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The books were presented as required, and the governor-general gave decision against the re-opening of the schools on the ground that he could not allow American citizens to open schools in this district.

Since these schools have been carried on by Americans for many years without complaint against them it is hoped that their continuance may be perunitted by the Imperial Government.

Mr. Straus to Mr. Blaine.

No. 187.)


Constantinople, March 28, 1889. (Received April 13.) SIR: On the 14th instant I received through the consul-general here two dispatches from our consul at Beirut, under date of March 4 and 5, reporting that the American missionaries in Beirut and Syria were in great consternation in that the Caima Kam or mayor of Baalbek, in the vilayet of Damascus, had taken action to close the American mis. sion schools within his district, namely, in the towns of Ras Baalbek, Tulia, Shelifa, Beit-Sbama, Deir-ul Ghazal, Rusaya, and Burdei. He further reported that the local authorities bad closed one of the American schools in the vilage of Istubigo, near Latakia, in the vilayet of Beirut.

The local authorities claimed that they were acting under stringent orders from the governors-general of their respective provinces. That the grounds for their action were two: First, because these schools had not received a permit from the local authorities, and second, because the managers of said schools declined to stipulate to exclude Moslem children. Rev. Mr. Ford, the manager of the schools referred to, reports that the governor.general of Damascus stated that it was not sufficient for the schools to have complied with the school regulations, but this must be supplemented according to the terms of recent official orders from the Sublime Porte that “no Moslem pupils shall be allowed in any Protestant school, and therefore the managers must give a written pledge to admit no Moslem pupils before any schools can be sanctioned.

As to the first objection, the managers of said schools state they have long since complied with their part of the regulations, namely, they submitted (a) certificates of teachers, (b) list of text-books, and (c) curriculum of studies, but that the local authorities had neglected to issue the permit for such schools as provided by the regulations.

As to the second objection, the managers declined to enter into the stipulation not to admit Moslem children.

I decided, upon the receipt of the foregoing information, not to delay action until what appeared to be well founded tears on the part of the missionaries might be realized, but to meet the issue at once. Accordingly, on the 16th instant, I had'a conference with the Grand Vizier. The matter was fully discussed. I explained to him that I could not assent to the right of the Porte to impose a stipulation upon American schools pot to admit Moslem children; that aside from the fact that such an act would render the schools instruments of intolerance, I denied the right of the Ottoman Government to impose such a condition. I confined myself to the line of argument outlined in my memorandum concerning the rights of schools, inclosed with my dispatch No. 47 of December 27, 1887.

The Grand Vizier seemed fully to concur with me, and there and then telegraphed to the governors general of Damascus and Beirut to re-open

the schools at Istubigo and not to interfere with any American schools in their respective provinces, but to refer complaints, if any, to him.

On the same day I telegraphed Mr. Bissinger, our consul at Beirat, advising him of the instructions given by the Grand Vizier. I am now in receipt of a dispatch from Mr. Bissinger of the 20th instant, of which a copy is inclosed, whereby it will be seen that the school at Istubigo, above referred to, has been re-opened and that the Grand Vizier's orders have been promptly obeyed. This will doubtless prevent any further interference as feared by the missionaries on the part of the local authorities with the schools in the said vilayets.

I anticipate that the school referred to in the inclosed dispatch at Ain Burdhei will also be re-opened. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure in No. 187.)

Mr. Bissinger to Mr. Pringle.

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Beirut, March 20, 1889. Sir: I have the honor to report as the result of the honorable Mr. Straus' telegram dated Constantinople, the 16th instant, as follows:

“Grand Vizir instructed valis Beyrouth, Damascus not to disturb American schools to reopen one closed, complaints to be sent to him."

That the muchir, in his capacity as acting vali of Beirut, has promptly issued orders to the mutessarif of Latakia to allow the reopening of the recently suppressed American mission school at Istubigo.

The prompt and efficient action of the honorable minister in securing this most gratifying result for the Latakia mission school is now also invoked for the "Ain Burdhei" school, in the vilayet of Syria, closed in November, 1888 (see last part of dispatch No. 183 of March 4, 1889), as, if permitted to remain closed, it is apprebended that our apparent inaction may be interpreted as indifference on the part of the representatives of our Government to the interests of the mission and encourage the caimakam of Baalbek to renewed aggressions and obstructions.

The mission associates itself with this consulate in tendering sincere acknowledgements to their respected minister. I am, etc.,


Mr. Straus to Mr. Blaine.

No. 191.)


