File No. 4960/69–72.

Ambassador Leishman to the Secretary of State.

[Extract.]
No. 277.]

Sir: With further reference to my several dispatches on the subject of the customs increase and the settlement of our pending questions thereby effected, I have the honor to transmit to you the copies of the embassy’s recent notes to the Porte in regard to these matters.

The assurances contained in the Porte’s note of the 3d instant were not put into immediate execution. Certain delays occurred. Before acknowledging the note I therefore deemed it wise to await the carrying out of the different measures. The news that this had been done came in slowly from the various places affected. On the 15th instant I had the pleasure of informing the department with regard to the extension of customs immunities to our missions in Syria. More recently I have been apprized by our consular agent at Salonica that similar orders had been received in that city, while from Talas-Cesarea our missionaries have just notified me that they have begun work on their new buildings.

There was another point to consider. The Porte’s note of the 3d instant was not altogether explicit.

Under these circumstances the better course appeared for the embassy itself to interpret the Porte’s note, and to transmit such interpretation to the minister for foreign affairs, informing him at the [Page 1058] same time that should no exception be taken thereto within a period of one week from the note’s reception, it would consider that the meaning it had attached was the correct one. In so doing (see inclosure No. 1), I took the liberty of stating to the Porte that I was acting under the directions of my Government, which was very anxious to be enlightened on several points. I trust that this action may commend itself to your approval.

The note in question as interpreted by the embassy ought to serve as a ground for the maintenance of our rights on an equal footing with those of the most favored nation both with regard to our missions and to our commerce. For in connection with the entry of cotton-seed oil I inserted the words that “no discrimination will be exercised to the prejudice of any American product.” It should further make manifest that together with the Great European powers which enjoy the ancient capitulations, we too have a right to be consulted in the event of any alteration of existing conditions as well as in settling what the new conditions are to be.

To this note was appended what I officially called “a revised copy of the list of 1903 of American institutions established in the Ottoman Empire.” The department will remember the circumstances which attended the filing of the list of 1903. This list had been compiled without the then légation being in a position to verify it.

I therefore caused a new one to be prepared, which I am glad to say has been approved by Mr. Peet, the treasurer of the American Mission Boards. This list includes some 20 new institutions, established since the filing of the original one. It further condenses the first list to about 140, by grouping together several establishments wherever these exist in one locality and often in one compound.

On May 27, a week having elapsed since the transmission of my previous note to the Porte interpreting their regulations of our pending questions, I addressed a new dispatch to the minister for foreign affairs (inclosure No. 2), informing him of the pleasure it was for me to be able to notify the Department of State that the views of our two Governments were in such perfect accord, and intimating that as soon as the remaining points were disposed of my Government would give its friendly attention to the consideration of the Porte’s note requesting our adhesion to the customs increase.

I have, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.
[Inclosure 1.]

Ambassador Leishman to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note which your excellency has had the kindness to address to me under date of May 3, numbered 68775, reaffirming the imperial decree issued in 1904 recognizing the legal standing of existing American religious, educational, and charitable institutions established in the Ottoman Empire, as indicated in the list filed with the Sublime Porte in February, 1903. I am especially pleased to note the renewed assurances your excellency has been good enough to give me by order of His Imperial Majesty that such institutions will participate in the same rights, privileges, exemptions, and immunities enjoyed by similar institutions under the protection of the most favored nation.

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In furtherance of this it is agreeable for me to learn from your excellency that the imperial orders have been given to the competent departments to make the desired correction in tenure of title of properties owned and occupied by such institutions upon presentation of the proper title deeds, and that whenever such deeds of American properties may be presented to the Sublime Porte, the correction of the registers from the name of the individual hitherto holding them in trust to that of the institution in question will at once be effected. In order, however, to avoid any future misunderstanding with reference to the institutions intended to be embraced in the present settlement, I have the honor to annex hereto a revised copy of the list of 1903 of American institutions established in the Ottoman Empire whose legal existence and rights enjoyed by other similar religious, educational, and charitable institutions the embassy understands has, by imperial decree, been officially recognized.

I am also pleased to learn from your excellency that the imperial orders have been sent to the local officials of the vilayet of Angora, instructing them to refrain from offering any further interference in the construction of the new buildings intended for the use of the American mission at Talas-Cesarea, for which permission was obtained in accordance with established practice, and further that instructions have been sent to the customs authorities in Syria and Salonica to recognize the right of American institutions established in these districts to receive, the same as is everywhere else the case in the Ottoman Empire, like immunities as are enjoyed by those of other nations.

