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Title: Around the Black Sea - Asia Minor, Armenia, Caucasus, Circassia, Daghestan, the Crimea, Roumania
Author: Curtis, William Eleroy
Language: English
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AROUND THE BLACK SEA


A complete map of the Black Sea and surrounding
country will be found affixed to the inside of
the back cover of this book.


AROUND THE BLACK SEA

Asia Minor, Armenia, Caucasus, Circassia
Daghestan, the Crimea
Roumania

by

WILLIAM ELEROY CURTIS

Author of “Turkestan: the Heart of Asia”
“Between the Andes and the Ocean”
“Today in Syria and Palestine”
“Modern India,” etc., etc.


[Illustration]



Hodder & Stoughton
New York
George H. Doran Company

Copyright, 1911,
By George H. Doran Company



           THIS VOLUME IS COMPOSED OF NEWSPAPER LETTERS
           WRITTEN DURING THE SUMMER AND AUTUMN OF 1910
              AND IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO THE
                        MEMORY OF THE LATE
                        CORNELIUS McAULIFF,
           MANAGING EDITOR OF THE CHICAGO RECORD-HERALD



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

      I  Cruising in the Black Sea                                     3

     II  The Ancient City of Trebizond                                29

    III  Railway Concessions in Turkey                                60

     IV  The Caucasus                                                 85

      V  The City of Tiflis                                          105

     VI  Mount Ararat and the Oldest Town in the World               129

    VII  The Armenians and Their Persecutions                        154

   VIII  The Massacres of 1909                                       168

     IX  The Results of American Missions                            185

      X  The Caspian Oil Fields                                      214

     XI  Daghestan and its Ancient Peoples                           228

    XII  The Circassians and the Cossacks                            252

   XIII  The Crimea                                                  265

    XIV  Sevastopol and Balaklava                                    292

     XV  Florence Nightingale and Her Work                           313

    XVI  Odessa, the Capital of Southern Russia                      325

   XVII  The Kingdom of Roumania                                     348

  XVIII  The New Régime in Turkey                                    379

    XIX  The Emancipation of Turkish Women                           411

     XX  Robert College and Other American Schools                   430



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                    PAGE

  Map of the Black Sea                             _Opposite title page_

  A Turk of Trebizond                                                 10

  Coffee peddler on our steamer                                       10

  Group of Lazis, Armenia, ready for a dance                          53

  The city of Batoum                                                  56

  A Georgian beauty                                                   88

  A Georgian prince and his sons                                      88

  Head dress of a Georgian lady                                       94

  The native costume of Georgia                                       94

  Section of the road in Dariel Pass                                  95

  A Georgian gentleman and wife                                      100

  A Georgian peasant                                                 100

  Principal club at Tiflis                                           106

  Floating flour mill, Tiflis                                        110

  A Georgian cavalier                                                114

  Palace of the viceroy, Tiflis                                      120

  Patriarch of the Georgian Church, Tiflis                           126

  A Georgian prince                                                  126

  Mount Ararat                                                       131

  Nakhikheban, founded by Noah on the slope of Ararat,
    the oldest town in the world                                     142

  Entrance to the monastery of Etchmiadzin, Armenia                  155

  Kibitkas of the nomadic tribes                                     160

  Persian quarter, Baku                                              213

  A mosque of Baku                                                   213

  Temple of the fire worshippers near Baku                           216

  Domes of the Persian section of Baku                               224

  Prince Schamyl; “The Lion of Daghestan,” and his sons              228

  City Hall, of Vladicaucasus                                        249

  Type of the old-fashioned Circassian                               252

  A Circassian gentleman                                             257

  Type of Circassian beauty                                          257

  Gateway to Aloupka Palace, Crimea                                  266

  Villa of the Czar at livadia, Crimea                               284

  Villa at Livadia in which Alexander III. died                      290

  Grafskaya Pristan, Monumental Landing, Sevastopol                  294

  Memorial Church, Sevastopol                                        294

  The village of Balaklava                                           304

  Chamber of Commerce, Odessa                                        328

  Municipal Opera House, Odessa                                      332

  View of the Bosphorus; ancient castle of Mohammed
    the Great in foreground                                          392

  Robert College, on the Bosphorus                                   432



AROUND THE BLACK SEA



CHAPTER I

CRUISING IN THE BLACK SEA


There are several lines of steamers on the Black Sea, sailing under
the Turkish, Greek, Russian, German, French, Austrian, and Italian
flags. The steamers of the North German Lloyd Company, which sail
from Genoa and Naples, through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus,
are best, but they visit only the ports on the northern coast. The
Austrian Lloyd steamers, which come from Trieste, are second best,
and we were fortunate in obtaining cabins on the _Euterpe_, which is
old-fashioned, but comfortable. The captain is an Italian of Trieste,
who speaks English well, as do two of the under officers; the steward
is thoughtful and attentive and the cook is beyond criticism.

The passengers were a perfect babel, representing all the races and
speaking all the tongues of the East, with several Europeans mixed in,
each wearing his own peculiar costume. There were Turks of all kinds
and all classes and all ages wearing fezzes of red felt; there were
Persians, wearing fezzes of black lamb’s-wool; Albanians with fezzes
of white felt, and Jews with turbans and long robes, such as they used
to wear in the days of the Scriptures. We had several Turkish army
officers to amuse us, and one big, blue-eyed general, who looked like
a philanthropist, but is said to be a fiend of a fighter. There were
English, German, and French tourists and rug buyers on their way to
Persia and Turkestan; a very fat Austrian woman who was going to visit
her son, consul at Batoum, and several Russians who had been visiting
Paris and the Riviera and were on their way back to their homes in the
Caucasus.

We had five different kinds of clergymen--Mohammedan mullahs, wearing
long robes and red fezzes with white turbans wound around them,
Greek and Armenian priests, who are difficult to distinguish, and
three Capuchin monks. One of them was a venerable old gentleman with
a patriarchal beard, and one was a mere boy who smoked cigarettes
incessantly--and a cigarette does not fit in well with the hood and
robe of a monk. The Capuchins have several monasteries in Asia Minor,
and maintain schools and do parish work in several of the cities along
the coast, where there are communities of Roman Catholics.

There were several Armenians in frock suits of broadcloth, low-cut
vests, and snowy shirt bosoms, like those affected by lawyers in
Mississippi and Arkansas, and one howling dervish. He did not look
a bit as you would expect, but was a jaunty fellow in a fancy shirt
of black cotton with white spots, without a collar, and an ordinary
sack suit of gray European clothes over which he wore his distinctive
coat of camel’s hair with wide sleeves and facings and trimmings of
broad black braid, and on his shaven head a fez of gray wool with a
wide band of black around it. He carried a dainty cane and whirled it
around in his fingers like a dandy when he promenaded the deck. He
was a presumptuous young dervish, for he endeavoured to enjoy the
privileges of first-class passengers on a third-class ticket, which
the deck steward would not permit. And when he did not go back to his
proper place, after being told to do so, he was rudely elbowed down the
stairs. It was not a respectful way to treat a saint in embryo, which
howling dervishes are supposed to be, but I suppose the deck steward
had his orders, and perhaps he was accustomed to dealing with such men.

Most of the Turks in the first-class cabin did not come to the table,
because they will not eat Christian food for fear that lard or some
other extract of the despised pig was used in its preparation. They
took their meals in their state-rooms, with their wives and children,
where they made their own coffee over spirit lamps and drank water from
red earthen jugs which they had filled at the sacred fountains before
leaving Constantinople. The women did not leave their cabins until they
reached their destination, when they climbed blindly down the gangways
into the row-boats, with veils drawn closely over their faces and their
bodies enveloped in large shawls.

Several Persians in the first cabin came to their meals regularly, and
brought their appetites with them. The Koran applies to them the same
as it does to the Turks, but those gentlemen were not so pious as they
should be. And I noticed that none of the Mohammedan passengers, except
the mullahs and one general, said their prayers when the time came. The
general was very devout. He wore a long, light-gray overcoat, reaching
to his heels, which he kept so closely buttoned that we wondered if he
had anything under it, and, like all military men over here, Russians,
Austrians, and Turks, he never put aside his sword, not even when he
spread his prayer rug on the deck and turned his face toward Mecca to
pray.

The other first-class Mohammedan passengers paid no attention whatever
to the hours for devotions, which gave me a disagreeable shock, because
I have always understood that a Moslem is so conscientious that he will
say his prayers five times a day at the proper moment, no matter what
he happens to be doing or where he happens to be.

Many of the third-class passengers, who are compelled to sleep on the
open deck, performed their duties regularly. They spread their prayer
rugs carefully down in the first open place they could find, and,
turning their eyes toward Mecca, went through with the genuflections
which are a part of the Mohammedan ritual, and cried in loud voices
that there is no God but Allah. Several of the private soldiers, and we
had a large number on board, said their prayers regularly, regardless
of their surroundings, but the majority of them did not and probably
not more than one out of five of the Moslem passengers paid any
attention to the hours of prayer.

Two of the mullahs in the first-class end of the ship had handsomely
bound books from which they read aloud, as is their custom. Turkish
students always study aloud. When you are riding along through country
villages in the East you can locate the school-houses by the murmur
of the voices of the pupils learning their lessons. If you go into a
mosque that is used for educational purposes you can always find groups
of students squatting on the floor, rocking their bodies back and forth
with a motion as regular as that of a rocking chair, and repeating the
lines of their lessons in loud voices.

I once asked a Mohammedan teacher in a Syrian mosque why this is done.
He explained that people understand that which they learn through
their ears better than that which they learn through their eyes. In
the second place, he said, when a person studies aloud the mind is
kept upon the subject intently and is not so apt to wander; thirdly, a
person who is studying aloud is not so apt to go to sleep as when he
reads to himself--and the danger of falling asleep is the reason for
the rocking motion of the body which all students practise when they
are at their books.

On the forward deck, where the anchor winch is, was camped a group
of Persians. Some of them were merchants of Constantinople and other
cities on their way to their native country to buy rugs and other
goods; others were faithful Mohammedans returning from pilgrimages
to Mecca. They were dignified, thoughtful persons with dreamy eyes
and intensely black beards, and two or three old men had made
themselves supremely ridiculous by the use of henna, which gives hair
a bright scarlet hue. It reminded me of What’s-His-Name in “Alice in
Wonderland,” who suggested that it would be awfully funny if everybody
would dye his whiskers green.

     “And hide our heads behind our fans
      So they cannot be seen.”

Others had their finger nails stained scarlet with the same stuff,
which gives a startling effect.

On the other side of the deck from the Armenians was a nest of
their hereditary enemies, Kurds--tall, robust, brown fellows, with
snub noses, small, fierce eyes and garments that are indescribable
because of the variety of cut and colour. They lay around smoking
cigarettes in the most indolent manner, each having what looked like an
old-fashioned quilted comfortable for a mattress and an embroidered bag
for a pillow.

The most interesting of all were the Lazis, from Lazistan, short,
broad-shouldered, muscular chaps, most of whom brought their wives and
children with them and camped amidship on the open deck like a lot of
gypsies. The women were entirely concealed in shawls of cotton or silk
that cover the head as well as the body, and they squatted in groups
in the same place all day long, scarcely moving a muscle except when
their husbands were hungry, and then they would dig down into a bag and
produce a loaf of bread, a dried fish, a few onions, and other simple
forms of food.

There were several babies scattered about promiscuously in
bright-coloured wrappings, and a number of children under ten years
old. Some of them had dainty features and lovely eyes, and a better
behaved lot of children you never saw. We did not hear one of them
cry during the entire voyage. They lay in their clumsy, queer-looking
cradles, made by rude carpenters, without the slightest attention, as
self-satisfied as if they had been millionaires smothered in luxury.

One night the peasants from Lazistan gave an interesting performance.
The music was furnished by an ordinary bagpipe with three stops, which
emitted a mournful and monotonous refrain, but with perfect time, and
the dancers kept step to it very much after the manner of the North
American Indian. They placed a child in the centre, a dozen or so of
them clasped hands in a circle, alternately spreading out as far as
their arms would reach and then coming together in a bunch, and in the
meantime stamping their feet, bowing the knees, and bending the upper
part of the body forward. Sometimes they would stoop to a squatting
posture and hop along on one side and then on the other; then they
would raise their arms as high as they could reach, revolving all the
time to the left. It was a graceful movement and rather fascinating,
and they seemed to enjoy it.

The third-class passengers who occupy the open deck, make themselves
as comfortable as possible with big bundles of rugs and blankets and
pillows, which they spread out wherever the boatswain will let them.
They gave us a continuous performance abounding in life and a gorgeous
riot of colour, entirely unconscious of their odd ways, their artistic
poses, and the entertainment they were furnishing to the foreigners
who could look down upon them from the afterdeck. The captain told me
that there were doubtless thirty different races among the passengers
upon that ship--Turks, Tartars, Mongols, Arabs, Armenians, Albanians,
Circassians, Georgians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, Lazis, Slavs, Syrians,
Turkomans, Bokharoits, Wallachs, and Persians of various clans, which
can be detected one from another by experts, because of the way they
wear their clothes. Everybody except the women wore brilliant colours,
and they were shut off from observation as much as possible by blankets
pinned to the canvas awning so as to make screens.

Turks are very democratic. Islam recognizes no caste; there is no
aristocracy or nobility or any divisions among the Turks except on an
official basis and the inferiors show great respect to those who are
above them. The ordinary Turkish peasant is good-natured, honest,
sober, patient, frugal, industrious, and capable of great endurance.
He is not fanatical, but is kindly disposed toward everybody. His
hospitality is unbounded and the exercise of charity is one of his
greatest pleasures. Two ragged fellows came up to the first-class deck
one day, bringing a wash basin of graniteware painted a bright blue,
which they passed around, asking contributions for the benefit of a
sick man with five children who was lying helpless on the open deck and
ought to be given shelter below in the second-class cabin, which he had
no money to pay for. I noticed that everybody chipped in something,
from the glittering general to the tatterdemalions who lay sprawled
upon their blankets in the shady places.

Every third-class passenger had a basket of provisions and a jug of
water, and an old man fixed himself a place in the corner, where he set
up a samovar and made coffee to sell. He did a good business, too. His
little brass pot was always in motion, because Turks are inveterate
coffee drinkers and want a cup of that beverage every few minutes. The
old coffee seller was a picture--a Turk from Samsoun, a good-natured
old fellow with a wrinkled face, a curly beard, a white turban, and a
smile like that of our President, which won’t come off.

[Illustration: Coffee peddler on our steamer]

[Illustration: A Turk of Trebizard]

The beauties of the Bosphorus have often been described, and probably
no sheet of water of corresponding length is so highly decorated by
nature and by man. There are a dozen splendid palaces, some of the
most imposing residences in all the world, sitting on the very edge of
the water at the foot of the hills which enclose the Bosphorus. The
Dolma Bactche Palace, now occupied by the sultan, is perhaps the
finest, and near it is another equally famous, the Cherigan Palace,
which was occupied by the Turkish Parliament until it was burned in
February, 1910. The roofless walls, stained with smoke, and the hollow
windows now stand mute, unable to testify in their own defence and
solve the mystery whether the calamity was due to arson or accident.
It is generally assumed that the fire was started by incendiaries, for
it seemed to break out in several places at the same time, and burned
so fiercely as to suggest inflammables. However, there is no definite
knowledge on the subject. It occurred in the night, the watchmen were
asleep or absent, there were no police in the neighbourhood, and one
of the most exquisite gems of architecture in existence was a hideous
skeleton of marble before an attempt to save it could be organized.

The possible motive of an incendiary was to destroy a mass of documents
discovered in the Yildiz Kiosk after the forcible evacuation of Abdul
Hamid. His archives, official and personal, filled fifty carts and were
hauled away to some unknown place, where they were being sorted over
by a parliamentary commission, and already extraordinary discoveries
had been made concerning the treachery and hypocrisy of prominent
men. There has been and still is a determination on the part of
certain personages, whose reputations will be ruined, to prevent the
publication of these papers, and there have been several stormy debates
in the Chamber of Deputies on the subject. Lacking other explanations,
it has been assumed that the Cherigan Palace was set on fire for the
purpose of destroying these private papers of the ex-sultan, although
it was a useless sacrifice. The documents were not there. Few people
knew where they were, except the commission which was engaged in
classifying them.

Cherigan Palace stood on the shore of the Bosphorus about two miles
from the bridge which connects Galata and Stamboul, and it was the most
attractive and artistic of all the many buildings which give that water
course its fame. It was built about sixty years ago by Abdul Aziz, who
was sultan from 1861 to 1876, and was the best ruler Turkey has known
for centuries. He intended it for his own residence, lived there for
twelve years, and died there in a most tragic manner, June 17, 1876.
There his son, Murad V, was allowed to reign for a few months, until
he was deposed by a conspiracy which placed Abdul Hamid, the late
sultan, in power, and the latter kept his elder brother a prisoner
within its beautiful walls for several years, until he, too, was taken
off in a mysterious way--some believe by suicide and some by violence.
However, no prison was ever more artistic in design or expensive in
construction. It was entirely of marble, inside and out, and the
interior was remarkable for the richness of the carvings and of the
hangings and upholstery and for the beauty of the mural decorations.
When the Parliament was organized, Cherigan Palace seemed to be the
most convenient building for its sessions. The Senate sat in the state
dining-room, and the Chamber of Deputies in the ballroom, which were
easily fitted up for the purpose.

There are several hotels on the Bosphorus, which are occupied during
the summer, and all of the great nations, except the United States,
have handsome residences for their embassies in a water suburb known
as Therapia. The Russian embassy is the last and looks directly up
the narrow throat which leads from the Bosphorus into the Black Sea.
Both sides of this passage are guarded by heavy earthworks against a
Russian invasion. Turkey fears no other nation and Russia cannot reach
her southern coast by sea without going through Turkish waters. This
situation has exasperated every Russian since Peter the Great, who is
supposed to have left a will in which he admonished his successors
never to rest until they have added the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn
to the Russian Empire.

Robert College, an American institution which has turned out some of
the best men in the East, and an old Byzantine castle which dates
back many centuries, are the most conspicuous objects on the European
side, and near them is a sightly location where Dr. Mary Patrick has
erected new buildings for the American College for Girls, with funds
contributed by friends in the United States. Her former buildings in
Scutari were not half big enough, since the constitution was adopted,
to accommodate the young Turkish women who want an education.

The first town of importance, sailing eastward from Constantinople
along the southern coast of the Black Sea, is the ancient City of
Samsoun, founded by the Greeks more than two thousand five hundred
years ago, and always of consequence commercially. It has a splendid
location, sloping gradually upward from the sea, but like many people,
as well as towns, does not fulfil the expectations excited by its
appearance from a distance. There is a big hospital for soldiers upon
a slight eminence back of the town; several minarets show where the
mosques are; the five domes of a Greek church glisten in the sun;
several imposing business blocks and residences line up well along
the seashore and give a brave appearance to the place: but when you
land, you are disappointed to find the streets narrow and dirty, with a
mixture of smells arising from unknown sources, wretched pavements, and
mangy dogs lying around in the sun scratching themselves in a way that
is more suggestive than comfortable. Scratching is sometimes contagious.

But the narrow streets are interesting, and the market place,
with a circular fountain and an ancient mosque, offers one of the
quaintest and most picturesque Oriental scenes you could imagine. In
the foreground a butter dealer in an indescribable costume of more
colours than Joseph could possibly have had in his coat, was ladling
greasy-looking stuff from a great tub with a wooden spoon and, on
his scales, he used stones for weights. The vegetables and oranges
were fine. Onions and garlic could be felt in the air, both in the
raw material and in the finished form of odours. Turks are largely
vegetarians. Vegetables, fruits, and soups made of grain are the chief
articles of their diet. We were told that Samsoun is a great place
for apples, so much so that the bears come down in droves from the
mountains back of the town when the fruit is ripe and rob the orchards.
We tried some of the apples which the peasants sell by weight in the
market place, and found them dry and tasteless, but I don’t think they
were to blame. No apples are good in May.

There is a café every few yards on every street, where it seemed as if
the entire male population were sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes.
We saw a few nargiles--those long-tubed water pipes which are generally
associated with cross-legged Turks--in Constantinople, but did not
find one anywhere else. I suppose they are out of style, for all the
Turks that we met were smoking cigarettes instead.

Quantities of licorice root are shipped from Samsoun. It grows wild in
the mountains. The quality, as well as the value, might be improved
by cultivation, but such a thing has never been attempted on a large
scale. The sheep upon the mountain sides furnish cargoes of wool, and
the cattle we saw grazing in large herds add many hides, but tobacco
is the chief article of export from Samsoun, and a boy who voluntarily
attached himself to our party and followed us along, chattering as he
went, told us that a large establishment surrounded by a high wall
belonged to Americans.

How a Turkish lad, who presumably had never been out of his native
place, could have identified us as Americans is remarkable, for
in Oriental countries, even in China and Japan, the natives are
seldom able to distinguish between Uncle Sam and John Bull; but,
nevertheless, we acted on the welcome information and soon found three
fellow-countrymen representing the American Tobacco Company purely for
the purpose of buying cigarette material, and, in 1909, they shipped
$397,000 in tobacco from that port alone. There are several other
buyers for the American market, but they come and go with the season.

The tobacco produced around Samsoun is light of colour, and of fine
flavour, especially suited for cigarettes. There is a great difference
in the quality according to the care and cultivation, and the Americans
have persuaded a few of the farmers to improve their methods and
implements. They told me that twice the present crop might be produced
from the same area if half the care and skill were expended upon it
that the Cuban planters give to their tobacco. Samsoun expects to be
the northern terminus of one of the railways which have been authorized
by the Turkish Parliament.

If you will look on your map you will notice that Asia Minor is that
part of Turkey which projects into the Mediterranean on the Asiatic
side, an almost square peninsula about three hundred miles each way.
It is bounded on the north by the Black Sea, on the east by Armenia
and Kurdistan, on the south by Syria and the Mediterranean and on the
west by the Ægean Sea. The western portion of Asia Minor is called
Anatolia. It is densely settled by Turkish farmers who cultivate the
ground in a primitive, awkward way, but do not realize more than half
the value of their labour; first, because of their primitive tools and
instruments and their imperfect cultivation, and, second, because there
are no transportation facilities by which they can send their produce
to market. There are two railways running into the interior from the
Mediterranean coast, furnishing communication for about 10 per cent. of
the population. Throughout 90 per cent. of Asia Minor the only way of
travelling is on the back of a horse or a donkey and the only facility
for moving freight is by caravans of camels, which are slow and very
expensive. For these reasons the inhabitants depend to a great extent
upon their own resources. They make everything they wear except cotton
fabrics and have very little to ship away.

Almost directly south of Samsoun, about a hundred miles, is the
Marsovan station of the American Board, first occupied in 1852, and
for fifty-eight years the headquarters of missionary work, not only
for that important city, but for a wide reach of country, including
Samsoun, Amasia, and other important towns. The work has naturally been
built up by a process of growth. Little day schools, teaching reading,
writing, and spelling in the vernacular, have developed into two great
institutions: Anatolia College, with its extensive buildings devoted to
the collegiate training of young men, and the Girls’ High and Boarding
School, an institution quite by itself, giving nearly the same complete
course of study that is given to the young men.

These two schools have ample grounds and are both adding gradually to
their large plants. The college for young men will soon have $30,000
worth of new buildings, which amount will erect about eight times
as much as in the United States. The girls’ school has completely
outgrown its large plant, completed only a few years ago, and is adding
substantial new buildings.

The college for boys has in a peculiar way taken hold upon southern
Russia. Three or four years ago Russian students began to come across
the Black Sea, and have doubled in number every year since. It was
feared at first that they might be unruly and disorderly, or perhaps
revolutionary in their tendencies, but, quite contrary to expectations,
they have proved to be among the most steady, earnest, able students
the college has had. Like Robert College, at Constantinople, Anatolia
has Greek, Mohammedan, and Armenian students. Greeks are not found in
colleges east of Marsovan, to any extent.

The college has also, as a part of its organization, a large medical
department with extensive hospitals and a nurses’ training school
under the direction of two efficient American physicians, Dr. Jesse
K. Marden and Dr. Alden R. Hoover, assisted by a large native medical
staff.

Patients come to the hospital at Marsovan from a wide area of country
and it is reaching not only the Armenians but the Mohammedan classes.
The medical service has an unmeasured influence upon the people of the
country and makes an impression which no other form of missionary work
can possibly do. The people know when they are ill and want medicines,
but they are not often aware when they are ignorant and need educating
or are morally in need of spiritual uplift. When they meet with severe
accidents, as so frequently occurs in that country, or when they are
racked by disease, they quickly learn that relief can be found at
the mission hospital at Marsovan, and some means of reaching there
is devised. They often go on a rude cart, sometimes upon the back
of some animal, or, if they live upon a possible road, in a Turkish
araba or hooded “carry-all.” They find their way to the hospital and
there receive the kind treatment which belongs to every hospital, but
especially to the missionary hospital in a non-Christian land. After
treatment, they return to their homes full of enthusiasm and gratitude
for what they have seen and received.

In addition to the institutions already mentioned, which have separate
buildings, there is a theological school for training native college
graduates for direct evangelistic work among their countrymen. This
school will soon have a separate building, having hitherto been
considered a part of the college to which it was attached. The
importance of this work has now reached a stage where it demands a
separate home and possibly separate management.

Industrial work is an important adjunct to the college. It was started
as a means of self-help, to enable students who could not pay their
tuition or board to earn a part of it by manual labour, and American
machinery and tools were introduced for cabinet work according to
modern methods. This has proved so popular that it was necessary to
make a rule that no boy should take the mechanical courses alone,
without taking some of the regular courses in the college or the
preparatory school. Many fathers were so anxious to have their sons
learn to use tools and machinery and to make things, that they
brought them to the college and asked that they be admitted simply
for mechanical instruction. While the school has not been wholly
self-supporting, the students have been able to earn a large part of
the cost of their education and have received instruction that could
not have been given them in any other way.

This kind of training is especially important in Turkey, where the
idea has prevailed, and still prevails to no small extent, that when a
man is educated he must not do anything that looks like manual labour.
Unfortunately this delusion is not confined to Turkey. The mechanical
department is calculated to take that fallacy out of the minds of young
men, making them see that manual labour is no disgrace and that even
a scholar may do things with his hands. Turkey must come to the idea
that a scholar of the highest type may be a civil engineer, who will be
required to do outdoor work. The industrial school at Marsovan is but a
preparatory step to the larger comprehensions of the dignity of labour,
while at the same time, it trains the students who come within its
influence in mechanical exactness. There is much of value, missionaries
have learned, as well as educators in America, in training a boy to do
something that is worth while in a mechanical way.

As a part of the medical work, it has been necessary for the American
missionaries to establish dispensaries where cases can be treated
temporarily, and especially where medicines can be provided for outside
patients. It is so difficult to get pure drugs at regular Turkish
drug stores that it has been necessary for all the American hospitals
in the country to establish and maintain their own dispensaries.
Their supplies, bought at wholesale, are sent out from the mission
headquarters in Boston, and, therefore, are reliable in every way. Many
native pharmacists are being properly trained. These dispensaries often
prove almost as valuable for the lives and health of the people as the
hospitals, and are regarded as a necessary adjunct of every hospital.

At Marsovan, to carry on this work in all departments, there are
nineteen Americans: four ordained missionaries and their wives, three
laymen, two physicians, and six single women, all college graduates,
and nearly all having taken from three to five years of post-graduate
work. Connected with them, and working with them in every way, are
at least twenty-five times this number of trained native Christian
leaders, many of whom are graduates of the college or other American
institutions. Some have studied in Europe after taking a course in
the college at Marsovan. Upon the American staff, with the native
associates, also rests the responsibility of supervising native
evangelistic work in a wide field. Tours of inspection are taken by the
missionaries from time to time, thus keeping them familiar with what is
going on, so that they may devote their energies at the centre to the
demands of the work outside.

As an illustration of the way in which educational institutions grow,
Anatolia College is an admirable example. The germ which produced
this great institution, now with more than three hundred students and
several departments, was a little school in the corner of a stable in
the city of Marsovan in charge of Dr. C. C. Tracy. The stable filled
the greater part of the building, and in one of the corners, on a
platform of earth raised a foot or so above the common level of the
mud floor, and protected by a light rail, was the school. Less than
a dozen children there took their first lessons in learning to read.
At the start, in common intelligence, they were but little in advance
of the animals that occupied the rest of the room. No one could have
detected in that humble beginning the germ of an institution that now
covers several acres in buildings and campus just outside the large and
flourishing city of Marsovan, filled with bright young men from all
parts of Anatolia, from along the entire southern shore of the Black
Sea, and even from Russia, on the northern coast--studying for academic
degrees in preparation for positions of influence and leadership in the
new Turkish Empire.

This little stable school became a high school in 1886, and a
full-grown college a few years later. It now has a faculty of
twenty-three professors, fourteen of whom are natives of the country
and eight have taken post-graduate courses to prepare themselves for
their work. They have degrees from the New College at Edinburgh, the
University of Berlin, the University of Athens, the Imperial Law School
at Constantinople, the Royal Conservatory of Music at Stuttgart and the
Academy at Paris.

Anatolia College has sent out 224 graduates, of whom 207 are now
living. Fifty-two are engaged in teaching, forty-eight are practising
medicine, and eighty-six are in business. In addition to these
graduates, several thousand other young men have for a time studied in
the institution and for various reasons have been compelled to leave
without completing the course. These have, however, gone out armed
with a new power which this college has given them, and many are doing
signal service within and without the Turkish Empire. Not long since,
in a mixed gathering of Turks and Christians in Marsovan, profound
thanks were expressed by Mohammedan leaders for this institution and
what it has done to disseminate ideas of liberty, for the emancipation
of women, and for the general welfare.

Among the students in the college, who come from about half of the
twenty-nine provinces of the Ottoman Empire, are also found natives of
Greece, Albania, Egypt, and, as has already been stated, Russia. The
courses of study are similar to the usual college courses in the United
States, with the exception that more emphasis is put upon the living
languages than upon the dead.

Coasting along the south shore of the Black Sea, we were sailing
through a land of fable, and our steamer touched at some scene of
Greek mythology two or three times every day. At every port where we
stopped to discharge or take on cargo we were surrounded by fleets
of queer-looking boats with high-pointed prows and sterns, like the
gondolas of Venice and the ancient galleys of the Greeks. There is
always an exciting scramble when the gangway is lowered, and the
barefooted boatmen climb over each other to get on board to solicit
the patronage of the passengers. Their costumes, their cries, their
gesticulations, and the confusion they create make it hard to believe
that they are the descendants of gods and demi-gods, the heroes of the
poems and the fables and legends we read in Greek mythology. The coast
is bordered with a continuous range of magnificent mountains, rising
gradually from the sea, clothed with forests on the upper heights and
usually a strip of cultivated land along the coast. The successive
ranges, rising one above the other, culminate in snow-capped peaks in
the far background. The lower slopes and the coast line are dotted with
villages embowered in oak, chestnut, beech, walnut, and hazel trees and
masses of lilac, rhododendrons, azaleas, myrtles, orange groves, and
orchards of quince and cherry trees, which are all in blossom in April
and May and make a charming picture.

The steamer stops usually from one to five hours, which is long
enough to see everything that is interesting and gave us a good
idea of northern Turkey, which, by the way, is very different from
what I expected in many respects. Indeed it is necessary for every
one who goes there to revise his preconceived ideas of Turkish life
and character; but the way we had to fight with the boatmen and the
hackmen, who refused in almost every case to accept the fares agreed
upon before starting, shows that the successors of Castor and Pollux,
Theseus, Diana, and the other demi-gods have degenerated from the
classic days. It seemed almost incredible that we were actually
visiting the playgrounds of the gods. The imagination of the ancient
Greeks peopled that beautiful coast with supernatural beings, who were
the heroes of their fables and their songs, and there was a mixture of
history in them all.

The Argonauts, you will remember, sailed from Thessaly to Colchis under
command of Jason, to fetch a golden fleece, which was suspended from an
oak tree in a grove, guarded day and night by a ferocious dragon. Jason
built a ship of fifty oars, called the _Argo_, after the name of the
designer, who was instructed by the goddess Minerva.

Jason was accompanied upon this expedition by several of the greatest
heroes of Greek fable, including Hercules, Castor and Pollux, Theseus,
and others, who were called the Argonauts, after the name of the ship.
They met with surprising adventures, and when they arrived at their
destination the king of Colchis promised to give up the golden fleece
provided Jason would yoke together two fire-breathing oxen and sow
the teeth of the dragon which had not been used by Cadmus at Thebes.
Meantime Medea, the daughter of the king, fell in love with the captain
of the Argonauts, and, when he promised to marry her, showed him how
to put to sleep the dragon that guarded the golden fleece, and how to
protect himself against the flames that came from the nostrils of those
terrible steers. Jason did the stunt, to use a classic phrase, married
the girl, and sailed away with the treasure. After wandering about the
coast of the Black Sea and threading the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles,
the Argonauts at length arrived at Thessaly and told the story of their
adventures.

It is believed that the fable of the Argonauts was founded upon a
commercial expedition which wealthy merchants of Thessaly sent out to
explore the coast of the Black Sea, twelve or fifteen hundred years
before the Christian era, and the remains of the colonies they founded
may still be found along the shores of Asia Minor. This expedition
was followed by many Greeks from Miletus and other places who built a
fringe of cities and towns on every bay and island along the coast.
And their fleets carried on a commerce quite as important as that of
to-day. All historic interest in the Black Sea centres around those
colonies, which brought with them the culture that distinguished the
Greek from the barbarian of those days. Situated on carefully selected
sites, which the traveller can still identify, these colonies became
the profitable markets where the products of Asia and those of Europe
changed hands.

But the Argonauts were not the only characters of mythology that may
be met with up there. The city of Eregli, the first port at which the
steamer touches after leaving the Bosphorus and entering the Black
Sea, stands on the site of Heraclea, a famous town founded by Hercules
in prehistoric days; and in a garden north of the town is the cavern
called Acherusia, through which he is supposed to have descended to
the infernal regions to encounter Cerberus, according to the story.
Near this cave are the ruins of a Roman aqueduct and of two temples
which have been converted into churches, and on the mountain side are
coal mines that were worked by the ancient Greek colonists before the
dawn of history. Fuel was obtained from them, also, for the European
battleships during the Crimean war. These mines are said to contain an
excellent quality of steam and gas coal, but have never been developed
because the Turkish government, for some reason or another, has not
permitted it.

A poisonous honey made in the neighbourhood of Heraclea, according
to Pliny the historian, is supposed to have been derived from yellow
azaleas and purple rhododendrons, which abound on the hillsides in
that neighbourhood. Even now the farmers cannot keep bees, because the
honey they produce invariably makes people ill.

A little farther up the coast, the village of Bartan, known in ancient
times as Parthenius, according to Greek fables was the home of Artemis,
or the goddess Diana, as she is better known, who hunted deer and more
harmful creatures among the forests upon the mountain sides and bathed
in the waters of the river that comes bubbling down into the sea. Those
who do not believe this story can find proof in nearly every picture
gallery of Europe, for acres of canvas have been covered with paintings
of Diana, the divine huntress, and her achievements in forest and field.

The next village, Amastris, was the birthplace of the wife of Darius,
the great Persian king, and Dionysius, the Roman tyrant, and in a
gossippy letter to the emperor Trajan Pliny describes Amastris as “a
handsome city.” It continued to be a port of importance as late as the
ninth century. The Venetians and the Genoese occupied it in turn in the
Middle Ages several times. The site of the ancient city is now occupied
by an insignificant village, and the only reminder of the power and
prosperity associated with its past are the ruins of a citadel, an
aqueduct, and fortifications.

The port of Sinub is the ancient Sinope, the mother colony founded by
Autolycus, a companion of Hercules, and the most important of all the
Greek colonies on the Euxine or Black Sea. Here the cynic philosopher,
Diogenes, was born. It was also the birthplace of Mithridates the
Great, who ruled Asia Minor and all the country surrounding it several
hundred years before Christ. During the time of Pericles, Sinope was
the strongest and most important of all the colonies of Greece, having
the only safe harbour on the southern coast. It was the terminus of the
royal road which extended from the Persian Gulf through Mesopotamia,
following the valley of the Euphrates to the shores of the Black Sea.
Sinub is surrounded by high-wooded mountains which were occupied by the
fabled Amazons, and upon the island called Adasi, there was a temple to
Mars erected by and presided over by two Amazonian queens.

One of the stories connected with Sinub, which, however, I do not
vouch for, is that Mithridates, the Greek emperor, put his wives and
sisters to death with his own hands in the palace whose ruins we saw
one morning to prevent their falling into the hands of Lucullus and his
Roman invaders.

There is much to see in all these little towns in the way of ruins, but
the difficulty is that nobody can tell you anything about them. They
are not esteemed by the people and no archæologist has ever undertaken
to investigate them. They represent successive civilizations, first
Greek, then Roman, then Persian and Venetian, and, finally, the
Byzantine periods of occupation and culture, each of which was founded
upon the fragments of those which preceded it. No country has had so
much history, but it is impossible to fix dates or circumstances. Asia
Minor and that coast have been in the midst of the current of events
from the beginning of things. Every great conqueror has occupied
that country in turn, down to the final invasion of the Turks, whose
supremacy was established in the fifteenth century and has been
maintained ever since.

It was difficult to adjust ourselves to the realization that the little
towns where we went ashore as the steamer stopped are the same that
were occupied by Alexander the Great, by Cyrus, Darius and Timour the
Tartar, and it is asserted that there are traces of every one of them
there. But those communities have seen many changes since. That coast
has been a thoroughfare for conquerors, because of its geographical
position--a battle field for many, but the abiding place of none.



CHAPTER II

THE ANCIENT CITY OF TREBIZOND


I remember, when a boy, seeing one of Offenbach’s comic operas entitled
“The Princess of Trebizond,” the plot of which, I supposed, was pure
fiction; but, since looking into things, it seems entirely probable
that the main incidents actually occurred when Trebizond was an empire
and a despot known as the “Grand Comnenus” ruled over that quaint,
little, old town and the country that surrounds it. The ruins of the
palaces the rulers occupied and the fortifications which they built
to defend their capital still remain, and it is difficult to conceive
anything more picturesque than the ancient walls and towers covered
with ivy and other creeping vines. The Turks have utilized a good part
of them, and from the deck of the ship we saw the ugly mouths of cannon
yawning at us from the top of a castle that is at least one thousand,
and perhaps fifteen hundred years old. The central part of the little
city, where the Moslem population lives, is still partly enclosed by
the old wall, while the Christian population live outside.

Trebizond is older than Rome. It was founded by a colony of Greeks from
the neighbouring town of Sinope in the year 756 B.C., while Rome was
not founded until three years later, in 753. But even the good people
of Trebizond will admit that Rome is a little ahead of their own town
at present. After the Romans drove out the Greeks the emperor Trajan
made Trebizond the capital of the province of Cappadocia, and Hadrian
built the harbour, which wasn’t a very good job, for the anchorage
is so unsafe that in stormy weather the ships have to pull up anchor
and run to Platena, seven miles westward, for safety. There is an
unfinished pier and custom house, which our captain said had been
building a hundred years and would not be finished for another hundred,
according to the way the Turks do things. Just now passengers and cargo
are handled at a small iron pier extending beyond the breakers, and it
is a nasty place for people to land.

The Roman emperor, Justinian, built the original castle and gave the
city its water supply, but most of the ruins date from the empire
which was founded in 1204 by Alexius I, grandson of the Byzantine
emperor, Andronicus I, who assumed the title of “Grand Comnenus.”
Alexius had twenty successors and the empire lasted until 1461. In
the meantime Trebizond, according to the historians, “was famed for
its magnificence, the court for its luxury and elaborate ceremonials,
while at the same time it was frequently a hotbed of intrigue and
immorality.” The imperial family were renowned for their beauty,
and the princesses were sought as brides not only by the Byzantine
emperors, but by the Moslem rulers of Persia and the chiefs of
the Mongols and Turkomans. The Grand Comneni were patrons of art
and learning; the library of the palace was filled with valuable
manuscripts; and the city was adorned with splendid buildings. The
writers of that time speak with enthusiasm of its lofty towers, of
the churches and monasteries in its suburbs, and especially of the
gardens, orchards, and olive groves.

It is difficult to believe all this, but the ruins are there, and the
mute walls of crumbling stone would probably confirm the statements if
they could speak. There is an enormous monastery in ruins at the top of
a hill, which is said to have played an important part in the history
of the city and was the scene of a crisis which ended the empire. There
is an old church in the suburbs which dates back nearly a thousand
years and contains the tombs of several of the emperors of Trebizond
and a monument to Solomon, one of the early kings of the neighbouring
state of Georgia, now a Russian province.

About two miles west of the town is the Church of St. Sophia, which
was built eight hundred years ago, and must have been a magnificent
structure, judging from what remains. It has been a mosque for several
centuries, but is seldom used these days. The pavement of many-coloured
marble is very beautiful, and the walls are decorated with pictures in
mosaic, like those in the mosques of Salonika, although the vandals
have covered them with whitewash because they represent Christian
saints and martyrs. In the vestibule, until 1843, was a fine fresco
representing the emperor Alexius, his mother, the dowager Irene, and
his wife, the empress Theodora, all clad in their imperial robes, but
it mysteriously disappeared while the church was being repaired and has
never been recovered. There are other relics of ancient times which one
would like to know more about, but there was no one to tell us, and the
archæologists have neglected this part of the world.

To a historical student, perhaps, the most interesting fact about
Trebizond is that it was the end of the masterly retreat of the famous
“Ten Thousand” under command of Xenophon, a newspaper man, whose story
is told in the Anabasis. Every school-boy who has ever studied Greek
knows more or less about it.

Darius, the great king of Persia, had two sons, Artaxerxes and Cyrus.
The latter was not satisfied with the division of the kingdom and 400
B.C. organized an army in Greece and marched against his brother at
Babylon. Xenophon accompanied the expedition as a war correspondent.
When Cyrus was killed, his barbaric troops scattered, leaving ten
thousand Greek mercenaries who had accompanied him to look after
themselves in a desert between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers.
Their commanders became rattled and lay down, whereupon Xenophon showed
what newspaper men are capable of doing when responsibility falls upon
them, by assuming command, reorganizing the force, and leading it back
through an unknown country with marvellous skill. He had never served
as a soldier, but like every other newspaper man was a master of the
science of war.

The retreat of the “Ten Thousand” is one of the greatest military
achievements in history, for, although he had no supplies and was
compelled to forage on the people, and no knowledge of the geography
or topography of the country, Xenophon conducted the “Ten Thousand”
across Armenia and over the mountains to Trebizond, where the settlers
received him with generous hospitality and assisted him to obtain boats
to carry his soldiers back to Greece.

The American consul at Trebizond has a beautiful house with a terrace,
and a view that is worth a fortune, and our government ought to buy it
while it is possible, because there are very few houses suitable for
a consulate in Trebizond and they are in great demand. Other nations
own the houses that their consuls occupy and the United States ought
to be equally prudent. The present consul is Dr. Milo A. Jewett, who
was born in Turkey, the son of an American missionary, but was educated
and practised medicine in Massachusetts until he came into the consular
service many years ago.

There is an American school there also, in charge of Dr. L. S. Crawford
of North Adams, Mass., who is doing great work under the direction of
the American Board of Foreign Missions by educating young Trebizonians.
All the students obtain a good knowledge of English, and their advanced
courses are taken through the medium of that language.

Trebizond was the first mission station occupied east of Constantinople
on the Black Sea. Thomas P. Johnson, the first American missionary,
took up his residence there in 1835. The nearest mission station is
at Erzroom, six days’ journey to the south, over extensive ranges of
mountains and on one of the upper branches of the Euphrates River. The
territory directly connected with this important city has a population
of about 800,000 Mohammedans, 120,000 Greeks, and 32,000 Armenians.
The city itself has a population of only 56,000, being now nearly four
times as large as it was seventy-five years ago.