Constantinople, April 20, 1889. (Received May 6.) SIR : Referring to the subject matter of the Department's instructions Nos. 74, 107, 111, 140, 154, 108, etc., respecting the restrictions attempted to be placed upon foreign Jews resorting to Palestine, I inclose here. with for your information a copy of a memorial from the Jerushalaim Lodge of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith at Jerusalem.

From this memorial it appears that the action taken by this legation under the Department's instruction, and by the English and French embassies, as reported in my dispatches Nos. 80 and 85, respectively, of May 19 and 28, 1888, has had the desired effect in removing such restrictions.

The original memorial is elaborately engrossed in gold and rubric and written in English and Hebrew. Considerable allowance must be made for the extravagant language in which the memorial is couched, after the manner of the East.

I have sent a reply to the memoralists, stating in substance that I was gratified to learn that the restrictions had been rescinded, and that the action I had taken in the matter was in pursuance of and in strict compliance with the Department's instructions to protect American citizens abroad in their rights and privileges as such irrespective of race and creed. I have, etc.,


[Inclosure in No. 191.---Translation.)

Memorial from Jerushalaim Lodge of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. HONORABLE SIR: Deeply touched by feelings of gratitude for your generous exertions on behalf of our Russian brethren, who, in consequence of dire persecutions, were seeking a refuge in this country, the Jerushalaim Lodge of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, at their meeting of the 2d instant, unanimously and enthusiastically resolved to tender you these expressions of their feelings.

The efficient way in discharging your official duties of the high post you fill will secure you forever the admiration and gratitude not only of your countrymen but also of the Jewish nation throughout the universe. For, if we can boast of merchant princes and renowned names in the fields of arts and science, you, honorable sir, aro the first who shed glory upon the Jewish name as a statesmau.

It will always be remembered with deep satisfaction in the annals of the Jewish history that a man, chosen by the enlightened Government of the great American Republic to represent her important interests at the Sublime Porte, never forgot his suffering brethren. You not only came to Jorusalem, accompanied by your noble lady, to pay homage to the sacred memories of our glorious past, but having become acquainted with the restrictive measures taken against foreign Jewish emigrants, you used all your influence with your colleagues and with the well-intentioned Turkish Government, and succeeded in having the exceptional law repealed. It is to you that we owe no more to witness the heartrending scenes of the unhappy emigrants being mercilessly driven from our shores, and therefore our lodge only follows the commands of simple duty in expressing to you their appreciation of your noble deeds and their lasting esteem and gratitude. Jerushalaim Lodge of the Tudependent Order of B'nai B'rith.

Dr. JIERSBERG, President.
EPHRAIN Coun, Vice-President.
BEN ZENUDA, Secretary.

Mr. Straus to Mr. Blaine,

No. 194.)


Constantinople, May 10, 1889. (Received May 25.) Sir: I have the honor to report that on the 11th of July, 1888, the president of Robert College under instructions, received by him from the trustees of said institution in New York, filed an application in this legation to obtain the necessary permission from the Ottoman Government for the erection of the following additional buildings on the premises now occupied by the college at Roumeli Hissar on the Bosphorus, that is to say:

First. For the erection of an additional school building to contain chemical and physical laboratories and lecture rooms, museum of natural history, geological and mineralogical collections, library, and hall for the public exercises of the college. Dimensions, 100 feet by 50 feet, 2 stories high.

Second. For the erection of a dwelling-house for the president of the college within the inclosure of the college grounds. Dimensions, 50 feet square, 2 storius high.

Upon examining the original iradé for the erection of the college and the Ottoman laws regulating the construction of buildings it was found necessary to apply for an iradé. It was necessary also to file specifications and plans, which was accordingly done.

The application being thus in form, passed through the various bureaus and office provided by law, and was finally submitted to the council of states and the council of ministers. The matter was carefully followed through all these stages by our dragoman, Mr. Gargiulo, and was finally transmitted by the Porte to His Majesty the Sultan.

On the 6th instant the Sultan's iradé was issued and the necessary formal papers or firman in pursuance thereof will be delivered to the college authorities in the course of a few days. I have, etc.,


Mr. Straus to Mr. Blaine.

No. 195.)


