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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88
(1887-1888)

Turkey,   pp. 1079-1132 PDF (25.7 MB)


Page 1080


   1080                       F OREIGN    RELATIONS.
   Lord's Supper to Protestants in that place, and that therefore he begged
the authori.
   ties to permit the holding of the service in a quiet way in the house
rerited by the
   American mission, and occupied for more than a year by the Protestant
preacher. Mr.
   Filian. He added that of course there would be no objection to the presence
of a
   functionary charged with seeing that at the service nothing was done contrary
to
   good order, but that the prohibition of the service without reason did
not accord
   with the laws of the Empire in reference to the freedom of worship.
   Upon the receipt of Dr. Herrick's request the local authorities sent police
to the
   house, with orders to prevent any person from outside the house from access
to it either
   during the service or after it was over.
   The police formed a cordon about the house, and thus held it in a state
of blockade
   during the whole time that Dr. Herrick remained within it, that is to
say, until the
   afternoon of the 9th of August, whenDr. Herrick left the city. Even one
of our book-
   sellers, who chanced to be in the city over the Sabbath, and who needed
to see Dr.
   Herrick on matters connected with his business, was prevented by the police
from
   having access to the house.
   I pass over the insult offered to an American citizen whose papers are
in regular or-
   der, in blockading his house and thus advertising to the people of the
city that the
 governor chooses to regard him as a dangerous character. The serious part
of the in-
 cident is the violation of'the privileges enjoyed by American missionaries
under the
 capitulations :and under the usages of sixty years, of holding religious
service in
 their own houses, and in having free access to native houses, and freedom
to receive
 the calls of native visitors. This privilege has never once been called
in question
 until this occasion since American missionaries came to this country in
1829.
   The ground of the enjoyment of this privilege by American missionaries
is the
 French capitulations of 1740, in their stipulations as to the rights and
privileges of the
 members of religious bodies. The status under the treaties of American missionaries
 has always been regarded as the same as th4at of the French missionaries
and 'Ire-
 ligieux."
   Even in the matter of receiving goods free of duty through the custom-house
the
 American missionaries, as invested with the same religious and benevolent
character,
 have been recognized as having the rights conferred on the French "religieux"
by
 the capitulations.
   In regard to the particular case in hanmd, the treaty provides for the
emergency, per-
 mitting foreign ecclesiastics to exercise the rites of religious worship
in the places
 which-they inhabit, and to receive native visitors without hiuderance.
   The eighty-second clause of the French capitulations of 1740 contains
the follow-
 ing stipulations on this point:
   "The bishops and "IIreligieux" dependent on the Emperor
of France, who are in
 my Empire, will be protected while they keep within the limits of their
condition, and
 no one can prevent them from exercising their rites of worship according
to their
 customs, in the churches which are in their hands, as well as in the other
places
 which they inhabit. And where our tributary (non-Muslim) subjects ani the
French
 go and come, the one to the abode of the other, for purchases, sales, and
other affairs,
 no one can molest them in contravention of the sacred laws on account of
this fre-
 quentation." Furthermore, there is no law of the Empire which authorizes
the in-
 terference of the authorities to prevent the holding of religious worship;
on the con-
 trary the laws and the treaties alike declare the exercise of religious
worship to be
 the privilege of all:
   It is not necessary to urge the calling to account of the governor of
Kastamouni be-
 cause of his wanton outrage upon a precious right in this case. He may have
been
 ignorant of the gravity of his offense. But I would respectfully beg that
you would
kindly request the Sublime Porte to take such measures as it may seem necessary
for
the instruction of the governor of Kastamouni, so that Dr. Herrick or others
of our
number on going to the city again may not be subjected to restrictions and
indigni-
ties such as are put upon foreign missionaries in no other part of tý4
Empire.
      Very respectfully, etc.,
                                                              HENRY 0. DWIGHT.
                                 [Inclosure 2 in No. 257.]
                              21r. King to Mr. Dwight.
                                           LEGATION OF THE UITED STATES,
                                                 Constantinople, October
13, 1886.
  -DEAR SIR: Your communication of l1_i instant has been received, and in
connec-
tion with it I should like some additional rnformation, in order that I may
examine
the ground for action as definitely as may be.
  (1) Is Rev. Nr. Filian an American citizen?


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