No large educational institution or important medical work has been
built up in Trebizond, not because of the want of need or opportunity,
but because it has not been possible to find a force sufficient for
the other missions. The work carried on by Doctor and Mrs. Crawford,
in the city itself, has been largely among the Armenians, while
Ordoun, a large city on the Black Sea, west of Trebizond, has been
the headquarters of a mission for the Greeks. As Trebizond is so near
the Russian border and so accessible by water for all that part of
Russia, there has been a most urgent call during the last few years for
institutions there to meet the demands of the Russian young men who are
seeking a modern education, but have no facilities for it in their own
country. Many Russians go to the mission high school in Trebizond and
it is evident that if a strong educational institution could be started
there, it would have a wide patronage from the Russian coast of the
Black Sea and from the Caucasus.

The city of Erzroom is situated on a high plateau six days inland
from Trebizond. It stands at an elevation of some six thousand feet
above the sea, and at the same time is surrounded by mountains rising
a thousand or more feet above the plain. The most northerly branch
of the Euphrates River rises to the eastward and flows down through
the plain a little below the city. In times of drought this is only a
trickling stream, but in the wet season it becomes a river of no small
proportions. The city is one of the most important in the Turkish
Empire, in that it is only about twelve hours’ journey from the
Russian border. At the time of the Russo-Turkish war in 1878, it was
occupied by the Russians for some time, until, through the pressure
of the Powers, they were compelled to withdraw, and to their great
disappointment the line between the two countries was established to
the eastward and left it still a part of Turkey.

The mountains about the city are fortified by the Turks, and the city
itself is enclosed in earthworks, the entrances being through guarded
passage ways and heavy gates, to be shut in times of attack. Because of
the strategic importance of the post, the Turkish governor is usually a
man of large military experience. It is believed that should war break
out between Turkey and Russia, and it may happen at any time, Erzroom
would be the first point of attack. For the same reason the great
European Powers maintain in Trebizond consuls of unusual ability, and
not infrequently these consuls have had extensive military experience.

Erzroom, like most of the large cities of interior Turkey, is the
centre of a great number of smaller cities and villages scattered
over the far-stretching plain and into the ravines of the mountains.
There is a large Kurdish population to the south and east of Erzroom,
which presents in itself a considerable problem. Erzroom itself has
for many years been the headquarters of an army corps of the Turkish
Empire, maintained there particularly to keep order among the various
antagonistic races, especially the Kurds, and particularly to guard the
frontier against undue aggression on the part of Russia.

The people of Erzroom and vicinity, like mountain people generally, are
unusually hardy and vigorous, with a large degree of independence. The
city itself, so far as wealth is concerned, is hardly surpassed by any
of the interior cities of Turkey. Its merchants go all over the empire,
and as a centre of trade with Persia as well as with Europe Erzroom
holds a unique place.

Since the city was occupied as a mission station in 1840, many
distracting events have occurred, such as the war of 1877–78, when
it was taken by the Russians and, following the siege, was sorely
afflicted by the plague. One of the American missionaries, Rev. Royal
M. Cole, D.D., then in Erzroom, went to the front with the army to care
for the wounded and the suffering, and gave himself wholly to this
work so long as the war lasted, devoting himself to the sick after the
Russian troops had withdrawn. Two of his own children died from the
plague at that time. Again in 1895 Erzroom came within the massacre
belt and suffered greatly from the attacks upon the Christians by the
Turks and Kurds.

Beside the evangelistic activity, two lines of work have been developed
at Erzroom that have had great influence and won the approbation of
Turkish officials: namely, education and medical relief for both men
and women. An American nurse, left in charge of the missionary hospital
in the absence of the missionary physician who went home on furlough,
was invited by the military authorities to take charge of the military
hospital, which she did, and was there brought into direct contact
with Turkish soldiers. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that
a Christian missionary nurse, at the invitation of army officials,
was ever identified with the staff of a Mohammedan hospital or given
unhampered freedom in contact with Mohammedans. Her ministrations were
most gratefully received and by her example she removed from the minds
of many Moslems deep-seated prejudices against Christianity.

Mrs. Dr. Stapleton, a trained lady physician of unusual skill and tact,
has had access during many years to the homes of the high Turkish
officials, where she meets with a cordial welcome. She has no hospital,
but does her medical work almost wholly by visitation in the homes,
and largely the homes of the officials. It takes time to break down
the prejudices of honest Mohammedan believers, many of whom have a
conviction that Christianity is an inferior religion and that those who
profess it lack the moral virtues. These opinions cannot be changed by
argument or by preaching, and only by that close personal contact that
a physician may have with his patients in their homes during periods
of protracted illness. This, of all the methods of missionary work, is
most effective. It does not show results that can be tabulated; but
nevertheless is far-reaching in its influence and power, and ultimately
will accomplish much by changing the attitude of those who have
believed that there is nothing good in Christianity.

The school work in Erzroom does not differ from that at Sivas and
Trebizond. There are boarding-schools for both young men and young
women, always separate, as they must be in the Turkish Empire. The
importance of the boarding-school as a missionary force can hardly
be over-estimated. Into these schools young men and young women are
brought, often from rude homes and not infrequently from homes that
exert a demoralizing and harmful influence upon the children. The
boarding-school is so arranged that it becomes a new home to the
pupils. They are surrounded by wholesome influences. Their minds are
constantly stimulated to activity and they are led unconsciously to
adopt American methods and helpful ideas. Children coming from a
distance often remain the entire year under these influences before
returning to their homes. Sometimes employment is given them during the
vacation months so that they stay longer. One can readily imagine the
change that takes place in a young man or young woman who has never
before been out of one of the rude villages after a year or two of this
refining experience and inspiring instruction.

When these young people return to their homes the change that has taken
place in them makes a profound impression upon the entire village. The
value of education is promptly recognized, and often one pupil from a
district in the interior of the country will be the means of bringing
dozens of others to the school, sent by parents who, ambitious for
their children, wish for them the same kind of education and to see in
them the same advance that has appeared in the child of a neighbour.
One does not need to use his imagination to see how the entire villages
and communities are elevated through a single pupil who has spent,
it may be, no more than a couple of years in an American mission
boarding-school in some remote city and who, upon his return, not only
exercises a silent influence for education and morals, but may at once
open a school for the children of his own village.

This represents, in a simple way, something of the influence and
power of the missionary boarding-school upon the region in which it
is located. While time is required for the full exercise of this
influence, and while the lines can only in the remotest degree ever be
traced, it is found that they are far-reaching and fundamental. These
schools also prepare students for college. The graduates of the two
high schools at Erzroom have gone chiefly to the colleges at Harpoot,
Marsovan, and Constantinople.

The city of Sivas, in Asia Minor, was occupied by the Americans as
a mission station in 1851. It is located on the old caravan road
extending from Samsoun, through Tokat and Amasia, an eight days’
journey by camel, but now covered easily in six days by the Turkish
Arabs. It is on the route of the proposed American railroad now under
discussion, which is expected to extend eastward into Mamurettaul-Aziz,
in the vilayet of Harpoot, and so on southward.

Sivas is noted among archæologists for its ruins of the Seljuko, an
ancient Persian dynasty, some of which reveal in their fragments the
splendour of the structure of which they formed a part. The city is in
the midst of a large and fertile plain, and is the central market for a
wide area. It was selected as a location for missionary work because of
its strategic position on the caravan road, and its large and thrifty
population, which is composed of Turks, Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians.

One of the first missionaries sent into that country was a physician,
Doctor West, who, by his successful practice, and, to them, astounding
surgical operations, won a reputation which stands to-day unsurpassed
even so far as the remote villages of the mountains of that district.
The natives still tell of the miracles which Doctor West performed with
his surgical instruments, and one can rest assured that these stories
have lost nothing as they have passed on into the second generation and
are still doing service in support of scientific medicine. They made it
difficult for a modern physician to live up to the reputation of the
first missionary doctor seen in that region. As might be expected, this
work, at once recognized as of such importance, has been maintained
and an American physician is now located at Sivas with a hospital and
dispensary.

At the time of Doctor West there were no missionary hospitals, and the
dispensary usually consisted of a cupboard in a corner of the doctor’s
office, or more frequently of saddle bags from which he drew according
to his needs on his journeys up and down the country. The first
missionary physicians were itinerants with no office hours, but ready
whenever and wherever called to render relief to the sick and suffering
to the limit of their power. Under the changes that have taken place
since those days, the physician naturally and rightfully demands a
place in which he can care for patients who are seriously ill or after
surgical operations, until danger is passed.

There was no hospital in Sivas until six years ago, when a small
house was hired with four beds in it. After passing through various
changes, it is now equipped with twenty beds, with a royal permit from
Constantinople which puts it upon a legal and recognized basis. The
physician in charge, Charles E. Clark, M.D., has a trained nurse as an
assistant. The patients who avail themselves of their services range
all the way from the beggar on the street to the wealthy government
official. Turkish Moslems, Circassian soldiers, Kurds, Armenians, all
come to the American doctor and the American dispensary and hospital,
when suffering. The hospital is crowded to such extent that it must be
enlarged to accommodate not only the hospital patients, but the clinics
in the dispensary. The demands which press upon the physician cannot
be met with the present equipment. Over five thousand patients were
treated in the year 1910.

Several of the colleges administered by American missionaries in Turkey
have passed out of the first period of their history, that of laying
foundations, and have entered on a period of expansion. One hundred
and thirteen high schools and boarding-schools which are the feeders
for the colleges, have hitherto lacked the attention and the money
necessary for their best development, but now that they are firmly
established more attention is being given to the lower schools, without
which the colleges cannot do their best work. Several of these high
schools are the educational centres of territory larger in extent and
containing a greater population than some of our American states.

The Sivas Normal School, located in the heart of Sivas, a city of
65,000 people, and the capital of the ancient Seljuks, is a good
example, and until recently was unique in Turkey in the attention it
gives to training teachers for the common schools.

More than twenty-five years ago, the American missionaries, because
of the increasing need of more and better prepared teachers, decided
to strengthen a common school which was being carried on under their
direction and to raise the standard to that of a high school. The
name Sivas Normal School was given to it at that time to represent
the consciousness of the need and the purpose. Those who laid the
foundations were Rev. Henry T. Perry, who is still connected with the
school, and Rev. Albert W. Hubbard. Whatever has been accomplished
since in making the school a more effective and wider agency for
Christian education has been built on the foundation which they laid.

About fifteen years ago, when a striking increase of interest in
education began to appear in the Sivas field, two men of exceptional
ability as teachers became associated in its management. Mr. Baliosian,
a graduate of the normal school, returned after completing his course
of study in Central Turkey College, and soon Mr. Kabakjian came from
Anatolia College to join him. Many good ideas and influences from these
two strong colleges were thus introduced into the normal school and it
was due in no small degree to the coöperation of these two men that it
began to progress rapidly. The number of students grew in a few years
from twenty-five to one hundred and thirty, greatly overcrowding the
building which had been enlarged to its fullest possible capacity.

The educational system which has been developed by the missionaries in
Sivas now includes about four thousand pupils, of whom nine hundred
are in the city under their direct care; two thirds are in the lower
grades; four hundred and thirty are boys, of whom about one hundred are
in the normal school.

The Turkish officials are making strenuous efforts to establish a
thorough compulsory educational system for all classes of Ottoman
subjects. They are having the same difficulty that China experienced
a few years ago when that government set about to build up a
comprehensive system of education for her people and could not find
teachers competent to do the work required. There has been a great
reaction in China for that reason, and New Turkey is now facing exactly
the same problem. The minister of public instruction and his associates
are convinced that there must be a system of general education in
Turkey in order to make constitutional and representative government
safe and stable. And how are they to secure teachers with proper
training to make them competent for the work? The Turkish schools
hitherto have not provided them, and the American colleges, although
filled with students for the last twenty years, have not been able
to turn out more than a fraction of the number required to supply the
Turkish national schools, to say nothing of the demands of private
institutions.

To aid in meeting these demands a normal school has been established
at Sivas and is preparing to give a thorough modern training to young
men who are fitting themselves for the profession of teacher. For all
such there is a future full of promise. The American Board purchased
a fine site just outside the city and is now endeavouring to secure
funds to complete a commodious and attractive building to accommodate
the number of ambitious students knocking at its doors. If this school
were equipped to train a thousand young men and to send out annually
two hundred graduates with the most complete normal training that could
be given them in a course of five years, it would not begin to meet the
demand that New Turkey is placing upon it at the present time.

You must not forget that a large proportion of the people of Turkey
are villagers, uneducated and unambitious, but full of possibilities
if properly trained. It is to meet the needs of this intelligent but
untrained village population that the normal school exists. It is
expected that the government schools will take all the graduates and
set them to work as rapidly as they can be prepared for it. Wherever
these teachers are sent in the villages of Turkey, they will be the
best educated men of the entire region, and their influence will be
tremendous for peace, order, progress, education, and for the building
up of a new society on the basis of Western Christian civilization.
School committees in these villages, priests and bishops of the old
churches, are clamouring for teachers. The success of constitutional
government depends upon raising the general level of thought and
character, and all this depends upon the supply of proper teachers.

The studies provided are the ordinary American course for normal
training, including the theory and practice of teaching and school
management, lectures on the common branches by speakers of experience,
and a considerable amount of practice teaching under proper
supervision. A year’s course in pedagogy is also given.

American missionaries tell me that the education of women has been
a critical subject of discussion among the inhabitants of Sivas and
that part of Turkey. In the interior provinces it has been the common
belief that women cannot learn to read under the most favourable
circumstances; in intellectual ability it was customary to class them
with animals. Not infrequently in conversation with men of the last
generation the statement would be made that a girl could no more
learn to read than a donkey, and at any rate, of what possible use
in the world could a reading woman be? It was often asserted that,
if women learned to read, the whole fabric of Turkish society would
be overturned, since they would become independent, would be liable
to talk back when beaten by their husbands, and make trouble for the
family and the community. It was the general opinion that it was safer
to leave women in ignorance, even if the point should be conceded
that they were capable of learning anything under the most favourable
conditions.

The first missionaries who went into the country fought these theories
down, largely by hiring girls to attend school in order to demonstrate
the fact that they can learn to read. The girls of Turkey are as bright
as those of any country, and generally the languages of Turkey are
easier to learn than English, so that in every case the missionary won.
He was careful to select bright girls for the tests, and in no instance
was there a failure. They demonstrated that it was possible for a girl
to learn to read and that in very quick time. A little group of ten
girls was gathered into a school in Sivas away back in 1864, and from
that time to this the education of this sex has not been neglected.
In two years that little school had thirty-two pupils. It became so
popular that the Armenian bishop twice anathematized the school and its
teachers, but that only tended to advertise it and the number of pupils
rapidly increased.

The present High School for Girls, which had only four pupils in
1874 and was located in an old native house, has attained extensive
influence and power, not only through the pupils themselves, but
through the five hundred and sixty girls in various other schools in
the city, all of which are affiliated with this high school, and those
in other cities, like Gurum, Tokat, Divrik, Endires, Zara, etc., where
all the teachers are its graduates. What is perhaps of equal importance
is that the Gregorian priests have founded and are now carrying on
similar schools for girls in many of the centres of population in the
vilayet, in which the American methods have been adopted, American
courses are taught, and American ideas about the education of women are
accepted and are in practical operation. This recognition of missionary
methods is as sincere as it is general; an imitation is the most
genuine endorsement.

In addition to the medical and educational work it has been necessary
for the American missionaries, especially in the interior towns of
Turkey, during the last fifteen years, to open orphanages for the
accommodation of the great number of children that have been left
wholly destitute by the frequent massacres. This began in 1895, at the
time of the great massacres which swept over so much of the Turkish
Empire, when more than three hundred children were gathered into
an orphanage in Sivas. Our missionaries were aided by helpers sent
out from Switzerland under a Swiss committee, so that the work has
become international in its character. These children have been given
comfortable Christian homes and a modern education. It became necessary
to introduce many forms of industry for them that they might not be
idle and to enable them to bear at least a part of the expense of their
support and schooling. Later this work was enlarged somewhat to include
relief for widows.

As missionary enterprises, all these lines of work are connected with
general Christian instruction in no way hostile to the belief and
thoughts of the people. The instruction given has been constructive and
helpful rather than destructive and combative.

Trebizond is the terminus of the northern caravan route from Persia,
and about 30 per cent. of the commerce of the city is carried back and
forth on camels. The road over which the caravans travel is the same
that Xenophon followed in the retreat of the “Ten Thousand,” and it has
been kept in fairly good condition all these centuries, although it is
scarcely fit for vehicles. In former years about twenty thousand camels
arrived annually at Trebizond, each carrying from four hundred to five
hundred pounds. So much of the trade has been diverted through the
Caucasus by the new Russian road from Teheran to Rescht and the railway
through the Caucasus, that not more than eight thousand to ten thousand
camels are employed at present.

The distances between the principal points along the caravan route are
as follows:

                                                  Miles
  From Trebizond to Erzroom                         198
  Erzroom to the Persian frontier                   156
  Persian frontier to Tabriz                        162
  Tabriz to Teheran                                 344
                                                    ---
        Total distance from Trebizond to Teheran    860

The caravans usually take sixty days for the journey each way,
twenty-four days from Trebizond to the frontier and thirty-six days
from the frontier to Teheran.

Formerly travellers for Teheran used to go that way and made the
journey upon swift-moving camels in about twenty days. The route to
Persia via the steamers on the Black Sea to Batoum, the railway across
the Caucasus, and steamers on the Caspian Sea is quicker, shorter, and
cheaper, and hence the trade goes that way.

The caravans stop at a khan (as the old-fashioned hotels are called
where entertainment is given to both man and beast), just outside of
Trebizond, and we went down there to see the camels and their drivers.
Two hundred camels had just arrived from Persia after a journey of
thirty days, bringing twelve hundred bags of rice. I talked with the
boss driver, a gigantic Persian with a broad, cheerful face, who told
me that he had never been anywhere but along the same route between
Tabriz and Trebizond, and had travelled that regularly two or three
times a year for more than twenty years. Caravans often went to Tibet
and as far as China, he said, but he had never been that far.

The camels used on this line are a common species of dromedary with
only one hump, and cost all the way from $50 to $150 each, according
to age and condition. There is no regular system of camel-breeding
in Asia Minor, although that animal is the only beast of burden and
is absolutely indispensable. Most of the animals used here come from
Arabia, where they are bred by the Bedouins, and at the age of three
years are broken to load. The strength of a camel begins to decline at
twenty years, and after he reaches twenty-five he is not worth much. An
ordinary caravan is made up of groups of seven camels in charge of one
man, who leads them, feeds them, and cares for them from the time he
is twenty years old until they all die together. A camel driver has no
home. He is a nomad. He never has anything but the clothes he wears. He
sleeps with one of his camels for a pillow, and it might be said that
he eats the same food, which consists of straw and beans. A caravan is
usually led by a little donkey, for camels, as well as human beings,
will follow donkeys wherever they may go, in a most mysterious manner.

A camel is never relieved of its load from the beginning to the end of
a journey. It eats, sleeps, and travels under its burden, often for
weeks at a time, and will carry six hundred pounds without a murmur.
When the load is off, the driver rides, but when the load is on he
walks by the side of his charge.

Camels are used for all kinds of purposes, the same as horses. They
are broken to saddle and to wagon. They are hitched to plows and haul
saw logs out of the forests. They can go for ten days over a desert
without water. Their stomachs are divided into compartments and the
contents are digested in order, one after the other, as the system
needs nourishment. And it is often said that a “fifth stomach” is kept
as a reserve for an emergency.

Our word caravansary comes from the Turkish term caravanseria, which
means literally a bower for caravans, or a resting place where the
animals are fed and the camel driver eats his bread and drinks his
wine. He gets nothing and pays for nothing except space, shelter, and
protection against robbers and thieves. These caravanserias are found
in every town along the caravan roads. They are distinguished from
khans--which are usually square enclosures or court-yards paved with
stone, with rooms opening upon them, where travellers can store their
goods, and often a gallery and a second floor, where the better class
can obtain lodgings. These khans may be found in Constantinople and
in every other Eastern city, and in the day-time are busy places, the
freighters loading and unloading and merchants showing their goods to
customers. At sunset the gates are closed, the donkeys and the animals
lie down to sleep, and their drivers lie down beside them.

There is a long range of snow-clad mountains along the southern coast
of the Black Sea reaching almost the entire distance from Trebizond
to Rizeh, the next stopping place, and between them and the water
side are low foothills covered with farms. The new wheat was a vivid
green that lights up a lovely picture. There is no more beautiful sea
coast. Indeed, there is nothing to surpass that landscape in the Alps,
or the Pyrenees, or the Andes, or the Rocky Mountains, or anywhere
else, owing to the great variety of scenery that lies between the
water and the snow-capped crags. In May, when we were there, nature is
all smiles. Both the woods and the fields are alive with glory. The
foliage is perfect; rhododendrons and azaleas hide the scars in the
rocks and creepers drape the rugged cliffs with a profusion of garlands
that artificial decorations cannot compare with. Here and there the
farming land is broken by a lofty precipice rising a thousand feet or
more directly out of luxuriant vegetation, just as an artist would put
some bold figure into a picture to offer a contrast to the peaceful,
cultivated slope. And the lofty mountain peaks look bolder and sterner
because they rise so near the wheat fields, the gentle valleys dotted
with white villages, and the sombre forests that are so thick and so
green.

We were told that the finest oranges, cherries, and other fruits in the
world come from the slopes that line the shore of the Black Sea. We
were told, too, that cherries got their name from the town of Kerasun,
which was called Cherryson by the Greeks. We were too early, of course,
for all the fruits except oranges, but the captain said that in the
summer and fall cherries, grapes, plums, peaches, pears, and melons,
finer than can be found in Paris, “can be bought for almost nothing.”

The people of the villages on that part of the coast, and particularly
those of the town of Rizeh, are sailors and fishermen. They are wild,
reckless, handsome fellows, wearing short open jackets of scarlet or
blue, with zouave trousers, purple or yellow sashes bound around their
waists, and a knotted black turban with the tasselled ends hanging down
over their shoulders. Most of the seamen on the Turkish cruisers and
gunboats come from that town and the neighbouring villages.

“Rizeh is the most beautiful place on the Black Sea,” said the captain
with a shrug, “but everybody carries a knife, and would not hesitate to
kill a stranger for his hat or his handkerchief.”

And we learned afterward that there were two hundred murderers serving
sentences of from fifteen years to life in the prison that day. We
saw several of the short-sentence men at the windows as we passed the
prison, and somebody was standing on a tomb in the cemetery under the
windows talking to them in a loud tone. The people on the street did
not appear to pay any attention to him, although he was very much in
earnest.

Near by was a more interesting crowd. Our steamer brought the mail from
Constantinople and fifty or sixty citizens of Rizeh were gathered in a
compact body around the steps of the post-office, while some gentleman
read the news aloud to them. We were told it was a regular practice
every time a mail came in. Most of the population are illiterate,
but they are intensely patriotic and partisan, and keep close tab on
political events at Constantinople and elsewhere.

They must be very superstitious, also, judging by the precautions they
adopt to protect their houses and fields from the evil eye and other
uncanny influences. The skull of a goat or a sheep, with a bunch of red
peppers attached to it, was hanging from the corner of the eaves of
almost every dwelling. We saw similar amulets in the gardens, orchards,
and fields to protect the fruit and the crops. An old shoe and a bunch
of garlic are equally efficacious, we are told, if you haven’t the
skull of a sheep. The peasants in the country believe in miraculous
cures, in witchcraft, and all such things, and often sacrifice animals
at the shrines of saints to fulfil vows they have made in times of
danger or distress. On a certain day in summer they splash water over
each other; in the spring every woman releases a pigeon she has kept
during the winter, and in some places the women go out to welcome the
storks which fly in here at a certain time of the year. A new baby is
always passed over a flame and young girls leap through fire to insure
good husbands.

The patriarchal system prevails very generally among the farmer
peasants, and the father, or after his death the eldest son, is the
head and dictator of the family. A newly married couple always go to
live in the house of the groom’s father, and the bride is condemned to
perpetual silence in the presence of the family until her first child
is born or until another marriage takes place in the same house. A
young wife is not permitted to speak to any one save her own husband,
and to him only when they are alone. But after her first baby is born
she is considered worthy of sufficient respect to be recognized as a
member of the household.

Although this practice doubtless would not be encouraged by the
Daughters of the Revolution or the suffragettes, nevertheless, every
one will admit that it has its advantages. I have read the wise
comments of a certain Baron Haxthausen, a learned German who spent
some time in that country forty or fifty years ago and saw many things
to approve. The herr professor must have had some painful matrimonial
experience, for he commended this custom as tending to increase the
peace of a family as well as conjugal devotion. He is very positive
that its adoption in other countries would reduce the business of the
divorce courts and promote the peace and happiness of mankind.

[Illustration: Group of Lazis, Armenia, ready for a dance]

“Imagine five or six women living together in the same house,” he
says, “and a new member added to the company with the pride and vanity
which are usually felt by a bride. Should we not anticipate continued
dissension which the authority in the head of the family is unable to
prevent? Much unhappiness and quarrelling arise from the use of women’s
tongues, and what is so certain a cure as silence? It is only in the
rarest cases that a bride submits gracefully to the opinion and the
authority of her mother-in-law. She usually enters the family with a
disposition to assert her independence, and if her freedom of speech is
restrained, this cannot be done to an extent that will be offensive.
Indeed, I cannot imagine a more wholesome custom than that which
restrains the conversational powers of a young woman entering a new
family.”

It must be distinctly understood that the above opinions are in
quotation marks, and those who do not agree with them are not
compelled to act upon the recommendations. And, notwithstanding these
precautions, you will remember that the prison at Rizeh is full of
murderers. How many of them are women and how many are brides is not
stated.

These people are called Lazis, and this part of Armenia is known as
Lazistan. They belong to the Georgian race and came there from Georgia,
which lies a little farther along, west of the Caucasus Mountains, in
order to escape persecution from their neighbours because they accepted
the Mohammedan faith. It sounds refreshing to hear that a Mohammedan
has been persecuted on religious grounds. It is the first case of the
kind I have ever known, and the Lazis showed their good sense by coming
over into a Mohammedan country after accepting that religion. And they
are said to be very fanatical about it, as converts often are, and will
stab a man for a difference of opinion on theology, as soon as cut
his throat for his purse. At the same time, they are the most highly
skilled gardeners in all the Ottoman Empire and are conspicuous, under
ordinary circumstances, for their quiet, orderly behaviour, for their
industry, honesty, and fair dealing. We can testify to the last fact,
because we always made a bargain with the boatmen who took us ashore
from the steamer at every port we stopped, and those at Rizeh are the
only ones that did not demand more money than they had agreed to accept.

With all these virtues, they have been known to dodge their religious
obligations. During the Mohammedan Lent, which is called Ramazan, every
faithful member of that faith is bound to abstain from all kinds of
nourishment, stimulants, and pleasures between sunrise and sunset; but
the Lazis continue to smoke all day long on the pretext that tobacco
was unknown to the prophet Mohammed, and therefore its use could not
have been forbidden by him.

And so far as persecution is concerned, they have proven very handy
when a massacre has been ordered, and no pious Moslem ever cut the
throat of a Christian or burned his home with so much zeal as they have
shown on several occasions. Nearly all of the Armenian population has
been driven back into the country by the fanatical outbreaks of the
Lazis, and the Greeks, who were the original settlers and civilizers of
that coast, have been driven across to the Russian side of the Black
Sea, where they can worship in their own way without being interfered
with. But the whole world will be glad to learn that it is believed
that religious persecution is at an end in Armenia. No people have ever
suffered so much or have ever shown greater loyalty and tenacity to the
faith which they profess.

During the thirteenth, fourteenth, and part of the fifteenth centuries
the Venetians controlled this coast, and their rivals in the Genoese
Republic continually attempted to drive them out. Every port was
protected by a formidable castle and every town was surrounded by
a high wall. The Venetian castle at Rizeh has been almost entirely
obliterated, although its site is marked by a pile of débris, and one
can trace the foundations upon the summit overlooking the bay. The
city wall is quite perfect in places and can be followed for half a
mile or more on one side of the town. The Venetian influence appears
in a striking manner in the architecture. There are several distinctly
Venetian houses that contribute to the charming picture which this
little city embowered in foliage presents from the deck of a ship. And
the cottages are unique in their designs and methods of construction,
suggesting the familiar Elizabethan school so common in English
villages. The walls are made of cross pieces of wood with the spaces
between them filled in with masonry, broad roofs, overhanging eaves,
narrow windows, and loggias.

Everybody seems to be fond of brilliant colours, which makes the place
look gay, although the women keep their faces hid and envelop their
bodies in large cotton shawls. They select the gayest patterns they can
find, which, of course, makes them all the more conspicuous. The guide
book says that Rizeh is a great place for linen and other fabrics,
and that the women weave their own shawls, but the fashion must have
changed since the book was written, because we inquired at several of
the shops and found that all of the dry-goods offered for sale were
made in Germany, in imitation of the old home-made patterns.

Batoum, the Colchis of the ancients, where Jason and the Argonauts
captured the golden fleece, is the only seaport of the Russian province
of the Caucasus and the only outlet for the trade of that vast and
productive area. It is the terminus of nearly all the lines of steamers
on the Black Sea, and, therefore, a place of great importance. There is
a railway across the Caucasus between the Black and the Caspian Seas,
a pipe line for conveying oil from Baku and special docks for loading
tank steamers with that kind of freight.

Batoum was a part of Turkey until the year 1878, and was awarded to
Russia by the Treaty of Berlin, in which the European Powers all
participated, as part of the price which Turkey was compelled to pay
for peace. Since the cession the place has been strongly fortified
by the Russians, notwithstanding a stipulation in that convention
against it. There is a population of about thirty thousand, very
cosmopolitan. All the Turkish clans are represented and there are about
six thousand Greeks. There is an old and a new town. The former is a
duplication of one hundred small Turkish cities with bazaars, mosques,
cafés, and khans, where travellers and caravans find accommodations
for themselves, their animals, and their merchandise. All of the
labour is done by Armenians, Georgians, Greeks, Turks, and Circassians
and representatives of a dozen other races, each of which adheres
tenaciously to its native costume as well as its native customs.

[Illustration: The city of Batoum]

The new town is distinctly Russian, with wide streets, good sidewalks,
and shade trees everywhere. There are two well-kept parks, a boulevard
and promenade along the seashore which is very attractive and must be
a great comfort to the population during the long, hot summer months.
There is a good deal of bathing _au naturel_, the women undressing and
going into the water “in the altogether” at one end of the promenade,
and the men at the other, without the formality of bathing-houses,
although they might be built at a very slight expense in the interest
of common decency as well as convenience. No other necessity is
neglected.

It was decidedly pleasant to see the unveiled faces of women again,
after several weeks in Mohammedan towns; and one never admires blonde
hair and blue eyes, particularly when worn by an American girl, as
he does after spending some time among Orientals. It was pleasant to
escape the musty smells which are attached to every Turkish town and to
see healthy, clean dogs that could be touched without contamination.

Batoum has a splendid cathedral of the solid and ornate Russian
style of architecture, with the five domes required by Byzantine
traditions. It was erected as a memorial several years ago. Somebody,
unfortunately, furnished the cathedral with a peal of heavy, deep-toned
bells, which are ringing nearly all the time and cause a suspension of
business, because nobody can talk or hear or even think in the eruption
of sound they produce. There are good shops, well filled with modern
merchandise, and a hotel that is quite comfortable, but is kept by a
man whose name might be Barabbas, for he is a robber.

The streets and cafés are full of Russian officers and soldiers,
including many stately Cossacks wearing tall chimney-pot hats of white
Persian lamb and the many other accoutrements that pertain to that
race of professional warriors. A Cossack, as perhaps you know, comes
from the valley of the river Don, in eastern Russia, where soldiers
are bred, and they go into the Russian army for life, furnishing their
own uniforms, their own horses, and their own arms, as well as their
own rations and supplies, for which they receive a lump sum per month.
They are doubtless the finest cavalry in the world and are absolutely
loyal to their employers. It is a matter of principle and not a
matter of partisanship. In all the Russian revolutions, in all the
conspiracies against the czar and the government, no Cossack has ever
been corrupted. On the other hand, they are absolutely merciless. They
seem to be entirely without the ordinary feelings of humanity, knowing
neither sympathy nor sorrow, regret nor remorse. They will shoot an
infant as readily as an armed foe.

The Russian drosky, the little baby victoria, so familiar to the
czar’s possessions, which may be found in every town between Riga and
Vladivostock, is here at the convenience of the tourist as well as the
residents. We saw a few of the splendid black stallions, with long
tails and manes, that were introduced into Russia during the reign of
Catherine II by Prince Orloff, whose descendants now own the largest
and most celebrated stock farm in the world, although I believe it was
badly used by the revolutionists several years ago. The ishvostchik, as
a drosky driver is called, is another distinctively Russian institution
and we were very glad to see him again.

The constitution of Russia hasn’t made any difference with the
vigilance of the police, and it seemed as if the passengers of the
good ship _Euterpe_ were subjected to more than ordinary scrutiny by
the police before they would allow us to land. The captain made the
dock at daylight, which at that time of year is about five o’clock in
the morning, and shortly before six o’clock all the passengers were
awakened and invited to the salon. There we found a police officer
with a couple of clerks examining passports. After we had presented
ours and had explained our motives in visiting Russia, we were gruffly
dismissed, but it was after nine o’clock before they would allow us
to land. In the meantime they examined our luggage with great care
in order, as were advised, to make sure that we were not importing
arms or anarchistic literature to corrupt the Caucasians. When the
examination was about half finished, I showed the chief inquisitor a
general letter of introduction given me by the Russian ambassador at
Washington, certifying to my respectability and innocence. He read it
through carefully, scowled fiercely, shook his head, and then began to
search more energetically than before, regardless of ambassadors or
other outside influences who have nothing to do with the case. But we
are taught that there is good in everything, and contact with Russian
police officials certainly cultivates patience if nothing else.



CHAPTER III

RAILWAY CONCESSIONS IN TURKEY


Shortly after the overthrow of the despotism in Turkey, the new
government formulated a comprehensive scheme of public improvements
intended to promote the material development of the Ottoman Empire,
which was forbidden for a third of a century by Abdul Hamid, the
late sultan. He seemed to think that progress and prosperity were
inconsistent with the welfare of a nation, or at least a menace to
the authority of an autocrat, and as long as he kept his subjects in
poverty and ignorance, his sceptre was safe in his hands. He adhered
strictly to that policy. He forbade the development of mines or any
other of the natural resources, and reluctantly consented to the
construction of a few lines of railway, which were demanded by foreign
commerce and were built by foreign capital. The Germans always had
the preference in such matters, but there are also English and French
railway lines in Turkey. The sultan would never permit a telephone or
an electric light or a trolley car or any other modern necessity of
commerce and social life, and his subjects were forbidden to travel
from one place to another, even in their own province, without the
permission of the police.

When the present government invited proposals for the construction
of railways through the interior of Turkey in Asia, one of the most
important plans was submitted by Admiral C. M. Chester of the United
States Navy (retired) and his associates, who are organized under the
title of “The Ottoman-American Development Company.” Their proposition
was thoroughly investigated by the Turkish government, approved by the
department of public works and the council of state and only required
the ratification of the Turkish Parliament to be complete. This would
have been done at the session of the Parliament in 1910 but for the
intervention of Baron von Bieberstein, the German ambassador, who
protested on the ground that the concession interfered with the mining
rights of some German subjects and was in violation of a treaty made
between his government and the late sultan guaranteeing that no further
mining concessions would be granted in Turkey without the consent of
the German government.

Baron von Bieberstein’s purpose seems to have been to secure command of
the situation and to obtain additional favours for a company which was
formed several years ago to extend one of the existing railway lines
from its present terminus in the province of Anatolia to the Persian
Gulf. It is suspected also that certain German and Belgian capitalists
would be glad to secure a share of the Chester concession, which is
very comprehensive and involves a variety of interests.

Although the Turkish ministry was exceedingly anxious to close the
arrangement and obtain the credit of promoting such an extensive
scheme of internal improvements, they were afraid of Germany--first,
on account of the controversy with Greece over Crete, and, second, for
fear the kaiser would object to a proposed increase in the Turkish
tariff. This situation was complicated by the fact that the kaiser’s
sister is the wife of the crown prince and the future king of Greece,
and the Turkish administration cannot raise the necessary revenue by
advancing duties on imported goods 5 per cent., as is now proposed,
without the consent of the five European Powers.

The concession involves the construction of about fifteen hundred miles
of track through Armenia, Kurdistan, and Mesopotamia, and the vilayets
of Trebizond, Sivas, Van, Diarbekir and Mossoul. The road begins at
the port of Snedis, on the Mediterranean, at the mouth of the Orontes
River, about sixty miles south of Alexandretta, and about thirty miles
from the ancient town of Antioch. From there it runs eastward through
Aleppo, Urfa, Diarbekir, Bitlis, and other populous cities to Lake
Van and encircles that lake, which is the most important of all the
interior bodies of water in Turkey. From Diarbekir, which is to be a
junction, one branch of the road will run northwest to the city of
Sivas and another southwest to the Persian boundary at Suleimanieh,
crossing the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers and
bisecting the province of Mesopotamia, which it is proposed to reclaim
to agriculture by the reconstruction of the vast systems of irrigation
which were used by the ancients, and for some mysterious reason have
been allowed to go to waste.

The Turkish government is contemplating the construction of a railroad
from Sivas northward to Samsoun and Trebizond, on the Black Sea,
and intends to extend the existing railroad from Constantinople to
Angora to connect with the tracks of the Chester syndicate at Sivas.
The Russian government is determined to control all of the railway
lines that touch the Black Sea, and has a treaty with Turkey which
prevents any concession being granted to the Chester syndicate or any
other except a Russian or Turkish corporation for a railroad into that
territory. It is entirely probable, however, that some arrangement
might be made for the construction of one and perhaps two lines between
Sivas and the Black Sea by the Turkish government.

The Chester concession is for ninety-nine years, the government
reserving the right to purchase the whole or any part of the property
after a period of sixty years, on the basis of the average gross
receipts for the previous five years. The syndicate agrees to complete
the first third in five years, the second third in six years, and
the entire system in ten years, the total cost being estimated at
$100,000,000. The government reserves the right to regulate charges
for freight and passengers, and the company agrees to transport
mails, soldiers, and military supplies at a certain reduction from
the regular rates. The property is to be exempt from taxation for a
certain period. All materials are to be admitted free of duty, but the
company must employ subjects of Turkey in the operation of the road
as far as possible, and “they must wear the fez and such uniforms as
the government shall direct.” The company is under obligations to give
preference to the government in transportation of troops and supplies
in time of war, or whenever necessary. The funds for paying the cost
of construction are to be raised by an issue of bonds and at least one
half of the total must be offered publicly to Turkish subscribers for a
period of thirty-one days.

There is no subsidy or guarantee of interest or principal, and no
financial obligation whatever on the part of the government, but the
development company, which is organized under the laws of New Jersey,
with the right to form subordinate companies, will have the exclusive
right for ninety-nine years to exploit and work directly, or by leases
to others, all mineral and petroleum deposits, all quarries, mineral
water springs, known or unknown, within an area of twenty kilometres
on both sides of the tracks for the entire distance, a total of
about fifteen hundred miles through the heart of Turkey. It has the
exclusive right to all water-power within twenty kilometres of the
track on both sides for electricity or manufacturing purposes; it is
authorized to furnish light and power to all towns and cities within
a zone of one hundred kilometres on both sides of the track; it has
the exclusive right to operate boats on Lake Van and build and operate
smelters, furnaces, elevators, warehouses, wharves, machine-shops and a
variety of other industries. One of the most important features of the
concession is the right to establish stores to sell such merchandise
as it may deem proper or useful to the public and to its own employés.
The company is authorized to construct and operate telegraph lines for
its own use, but it cannot do a commercial business, because that would
interfere with the government telegraph, which is a part of its postal
service.

The enterprise being of public utility, all property belonging to
individuals can be appropriated whenever necessary for carrying out
the provisions of the concession, and all concessions previously
granted which may interfere with the conditions of the contract are to
be terminated as speedily as possible. The government undertakes to
indemnify the owners.

The resources of Turkey have never been developed. Nothing has ever
been done by the government and very little by individuals, because,
whenever a Turk discovered anything of value or acquired any wealth, he
was robbed, blackmailed, and persecuted, and the government confiscated
whatever it could reach. Abdul Hamid had a personal title to much
valuable property, such as mineral deposits, petroleum wells, stone
quarries, forests, and placed others in the names of his confidential
men. The new government has confiscated all of these properties and the
titles are now in the state. All such property lying along the line of
the proposed road becomes subject to the concession.

The Chester syndicate thus obtains the exclusive right to work certain
coal deposits that have been operated more or less by the government.
They are of unlimited extent, and the quality of the coal is said to be
as fine as that of Cardiff. There is a deposit of copper at Arghana,
which has been worked in a rude way for several thousand years and is
believed to be one of the most valuable in the world. It belongs to the
Turkish government and has been producing about $750,000 worth of ore
a month for the benefit of the sovereign. Several syndicates have been
organized from time to time to get hold of it, but the sultan would
never let it go.

Other extensive copper deposits are known to exist, but they have never
been developed or even explored. There is a very large oil territory in
the neighbourhood of Mosul, in the valley of the Tigris, which has been
known for centuries. So long ago as the reign of Alexander the Great
the people used the seepage for lubricating purposes, for liniments,
and for fuel. There is oil in other localities along the line, and no
end of lead, zinc, and other minerals of greater or less value. The
mountains through which the railway will pass have been the source
of silver supply of the Armenians and the Kurds for twenty or thirty
centuries, but the mines have never been worked by modern processes.

It is believed that the mineral deposits alone represent hundreds
of millions of dollars in the territory covered by the concession,
without regard to other interests of value. The development company,
which will own the concession, proposes to divide and separate these
interests among several subordinate companies--one to build and
operate the railway, another to operate the coal mines, another to
operate the copper mines, another to develop the oil deposits, and
others to undertake the development of the various other interests.
Numerous propositions have already been received from syndicates and
individuals, who are aware of valuable mineral, timber, and other
resources along the proposed line, and have been trying in vain to
obtain concessions from the Turkish government to develop them.

Mr. W. W. Masterson, American consul at Harpoot, who has served in this
part of the world for many years and knows Turkey thoroughly, made a
horseback journey of 800 miles over the proposed routes of railways
and reported to the secretary of state that he found no serious
difficulties of construction. The chief line proposed, he says, would
follow the Euphrates River almost its entire length without a heavier
grade than one foot to the mile, and there are no great engineering
difficulties to the other lines.

“The valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris, and the coves bordering
on Lake Van, are cultivated to a degree,” Mr. Masterson says, “and
enough is raised with their primitive farming implements to feed
the people in that region. But little is exported because of the
difficulties and cost of transportation. With an outlet to market,
proper methods of cultivation, and modern farming implements, the
land is capable of producing many times more than is now raised. For
example, take the Mush Plain, through which the Euphrates winds its
sluggish course. While the plain is wonderfully productive and well
fitted in soil and climate for raising crops of all kinds, and every
acre is fit for cultivation, yet not more than one third is cultivated.
The land is so abundant that a field is cultivated one year, and the
next year, possibly for several years, it is left fallow. The method
used for breaking up new ground is slow, laborious, and unsatisfactory.
A wooden plow on wheels is used, to which often eight or ten yoke of
oxen or buffalo are hitched, with a man sitting on the yoke of each
team, and a man behind to guide the plow. Each furrow is turned so
slowly that the amount plowed each day would not equal a few hours’
work with an up-to-date plow and a strong team of horses, while the
furrows are never over six inches deep.