Constantinople, May 18, 1889. (Received Jane 3.) SIR: I have the honor to bring to the attention of the Department the following state of facts concerning the refusal of the Ottoman Government to recognize the American citizenship of Meimaraghlou Yorghi, naturalized under the name of George Meimar:

On the 31st January last the Sublime Porte addressed a noteverbale to this legation informing it that, in a suit pending at Smyrna against the said Meimar as defendant, wherein an Ottoman subject, Kapédjioglou, is plamtiff, the said Meimar set up the plea that he was an American citizen. The Sublime Porte requested the legation to instruct its consul at Smyrna not to interfere in the matter, alleging that the said Meimar is an Ottoman subject, and that he has never legally divested himself of his nationality of origin; that while it is true that the said Meimar had gone to America and remained there for a num. ber of years, he had never complied with the requirements of the Ottoman law relating to foreign nationality.

The further facts in the case are set forth i the dispatch of our consul, Mr. Emmet, to the consul-general, No. 90, of March 22, 1889, a copy of which is inclosed.

On the 4th April last, after I received the above dispatch of Mr. Emmet, I replied to the Porte, stating that Meimar is an American citizen,

I duly naturalized as such, and that therefore the action of the consul was approved by the legation, and it was hoped that, these facts appearing, the ministry of foreign affairs would instruct the authorities at Smyrna to recognize Meimar as an American citizen and accord him the rights appertaining thereto. To this answer and request the Porte made no reply; but in the mean time the court at Smyrna, to wit, March 6 last, gave judgment for the plaintiff against the defendants above named for the sum of £1,400 Turkish, the amount claimed, with interest, overruling the plea of Meimar's attorney as to the American nationality of his client. In this connection I would state that Meimar in his interview with me said that he has no property out of which the judgment can be satisfied, but that his father, co-defendant, has property. He further stated that if the Ottoman authorities could be made to recognize his American citizenship the judgment would be vacated and the plaintiff would have to begin his action anew,

This is correct, as a foreign subject has to be sued through the intervention of his consul in the mixed tribunal. In the mean time, of course, his father could, if he wished, dispose of his property. Having received no reply from the Porte to my note above mentioned, I asked for one; the minister of foreign affairs stated (verbally) that under the Ottoman nationality law of 1869 no Ottoman subject has the right to change his nationality unless with the consent of the Sultan; that said Meimar had not applied for nor obtained such consent, and that therefore he approved the decision of the court at Smyrna.

The minister of foreign affairs further stated that the Ottoman Government after long negotiations had finally consented to the treaty of naturalization proposed by our Government, with the purpose and object of avoiding the discussions and conflicts arising from disputed nationality, and that until such treaty is accepted his Government felt bound to give validity to its laws within its territory.

In this connection I have the honor to refer you to Secretary Bayard's instruction No. 30, of July 26, 1887, in reply to Mr. King's dispatch No. 323, of May 14, 1887, setting forth a number of cases of disputed nationality. Awaiting your instructions in this matter, I have, etc.,


[Inclosure in No. 195.)

Mr. Emmet to Mr. Pringle.


Smyrna, March 22, 1889. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your No. 85, bearing date 15th instant, with inclosures from Hon. 0. S. Strans, No. 124, dated February 4, and noteverbale daled January 31 from Sublime Porte in reference to my action in protecting Mr. Meimar.

The facts of the case are as follows:

Mr. Meimaroglou Yorghi, born an Ottoman subject, left Smyrna some years ago and resided in the United States, where he became naturalized on June 28, 1888. Being summoned in great haste to attend the death-bed of his mother, he returned to Smyrna in October last without a passport, but bearing the certificate of his naturalization all in due form. Prior to his departure for America he had been in business here, and was a bankrupt when he left the country.

One of the first things to occur upon his return was the commencement of a suit to settle an outstanding claim. Mr. George Meimar (as named in his naturalization certificate) appeared at this consulate and demanded protection as an American citizen. My answer to him was that although his certificate was in proper form I doubted whether he would be recognized as an American citizen by the local authorities, inasmuch as he had left Turkey after the passage of the law of 1869 and had not obtained an imperial iradé permitting him to change his nationality; that his change of nationality did not prevent his creditors from suing for claims which existed bofore he left bere, and that the only form of protection I could afford him would be to insist upon the presence of the consulate dragoman and a delegate to take part at the trial of his snit.

These privileges were demanded at the court, but denied when the case was called for trial, on the ground that Mr. Meimar was an Ottoman subject and not entitled to the protection of this consulate. The trial was postponed. This same view was taken by the secretary of foreign affairs and communicated to me, against which I urgently protested and claimed the right to protect Mr. Moimar by virtue of the papers hela by him establishing his American citizenship.

What has become of Mr. Meimar or his case, I am unable to state, as he has not appeared at the consulate for more than a month. His stay in Turkey was to be a short one, and for that reason perhaps the local authorities desire to bave undisputed con. trol over him.

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