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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the forty-seventh Congress, 1880-'81
(1881-1882)

Turkey,   pp. 1173-1190 PDF (7.2 MB)


Page 1190


1190                       FOREIGN     RELATIONS.
                               [Inclosure in No. 22.]
                          Mr. Wallace to A88am Pacha.
                                              UNITED STATES LEGATION,
                                                 Constantinople, October
22, 1881.
  EXCELLENCY: I beg to call your excellency's attention to a matter which,
if further
neglected, may come to be of the gravest moment, if not so already.
  On the 28th day of July, 1880, three Turkish subjects assassinated an American,
the
Rev. Justin W. Parsons, who was at the time returning from a mission of charity
to
his home in Baghchejik.
  With most commendable energy the authorities discovered, pursued, and captured
the felons, and prosecuted them to conviction. On the 8th of October, 1880,
the three
were sentenced, two of them to imprisonment, the other to death. In all the
cases
the judgment was based on the admissions of the accused, of whom, as I am
informed,
those condemned to imprisonment have since died.
  The high authorities of my government, and my countrymen both here and
in
America, were inexpressibly shocked by the atrocity of the murder; and, while
pleased with the disposition of the Ottoman officials shown in the pursuit,
arrest, trial
and sentence of the assassins, they see with astonishment that. though twelve
months
have elapsed since the sentence of death was pronounced against Ali, the
principal
in the murder, the judgment remains unexecuted.
  Moved at last by the representations and appeals made to him on this subject,
the
President of the United States, through his honorable Secretary of State,
has in-
Structed me to demand the immediate execution of the sentence pronounced
against
the living murderer, and to give His Majesty's Government to distinctly comprehend
that no evasions or excuses on its part will be regarded in a friendly light
or as war-
ranting further delay of justice..
  That your excellency may the better understand the intensity of the feeling
upon
this subject, and that no one to whom knowledge of this demand may come shall
be
free to misconstrue the motives that impel it, I submit an extract from the
instruc-
struction mentioned.
  After referring to the murder of Colonel Kummeran, a military attach6 of
the Rus-
sian embassy at Constantinople, who was brutally murdered on the 27th February,
1880, and whose murderer is still alive, I am told:
  "It is intolerable to the sense of right doing of foreign nations
that such lamenta-
ble instances of the miscarriage of justice, amounting to its denial, should
occur in the
case of their citizens in Turkey, and it cannot be any more tolerable to
the Goverment
of the Porte to find its administration of the laws constantly open to the
serious charge
that no Mussulman suffers for any crime, however atrocious; committed against
a
Christian foreigner.
  "The continuance of this state of perversion of the sense of right
and justice in the
administration of the judicial power in Turkey, by practically promising
immunity to
thieves and murderers for any outrage they may perpetrate upon foreigners,
renders the
situation of all these most critical. We have seen that even the regis of
a legation
cannot shield its members from murder, nor the sacred duties of international
inter-
course secure retribution; and it is therefore idle to hope that mere private
citizens,
dwelling often in less frequented parts of the empire, may receive better
protection,
unless the Government of the Sultan signally demonstrates its unwavering
purpose to
vindicate the majesty of its own laws, and do impartial justice alike in
the case of
the native and the stranger within its gates.
  "The time has come when, in the judgment of the President, it is the
duty of the
Turkish Goverment to manifiest this spirit of impartial justice in the instance
afforded
by the dastardly murder of Dr. Pa sons."
      I avail myself, &c.,
                                                          LEW. WALLACE.


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