“In the neighbourhood of many of the villages around the shores of Lake
Van is a considerable quantity of Circassian walnut timber, some of
the trunks being of enormous size, upon which are knotty growths that
would make them of great value if they could be shipped to market. Some
little business is done in this line with Marseilles, but in the most
unsatisfactory and wasteful manner, so that the returns are small.

“Lake Van is an unusually beautiful body of water,” continued Mr.
Masterson, “about sixty miles long and thirty miles wide. The water is
impregnated with a potash of some kind and has a soft, soapy feeling.
The natives use it for washing their clothing without soap. Around
the lake is much tilled land of great richness, and many villages, in
addition to the thriving city of Van, are located upon its shores.
There are a number of sailing boats, but they are so unwieldly that
they can only go before the wind and frequently are compelled to wait
a week or ten days for favourable weather. A boat run by steam power
would be a paying investment, and some years ago the local government
ordered a forty horse-power motor-boat from the United States through
an American missionary, but it was delayed in the custom-house of
Trebizond for more than a year and a half, and only reached Van last
fall.

“It is the mineral wealth of the country, however,” continued Mr.
Masterson, “that is destined to make it prosperous. While I could not
investigate for myself, I was told by thoroughly reliable persons of
rich deposits of coal, iron, and copper, which have been worked more or
less at long intervals for many centuries, but only for local supply.
An Armenian bishop told me of a vein of coal eight feet in thickness,
which juts out of a mountain; a German told me that he knew of a bed
of iron ore of such richness and purity that the blacksmiths of the
villages in that neighbourhood have been using it for years in their
work without having it smelted. There are beds of coal of excellent
quality near the city of Van and every indication of petroleum. During
the insurrection two years ago the revolutionists secured all their
bullets from some wonderfully rich lead deposits in the neighbourhood
of Van. While I was at Bitlas the governor-general showed me some fine
specimens that looked like American anthracite and he told me of a
sulphur mine near that city. Two days out from Bitlas I came across
immense deposits of marble jutting out of the mountain, not only white,
but dark red, green, and black.

“There is an extensive deposit of copper half way between Diarbekir
and Harpoot that is being worked to some extent in three places, one
by private individuals and two by the government. A smelter near the
mine is operated with wood fuel, which is a very scarce and expensive
commodity in this country, although the western branch of the Tigris
River, a mountain torrent with a tremendous fall, passes only a few
feet from the smelter and might easily develop enough electrical energy
for all that country.

“The copper ore is very rich. There is a spring of water at the
outcropping which is so strongly impregnated that a French prospector
offered the government $25,000 a year for the privilege of converting
the solution into solid copper, but the offer was refused and the
overflow of that spring is still carrying its load of mineral into the
Tigris River.”

Russia has already acquired about one third of Armenia by conquest, and
has been pushing its southern boundary line farther and farther into
Turkey and Persia every time there is a war. And now Turkey has given
the Russians the exclusive right to construct railway lines from the
ports of Asia Minor and Armenia on the Black Sea. Several short lines
will doubtless be built. They will belong to the Russian government,
and the next time an excuse is offered for hostilities the cars will
be loaded with Russian troops and arms and ammunition, brought across
the Black Sea from Sebastopol on Russian ships. The Turks have thus
furnished their most dangerous and aggressive enemy the facilities for
an easy and irresistible invasion of their own territory. In addition
to its military importance, the Russians have obtained a commercial
advantage of the greatest value. The country along the southern coast
of the Black Sea is very rich and produces abundant crops, but the
people of the interior have no means except camel caravans of getting
their produce to market. The Russians are to furnish them the necessary
facilities and will have the benefit of the results.

Furthermore, the mountains which skirt the coast are rich in minerals,
but have never been developed or even explored, because the sultan of
Turkey has always forbidden it. A French company has a concession for
working a coal mine near the city of Kastamuni (you can find it on the
map about thirty miles inland from the coast of the Black Sea), but
they have no harbour and no railway and it costs as much to get the
coal over that thirty miles to the coast as it does to bring it from
England. If a railway could be built and a harbour provided, the mines
would be a very profitable source of revenue. The coal is of excellent
quality. It is easily worked and the nearest competition is Cardiff and
Newcastle in England. The sultan has always opposed the development
of these resources, but the new government is favourable. Russia and
France are allies in all that concerns the East and it may be assumed
that the Russians will not only encourage but assist the French
concessionaires for this coal industry.

Although the Chester concession had been approved and signed by every
authority of the executive branch of the government whose signature was
necessary, and had been formally approved by a unanimous vote of the
council of state, the grand vizier refused to submit it to the Chamber
of Deputies whose ratification was necessary to make it complete. When
pressed to do so by the American ambassador, he explained that it
would first be necessary to make some modifications in the treaty of
amity and commerce which has been standing for nearly a hundred years,
in order that the officials and employés of the proposed railroad,
and the adventurers it would attract to the country, might be placed
under the jurisdiction of the Turkish courts. At present, as in all
semi-civilized countries, citizens of the United States residing in
Turkey are tried before the American consul on the theory that they
cannot secure justice in the local courts. This is called the doctrine
of extra-territoriality, and is also adhered to by European Powers.
While there has been considerable improvement in the judiciary of
Turkey, the government is not yet sufficiently secure and the laws have
not yet been sufficiently modernized to justify the United States or
the European governments in submitting the personal and property rights
of their subjects in Turkey to such jurisdiction, and neither the
merchants nor the missionaries now in the Ottoman Empire would consider
themselves safe under such an arrangement.

The grand vizier also raised the objection suggested by the German
ambassador, that the Chester concession interfered with the mining
rights of a certain German subject, and with an agreement with the late
sultan that no mining concessions would be granted in Turkey without
the consent of the German government. But the real reason for the
refusal to submit the concession for the ratification of the Chamber
of Deputies appeared in January, 1911, when a secret arrangement
entered into between Russia and Germany as to the future policy to be
pursued by those two governments in Persia and Turkey became known.
This agreement practically apportions the Turkish provinces in Asia and
the northern provinces of Persia between those two governments, so far
as transportation facilities are concerned, without even consulting the
governments of Turkey or Persia. It is as follows:

“Article I.--The Imperial Russian government declares its willingness
not to oppose the realization of the Bagdad Railway project, and agrees
not to oppose any obstacle to the participation of foreign capitalists
in this enterprise, it being understood that no sacrifice of a monetary
or economic nature will be asked from Russia.

“Article II.--In order to meet the wishes of the German government to
connect the Bagdad Railway with the system of railways to be built
in Persia at a future date, the Russian government agrees, when this
system has been constructed, to proceed with the building of a line
to join, on the Turco-Persian frontier, the railway from Sadje to
Khanikin, when this branch of the Bagdad Railway, together with the
line from Koniah to Bagdad, shall have been completed. The Russian
government reserves the right to determine, at a time to suit itself,
the definite route of the line, which is to join up at Khanikin. Both
governments will facilitate the international traffic on the Khanikin
line, and will avoid all measures that might tend to hinder it; for
instance, the establishment of a transit time or the application of
differential treatment.

“Article III.--The German government agrees not to construct any
railway lines in any other zone than that of the Bagdad line and the
Turco-Persian frontier to the north of Khanikin, and not to lend its
material or diplomatic support to any undertakings of this nature in
the said zone.

“Article IV.--The German government once more declares that it has no
political interests in Persia, and that it is only pursuing commercial
aims there. It recognizes, on the other hand, that Russia has special
interests in northern Persia, from a political, strategic, and
economical point of view.

“The German government also declares that it has no intention of
seeking, for its own profit, or of supporting in any way, either for
its own subjects or for those of other nations, any concessions for
railways, roads, steamship routes, telegraphs, or other concessions of
a territorial nature to the north of the line beginning at Kasrihin,
crossing Ispahan, Jezd, and Khakh, and ending at the Afghan frontier
at the latitude of Ghasik. If the German government seeks such
concessions, it must first of all come to an agreement with the Russian
government.

“On the other hand, the Russian government will consent to recognize,
with regard to German trade in Persia, the principle of absolute
equality of treatment.”

The publication of this agreement naturally created a decided sensation
in Turkey and Persia, and the grand vizier was questioned about it on
the floor of the Chamber of Deputies at Constantinople. He had very
little to say and was evidently very much embarrassed. He explained
that the arrangement was made without preliminary conferences with his
government, but assurances had been received from both Germany and
Russia that the interests of Turkey would be completely protected.
As the plans for transportation lines disclosed by this arrangement
interfere directly with the rights granted to the Chester syndicate,
it will be necessary for the government of the United States to take
part in whatever negotiations may follow, or withdraw entirely from
participation in the development of the material resources of Turkey.

What is known as the Bagdad Railway is one of the greatest projects
decided upon by the Turkish government. The concession has already
been granted. The work of construction has already begun; two hundred
kilometres of track have been laid from Konia toward Adana, and the
company has received $80,000 a mile for what has cost it less than
$50,000. Now that the expensive part of the line has been reached,
through the Anti-Taurus Mountains, the managers are holding up and
making excuses for not continuing work. They want to change the route.
They have already made between $5,000,000 and $6,000,000 profit, which
has been divided among the concessionaires, and have thus gotten into
bad habits. They are reluctant to undertake work that will cost every
dollar they will get for it, and perhaps more, although the concession
was accepted as a whole and not in parts. Instead of crossing the
mountains where the road is needed they have asked the government to
permit them to follow the coast line, where there will be little or no
grade and where the track can be laid for less than one half of the
guarantee per mile. If you will take a map of the Turkish Empire you
can easily see the situation.

What is known as the Anatolian Railway begins at Haidar-Pasha, on
the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, opposite Constantinople, and runs
eastward, following a sort of zigzag course, to the city of Angora, in
Asia Minor. A branch runs down to Murad, where it connects with a line
from Smyrna, and a little farther south, at Alshehr, it connects with
a line from Aidin. Both Smyrna and Aidin are on the Ægean Sea and are
very important ports.

The railways I have described have been in operation for several years.
They owe their existence to British enterprise and were built with
British capital, but have passed into the control of the International
Syndicate, which holds the concession for the Bagdad Railway, and are
to be a part of that system. In other words, the present Anatolian
Railway is to be extended through Asia Minor and Mesopotamia via Bagdad
to the Persian Gulf, and there connect with a projected line across
Persia and Afghanistan to join the railway system of India at Quetta
or some other convenient place. This will connect the Mediterranean
and the Black Seas with the Persian Gulf, and, in the growing railway
transportation system of Asia, will correspond to the Sunset line of
the Southern Pacific in the United States, in the same way as the
Great Siberian road corresponds to the Northern Pacific and the Great
Northern, and the Central Asia Railway to the Union and Central Pacific
route. Already 640 kilometres, or about four hundred and fifty miles,
have been completed and about one thousand miles remain to be built.

The greatest difficulty in carrying out the scheme has been politics.
The financial aspects are clear, but the political interests at
stake are widespread and complicated. Five of the great Powers of
Europe are involved in the undertaking. Great Britain acquiesced
only upon the condition that it should be allowed to control that
portion of the route between Bagdad and the Persian Gulf. The
company is incorporated in Switzerland. The incorporators represent
the Anatolian Railway Company of Constantinople, which, as I have
already explained, is the first link in the line; the Deutsche Bank
of Berlin, the Credit-Mobilier of Paris, the Imperial Ottoman Bank of
Constantinople, the Weiner Bank Verein of Vienna, the Banca Commerciale
Italiana of Milan, the Swiss Creditanstadt, and several British and
Belgian interests. The Deutsche Bank of Berlin, through its branch
at Constantinople, has immediate management, and by manipulation has
obtained practically absolute control, so that, with the exception of
the unbuilt but proposed section from Bagdad to the Persian Gulf, which
may not be constructed for years, it is practically a German enterprise.

Although the other powers are involved, as I have explained, their
representatives have taken no active participation in the work and
have simply been content to have their names appear in the articles
of incorporation, and to encourage their capitalists to invest in the
stocks and bonds. With the exception of the Germans, therefore, the
international representation which has been insisted upon from the
beginning by Turkey, and by the Powers also, is merely theoretical.
In case of war or any aggressive demonstration on the part of Turkey,
it is likely to assume a practical character, however, and therefore,
Austria, Italy, and especially England are contented to allow the
Germans to do the work so long as they have a voice in controlling the
politics of the road.

As you will see by looking at the map, the city of Adana, Turkey,
is some distance in the interior; but it is connected with the
Mediterranean by a short line of railway to the port of Mersina on
the southern coast of Asia Minor. At present, Mersina is only an open
roadstead and offers no shelter to vessels, but the situation is such
that a harbour will not cost a large sum of money and the engineering
features are not difficult. The railway from Mersina to Adana was
constructed by a British company in 1886, but has since passed under
the control of the Germans and is doing a good business. The country
back of Adana, known as the Cilician Plain, is very favourable to
cotton culture, and a considerable quantity of that staple is already
produced there. Under the encouragement of the new government the
industry will doubtless develop rapidly, but so long as Abdul Hamid
was in control of affairs it was scarcely worth while for anybody to
develop profitable enterprises, because they would invariably tempt the
cormorants who surrounded the sultan to spoliation.

The Bagdad Railway has now reached the town of Bulgurlu, beyond Eregli,
in the foothills of the Anti-Taurus Mountains, and about fifty miles
from Adana; but, as I have said, it is the most expensive piece of
construction on the road and the German managers hesitate to undertake
it. After they reach Adana there is another stretch of a hundred
miles or more which is also very heavy and expensive work, requiring
many cuts, embankments, rockwork, and tunnels. The managers have put
in an application for a change of route along the coast by way of
Alexandretta and Antioch and from there approach the valley of the
Euphrates by way of Aleppo. This route would be a great advantage as
a measure of economy, but as the Turkish military authorities have
pointed out, it exposes the railway to any foreign fleet that may
enter the Gulf of Iskanderoon, on which Alexandretta is located. If
the track lay back in the mountains, it would be more difficult to
interfere with traffic in time of war.

The Bagdad Railway is expected to follow the valley of the Euphrates
or that of the Tigris, the two great historic rivers which encircle
that mysterious country known as Mesopotamia, where, according to the
Scriptures, was the cradle of mankind, and the first inhabited section
of the earth’s surface. Mesopotamia was formerly dotted with prosperous
cities and supported a large population, but it is now practically
uninhabited. The cities are in ruins, the population has perished,
and the entire area has become a desert because of the destruction of
irrigation systems which were built before the birth of Abraham. The
government has already undertaken a scheme of reclamation at a cost of
$10,000,000. Sir William Willcocks, who built the Assouan dam on the
Nile, made the survey and furnished the estimates. He declares that
there is no difficulty in the reclamation of the entire area between
the Euphrates and the Tigris that money cannot remove.

In January, 1911, Nazim Pasha, governor-general of Bagdad, on behalf
of the Turkish government, signed a contract with Sir John Jackson,
of Westminster, London, for the erection of a dam at the head of the
Hindia branch of the Euphrates, as the first step in carrying out these
recommendations, and the work is to be pushed forward as rapidly as
possible.

Mesopotamia is that portion of Turkey lying between the Euphrates and
the Tigris Rivers--an area about three hundred miles long and varying
from fifty to two hundred miles in width. Within the oval, according to
the estimates of the engineers, are about 12,000,000 acres, of which
9,000,000 is desert and 2,500,000 fresh-water swamp, and they estimate
that 6,000,000 acres can be reclaimed. There are several large, shallow
lakes fed by the annual overflow of the Euphrates and Tigris. Both are
large rivers having their sources in the lakes and mountains of Armenia
and emptying into the Persian Gulf about fifty miles below the town of
Kurna, where they join their waters and become one.

Between those rivers are the oldest habitations of men; the birthplace
of the human race; the supposed site of the Garden of Eden, and
the ruins of the capitals and commercial cities of a dozen extinct
civilizations. It is the most interesting field for archæologists on
the earth’s surface and exploring parties from American, British,
German, and French universities and scientific societies have been
constantly at work for half a century or more uncovering the remains
of the imperial magnificence of Babylon, Nineveh, Palmyra, and other
cities.

Sir William Willcocks has contributed some interesting theories in
connection with Biblical history and archæology, in addition to his
recommendations for an irrigation system. He locates the Garden of Eden
at Hairlah, a lovely and flourishing oasis in a delta of the Euphrates,
about two hundred miles northwest of the city of Bagdad. At this point
the four rivers of Eden mentioned in the book of Genesis have been
identified by him, and other topographical features which he believes
to be indisputable.

Sir William also gives us an interesting theory concerning the deluge,
which he believes was merely the flooding of the plain between the
Euphrates and the Tigris by the overflow of those rivers, which is
caused by the sudden melting of the snows and the heavy rainfalls in
the latter part of March and the first of April. These floods occur
annually, and on the particular occasion referred to in the book of
Genesis, Sir William believes an unusual volume of water came down
because of a sudden “spell” of hot weather and an unusually heavy
rainfall.

Sir William thinks Noah was inspired to build the ark in anticipation
of such a flood, and floated around in it until he ran aground, not on
the mountain of Ararat, but near the town of Ur of the Chaldees, in the
province of Ararat and a part of Armenia. He believes that a careful
reading of the Scripture story of the flood will justify this theory,
which, indeed, is not new. Many Biblical scholars reject the tradition
that the ark landed on a mountain and hold that the word “Ararat” in
the book of Genesis refers to the province and not to the peaks of that
name.

He declares that if Noah had been a hydraulic engineer he would have
done much better by cutting a channel for the escape of the waters
through the bed of the river Pison, for he might thus have saved the
entire population. The Pison is one of the four rivers of Eden, the
Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates being the others. All of them are really
branches of the Euphrates and form a delta in which the Garden of Eden
is believed to have been situated.

Nearly the entire area of Mesopotamia was once under irrigation, and
the first known dams and canals were built by Nimrod of the Bible, who
is identified as the Hammurabi of the inscriptions that are frequently
found among the ruins. Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great saw
Mesopotamia in its greatest prosperity. The decay of the country began
with the invasion of Genghis Khan and his Mongol horde and Timour
the Tartar, who destroyed the dams and the ditches and plundered the
people of all their wealth so that they had no means to restore the
irrigation system. Hundreds of miles of the ancient canals can be
easily identified, and Sir William testifies to the remarkable degree
of genius shown by the engineers who designed and constructed them. In
his report to the Turkish government he recommends that the old canals
be restored as far as possible, which can be done at half the cost of
constructing new ones.

The Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, and
Caliphs added to the number of reservoirs and extended the canals
that were built by the patriarchs of the Scriptures. The fabulous
wealth of Babylon, Nineveh, Palmyra, Nippur, Kufa, and other great
cities of ancient times was largely derived from agriculture, in a
territory that is now a desert; from the cultivation of soil which for
thousands of years has been celebrated for its extreme fertility. Sir
William Willcocks declares that the greater part of the valleys of the
Euphrates and the Tigris and of the area between these rivers is as
rich as the valley of the Nile. In his report he says:

“Of all the regions of the earth none is more favoured by nature for
the production of cereals than the valley of the Tigris. Cotton,
sugar-cane, Indian corn, and all the summer cereals, leguminous plants,
Egyptian clover, opium, and tobacco will find themselves at home as
they do in Egypt.”

There is a passage in Herodotus, written more than 2,000 years
previous, about this same country, which sounds very much like the
Willcocks report:

“This is of all lands with which we are acquainted, by far the best
for the growth of corn. It is so fruitful in the produce of corn that
it yields continually two hundred-fold, and when it produces its best
it yields even three hundred-fold. The blades of wheat and barley grow
there to full four fingers in breadth, and though I well know to what a
height millet and sesame grow, I shall not mention it.”

The proposed reclamation, according to the Willcocks report, can
be completed for $40,000,000, and bring under irrigation more
than 3,000,000 acres, which he estimates would be worth at least
$100,000,000, or $30 an acre. The Assouan dam system, which he has
recently completed, cost the Egyptian government $25,000,000, and only
about half the area was reclaimed.

Sir William proposes, by dams and canals, to store the floods that are
brought down from the mountains in the spring, in enormous reservoirs
for use during the summer, and has indicated locations for at least
five, which will, he believes, answer every purpose. At least two of
these locations were used as reservoirs by the Babylonians and probably
by previous civilizations, and Sir William will adapt to modern use
the same canals that were then used to distribute the water over the
plains. Several dry river beds can also be made available and thus
economize the cost.

After the 3,000,000 acres that will be first reclaimed have been sold
and settled, the area available for agriculture can be doubled by the
expenditure of $15,000,000 additional, and ultimately the gain would
be 6,000,000 acres capable of producing annually, according to his
estimates, 2,000,000 tons of wheat, 4,000,000 hundred-weight of cotton
and fabulous quantities of other exportable products, in addition to
whatever food will be necessary to support a population of a million
people.

In addition to the agricultural products, he promises pasturage for
millions of sheep and goats and hundreds of thousands of cattle in
the delta, and he would build a railway from Bagdad to Damascus with
branches here and there to tap the harvest fields. The total length of
this road would be about five hundred and fifty miles and, according
to his estimates, it could be constructed for between ten and eleven
million dollars.

The high price of cotton has caused the manufacturers of Manchester
and other mill districts of England to seek new sources of supply. The
attempts to extend the volume of the products of Egypt have not been
successful, notwithstanding the investment of $25,000,000 in irrigation
plants. The trouble is chiefly the lack of labour, and the indifference
and indolence of the fellahs or peasant farmers in the valley of the
Nile. Nor can the product of Egypt be increased to any considerable
degree without the importation of labour. Several planters have tried
American negroes but they wilt under the climate of Egypt and soon
acquire the habits of the peasants around them.

The experimental plantations on the west coast of Africa have also
been a disappointment for similar reasons. In the British possessions
on both coasts of Africa are millions of available acres for planting
cotton, but they lie idle because there are no hands to cultivate them.
The native African will not work. He and his ancestors have managed to
survive until the present day without labour, and it is difficult to
persuade him that the curse pronounced upon our common father applies
to him as it does to other human beings. Nature has supplied him with
sufficient food thus far and he cannot be induced to go into the cotton
fields to earn money that he has no use for.

These facts, which have given the manufacturers of Manchester great
concern, are the reasons for the interest they are taking in the
development of Mesopotamia, and several schemes have been proposed
for colonizing there the excess of human life in Italy that has been
going to the United States and the Argentine Republic. It has also been
suggested that the Jews, who are not wanted in Russia and Roumania,
might also be induced to settle in Mesopotamia. These plans, however,
will not be realized for the present. The members of the Turkish
cabinet are so timid about granting concessions for more necessary
public works that it seems scarcely worth while to seek their approval
of such a comprehensive plan as Sir William Willcocks has offered. So
long as they cannot be induced to give concessions for telephones,
electric lights, electric cars, and other public conveniences in their
own capital, it is not likely that they would authorize the expenditure
of $40,000,000 in reclaiming an uninhabited desert.



CHAPTER IV

THE CAUCASUS


If you will glance at the map, you will notice a mountain chain
extending diagonally across what looks like a narrow strip of land
between the Black and Caspian Seas, but it is not as narrow as it
looks. It is more than five hundred miles between the two seas.
The Caucasus range is one of the most remarkable of all geological
phenomena. It is the boundary between Europe and Asia, and an almost
impenetrable wall which can be crossed by vehicles or horsemen in only
two places, known as the Dariel and the Manisson Passes.

From the beginning of history until the Middle Ages it was the boundary
of the world. Beyond, all was mystery and fable, and for that reason
the ancients made the Caucasus the scene of much mythological activity
and the home of many marvels. They called the country Colchis, and
it was there that Jason and the Argonauts found the Golden Fleece.
Prometheus was chained to one of the peaks by the gods to punish him
for giving fire to the mortals. Within the Caucasus dwelt man-hating
Amazons of whom scandalous stories were told, with treasures of gold
and silver and precious stones unlimited but unattainable, because they
were guarded by griffins and one-eyed monsters called Arimaspians.

The Cæsars led their legions as far as the foot of the mountains;
Pompey fought a battle under the shadow of the highest peak; Alexander
the Great reconnoitred through the foothills seeking a passage to
the unknown regions beyond, but did not find it until he reached the
Caspian Sea. All the great invaders of the prehistoric period smote the
Caucasus with their impotent swords, but never passed beyond; and the
first Europeans to find their way through the rocky labyrinths were
Greek and Genoese traders, who crawled through the cañons on foot in
the Middle Ages in search of customers. Much was risked for gold and
glory in man’s struggle with nature that lasted many centuries here,
and it was not until the territory was added to the Russian Empire
early in the nineteenth century that the Caucasus became passable. For
military purposes the Russians have built wagon roads through the two
cañons at a cost of many hundred thousand rubles, over which its armies
and their supplies have since passed into the hinterland.

Shakespeare shared the awe of the ancient Greeks, and was also inspired
by the romance attached to these impassable barriers. He frequently
alluded to them in his plays.

     “For who can hold a coal of fire in his hands
      While thinking of the frosty Caucasus.”

Prometheus was one of the Titans, a gigantic race which inhabited the
earth before the creation of men. To him and his brother Epimetheus
was entrusted the duty of providing man and all other animals with the
faculties necessary for their comfort and preservation. Epimetheus
proceeded to bestow upon the animals gifts of strength, intelligence,
courage, and swiftness. He gave wings to one class, claws to another,
horns to a third, and fur to those that were to inhabit the colder
parts of the earth; but when man came to be provided for, Epimetheus
had been so generous in giving away his treasures that he had nothing
left to bestow upon him. In his perplexity he appealed to his brother
Prometheus, who, with the aid of Minerva, went up to heaven, lighted
a torch from the sun, and brought down to man the gift of fire which
made him superior to all other animals. It enabled him to make weapons
wherewith to subdue them, tools with which to cultivate the earth,
material for the arts and trades and commerce, and heat to warm his
dwelling and cook his food.

Jupiter, seeing this state of things, burned with anger and summoned
the gods to council. They obeyed the call and started for the palace
of heaven along a road which any one may see on a clear night. It
stretches across the face of the sky, and is called the Milky Way.
Having considered his offence, Prometheus was declared an enemy of the
gods and Jupiter had him chained to a rock at the summit of Mt. Kazbek
in the Caucasus, where a vulture preyed forever upon his liver, which
was renewed as fast as devoured. This state of torment might have been
terminated at any time by Prometheus if he had been willing to submit
to Jupiter, but he disdained to do so. He was a friend of mankind, who
had interposed in their behalf when the gods were incensed against
them, and had taught them civilization and the arts. He has therefore
been used as a symbol of magnanimous endurance, of unmerited suffering,
and strength of will to resist oppression.

The range is about seven hundred miles long, although the distance
looks much shorter on the map, and it bisects the Russian province of
the Caucasus northwest and southeast, dipping so low as it approaches
the Caspian Sea that for thirty miles the coast is only a few feet
above tide-water.

The territory north of the mountains is known officially as the
Caucasus, and that south of it as the trans-Caucasus. Both belong to
Russia. Formerly, and the names can be found on all of the old maps,
the territory north was divided into independent states--Circassia,
Daghestan, Astrakan, and the steppe of the Kalmucks--but they have lost
their identity, and the thrones of their former rulers may be found in
that marvellous collection of trophies of conquest in the Kremlin at
Moscow. South of the Caucasus is the ancient kingdom of Georgia, and
beyond that Armenia, Kurdistan, and the Azerbaijan province of Persia.

The geological interest in the Caucasus Mountains is due to the fact
that they rise abruptly from two flat plains, similar to our western
prairies, known as steppes, and are unique because of the simplicity
of their structure, the regularity of their outlines, the steepness
of the declivities, and the narrowness of the range. It is not split
up, as other great mountain chains are, into secondary and parallel
ranges, and has no buttresses running at right angles, nor outlying
peaks. The greatest width of the range is only about 120 miles; all the
loftiest summits are on the single watershed, which for several hundred
miles does not sink below seven thousand feet. Elburz, the highest
peak, rises 18,493 feet above the Black Sea and overtops all others
in Europe. Kazbek, to which Prometheus was chained, according to the
legend, is 16,523 feet. There are seven other peaks exceeding 15,000
feet and nine peaks exceeding 14,000 feet, which make the Caucasus by
far the highest mountains in Europe. The gorges are more savage, the
cañons are deeper, the peaks are steeper and sharper and more difficult
of ascent than those of any other range in the world. The Caucasus
Mountains are not as beautiful as the Alps, but are more imposing and
majestic.

[Illustration: A Georgian Prince and his sons]

[Illustration: A Georgian beauty]

There is supposed to be great mineral wealth in the Caucasus, and the
natives in ancient times, on both sides of the range, possessed much
gold and an abundance of rough jewels. The crowns and sceptres of the
Georgian and Circassian kings in the Kremlin at Moscow are richly
decorated with jewels, some uncut and others rudely cut. The nobles
and warriors of both countries loaded themselves with silver and gold
ornaments. Their guns and pistols and their swords and daggers had
handles of gold and silver set in precious stones. The vessels they
used in their households, the ornaments in their churches, the gifts
they presented to their friends, and the loot that was taken away by
the Persians, Russians, and other invaders, testify that there must
have been much profitable mining in ancient times: and the story
of the Golden Fleece is not a mere legend, because even to-day the
mountaineers are in the habit of anchoring fleeces of wool from their
sheep in the streams, as traps to catch the grains of gold that float
down in the water.

The Caucasians have always been famous as goldsmiths and silversmiths,
and in every museum of Europe you can find examples of their skill
and taste. Even to-day in the bazaars of old Tiflis, long streets are
occupied exclusively by cunning artificers making cups and flagons,
handles for swords and knives, pistols and guns, ornaments for the
body and the household, bowls and dishes for the table, and all sorts
of decorative and useful objects of the precious metals. They are
especially skilful in combining iron and silver, and iron and gold,
although this art has never reached the same perfection there that is
found in similar products in Toledo, Spain.

There are rumours of coal mines, and they probably exist, but the
abundance of timber has not encouraged the people to work them. Iron
and copper are found frequently, from which the ancients always had
an abundant supply. About twenty-five miles up the railway from
Batoum is an extensive operation by the Caucasus Copper Company, an
American-English syndicate. They are getting out a good deal of copper,
an average of 120 tons a month, which is shipped to Moscow and St.
Petersburg for local use. About eight hundred hands are employed in the
mines and in the smelters.

Petroleum has been known in the foothills and along the sea coast at
the eastern extremity of the Caucasus Mountains from the earliest times.

There is a railway on each side of the Caucasus Mountains. That on the
northern side runs from Baku, the oil centre, to the city of Rostov, at
the mouth of the river Don and the head of the Sea of Azov. That on the
south runs from Batoum to Baku, and is the principal thoroughfare for
the shipment of oil to other parts of Europe than Russia. The annual
shipments of refined petroleum from Batoum to the rest of the world
have averaged about four million barrels, but the Russian refiners
cannot compete with the Standard Oil Company, either in the quality or
the price of their product. Russian oil has practically been driven
out of all the European countries except Turkey, Roumania, Hungary, and
Russia, and the Standard Oil Company is now “the Light of Asia” without
a rival flame.

At the time of the revolution in Russia in 1905, the employés of both
oil companies at Batoum struck. Fifteen hundred men on the Nobel dock,
and a thousand more who were working for the other companies, quit work
because the new constitution of Russia, as they construed it, granted
them liberty to do as they pleased. The oil companies, assuming that
they possessed similar rights, closed their warehouses and have never
resumed business. After the strikers had enjoyed all of the liberty of
this kind they desired, they asked to be taken back, but the operators
shook their heads and said there would be no more work for them. Hence
the population of Batoum has been reduced by several thousand since
that time.

In 1863 the Russian government built a broad highway, with a gentle
grade, from Tiflis, the capital of the Caucasus, through the
southernmost of the only two passes by which the Caucasus Mountains
can be crossed. It is called Dariel Pass, and it crosses the grand
divide between Europe and Asia at an altitude of 7,698 feet. The other
pass, about eighty miles farther north, is called Manisson and crosses
the divide at 8,400 feet. On the European side of the Caucasus, at
the northern end of the pass, is the city of Vladicaucasus, sometimes
spelled Vladikowkaz, and in various other ways--a Russian word which
means “the master of the Caucasus,” and from a military sense it
answers that definition.

Mount Elburz, 18,493 feet high, the highest peak in Europe, is on the
northern side of the grand divide, but cannot be seen from either
Tiflis or Vladicaucasus. Kazbek, 16,523 feet, the second peak in
height, 112 miles almost directly north of Tiflis, can often be seen
from that city, and at one point of the military road, for a few rods,
a splendid vista can be had of the monster when its snow-clad summit is
not hidden in the clouds.

The pass is crossed daily by an automobile omnibus similar to those
which run between hotels and railway stations in our cities. The
passengers occupy slippery longitudinal seats inside, and their luggage
is carried on top. It is a most inappropriate vehicle for pleasure
riding and those who are unfortunate enough to cross that way see a
little of the scenery on one side of the road. It is much better to
take an open carriage, a “tsetvioria,” as they call it, a sort of
landeau drawn by four horses hitched abreast. That is open to all that
may be seen above or below, and has a cover that can be drawn over it
in case of rain. The journey across the pass by carriage requires two
days, being 135 miles, but you have to start at daylight both mornings.
There are rest houses on the way where one can eat and sleep if he can
put up with a good deal of dirt and discomfort, but the best way is to
make an excursion down from Vladicaucasus to the village of Kazbek at
the foot of that mountain, which will permit one to see the finest part
of the scenery and return the same night.

A railway has been planned and surveyed, and will doubtless be built,
through the pass. Indeed, we understand that construction has already
been begun by the Russian war department. It will not be a difficult
or very expensive task, because the cañon is wide, except in a few
places, and the engineering problem is nowhere nearly as difficult as
many that have been encountered in other parts of Russia.

The scenery will attract many tourists, although the Russian government
cares little about that. There is nothing in Europe grander or more
savage than the cañons and gorges and mountain peaks of the Dariel;
they equal, if they do not surpass, the boldest forms of nature in the
Alps. One cañon is 4,000 feet deep, with almost perpendicular walls,
and for seventy-five miles or more the cliffs and crags on both sides
rise to a height of 1,500 and 1,800 feet. From the time the cañon is
entered at the north until the traveller emerges from it at the south
the distance is about seventy-five miles, and there is not one mile
without peculiar interest and attraction. The Terek River, which finds
its source among the everlasting snows of Kazbek, dashes northward in
a tawny torrent and the carriage road follows its bed. On the southern
slope the river Kur, born in the glaciers of Kazbek, is followed to the
city of Tiflis. For three fourths of the distance the cañon is wide
enough to admit half a dozen railway tracks without trenching upon the
river or having to blast a roadway out of the rocky mountain side, but
in two or three of the narrower places some heavy stonework will be
necessary. The scenery will remind you of the fiords of Norway more
than anything you have ever seen in Switzerland or the United States,
and its greatest attraction is due to the forests and underbrush, with
which every mountain side is clothed up to the snow line.

Twenty-seven miles from Vladicaucasus, going south, the road suddenly
turns a sharp corner around a point of rocks and the traveller finds
himself face to face with Kazbek, a steep, glittering dome of snow
rising 16,523 feet above the sea. There is a little village of the same
name at the snow line, which is about 9,000 feet, in the most savage
part of the range, and the Russian government keeps a rest house there
for the shelter of those who wish to make the ascent.

According to local tradition, Prometheus was chained to a certain
precipice on the slopes of Kazbek. The guides will show you the exact
spot, just as visitors to the Chateau d’If in the harbour of Marseilles
are shown the exact dungeon in which the hero of Alexander Dumas’s
famous novel, “Monte Cristo,” was imprisoned. They forget that both
were heroes of fiction, and Æschylus, in writing his tragedy, evidently
did not know the geography of the Caucasus, for he describes the rock
as overhanging the sea, which is more than three hundred miles distant.
There are several magnificent glaciers in sight of the roadway, those
of Dievdorak being among the largest in the world and altogether the
most extensive in Europe. There are none in Switzerland that will
compare with them.

This road was built by the Russian government for purely military
purposes, in order that troops, artillery, and supplies may be hurried
across into Turkey or Persia or wherever else they may be needed, and
Manisson is the only other route by which the highest range in Europe
can be crossed. Otherwise, it would be necessary to go as far east as
the shores of the Caspian or as far west as the Black Sea.

[Illustration: The native costume of Georgia]

[Illustration: Head-dress of a Georgian lady]

The road is fortified from end to end. There are half a dozen garrisons
stationed at different points and a stronger military defence
can scarcely be imagined. A few rapid-fire guns could hold back an
army of millions. Nobody has ever tried to force the pass and nobody
ever will. The Russians usually allude to it as “the famous Georgian
military road,” and it is better known to military students than
geographers, and to strategists than to the public. The grand divide,
called “Krestovaia Gora” (the Crest of the Cross), is forty-one miles
from Vladicaucasus, and upon a ledge above it, at an altitude of 8,015
feet, is an obelisk surmounted by a cross attributed to Queen Tamara,
who ruled Georgia in the Middle Ages: and there, it is said, when that
amiable lady became tired of a lover, she would have him thrown over
the precipice.

[Illustration: Section of the road in Dariel Pass]

Going north from Tiflis the first place of interest is Mtskheta, the
ancient capital of the Georgian kings, which is now a humble and
uninteresting village of two or three hundred people with the ruins
of a large castle, two ancient Greek churches, and other evidences
of former greatness. The place is fourteen miles from Tiflis on the
railway to Batoum, and people who care to do so can shorten their
journey by taking a carriage there, although there is no decent place
to stop. The surrounding country was inhabited by a prehistoric race
of cave dwellers, even before the European invasion. Chambers have
been chiselled out of the limestone cliffs of the foothills similar to
those in the cliffs of Arizona and were evidently inhabited by a large
population.

The Georgians claim to be the oldest of races and Mtskheta is one
of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded, according to the
tradition, by Karthlos, who was the son of Thargamos, who was the son
of Gomar, who was the son of Japhet, who was the son of Noah, and came
up here from Ararat after the flood to settle down in that lovely
country. (See Genesis x. 3.) From him the royal line of Georgia sprang
and Mtskheta was their capital. The city is described by Ptolemy, the
Egyptian; by Strabo, the Greek; and by Pliny, the Roman geographer;
and its wealth and power and influence in his land caused it to be
called Dedakhalakhy which being translated into English means “the
Mother City.” Christianity was introduced among the Georgians by St.
Nina during the reign of King Meriam, in the year 322–324 A.D., and she
persuaded them to tear down their pagan altars, to abandon their human
sacrifices, and to accept the gospel of peace and love, although they
have not always lived up to it very closely. Of all the peoples in the
world, the Georgians have been the most consistent sinners.

King Meriam after his conversion built a church wherein to deposit “the
seamless garment” of our Saviour, which was bought at the crucifixion
by a Jew named Elioz. He purchased it of a soldier who won it by lot at
the foot of the cross. It was kept in that church for many centuries,
and in 1656 was presented by the king of Georgia to the czar Boris
Godunof of Russia, who placed it in the Cathedral of the Assumption in
the Kremlin at Moscow, where it may be seen to-day.

In the sanctuary where this precious relic was formerly kept, is a
pillar called the Samyrone (a Georgian word meaning “whence issues
sacred oil”) which possesses the miraculous power of supplying the
Holy Chrism with blood that oozes through its pores. This miracle
occurs every year or two, and, although the Georgians are not noted
for their piety, thousands come every year to worship and to touch the
pillar with their fingers. In that way, they believe, they can cleanse
themselves from all diseases of the body and the soul.

This old church was the burial place of the kings of Georgia for
centuries, and although the tombs are not well kept and are neglected
in a shameful manner, many of them are still splendid specimens of
the art of carving. In front of the tabernacle, where the robe of the
Saviour was kept, is a reliquary containing what is believed to be a
monk’s habit worn by the prophet Elias. Tradition claims that he was a
native of Mtskheta, although there is no documentary evidence of that
fact.

The dust of the last king of Georgia lies in a beautiful marble
sarcophagus bearing the following inscription:

“Here rests the Tzar George; born in 1750; ascended the throne of
Georgia in 1798. Desiring the welfare of his subjects and to secure
them forever in peace he ceded Georgia to the Russian Empire and died
in 1801.

“For the purpose of preserving to future generations the memory of the
last of the Georgian tzars, the Marquis Paolucci, commander-in-chief of
the Russian army, caused this monument to be erected in the name of His
Majesty the Emperor Alexander I in the year 1812.”

The renunciation of the crown and the cession of the territory of
Georgia to Russia, as described above, were not approved by his family
or his subjects. His queen accused him of cowardice and denounced him
to the people. When the Russians attempted to take her to Moscow to
prevent her from raising a rebellion, she drew a dagger from her breast
and drove it into the heart of Gen. Ivan Petrovitch Lazareff, who
expired immediately.

While she was being conveyed to Russia by General Toulthkoff an
attempt to rescue her was made in the Dariel Pass and nearly every one
of her escort were killed in the fight.

Among the other tombs is one bearing the following touching inscription:

“I, Miriam, daughter of Davian, and Queen of Georgia, have taken
possession of this little tomb. You who look upon it, remember me in
charity and pray for me, for the love of Jesus Christ.”

One of the early Christian kings of Georgia, named Ivane, who in 1123
delivered his country out of the hands of the Moslems, is identified
as the mysterious Prester John who attracted a great deal of attention
during the Crusades and was the subject of much speculation and
frequent discussion. He was first brought to the notice of Europe by
Pope Eugene III as having been the saviour and defender of Christianity
in this part of the world, but from the indefinite information it was
impossible to identify the original among several petty sovereigns in
the East.

Sir John Mandeville, knight, in his “Narrative of Marvells,” written in
1332, tells us more about this mysterious character than we have from
any other source. He says:

“The Emperor Prester John has been christened and a great part of his
land also. They believe well in the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost. The Emperor Prester John, when he goeth to battle, hath no
banner born before him, but he hath born before him three crosses of
fine gold, large and great, and thickly set with precious stones. And
when he hath no battle, but rideth to take the air, then hath he born
before him a cross made of a tree.”

In all their history there seems to have been only one of their
sovereigns of whom the Georgians are proud, and that was Queen Tamara,
who ruled all the territory between the Black and Caspian Seas, south
of the Caucasus Mountains, from 1184 to 1212. That was the golden age
of Georgia. Tamara seems to have been a mixture of masculine energy and
courage and feminine loveliness and grace, a Cleopatra and a Joan of
Arc in the same woman, combining the virtues of Queen Elizabeth and the
vices of Catherine II. Her portraits are found in every household, she
is credited with founding every monastery and every church of age, and
seems to have had a castle in every corner of the country. Her throne
may be seen in the Kremlin at Moscow.

Prince Aragva, the present representative of the Georgian dynasty,
a great-great-grandson of George XIII, who renounced his authority
in favour of the Russian emperor in 1799, lives at Donchet, at the
southern entrance to the Dariel Pass, an agricultural town of about
3,500 inhabitants. He has large estates and an abundance of money and
the Russian authorities treat him with distinction. He spends most
of his time in St. Petersburg and Paris, but cultivates, through his
agents, a large and productive estate. He is said to have no ambition
but pleasure and realizes a good deal of that.

The railway across the Caucasus from Batoum, the port on the Black
Sea, to Baku, on the Caspian, is 558 miles long, although from the map
the strip of territory between those two bodies of water does not seem
half so wide. The track follows the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains
through the ancient state of Georgia on the southern and Asiatic side,
and snow-capped peaks are in sight from the car windows nearly every
day in the year during half the journey. The highest point reached
by the train is 3,027 feet, where it passes through a long tunnel.
The railway was built by the Russian government for military purposes
about forty years ago, and is still under military control and managed
by military methods. All the material and rolling stock came from the
government shops at Moscow; the engines burn oil for fuel and the
tracks are five feet gauge.

