Paris Peace Conf. 874.00/12½

The Chargé in Bulgaria ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of the Commission to Negotiate Peace ( Grew )

My Dear Grew: I beg to enclose herewith a copy of a telegram8 which a number of the missionaries of the American Board, residing in Bulgaria, requested me to telegraph to the President. I did not feel justified in sending a telegram, but informed them that I would transmit their communication to you in Paris in case you should find it possible and proper to bring it to the notice of the President through the proper channels.

In connection with this communication I would point out that all the American missionaries in this country are strongly pro-Bulgarian [Page 249] and strong partisans of Bulgarian territorial ambitions. I understand that during the war they have carried on a considerable propaganda work in the United States, especially with a view to preventing a declaration of war against Bulgaria, and they are now continuing this propaganda in a more intense form in the hope that Bulgarian aspirations for increased territory will receive favorable consideration at the Peace Conference, and especially secure the support of the American delegation. I have been informed on good authority that two American missionaries (one named …) recently left Bulgaria for the United States for propaganda purposes, their expenses being paid by the Bulgarian Government.

The Prime Minister, and the Ministers of War and Finance have all requested me to secure permission from my Government for some of the American missionaries in Bulgaria to go to Paris, officially or un-officially, to place before American and other allied public men Bulgaria’s position and aspirations for increased territory.

One, and the chief reason of the strong pro-Bulgarian sentiment among American missionaries in this country is due to the fact that Bulgaria is the only Balkan state where their efforts have met with any success. In Greece, Servia and Roumania, even if they are permitted to carry on their work at all, they have been entirely unsuccessful in proselytizing. On the contrary the establishment of American missionary schools in Bulgaria has been encouraged and welcomed by the Bulgarian Government and people, and they have met with considerable success in making converts.

This explains the attitude of the American missionaries in Bulgaria, who by carrying on propaganda in favor of that country in the United States, hope to arouse in certain circles a feeling of sympathy which will influence the American members of the peace conference, so that Bulgarian territorial aspirations will receive favorable consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Charles S. Wilson
  1. Not attached to file copy of this letter.