Microfilm Reel 337, File 2554, "Armenia"

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All the microfilm scans from the file number 2554, "Armenia," on reel 337 from the Executive Office files of the Woodrow Wilson Papers, series 4 in the Library of Congress finding aid.

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September 15, 1915.

Joseph P. Tumulty, Esquire, Secretary to the President, The White House.

Sir:

I herewith enclose a translation of a letter relative to the situation of the Armenians in Asiatic Turkey, received by Lord Bryce and by him transmitted to the Department, through the American Ambassador at London, with the statement that he will be glad to have this letter reach the eyes of the President.

I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, For the Secretary of State:

Alvey A. Adee Second Assistant Secretary. Enclosure:

867.4016/119

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London.

August 24, 1915.

Duplicate. No. 2036.

The Honorable The Secretary of State, Washington.

Sir:

At the request of Lord Bryce, I enclose herewith a translation of a letter which he wishes me to lay before you, and which he will be glad to have reach the eyes of the President—a letter which Lord Bryce has received from Constantinople on the situation of the Armenians in Asiatic Turkey.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant, Walter Hines Page.

Enclosure.

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TRANSLATION [underline]

Letter received from Constantinople on the situation of the Armenians in Asiatic Turkey.

Constantinople, 13 July 1915.

[Lord James Bryce]

Since the 25th. of May last, events have followed in close succession, and the misery of our people is now at a climax.

Besides some rumours regarding the position of the Armenians at Erzeroum, until recently we heard only of the deportation of the inhabitants of some of the towns and villages of Cilicia, but we now learn from a reliable source that the Armenians from all the towns and villages of Cilicia have been deported on masse to the regions of the decert of South Aleppo.

From the 1st of May the population of the town of Erzeroum and a little later that of the province of the same name have been taken to Samsun where they have embarked. The inhabitants of Cesarée, Diarbékir, Ourfa, Trébizonde, Sivas, Kharpout and of the district of Van have been deported to the deserts from Mesopotamia, South of Aleppo, to Moussoul and Bagdad.

"Armenia without the Armenians" is the object of the Ottoman Government.

Already they permit the Musulmen to occupy the land[underline].

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land and the houses abandoned by the Arnenians.

They have not permitted the exiles to take anything whatever with them. Besides in those districts occupied by the military there remains nothing to take away - the military authorities having themselves speedily removed all that they were able to find there.

The exiles will have to travel on foot a distance which will take them one or two months, or even longer, in order to arrive at that portion of the desert assigned to them for their habitation, and which is destined to become their grave. We learn that the roads and the Euphrates are heaped with the bodies of the dead exiles, and those who remain are certain to die soon since in the desert they will find neither houses, work, nor provisions.

It is a project to exterminate the Armenian race entirely without any interference. It is another form of massacre; it is of the most terrible kind.

Remember that the subjects aged from 20 to 45 years of age are at the front; those aged from 45 to 60 years work for the military convoys. As for those who have paid the regulation tax in order to be exempt from military service, they have been exiled or imprisoned under some pretext. Thus there remains only the aged men, the women and the children to deport. These unfortunate people are obliged to travel over country[underline]

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country which, even in times of peace, is known to be dangerous and where one is exposed to robbery and assault. Now that the Turkish bandits, as well the police and the civil officers enjoy absolute liberty, the exiles will undoubtedly be robbed on route and the women and young girls exposed to most dishonorable treatment.

We learn from different quarters of cases of conversions to Islam, the people having no other alternative, it appears, to save their lives.

Court Martials take place everywhere without relaxation.

You have read in the newspapers of the hanging of 20 Hentchakistes at Constantinople. The verdict given against them is not based on any one law of the Empire. The same day twelve Armenians were hanged at Cesárée on the charge of having obeyed instructions which they has received from a meeting clandestinely held at Bucarest by the Trochakistes and the Hentschakistes. Becides these executions, thirty-two persons have been condemned at Cesárée to punishments varying from ten to fifteen years hard labor. These are chiefly honest merchants who have no connection whatever with political parties.

Also twelve Armeniane were hanged at Cilicia. Condemnations are taking place daily. The discovery [underline]of

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