A squad of soldiers accompanies every train and occupies a car
immediately back of the locomotive, to guard the mails and the express
car, which often contains treasure and always many valuable packages.
This guard has been maintained ever since the revolution. The functions
of the civil governor-general have been practically suspended for
years; the military commander exercises autocratic authority, and
martial law is enforced according to his judgment. That is, all crimes
which he construes as being political are tried by military courts
and punished by the military authorities, who have practically filled
the prisons with political offenders. Other crimes against person and
property, which, in the judgment of the military authorities, have no
political significance, are committed to the jurisdiction of the civil
courts.

No part of Russia suffered so much from fire and sword during the
revolution of 1905–6 as the Caucasus, and many revolting stories are
told of the barbarities and horrors committed on both sides. But there
is no use in reviving those disagreeable things. The terrible prison in
the citadel that crowns a hill overlooking the city of Tiflis is still
crowded with patriots whose zeal outran their judgment, and whose ideas
of civil liberty are somewhat broader and more radical than we are
accustomed to concede.

[Illustration: A Georgian Peasant]

[Illustration: A Georgian gentleman and wife]

Russian anarchists who throw bombs at their rulers and blow up
barracks filled with sleeping soldiers in the name of God and liberty
are not quite sane and are entitled to no sympathy. That is the most
charitable way to regard the awful crimes that have been committed in
the name of patriotism and liberty. The leaders of the insurrection
here look upon the French revolution as sacred history, and the
province of the Caucasus has been the scene of many similar occurrences.

The land troubles in Ireland have not been a circumstance to those
that have occurred there, and the same fanatical spirit has been
carried into education and religion as well as into business. The
Georgian church is a branch of the orthodox Greek, with some minor and
technical differences in theology and ritual. I have never been able
to learn just what they are, and, indeed, no one seems to know, but
the Georgians refuse to commune with the Russians and would burn the
Russian churches and massacre their priests if they could accomplish
anything thereby. They are ultra fanatical in racial prejudice.

The Russians are not altogether blameless for this terrible situation,
because they have attempted to force the Russian ritual and Russian
priests upon unwilling parishes in many places, and have insisted that
the Russian language instead of the Georgian language shall be used in
the schools. Therefore the children are growing up in ignorance. No
Georgian parent will allow his children to attend a school where the
Russian language is taught. He would probably suffer ostracism, if not
a worse punishment, if he did.

The railway from the Black Sea enters the mountains about 150 miles
from Batoum and climbs up very slowly with two locomotives over a solid
track between timber-crowned hills. There are forests of locust trees
white with blossoms, whose perfume fills the air. The locust seems to
be popular and is not only planted around every station on the railway
but around all the dwelling houses, farm houses and the cottages in the
villages along the way. The farm houses look like timber claims in our
Western states, and all the trees are locusts. There are a good many
orchards and the quince and apple trees were in bloom when we made our
journey. They seem to be well trimmed and cared for. The rocks along
the cañons are decorated with rhododendrons and yellow honeysuckles,
which are in blossom in April, and you can fancy how beautiful a
railway right of way can be where the walls are covered with such
foliage on both sides. But the scenery is not so wild as I expected
from the printed descriptions I had read.

We crossed the divide through a long tunnel at an elevation of 3,027
feet and dropped down rapidly into a lovely, wide, level valley, every
acre of which is covered to-day with a carpet of living green. The city
of Tiflis is 1,355 feet above the sea, about the same latitude as Rome,
and has an annual rainfall of nineteen inches, which is sufficient to
raise all kinds of staples of the temperate zone without irrigation.
Notwithstanding the restless and turbulent disposition of the Georgian
and other races who make up the population, the farming element seem
to be industrious and prosperous, and although their houses and the
manner in which they live, their tools and implements would not be
tolerated by an American farmer, their standards of comfort and luxury
are not high; they would be, no doubt, contented if they had political
liberty and were not so constantly reminded that they are the subjects
no longer of a Georgian king, but of a Russian czar. If the government
would do something for them to promote their material interests they
might be more contented, but the Russian official regards the Georgians
as an undisciplined and rebellious race, and as long as such relations
continue there cannot be much improvement.

Long trains of tank cars stood on the sidetracks at almost every
station, either loaded with oil for Batoum or empties on their way back
to Baku to be refilled. One of the most important oil companies built
its own pipe lines following the railway across the entire Caucasus
from Baku to Batoum, but the weaker and less wealthy operators use the
railway. There is an odour of petroleum almost the entire distance,
chiefly because the locomotives burn that kind of fuel, but also owing
to the continual leakage of the tank cars along the track. The track
between the rails is black with oil almost the entire distance between
the Caspian and the Black Seas, which keeps down the dust, although it
is an accidental and not an intentional device.

The passenger cars are large, the seats are wide, low, and comfortable,
and in the first-class coaches are arranged so that they can be made up
into beds at night like those in the ordinary European sleeping car,
although every passenger who desires to utilize them in that way must
bring his own sheets, blankets and pillow. The cars are divided into
compartments, and the only objection is that there is but one small,
high window in each compartment, so that it is impossible to see the
country you are passing through unless you stand up or go out into the
corridor, which is lighted in a similar way. The first-class passengers
except ourselves were military officers and their families, and they
all wore their uniforms and swords, high-topped boots and heavy
overcoats, notwithstanding the hot weather.

The first third of the distance from Batoum to Tiflis is a level plain,
called a steppe in Russia, which is thoroughly cultivated, but the
farm homes are wretched wooden hovels. We saw the women working in the
fields--which they have to do to keep the pot boiling, for the men are
in the army, drawing no wages and producing nothing.

There is a good deal of timber, and we saw several droves of
scraggy-looking cattle on the hillsides. Most of the cultivated land
is planted to wheat and other grains. At every stopping place a
portion of the platform at the end of the station house is surrendered
to vegetable sellers, usually old women, who have onions, lettuce,
radishes, and other garden truck piled up on little trays around
them and seemed to be doing a good business. Boys peddled baskets of
strawberries under the windows of the cars--and they were swindles,
of course. When we had eaten off a couple of layers we found nothing
but leaves. They offered us cherries in attractive form, the stems of
the fruit ingeniously inserted through slits in a stick, making long
red wands, some of them three feet long. There are refreshment stands
at every station, at which tea, sausages, sandwiches, bread, cheese,
and other edibles are offered, and the train makes long stops so that
the passengers have time to drink a cup of tea or a glass of vodka and
to exercise on the platform. At every station tanks of cold water and
samovars of hot water are provided free for third-class passengers, who
can help themselves and make their own tea, as most of them do.

The running time was very slow with the long stops, and it took us
thirteen hours to make 228 miles.



CHAPTER V

THE CITY OF TIFLIS


The Right Honourable James Bryce, British Ambassador to Washington,
who visited Tiflis thirty-five years ago or more, on his way to climb
Mount Ararat, described that city as “a human melting pot, a city of
contrasts and mixtures, into which elements have been poured from half
Europe and Asia and in which they as yet show no signs of combining.
The most interesting thing about it,” he said, “is the city itself,
the strange mixture of so many races, tongues, religions, customs. Its
character lies in the fact that it has no character, but ever so many
different ones. Here all these people live side by side, buying and
selling and working for hire, yet never coming into any closer union,
remaining indifferent to one another, with neither love nor hate nor
ambition, peaceably obeying a government of strangers who conquered
them without resistance and retains them without effort, and held
together by no bond but its existence. Of national life or numerical
life there is not the first faint glimmer; indeed, the aboriginal
people of the country seem scarcely less strangers in its streets than
do all the other races that tread them.”

There are said to be seventy different languages spoken on the streets
of Tiflis, or at least so many dialects of the various races of Europe
and Asia who have been attracted there by business and other interests
and in search of employment. Many of the dialects belong to the same
parent language; many of the races sprang from the same stock, but
each has acquired a certain individuality by reason of its environment
and the conditions under which it has been living. As Mr. Bryce says:
“Probably nowhere else in all the world can so great a variety of
stocks, languages, and religions be found huddled together in so narrow
an area. All these races live together, not merely within the limits
of the same country, a country politically and physically one, but to
a great extent actually on the same soil, mixed up with and crossing
one another. In one part Georgians, in another Armenians, in a third
Tartars, predominate, but there are large districts where Armenians
and Georgians; or Armenians, Georgians, and Tartars; or Tartars
and Persians; or Persians, Tartars, and Armenians, are so equally
represented in point of numbers that it is difficult to say which
element predominates. This phenomenon is strange to one who knows only
the homogeneous population of west European countries, or of a country
like America, where all sorts of elements are day by day being flung
into their melting pot and lose their identity almost at once.”

What Mr. Bryce wrote thirty-five years ago of Tiflis is equally true
to-day. Perhaps it is even more true than it was then because of the
increase of population. Tiflis is twice as large by the census of 1905
as it was in 1875, when he was here. Tiflis already has two hundred
thousand population, and is growing rapidly. A bird’s-eye view of this
curious old town can be obtained by taking a funicular, or inclined
plane, railway to the top of a bluff, where there are a restaurant, tea
houses, a merry-go-round, and other simple amusements which are much
patronized by the working classes. Standing upon a platform, you can
take in the whole panorama. The different sections of the town can be
pointed out to you--the Russian, German, Georgian, Persian, Armenian,
and Tartar quarters, with the brown river dividing them and the roofs
painted in different colours.

[Illustration: Principal Club at Tiflis]

Wherever you see a group of dark crimson roofs you may know that
they cover Russian soldiers, for that is the colour of their
barracks, selected, a cynical friend remarked, by accident and not by
design--although it is very appropriate to the business upon which the
garrisons are engaged. The Armenians paint their roofs a copper green
or silver gilt, similar to the steeples on their churches, which are
ugly-looking cylinders with tin caps shaped like a cartridge, although
the cross that springs from the top of each sanctifies it. They are
in striking contrast with the Byzantine domes of the orthodox Greek
church. There are two sects, the Russian and the Georgian, who disagree
more from racial than from theological incompatibility. The Greek domes
are of the shape of an inverted turnip and are painted blue, which adds
to the picturesqueness of the scene.

You can see several mosques patronized by the Persian Mohammedans,
but they are shabby, dirty places, without the slightest attractive
feature, and very poor places for any respectable person to pray in.
Judging from their houses of worship, the Persians have not much
respect for their own religion, although they look thoughtful and
earnest and sincere, and pray aloud like the Pharisees of the Bible,
regardless of others, and the sounds from a mosque are often like a
hubbub.

We went into a mosque in the tailors’ quarter one morning and saw
an old Persian priest with whiskers dyed a vivid scarlet. I asked
Naskidoff, our dragoman, why the old man made himself look so
ridiculous, and he explained that it is the fashion--that is all. As
the priest is the only man in Tiflis I had seen so decorated, he must
be introducing the style and is not receiving much encouragement.

There are several other cities in the Caucasus, but none of any
importance, and Tiflis, being the political capital, with a viceroy;
the military headquarters, with a force of 135,000 men; and the centre
of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, there is much beside commercial
business and agriculture to draw the people there. The city is divided
almost equally by the river Kur, a swift, muddy stream about the colour
of strong coffee, which is confined to a narrow cañon, with steep walls
of stone, where it dashes through the town. There is a great waste of
manufacturing power, which might be profitably utilized, but, with
the exception of some curious floating flour mills, I did not see any
mechanical industries.

These flour mills are built of wood, and at first glance look like bath
houses. Each of them has a big water wheel, which turns the stones.
The houses are supported on the water by a sort of catamaran, a wide
float being underneath the mill and a narrow one on the other side of
the power wheel. They are anchored near the banks, and their position
can be shifted according to the will of the owner. Usually each of
them has a little warehouse barge attached, where the raw material and
the finished product are stored, and if you will watch you can see men
going back and forth between the sawmill ship and the shore carrying
bags upon their backs.

At the eastern end of the town is a narrow pass between two rocky
hills, which seems to have been cut by the water. The walls are
precipitous--one hundred feet or more above the river. On one side
the bluff is crowned by a citadel strongly fortified. It commands
the entire city. A few shells from one of the guns could utterly
destroy both the business and the residence sections. Within these
fortifications is a repulsive looking prison, said to be crowded with
political offenders. Strangers are not invited to visit the place, and
they are likely to make themselves unpopular by discussing it.

The Russian section is new and modern, with wide, clean streets, good
sidewalks, an opera house, a theatre, a club, and a military museum
or “Temple of Glory,” as they call it. There trophies won by Russian
arms, battle flags, portraits and relics of military heroes and other
interesting mementoes, have been collected, with several battle
pictures and other representations of war. One of the pictures, painted
on a mammoth canvas, represents the entrance of the Russian army into
Tiflis in 1808, when the king of Georgia asked Alexander I to come down
and protect him against the Persians; another represents a treaty being
negotiated in a forest between a native chief and a Russian general;
but the most interesting of all is a relief map of the Caucasus which
shows you at a glance the extraordinary configuration of this part of
the earth. Bronze tablets inscribed with records of all the battles
fought by the Russian soldiers in the Caucasus from 1567 to 1878 have
been embedded in panels in the outer walls of the museum, which are
of great historical value. They give the number of men engaged and the
casualties.

The principal street of the town is called Golovinski Prospekt, in
imitation of the Nevsky Prospekt of St. Petersburg, and it is a
fashionable promenade.

To the east of this clean Russian town is the Persian quarter, as
genuine as any city of Persia, with narrow, crooked streets and mud
houses of only one or two stories, which were built when the Persians
occupied this country. On both sides of the street are little shops,
like closets, set back into the walls, not more than six or eight feet
square, with no light or ventilation except that which comes through
the door. Each line of business has a street or a covered arcade to
itself. The rug dealers are all in one street, the silversmiths and
goldsmiths in another; the hat makers, the dry-goods dealers, the
hardware men, the butchers, the bakers, and even the bath houses and
the barbers are segregated like the tailors and the dealers in kitchen
utensils, which is a great convenience.

One whole street is given up to barbers, who do a big business, for the
Persians shave their heads instead of their faces. All the bath houses
are on one street, which seems to be well patronized also. Naskidoff,
who knows everything, says the Persians wait until they are very dirty
and then go and take a long, hot bath.

Many of the merchants make their own goods and work at their own trade
in their shops where their customers can see them. The Persians are
petty merchants; the Georgians manufacture arms and are gold and silver
smiths. Their handiwork is rude but artistic; that is, they show more
taste than skill. They run to belts, daggers, revolver handles,
cups, flagons, filigree buttons, and saddle ornaments, which the
Georgians covet more than virtue. They do some very clever work by
inlaying steel with silver and gold, but it is not so fine or so
artistic as the cloisonné of Japan.

[Illustration: Floating Flour Mill, Tiflis]

The Armenians are the big dealers, the bankers, the money lenders,
and, like most prosperous people, are the object of jealousy and
resentment. I was told that when an Armenian loans money he expects to
have it repaid. His business reputation is fine, but the people who owe
him money hate him. All the Armenians are thrifty, industrious, and
temperate, and do not waste their substance in riotous living.

The Tartars, who have their own section of the town, hate the Armenians
more than the Persians do, not only because of a difference of
temperament and habits of life, but because the Tartars and Persians
are Mohammedans and the Armenians are Christians. The Tartars are the
toughest of the lot. They are kindly and loyal but hot-headed, with a
fondness for a fight and strong drink, notwithstanding the prohibition
of the Koran. When a Tartar lets himself go, other people are wise to
give him the right of way, particularly when he wears a knife at his
belt and “totes” a couple of guns. He abominates the Armenians, who are
a constant moral reproach to him, and makes no effort to conceal his
hatred.

Upon the summit of a mighty rock, upon a promontory projecting from
a ridge rising several hundred feet above the river that bathes its
base, is an old citadel built in the twelfth century by Georgian kings
to defend Tiflis against Persian invasion. It is a mighty mass of
brick masonry but was abandoned a hundred years ago. The ruins are
well cared for and the government has made a botanical garden which is
very creditable in the old moat and the approaches that surround the
fortifications.

I noticed a number of American trees tagged in English with the
botanical and the common names and acknowledgments to the Agricultural
Department at Washington, from which they came.

Across the gulch which surrounds the garden is a gloomy old cemetery
filled with Tartar tombs. They spell the name “Tatar” now, and say
that it is the only proper way, but you must admit that it isn’t
so forcible. “Timour the Tartar” could only have been a bold and
belligerent Oriental chieftain, with a dozen wives and a stable of
Arabian chargers with manes and tails like thunderclouds and hoofs shod
with fire. “Timour the Tatar” might just as well have been a cook.

And what would become of the old saying, more familiar to England
than to us, if they adopt the new way of spelling? How would it sound
to say: “Scratch a Russian and you find a Tatar?” They pronounce it
“Tottaar-r-r” in a most savage way, putting all the r’s on the end
instead of leaving one for the first syllable.

The Tartars are as careless and indifferent about money matters as the
Armenians are keen and cunning, and are always in debt to the latter,
which makes hatred, of course. No man loves his creditors. The Tartars,
who are Mohammedans, abominate the Armenians as much as the Kurds do,
first, because they are Christians; second, because they are money
makers, economical, frugal, and thrifty; and, finally, because they
won’t fight. The Tartars care nothing for money nor for property of any
kind, except that they love their horses and their wives and children
alike and are extremely jealous of all three. The family attachment and
devotion of this rough and turbulent race is said to be an example for
all the rest of mankind.

The Tartars have been the terror of Asia for centuries. You have
read, of course, about the invasions of the Tartar hordes from time
to time that have overrun the eastern part of Europe. They are always
fierce, always restless, and do not thrive under the restraints of
civilization. A Tartar will fight his weight in wildcats on any
provocation, but an Armenian is a man of peace.

Not long ago there was an international row here between these two
races, whose settlements adjoin on the east side of the river. I cannot
find out how it began but it was over some trifle that everybody has
forgotten. It waxed more serious daily, and when the Armenians, who
have been butchered mercilessly for ages in Turkey as well as in the
Caucasus, saw the bloodthirsty Tartars sharpening their knives, they
sent a committee to the viceroy to plead for protection. The viceroy,
who is a humane man, understood the situation, but naturally did not
care to butt in for fear of exciting animosity against the government.
Hence he instructed the leaders of both races to appoint committees of
representative men to discuss the troubles with him.

The delegates were selected and came to the palace; they went over the
history of the feud from its primal causes to the present moment, and
then each side submitted arguments. The viceroy, having heard them
through, dodged the issue, and told them that it was not a matter for
the government to meddle with, but one which they must settle among
themselves.

“You are all rational, sensible, business men of intelligence and
experience,” he said, “and it is absurd that you should quarrel over
such trifles as you bring here for me to settle. The government does
not propose to take any part in your controversy; it is too trivial to
waste our time about, and now I simply ask you to sit down together
like sensible men and settle it among yourselves,” and with that he
dismissed the delegation.

The next morning the Armenian committee received a challenge from the
Tartar committee demanding that it select one or two hundred men, or as
many as it pleased, of the best fighting Armenians in Tiflis, to go out
into the country and fight to the death with an equal number of Tartars.

The Armenians returned a scornful reply. They are better at writing
than at fighting. With great dignity and decorum they rebuked the
Tartars for suggesting such a barbarous method of settling a quarrel in
the twentieth century of human civilization.

The Tartars reported that the Armenians were cowards and offered to
give them odds of two to one, but the Armenians refused to discuss the
subject any further, and kept inside their doors as closely as possible
until the excitement died down.

There is no unity among the seventy races of Tiflis, there is no common
national feeling; there is nothing upon which patriotism could be
based. No two of the many races represented here are on amicable terms,
except the Germans, who mind their own business and are friendly to
everybody.

[Illustration: A Georgian Cavalier]

There is no loyalty to the czar and nothing to inspire it. The
administration of the Caucasus is purely military. The first thought
in the Russian mind is conquest. After that there is no other thought
but to retain possession. Instead of planting trees and encouraging
the people to improve their methods of agriculture, the Russians build
fortresses, and instead of building school-houses they build barracks.
The railway across the province and that which runs down to the
Persian border were primarily for the movement of troops, and military
supplies are given preference over all other freight. The famous road
through the Caucasus Mountains is for military purposes rather than for
commerce. At least one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers are kept on
a war footing in this province alone. That number of men are not only
withdrawn from the fields and factories, and the number of producers
thus reduced, but the peasants who work the farms, the shopkeepers and
other peaceful members of the population, are taxed to pay for their
support, which is a continual grievance that cannot be removed. If the
money that is spent upon military purposes could be devoted to material
development and the education of the people the army would not be
needed.

All the influential and lucrative offices are held by imported
Russians, although clerkships and other minor positions are given to
natives. The province of the Caucasus, which is north of the mountain
range, and that of the trans-Caucasus, which is south, are governed by
autocrats who are directly responsible to the czar, and to him alone.
Several members of the imperial family have occupied the posts which
were considered desirable until the revolution.

At the same time, it should be explained that the Russians are there by
invitation. More than a hundred years ago the Georgian king voluntarily
appealed for the protection of Alexander I, against the aggressiveness
of Aga Mohammed Khan, a Persian invader, and in 1801 he signed a treaty
of practical annexation to Russia with Alexander I. There is a fine
large historical picture by a Georgian artist in the military museum
here representing the enthusiasm manifested by the people when the
Russian troops entered the city of Tiflis and the Russian governor
assumed authority.

The political situation here is practically the same as that in
Poland. Georgia is a conquered province. It was added to the Russian
Empire without the consent of the people. They are Russian subjects by
compulsion and they do not like it. Their former king appealed to the
Russians for protection against the Persians more than a century ago;
the Russians responded to the appeal and have “assimilated” the kingdom
of Georgia as they did the kingdom of Poland.

All the big buildings are barracks. The garrison of Tiflis is
thirty-five thousand soldiers, and that does not seem to be sufficient
to keep the people in order. There are soldiers everywhere. Every other
man you meet on the street wears a uniform; almost every guest at
the hotel is a general or a colonel, and every first-class passenger
on the railway trains is an officer of rank. They are a fine-looking
lot of men, and their uniforms are very conspicuous, being of a light
bluish gray, with an abundance of gold braid. A Russian officer is
never out of uniform and never parts from his sword. In the railway
trains, in the restaurants, even at church, he is heavily armed, and
every officer seems to wear his winter overcoat in this hot weather
which is difficult to understand. There may be a regulation requiring
officers to wear overcoats twelve months in the year, regardless of the
temperature, and that is the only way we can explain it.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at St. Petersburg, as a matter
of convenience for the transaction of business, has an annex here,
and a sub-secretary of foreign affairs who deals with Persia, the
emir of Bokhara, and other Asiatic princes under Russian protection.
He receives his instructions from St. Petersburg, but is allowed a
good deal of discretion in dealing with matters of official business.
The present incumbent of that office is a very agreeable gentleman,
Loukainow Stanislavovitchou Kokhanowskiomou, to whom I had a letter
of introduction, but fortunately I was not compelled to pronounce his
name. I could properly address him as “Excellency.” He occupies a
commodious house not far from the viceroy’s palace, comporting with the
dignity and importance of his office, and has a collection of rugs and
Oriental embroideries that a connoisseur would covet.

His Excellency has handled the Persian question with a great deal
of diplomatic skill and keeps the British government in a perpetual
fidget, but the policy of Russia can never be mistaken. The czar
proposes to control Asia, regardless of the opposition of Great Britain
and all whom it may concern. Because of the stupendous folly of her own
agents Russia lost her hold on China and all that she had gained during
the last thirty years in her advance toward the East. All this will
have to be done over again, but the preparations have begun and the
work is under way.

The condition of affairs here may be judged by the manner in which
the mail is carried through the streets between the railway station
and the post-office. There is a military guard on every train, always
occupying the car next to the locomotive, and at every station when the
train stops the soldiers are the first to alight and assume defensive
positions. This is in addition to the local police, who are also in
evidence in every direction. When a train comes into Tiflis the guard
alights and takes a position around the mail and express car, where
it remains until all the passengers have disembarked and gone their
way. Then when the mail car is opened, the bags and express packages
of value are placed in steel safes, which are lifted upon light wagons
drawn by three horses. When the transfer is made the horses start on a
dead run for the post-office, led by a drosky containing two heavily
armed men and entirely surrounded by a squad of Cossacks, the famous
Rough Riders, every one of them with a cocked rifle across the pommel
of his saddle. These precautions are said to be necessary because on
several occasions mail has been held up and destroyed and valuable
express packages have been stolen by gangs of men representing the
social revolutionary party.

The most satisfactory section of Tiflis is called by everybody “the
Colony.” It is a settlement of between four and five thousand Germans
from Wurtemberg, who came to southern Russia early in the nineteenth
century by invitation of Catherine the Great. She gave them lands,
guaranteed them the free exercise of their religious beliefs, and
exemption from military service forever. The latter pledge was violated
during the war between Russia and Turkey in 1877, and since that time
the Germans have been compelled to serve their five years in the
army with all other Russian subjects, although they take no part in
politics and have no social relations with the Russians, but are very
exclusive and tenacious in their adherence to the customs and habits of
the fatherland.

There are fifty thousand Wurtembergers in the Caucasus and they are
pretty well scattered, but always in colonies, this one at Tiflis being
the largest. They left their native country because the government
attempted to compel them to sing from a new hymn book which they did
not consider orthodox, and rather than submit they abandoned the homes
of their fathers and sought new ones in a far country where they could
worship God in their own way.

Catherine II was a great colonizer, and they have been valuable
colonists. They are the best mechanics and the best farmers in the
country. They have minded their own business, maintained their own
schools, built Lutheran churches, accumulated property, sung the dear
old hymns, increased in numbers, and flourished in a phlegmatic sort of
way.

The members of “the Colony,” as it is always called, have never
attempted to proselyte the Russians or other neighbours, but are
fanatical in their Protestantism, which prevents them from marrying
or even mixing with believers in other faiths. They have a wholesome
Protestant contempt for Mohammedans and also for the Armenians. They
regard the former as worse than heathens and the latter as treacherous,
deceitful, and insincere in their professions of the Christian creed.
They speak nothing but German among themselves, although they are
compelled to use Russian in their business transactions. “The Colony”
was originally a distinct town, but when the railway was built into
Tiflis the station was located on the farther edge of the settlement,
and since that time the gap has been filled and the Germans have
become surrounded with Russians, Persians, Armenians, Tartars, and
representatives of the numerous other races which form the population
here. But they have maintained their exclusiveness just the same. They
have their own beer gardens and places of entertainment, as well as
their own church and schools, and they confine their trade to their own
race so far as possible.

The Lutheran church is a large, fine building, and attached to it,
under the direction of Pastor Mayer, is a school for the education of
teachers, missionaries, ministers, and other religious workers for
the many German colonists throughout the Caucasus. Four miles in the
country is a German farming settlement, resembling an agricultural
village in the fatherland, as closely as it is possible here, with big
stables, cattle-yards, and pigstyes, and evidences of German thrift on
every side. Their orchard fruits, their strawberries and garden truck,
are always the first and the best in the market and bring the highest
prices, and they furnish a valuable object lesson for the Russian and
Georgian farmers which, however, is not imitated so closely as it might
be.

[Illustration: Palace of the Viceroy, Tiflis]

The viceroy’s palace is a miniature copy of the winter palace at St.
Petersburg, of the same architectural design and painted the same
terra-cotta colour, although it is not more than one tenth the size.
It stands upon the principal street, with a large garden in the rear,
and across the street are the barracks of the guards, which seem to be
needed. Wooden barriers have been placed upon the sidewalk to prevent
unauthorized persons from approaching near enough to the building
to do any harm, as some of the people down there have a nasty way
of throwing bombs about, and the posts and railing are painted in
stripes like barbers’ poles. The viceroy’s guards wear the Georgian
uniform, with red coats. They are striking-looking fellows, who are
often mistaken for Cossacks, and the sentinels add a touch of colour
to the picture. There is usually a drosky, drawn by a beautiful black
stallion, awaiting orders at the entrance, and the isvostchik, as the
driver is called, is well worth looking at.

Prince Woronzoff Dashoff, the viceroy, has been there many years and
is popular with the people, who regard him as a just and humane man,
but they complain that his authority has been limited to such a degree
that he is practically a figurehead representing the emperor, while the
military commander rules the country. I wouldn’t wonder if there was a
good deal of truth in the complaint, but the Georgians are in a state
of chronic rebellion and martial law prevails throughout the province.
There has been no peace but that of the sword and the torch since the
1905–6 revolution and the granting of a constitution several years ago,
and there will be no peace until the government gives the Georgians a
show by recognizing their racial individuality and permitting them to
use their ancestral language and enjoy a liberal measure of home rule.

The more we saw of both the men and women of Georgia the better we
appreciate the reputation they have among the beauties of the world.
You could not find a finer looking lot of men in any city in the world
than you meet on the streets of Tiflis, and the women have all the
charms they have been credited with, although it is said that they
become fat early in life from indolence and sweetmeats. Perhaps dress
has a good deal to do with setting off the shape and the features of
the men. I have heard that fine feathers make fine birds. No national
costume is more stately or adds more to the stature and the pose of a
wearer. Perhaps the high-stepping heroes of romance and tragedy whom
we were constantly meeting on the sidewalk would not look so well in
an ordinary suit of store clothes, but one can at least give them the
credit of wearing their ancestral garments with stunning effect.

A certain Georgian dandy patronized the Hotel de Londres, where we were
stopping, to excess. It was remarked that so long as he continues to
spend his money so freely there, the bustling little German lady who
keeps the house will never fail to make an annual profit. He is said
to be very rich, and is a prince, of course. The gossips reported that
he had a quarrel with his brother, and as the two were partners he was
spending the money of the firm more freely than was prudent. But that
is neither here nor there. We only asked the privilege of admiring his
clothes and his poses. We were not responsible for his moral behaviour
and would continue to admire him even if his reputation was twice as
bad as it is.

He wore a different coat and a different dagger and a different shako
every day, and they always matched. He had coats of white, blue, red,
gray, brown, and a mixed colour like Irish homespun. The tunic that he
wore under them was always of a colour to make a striking contrast.
When his overcoat was red, it would be white, and when his overcoat
was white, the tunic would be red. He must have had a large armoury of
daggers and pistols, for he seldom wore the same ones, and we liked
those with plain ivory handles the best. He was a moving picture unlike
anything you can see outside of Georgia.

And then we had another prince with a good reputation, one of the best
men in the province, a man of great wealth and eminent respectability,
who was stopping at the hotel with his two little sons. The boys wore
the national dress, like their father, and with the same dignity and
grace. And we must not forget the Paderewski hair, which is quite
fashionable among gentlemen of literary and musical taste. I do not
know how they make it stick out as they do, but I have seen heads that
a bushel basket would not cover. It is fine hair, too, not coarse and
rough and vulgar. You see such bushy heads upon real, live, ordinary
men frequently upon the streets, with the hair bulging out below shakos
of lamb’s-skin like the curls of the Circassian beauty in the sideshow
of a circus.

One would never tire of the fantastic costumes that are to be seen at
every railway station. The men wear tall chimney-pot hats of Persian
lamb-skin, which look very heavy and very hot, and you wonder how they
can endure them in the summer weather. The hats must weigh several
pounds, but if you ask the wearers they will tell you that the weight
is nothing; and that, like the Irishman’s sheepskin coat, the fur keeps
the heat out in summer as it keeps the cold out in winter.

Their long coats of homespun are of varied colours. We are accustomed
to see the Cossacks at Buffalo Bill’s great moral show in dark gray
coats, but the Georgians, whose costume is precisely similar in every
particular, affect bright colours--reds and blues of various shades,
grays, and browns, as well as whites and blacks, according to their
taste, and some of them have their shakos of Persian lamb dyed the same
shade as their coats. Many Georgian gentlemen wear beautiful cloaks of
heavy cloth as thick as a board, with a pile heavier than that of plush
and curled like Astrakhan wool. We were told that this material is
homespun too, and it makes a stunning garment.

Every gentleman wears high top boots outside of his trousers, which are
very loose and hang over his boot tops like the knickerbockers of an
English school-boy. Sometimes the boots are embroidered in colours over
the shin and down the calf of the leg. And every gentleman wears an
arsenal in his girdle, consisting of richly mounted knives and pistols,
which look very formidable, but I am told are seldom used.

A Georgian dandy is a great sight, and you see them everywhere in the
Caucasus. The most perfect costume and the most becoming to their dark
complexions, intensely black hair and beards, and their glowing black
eyes is, I think, a pure white coat and a shako of white lamb’s-wool.
And with that colour the Georgian gentleman usually wears a long
dagger with an ivory handle and an ivory sheath and a revolver mounted
to match; although other people might fancy a gentleman done up in
scarlet, who is also worth looking at.

The costumes of the women are not so fancy as those of the men, and
are mostly head dress and veil. They do not wear bright colours like
their husbands and brothers, but chiefly black. The head dress is
a little skull cap about an inch high made of black velvet, with
the top embroidered in silver or gold braid. It is worn low on the
forehead and over it a square of lace or chiffon hanging down over the
shoulders to the waist, either embroidered or trimmed with edging all
around. There is as much difference in the quality of the veil as there
is in the incomes of the wearers. But it is the principal feature of
the costume, and the effect is studied accordingly. Some of the veils
are of Venetian point, others of Brussels lace, and you often see very
fine examples, but most of them are from the local lacemakers or made
at home.

The hair is dressed in four curls, two hanging down in front of the
ears upon the breast and two down the back. As the glory of a Georgian
woman is her hair, her curls are usually conspicuous and kept with
great neatness. Sometimes they reach below the waist.

The rest of the costume is a jacket, either sleeveless or with slashed
sleeves, a frill of lace or a silk handkerchief embroidered in bright
colours around the neck and crossed upon the breast as a Quakeress
would wear it, and from the waist in front hang two broad ribbons or
strips of silk edged with a different colour, like an apron.

The costume varies as to the quality of the material and the amount
of embroidery according to the means of the wearer. The entire dress
is notable for its refinement. Although we saw few of the dazzling
beauties for which Georgia has always been famous, it is probably
our own fault, or rather our misfortune. The best-looking women in
any country are not in the habit of going to the railway stations or
promenading in the parks. We noticed several ladies with beautiful and
refined faces in the shops, and often passed them driving--sufficient
to justify a confirmation of the stories we have heard about the clear
olive complexions, the regular features, the Egyptian eyes, and the
midnight hair, which are the gifts of the women of the Georgian race.

It’s a joke among the Russians that every Georgian is a nobleman and
that your porter or drosky driver is certain to be a baron or perhaps
a count. It is undoubtedly true that titles were once bestowed with
lavish generosity by the Georgian kings, who paid their debts as
well as rewarded merit by conferring rank promiscuously. A gentleman
remarked the other day, however, that the only title worth taking off
your hat to is that of a prince. Every large land owner is a prince.
I do not know that it is necessary for him to have any given area.
As a rule, a Georgian nobleman looks and dresses the part much more
naturally than Russian or other European dukes and princes.

The national pride is equally amusing--pride of ancestry, pride of
race, pride of costume, pride of children; and, as John G. Saxe
wrote of a similar case, they are proud of their pride. To this
characteristic we are indebted for much pleasure. It induces them to
cling to their national costumes and even to the gilded daggers at
their belts.

A striking illustration of this is found in a Georgian shrine opposite
the Hotel de Londres, at the principal gateway to a pretty little park
in Tiflis. There you can see a mosaic icon, representing a full-length
figure of the Saviour in the most gorgeous variety of the Georgian
costume. He is dressed in a long bowrka, or overcoat, faced or lined
with ermine; under this a scarlet tunic and loose blue trousers, tucked
into high-topped leather boots. He wears a green girdle into which a
revolver and a dagger with beautifully enamelled handles are thrust;
upon His breast are silver kilebi, the cases where cartridges are
usually carried, and on His head is a tall nabadi, or stove-pipe
hat, of black Persian lamb’s-wool--Jesus of Nazareth in the raiment of
a Georgian dandy!

[Illustration: A Georgian Prince]

[Illustration: Patriarch of the Georgian Church, Tiflis]

The peasants seem to approve of it, notwithstanding the incongruity,
and we loved to watch them from our windows, thousands every day, for
the park is much frequented by workingmen at the noon and evening hours
of rest. Every one who passes invariably kneels, crosses himself, and
murmurs a prayer, and many kiss the glass that covers the feet of
this Christ, who is clad according to the peasants’ dream of what the
Redeemer should be.

The Georgian priests are fine looking, and the archbishop, or
patriarch, who presides at Tiflis is as handsome and venerable an
ecclesiastic as can be imagined. Some of the priests make themselves
up to look like the Saviour, wearing their hair long and their beards
trimmed as He is represented to look in the pictures. They are said
to be rather illiterate, however. No educational qualifications are
required for ordination. It is a popular saying that only lazy men go
into the priesthood, but I do not think that all of them are lazy. I
have seen many who look like men of energy and brains and devotion.

Almost every store has three or four signs in different
languages--Russian, Armenian, Georgian, Persian, Tartar, and German
also over in “the Colony,” which makes the sign boards look very odd.
Armenian and Georgian lettering is different from Russian, but each is
quite similar to the other.

The shops are unattractive. There are one or two large department
stores filled with modern goods, but in the bazaars and native shops
there is little worth buying. The native goods are rudely made,
although sometimes of artistic design. Rug shops are innumerable and
some of them in the Persian quarter have a large variety of stock, but
the quality is inferior and prices are high. Friends explained that
we must be patient and wait for the dealers to come down; because a
Persian, like all Orientals, never expects the buyer to pay his first
price; but life is too short to haggle over such bargains, particularly
as we can get better goods of the same kind in the shops of Chicago and
Washington at prices quite as low as are charged here. I doubt if there
is a single thing in Tiflis that any American would want which cannot
be purchased to equal advantage at home. But, as I have said, there is
very little that any American would want. The merchants select their
stock to suit the tastes of their local customers, as everywhere. At a
curio shop we picked up some curious old pieces of silver, but they are
valuable only because they are unique.

There are many fine buildings in Tiflis and several handsome
residences. Some of the Armenian merchants are said to be very rich and
they live in costly houses, which are said to be handsomely furnished,
but the Russian officials have the most attractive homes.



CHAPTER VI

MOUNT ARARAT AND THE OLDEST TOWN IN THE WORLD


You can go to the foot of Mount Ararat by railway nowadays, and
although you cannot see the ark, you will be able to meet many
venerable Armenians who will remind you of Noah, for they look exactly
as that old mariner must have looked. And you can visit what is
claimed to be the oldest town in the world, the Armenian village of
Nakhikheban--an Armenian word which means “he descended first”--which,
according to local tradition, was founded by Noah when he landed after
his memorable experience with the flood and doves. This railroad is due
to the military enterprise of the Russian government. It is intended
for strategic purposes, in anticipation of another war with Turkey, and
must not be attributed to any benevolent disposition toward tourists.
As a matter of fact the Russian government does not encourage tourists,
and every stranger who comes within range is an object of espionage so
long as he remains, which is often disagreeable.

If you will take your map of Turkey in Asia and the Caucasus you can
see for yourself where Ararat is situated, just across the boundary
of Turkish Armenia and very near the corner where the territories
of Russia, Turkey, and Persia meet. North and east of Ararat is the
Russian province of Georgia with the river Aidaraaras, which is
the Araxes of the Bible, separating it from the Persian province of
Azerbaijan. The famous river flows into the Caspian Sea about sixty
miles south of Baku, the centre of the Russian petroleum interest.
South of Armenia is Kurdistan, a Turkish province, whose inhabitants,
nomadic and half civilized, claim to be descended from the concubines
of Solomon. Beyond Ararat, to the southeast, is the city of Bayazid,
and still further is Lake Van, a very interesting body of water, with
two cities called Van and Bitlis upon its banks, both of which are
important commercial centres of Armenia. Lake Van is 5,907 feet above
the level of the sea and is one of the sources of the famous Tigris
River. Another source of the Tigris is Lake Urmi, in Persia, which is
4,100 feet above the sea, and near it is Tabriz, the most important
city in northern Persia.

South of Kurdistan is the Turkish province of Mesopotamia, lying
between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which was once the centre of
the world and as important to mankind as London or New York is to-day.
Somewhere there the Garden of Eden is supposed to have been located,
although it is very far away from anything like a paradise now. It
is a sandy waste, producing very little vegetation, supporting a few
goats, sheep, and camels and practically uninhabited except by roving
tribes of half-savage Kurds. It is confidently believed, however, that
Mesopotamia can be reclaimed, and Sir William Willcocks, an English
engineer, who built the Assouan dam in Egypt, has laid before the new
Turkish government a plan for the irrigation of that historic province.

[Illustration: Mount Ararat]

The railway to Mount Ararat begins at Tiflis and creeps around
through the mountains for a distance of 278 miles, climbing as high
as 4,200 feet and making the journey in seventeen hours, which seems
too long for the distance, but trains go very slowly and stop a long
time at every station. The first-class cars are luxurious. They are
divided into compartments for the accommodation of two and four people,
with the seats running from side to side, and are arranged so that the
back, which is upholstered, can be lifted to a horizontal position like
an upper berth in one of our Pullman cars. Thus a day coach may be
transformed into a sleeper without extra charge, although passengers,
if they would be comfortable, must carry their own sheets, pillows,
blankets, and towels and make up their own beds. Therefore practically
every traveller carries a roll of bedding with him, as is done in
India, although the Russian cars are infinitely more comfortable in
every respect. The second-class passengers all over Russia are taken
care of much better than the first-class on the India railways.
Their accommodations are almost as good as those in the first-class
carriages. The only reason for taking the latter is to avoid the crowd
and be a little more exclusive. No seats or compartments are reserved,
hence there is a rush for the vacant places whenever the train stops
at a station, and if you happen to get into one of the four-berth
compartments you cannot choose your company. But these petty annoyances
are forgotten a few hours after the journey is over.

The scenery along the line is sublime. Every now and then you can catch
a glimpse of a snow-clad peak with noble outlines. The mountain sides
are covered with forests, notwithstanding the fact that this is the
oldest part of the world, and you can scarcely realize that some of
the towns at which the train stops have been standing since the flood.
Most of the people at the stations are farmers, who make a good living
cultivating the soil and raising sheep and goats, and the women of
their households work up the wool with old-fashioned looms into rugs
and felt.

Since the Romanoffs brought their expansion policy down that way so
far as to include a part of the ancient kingdom of Armenia, they
have rebuilt the Turkish town of Gumri and have re-christened it
Alexandropol in honour of one of their emperors. It is a purely modern
military station at a strategic point, with barracks for four thousand
troops, arsenals, armouries, large warehouses filled with military
supplies, and everything necessary to equip an army at short notice.
Such posts have been located all along the southern borders of the
Russian empire overlooking Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, India, China,
and other Asiatic neighbours.

All Russian towns are built on the same model, with wide, well-shaded
streets, substantial residences, good shops, electric lights, and,
if the patronage will justify it, a line of street cars. There is
always an imposing church, under the care of a group of priests who
are doing secular missionary work laid out for them by the holy synod
at St. Petersburg--Russofying the natives, if that word may be used;
conducting a political rather than an evangelical propaganda. Their
policy is never to interfere with the religions or the customs of the
people they conquer, but to assimilate them quietly and gradually by
educating the children in Russian schools, teaching them the language
first and then lessons in patriotism and loyalty.

The population of Alexandropol was almost exclusively Armenian until
the Russians came. Now it is about half and half. The Armenians have
a handsome church, dedicated to St. Gregory “the Enlightener”; they
keep the shops and do the mechanical work and are infinitely better off
since Russian occupation than they ever were before. Russian Armenia
is peaceful and prosperous and in a degree progressive--much more so
than any other section of the ancient Armenian kingdom at any period of
its history. The construction of the railway has given the farmers an
outlet for their produce; the large expenditures for maintaining troops
have brought much money into communities that scarcely ever knew what
money was during Turkish domination, and have provided a permanent and
profitable market for everything the people produce. The construction
of barracks, fortifications, roads, and other such public works has
furnished employment for thousands and has provided a permanent and
steady income for the labouring classes.

