British consul at that place, reporting the circumstances of the crime.

I have, etc.,

G. von L. Meyer.
[Inclosure 1.]

British Consul Stevens to Ambassador Meyer .

Sir: It was with deep regret that I had to wire you this morning as follows:

“Extremely regret have to report murder of Vice-Consul Stuart last night. Murderers unknown.”

In confirmation of the above, I do not think I can do better than inclose to you a copy of my dispatch of yesterday’s date to the British chargé d’affaires in St. Petersburg relative to the assassination of Vice-Consul Stuart, which is herewith appended.

Mr. Stuart’s loss will be felt throughout the whole of the Caucasus, and many an American citizen will miss the cheery welcome of their late vice-consul at this port.

It has been arranged that the funeral shall take place to-morrow.

I am, etc.,

P. Stevens,
H. B. M.’s Consul.
[Inclosure 2.]

British Consul Stevens to the British Chargé d’Affaires .

Sir: It was my painful duty to telegraph you this morning as follows:

“Owing to murder of British subject and American Vice-Consul Stuart last night shall be unable to proceed Tiflis to-night; shall forward report re case Stock to-morrow or next day.”

[Page 1295]

In confirming the foregoing message I have the honor to report that while Mr. Stuart was proceeding on foot at 10.30 p.m. last night along a secluded part of the road leading to his country residence at Makendjaouri he was fired at three times by some unknown persons who were concealed in the bushes. All three shots took effect, one in the left knee, another just above the left hip, and the third bullet piercing the left arm below the elbow, lodged itself in the region of the heart.

Mr. Stuart was picked up in a dying condition shortly after the occurrence, by a friend who was staying at the villa and by two of his servants, who ran in the direction from which the report of the firing came. He was only able to give a few words of instructions to them and say that he had been shot at by two men.

The body was brought to his town residence about 1.30 a.m., and I immediately roused all the authorities, including the governor, chief of the district, procureur, police, etc., etc., and a searching inquiry was then and there instituted on the spot and is now being carried out.

It is reported this afternoon that two men have been arrested on suspicion as being implicated in the murder, and the general opinion appears to be that these men were paid to assassinate Mr. Stuart, who was respected and beloved by all those whom he knew and all those who had dealings with him.

It is generally supposed that the crime was committed through either envy or revenge, seeing that the small sum of money which he had on him, his watch and chain, and the contents of his pockets were not touched.

I have, etc.,

P. Stevens.