I am further pleased to learn from your excellency that the department of indirect contributions has been instructed to apply the coloring matter mentioned in the new regulations in connection with cotton-seed oil only in case of impure oil, such as is used for manufacturing purposes. This the embassy understands to be a practical removal of the discriminations complained of in its note of February 26, 1907, and that hereafter cotton-seed oil will be freely admitted into the Ottoman Empire under the same conditions as other vegetable oils, and that in fulfillment of our treaty rights no discrimination will be exercised to the prejudice of any American product.

The embassy also understands that by virtue of an imperial decree imperative orders have been issued to the proper departments to at once take the necessary steps to execute the agreement regarding the question of inheritance of American citizens as evidenced in the note of the Sublime Porte under date of October 5, 1903, No. 54634/27.

In conclusion, I have the honor to beg your excellency to kindly inform me if the interpretation given by the embassy to the note of the Sublime Porte has in any way failed to correspond with your excellency’s intentions, as my Government desires to be enlightened on this point. Should I fail to hear from you within the next week regarding this, I will take pleasure in informing my Government that I have been fortunate enough to correctly interpret your excellency’s thoughts.

I take, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.
[Inclosure 2.]

list of american religious, educational, and charitable institutions established in the ottoman empire.

American College in Beirut, commonly known as the “Syrian Protestant College.”

American College in Roumelie Hissar, Constantinople, commonly known as “Robert College.”

American Bible House, Stamboul, Constantinople.

American School of Archaeology at Jerusalem.

American College for Girls, Scutari, Constantinople.

American mission at Talas-Cesarea (girls’ school, hospital, and dispensary).

Kindergarten, Boys’ School (residences).

American College at Tarsus (residences).

American mission at Salonica (church and residence).

American Agricultural and Industrial Institute at Salonica.

American mission at Van (boys’ school, girls’ school, hospital, and dispensary, chapel, residences, orphanage).

American mission at Adana (girls’ school, residences).

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American mission at Smyrna (American college, collegiate institute, for girls, church, residences, kindergarten, school).

American mission at Marash (theological seminary, girls’ college, residences, orphanage).

American mission at Sivas (girls’ school, boys’ school, chapel, school, residences, orphanage).

American mission at Trebizond (school, residences).

American mission at Mardin (hospital and dispensary, theological seminary, girls’ school, boys’ school, residences).

American mission at Sis (girls’ boarding school, residence, school, chapel).

American mission at Hadjin (industrial school, boys’ school, girls’ school, residences, orphanage).

American mission at Ak-Hissar (school and chapel).

American mission at Magnesia (school and chapel).

American mission at Endemish (school and chapel).

American mission at Aintab (Central Turkey College, girls’ school, three primary schools, hospital, residences, orphanage).

American mission at Aleppo (church and school).

American mission at Antioch, (church and school).

American mission at Beylan (church and school).

American mission at Betias (church and school).

American mission at Geraish (church and school).

American mission at Jibbin (church and school).

American mission at Kessab (girls’ school, residences).

American mission at Ourfa (school and chapel, orphanage, residence).

American mission at Bitlis (girls’ school, orphanage, residence).

American mission at Derdevank (school for boys and girls).

American mission at Mogounk (school for boys and girls).

American mission at Moush (two schools for boys and girls).

American mission at Toukh (school for boys and girls).

American mission at Erzeroum (two schools for boys and girls, hospital and dispensary, residence, orphanage).

American mission at Broussa (girls’ boarding school and orphanage, residences, chapel).

American mission at Baghtchedjik (boys’ school, orphanage, residences).

American mission at Harput (American College, chapel, theological seminary, orphanage, hospital and dispensary, residences).

American mission at Bourdour (school and chapel).

American mission at Mar so van (American College, girls’ school, industrial school, theological seminary, orphanage, hospital and dispensary, residences).

American mission at Gurun (school and chapel, orphanage).

American mission at Tokat (chapels and school, residences).

American mission at Guedic Pasha, Constantinople (school).

American mission at Monastir (girls’ school, orphange, residence).

American mission at Biledjik (residence and chapel).

American mission at Pandemia (residence and chapel).

American mission at Midyat (residences).

American mission at Beirut (girls’ school, press and book depository, church, theological seminary, cemetery, three common schools, residences).

American mission at Sid on (academy and industrial school, girls’ seminary, high school, church and school, six common schools, residences).

American mission at Tripoli (girls’ seminary, chapel, boys’ boarding school, two common schools).

American mission at Tripoli el Mina (hospital, church and manse, school).

American mission at Suk-Ul-Gharb (boys’ boarding school, church, residence, two schools).

American mission at Abeih (boys’ high school, residence and manse, church and girls’ school, two schools).

American mission at Shweir (dispensary, boys’ boarding school, residence, church, school and manse, three schools).

American mission at Miyah Wa Miyah (orphanage, industrial farm, school).