Alexandropol is 4,850 feet above the sea and almost surrounded by
snow-covered peaks. The highest is Alaghez, 15,000 feet; and Ararat,
17,260 feet high, may often be seen in the distance.

On the eastern side of Alaghez is a wonderful lake called Goktcha,
occupying the crater of a volcano 6,337 feet above the sea. The lake
is forty-three miles long and an average of twenty miles wide and
receives the drainage of a very large area. The mountains that encircle
it rise like a wall between 4,000 and 5,000 feet and most of them are
entirely covered with timber. The water is very deep, clear, and cold,
and abounds with fish, which furnish employment for many people. They
ship their catch daily by train to Tiflis, which is a limited but a
profitable market. The choicest fish is a salmon trout similar to that
found in the streams and lakes of the Rocky Mountains.

In ancient times, if we are to believe the legends, the fish in Lake
Goktcha were never seen between Christmas Day and Lent, but on Ash
Wednesday used to come to the surface in large schools and permit
themselves to be caught daily until Easter Sunday. This practice, as
I understand, has become obsolete, and they behave like other fish in
these degenerate days.

On an island in the lake is a picturesque Armenian monastery called
after St. Sevan, alleged to have been founded by Tiridates, the most
famous of all the kings of Armenia, only three hundred years after the
crucifixion.

Below Alexandropol, a branch of the railway runs up to the city of
Kars, another point of great strategic importance in case Russia and
Turkey should ever come to blows again, as they have so many times in
the past, for it commands all northern Armenia. The Russians intend
to annex the rest of Armenia to their dominions sooner or later, and
then they will have Persia practically surrounded. This is the second
time they have occupied Kars. They captured it during the Crimean war,
but were compelled to give it up. In 1877 they took it again, and the
following year it was definitely assigned to them by the Powers of
Europe in the treaty of Berlin. The improvements since that time have
been purely military, like everything else that Russia does down there.
The old town remains just as it was in Turkish times, and the new town
is like Alexandropol and other places I have described.

Not far south of Alexandropol, the railway passes through the
extensive ruins of Ani, from the beginning of things down to the
eleventh century the capital of the Armenians. In 1046 the king
relinquished his authority in favour of the Byzantine emperor at
Constantinople, and from that date up to 1877 that territory has been
a part of Turkey. There are evidences of considerable splendour. The
walls which surrounded the city are only partly destroyed, and a
considerable section still remains forty and fifty feet high, with
numerous round towers and battlements built of yellow stone and
embellished with courses and crosses and other ornaments in black
basalt. The gateways were imposing. The churches must have been large.
The walls of several remain and portions of beautifully arched roofs.
Here and there are decorations of rich carving, mosaic, and tiles,
which, however, are rapidly peeling away and crumbling from neglect.
Upon the edge of a ravine are the ruins of an extensive building with
a monumental gateway which is supposed to have been the palace of the
king, although there is no description of such a building in Armenian
literature.

The capital of Russian Armenia is thoroughly Russian in spots, but the
greater part of it is thoroughly Oriental, and the bazaars, where most
of the trade is conducted, are as interesting as any in the East. The
name of the town is pronounced “Yer-ri-van,” with the accent on the
last syllable, and the word means “at the foot,” referring of course
to Mount Ararat, the most famous of all mountains, perhaps, as well as
one of the most interesting. The two peaks that compose the mountain,
the greater 17,260 feet and the lesser 13,000 feet high, are always
within view, barring the weather, and there is a decided difference of
opinion as to the number of clear days in that climate. People who
want to “knock the town” insist that the peak of Great Ararat cannot be
seen more than once a week, but the more loyal inhabitants will assure
you that it is in plain sight every hour, morning, noon, and night, and
every day in the year.

The streets of Erivan are wide, the houses are of one story, built very
much after the Spanish or Moorish plan, around a patio, and without
windows on the street. There are a few good shops filled with modern
merchandise in the Russian quarter, with restaurants, cafés, and other
modern improvements. There are two hotels which are simply tolerable
and no more--the kind that you would not patronize unless you had to.
The bazaars, however, are very busy, because a large population come
here for trade, and Erivan is practically the terminus of the railway,
which brings vast quantities of freight that must be carried farther
on by camel caravans. These caravans meet and receive and discharge
their cargoes at a large open square, surrounded by khans, the Oriental
substitute for hotels, and such places are always fascinating to people
from other parts of the world. Most of the goods that are carried
into the interior come from Moscow, for the Russian government always
protects its manufacturers and promotes their trade where it can be
done without interfering with military affairs. Most of the goods that
are shipped out are rugs, wool, hides, and skins from various parts of
Persia and Turkish-Armenia, which are sent in bulk by rail and boat and
steamer to Constantinople and there distributed.

There is nothing to buy; nothing that any American would want. Although
the bazaars contain a complex assortment of merchandise of sufficient
variety to suit Oriental comers, they are not our kind of goods.
The bazaars are made up of little boxes not more than six or eight
feet square, lined with shelves filled with goods, and the proprietor
sits in the midst of them, “squatting like a Turk,” or stretched out
comfortably upon a rug smoking cigarettes. You seldom see the narghile,
or Turkish water pipe with a long tube. The bazaars cover many acres,
which are cut up into narrow, winding streets sheltered from the sun
by roofs of masonry or awnings of matting, and, as usual, the trade is
classified for the convenience of the public. The vegetable dealers,
the butchers, the candlestick makers, the hardware and iron mongers,
the leather mongers and print dealers, all have their own streets,
and the shops are so close together that rival merchants can chatter
together while waiting for customers.

There is an old fortress built by the Persians while they occupied the
country, and an ancient palace within its walls, several of the rooms
being handsomely decorated with tiles and fantastic designs in coloured
glass. Most of the space, however, is occupied by barracks for the
soldiers, who are as numerous as they are in all other frontier Russian
towns; but at the same time they bring in a great deal of business
and contribute to the prosperity of the farmers and merchants and
everybody. And I do not know what the hotels would do if it were not
for the officers of the Russian army.

The population of Erivan is very much mixed, but the larger number
are Armenian Christians, who control the financial and commercial
affairs, as they do everywhere else in this section, and have displayed
that remarkable aptitude for commerce and accumulation that is
characteristic of the race. There are many Turks, more Persians, and
still more Kurds, who do the teaming, drive the cabs, and load the
camels. The heavy labour is done by Kurds and Tartars, and the trading
by Persians and Armenians, as it is elsewhere.

There are many monasteries in Armenia and all of them are very old.
Etchmiadzin is undoubtedly the oldest monastic establishment in the
world, and is not only interesting for that reason, but also because it
was the cradle of the Christian faith in that region, and the residence
of the much venerated St. Gregory, the Enlightener. He is so called
because he converted King Tiridates. There are many relics of this most
famous Armenian saint. Any one who will take the trouble to drive eight
or ten miles to the village of Khorvirab may see a well in which St.
Gregory is said to have been confined by his persecutors for fourteen
years, having his food and drink lowered down to him by a rope all this
time. In one of the chapels of the monastery is the slab of marble he
used to cover a cave into which he drove all the devils that pestered
Armenia in his day. A picturesque shrine now occupies the spot. But
St. Gregory does not seem to have been as successful as St. Patrick
was with the snakes in Ireland. Some of the devils must have been
overlooked, because he was not only bitterly persecuted himself, but
his followers in Armenia have suffered more than the believers in any
religion in any other part of the world.

The monastery is very large and is surrounded by a massive wall which
has sustained many a siege and repelled frequent attacks by Kurds,
Turks, Tartars, Persians, and Saracens. There are several buildings,
the most conspicuous containing the apartments of the patriarch and
the several archbishops, bishops, and clerks who assist him in the
performance of his duties. There is a hospice for the entertainment
of visiting clergy who go there in large numbers on business and to
seek inspiration; another less pretentious is for the entertainment of
pilgrims, and near by is a bazaar, or market, where they can purchase
food and other supplies. A theological seminary with forty or fifty
students who are studying for the Armenian ministry is maintained also,
and the privilege of attending it is quite as highly prized as that
enjoyed by the students of the famous Roman Catholic colleges at Rome.
As a rule, the Armenian clergy are not highly educated. The reason
is that their parishioners are not able to pay for the services of
educated men; but many brilliant young theologians have gone out from
that school to Armenian colonies in different parts of the world to
defend the faith with zeal and eloquence.

The library of the institution, however, does not convey an impression
of scholarship. The number of books upon its shelves is very small,
they are all very old, and most of them are obsolete. There does not
appear to be a demand for a supply of literature, theological or
otherwise, in the Armenian language. Very few of the books are of any
value.

There has been a delusion among Oriental scholars that the library at
Etchmiadzin is filled with ancient manuscripts of great interest and
value, but that is not the case. There are no attractions there for
students, and the Armenian clergy seem to take much deeper interest
in certain superstitions and the traditions attached to the highly
venerated relics in their sanctuary than in the contents of their book
shelves.

The treasury of the monastery contains a third “holy lance”--the
weapon of the soldier which pierced the side of the Saviour as He hung
upon the cross. There is a duplicate at the palace of the emperor
of Austria, which was brought from Jerusalem by St. Helena and once
belonged to Constantine the Great, then to Charlemagne, by whom it was
passed down to his successors as the head of the Holy Roman Empire.
There is still another in St. Peter’s at Rome, which was brought from
the Holy Land by the Crusaders, who discovered it through a miracle at
Antioch. The “holy lance” here is said to have been brought to Armenia
by Thaddeus, the disciple, when he came at the invitation of the king
to convert the nation.

A still more interesting relic is a fragment of Noah’s ark--a ragged
and rotten piece of a plank, about four feet long, eighteen inches
wide, and two inches thick, which is alleged to have been taken from
the hull of that venerated vessel. There are no written guarantees, and
therefore it is impossible to establish identity, but as it is equally
impossible to disprove the statement, it is easier to accept the faith
of those good people without question.

What is probably more genuine is a beautifully chased silver reliquary
in the shape of a forearm and hand, which is said to contain the actual
right hand and arm of St. Gregory, and it is used in an impressive
ceremony at the consecration of the patriarch of the Armenian church.
At the benediction this silver reliquary containing the hand of the
founder of the Armenian church is solemnly placed upon the forehead of
the candidate by the officiating bishop.

There are many other relics of saints and martyrs of the Armenian faith
whose names and history are unknown to us. Indeed, one has to go there
to realize how little the people of the United States know about one of
the greatest branches of the Christian church.

The monastery proper is an ancient building with cells for thirty-four
monks, who spend most of their time looking after the business
management of the institution and, as you can well understand, are
proud of their vocation and highly prize the privileges they enjoy.
They are assisted in the cultivation of a farm and in caring for large
flocks of sheep and goats by a village of peasants, who increase the
dependents of the institution to several thousand persons.

The architectural attractions are not great--the buildings are not
imposing and the chapel, a portion of which dates back to the fourth
and the rest to the seventh century, is a small, dark, cruciform
building without beauty of design or decoration. Still it is
interesting because it is undoubtedly one of the oldest houses of
worship in all the world. There are two patriarchal thrones, one on
each side of the apse. That on the left is occupied on occasions of
ceremony by the patriarch. That on the right is reserved for the use of
the Saviour in case the second advent should occur without warning.

There are no portraits or paintings of interest, but one is struck
by the simple, primitive, earnest dignity of the place, and the
unostentatious manner in which the inmates live and conduct their
affairs. All of them take their meals in one of two refectories, both
low, long rooms, with a single narrow table running down the centre
between rude benches. At the end of the larger refectory is a throne
under a canopy which the patriarch may occupy if he pleases, although
he usually dines alone, and at the other end is a pulpit from which
somebody always reads aloud from the Bible or from some volume of
religious literature while the meals are being served. The same
practice is followed in many Roman Catholic monasteries and seminaries
and is intended to keep the minds of the listeners upon serious things
and make their meals as solemn as possible. There is no disposition to
remain at the table longer than is absolutely necessary.

One of the refectories assigned to the clergy and the students is
always open to visitors, and lodgings are afforded to all comers in the
old monastic style, with a cordial welcome, without money and without
price, although a guest is expected to drop a contribution in a poor
box, which is conveniently placed for the purpose.

If that entertaining old story teller, called Tradition, can be relied
upon, Nakhikheban, Armenia, is the oldest town in existence; the
first human settlement founded after the deluge--and there began the
renaissance by Noah of a world that had been washed clean of sin and
iniquity after a thorough soaking of forty days. Nakhikheban is where
Noah and his family settled when they came out of the ark, and he made
his home here, according to the legends, until his death. We do not
know exactly where he lived before the deluge or where the ark was
built, but at any rate he did not go back there, and from this place
the family scattered to obey the divine command to replenish the earth.

[Illustration: Nakhikheban, founded by Noah on the slope of Ararat. The
oldest town in the world]

There are various ways of spelling the name of the town, which is the
case with nearly all the towns in that part of the world. The Russians
have it Nakhitchevan, but the map makers generally accept the Armenian
version, for it is an Armenian word, and it means “he descended
here”--referring, of course, to the landing from the ark. It is
worth the trip from Erivan, and even from Tiflis, if only to say that
you have been there. It is a distinction to have visited the oldest
community on the entire globe, and Noah would feel very much set up if
he could know that people came all the way from America to accord his
town such an honour. Unfortunately, there are no records back of the
pretensions of the sleepy little place; there is no history of those
eventful days; the oldest inhabitants are dead; and the only foundation
for the tradition is a few vague words in the Bible.

Noah is buried near Damascus, where his grave is forty-five feet long,
and the people there will tell you that he was a very tall man. His
wife is buried at the village of Marand, at the base of Ararat, where
she died a few years after the landing. The poor woman was not allowed
to live to see the glory of her descendants. The local traditions also
place the Garden of Eden in that vicinity, in the valley of the Araxes,
at the base of Ararat, through which runs the great highway from Erivan
into Persia, which has been travelled for six thousand years in peace
and in war, and has been the channel of commerce since human beings
began to trade with one another. It has also been the scene of untold
slaughter and misery, and forty battles have been fought to control
it. This road has been trodden by the mighty hosts of Cyrus, Darius,
Xerxes, and Alexander the Great, and Hannibal led his legions along
this way to conquer the Caucasus. The Russians control that highway now
and they bought it by the sacrifice of many lives.

All that remains of a memorable epoch in the world’s history, in which
Noah was the leading actor, is Mt. Ararat itself, and many wise men
are of the opinion that there has been a universal misapprehension
concerning that. The Right Honourable James Bryce, British Ambassador
to Washington, who wrote a book about that country thirty-five years
ago, may be accepted as the most reliable authority, and with his
permission I may quote him on this subject. He says:

“The only topographical reference in the Scripture narrative of the
flood is to be found in the words, Genesis viii, 4--‘In the seventh
month, on the 17th day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains
of Ararat,’ which may be taken as equivalent to ‘on a mountain of (or
in) Ararat.’

“The word Ararat is used in three, or rather in two, other places in
the Scriptures. One is in II Kings xix, 38, where it is said of the
sons of Sennacherib, who had just murdered their father, that they
escaped into the land of Ararat, rendered in our version, and in the
Septuagint, ‘Armenia.’ The other is in Jeremiah li., 27 ‘Call together:
against her (i. e., Babylon) the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and
Aschenaz.’ The question then is what does this Ararat denote? Clearly,
the Alexandrian translators took it for Armenia; so does the Vulgate
when it renders in Genesis viii, 4, the words which we translate On
the mountains of Ararat’ by ‘super montes Armeniæ.’ This narrows it
a little, and St. Jerome himself helps us to narrow it still further
when, in his commentary on Isaiah xxxvii, 38, he says that ‘Ararat
means the plain of the middle Araxes, which lies at the foot of the
great mountain Taurus.’

“The identification, therefore, is natural enough; what is of more
consequence is to determine how early it took place; for as there is
little or no trace of an independent local tradition of the flood,
we may assume the identification to rest entirely on the use of the
name Ararat in the Hebrew narrative. Josephus (Ant. Jud., bk i, ch.
iii) says that the Armenians called the place where Noah descended
the ‘disembarking place, for the ark being saved in that place, its
remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day’ and also quotes
Nicolas of Damascus, who writes that: ‘In Armenia, above Minyas, there
is a great mountain called Baras, upon which it is said that many who
escaped at the time of the flood were saved, and that one who was
carried in an ark came ashore on top of it, and that the remains of the
wood were preserved for a long while. This might be the man about whom
Moses, the law-giver of the Jews, wrote.’

“Marco Polo, whose route does not seem to have led him near it, says
only, in speaking of Armenia: ‘Here is an exceeding great mountain,
on which, it is said, the ark of Noah rested, and for this cause it
is called the Mountain of the Ark of Noah. The circuit of its base
cannot be traversed in less than two days; and the ascent is rendered
impossible by the snow on its summit, which never dissolves, but is
increased by each successive fall. On the lower declivities the melted
snows cause an abundant vegetation, and afford rich pastures for
the cattle which in summer resort thither from all the surrounding
countries.’”

For centuries it was conceded that the top of Ararat could not be
reached, and even to-day the highest Armenian ecclesiastics insist
that God has made it impossible for human feet to climb it. They
insist that no one has ever reached the top and that no one ever
will, but the ascent has been made by at least fourteen or fifteen
experienced mountaineers. Mr. Bryce himself not only made the quickest
ascent on record in 1877, but went up entirely alone. The Russian
governor-general at Erivan furnished him with a body-guard of Cossacks
and several Kurd porters, who, when they reached a height of twelve
thousand feet, refused to go any farther, and, at one o’clock in the
morning, Mr. Bryce started on alone, reaching the summit, about two the
following afternoon, and returning to camp the same night.

It had been his ambition from childhood to ascend Ararat, which was
due to Scriptural associations and to reading when a boy a thrilling
account of an ascent by Doctor Parrot, the first human being, so far as
known, to reach the summit.

There are two peaks, called Greater and Lesser Ararat, about seven
miles apart. Greater Ararat rises to a height of 17,323 feet from
the plain of the Araxes, being the second mountain in height west of
the Himalayas, Elburz, in the Caucasus, alone exceeding it, with a
height of 18,493 feet. Lesser Ararat rises 13,300 feet, and is almost
identical in shape with its greater companion. Both are slumbering
volcanoes, and although there has been no eruption within the memory
of men, earthquakes have frequently occurred and have caused much
damage. The line of perpetual snow is thirteen thousand feet, and the
summit of the Greater Ararat is always covered, an almost perfect dome
of spotless white rising against an azure sky. It is one of the most
beautiful of mountains. At an elevation of about 5,600 feet on the
slopes of Greater Ararat formerly stood an Armenian village called
Arghuri, an Armenian name meaning “he planted the vine.” According to
tradition an Armenian church dating from the eighth century occupied
the spot where Noah built his altar and offered his first sacrifice
after leaving the ark and making a safe descent of the mountain with
his family and the living creatures that were saved with him. At
Arghuri “he planted the vine” and raised grapes, made wine, drank to
excess, and got caught in the scrape narrated in Genesis ix, 20. Until
1840, when the village was destroyed by an earthquake, the actual vine
referred to, planted by the hands of the patriarch, was still pointed
out by the people.

The Persian rulers of this country used to have a summer residence near
the village, but it was destroyed with the rest and has never been
restored.

Near the site of Arghuri, the monastery of St. Jacob marked the spot
where a saintly monk of that name, a contemporary of St. Gregory,
founder of the Armenian church, received divine evidence that the
traditions connecting Noah and the ark with Ararat are true. For years
he lived a hermit upon the mountain side praying for light. At length
God sent an angel, who appeared to him in his sleep and deposited upon
his breast a fragment of the ark as a reward for his faith and zeal and
piety. That is the fragment of a plank which may now be seen in the
treasury of the monastery at Etchmiadzin.

Van is an ancient city, appearing in early Persian and Assyrian
annals. Above the city on the face of a cliff are inscriptions said
to have been written by Darius the Great when he was at the height of
his power. From Castle Rock, on a clear day, Mount Ararat with its
perpetually snow-capped peak can be seen. Eastward from Van, less than
a three days’ journey, are the borders of Persia, and on the south lie
the mountains occupied by the Nestorians and the Kurds. Even up to the
present time, these southern regions are not brought wholly under
governmental control, although order is gradually being established.

The city is upon a high plateau six thousand feet above the sea and on
the border of a great salt lake. Around this lake many a bloody war
has been waged, during a period of from three to four thousand years.
History shows that from 1000 to 600 B.C. Van was the capital of a
strong kingdom. Its kings often went forth with armies to battle and
frequently left records upon the rocks recounting their victories. Such
inscriptions are found as far west as Harpoot where a record is made
that in 700 B.C., the king of Van waged war against the Hittite king of
Valetia. There are two records of conflict between these two rulers,
and it is a significant fact that in both instances the king of Van did
not halt to write the inscription telling of his great success until
after he had put a considerable distance between himself and the enemy
whom he claims to have vanquished.

Van was the capital of Armenia for centuries, and even to-day is
regarded by many Armenians as their capital city. The Armenians,
in large numbers there, are unusually strong intellectually and
commercially. They outnumber the Turks and control trade. Van has been
a centre and hotbed of Armenian revolutionists for many years, which
has been the cause of no little anxiety to the Turkish officials. Being
so near the Russian border on the north and the Persian border on the
east, it has been possible for the revolutionists to escape punishment
by fleeing across the line. The Turks complain that Russia and Persia
have allowed their territory to be made places of refuge for outlaws
sought by Turkey.

Van is one of the latest mission stations opened by the American
Board in Turkey. It was not occupied until 1872. This district, being
the headquarters of one of the divisions of the Armenian church (the
monastery in which the Vartebad resides is located upon an island in
the lake of Van), mission work made progress very slowly at first.
The people were suspicious of the strangers who had come. One of the
first missionaries sent in was a physician, Dr. G. C. Raynolds, of
Long-meadow, Mass., and it was largely through his influence that the
early prejudice was overcome. Within the last ten years the medical
work has made rapid advance until there is now a well established and
equipped American hospital with an American trained nurse. Something
like ten or twelve thousand patients are treated every year, including
Kurds, Turks, and Armenians of all classes and all grades of society.

At the time of the Armenian massacres in 1895, seven or eight thousand
refugees were admitted into the mission compound and were there fed for
several days until the excitement had passed. There was a feeling among
the Armenians that safety could only be found in the American premises.
Following the universal custom of our missionaries in such cases, arms
were not allowed to be brought in, and only those who were willing to
give up their guns at the gate were admitted. Because of this attitude
the government was ready, when asked, to send soldiers to guard the
premises, so that no one who reached the missionary grounds was injured.

There was such destitution after the massacres, owing to the death
of so many of the wage earners and the loss of crops, that it became
necessary to make the Van mission a relief and supply station for
that entire section. Money was sent from Europe and America in large
amounts. Seed was bought for the farmer that he might sow his ground
when the time for sowing came. As most of the cattle had been driven
off, oxen were brought from remote districts and loaned to the farmers
that they might plough their land; and many agricultural implements
were bought for them. In the city, bakeries were started and a variety
of industries organized, so that for a year or two the mission became
a hive of industry, giving more time and strength to ministering to
the physical needs of the people than to preaching and teaching, to
demonstrate to the people the fundamental principles of Christianity.

Educational work has made rapid advances. The prejudices of the people
against the Americans have been largely broken down, and for the last
few years the mission schools have been crowded beyond their capacity.
At the present writing (1910), the American schools in Van alone have
over one thousand pupils in attendance. The High School for Boys, which
has been unusually prosperous, has reached a point where the people
are urging that it be erected into a college. A tract of land has
recently been purchased which is suitable to meet the needs of such a
college for at least a quarter of a century. Some funds have already
been subscribed for this purpose, and it is expected that, in the near
future, there will be an American college in Van to supply the demand
for higher education among the large population occupying the eastern
part of the Turkish Empire. Such a college will undoubtedly attract
many students from Russia as well as from Persia. There can be little
doubt as to its success, or as to the widespread influence that such an
institution would exert. Graduates of the high school now in America
are taking courses of study with a view to returning to their country
to take part in its establishment, and undoubtedly many Armenians of
wealth will contribute liberally toward the buildings and endowment.

Doctor Raynolds, already referred to, who began mission work in 1872,
has faced many trying circumstances. At times the revolutionists have
been so hostile to him that they have threatened his life. On the other
hand, he has been accused by the Turkish government of connection
with the revolutionists, and has often been kept under surveillance
by them. Nevertheless, through all emergencies, the doctor has held
steadily to an attitude of strict neutrality. A few years ago, the
revolutionists, having secured arms from outside, barricaded a part of
the city and defied the Turkish governor and his army. The governor
made preparations to attack. It was well known to Doctor Raynolds and
other missionaries, that, if the attack began, hundreds of lives would
be sacrificed, the innocent with the guilty, and the spirit of murder
and looting would be let loose. The missionary went to the governor
and asked him to delay the attack until he could go in person to the
revolutionists to see if something could not be done to heal the open
breach between them and the government. The governor seemed to feel
that it was useless; that nothing remained for him but to crush the
spirit of revolution out of the Armenians of the city, which in itself
meant a general massacre. At Doctor Raynolds’s solicitation, however,
an armistice was declared, and at midnight, without an attendant and
unarmed, he went into the camp of the revolutionists. Their guards
seized him as soon as he approached. He was taken before the leaders
and urged them, for the sake of the innocent people who would suffer
most severely in case an attack was made, to come to some agreement
with the governor, or else withdraw from the city.

He returned from the revolutionists to the governor, and from the
governor went back to the revolutionists, until finally an agreement
was reached. The leaders of the insurrection were allowed to escape
from the country unmolested; and order was restored without the
loss of a single life. This is only one of many instances in which
this missionary doctor has been instrumental in preventing a bloody
collision between conflicting forces. While critical persons might say
that this is not one of the duties of a missionary yet no one would
suggest that it was not worthy of an advocate of the Gospel of Peace.

If one starts from Constantinople and travels eastward across Asia
Minor, Armenia, and Kurdistan, and keeps on in that direction until he
arrives at the foot of snow-capped Ararat; if he then turns northward
to the Black Sea coast and from there strikes south over the Taurus
and the Anti-Taurus Mountains, crossing the great populous plains of
the upper waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Araxes and the Halys
Rivers, holding still to the south across northern Mesopotamia into
Syria--in traversing all that vast region he will find almost nothing
of modern medicine or surgery or hospital facilities except those which
belong to the American missionary or have sprung from his work.

In great centres of trade and population like Cæsarea, Marsovan,
Sivas, Harpoot, Erzeroom, Van, Diarbekir, Mardin, and Aintab, one will
find medical missionaries of the American Board carrying on the most
benevolent and soul-winning lines of work God gives His children to
perform on earth. With them are associated an increasing company of
native doctors. Some of them were trained by the missionaries alone,
while not a few have received their professional preparation either in
the medical school at the Syrian Protestant Medical College at Beirut,
or in some foreign country.

Were it possible to separate and set aside by themselves all the
civilizing forces, all the facilities for betterment in society, that
have entered Turkey through missionary agencies, it would surprise
the commercial world. The sum total of American textile manufactures,
American sewing machines, ploughs, and other farming implements,
cabinet organs, bells, books, cabinet-makers’ tools, drugs and
medicines, and numberless other commodities they have brought in would
foot up to an astonishing figure. And this is but the beginning. There
are movements of great significance on foot, resulting from the same
influence, and likely to develop into a greater expansion of American
commerce in that country.

The other part, the all-pervasive influence of their work, the change
in ideas and ideals, the enlightenment of the people of all grades
and classes, the change in the condition of women, the betterment of
the family, the fading out of superstitious notions, the widespread
longing for reform in matters social and secular, and for advancement
in civilization--all these are results of the greatest moment, which
cannot be shown in figures, for they are greater than figures.



CHAPTER VII

THE ARMENIANS AND THEIR PERSECUTION


Armenia is perhaps the oldest of all the Christian countries in the
world. It was a powerful nation at the advent of Christ, although at
different periods in its history it was occupied by the Persians under
Cyrus, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great, and the Romans under
the Cæsars. One of the kings of Armenia, Tigranes II, made a treaty
with Pompey under which he submitted to a protectorate from Rome, but
after his death his son and successor, Artavasdes III, rebelled, was
severely chastised by Marc Antony, and taken prisoner to Alexandria,
where he was beheaded in the year 30 B.C. by order of Cleopatra.

There is a legend that one of the immediate successors of Tigranes,
having heard of the teachings of Jesus and His persecution by the Jews,
sent Him a letter by a distinguished envoy offering Him the hospitality
of Armenia and the widest freedom in carrying on His work. Jesus, the
tradition continues, replied that His duty lay among His own people,
but sent a representative in the person of His disciple, Thaddeus,
who was warmly received and preached the new Gospel throughout the
kingdom until the entire population accepted the Christian faith. Some
clever fabricator several years ago pretended to discover the original
manuscript of this correspondence among the archives of one of the
ancient Armenian monasteries, and the announcement created a decided
sensation.

[Illustration: Entrance to the monastery of Etchmiadzin, Armenia]

It is a matter of regret that this legend cannot be sustained, but it
is an actual fact that Tiridates, king of Armenia, was converted to
Christianity in the year 259 A.D. by St. Gregory, “the Enlightener,”
and was therefore the first sovereign in the world to accept the new
faith and to adopt it as the religion of his nation. The Emperor
Constantine did not accept Christianity until thirty years or more
afterward. Armenia is therefore the oldest of Christian countries, and
the monastery of Etchmiadzin, twelve miles from Erivan, is still, as it
has been from the third century, the ecclesiastical headquarters of the
Armenian church. The word in English means “the only begotten.”

But the Armenians have had a stormy time in defence of their religion
ever since. Theological controversies began early among them, and
persecution has been relentless. The Armenian clergy refused to accept
the decree of the council of Chalcedon, and in 491 A.D. seceded from
the Church of Rome. Later they separated from the orthodox Greeks, and
although frequent attempts have been made to bring about a reunion
with the Church of Russia, which is a branch of the Greek Church, the
Armenians have remained an independent ecclesiastical body, with a pope
or patriarch called a _katholikos_ as its administrative head, with the
monastery of Etchmiadzin as his metropolis. He is elected for life by
delegates from the various Armenian communities throughout the world,
who come there for that purpose when a vacancy occurs, and he is the
spiritual head of believers in the Armenian creed in America, Europe,
Asia, and Africa. The authority of the Armenian _katholikos_ does not
extend to theological questions. The creed of that faith cannot be
altered except by a vote of the house of bishops, and he does not claim
to be infallible. His jurisdiction is executive and judicial, and he is
protected by the czar of Russia, who enforces his edicts.

No people have suffered so much for their religion, not even the
children of Israel, as the Armenians, and the atrocities committed
upon them during the thirty years of the reign of Abdul Hamid, the
late sultan of Turkey, were the most barbarous that modern history has
ever recorded. I do not remember that ever before, at least in modern
times, the sovereign of a country deliberately set about to exterminate
by massacre the subjects of his authority. There is no longer any
question that “The great assassin, the unspeakable Turk,” as Mr.
Gladstone called him, gave the instructions that led to the slaughter
of nearly 100,000 innocent inhabitants of his province of Armenia, the
destruction of their homes, the plundering of their property, and the
violation of their wives and daughters. Even if there had been any
previous doubt of his guilt, documents found in the Yildiz Kiosk after
he was deposed, established the fact that he had a deliberate intention
to depopulate Armenia by the torch and the sword in a systematic and
thorough manner.

It has long been conceded that a Mohammedan cannot govern believers
in other religions with justice, but how far Abdul Hamid was actuated
by fanaticism, how far he applied religious prejudices for political
purposes, or whether he was afraid that the Armenians would ultimately
succeed in throwing off his yoke, are conjectures upon which students
of Turkish affairs will never agree. He knew from the events of the
past that he could never convert the Christian inhabitants of his
empire to Islam by the sword, because the persecution which the
Armenians had suffered for centuries only strengthened their faith,
but no sultan since Selim the Inflexible ever did more to stimulate
religious intolerance and encourage his Mussulman subjects to persecute
his Christian subjects, than Abdul Hamid in Bulgaria and other parts of
his empire as well as Armenia.

The Armenians who inhabit the northern part of Asia Minor along the
southern coast of the Black Sea are a simple, quiet, primitive people
of agricultural and pastoral pursuits. They live in small villages,
and are devoted to their families and their religion. For centuries
they have suffered from the depredations of the Kurds, migratory,
half-civilized tribes who haunt the mountains during the summer but
in winter come down to the plains and either quarter themselves upon
the Armenian peasants or plunder them. Some villages pay regular
blackmail, as the Scottish farmers used to do to protect themselves
from troublesome Highland clans. Sometimes the Armenians defended
themselves, but while they have not lacked courage, as their records
show, very few had arms and those who did purchase guns and ammunition
were in constant peril of arrest for conspiracy. Occasionally when
they resisted the invasions of the Kurds, their villages were entirely
destroyed and the inhabitants put to the sword, men, women, and
children alike, with a ferocious brutality in which Turkish soldiers
invariably joined with enthusiasm.

While a large majority of the Armenian population lived pastoral
lives, caring nothing for the rest of the world, without any ideas
of constitutional freedom or national independence, many of the young
men drifted to the cities, where they prospered and became prominent
and influential. They are thrifty and shrewd in trade. It is a common
saying that it takes two Jews to cheat one Greek, and two Greeks to
cheat one Armenian; but as a rule the members of that race have a high
reputation for integrity as well as sagacity, and the late sultan,
himself their bitterest enemy, trusted his finances to Armenians, as he
trusted his life to Albanians in preference to Turks.

Gradually the mercantile affairs, the manufacturing, the banking, and
other lines of business in the principal cities of Turkey have become
absorbed by Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, for the Turk is no trader, and
the Armenians are the most enterprising and successful of all.

There was no act of disloyalty until they recognized the significance
of the persecution of their people at home. They accepted their long
years of agony and despair as the penalty of their religion, but when
American missionaries planted schools and colleges in Turkey and
began to educate the young people, a new spirit of national pride
and hope gradually developed. Thousands of Armenians, and among them
some of the ablest leaders and most influential thinkers, received
their first impulses and aspirations for civil and religious liberty
at Robert College, an American institution on the Bosphorus, and in
other colleges of the American Board of Foreign Missions in different
parts of Asia Minor. This racial pride and spirit first found its
expression in attempts to improve the intellectual condition of their
own families, in the emancipation of their women, in a revival of the
use of the Armenian language, which had been very largely superseded
by the Turkish, and the enlightenment of the common people as to the
rights and privileges to which all human beings are entitled.

Having the example of Bosnia and Bulgaria always in mind, the sultan
undoubtedly suspected that the Armenians were preparing for a struggle
for freedom and determined to check it by extermination if necessary.
His intentions soon became known. When an Armenian was murdered or
robbed, his assailant was rewarded, and the more Christians the Kurdish
chiefs could kill the more rapid was their promotion. The prisons
were filled with innocent men, the schools were closed, the Armenian
language was forbidden, Armenian books were seized and burned, and
American missionaries were prohibited from teaching anything that
suggested freedom. Their text-books and newspapers were censored and
suppressed if they were found to contain a sentence or even a word that
could be construed to reflect upon political conditions. One newspaper
was suppressed because it mentioned the dog star in a scientific
article on astronomy.

This was considered an insult to the sultan because Yildiz, the name of
his palace, is the word for star. Everything that related to Armenia,
Macedonia, and other Christian provinces was stricken out; hymn books
and even Bibles were censored; two professors in the missionary college
at Marsovan were accused of teaching treason and condemned to death,
but were rescued by the British government at the very steps of the
scaffold. All reference to the assassination of President McKinley was
forbidden, lest it might suggest a similar fate for the sultan.

Armenians in other parts of the world organized revolutionary
societies, published revolutionary documents, and held conventions
to consider revolutionary expedients. This defiance of his
authority exasperated the sultan and furnished the pretext for more
violent persecutions and more slaughter. Being unable to reach the
revolutionary organizers in other countries, he punished their
relatives, friends, and former townsmen by imprisonment and death, and,
finally, after many years of atrocious and barbarous treatment, he
conceived a fiendish scheme of general massacre which was carried out
by his officials with fanatical zeal under his directions. One of his
ministers remarked to an European diplomatist in Constantinople that,
“according to his majesty’s notion, the best way to get rid of the
Armenian question is to get rid of the Armenians.”

In order that they might do their work more thoroughly the half-savage,
nomadic bands of Kurds were organized into companies by Turkish
officers, equipped with modern weapons, and turned loose with orders
to provoke the Armenians to resistance, and thus furnish an excuse for
a general slaughter. Self-defence was always treated as rebellion. The
butchers who hunted helpless men and women like wild beasts and killed
them on the roadside or in the brush where they had taken refuge, who
looted and burned their homes and butchered their wives and children,
were promptly rewarded, and no one was ever punished. A succession of
massacres occurred all over Armenia, in almost every case begun with a
signal by a trumpet from military headquarters. The soldiers not only
participated in the slaughter, but burned the homes of their victims
after plundering them, and both civil and official representatives of
the government directed the work of the mob. In many cases these
men were afterward called to Constantinople and decorated by their
sovereign for the energetic manner in which the work was done.

[Illustration: Kibitkas of the Nomadic tribes]

Prominent men were offered their lives if they would renounce their
religion, and some of them did so, but very few. The great mass of the
Armenians who died in those massacres were martyrs to their faith.
Special efforts were made to force priests to apostasy. An official
investigation showed that 170 Armenian clergymen in a single province
were tortured to death because they would not deny their Christ. In
the province of Kars is a group of sixty towns and villages in which
no Christian church was left standing and no Christian priest was left
alive. Investigation showed that 568 churches were destroyed and 282
were transformed into mosques. No one will ever know the extent of the
massacres, but, as accurately as can be ascertained, nearly 100,000
Armenian Christians suffered martyrdom during the reign of Abdul Hamid
by his orders, and it is believed that as many more who fled to the
mountains perished from exposure and starvation.

The massacres of Armenians in October, 1895, which horrified the world,
began in Trebizond, and I asked Doctor Crawford, an American who has
spent thirty years in that country, his opinion of the causes and
motives.

“For centuries the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire have
suffered continuous cruelties and persecutions,” said Doctor Crawford.
“They have suffered from heavy taxation and unjust ways of collecting;
there has been no safety for their property, no protection for their
crops which were often stolen or destroyed, and their wives and
daughters were never safe. Most of this persecution was due to the
Kurds, their semi-civilized neighbours in Kurdistan, the adjoining
province to Armenia on the east. Certain Kurdish chiefs levied
blackmail upon Armenian villages for their protection. That is, they
assessed tribute upon the inhabitants, in exchange for which they
protected them against other Kurds. Those who paid this tribute were
safe, those who did not were never secure, either in life or property
or in their families.

“Fifty or sixty years ago the Armenians began to emigrate; thousands
have gone to Constantinople and other cities; others to Europe and
America; and there are many thousands in the United States. Those who
had seen the world naturally realized the unfortunate situation in
which their fellow countrymen were living, even more so than the latter
themselves, and began to devise means for their relief. They organized
societies; they collected funds; they published newspapers, denounced
the iniquities of and conspired against the Turkish government.

“As soon as the government learned of this movement, instead of
relieving the oppression, it bore down on the Armenians more heavily
than before. The situation was very much aggravated because the Turks
had discovered a pretext for their cruelty in the patriotic movements.
All mail matter was opened; everything that related to Armenia was
suppressed and destroyed; even the Bible was mutilated by tearing out
the leaves that bore the name of Macedonia, and every geography and
atlas had the name Armenia obliterated”--and Doctor Crawford showed
me a copy of an English classical dictionary in which the text under
the word Armenia had been cut out. “It was proclaimed that the Turkish
government intended to wipe Armenia from the map of the world. The
very name was accursed to the Turks,” he continued.

“But the innocent people at home were compelled to suffer for the
offences of the Armenians abroad. Whenever any man received a letter or
a newspaper containing sentiments unfriendly to the Turkish government
he was cast into prison and often his property was confiscated.

“This was going on for many years until on September 7 1895, a society
of young Armenians of Constantinople marched in procession to the
Sublime Porte--which, you know, is the seat of government in that
city--and presented a petition begging for justice and protection
for their people at home. The Turkish government chose to interpret
this exercise of the right of petition as insurrection. The soldiers
attacked the procession. Several Armenians were killed, many were
wounded, others were thrown into prison, and every one who could be
seized was maltreated. This incident was followed by many murders and
raids in Armenian towns and villages and hundreds of innocent people
were slaughtered on the pretext that they were involved in a conspiracy
against the government.

“About thirty days later a government official who had been notorious
for his cruelties was shot at near Erzeroom, and, of course, the
Armenians were charged with the responsibility. Retaliation was ordered
and the governor of Trebizond received instructions from Constantinople
to turn the rabble loose upon the Armenian population of that city. At
11 o’clock on the morning of Oct. 8, 1895, a bugle was blown at the
barracks. This was the signal for slaughter, and every Armenian that
could be reached was murdered in cold blood. Six hundred bodies were
carried off in garbage carts and buried in a ditch outside this city.
At 3 o’clock that afternoon the bugle blew again, and at that signal
the mob began to loot the houses and shops of Armenians and did not
stop until dark.

“This massacre was repeated in all the towns and villages of Armenia,
and it is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 men, women, and
children were slaughtered simply because they were Christians, and
because some of their fellow countrymen had attempted to organize a
conspiracy against the government with the hope of relieving their
distress and protecting them from persecution. There is no way of
telling how many were killed, but we know that 40,000 children were
left orphans. More than 6,000 fatherless and motherless little ones
were gathered into our own American orphanages. Altogether, $1,000,000
from England and America was distributed for the relief of the
sufferers.”

“Is the hatred of the Turk for the Armenians due exclusively to
religious fanaticism?” I asked.

“By no means,” said Doctor Crawford. “The Armenian is a very keen
business man, and the Turk is not. The Armenian is thrifty and gets
ahead, or at least he would do so if the government would permit him.
He is charged with usury. When he loans money he collects his interest
and his principal and is usually very strict about it, which makes him
unpopular. Baron Rothschild once said that if all the Jews and all
the Armenians were put upon a desert island together, the Armenians
would have all the money of both before they were rescued. But they
are equally successful in the professions, and are eminent as doctors,
lawyers, engineers, and especially gifted in oratory. Successful men
are often compelled to suffer from the jealousy of those who are
unsuccessful, and that is one of the chief causes of the persecution of
the Armenians in Turkey, as it has been of the persecution of the Jews
in Russia.”

“What is the present situation?”

“Comparatively speaking, it is very favourable. There has been a great
improvement in the character and the conduct of the Turkish officials
since the adoption of the constitution; there is comparatively little
oppression; there is less corruption and blackmail; the lives and
property of all citizens are comparatively safe; and there have been
several cases of justice being granted to Armenians in the courts
against their Turkish oppressors, something that was never dreamed of
until within the last two years. A few Armenians have been appointed to
office, which is another extraordinary thing; all political prisoners
have been released; the spy system has been practically abolished; and
people are no longer afraid to express their opinions. There are many
newspapers and they are printed with the greatest freedom, but as a
rule the social and moral conditions are worse than they were under the
despotism. What they call liberty we call license, because they do not
know any better. They construe the word liberty to mean the privilege
of doing whatever they please, and many who have suffered horribly from
oppression are now retaliating because in a way there is no means of
preventing it. There is more drunkenness, more disorder, more crime,
more stealing, more begging than ever before. People seem to lose
their self-respect as well as their self-control when the restraint is
withdrawn. One of our Armenian pastors said in apology:

“‘We must not expect fruit from a tree that has just been set out.’

“What they need here more than anything else is good men, and that is
the work which the American schools are doing.

“Formerly every man professing the Christian faith, from the date of
his birth to the date of his death, had to pay $2.50 tax a year in
lieu of military service, because none but Moslems were admitted to
the army. That rule has been abolished and members of all religious
faiths, Jews and Gentiles, are now eligible for military service and
are compelled to serve three years in the army when they become of
age. Hence the increased emigration, which is becoming very large.
Some of our most promising young men among the Armenians and Greeks
are going to America. Three of our own native teachers left recently,
among others, to work in shirt and collar factories of Troy, N. Y.
Others have gone to the shoe factories of Massachusetts, to work in
restaurants, and to engage in other business in the United States where
their friends have gone before them and have found positions for them.
During the last few months sixty promising young men from our little
Protestant congregation have left for the United States, and thus our
schools and churches are educating future American citizens.

“This emigration is not entirely due to a desire to avoid military
service, but very largely to improve their condition. If there was a
common foe, if Turkey was at war with some foreign power, the Christian
young men would be perfectly willing to go into the army, but they are
afraid of being sent to Arabia to suppress uprisings of Mohammedans, a
duty from which no soldier ever returns, or to Macedonia to put down
insurrections of their co-religionists in that province.

“The Turkish government is trying to make the military service more
attractive for Christian young men and has commissioned several of the
most intelligent young fellows as officers. It is providing military
schools for the education of Christian as well as Turkish cadets, and
as soon as they are competent gives them posts in the gendarmes.

“The cost of living in Armenia has been increasing gradually for
several years,” continued Doctor Crawford, “which is a serious matter
for teachers as well as for the pastors of the Greek and Armenian
churches, who are very poorly paid and receive barely enough to buy
their food. The pastor of our Protestant church is being urged by
friends to go to Dakota, where there are several prosperous Armenian
colonies. We have a neat little Protestant church here. Services in the
Armenian language are held Sunday morning, in the Greek language in the
afternoon, and in Turkish in the evening. Many Turks attend our evening
service--some from curiosity and some from interest. A thoughtful Turk
is usually fair-minded. He is willing to hear what you have to say,
although he is not easily convinced. Indeed, there is a great deal that
is good in a Turk. He is charitable and hospitable; he is industrious
and reasonably honest; and we can get along with him very easily
if his religious prejudices are not excited and he is given a good
government.”



CHAPTER VIII

THE MASSACRES OF 1909


In April, 1909, there was an organized uprising of fanatical Moslems at
Adana, Kessab, and other towns in eastern Turkey, in which more than
25,000 native Christians were massacred and four times as many lost all
of their belongings by the burning of their homes. At Tarsus several
hundred Armenian houses were destroyed, and at least four thousand
refugees were protected from massacre in the grounds and buildings of
the American College. At Antioch, forty miles south of Alexandretta,
an Armenian population of 7,000 was nearly annihilated. Ruthless
gangs of Kurds, Arabs, and Circassians attacked the small Armenian
villages, pillaging and burning the houses, and carrying the women
into captivity. Kessab, a thrifty Armenian town of 8,000 inhabitants,
was entirely destroyed and a large portion of the population was put
to death. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, the residences
of the American missionaries, an American high school for girls and
grammar school for boys were all destroyed. At Adana, Tarsus, and
Mersina the atrocities were beyond description, and the survivors of
the massacres were reduced to poverty and despair. All the Armenian
villages throughout that section were looted and burned, and the crops
of the people were destroyed so that 50,000 helpless, innocent peasants
fled to the mountains, where only starvation remained for them. It
is estimated that not less than 25,000 people were massacred and more
than 100,000 were made homeless--the victims of a fiendish conspiracy
for which Abdul Hamid, the former sultan of Turkey, was directly or
indirectly responsible. Appeals for help and protection came down to
the cities on the coast from scores of interior towns and villages,
but the local officials as a rule, knowing the reason and recognizing
the significance of the outbreak, dared not interfere, even had they
desired to do so. The consuls of foreign governments cabled information
as promptly as possible. American physicians and teachers organized
relief forces, and Mr. Kennedy, an American missionary at Alexandretta,
even persuaded a battalion of 450 Turkish soldiers to follow him to the
relief of Deurtyul, an Armenian city of 10,000 inhabitants, which was
besieged by a horde of Kurds and Circassians.

The officials of the American Red Cross at Washington, learning of
these horrors through the newspapers, appealed to the Department of
State for information and got reports from all our consuls in this part
of the world. The Honourable G. Bie Ravndal, American consul-general at
Beirut, E. G. Freyer of the Presbyterian mission, and George E. Post of
the Syrian Protestant College had already organized a relief committee
which was promptly equipped with the authority as well as the supplies
of the American Cross.

The sum of $30,500 was sent immediately through the secretary of
state and the American ambassador at Constantinople and was liberally
expended in feeding the hungry, nursing the wounded, and providing
for the orphan children of the families that had been put to death.
Temporary hospitals for the sick and wounded and barracks and tents
for the homeless were erected, provisions and clothing of all kinds
were supplied, and as soon as the actual suffering was relieved, seeds
and implements were provided for the farmers so that they might be able
to replant the crops that had been destroyed.

Mr. Ravndal, who had charge of the disbursements, says in his report:
“In every instance we availed ourselves of the services of American,
British, and German missionaries in the field, individually known and
fully trusted by your committee, as distributing agents. Most of them
‘went through’ the massacre of 1895, and thus acquired experience in
relief work. Among such field agents we would especially mention Rev.
Mr. Chambers at Adana, Rev. Mr. Dodds at Mersina, Rev. Mr. Kennedy at
Alexandretta, Dr. Balph at Latakia, Rev. Mr. Maccullum at Marsh, and
Rev. Mr. Trowbridge at large, as having rendered valuable assistance.”

Several heroes were developed and in every case the American
missionaries, both men and women, showed coolness and capability,
courage and influence, and demonstrated the respect and confidence with
which they are regarded by the public. Nesbit Chambers, representative
of the Y. M. C. A. at Adana, and Major C. H. M. Doughty-Wylie, British
consul at Mersina, and Mrs. Doughty-Wylie distinguished themselves
especially by their personal bravery, their presence of mind during the
massacres, and their devotion and self-sacrifice in relief work.

It is not the intention of the United States to claim indemnity for
the murder of Rev. D. Miner Rogers and Rev. Mr. Maurer, Christian
missionaries at Adana, Turkey, during the massacres of April,
1909, nor for the destruction of the schools, churches, and other
property belonging to the American missions. In the first place, the
missionaries do not ask for damages. They do not wish to convert the
death of two martyrs into money, but want to convert it into greater
security for their lives and their property in the future, and into the
advancement of the cause they represent. If the Turkish government will
give them greater freedom and broader privileges in their educational,
medical, and evangelical work, they will consider that Mr. Rogers and
Mr. Maurer did not die in vain.

Some of the privileges desired have already been granted. Mr. Straus
secured for them firmins which give every American school and mission
in Turkey rights and privileges that are not enjoyed even by Turkish
institutions, and the title to every one of the 161 different property
holdings of the American Board of Foreign Missions can now rest in
that organization instead of in the name of some individual, which was
formerly necessary because the Turkish government would not recognize
its corporate existence.

The government of the United States does not wish to claim indemnity
for the loss of American lives and property during the massacre,
because the present government was in no sense responsible. On the
contrary, the massacres were a part of an unsuccessful conspiracy to
overthrow it, and to punish the present administration for the hostile
acts of its enemies would not only be unjust, but would weaken its
standing with the people. The Turkish government needs and deserves the
support of the foreign powers, and has all the trouble it can attend to
at present.

There is no longer any doubt that Abdul Hamid, the late sultan, planned
and ordered a general massacre of Christians in Constantinople and
other parts of the empire for Friday, the 14th of April, in order to
force the European Powers to seize and occupy the city. In that way he
hoped to save his throne. This has been repeatedly admitted by those
who were in his confidence at the time. It was the last struggle of
despair, but Shevket Pasha, the commander of the troops that were
loyal to the young Turks, received notice and pushed on so that he was
able to attack Constantinople on the day previous, and thus prevent
the sacrifice of Christian lives and property at the Turkish capital,
similar to that which took place at Adana, Marash, Tarsus, Aintab, and
other places in central Turkey.

In every instance an officer of the sultan’s body-guard appeared at
the places where the massacres took place several days previous,
bringing instructions to the officials and the police, and several
local officials have since confessed that they were simply carrying out
orders received from Constantinople, and therefore are not responsible
for anything that happened. In certain places Moslem priests appeared
and preached in the mosques, calling upon the people to make a holy war
and kill all the Christians, beginning on the following day.

The mutiny of the regular army in Constantinople on the 13th of April,
1909, was a part of the conspiracy, and on the 14th, after the regular
salamlik, or worship of the sultan at his mosque, they were expecting
the signal to be given for a general slaughter of Armenians, Greeks,
and other Christians, as well as Europeans, similar to that which
occurred years ago.

It is now an open secret that Tchelebi Effendi, the superior of the
whirling dervishes, and one of the most highly respected of the Moslem
clergy, is the man who sent the warning to Shevket Pasha and the other
young Turk leaders. I understand that he does not deny but claims the
credit of averting the proposed horrors.

The simultaneous outbreak in Constantinople and in various other parts
of the empire is something more than a coincidence. That was the
universal conclusion at the time, and now that Abdul Hamid is no longer
able to punish those who interested themselves to save the lives of the
Christians and the good name of Turkey, some of those who knew of his
intentions are willing to tell the truth.

The destruction of lives and property in the interior of Asia Minor was
appalling, but very little damage was done in Constantinople, because
the timely appearance of the Young Turk army from Macedonia prevented
the plan from being carried out.

For the first time in the history of Turkey there are Christian
soldiers, Greeks, and Armenians in the regular army. Hitherto none
but Mohammedans have been considered worthy to wear the uniform,
and Christian young men, instead of serving three or five years in
the ranks, were compelled to commute their service in cash, for an
exemption they did not desire. The same applied to the Jews, who are
also found in the ranks for the first time. In Austria, which, as you
know, is a Christian country, Mohammedan soldiers from Bosnia and other
provinces are organized in separate companies, have their own barracks,
officers of their own faith, and cooks who are accustomed to preparing
Mohammedan food. They are regularly excused from duty on Friday, the
Moslem Sabbath, and have mullahs for chaplains.

The Christian soldiers in the Turkish army are allowed to live apart
from the Mohammedans; they are relieved from duty on Sunday, and are
given leave to attend service in the Christian church. The Armenian and
Greek patriarchs and the Jewish rabbis agree that they have no reason
to find fault with the treatment of their co-religionists in the army,
except that there are no Christian officers. This is due to the fact
that there has been no time to educate them and the government has
given assurances that whenever it is possible to find the men, it will
commission Christian officers in proportion to the number of privates,
and provide Christian chaplains. It is not considered desirable to
organize exclusively Christian regiments, and thus far the Mohammedan
troops have made no complaint about having Christians quartered with
them.

The greatest trouble in the army has been the retirement and dismissal
of useless officers. Under the old régime, a cook or a hostler could
secure a commission and rapid promotion if he made charges against one
of his superiors, or any person who was offensive to the government,
and promotion was often earned that way. Abdul Hamid was very
generous in rewarding treachery and the cheapest method was by giving
military rank. There were thirty-five marshals in the Turkish army
when he abdicated, 250 full generals, 600 major-generals and enough
brigadier-generals to make a brigade.

All restrictions against the Jewish population of the Ottoman Empire
have been removed. Jews can come and go as they please, without
permission and without passports, and the Haham Bashi, the recognized
spiritual head of the Jews in Turkey, has been promised that the
government will confer full citizenship upon the Jewish population.
It is also disposed to encourage Jewish immigration, which has been
theoretically prohibited until now. It is understood that a movement
is on foot to divert the movement of Russian Jews from the United
States into Turkey. Turkey has always been more favourable to Jewish
colonization than any other country in the East, and an enormous area
of territory in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia which was formerly densely
inhabited, will one day be capable of colonization by the construction
of an irrigation system.

There should be no surprise at the attitude of the Mohammedans toward
Christian soldiers, however, because the Sheikh-ul-Islam, who is
the head of that church, occupies a seat in the cabinet of the new
government with Jews and Christians, and has an active part in the work
of reform. Shortly after the adoption of the constitution, he issued
a circular and caused it to be published throughout the Mohammedan
world, asserting the right of members of that faith to associate with
persons of other faiths in conducting the affairs of the government.
He declared that nothing in the Koran conflicted with constitutional
government and that there was no reason why believers in other creeds
should not be recognized as having equal rights. He argued that the
object of all governments being the welfare and prosperity of the
people, it is clear that the claims of all should be considered as of
equal strength and that the supreme authority should lie in the people
instead of in the king. In ancient times the king was the ruler, the
people were the servants, and everything was ordered to suit the
king’s pleasure. But the Koran does not justify any such system. The
king is not the ruler, but the servant of the people, and his highest
duty is to find out the wishes of the people and to obey them.

In the same circular he explained that the Mohammedan population of
Turkey was labouring under several delusions because they do not
understand the Koran, which is written in Arabic, and has never been
translated into Turkish. He promised that a translation should be made
at once, because, if the people of Turkey cannot read the Koran, they
will naturally be ignorant concerning the sacred law, and are likely
to fall into mistakes because of a lack of knowledge of the truth. The
Arab language is no more sacred than the Turkish language, and the only
reason why the Koran was written in Arabic is that Mohammed was the son
of an Arab, and knew that language better than any other. Inspiration
is not a question of language.

Throughout the interior of the country there has been no trouble
between members of the different religious faiths; there have been
no persecutions, no complaints of ill treatment from Christians on
the part of the Mohammedans, and even the Kurds, who are a barbarous,
brutal horde, living on the borders of Armenia, have made no raids and
committed no robberies, but are showing the most friendly disposition
toward their Christian neighbours.

This is the first time for generations that the different religious
denominations in Turkey have been in such a friendly mood toward each
other.

One would not be apt to look for co-educational institutions in Turkey,
but a very prosperous one is Euphrates College at Harpoot in Armenia,
on the banks of the great river for which is was named. It is one
of the largest and most influential of all the American colleges in
Turkey, and was founded in 1876 by Dr. Crosby H. Wheeler, a human
dynamo from the state of Maine. The first class graduated from the
men’s department in 1880 and from the women’s department in 1883, and
a good class has been turned out annually ever since. In looking up
the record of the graduates I find that the largest number of both
sexes are teachers. Nearly all the unmarried alumnæ are at the head of
schools and the married ones are the wives of teachers, ministers and
college professors. Of the men graduates the second largest number are
in business, the third are ministers, the fourth doctors, and the rest
are scattered among the different professions, government officials,
druggists, lawyers, farmers, and so on.

The latest catalogue for 1910 shows 1,045 students in the various
departments--540 men and boys and 505 women and girls--and the
financial report shows that last year the institution came within
$2,800 of being self-supporting. Its success is the more remarkable
from the fact that it is co-educational in the face of traditions and
the prejudice of ages.

Dr. Wheeler was a man of tremendous energy and strength of character,
and he left his impress upon the institution, but it has had other
important men connected with it since his time. Dr. Caleb F. Gates of
Chicago, now at the head of Robert College, was president of Euphrates
from 1898 to 1903. Dr. Henry Biggs has since directed its destinies
with great ability.

Harpoot is the capital of one of the largest and most important
interior provinces of the Turkish empire, called Mamuretta-ul-Aziz. It
is a city of some 20,000 inhabitants, situated on the top of a small
mountain which rises abruptly from the plain a thousand feet below.
The plain stretches away to the Euphrates River and is one of the most
fertile and densely populated sections of Turkey. The residence of
the governor is at the end of the mountain in a city called Mezereh,
which in the last ten years has increased rapidly in population, while
Harpoot has been practically at a standstill. There are other large
cities like Malatea, two days to the west on the Euphrates River,
Diarbekir, two days to the northwest, and Egin, still farther north,
within the province.

It was inevitable that this centre of wealth and population should have
been chosen by the American Board fifty years and more ago as a centre
from which to carry on mission work for that district. The people were
found to be unusually intelligent and enterprising. They responded
quickly to Western ideas which the missionaries brought into the
country. It was from that province that the first emigrants to America
came in large numbers, and to-day there are probably more Armenians
and Turks in the United States from Mamuretta-ul-Aziz than from any
other single province in the empire, notwithstanding the fact that from
Harpoot to the Black Sea is a journey of from four to five hundred
miles, and it is nearly the same distance to the Mediterranean on the
southwest.

The people responded promptly to the suggestion of modern education.
This natural impulse was greatly fostered by the young men who came
to the United States and reported the great value of an education in
English. It was but natural for the schools, started at the very
beginning of the missionary enterprise, to pass through a stage of
rapid development until a college resulted, which was at first called
“Armenia College,” because Harpoot is really in the heart of ancient
Armenia, and also because the students were mostly Armenians. When the
Turkish government became suspicious of everything Armenian, it was
necessary to change the name of the college and accordingly it has
since been called “Euphrates College.”

Unlike other American colleges in the Turkish Empire, it has been
co-educational from the first, in that it has departments for both
women and men. They are under the same administration, although, of
course, it is impossible for the two sexes to mingle in the same school
rooms and only in a few cases in later years have they been able
to recite together. From the first, however, teachers in the boys’
department have also had classes in the girls’ department, and the
institution has been under a single president. The girls’ department
has had a separate head, holding the title of dean.

From the beginning the college has been overcrowded with students.
The Armenians, instinctively eager for advancement, with unusually
alert minds, saw at once the commercial value of modern education for
their sons. At the same time, not a few of them realized the value
of education for their daughters. We cannot be sure what advantages
were uppermost in their thoughts in discussing this matter among
themselves, but perhaps a statement made by a widowed mother who, at
great sacrifice, put her daughter into the school, may show one side of
the question. “I am perfectly willing to make the sacrifice,” she said,
“because I know in the end I shall get the money all back, and more.
If my daughter marries, with her present ignorance, she will have to
marry a farmer or a common labourer. If, however, I can give her a full
college education, she will marry a preacher or a teacher or some other
professional man who will have a much larger income and hold a position
of greater honour.”

As a result of the general sentiment in favour of the education of
women which prevails in the entire province, the girls’ college has
been prosperous from the beginning. A large proportion of the expenses
were met by the parents, they were so eager to have their girls
educated. The latest catalogue shows 74 girls in the college, 60 in
the high school and 247 in the lower departments, making 381 in all.
Some of the graduates who have had post-graduate courses in other
institutions are employed as teachers. As a result of its influence
and the desire of the people for a more liberal education for their
daughters, flourishing girls’ schools have sprung up in various parts
of the province, some of them reaching the high school grade. These
are, for the most part, supported by the people themselves, but the
teachers are provided from the American College.

The boys’ college has followed practically the same course as other
American colleges in the Turkish Empire, except that the number of
students has been unusually large and almost wholly from the Armenian
race. There have been a few Syrian students, and some other races are
represented, but a great majority are Armenians.

The total number of students in the institution has sometimes passed
one thousand, and the average attendance in the college department
alone has usually stood at about two hundred. A majority of the one
thousand have been in grades below the high school, but all under the
general administration of the college. Seven years ago 34 per cent.
of the students in the college came from within a radius of fifteen
miles, immediately adjacent to Harpoot. But since then 56 per cent.
have come from outside that radius. In the meantime the increased
interest in education has caused other important schools to grow up in
the vicinity, which have relieved the local pressure upon the college,
allowing it to take more students from abroad.

The college is recognized as a strong force in that part of Turkey.
It is the only institution of its grade for a population of three or
four millions of people. Eastward to Persia, southward into Mesopotamia
and northward to the Black Sea, it has the entire field to itself for
the higher education of both men and women. It is the model upon which
government institutions are now being established, and the faculty are
often called upon to aid the officials in organizing and conducting
them. It has had close relations with the government for at least
twenty years, being recognized officially as an American college, with
a charter from the Imperial Turkish government, and its commanding
position at the head of the educational work of all that part of Turkey
is acknowledged by all classes.

Immediately following the massacres of 1895, the college, which then
had practically its entire plant burned out, took a prominent part in
looking after the thousands of orphans that were left in the district.
It was a leading force for some years in relief work; thousands of
dollars of relief funds passed through the hands of its treasurer and
were distributed under the direction of the then president, Caleb F.
Gates, D.D., LL.D., now president of Robert College at Constantinople.
The industrial enterprises started then to give employment to the
destitute have been maintained, including weaving, lacemaking,
tailoring, and other trades which are taught to the students, and
through which they are able to earn at least a part of their tuition.

The teaching force of the college numbers forty-five, including six
Americans, all the rest being natives with the exception of one Swiss
teacher. Two of the native teachers have taken graduate courses in
Europe, one is now taking a post-graduate course in America; three or
four who were formerly teachers in the college are now studying in
America at their own expense, with the expectation of returning later
to resume their work.

In connection with the college there has been for fifty years a
theological seminary for training young men for the Christian ministry.
It was at first a part of the college itself, but when the college was
put under an independent board of trustees in America, it was separated
from the rest of the institution, and has remained a part of the
mission plant.

In the early days the college had a printing establishment and
published a monthly paper in English which circulated among the
English-speaking people of the country, especially among the friends of
the college in America. When the Turkish government became suspicious
and the censors began their work of suppression, this printing press
was stopped and the government seal was put on it to prevent its being
used in the future. The college was even fined fifty dollars for having
run a press without official sanction. For twenty-five years the press
was silent, but as soon as the constitution was proclaimed, one of the
fundamental principles of which is a free press, the college printing
office at Harpoot was again started and has met with no government
interference up to the present time. New furniture has been secured and
the work goes on satisfactorily. Before the press was stopped, a large
number of text-books for the use of the college and lower schools had
been published. Fearing that the work might be interfered with, the
Rev. Crosby H. Wheeler, D.D., founder and at that time president of the
college, ran the press to its full capacity up to the very moment the
police appeared. In this way a supply of text-books was produced which
stood the educational work well in hand during the period of silence.

One cannot speak of this large station of the American Board without
referring to the medical work. Dr. West, the first medical missionary
at Sivas, had for one of his students and assistants a bright young
Armenian who later took up practice himself at Harpoot. Because of his
thorough training he was able to supply in large measure the medical
needs at that city. For years he attended the missionaries and their
children. Later there was a loud call for an American physician, so
that ten years ago it was decided to begin medical work. A commodious
hospital was erected at the foot of the hill on the plain below
Harpoot, which was formally opened only in the fall of 1910, with the
governor and higher officials present, all speaking in high terms
of approbation of the missionary doctors and their benefits to that
country.

As a branch of this station, medical work has been established in
Diarbekir, nearly one hundred miles to the south, with funds left in
a legacy by an Armenian formerly connected with the mission school in
that place and afterward a prosperous merchant in the United States.
He was so much interested in missionary work, especially in his native
city, that he gave $10,000 for the construction of a hospital and
$20,000 as an endowment for its continuous support.

Hospitals and dispensaries in Turkey are far more nearly
self-supporting than similar institutions in Europe and America.
The people are always ready to pay for medical attendance and for
medicines. Some of the mission hospitals are wholly self-supporting;
many are partly so. Men of wealth who have received substantial help
from Christian hospitals often give liberally for the up-keep of those
institutions in order that those who cannot pay for what they receive
may be treated free.

In Harpoot are two large Protestant churches, with smaller churches in
all of the centres of population, and in the villages of the field.
Protestant principles have become widely disseminated and the relations
between Christians and Mohammedans are cordial and friendly. Conditions
are very different now from what they were a few years ago in this
respect.



CHAPTER IX

THE RESULTS OF AMERICAN MISSIONS


Nowhere in all the world, not even in China or Japan, are the results
of the labours and influence of American missionaries more conspicuous
or more generally recognized than in the Ottoman Empire. They have
not confined themselves to making converts to Christianity, but their
intelligence and enterprise have been felt even more extensively and
effectively in the material than in the spiritual improvement of the
people. The first electric telegraph instrument in Turkey was set up
by missionaries. They introduced the first sewing machine, the first
printing press, and the first modern agricultural implements. They
brought the tomato and the potato and the other valuable vegetables
and fruits that are now staples; they built the first hospitals; they
started the first dispensary and the first modern schools. Before they
came, not one of the several races in Turkey had the Bible in its own
language. To-day, thanks to the American missionaries, every subject of
the Turkish sultan can read the Bible in his own language, if he can
read at all.

But a large volume would be necessary to tell what I would like to say
on this subject. Mr. Bryce, the British ambassador to Washington, in
one of his books, says: “I cannot mention the American missionaries
without a tribute to the admirable work they have done. They have been
the only good influence that has worked from abroad upon the Turkish
Empire.” Sir William Ramsey, the famous British scientist, who has
spent much time in Turkey, is quite as enthusiastic, and I could quote
a dozen other equally competent authorities as to the character of the
men and the results they have accomplished.

In the division of territory the Presbyterians have Syria, the
United Presbyterians Egypt, while European Turkey and Asia Minor are
occupied by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions,
affiliated with the Congregational Church, with headquarters at
Boston. There are several Church of England missions, but no central
organization. The Swedish, German, and Swiss Lutherans have schools,
churches, and orphanages. The French Roman Catholics have schools and
hospitals in Asia Minor in charge of Capuchin and Franciscan monks,
but the chief missionary work in Turkey--educational, benevolent, and
evangelical--has been done by agents of the American Board since 1820,
when two pioneers, Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons, landed at Smyrna and
began to prepare themselves for preaching and teaching, by learning the
native languages.

The actual number of central stations of the American Board of Foreign
Missions in Turkey in 1910 is seventeen, at which 159 American born
missionaries are engaged. There are 263 out-stations, with 1,032 native
Protestant pastors and labourers, and 46,131 adherents; and 444 schools
and colleges with an average attendance of 23,846 students. This is the
summary of returns for the year 1910.

The headquarters from which the campaign of evangelization is
directed is called the Bible House in Stamboul, the native section
of Constantinople, which was built in 1871 and is to-day the most
far-reaching lighthouse in all the East. Its rays penetrate to every
corner of the Ottoman Empire. Here are the offices of administration,
the depository of the Bible Society, the printing plant and publication
house, the treasury, the library, the information bureaus, and other
branches of the work. If you ever want to know anything about missions
or missionaries in the near East, individually or collectively, their
personnel, their purposes, or the results they have accomplished, or
anything about American education and charitable work in Turkey, write
to the Bible House, Stamboul, Constantinople, and if you have any money
to contribute toward the expenses of the great work that is going on,
send it there to Dr. Peet.

The most far-reaching work of the American missionaries is educational,
which comprehends all races, all religions, and all languages. They
are educating representatives of every one of the many different
races of which the Turkish Empire is composed, regardless of
religious faith--Turks, Arabs, Egyptians, Armenians, Kurds, Persians,
Macedonians, Bulgars, Druses, Nestorians, Greeks, Russians, Georgians,
Circassians, and others too numerous to mention. Their influence is
thus extended to every community, because no student leaves an American
institution without carrying with him the germs of progress which must
affect the family and the neighbourhood and all of the inhabitants
with whom he may thereafter come in contact. This influence has been
working for half a century or more and has been preparing the minds
of the people for the great change that has recently come over them.
The missionaries do not teach revolution; they do not encourage
revolutionary methods, but they have always preached and taught
liberty, equality, fraternity, and the rights of man.

The congregations of the American churches, and especially the pupils
of the missionary schools, are usually reduced from 25 to 30 per cent.
ever year by immigration to the United States. Having learned from
their teachers of the advantages and the opportunities that exist
across the water, having acquired the English language, and being able
to get good advice as to location and often letters of introduction,
they have decided advantages over ordinary emigrants and for the same
reason they make the best sort of citizens when they reach their new
homes. It had been very difficult for an emigrant to leave Turkey until
two years ago, but somehow or another, there has been a constant stream
running that way for a quarter of a century.

A dozen missionaries have told me that the brightest and most
promising young men and women in their districts, and especially the
best teachers in their schools, have emigrated. Many of them go to
Massachusetts, Chicago has thousands, and there is a large colony
in Troy working in the shirt and collar factories. For example, the
churches at Harpoot had 3,107 members one year and 2,413 the next. The
balance had gone to America. One fourth of the congregation of the
mission church at Bitlis emigrated, almost in a body, last year. It
would be a great deal better for Turkey if these people would stay at
home and use the knowledge and the principles they have gained in the
regeneration of their country, but it cannot be denied that they are
among the most valuable immigrants of all the aliens that go to the
United States.

Most of the mission churches are small, like those in the villages of
the United States, with congregations of only twenty-five or thirty
or fifty members. Those in the cities are larger, several having more
than a thousand members. They are organized just like the Protestant
churches in the United States with native pastors and native church
officers. They have Sunday schools, prayer meetings, Christian Endeavor
societies and other organizations, and they study the same Sunday
school lessons as the Protestant children in the United States.

Most of them are self-supporting. Sometimes the newly organized
congregations get a little help from the United States at the start,
but the great majority of native converts pay more for their religion
and make greater sacrifices than the Christians of the United States.
For example, thirteen out of twenty-seven churches in the Central
Turkish mission are not only entirely self-supporting but contribute
substantial aid to weaker churches in their neighbourhood. In the
entire Turkish Empire last year the native churches paid five sixths of
all the expenses of education, worship, and charity.

The board pays the salaries of the missionaries, but the effort is to
bring the native churches to a condition of pecuniary independence
for the reason that it stimulates their pride and their ambition; it
gives them confidence and self-respect, which, as everybody knows,
are the strongest elements in the formation of national as well as
individual character. Notwithstanding the extension of the work, the
amount of money contributed by the United States for the support of
native churches has been growing smaller every year. Whereas the board
contributed $54,585 to assist native churches twenty years ago, in
1910 it gave less than $20,000.

The most significant feature of the statistical reports of American
missions in Turkey is the column which gives the contributions of the
natives for the support of their churches. In 1910, the total was
$119,987, an increase from $92,937 for the year 1903.

This is very remarkable, and means ten times as much as the same
amount would mean in America, because of the poverty of the people
and the fact that the earnings of the great mass of native Christians
do not often exceed thirty or forty cents a day. This money is given
voluntarily for the erection and support of houses of worship, for the
salaries of their native pastors, and for the circulation of religious
literature. It may safely be said that no Christian community in the
world, unless it be the Roman Catholics of Ireland, contributes so
large a portion of its income for religious purposes as the native
Protestants of Turkey. Because of the liberality of the people in this
respect the Protestant church in Turkey has been able to enjoy the
ministration of educated pastors. This accounts also for the large
attendance of natives upon the American schools, which derive a larger
proportion of their income from tuition fees probably than any other
schools of their class in the world. This is particularly true of the
American colleges. No college these days pretends to live, and few
could survive without, endowments, but the American colleges in Turkey
are more dependent upon their tuition fees and less dependent upon
endowments for support than any similar institutions in existence.

In making a comparison of the American and Turkish schools, Dr.
Crawford, a veteran missionary teacher at Trebizond, said:

“Although the Department of Public Instruction at Constantinople is
making noble efforts to improve the schools of Turkey, they still are
limited in quantity and poor in quality. The Mohammedan schools are
taught by priests, who are themselves, with few exceptions, illiterate.
The pupils sit on the floor of a mosque swaying back and forth,
studying about the three ‘R’s’--reading, writing and ’rithmetic--and
the Koran, of course. They pay more attention to that than to anything
else, and, indeed, some of the mullahs are so illiterate that they
would not be able to read anything else. Of late the Turkish officials
have begun to recognize the usefulness of Christian schools and not
only tolerate them, but are introducing their methods to a degree
into the mosque schools. With a liberal and intelligent minister of
education there ought to be a decided improvement in the Turkish
system of instruction, but there will be great difficulty in securing
teachers. Of course, women teachers cannot be utilized and men who have
education enough to qualify them to teach properly can get positions
under the government or elsewhere that pay much better salaries than
teaching school.

“The Greeks have excellent schools and their people show a craving for
knowledge which is characteristic of the race. The Roman Catholics have
French and Italian schools for the colonies of those nations under
the instruction of Jesuits and Capuchin monks, and they are usually
very good. But the lack of education throughout the Turkish Empire is
deplorable, and if the American schools have done nothing else than
stimulate a rivalry on the part of the other religious denominations
and the government, the money that has been contributed to support them
has been well invested.

“As a rule, both the Greek and the Armenian clergy are uneducated.
Most of them are very little higher intellectually than the Turkish
mullahs. Some of them can merely read the service, and no more. There
is no inducement for educated men to go into the priesthood because the
pay is so small; altogether too small to enable them to live decently
and to give their families the ordinary comforts of life. Educated
men cannot afford to become priests, and as education is not required
in either the Greek or Armenian Churches, when a priest dies the
congregation select one of their own number who happens to be able to
read and make him their priest. A bishop of the Armenian Church in this
vicinity recently resigned to accept a government office, and gave as
his reason for doing so that his salary was not sufficient to support
his family and to educate his children.

“Agricultural and industrial education is needed more than anything
else in order to enable the people to get the best profit from their
labour and to teach them to use modern labour-saving implements and
methods.

“It is the policy of the missionaries to make the natives do everything
for themselves so far as practicable, and native pastors relieve them
of much of their labour except supervision. But at the same time the
missionary must drive new stakes and plough new ground and plant new
seeds all the time to extend his sphere of influence. And he travels
about for this reason, holding religious services in the native
languages and drawing believers together until he gets enough material
to start a church. I know a man who preaches three times every
Sunday in three different languages in different places to different
congregations--Turkish, Armenian and Greek. And they have all kinds of
schools to look after, from kindergartens to theological seminaries.
The latter are especially important because they furnish pastors for
the native churches. The faculties in the American colleges are nearly
all natives, but the presidents, the deans, and the treasurers are
always Americans, and the boards of trustees are mixed.”

If you would attend a gathering of native pastors in Turkey you
would find that they compare favourably in appearance and manners
and intelligence and education with the members of any conference or
presbytery or ministerial association in the United States, and that is
one of the reasons why their work has been so successful. The Moslem
priests and the clergy of the orthodox Greek and Armenian churches are
almost universally uncouth and illiterate men and the public in Turkey
is prompt and keen in detecting the difference.

President Angell, of the University of Michigan, who was United States
minister to Turkey for several years, once said: “So far as Americans
are concerned the missionary work in European Turkey and Asia Minor
is and long has been almost exclusively in the hands of the American
Board. In no part of the world has that board or any board had abler
or more devoted representatives to preach the gospel, to conduct
schools and colleges or to establish and administer hospitals. Wherever
an American mission is established, there is a centre of alert,
enterprising American life, whose influence in a hundred ways is felt
even by the lethargic Oriental life.”

The vital need, however, is chapels. Every congregation ought to have a
home and its own place of worship. It is not necessary to explain the
advantages. They are obvious. It is just ten times as important for a
native congregation in Turkey to have its own house of worship as it
is for a congregation in the United States, and for the same reason.
And, as a rule, the congregation in the United States has ten times the
financial ability to provide its own house of worship as the little
circle of native believers in Turkey.

Each of the one hundred and fifty-nine American missionaries in Turkey
to-day has a district like the diocese of an Episcopal bishop, with
a dozen or twenty churches under his care. He visits them regularly,
advises with their pastors, superintends their schools, and exercises a
paternal authority over the people. They consult him concerning their
temporal as well as their spiritual welfare, not only the members of
his congregation, but men of every class. No class of people in all
Turkey are so trusted by the officials and the public and by every
race as the American missionaries. All classes accept the word of a
missionary without question. Money is intrusted to him for safe-keeping
or for transmission to other hands without asking for a receipt, and
it is a common thing for officials of high rank to seek counsel of
missionaries when they are in doubt or in danger. As a well-known
writer has said:

“They know that in times of trouble the missionary is their best
friend, no matter how much they may have abused him in times of
prosperity. They know that he will always do what he believes to be
for their best good, even though there may be a difference of judgment
as to what is the best thing. In the midst of Oriental duplicity the
missionaries have established a reputation for speaking the truth. At
first this was one of the severest puzzles to the Turks in the dealings
of the missionaries with the government. They could conceive of no
reason for telling the truth under such circumstances, so they were
completely misled.”

Under the new régime, the missionaries are having their own way. They
are being sought instead of seeking. Not only are they free to come
and go and introduce American ideas and knowledge, but the government
is taking away their best native teachers and is using them for the
education of more young men and young women who are needed to take
charge of the public schools.

Until the constitution was proclaimed missionary education and medical
work was seriously hampered throughout the Levant by the government
authorities, and the remarkable results that have been accomplished by
the American missionaries have been obtained in the face of all kinds
of obstacles and embarrassments. Travelling permits were refused by
the police and neither the missionaries nor their native helpers were
allowed to go freely from place to place. The missionaries, when buying
real estate, often have been required to give pledges that it would
not be used for religious or educational purposes. Twenty-nine years
ago the Protestants of Constantinople purchased a site for a house of
worship, and the American ambassador has not yet been able to obtain
permission for them to erect a building. Places of worship and schools
have frequently been closed by order of the officials. The residences
and the school-houses of American missionaries have often been searched
and books and manuscripts--even ordinary text books--have been seized
and destroyed. Schools have been burned by local fanatics and several
American missionaries have suffered martyrdom.

No Moslem can be released from his religious obligations, and when
he renounces his faith and professes any other religion the only
punishment is death. Hitherto the only safety for a convert was to
flee from his country before his conversion became known. This is not
strange when it is considered that Islam is the political as well as
the religious system of the country; the judges of the courts are
theologians; the shariat, or code of laws, is based upon the Koran, and
both are grounded upon divine authority as set forth in the teachings
of the Prophet.

In discussing this question with the late Rev. Herbert M. Allen, editor
and founder of _The Orient_, the enterprising American missionary
newspaper, at Constantinople, whose death in 1910 was a sad loss to the
cause of civilization in Turkey, he said:

“The most imperative need of Turkey in an educational way at present is
a high-class theological seminary, such as you have in Chicago and New
York. Here we are in the land of the Bible. Nearly all the religions
of the world originated in this section. Here the gospel was first
preached. Turkey is occupied to-day with the same races that lived
here then, all of them preserving their memorials. I believe that a
non-sectarian theological seminary established here for the purpose
of teaching Biblical history and comparative theology in a broad way
would appeal to every one of these races. The schools of theology
that we have to-day appeal only to those who intend to enter the
Protestant missionary service, but a seminary on a university basis,
like that at Chicago, would draw ambitious young men from all races
and denominations, and would undoubtedly receive sufficient patronage
to become self supporting with the aid of the endowments that such an
institution should command.

“The weakness of the Greek and the Armenian Churches has been the
absence of an educated clergy. Their lack of influence among the
people; their lack of progress, and the diminishing respect that is
shown to the profession is due to this cause. Such a seminary would
educate leaders in thought and progress in the social and political, as
well as the religious, life of the country. And what this country needs
more than anything else is educated leaders.

“The several races that make up the population of the Turkish Empire
are all represented in the Armenian schools,” continued Mr. Allen,
“but vary according to localities. In Armenia most of the students are
Armenians; in the colleges nearer the coast and the commercial cities
the larger number are Greeks. As for Mohammedans, they are scattered
and have been comparatively few in number until recently, but now the
eagerness for education is so great that a Moslem father will send his
son to a Christian college without the slightest hesitation. They have
no fear that their children will be proselyted by Christian teachers,
and they know they will get a good education; that their morals will be
protected; that their health will be looked after, and that they will
be given a broad view of things. There is no difficulty in mixing the
different creeds. They all worship together and sit together in the
dining-room and mingle in the playgrounds, as well as in the classroom.
And they submit without the slightest hesitation to all the rules
concerning prayers and divine worship and the study of the Bible.

“Outside of Constantinople, the American colleges have no competition.
There are some French schools and the Greeks have contributed plenty
of money for the education of their own race, but they do not seem
to know how to spend it. Not long ago I visited a Greek college near
Cesarea, endowed by a wealthy merchant in Constantinople. I found fine
buildings, well equipped, but everybody told me the schools scarcely
amounted to anything. The reason is that they have incompetent teachers
and poor management and what is still worse, the lack of an ideal. The
success of the American schools and their popularity is due to the
high American ideal that is maintained by the faculties. It combines
discipline, punctuality, truth, honour, self-control, self-respect,
and other virtues that are not always found in the Oriental, but which
are just as essential for good citizens and well-rounded characters
here as anywhere else. We aim to make our students full men; to elevate
them to the highest standard of manhood, and that is the reason of the
influence and the success of the American schools. We have practically
no competition in that line of education.

“Very often the same families who send pupils to us will first send
them to a French school to study French, but they afterward send them
to us to get what they call the American training; that standard of
manhood and sterling character which most of our graduates have taken
away with their diplomas.

“There is an English school in Constantinople for the benefit of
English children, although other nationalities are admitted, and there
are various other schools, but the American is the only nationality or
religious denomination that has ever attempted general educational work
in Turkey.

“What race is most responsive and appreciative of the opportunities
furnished by the American schools?

“The Armenians by all means. From the beginning they have filled our
schools. They are the most progressive element in the empire and they
appreciate the value of education more highly than any other race.
Several years ago, before Abdul Hamid showed his hostility to them,
the Armenians started what was called ‘The Union Educational Society,’
which established primary schools in various parts of Armenia. When
the sultan began to persecute the Armenians the schools were closed
and the society was converted into a political organization, but since
the revolution it has been re organized under an excellent board of
managers and is doing good work, establishing schools in different
parts of that province.

“They already have opened sixty to my knowledge and the number is
increasing so fast that it is difficult to keep track of them. Mr.
Minassian, a graduate of Yale, who took a post-graduate course in
pedagogy and applied sciences at Harvard, is the superintendent
of these schools--and a very competent man. He could have been an
assistant professor at Yale if he had been willing to stay there,
but he came over here to assist in the regeneration of his native
country and is doing splendid work. He is making a special feature of
agriculture and is teaching the young men, and the old men, also, how
to get better results from the soil.

“The missionaries in Armenia are considering the question of placing
their common schools under his direction, and I think within a few
years it will be an accomplished fact, provided they can come to some
satisfactory understanding concerning the regulations. Armenia will be
the most progressive and prosperous part of the Ottoman Empire before
many years. The ambition of the people is unbounded; their national
pride is stronger and their industry is greater than that of any other
race. No people have suffered so much, but none has gained more than
the Armenians.”

“Has there been any change in the policy of the government toward
education?”

“Decidedly. The new government seems to be working very hard to
organize an educational system throughout the empire and is copying
European methods. It is sending boys to foreign countries to be
educated for teachers, and is also placing students in almost every one
of the American colleges and high schools. Five government students
have matriculated at Robert College and five young women entered
the American College for Girls last winter to be educated at the
government’s expense as instructors in the national schools. When the
American College for Girls moves to its new location next year, the
imperial government will start a school in their old building, with
the American college as its model. Normal schools and high schools are
being opened as fast as competent instructors can be found, but the
great obstacle to the extension of the school system is the lack of
teachers and the inability to pay such salaries as will tempt educated
men to undertake the work.

“The most significant and satisfactory feature of the new régime is
the recognition of Christian schools on the same basis as Moslem
schools by the Department of Education. In the allotment of the
funds appropriated for education the American missionary schools are
receiving the same assistance as those recently organized by the
government.”

In the work of the American missionaries in Turkey, as in other parts
of the world, printing presses are of importance. Without them little
could have been accomplished; slow progress would have been made.
There are two great publication houses in the near East, one under the
direction of the Presbyterian board at Beirut, and the other under the
Congregational church in Constantinople. They are the most complete
and modern printing plants in that part of the world, representing an
investment of many thousands of dollars and equal to any of their size
in the United States. The presses are going all the time, turning out
an average of fifty million pages each a year in not less than ten
languages. The output, since the presses were established in 1833, has
undoubtedly been as large as that of any other printing house in the
world, and indeed there are few of longer or greater age or better
record.