American mission at Ma’am Altain (hospital and dispensary, school).

American mission at Hasbeya (church, manse and school, common school).

American mission at Rasheyet el Fokhar (church and school, common school).

American mission at Baalbek (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Deir el Gazelle (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Ras Baalbek (school and manse, common school).

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American mission at Muallaket Zahleh (church and school, common school).

American mission at Aitanith (school, common school).

American mission at Jedeitha (church and two schools).

American mission at Meshghara (school, two common schools).

American mission at Sughbin (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Kob-Elias (manse, two common schools).

American mission at Ain Kunyer (church and manse, common school).

American mission at Mejdel Shems (school and manse, two common schools).

American mission at Mahardeh (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Hums (church, school and manse, four common schools).

American mission at Fairouzi (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Judeidah (church, manse, school, high school for girls, residence, four common schools).

American mission at Deir Minas (church, manse and school, two common schools).

American mission at Ibl-es-Soki (church and school, common school).

American mission at Ul-Khiyam (church, manse, and school, common school).

American mission at Khirbeh (school).

American mission at Alma (church, school and manse, common school).

American mission at Khareibeh (school, common school).

American mission at Beino (church and manse, common school).

American mission at Minyara (church and school).

American mission at Sheikh Muhammed (church, manse, school).

American mission at Burj Safita (church and manse, two common schools).

American mission at El Yazidieh (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Ghurzuz (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Magcloosheh (school and manse, common school).

American mission at Mejdaluna (church, common school).

American mission at Jun (church and manse).

American mission at Aleih (church, two common schools).

American mission at Aramoon (church, common school).

American mission at Ain Zehaltah (church and school, common school).

American mission at Bhamdun (church).

American mission at Deir-el-Kamar (church and two schools, two common schools).

American mission at Dibbiyeh (school and manse, common school). American mission at Shemlan (church).

American mission at Zahleh (church, school, manse, residence, three common schools).

American mission at Kufeir (common school).

American mission at Housh Barada (common school).

American mission at Kefr Zebad (common school). American mission at Shlifa (common school).

American mission at Tulya (two common schools.)

American mission at Karaoun (two common schools).

American mission at Hama (two common schools).

American mission at Im Doulab (common school).

American mission at Dibl (common school).

American mission at El-Bussa (common school).

American mission at Beit Shebat (common school).

American mission at Bterram (common school).

American mission at Enfeh (two common schools).

American mission at Jezzin (common school).

American mission at Berta (common school).

American mission at Salhiyeh (common school).

American mission at Kaituly (common school).

American mission at Kurayyeh (common school).

American mission at Jemaliyeh (common school).

American mission at Komatiyeh (common school).

American mission at Ain Ainub (two common schools).

American mission at Baaklin (two common schools).

American mission at Ghareefeh (common school).

American mission at Metulleh (common school).

American mission at Bshamun (common school).

American mission at Deir Kobel (common school).

American mission at Rishmaya (two common schools).

American mission at Shweifat (two common schools).

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American mission at Ain Sindianeh (common school).

American mission at Khunshareh (common school).

American mission at Kefr Akab (common school).

American mission at Hadeth (common school).

American mission at Latakia (boys’ boarding school, girls’ boarding school, church, hospital, and dispensary).

American mission at Mersine (boys’ boarding school).

American mission at Suweidiyeh (boys’ school, girls’ school).

American mission at Bahamra (school and manse).

American mission at Jendairia (preaching place).

American mission at Gunamia (school).

American mission at Tartas (school).

American mission at Ramallah (girls’ boarding school, boys’ boarding school, school, four common schools).

American mission at Tayyibeh (common school).

American mission at Jena (common school).

American mission at Ain Areek (common school).

American mission at Jerusalem (school).

[Inclosure 3.]

Ambassador Leishman to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to inform your excellency of the pleasure it gives me to be able to report to the Department of State that the views of our two Governments, as conveyed to the embassy in the Sublime Porte’s note No. 68775, of the 3d instant, and as acknowledged in the embassy’s note No. 893 of the 17th instant, are in such perfect accord, and that His Imperial Majesty’s orders have been sent to the competent departments throughout the Empire. I hope your excellency will before long enable me to inform my Government with regard to the final regulation of the question referred to in my note No. 871 of the 8th ultimo. I also trust sincerely that the Sublime Porte will not delay to give a satisfactory solution which will relieve me from the necessity of informing the Department of State of the unpleasant incident at Konia referred to in my No. 894 of the 18th instant. I need not assure your excellency how agreeable it will then be for me to find myself able to report to Washington that no further obstacles stand in the way of my Government’s devoting its friendly attention to the consideration of the Porte’s note No. 68780/73 of the 3d instant.

I take, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.