The entire plan of missionary work in Turkey at the beginning was based
upon the use of these presses, and within three years after the first
missionaries arrived in that field, a plant was set up on the island of
Malta to furnish literature for Palestine and Turkey. It was considered
unsafe to attempt at that time to do any printing on Turkish soil, and
Malta, being under the British flag, was the nearest locality where
the presses could run without interruption. In 1833, the political
atmosphere having cleared, the Arabic outfit was transferred to Beirut
in Syria, while the Greek, Turkish, and Armenian branches were set up
in Smyrna. During the ten years at Malta, more than twenty-one million
pages were printed for the benefit of Greeks, Armenians and Turks. This
included text-books for the elementary schools, which were chiefly
translations of standard American editions. Then came the Bible, which
has since been translated and published entire in four different
languages, and partially in several more, and distributed by millions
of copies throughout the East.

The Bible was translated into Turkish and published at Smyrna in 1836.
Dr. Elias Riggs’s translation into Armenian was published in 1852, and
his translation into Bulgarian in 1871. The Arabic Bible, translated by
Smith and Van Dyck, has since been issued from the Beirut press, and
more than 1,500,000 copies have been circulated.

In a single year the American press at Beirut issued 152,500 volumes of
distinctively Biblical literature, with a total of 47,278,000 pages, in
addition to nearly 9,000,000 pages of text-books and other literature,
making a total of 56,000,000 pages from that one plant.

This other literature consists of hymn books, school books of all
kinds and of all grades, from kindergarten material to theological
and medical works; picture books for children, Christmas cards,
Sunday-school lessons, story books, translations of standard works, and
several original works by both native and American authors.

The work of Bible publication has since continued under the patronage
of the American Bible Society and the British and Foreign Bible
Societies, until the entire Scriptures are now available for all
Turkish, Arabic, Syrian, Persian, Armenian, Bulgarian, and Greek
speaking peoples, and the New Testament, the Psalms and other parts
are available for Kurds and Albanians. It is bound in cheap form and
convenient size and sold at cost. Very few copies are given away.

Although the Armenian claims to be the oldest branch of the Christian
church, yet when the American missionaries came, they had only a few
manuscript copies of the Bible, kept in monasteries or in the larger
churches, carefully guarded by priests who were themselves unable to
read the text, while the people were permitted only to kiss the covers
which were often of solid silver. To-day, thanks to Dr. Elias Riggs,
one of the veteran American missionaries, every Armenian can have his
copy of the Scriptures in his own language at a nominal price. It is a
significant fact that the editions are disposed of as rapidly as they
are turned off the press, and it is asserted by competent authority
that this book has done more to unify and simplify the modern Armenian
language than all other influences combined.

The same is true of the Bulgarian language. There was no Bulgarian
literature until American missionaries began to write it, and the
missionary presses began to publish it. Of the first one hundred books
in the Bulgarian language seventy were issued by the missionary press
at Smyrna and Constantinople.

The Kurds, a powerful and populous element of the Turkish Empire, had
no written language and no literature of any kind until the American
missionaries created one for them and translated the New Testament into
the local dialect written with Armenian characters.

The Albanians had no literature when the Americans came, and it would
not be far from the truth to say that they have none now except what
the missionaries have given them.

Although every Turk is a Mohammedan and the sultan of Turkey is the
recognized head of that faith, the Koran, the Moslem Bible, written by
the prophet Mohammed, has never been printed in the Turkish language,
but remains exclusively in the Arabic tongue, in which it is written,
but the Bible has been printed in Turkish for nearly seventy-five
years, and may be read to-day in his own dialect by every one of the
many races which constitute the Mohammedan world.

When the Americans first began to issue literature in Arabic the
scholars of that race criticised the type, which had been made in
Europe and was about as perfect as English type would be if it were
made by an Arab. Rev. Eli Smith, who was in charge at that time,
realized that half the value of the American publications would be
lost unless their typographical appearance met with the approval of
the artistic taste of Mohammedan scholars. The type did not exist and
it was his duty to create it. He made models of the letters of the
alphabet by copying them from choice Arabic manuscripts, and in 1836
he took them to Germany to be cast. The voyage ended in a shipwreck
and all his work was lost in the waters of the Mediterranean. Dr.
Smith, however, was a patient and persistent man. He began again at
the beginning and did it all over with the greatest care and fonts of
type were cast in the Tauchnitz establishment at Leipzig under his
supervision. After five years of patient labour, the first book was
issued from the mission press at Beirut in 1841, and it was not only a
model of the “art preservative,” but was undoubtedly the most perfect
and beautiful specimen of Arabic printing ever seen.

Then the work of printing the Bible was decided upon and Dr. Smith
was detailed to superintend it. It was the labour of his life, and
no literary task was ever conducted with such conscientious care. As
soon as he had completed one of the books it was put into type, and
a hundred proofs were struck off and sent to educated Syrians and
Arabs and British, American and German scholars, whose criticisms were
carefully considered, and, after twenty-eight years of hard work by Dr.
Smith and his successor, Dr. Van Dyck, the American press at Beirut
issued a translation which has received the approval of all the real
Arabic scholars of the day.

The next step was to electrotype the pages and secure duplicate plates
that would insure its preservation forever, and that long and costly
labour, which involved probably the hardest task of proof-reading ever
undertaken, has recently been completed by Dr. Franklin P. Hoskins of
Beirut.

The mission press of Beirut, under Dr. Hoskins’s direction, had
already issued 1,535,266 copies of the Arabic Bible up to December
31, 1909, which have been distributed among the Mohammedan races from
the Adriatic to the Yellow Seas. Thousands of copies have gone to our
Mohammedan wards in the Philippines. They are to be found in Yucatan,
in Brazil, in the Argentine Republic, and at the Cape of Good Hope.
There is a regular demand from every section of Asia and Africa, where
most of the followers of Mohammed live. They generally accept the Old
Testament as history and claim the patriarchs and the prophets as their
own.

Next in importance to the publication of the Bible, has been the work
of producing text-books for the schools in the East. Like the general
literature, they are mostly reprints and translations of American
editions, but they have to be adapted in a measure to local conditions.
The courses in the American colleges in Turkey are conducted in
English, but French, German, Turkish, and other languages are taught.
For these American text-books are used, the same as in our own
colleges, but for the common schools of the Turkish Empire an entire
set of school books had to be created by the American missionaries,
which have since been adopted by the government for local use.

No geography, or history, or arithmetic, or anything else in Turkish
or the other ten languages in common use in that empire existed when
the Americans undertook their campaign of education seventy-five years
ago. They had to be prepared and printed with the sultan’s stupid and
malicious censors looking over the shoulders of the writers and the
printers and the proof-readers to prevent the publication of anything
that might reflect upon the benign policy of “the great assassin,” as
Mr. Gladstone called him, or suggest to the people ideas inconsistent
with their poverty and retrogression. Many amusing stories are told
of the ridiculous rules and corrections made by these censors. Even
the text of the Bible had to be changed and certain passages omitted
because they taught the doctrine of human rights and referred to
penalties visited upon unjust rulers by God and man. The word Armenia,
the name of one of the largest provinces of the Ottoman Empire, was
forbidden, and the name of Macedonia, another, was also placed upon the
list of terms that could not be used. The same rules that were applied
by the censors to daily newspapers were applied to the Bible and all
other books, but nevertheless the presses have never been stopped and
the influence of the literature they have issued is incalculable.

For two generations the two publishing houses of the American missions
have issued newspapers in Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Arabic, and other
languages used in the Turkish Empire, which have had a wide circulation
and a permanent influence among all classes. These papers contain
reviews of current events, religious intelligence, stories and poetry,
miscellaneous information, and have been the only newspapers that have
been allowed to circulate in certain portions of the empire.

_The Orient_, a weekly founded by Herbert Allen and published by the
Bible House in Constantinople, for example, contains items of interest
to the native Christian communities all over the empire. Among other
things I have found in it the best reports of the proceedings of the
Turkish Parliament I have seen anywhere.

Monthly magazines containing religious and general literature are
issued regularly and have a large circulation. Theological and
scientific discussions and the news of the scientific world are
published for the benefit of professional readers. In other words, the
missionary presses have been putting out for circulation throughout the
Turkish Empire the same sort of literature that is expected from our
own first-class publishing houses in the United States, to supply the
needs of people whose intellects are gradually awakening, to develop
native writers, and to create a demand for their writings, so that they
may live by their pens.

There have been many eminent and remarkable men among the American
missionaries in Turkey, and several of them have had remarkable
experiences. The career of the Rev. Dr. Elias Riggs stands unique in
missionary annals. For sixty-nine years he laboured in the Turkish
Empire, with only one visit to the United States. On that occasion,
he was invited to accept a professorship at Yale University, which he
promptly declined in order to continue his missionary work. Doctor
Riggs was a genius in languages. He was one of the most learned men
of his time. He was the King of Translators. He translated the Bible
and other books into all the languages of Turkey and Bulgaria. He
translated many hymns into those languages, and many of his own verses
are still sung in the Christian churches of the East. His entire life
was devoted to the labour of bringing Christian literature within
reach of the numerous races which composed the Ottoman Empire, for no
foreigner has ever known their complex dialects so well as he.

At one time there was a very stormy meeting of missionaries at
Constantinople. Good men often differ in opinion and sometimes do not
hesitate to criticise the opinions of others. If everybody thought
alike this world would not make much progress. We all know that
friction makes the wheels go round. It was one of those occasions when
good men of strong character differ as to the proper course that should
be adopted, and the discussion was long and earnest, and sometimes
so earnest that some of the wise and good men lost their tempers. A
new-comer, who was deeply interested in the debate and sat through the
sessions for several days, asked one of his colleagues the name of “a
little old man who has been present from the beginning and has never
said a word.” The reply was:

“That is Dr. Elias Riggs, and he is able to keep silent in seventeen
different languages.”

At the dedication of a new church in Smyrna, several years ago, the
programme of exercises was made up so that every community in that
polyglot city should be represented, and Dr. Riggs, who presided,
introduced each speaker in the language he was to use.

Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, founder of Robert College at Constantinople, was a
master of colloquial conversation, which he picked up by contact with
his fellow men rather than from books, and, while he was not always
correct in his moods and tenses, he never failed to make himself
understood. He used to tell a good story on himself to illustrate the
difference between his own linguistic accomplishments and those of Dr.
Riggs. He said that a learned Armenian, complimenting him upon the
freedom with which he spoke that language, remarked:

“Dr. Riggs, he speaks the Armenian grammatic; but you speak Armenian
idiotic.”

Dr. Riggs was never detected in a grammatical error in the use of
the seventeen languages with which he was familiar. Whether he was
speaking, writing, or translating, he used each language “grammatic.”

When Dr. Riggs was in the prime of his usefulness, a committee
previously appointed, finished a translation of the New Testament in
the Komanji language, which is spoken by a barbaric klan of Kurds
in the mountains of northern Mesopotamia and the eastern section of
Turkey. When the committee brought their manuscript to the printing
office at the Bible House in Constantinople, they were asked if they
had submitted it to Dr. Riggs. They replied promptly:

“Dr. Riggs has never been in the Kurdistan mountains; he knows nothing
of the Komanji language, and, therefore, we have never thought of
consulting him.”

And they were very much annoyed at the pressure brought upon them by
people at the Bible House who insisted that the manuscript ought to
be submitted to the criticism of the greatest translator in the world
before subjecting the board to the expense of putting it in type.
The committee was finally compelled to yield, and asked Dr. Riggs
if he would spare them a few hours to listen to a reading of their
translation. He readily consented, and came into the conference with
his well-worn old copy of the Greek Testament under his arm. As one of
the committee read the Komanji version of the Gospel of St. Matthew
aloud, Dr. Riggs followed him in his Greek text, and, in the middle
of the second chapter, asked why they had translated a certain phrase
differently from that given in the first chapter. The translators made
a note of the criticism and said they would look it up. They made a
similar note of another criticism a short time later, and then several
more, and before they had finished the Gospel of St. Matthew, they
turned the whole manuscript over for Dr. Riggs to review and were
finally compelled to put it through another thorough revision in which
they were guided by his advice.

When he was quite a young man and shortly after he entered the field,
Dr. Riggs was thrown in with a party of Albanians for several weeks
while travelling in that province. Twenty-five years later at a
meeting of the American missionaries in European Turkey, a committee
was appointed to arrange for the preparation and publication of an
Albanian grammar. During the discussion, Dr. Riggs said nothing, but
after a decision had been reached and a committee had been appointed,
he remarked quietly to the chairman that several years before, while
in Albania, he had taken a few notes concerning the language and would
be glad to put them into the hands of the committee, who might find
them of some aid in their work. The chairman took the manuscripts and
thanked him. When the committee met and came to examine the “few notes”
of Dr. Riggs, they were astonished to find that they comprised an
almost complete grammar of the Albanian language, the fullest that had
ever been undertaken, and it was the foundation of the text-book that
was shortly afterward published.

The value of the services rendered by Dr. Riggs to the people of
the various races which compose the Ottoman Empire can never be
overestimated. He not only gave them translations of the Bible
and other Christian literature, but furnished them the means of
recording their spoken languages. By his translations of the Bible
he accomplished for the Armenians, the Bulgarians, and other Turkish
races, what the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures accomplished
for the English language and the English-speaking people, and what the
translations and dictionary of Dr. Hepburn did for Japan. He made the
literature of these races accessible to other scholars.

Another remarkable linguist among the American missionaries in Turkey
was the Rev. Dr. William Gottlieb Schauffler, a native of Stuttgart,
Germany, and a graduate of Andover. He was a very versatile man,
being not only a great scholar and linguist, but a powerful preacher,
a skilful musician, a fascinating conversationalist, and a man of
brilliant social attainments. He translated the Old Testament into
Spanish, and his work was published in Vienna. He also translated the
entire Bible into the Osmanli-Turkish. His son, Rev. Dr. Henry Albert
Schauffler, who was born at Constantinople, and educated at Williams
College and Andover Seminary, was engaged among the Slavic population
of Cleveland, Ohio, during the later years of his life.

Rev. Dr. Edwin Elijah Bliss, a graduate of Amherst College and Andover
Seminary, went to Trebizond in 1843, and spent his life in missionary
work there and at Erzeroom, Marsovan, and Constantinople, where he died
at a ripe old age in 1892. His principal and widely influential service
was the preparation and publication of books for other missionaries to
use among the natives; and he edited the mission periodical called the
Avedaper for many years.

There was another famous missionary of the same name, Dr. Isaac Grout
Bliss, also a graduate of Amherst and Andover, who represented the
American Bible Society at Constantinople for many years. He raised
the funds and built the Bible House at Constantinople, which is the
headquarters of American missionary and educational work in Turkey.

Dr. Wilson Amos Fornsworth, a graduate of Middlebury College and
Andover Seminary, and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth Palmer Fornsworth,
were, perhaps, next to Dr. Riggs, the longest in the service. They
were at Cæsarea from 1852 to 1903, a period of fifty-one years. During
this time, he travelled 75,000 miles in his missionary work, including
30,000 miles on horseback.

Harrison Grey Otis Dwight, D.D., who was one of the earliest
missionaries in the field, was a graduate of Hamilton College and
Andover Seminary, and went out to Turkey in 1830, where he remained
until his death in 1862. Doctor Dwight’s explorations in Asiatic
Turkey and in Persia in 1831–32, led to the establishment of the
American missions in Armenia and Nestoria. He was a man of remarkable
talent, judgment, and discernment, and an intrepid explorer and pioneer.

[Illustration: A Mosque of Baku]

[Illustration: Persian quarter, Baku]

The late Justice Brewer of the United States Supreme Court, was the son
of Rev. Josiah Brewer, one of the earliest American missionaries in
Turkey, and was born at Smyrna in 1837. His mother was a member of the
famous Field family of Stockbridge, Mass., a sister of David Dudley,
Cyrus, Henry, and Stephen J. Field.

The pioneer of the education of women in Turkey was Eliza Fritcher,
a native of Millport, N. Y., and a graduate of Mt. Holyoke Seminary.
She set in operation and for more than thirty years managed a
boarding-school for girls at Marsovan, which is now a large and
influential institution.

Charlotte Elizabeth Ely, and her sister, Mary Anne Ely, both graduates
of Mt. Holyoke, also did very important work in the education of girls.

Maria Abigail West, another pioneer, spent her life in strenuous
service among the women and children of Armenia. And there were many
others equally earnest and equally useful in the early days. It is a
remarkable fact that no American missionary in Turkey has ever retired
from that field because of a lack of interest or encouragement in the
work.



CHAPTER X

THE CASPIAN OIL FIELDS


The railway across the Caucasus from Batoum on the Black Sea to Baku on
the Caspian Sea is 558 miles long, the distance from Batoum to Tiflis,
the capital of the Caucasus, being 218 miles, and from Tiflis to Baku
340 miles. The latter route is almost a straight line, following the
broad valley of the river Kur, a swift and turbulent stream of water
about the same colour as our own Mississippi. For three fourths of the
distance the track runs at the base of the foothills of the Caucasus
Mountains, which are always in sight from the left hand windows of the
cars going east. On the right hand is a broad prairie stretching out
to the horizon, and with the exception of much low and swampy land the
greater part of it is closely cultivated.

The farmers do not live upon their farms, however, but stay in the
villages for mutual protection, which was necessary in ancient days,
although they might be safe enough in these times if they lived in
isolated places as our farmers do. It is very largely the custom all
over Europe for the farmers to live in villages and go back and forth
to their fields in the morning and at night. Scattered among the
cultivated fields in the Caucasus are little huts of brush and sod,
used as summer residences by the farmers, who bring out two or three
days’ rations with them, and after working in the soil all day crawl
into these miserable little shacks to sleep for the night.

There are many cattle and sheep upon the hillsides, and every herd
and flock is attended by a shepherd, sometimes a man and sometimes a
woman, and often a child. Even the geese have to be attended as they
meander. No animal of value is ever left alone, and such attention is
necessary to keep them from straying into the cultivated fields, for
there are no fences. The property is divided by landmarks of stone;
there are no other boundary marks, and you wonder if the farmers do
not sometimes get into the wrong harvest field or plough up a piece of
their neighbour’s land by mistakes.

There are a good many orchards of cherries, apricots, peaches, and
other fruit, and a few vineyards, which belong to Germans. Wherever you
see a vineyard down in that country, you may rely upon it that a German
either owns it, or has set out the vines on rented land. The Germans
are altogether the best farmers and make the most money, because of
their economical methods, their intelligent industry, and their thrifty
habits. About half way between Tiflis and Baku is a German colony that
looks like an oasis in the desert. It is surrounded by mile after mile
of vineyards.

Women work in the fields on equal terms with the men without any
distinction of labour, and sometimes one is tempted to think that
they carry the heavier ends of the load. You see young girls ten and
twelve years old with hoe and spade when they ought to be in school or
learning to sew and bake in the kitchen. But the czar needs so many men
in his army that their mothers and sisters are required to go into
the fields. You will notice, too, that women are switchmen and flagmen
all along the railway lines, and if you will keep looking out of the
car window you will see at every crossing a woman with a flag in her
hand standing at attention, like a soldier on guard duty, as the train
rushes by.

The government owns and operates the railway, and, although the running
time is very slow, not more than fifteen or eighteen miles an hour,
the management is admirable, and there are some excellent features
which might be imitated with profit by the railway companies in the
United States. For example, at every railway station on the platform,
is a big wooden tank of cool water with plenty of dippers. Beside it
is a similar tank of hot water, so that the passengers, who expect it,
bring their teapots along with them. When the train stops, those in
the third-class cars rush out for hot water and then go back to their
places and enjoy a cup of home-made tea.

Trains of tank cars stand on every side track, and we seemed to pass
one every few minutes, which is natural, because crude and refined
petroleum is the principal freight hauled over the Caucasus from the
oil wells at Baku to Batoum, the principal shipping port on the Black
Sea.

Sleeping cars are free--at least every first-class railway carriage is
arranged in compartments, so that the back of the seat can be lifted to
make an upper berth, which is quite as comfortable as those in American
Pullmans, but passengers have to carry bedding with them, sheets and
pillows and blankets, and make up their own bunks when it comes time to
retire. There is either a dining-car or a buffet on every train, from
which coffee, tea, eggs, cold meats, bread and butter are served, so
that a journey is made very comfortable.

[Illustration: Temple of the Fire Worshippers near Baku]

When we went to bed, a few hours after leaving Tiflis, we were passing
through a beautiful and highly cultivated agricultural country. When
we awoke in the morning, we were in a desert and everything smelled
of oil. The first thing I saw, looking out of the car window, was a
long caravan of camels loaded with cans of refined petroleum, plodding
through the sands on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

The surroundings are forbidding. The Caspian Sea is not an attractive
body of water. Its shores are as barren as a granite bowlder. There
is no fresh water either above or below the surface of the ground
anywhere around the coast, and the inhabitants are required to bring
their supply in pipes for a long distance or else condense sea water.
At every port is a floating condenser, some worn out steamer or sailing
vessel which has served its time carrying cargoes and is now anchored
at a convenient place off the shore and filled with machinery for
transforming salt water into fresh. Sometimes the product is carried
ashore by pipes, but usually in large tank barges, and then peddled
around the streets like milk in our cities, from house to house.

The surroundings of Baku remind me of the nitrate towns on the coast
of Chile, which are also waterless; but it is much larger and more
finely built than any of them. There is already a population of 130,000
or more at Baku, and the boosters are boasting of an expected 200,000
at the end of this decade. There is no doubt that Baku is growing
very fast in people and in wealth, although the oil industry is not
prosperous. The Standard Oil Company of the United States is driving
Russian oil out of every country except Russia and its provinces.
There are many evidences of wealth in Baku; many fine business blocks
and residences, churches and school-houses, shops and restaurants,
and, indeed, it is quite as up-to-date as any city in the East. The
large wholesale houses indicate an extensive trade, and its merchants
practically control the markets of Central Asia.

The activity upon the docks indicates that there must be a large
commerce on the Caspian. The quays along the seashore in front of the
city for a mile or more are occupied by steamers and sailing vessels
discharging and receiving cargoes, which lie in great stacks upon the
wharves. Long processions of carts and wagons are constantly coming
and going between the docks and the railway stations. Nearly all the
commerce of Central Asia is handled there and it is brought or carried
away by the two railways, one running to Batoum and the other to Odessa
and Moscow.

Baku is an ancient Persian city and belongs to Russia by conquest. A
majority of the inhabitants are still Persians, who furnish the manual
labor; the next largest racial division are Armenians, who keep the
small shops, and many of the larger ones, for that matter, and compose
the mercantile class. And then come the Tartars, who are third in
numbers and there, as everywhere else, are the disorderly element.

The old city is a typical Persian town, half surrounded by a wall built
in the twelfth century, with monumental towers and gates, several of
which have been preserved. The followers of Zoroaster came here in
early times, attracted by the burning springs of naphtha, and built
temples for fire worship at intervals along the coast. The Parsees of
Bombay, descendants of fire worshippers who were driven from Persia
by Mohammedan mobs, formerly kept up a perpetual fire upon an altar
near the city, but it was extinguished several years ago, and an oil
refinery now stands upon the spot.

We had rather an exciting experience trying to find one of the old
temples of the fire worshippers. We hunted around the old Persian
town until we discovered a man who knew where it was, and he sent two
small boys to show us the way. Following them through a labyrinth
of narrow streets, we came to a small block of land enclosed with a
high stone wall and guarded by soldiers, who drove us off. When we
tried to look through the cracks in the gates to get a glimpse of the
buildings inside, they pointed their rifles at us and were dangerously
demonstrative. We did not imagine that we were doing anything wrong.
Our motives were as innocent as those of a Sunday-school teacher, but
the guard evidently suspected that we were up to some kind of mischief,
and finally threatened us with instant death unless we left the place.

At that critical moment a polite citizen came along, who remonstrated
with the belligerent guard. He explained to us that the ancient temple
was now used as a magazine for ammunition and had to be closely guarded
because of the energy of anarchists and revolutionists in the city.

There is a Byzantine fortress 800 years old, and an imposing tower
180 feet high and 84 feet in diameter. It is circular in form, with
an oblong extension, and built of regular courses of cut stone,
alternating out and in about four inches. There are four doors at the
base, but they are all sealed up except one. They call it the Kiskala,
which in Persian means the Tower of the Virgin, and several romantic
stories are told about its origin, but we finally discovered that it
was built for a prison by the early Persians and is now used by the
Russians for the storage of military supplies.

In ancient times, for thousands of years--no one knows how long--the
Persians used to come up to the shore of the Caspian Sea, where the
city of Baku now stands, and scrape from the ground the seepage from
the springs of oil that were found near the water. They used these
scrapings for lubricating purposes, for fuel, for light, for healing
wounds, and for various other useful purposes, and exercised much
ingenuity in cleansing and applying them.

At some remote date--it may have been as far back as the time of Daniel
the Prophet--the fire worshippers, the followers of Zoroaster, found
here several oil springs on fire. The naphtha must have caught fire by
accident, but they considered it a miracle, and through many centuries
made pilgrimages to worship and adore the flames. Ultimately they built
a temple, a square structure of brick with a dome and four chimneys,
through which, in some ingenious manner, they conducted the natural gas
which exhales from the naphtha springs, and thus were able to maintain
four bright flames. The temple was in the centre of a large courtyard,
inclosed by a high wall, in which were rooms for the accommodation of
pilgrims. The gateway was monumental and above it rose a square tower
about fifty feet in height, at the four corners of which were chimneys
through which the gas was conducted in the same manner as at the temple
within the inclosure, and the light could be seen for many miles in
every direction. They called it “The Shrine of Grace.”

Zoroaster, founder of the fire worshippers, lived in Persia before the
time of Cyrus the Great, and about six hundred years before Christ. He
taught the existence of a Supreme Being who created two other mighty
beings and imparted to them as much of his own nature as seemed good
to him. One of them, Ormuzd, remained faithful and was regarded as
the source of all good, while Ahriman rebelled, and became the author
of all the evil upon the earth. The religious rites of the fire
worshippers were exceedingly simple. They adored fire, light, and the
sun as the emblems of Ormuzd, the source of all light and purity,
and performed their worship on the tops of mountains, having neither
temples, nor altars, nor images. Their priests were called Magi, whose
learning was so celebrated that their name has been applied since to
astrologers, prophets, necromancers, and all orders of magicians and
enchanters.

The religion of Zoroaster continued to flourish after the introduction
of Christianity and in the third century was the dominant faith in
the East until the conquest of Persia by the Mohammedans in the
seventh century compelled the greater number of the fire worshippers
to renounce their faith. Those who refused fled to India, where they
still exist under the name of Parsees, which is derived from Pars, an
ancient name for Persia. At Bombay the Parsees are an enterprising,
intelligent, and wealthy class of the population, and are distinguished
for their integrity and business ability. They have numerous temples in
which they worship fire as the symbol of divinity.

This temple stood at the village of Sourakhany, about ten miles
from Baku. The site is now owned by the Kokovev Oil Company. It was
abandoned about 1880. For a century or two before that date pilgrims
came all the way from India, and the Parsee merchants of Bombay, famous
for their riches and enterprise, furnished the money to maintain the
fire and entertain the pilgrims.

Why the temple was abandoned and the lights were allowed to go out
I have not been able to ascertain. The only reasonable explanation
is that after that part of the world was wrested from Persia by the
Russians something must have happened, or some regulation may have
been introduced, which made it difficult or impossible to continue
the ceremonials and maintain the pilgrimages. However that may have
been, the form of worship and the nationality of the worshippers were
gradually changed, until now Russians and Armenians adore the oil for
the money it brings instead of for its symbolic significance.

The development of the petroleum industry was very slow and began
late. The inhabitants of the old Persian city of Baku utilized the oil
for light and fuel gas undisturbed until 1856, when a Russian named
Kokreff and an Armenian named Mirsoeff obtained a concession from the
Russian government to operate wells and refine the product. They had
a monopoly for twenty years, but did a very small business, producing
an insignificant quantity and a poor quality of burning fluid compared
with the product of the present day.

In 1876 the concession was revoked and there was a rush of prospectors
and speculators to this territory. Everybody who could raise enough
money to drive a well did so, until to-day, within a radius of ten
miles from the city of Baku, are 736 wells, producing more or less oil
and belonging to almost as many people. The largest number are on a
peninsula extending into the Caspian Sea, called Apocheron, between six
and eight miles north of the city, with about one third as many at a
place called Bibbi-Eybat, about three miles south.

There are over a hundred independent companies, but only twenty-five
are doing a refining business, and of these only eight have sufficient
capital to conduct their operations upon a paying basis. The large
distribution of the interests is, however, very demoralizing. It has
been a bad thing for the town and the industry and for everybody
concerned, because whenever any large enterprise was undertaken,
cut-throat competition has been used to interrupt and embarrass it.
As one gentleman expressed it, it would have been to the advantage of
everybody concerned if half the oil that has been produced at Baku had
been allowed to run into the sea.

There are three large companies, the largest one belonging to the
family of the late Alfred Nobel, the Swedish philanthropist, who
founded the Nobel Institute at Stockholm and endowed it with funds from
which the prizes for the promotion of peace, science, and literature
are annually paid. Colonel Roosevelt, you will remember, went to
Christiania in May, 1910, to receive the Nobel prize for peace which
was awarded him because of his success in conciliating Russia and Japan
and putting an end to the recent war.

Alfred Nobel, himself, was largely interested in the development of
the Baku oil industry at the beginning, but, about the year 1877, he
withdrew, and his brothers, Ludwig and Robert Nobel, continued the
work. They turned their holdings over to a stock company many years
ago, and Emmanuel Nobel, a son of Ludwig, now holds the controlling
interest in the company. He is the Rockefeller of Russian petroleum and
is estimated to be worth $60,000,000. Although a Swede by birth and
ancestry, he is a Russian subject, maintains a splendid palace in St.
Petersburg and has a villa with a large park in the Crimea, where he
goes for the summer.

The next richest man is an Armenian named Mantashoff, who still lives
in Baku and looks after his interests. There is also a Tartar gentleman
who has made millions in the oil fields and is spending a part of his
income in the erection of a splendid building for a college in the city
of Baku. The institution will be provided with an endowment sufficient
to maintain a competent faculty and pay for the free education of a
certain number of young men of Tartar families forever. It will be
altogether the most imposing building in Baku when it is finished, and
it stands upon the principal street.

The second largest company is controlled by a French syndicate
organized by the Rothschilds twenty-two years ago, and the third
in importance is owned by local Armenians. These three companies
practically control the refining industry, which is very large,
considering the area of the oil fields, much larger than in any part of
the United States.

Baku produces more oil than any other single field. Last year (1909),
its total product was 55,863,504 barrels, and Groznyi, the neighbouring
district, produced 6,249,627 barrels, making the total from the Caspian
62,113,131 barrels, as compared with 179,562,479 barrels produced in
the United States.

[Illustration: Domes of the Persian section of Baku]

Austria is the second producer of the countries in Europe and
reports 12,612,295 barrels for 1908; Roumania comes next, with
8,252,157 barrels, and Germany, 1,009,278 barrels.

From these figures, you will see that the industry at Baku is very
important, and the Russian government derives a revenue of between
$60,000,000 and $75,000,000 a year by taxing it. There is a direct
tax upon the producers, an additional tax of thirty cents upon every
pood, which is eight gallons, produced, beside the income from the
sale of stamps required on contracts, bills of lading, and all other
commercial paper. The little city of Baku, with 130,000 inhabitants,
and they mostly Persians, Armenians, and Tartars, is the fourth source
of revenue for the Russian treasury.

Most of the refineries, especially those of the Nobel and French
companies, are located at what is called in Russian, Tchorny Gorod,
or the “Dark City,” which is connected with Baku by street car lines.
The Nobel Company has provided homes for its officers and employés at
the “White City,” a mile or two away--Biely Gorod, as it is called in
Russian.

The Dark City consists of a large number of refineries, surrounded by
high railway tracks, mostly covered with tank cars, and the gutters
on both sides are filled with a network of pipes tapping a myriad of
tanks and conducting the oil between the wells and the refineries
and the reservoirs where it is stored for shipment. The Dark City is
located upon the shore of the Caspian Sea, where extensive docks have
been built and pumps provided for filling tank boats, which carry oil
up the Volga River into the interior of Russia as far as Moscow, via
Astrakhan, where it flows into the Caspian.

Mr. Norman, an English engineer, who formerly lived in Chicago, and
spent several years in the employ of the Standard Oil Company, showed
me around the Nobel refineries and told me an interesting story of the
development of the industry here.

“Naphtha Springs, as they were called, have been known here for ages,”
said Mr. Norman. “The fire worshippers came a thousand miles for
thousands of years to worship them until the Russians conquered the
territory. In the ’50s a steamship company on the Caspian Sea undertook
to collect oil by scraping the surface of the ground, and they carried
it to other ports. It was also shipped into the interior by camel
caravans. Then two gentlemen, a Russian and an Armenian, obtained a
concession to work the deposit, and had a monopoly until 1876, when the
Nobel Brothers of Sweden--Alfred, Ludwig, and Robert--came down, put
their brains to work, built refineries, and have been here ever since.
They now practically control the industry, employing about 10,000
people and have refineries and machine shops covering an area of one
and a half square miles.

“Mr. Arthur Lessner, also a Swede, is general manager. The company is
a stock concern, organized under the Russian laws, and its shares are
dealt regularly in on all the stock exchanges of Europe.

“The specific gravity of the Baku oil is much higher than that of the
American oil,” continued Mr. Norman. “It has a naphtha basis, while
the American oil has a paraffine basis. This oil is more like that of
California. It is better for fuel than for illuminating purposes and is
used for steaming on the railways and steamships in this part of the
empire.

“The distinctive feature of the Nobel refineries is a continuous
system of distillation; that is, a series of stills from which the
various properties of the oil are extracted as the crude raw material
is passed from one to another, each having a higher temperature than
the last.

“There are eighteen pipe lines between the wells and the works,” said
Mr. Norman, “which were built by the Nobels about thirty years ago.
Until then the oil was carried on the backs of camels and in carts.
The common labour is performed by Persians, who are paid from thirty
to thirty-five cents a day (American money), and the skilled labour is
Armenian, which is paid from sixty to seventy-five cents a day. The
Nobel Company has provided neat and comfortable tenement houses for its
employés at the White City, with clubhouses, hospitals and other humane
provisions.”

Mr. Norman says the industry is not prosperous; that the Standard Oil
Company is driving the Baku product out of Europe and that Russia is
now practically the only market the Baku manufacturers are able to
control.

A new oil field has been found within the last year or so near the
town of Maikop, in the northern foothills of the Caucasus range of
mountains, and there has been a good deal of excitement in consequence.
Very little is known about conditions there, however, and the condition
of the market, because of the aggressive policy of the Standard Oil
Company, is not encouraging for its developement. The Standard Company,
everybody admits, can produce a better quality of refined petroleum as
well as lubricating oil and other by-products, and sell them at a less
price in every market in the world, except the Russian Empire, which is
protected by a prohibitory tariff, than the Baku refiners.



CHAPTER XI

DAGHESTAN, AND ITS ANCIENT PEOPLES


Daghestan is a province of Russia which lies immediately north of the
Caucasus Mountains, and for 300 miles or more along the west shore of
the Caspian Sea. It is the tip end of Europe. The Caucasus range is the
boundary between the two continents, and beyond it is the hinterland.
It is the wall of separation between the Christian and the Mohammedan
worlds. Daghestan is also the limit of the region of natural moisture.
It is a well-watered country, with hundreds of rivers and creeks, which
rise in the snow-clad mountains and flow into the Caspian. Beyond
Daghestan it is necessary to irrigate the soil by artificial means
to raise any kind of crops. West of Daghestan are forests, fields of
clover and grain, and pastures that are always green. East of its
boundaries lies a desert which stretches for thousands of miles across
the parched areas of Asia. There is no green thing of natural growth
until the borders of China are reached.

Daghestan has always been the prey of rival powers. It has been
plundered and ravaged in turn by all the Asiatic hordes. Its soil has
been fertilized by the blood of Persians, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns,
Avars, Slavs, Mongols, Tartars, Turks. The “Golden Horde” swept over it
once and again in the great tidal wave of war that lit up the two
continents during the Middle Ages. It has been a battle-ground for
twenty centuries, and the war-chargers of fifty armies have fattened
upon its pastures.

[Illustration: Prince Schamyl “The Lion of Daghestan,” and his sons]

The most important river in Daghestan is the Terek, which is fed by a
glacier on the slopes of that mystic mountain called Kasbek--16,546
feet in height--to which Prometheus was chained. None of the rivers in
Daghestan are navigable, but an almost incredible amount of water power
is going to waste for the lack of mechanical interest and ingenuity.
The inhabitants are farmers and herdsmen; they plow their fields and
reap their harvests and follow their flocks and herds with skill and
diligence, but a Tartar never learns a trade. Agriculture is too
profitable and permits too much leisure for enjoyment, to be exchanged
for any other occupation by those pleasure-loving people. They work
on their farms and in their orchards from the first of May to the
first of September. During that period the custom of centuries forbids
festivities, but after the crops are in, and the cattle and sheep
have been brought down from the mountains into the plains, the Tartar
population give themselves up to their native diversions for the rest
of the year. They are a hospitable people, and whoever breaks bread
or eats salt with them is protected and defended with their lives. A
Tartar farmhouse is a hotel for travellers--a free house of call for
the homeless. No hungry man was ever sent from a Tartar threshold, the
exercise of hospitality being the most important article in their creed.

The women spend their lives at the looms and work up the wool from
the flocks into marketable products--rugs, saddle-bags, blankets, and
other coarse fabrics, which are admired for their design and finish.
The rugs of Daghestan are found on the floors of every city in the
world, and, while they do not compare with those from Persia or Bokhara
and are graded as medium in value, they last forever. The people were
formerly all Mohammedans, and all the Tartars are still--but the
shifting tides of humanity have left adherents of all creeds, and a
majority of the present inhabitants profess the faith of the orthodox
Greek church and are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the patriarch
at St. Petersburg.

There is a railway from Baku to Moscow, and through sleeping cars. The
track hugs the shore of the Caspian Sea for more than a hundred miles,
passing first through a flat, desolate desert, broken by many rocks
of slate and mounds of sun-burned clay. But after several streams are
crossed, mountains appear in the distance and the soil, as well as
the climate, improves. The dryness of the desert is moistened by damp
breezes that blow down from the Caucasus and bring life to the earth.
It was a relief to see green meadows and pastures and verdure-covered
hills, after our long sojourn among the barren wastes of Turkestan. The
meadows were gay in their summer raiment. Wild flowers were fashionable
that year, and the steppes of Daghestan were strewn with them, an
almost infinite variety of colours.

The topography of the steppes of Daghestan resembles the steppes of
North Dakota after harvest time. The surface of the earth undulates
in great waves and ridges. Americans would call it a rolling prairie.
The slopes that face the sun are yellow with the stubble of the grain
that has been harvested. Vast herds of cattle and sheep are grazing
on the northern slopes of the hills, and the absence of fences makes
necessary the employment of shepherds, who wear long, greasy looking
coats of sheepskin, with the wool inside. Their heads are covered with
big shakos that look very heavy and very hot.

At night the sheep are herded in folds made of braided saplings which
are planted and grown for that express purpose. A grove of elms or
hickory or other flexible saplings can be planted at a slight expense,
and when they are two or three years old they can be cut and braided
like basket work. The herdsmen make litters eight or ten feet long and
four or five feet wide, which, when supported by light posts, make a
strong and “hog-tight” fence. Every ranchman has one, and moves it from
pasture to pasture, following his flocks, and turns the sheep and lambs
into this movable corral every night.

The men we saw around the railway stations are Tartars, whose love of
society and excitement brings upon them the contempt of the phlegmatic
Germans and Russians, who scorn such diversions. Their love of dress
also excites the derision of their neighbours. They cling to the
ancient Georgian costume and will not give it up. They wear the
kalak--a long coat with a plaited skirt--and a hood of white woolen
cloth, called a kabula, over their heads, with a long end and tassels
hanging down their back. It is much more graceful than the fez but is
not so dignified as the turban.

The Russian government is diverting immigrants to that section of the
Caucasus from other parts of the empire. Although one of the oldest
communities in the universe, it is still thinly settled. The revolution
of the land-hungry peasants of European Russia in 1905 was followed
by legislation in the duma similar to that of the British Parliament
concerning Ireland, and the great estates are being purchased by the
government, broken up into small farms and sold to the peasants on long
time at a low rate of interest. This movement was hastened and the land
owners were persuaded to sell by arguments similar to those used by
the tenantry in Ireland. The landlords who still refuse to yield are
having a hard time of it. Their barns are set on fire, their cattle are
mutilated, their wheat fields are burned, and various other penalties
are imposed upon them. There is now a law authorizing the compulsory
expropriation of large estates, and the lands belonging to the crown
and the church are being divided and disposed of slowly among peasant
farmers imported from the more densely populated sections of central
Russia.

There are many sturdy Germans there, descendants of immigrants who were
induced to go into the Caucasus by Catherine the Great one hundred and
twenty-five years ago. She gave them large grants of land and relieved
them from taxation and military service, as an inducement to develop
the natural wealth of her empire. By minding their own business they
have managed to get along with the fiery-hearted and hot-tempered
Tartars. The Germans make the best farmers and are the richest portion
of the population. Armenians, Persians, and Greeks are the tradesmen
and the same races furnish the mechanics and labourers. Representatives
of all the races of central Asia are to be found there, and many of
European stock, Latins and Greeks, Huns, Iberians, and Italians,
because when the tidal waves of humanity, to which I have already
referred, receded, a good deal of driftwood was always left behind.

Daghestan has been known to history for three thousand years. Josephus
tells us of a race called the Alans, who dwelt upon the coast of the
Caspian Sea and along the northern slopes of the Caucasus, whence,
passing through “Iron Gates,” they fell upon the Medes and nearly
exterminated them. They invaded Armenia, eight hundred or nine hundred
years before Christ, and laid everything waste behind them. They
crossed over into Persia and made themselves at home in that country
until they were driven out by Cyrus the Great. The “Iron Gates,” so
called, were a part of a great wall, like that of the Chinese, which,
in prehistoric times, extended from the present city of Derbent on
the shore of the Caspian Sea, to the mountain of Koushan-Dagh near
the western limits of Daghestan. This wall is believed by several
authorities to have been built a thousand years before the Christian
era during the reign of a monarch called Nashrevan the Just, for the
protection of his people, who lived north of the Caucasus, against
the wild tribes of Asia. It was eighteen or twenty feet high and so
thick that a squadron of cavalry could gallop along its top. Remnants
are still preserved and the ruins of forty-three castles along its
foundation have been counted between the mountains and the sea. There
was only one passage, through the “Iron Gates” which remained in
perfect preservation until the Middle Ages.

Arabian writers in the early part of the Christian era refer to it
frequently as a gigantic work, and describe fortifications that were
filled with soldiers, and impregnable to attack. The total length of
the wall was two hundred and sixty-six miles so that the castles must
have been about six miles apart. You will remember that the Romans
built a similar wall across the north of England between Carlisle and
Newcastle to keep the Highlanders out of Briton, and other defences of
the kind have been known elsewhere. Oriental writers say that the hour
of prayer used to be communicated along this wall by the sentinels five
times a day.

Other writers attribute the construction of the wall and the gate to
Iskander, or Alexander the Great, who conquered this country and took
possession of it. It was a very important part of his empire, and from
the mountains of Daghestan he drew the bravest and most efficient
horsemen in his armies. He called the people Khozars, and they were
pagans.

Professor A. V. Williams Jackson, of the chair of archæology of
Columbia University, New York, has been engaged for several years in
the fascinating and important task of locating the trail traversed by
Alexander the Great in his conquest of the world between 334 and 323
B.C. He has been able to identify with reasonable certainty nearly all
of the stages made by the great Macedonian in his pursuit of Darius
III, the last of the Achæmenian kings, the places at which he stopped
during his march, and the battle-fields upon which he fought. He is
especially gratified that he has been able to fix with certainty the
location of the famous “Caspian Gates” beyond the city of Rai, which
is ancient Rappa, where the mother of Zoroaster, the founder of the
fire worshippers, was born, between five hundred and four hundred years
before Christ.

Philip of Macedonia, as you will remember, fell by the hand of an
assassin in the midst of his preparations for an invasion of the
Persian empire in the year 336 B.C., and was succeeded by his son,
Alexander, then a mere boy, twenty years old. He had not been on the
throne a year, notwithstanding his youth, before he was recognized as
a greater warrior and a more powerful sovereign than his father and
commanded the universal awe and admiration of the Greeks. At the head
of an army of forty thousand cavalry, infantry, and archers, he started
eastward, on his world-conquering campaign, and fought his first great
battle, B.C. 334, in Asia Minor. He crossed the Taurus Mountains and
subdued Mesopotamia. Thence he marched southward and captured Damascus;
besieged Tyre successfully, passed through Jerusalem, paused to
overthrow the fortress at Gaza, conquered Egypt, founded the city of
Alexandria, which he called by his own name, and there made his first
claim to divinity. Having added all this territory to his empire, he
returned to Mesopotamia and occupied, one after the other, the capitals
of Assyria, Persia, and Media, which were full of wealth and splendour.
The actual amount of gold and silver seized by him in these capitals is
estimated at one hundred and fifty million dollars and the loot made
every soldier in his army rich.

Darius the Great fled before him, and Alexander’s pursuit from
Ecbatana, the capital of Media, through the Parthian passes, is
considered one of the most remarkable of all military campaigns. He
overtook the flying Persian as the latter was dying of wounds dealt
him by a traitor, Bessus, his satrap in Bacoria, in what is now called
Turkestan. Bessus placed the wounded monarch in a covered chariot
and set out to meet Alexander. But Darius refused to follow a band of
traitors, whereupon the conspirators, roused to fury, transfixed him
with their javelins and left him weltering in his blood. Alexander,
who came up only a few moments after Darius had expired, ordered the
body to be embalmed and buried with the honours of an emperor. He
captured and executed Bessus, the regicide, and married the daughter
of Darius, who had no other heir. Thus he assumed, so far as possible,
the character of Darius’s legitimate successor and proclaimed himself
emperor of the East.

He then returned westward to subdue the Caucasus, and marched northward
along the western shore of the Caspian Sea to what was then considered
the limits of the world.

Professor Jackson believes that he then built the wall from the shores
of the Caspian to the crags of the Caucasus Mountains, like the great
wall of China, to hold back the wild tribes of Asia that roamed upon
the northern steppes, and the iron gates near the present city of
Derbent.

After reducing the Caucasus, Alexander invaded the Trans-Caspian
country and marched east and south through Afghanistan, where he
founded a city said to be the modern Kandahar. Then he turned northward
across the Hindu-Kush Mountains and founded another colony, at what is
now Kabul. Then he kept on northward to Bokhara and Samarkand, where
he spent a year or more and built a splendid city which he called
Marakanda.

From there he set out to conquer India and conquered the desert on the
way. In the spring of the year 323 B.C. he returned to Babylon, where
he was met by embassies from all the rulers of the civilized world.
Fresh troops had arrived from Greece for the campaign against India
and the expedition was on the point of starting when Alexander was
seized with fever and died in June, 323 B.C., at the age of thirty-two
years.

The scarcity of maps in ancient times and the frequent changes in
nomenclature in the countries of the East has caused interminable
controversies as to the route of the great Macedonian, and the identity
of many of the places which are associated with his achievements. Dr.
Jackson, who has devoted his life to the study of Persian and Indian
history, undertook to set things straight some years ago and has made
several visits to Asia for that purpose. He is perhaps the highest
authority in America on Persian affairs and has recently published a
book of absorbing interest called “Persia, Past and Present.” A second
book will treat of the Trans-Caspian country and other scenes of the
achievements of Alexander in that part of the world.

Dr. Jackson tells me that he feels confident that he has established
the fact that Alexander built the wall between the Caspian Sea and
the Caucasus Mountains. He has been convinced of this by certain
inscriptions upon tablets attached to the wall, which attribute its
creation to the first world conqueror. And they confirm a belief which
is always cherished. But in his investigations in Baku, the Caspian oil
district, he met with a surprise from which it is difficult to recover,
concerning the age of the ruins of a temple of the fire worshippers
a few miles from that city. It is supposed to have been erected in
very ancient times by pilgrims who were attracted to the banks of the
Caspian because of the naphtha springs that were burning along its
western coast. It is one of the most striking and interesting of all
the ruins in that country. Later comers supposed that these fires
were natural and were worshipped from the earliest times. They built
an imposing temple around them and with great ingenuity conducted the
gas through pipes of cane sheathed with clay to the tops of towers
erected over the gates and at the corners of the enclosure. These fires
were kept up by Parsees from Bombay, descendants of the ancient fire
worshippers of Persia, until early in the ’80s, when the owners of
a concession from the Russian government to develop the oil deposit
seized the place and built a refinery.

Dr. Jackson says: “I always supposed that this fire temple was built
by Zoroaster or some of his followers, and was very much shocked when
I discovered that it is a modern institution; although I still cling
to the belief that it may have been a place of worship for the Persian
fire worshippers from the earliest times.

“In a careful examination of the ruins of the temple at Surakhany,
near Baku, I found seventeen inscriptions, some of them in excellent
condition, and was able to make photographs of them all. Six of them
are on the outside and fifteen on the inside of the walls, and they
are all dated in the eighteenth century A.D., instead of the sixth or
eighth century B.C., as I have always supposed. There is no question
about it. The temple is not only modern, but it was built by Hindoo
fire worshippers--Brahmins from the Punjab--survivors of the old
Vedic worship. They were probably Hindoo merchants at Baku and were
reminded of the faith and the forms of worship of their ancestors by
finding these flaming springs. Furthermore, some of the inscriptions
correspond very closely with those I have seen at Kanzra, in northern
India.

“It has always been a mystery why there is no mention of this temple
in ancient Greek and Roman accounts of the Caucasus and the Caspian
country, which have frequent references to the burning springs of
naphtha. Nor do any of the early Mohammedan writers mention the temple.
The first we hear of it is about the beginning of the eighteenth
century in a narrative of a London merchant named Hanmay, who went
over to that country on a trading expedition and wrote a book about
the Caspian Sea and the surrounding country. He describes the temple
and the fires and gives some interesting information concerning both.
Gibbon in his history describes the temple and says it was destroyed by
Heraclius, the Christian emperor of Byzantium, in the seventh century,
but that is not true.

“I have been able to locate most of the places identified with the
campaigns of Alexander of Macedonia,” continued Professor Jackson, “and
it has been an exceedingly interesting task.

“I have been able to trace back the history of the city of Derbent for
several hundred years before Christ. Notwithstanding its location on
the shores of the Caspian Sea, so far from what we generally assumed to
have been the scenes of human activity at that period, it has had an
important and busy place in history, and is frequently referred to by
writers in ancient days. For example, Tacitus tells us that Alexander
quartered his invalid soldiers there in 330 B.C.

“I have not been able to decipher the inscriptions upon the tablets I
found in the temple of the fire worshippers at Surakhany. I cannot
read the language in which they are written, and I don’t know anything
about them, but one of these days we hope to make them clear.”

Señor Don Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, “chamberlain of the most high and
puissant Lord Don Henry, third of that name, King of Castile and Leon,”
who visited the court of the great Tamerlane, the emperor of Asia,
at Samarkand as an ambassador in 1403, refers to the iron gates in
the wall at Derbent. He speaks also of others in the mountains which
separate China and Turkestan, where, he says: “There is a pass leading
up by a ravine which looks as if it had been artificially cut, and the
hills rise to a great height on either side, and the pass is smooth
and very deep. In the centre of the pass there is a village, and the
mountain rises to a great height behind. This pass is called ‘the gates
of iron,’ and in all the mountain range there is no other pass, so
that it guards the land of Samarkand in the direction of India. These
‘gates of iron’ produce a large revenue to the lord Timour Beg, for all
merchants who come from India pass this way.

“Timour Beg is also lord of the other ‘gates of iron,’ which are near
Derbent, leading to the province of Tartary, in the city of Caffa,
which are also in very lofty mountains, between Tartary and the land
of Derbent, facing the Sea of Bakou, and the people of Tartary are
obliged to use that pass when they go to Persia. The distance from the
‘gates of iron’ at Derbent to those in the land of Samarkand is fifteen
hundred leagues.

“Say if a great lord, who is master of these ‘gates of iron,’ and of
all the land that is between them, such as Timour Beg, is not a mighty
prince! Derbent is a very large city, with a large territory. They
call the ‘gates of iron’ by the names of Derbent and Termit. At this
house they made the ambassadors a present of a horse, and the horses of
this country are much praised for their great spirit. These mountains
of the ‘gates of iron’ are without woods, and in former times they say
that there were gates covered with iron placed across the pass, so that
no one could pass without an order.”

Daghestan was the most costly province ever added to the Russian
Empire. It cost thirty-five years of war and the sacrifice of 200,000
soldiers to subdue the fierce mountain warriors, the Lesghians, the
Teherkess and the other tribes, who were the fiercest fighters in
Europe, and are said to be the descendants of the Hittites of the Old
Testament. They were pagans until Mohammed appeared. Since then they
have been fanatical in their adherence to Islam. They were taught
the art of war by the savage Scythians in prehistoric times, and the
aboriginal tribes were amalgamated in the Middle Ages with the Golden
Horde of Kirghiz from the desert of Khiva, which swept through eastern
Europe like a cyclone. Many of those desert warriors settled here,
and from them descended the hardy, fearless, uncompromising race who
continued to fight for their independence long after Georgia and the
Circassians had acknowledged the sovereignty of the czar. Fifty years
ago Daghestan was called “the graveyard of the Russian army.”

Through the gorges of the Caucasus for more than a generation the
ablest generals in Russian history, including three czars--Nicholas,
the iron czar, and the Alexanders I and II--fought in vain to subdue
those fearless people, who, with one man to their forty, defeated
them often in open fights as well as in ambush among the impregnable
fortresses of nature. Not until the resources of the country were
exhausted and nearly all the towns and cities were laid waste and the
population of fighting men was almost exterminated did they yield.
Finally, when further resistance was impossible, Prince Schamyl,
prophet, priest, astrologer, and necromancer, the hereditary sultan
of those Tartar tribes, laid his gory scimitar at the feet of General
Baryantinsky and took an oath of allegiance to Alexander II. The lord
of the Caucasus, the lion of Daghestan, as the old warrior was called,
was permitted to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he died of a broken
heart beside the tomb of the Prophet and was buried in the sacred city.
After the surrender his warriors settled down on farms and ranches and
have been blessed with great prosperity, although they are restless
of disposition and have made an occasional display of temper and
dissatisfaction that has called for discipline.

The men of Daghestan are irrepressible fighters. They inherited their
warlike habits, and are never so happy and never so contented as when
they are engaged in a desperate campaign. During the war of 1877–8
between Turkey and Russia many of the more fanatical Mohammedans
crossed over into Asia Minor and joined the army of the sultan because
they recognized him as the Padishah of Islam and the lineal successor
of the Prophet. But after peace was arranged most of them came back
to their homes, and Gen. Loris Melikoff, one of the few Armenians who
have risen to military distinction and received honours in the Russian
service, became their governor.

Melikoff is a remarkable man. He conducted the campaign against Turkey
east of the Black Sea under the nominal supervision of the Grand Duke
Michael, brother of the czar, was made an aide-de-camp to the emperor,
and at nine and twenty was commander-in-chief of the Caucasus. As a
rule, Armenians do not make good soldiers. They are merchants instead
of military men, but Melikoff ranks as one of the most brilliant and
successful commanders of the Russian army.

The first and only important city on the railroad between Baku and
Vladikavkas is Derbent, a market for the produce of a large area of
well cultivated fields, for the wool of a thousand flocks, and the
hides of a thousand herds. A good deal of timber from the forests of
the Caucasus is shipped across the Caspian from there also and goes to
Turkestan. Most of the freight is loaded upon barges, towed over to
Astrakhan, and thence up the Volga River to Moscow, Kavan, and other
manufacturing centres.

Derbent is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. It is situated
on the western coast of the Caspian, and has about forty thousand
inhabitants, who are a mixture of all bloods and races and clans. It
is supposed to have been founded in prehistoric times by a race known
as the Aylans, from which the German people sprang. It was besieged
by Alexander of Macedon, by Cyrus the Great, emperor of the Medes
and Persians. All of the great warriors of ancient history have sat
before its walls, recognizing the strategic value of its position and
the importance of placing a shield before the approaches to Persia,
Armenia, and Kurdistan, which have been the prey of every ambitious
empire-builder since the time of Christ.

Another city of lesser importance is Petrosky, comparatively modern,
without much history, but, nevertheless, a busy shipping port for
grain. The small steamers that ply the Caspian are continually going in
and coming out as they find their way between Petrosky and the other
Caspian ports. Much grain is grown upon the steppes of Daghestan, and
the larger part of it is transported to Astrakhan, to be ground into
flour to feed the people of Moscow and Petersburg. At Astrakhan, the
mouth of the Volga, all freight brought by steamer is transferred to
barges, which ply that great river far to the northward.

When the train leaves Petrosky it starts directly westward toward
the mountains, and is welcomed by a row of glorious peaks which rise
snow-clad toward the heavens. The highest peak in the southern part
of the range is called Bazar-Duez, and measures 14,723 feet; the
next highest are Shah-Dagh, 13,951 feet; Kourousch, 13,750 feet;
Doulty-Dagh, 13,425 feet; Kontana-Dagh, 11,425 feet; Goudour-Dagh,
11,075 feet; and a dozen more of ten thousand feet and less. They are
full of romance as well as history. Daghestan has been the scene of
very important events, but during the last four or five centuries,
since America was discovered and the development of European
civilization has required so much attention, it has been overlooked.

The original of the tragedy of Mazeppa, Byron’s hero, was Ivan
Stephanovich, the son of a Tcherkess prince, and was born in 1644.
While a page at the court of one of the petty principalities of Russia,
a nobleman discovered that his wife was in love with the handsome
young mountaineer, and with the cruelty characteristic of the Tartar
race, caused the boy to be stripped naked and bound upon the back of
a wild horse, which was turned loose upon the steppes. After days of
wandering without food Ivan was carried unconscious into a Cossack
camp and after a time became secretary to the hetman or chief. His
influence grew until, in 1687, he was elected chieftain. He won the
admiration of Peter the Great, who bestowed upon him the title of
Prince of the Ukrain, but a few years after, when Peter revoked some
of the ancient privileges and liberties of the Cossacks, he organized
a rebellion against his patron. Before he had a chance to make a
public demonstration the conspiracy was discovered, and Mazeppa fled
for protection to the court of Charles XII of Sweden. Being unable to
capture the rebel, Peter the Great ordered his effigy to be hanged upon
a gallows before the palace, and his capital, Baturin, was sacked and
burned and razed to the ground. Mazeppa’s romantic career furnished the
plot for several novels and dramatic works in addition to Byron’s poem,
and suggested a theme for several famous paintings.

There seems to be something in the atmosphere of the Caucasus to
addle religious ideas and inspire queer interpretations of the Bible.
A majority of the population were formerly Mohammedans, but large
numbers have been converted to the Russian church, although an active
propaganda is not permitted by the government. There are about 500,000
Protestants from Wurtemberg and other German states, who were induced
to settle there during the reign of Catherine II. They hold fast to
their faith, and have built a Lutheran church in almost every town,
where the herr pastor supplements his scanty salary by farming or fruit
growing.

One of the queerest sects of dissenters, which has sloughed off
the orthodox Greek organization, is called “Sgrannyky,” which means
“wanderers.” They have no homes nor houses of worship; no priests
or organizations. Their preachers are elected from among the most
intelligent members of the community, who preach, baptize, perform
funeral obsequies, expound the Scriptures to inquirers, and often teach
in the parochial schools.

The “wanderers” claim to be the only true and literal followers of
Christ. They have “given up everything,” as He commanded. They denounce
the Russian Church for having corrupted the simplicity of the original
faith. They condemn the splendid ritual and ostentatious forms of
worship in temples which cost millions of rubles for unnecessary
architecture and ornaments and vestments, which should be sold and the
proceeds given to the poor.

The “wanderers” hold their services in the open air, like the Druids,
and the “Bush-Baptists” of our own Southern states, because Christ
never preached under a roof or in a temple made with human hands. They
abstain from the exercise of the privileges and rights of citizenship;
they refuse to pay taxes because a portion of the revenue of the
Russian government is devoted to the support of the church; they avoid
being counted in the census, because they do not acknowledge the
sovereignty of the czar; and refuse to sign or accept written contracts
or agreements of any kind, because they regard writing as an invention
of the devil.

Another queer sect are called Hlistys or “People of God,” who practice
a life of absolute chastity, mutilate their bodies, inflict torture
upon themselves, refuse to accept any compensation but food for their
labour, renounce all luxuries and comforts, and believe that by so
doing they purify their spirits and become perfect in holiness.

Another and similar sect style themselves the Stundists, or “Brethren
in Friendship with God.” They adhere to a strict interpretation of the
Bible, live simple lives, renounce wealth, give all they have to the
poor, condemn the institutions and ceremonies of the Russian church,
and are intolerant toward people who do not agree with them.

The “Old Believers,” or Douhobortsy sect, many of whom have emigrated
to Canada, are quite numerous down there, and are among the most
prosperous and successful of the farmers. They were banished from
northern Russia to the Caucasus during the reign of Alexander I, and
forcibly deported by the government at the instigation of the holy
synod. They are, however, honest, industrious, law-abiding farmers,
who educate their children with great care, practise all the virtues
we commend, and are at fault only in some odd practices and queer
manifestations of spirituality which are not conventional.

We awakened in the morning in the midst of a wide prairie which
reminded us more than ever of North Dakota, and we saw what looked like
American reapers in the fields and heard their music above the noise
of the train. Much of the harvest work was being done by women, which
isn’t the Dakota way, but the men are in the army and somebody must
reap the grain. Another thing equally unlike North Dakota is that the
conductor and porter of the train wear big revolvers at their belts,
one on either side, which look like business, and suspended from their
belts behind them are round leather scabbards, like cylinders, into
which something is thrust that looks like a policeman’s club. We
discovered afterward that they are signal flags, tightly rolled and
always within reach.

The train turned westward later in the day to run for many miles along
the foot of the mountains, and at a handsome stone station that might
easily be mistaken for an armoury, we changed to a branch line for the
city of Vladikavkas and the famous Dariel Pass, one of the only two
pathways through the Caucasus.

Vladikavkas is a typical Russian city, founded in 1775 by Prince
Potemkin by direction of Catherine the Great, upon the site of a native
village called Kapoukaya, which means “the gate of the gorge.” At that
time it was of considerable importance to the Russians as a post of
defence against the rebellious mountain tribes, and it has grown into
a busy, bustling, commercial city, with a rich agricultural territory
to support it, and is a depot of military supplies for the entire
Caucasus. The name is spelled several ways--Valdicaucasus, Viadicaukus,
and otherwise, according to the nationality of the speller--but each
of the versions has the same meaning, and that is “the master of the
Caucasus,” for its garrisons command and protect the Dariel Pass and
the military road which was built through its gorges to Tiflis by the
Russians half a century ago. Considered from a military standpoint,
there is no more important highway in the world, and when the next war
between Russia and Turkey occurs within the next ten years, a continual
procession of troops and wagons loaded with ammunition and military
supplies will be passing down to Armenia and Asia Minor through its
narrow defiles.

[Illustration: City Hall of Vladicaucasus]

Vladikavkas has fine, broad streets, which, however, are either very
dusty or very muddy at all times. They are laid out at right angles
and planted with poplars; and the main street, which is a hundred and
sixty feet wide, has a promenade in the centre for the entire distance,
shaded by two rows of trees on both sides and watered by dashing
streams that flow through the gutters. Booths for the sale of tea and
beer, catch-penny shows, seats for the weary, band stands and kiosks
occur at frequent intervals, and in the long twilight of the summer
evenings all the people of the town come out to promenade up and down
this pleasant way, to listen to the military bands, to greet each other
and gossip, and to learn what is going on in their little world.

An electric car line reaches every corner of the city, which is a great
convenience because, like all provincial towns in Russia, Vladikavkas
covers an enormous area. The houses are chiefly of a single story,
built of stone around a courtyard, and occupy large spaces. The shops
are filled with attractive stocks of merchandise, and there are several
large warehouses in which all kinds of agricultural machinery is
offered for sale. Nearly all of it comes from the United States.

The official residence of the governor-general, a city hall of
fantastic Oriental architecture, and a Russian cathedral with five
green domes, are the most conspicuous buildings except the barracks
and military hospital. Just outside of the city is an immense military
school, accommodating five hundred cadets, and a hospital for sick
soldiers, almost as large. Nearly every other man you meet on the
street wears a military uniform, and the dining-room at the hotel
looks like an officers’ mess at headquarters, for most of the tables
are occupied by colonels and generals and favoured gentlemen of the
staff. These signs illustrate the importance of Vladikavkas to the
Russian government, and, although the czar is on friendly terms with
everybody just at present, his preparations for war do not seem to be
suspended. In addition to commanding the approaches to the Dariel Pass,
Vladikavkas is also the northern terminus of the Manisson Pass, the
only other highway over the Caucasus, and is connected with the ancient
city of Kutias over what is known as the Ossetian Road. The distance is
longer and the grades are heavier than those of the Dariel Pass, but it
is the shortest route to Batoum and the Black Sea, and for that reason
is of the greatest importance.

Both of these passes are heavily fortified and numerous monuments have
been erected along the way to mark spots of historic importance and
to inspire the army with a heroic and patriotic feeling. One of these
monuments is in honour of a private soldier.

In 1840, during an uprising of the Circassians, the Mihailovosky fort,
about half way through the pass, was garrisoned by a detachment of
the Seventy-seventh regiment of Russian infantry, under command of
Captain Liko. Being besieged by the rebels and short of provisions and
ammunition, he decided to blow up the place at the next assault. The
remaining powder was converted into a mine and placed under the only
approach to the fort, and a private named Arhippe Ossipoff volunteered
to apply the match. When the besieging force had broken down the gates
and were surging through the archway, Ossipoff fired the mine. Nearly
every man in the Russian garrison and all of the enemy perished, and
the few survivors crawled down the road to tell the news.

When he heard the story the emperor issued a general order commanding
that the name of Arhippe Ossipoff should remain forever upon the muster
roll of the Seventy-seventh regiment. Every morning at dress parade it
is called with the rest, when the first sergeant replies:

“Arhippe Ossipoff died for his country and for the glory of Russia.”



CHAPTER XII

THE CIRCASSIANS AND THE COSSACKS


It is seventy-two hours by the fastest train from Vladikavkas to
Odessa, which is a practical realization of the size of the Russian
Empire, but the fastest trains are very slow when measured by the
American standard. The government, which owns and operates all the
railways in Russia, charges for extra speed on express trains, and then
runs them at twenty miles an hour, with long waits at every station.
It seemed unnecessary and unreasonable to delay a train for ten or
fifteen minutes every time it stopped, but I thought there must be some
reason for it, and I tried to gratify my curiosity by an investigation.
Inquiry disclosed the caution of the railway managers. When a train
arrives at a station the conductor notifies the man in charge of the
station ahead, and also the chief despatcher wherever he may be. He
then waits for orders. The telegraph operator at the next station
reports to the train despatcher that the track is clear, and the latter
then, and not until then, gives orders for the waiting train to move.
They take no chances. On a single track road one train only is given
the right of way, regardless of side tracks, and everything else is
held up until it is reported at the next station.

[Illustration: Type of the old fashioned Circassian]

The track traverses the great granary of Russia, which corresponds
to Minnesota and the Dakotas in the United States. The land is held
in large estates, partly cultivated by tenant farmers, and also
by a well organized system under the direction of administrators or
stewards, as they call them. Absentee landlordism is the curse of
this country, as it was in Ireland, and the profits of the crops are
wasted in St. Petersburg and Paris, in gambling and high living, and in
all possible forms of extravagance. Very little of the money is left
in the country; very little is used to improve the property or the
conditions of the tenants, although there are commendable exceptions.
Every village is an index to the character of the man who owns it.
The peasant farmers and the employés of an estate dwell and govern
themselves in communes or mirs, as they are called, and each has a
little tract of land for his own use, which he can cultivate at odd
times when his services are not needed on the farm. The landlord is
supposed to keep the houses of his tenants and employés in order, and
is expected to contribute to the support of the poor and afflicted,
to build a church and keep it in order, and to exercise a patriarchal
protection over everybody who lives on his estates, but this is only
theoretical in too many cases. The practice of a majority of the
landlords is to squeeze every cent they can get out of their tenants
and squander it in pleasure and dissipation.

The Russians are inveterate and reckless gamblers, and in the play of a
single night often lose enough money to make their tenants comfortable
for a generation. We were told of a Russian landlord of Daghestan who
lost $400,000 in a game at the Jockey Club in Vienna in one night.

These big estates, however, are being broken up, under a law passed
since Russia has a constitution, and are being divided into small
farms among the families who actually till them.

Large towns are few and far between, but the villages are numerous.
There are three or four cities of 25,000 or 30,000 inhabitants, markets
for the grain and other produce of the country, in a thousand miles,
but people there are accustomed to long distances. Rostov is the scene
of the commercial transactions of the population for 300 miles or more
on both sides of it.

One of the most prosperous towns is called Ekaterinodar, which means
“Catherine’s Gift,” and there is a story connected with it. The site
was presented to a colony of Cossacks by Catherine the Great as a
reward for their loyalty in 1792, and, with the reckless generosity
that characterized all the acts of that extraordinary woman, she built
their houses and shops and churches for them. It is now a thriving city
of 60,000 inhabitants, with a large trade in horses, cattle, sheep, and
grain.

At Piatigorski one can get the best view of Elburz, the highest
mountain in Europe, which lifts its proud head 18,526 feet above
the sea and looks even loftier than it actually is because it rises
almost directly from the plains. It is buttressed with other peaks
10,000 feet or more in height, but rises above the rest of the range
fully 7,000 feet like a block of Parian marble, pure and spotless and
without a flaw, one of the noblest pieces of sculpture ever carved by
the Creator’s hands. The native poets have called it the “Snow King’s
Citadel,” and it is the abode of Osching Padishah, “Emperor of the
Air.” His diadem of snow is eternal. Dikhtau, 16,924 feet in height,
Ikhara, 17,278 feet, Koshantan, 17,196 feet, and Kasbek, 16,546, make
the finest and grandest group of mountains this side of the Himalayas.

On a tablet imbedded in the walls of the public library at Piatigorski
is inscribed a record of the various attempts to ascend Elburz, and
a Circassian named Killar is credited as being the first to reach
the summit. Killar’s achievement is disputed, however, and the first
authentic ascent was made by two Englishmen, D. W. Freshfield of
Birmingham and a companion, with Swiss alpine guides, in 1868. These
gentlemen climbed Kasbek the same summer, and were probably the first
to do so.

The Circassians are a superstitious and a poetic people, and like
the North American Indians, have a legend attached to every freak of
nature and a story to explain every mystery. Their imaginations are as
fertile and as full of poetic conceits as the “Children of the Mist”
on the coast of Ireland. It is unfortunate that somebody has not taken
the trouble to translate their traditions and folk-lore into English.
The Circassians really have no literature, although their poets have
written many charming lines and there are two or three local histories
of merit.

They call Kasbek by many names, the “Ice Mountain,” the “Mountain
of Christ,” and the “Mountain of Bethlehem,” and among the ignorant
Ossets--one of the largest of the Circassian tribes--the belief exists
that the tent of Abraham and the manger in which Jesus was born are
preserved in a cavern under the eternal snow.

About one hundred years ago an aged priest organized an expedition to
ascend the mountain for the recovery of the sacred relics, but the old
man died from fatigue and the rest of the party were driven back by
storms. Several were so badly frozen that they were crippled for life.
Their sufferings and their failure were accepted as a decree of fate
and the sacred relics still lie in the cavern concealed by the snow.

All the territory west of Vladikavkas to the end of the mountain range
is known as Circassia. The inhabitants are divided into several tribes
of the same race but of distinct organization. They are descended
from the ancient Iranians and have occupied their country for about
2,600 years, so far as known. The Circassians are the most reckless,
irresponsible, and superstitious of all the people in that part of the
world. They are proverbially handsome, of perfect physical proportions,
active, brave, and temperate in their habits, but heartless, cruel,
relentless, and always unreliable. Few of them are industrious or
thrifty, or saving, they have no morals and for centuries have sold
their daughters to replenish the harems of wealthy Turks.

It is said that the name Caucasian was adopted for one of the main
ethnological divisions of the human race because Professor Blumenbach
found the most perfect types of skulls in Circassia.

The physical perfection of the women, and their vivacity, their
cheerfulness, their affectionate dispositions, and their adaptability
to any conditions in which they may be placed, made “Circassian
Beauties” the most desirable recruits for the harems, and the low
esteem in which the feminine sex is held by the Circassians made it
easy for them to sell their daughters into slavery. In ancient times
no Turk of any prominence or pride was without at least one Circassian
houri in his harem. The mother of Abdul Hamid, the late sultan of
Turkey, was a Circassian. But the sale and export of this class of
produce has been stopped by the Russian authorities, and the changing
conditions in Turkey have diminished the demand for Circassian beauties.

[Illustration: Type of the Circassian beauty]

[Illustration: A Circassian gentleman]

You have doubtless seen them in the side shows of circuses, and in
the dime museums throughout the world are hundreds of Circassian
girls leased by their parents for exhibition purposes. While they
are among the proudest of human beings, and, as I have already said,
are celebrated for their affectionate and generous disposition, the
Circassians are the only people in modern times who have ever sold
their daughters into slavery.

Among other national characteristics, which, however, is confined to
the Lhesian tribe, is bushy hair, similar to that worn by Paderewski,
the pianist. It is not universal. It is a tribal fad, and is cultivated
for the same reason that the German emperor has spent so much time in
the training of his moustache. Long hair is usually associated with
cranks, artists, and musicians, but in Circassia business men and even
farmers train their kinky locks to stand out from their skulls until
they have heads as big as a bushel basket. We see them on the street,
at the railway stations, and other public places.

The Circassians are almost always in rebellion against the Russian
government. They are not susceptible to discipline; they will not obey
the laws and they dislike to pay taxes. Although they profess the
most intense love of country, in 1858 nearly one half the population
of Circassia emigrated to Asia Minor, Bulgaria, and other provinces
of Turkey, carrying with them their insubordinate dispositions and
reckless habits rather than submit to a code of regulations introduced
by the Russian authorities.

One of the tribes, known as the Swannys, still practise the Mosaic
doctrine of atonement. When an injury is suffered or an offence is
committed they do not appeal to the courts, but impose the penalty in
person upon the cattle or the horses, or the crops or other property,
or upon the person of the offender. It is called “the Code of Blood,”
and the present code was prepared by Prince Royal Vakhtang in 1703. In
this code the life of a noble, an archbishop or a general is estimated
at 15,000 rubles ($7,500), and each social grade has its value, down to
the peasant, whose life is estimated at 6,000 rubles. If the offender
has no cash there is a clause authorizing that “cattle may be given in
lieu of coin.” A horse is estimated at sixty rubles and a bullock at
twenty in such settlements. If the offender refuses to settle for money
the price is paid in blood.

Only a few years ago a Circassian of wealth and influence, of education
and refinement, told a friend of mine in Odessa that he intended to
kill one of his neighbours at the first opportunity because the man
was odious to him and was making love to his daughter. He was afraid
the girl would yield to his blandishments and therefore thought it
judicious to kill him. He had come to Odessa in advance of committing
the crime for the purpose of borrowing funds to pay the blood money.

Rostov-on-the-Don, the capital of the Cossacks, is a live city, with
an enterprising and prosperous population of 160,000 or more; wide
streets, fine business blocks, handsome homes, attractive parks,
splendid churches, and all the modern improvements. It is one of the
greatest grain shipping ports in the world, being favourably situated
at the mouth of the river Don, and at the head of the Sea of Azov,
but that body of water is so shallow that most of the grain barges
that come down the river are towed on to Taganrog, the next port,
about thirty miles below, where there is enough water to accommodate
a 2,500-ton steamer. The channel at Rostov is only twelve feet. The
Sea of Azov is very shallow over its entire area, and has flat, sandy
shores, which slope so gently that a bather can wade two or three miles
into the water without wetting his ears. The Russian government has
promised to dredge a deeper channel and probably will do so one of
these days.

The valley of the Don is a famous wheat field, stretching back for
a hundred miles or more on both sides of its banks, and producing
large crops. The land is mostly owned by the Cossacks. They are very
progressive and seek the most efficient means of multiplying their
labour. Hence Rostov has an enormous trade in agricultural machinery
and implements. Several American companies have agencies there. The
Cossacks buy a great deal of machinery and implements, mostly Russian
ploughs, American harvesters, hay rakes, spreaders, etc., and English
threshing machines.

The valley of the Don is owned by the Cossacks. The entire province
belongs to the tribe collectively and is allotted in parcels of various
sizes to the different families, who occupy and cultivate it generation
after generation, although the title remains in the tribe. The
fisheries in the river and the Sea of Azov, the timber on the slopes
of the mountains, and everything else in the way of real property
belongs to the tribe in common. Some of the Cossacks have individual
wealth, none are poor. Those who save money and let it accumulate by
fortunate investments, however, are comparatively few. The majority are
spendthrifts. They know they will be taken care of by their tribe,
and that takes away the incentive to economy. The individual wealth
consists of horses, cattle, securities, household furniture, ornaments,
and investments of various sorts. Every Cossack, therefore, when he is
born is immediately a land owner.

The name Cossack was originally spelled “Kasak,” and is a Tartar word
meaning vagabond. This indicates the origin of this famous clan.
The original Cossacks were adventurers and outlaws from Circassia,
Daghestan, Georgia, and other parts of the Caucasus, whose restless
disposition drove them away from the homes of their fathers. They
joined the Russians living along the banks of the river and made up
that portion of the czar’s subjects known as the “Cossacks of the Don.”

Although they consider themselves the most essential part of the
Russian Empire, the Cossacks have always insisted upon maintaining
their independence and are actually a state within a state. They
were always wild and irresponsible and made guerrilla raids upon the
adjoining provinces. In 1770 they supported a pretender to the Russian
throne, who gave himself the title of Peter III. His followers ravaged
the valley of the Volga and threatened Moscow, but in 1775 were beaten
in battle with terrible loss. Pugatcheff, the pretender, was captured
and executed. After a time the Cossacks were granted amnesty and made
a treaty with the government of Catherine II, under which they were
given a vast tract of land on both sides of the river Don, and were
made practically independent. In return for these privileges they
agreed to furnish the czar a certain number of soldiers for his army,
without pay. That is the reason the Cossacks, the most important corps
in the Russian service, receive no compensation or rations or other
supplies. They provide their own horses and uniforms, their own guns
and ammunition, their own camp equipage, and receive no money whatever
from the public treasury.

Every Cossack is a soldier for life, subject to instant orders, and
always keeps a horse saddled and a rifle loaded ready for service.
A certain number are always in the army. Every Cossack is expected
to serve fifteen years consecutively and be ready to answer every
call that is made. The only exemption is made in favour of the sons
of dependent mothers, bread winners of families dependent upon them,
fathers who already have three sons in the service, priests and
teachers, and one out of four brothers. A rich Cossack can hire a
substitute if he pleases, and many of them do so.

Although the Cossacks are Tartars and come from Mohammedan stock, most
of them belong to what is known as the “Old Believers,” a sect of the
Russian Greek Church which condemns the splendour and extravagance
displayed in the houses of worship, the ritual, and in the ceremonies
of the Church, and advocates a return to the simple forms of worship
practised by the Saviour and His disciples. A small number of the
Cossacks still remain Mohammedans.

The beautiful black horses which the Cossacks ride and which are
admired by every one who visits Russia come chiefly from the province
of Tamboff, southeast of Moscow, northeast of Odessa, northwest of
Rostov and adjoining the Cossack province. This stock was introduced
from Arabia by Prince Orloff, the famous favourite of the Empress
Catherine II, and were scattered by him among the stock growers in
different parts of European Russia. Tamboff became the centre of the
breeding business because conditions are most favourable there. It may
be called the Kentucky of Russia. Nearly all the farmers have breeding
studs. There are several estates with thousands of mares that drop a
colt each annually. They are all dead black, without a blemish, with
long tails, beautiful thick manes, gentle dispositions, great speed
and endurance. The breeder never sells a mare; you never see a mare
working in harness--always a stallion, and they cost on the farm from
two hundred and fifty dollars up.

The farmers of southern Russia are quite contented with present
conditions. They have always been loyal to the czar, but they
applauded the constitution and unanimously approve of the legislative
government. They are also very generally in favour of the platform
of the constitutional democrats, which advocates making the ministry
responsible to the duma, instead of the czar, and thus having a
parliamentary party like that of Great Britain.

The government has established a string of land banks in order to loan
money to the farmers to buy land and to improve their holdings. When a
large estate is offered for sale the land is divided into small farms
by government appraisers, who fix the value and make out the deeds to
the purchasers. The land bank advances the money and takes a mortgage
on the property for thirty-five years at 3¼ per cent., 2½ per cent.
being considered as interest and ¼ per cent. being placed in a sinking
fund to redeem the bonds that are issued to raise the purchase money.

The farmer pays his annual interest into the bank in four quarterly
instalments. I was told that the sale of the lands belonging to
the crown and to the church is practically a humbug. A large area
belonging to both has been sold, but it was of comparatively little
value. The best quality and the largest proportion of both church and
crown lands have been reserved and will not be sold until some future
revolution compels the government to dispose of them.

The revolution of 1906 is practically forgotten. As soon as the farmers
of southern Russia got a law passed allowing them to buy farms of their
own they accepted the situation in good faith and have relied upon
the government to carry out its part of the agreement honestly. As
soon as they have land that they can call their own they are perfectly
contented.

Most of these peasant farmers are descended from serfs, who were
emancipated by Alexander II and they continue to live upon the soil
which their fathers worked as slaves, and they recognize the sons of
the men who owned their ancestors as their “patrons.”

The average Russian peasant is honest and industrious; he pays his
taxes and gives one fifth of all his income to the church, but he has
a terrible appetite for strong drink, and vodka, the Russian brandy,
made of potatoes, is his curse. The government, however, has done a
great deal to promote temperance. It has a monopoly of the liquor
business, both in manufacture and sale, and its policy to prohibit
the sale of liquor in agricultural villages has been strictly applied
to a considerable section in southern Russia, where no strong drink
of any kind can be obtained. Some of the country districts, generally
speaking, are strictly prohibition, but the sale of liquor as a
beverage is still permitted in the cities and the larger towns, and at
first-class restaurants, hotels, and eating houses.

A benevolent society, of which the duke of Orenburg, a brother-in-law
of the czar, is president, is doing a great deal of good in supplying
substitutes for saloons--temperance resorts and loafing places, where
the peasants can spend the long winter evenings amusing themselves,
without getting drunk. Non-alcoholic drinks are sold at these places,
with a sufficient profit to maintain them, and they are now found in
almost every village.

The greatest drawback among the peasant class in southern Russia is the
lack of schools. If the church would spend less money for gilded domes
and resplendent decorations in its houses of worship, and more for
school-houses, it would be a great benefit to the people. But whenever
you criticise the absence of school-houses, the loyal Russian always
attributes it to the lack of teachers. If you discuss the subject with
school boards and other educational authorities, they will tell you
that it is impossible to obtain competent teachers. The chief reason
is the low wages offered by the government. The peasants have been
making money for several years. They are saving it, and many of them
are using every means within their reach, except education, to improve
their condition. They have better homes and furniture than they ever
had before; they are breeding up their horses, sheep and cattle; they
are buying labour-saving machinery and the best seed in the market, and
still have money in the bank.



CHAPTER XIII

THE CRIMEA


The Crimea, the loveliest gem in the crown of the czar, is a trophy
captured by Catherine the Great in one of the numerous wars of conquest
that have been brought by the Russians against Turkey. These wars have
been going on at intervals for centuries, and will continue to occur
until the patriarch of the Greek orthodox church presides again at St.
Sophia, the most famous of all Mohammedan mosques--once a Christian
temple. The Turks let the sign of the cross remain upon the pediment
over the entrance that faces toward Mecca as a reminder and a taunt to
the Christian world.

After Catherine captured the Crimea she attempted to realize the dream
of Peter the Great by chasing the Turks from Europe. She proclaimed
her supremacy over all the northern shore of the Black Sea and
made preparations to erect her throne in Constantinople. It was a
magnificent scheme of conquest, and it might have been carried out but
for the outbreak of the French Revolution and a national uprising under
Kosciusko in Poland. Her attention was thus diverted from the south,
and it was left for Nicholas, the “iron czar,” to subdue the Caucasus
and extend the limits of Russia to the Caspian Sea.

In 1787 Catherine made a triumphal journey to visit her new
possessions. She rode in a chariot covered with gold leaf and bearing
her monogram in diamonds upon the doors. The axles of the wheels were
studded with costly gems and never was such a splendid equipage used by
mortal. It outshone the chariots of the fairies, and you may see it,
if you wish, preserved with other relics of the most luxurious of all
queens, in the Kremlin at Moscow.

The empress was received everywhere with great enthusiasm by the
communities her soldiers had conquered. Festivals and illuminations
were prepared to impress her with the loyalty of her new subjects and
Prince Potemkin, her viceroy, built a road 200 miles long through the
wilderness in order that her journey might be more comfortable. She was
convinced of the glory and prosperity of her dominions and over the
gate through which she passed into the city of Kherson, thirty miles
north of Odessa, was this inscription:

“This is the way to Byzantium”--the Russian name for Constantinople.

By the same war Russia got Odessa and the north shore of the Black Sea.
Alexander I renewed the struggle in 1855, for the purpose of taking the
south coast and the northern provinces of Asia Minor from the sultan,
when the intervention of England, France, and Sardinia provoked the
Crimean war. It was not until 1877 that the conquest was resumed by
Alexander II, and Russia then gained Batoum, and the eastern shore of
the Black Sea, and a portion of Armenia; deprived the Great Turk of
Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and established the independence
of Montenegro under the protection of the Powers. And the end is not
yet. The advance of the Russian boundaries toward the Mediterranean and
the winning of a port upon the Pacific as an outlet for the products
of Siberia are the fixed policy of the Romanoffs and they will
fight until they get it. The late war with Japan set back the pointer
upon the dial of Russian conquest, and the results which had been
accomplished by diplomacy in Manchuria were lost. That will all have to
be done over again, and the task will be ten-fold more difficult, but
it will nevertheless be attempted, sooner or later.

[Illustration: Gateway to Aloupka Palace, The Crimea]

By the next war Russia expects to gain the south coast of the Black
Sea, and the northern provinces of Asia Minor. In anticipation of
early possession, Nicholas Cherikoff, the czar’s ambassador at
Constantinople, has succeeded in concluding a treaty under which the
Turkish government is pledged not to permit the subjects of any other
nation but Russia to build railways, to buy mines, to secure control
of any form of property, or engage in any form of enterprise in that
territory. When an American syndicate was seeking a railway concession
in Asia Minor not long ago its representatives were notified by the
Turkish minister of public works that it could not build its tracks
north of Sivas; that Russia claimed exclusive rights in the belt
of provinces lying along the southern coast of the Black Sea. This
humiliating confession is loaded with significance. It illustrates
the foresight and the determination with which the Russian policy of
conquest is conducted.

The Crimea is one of the loveliest spots on earth--“A Little Paradise,”
the Tartar inhabitants call it, as fertile as it is beautiful, with a
climate as attractive as its scenery, and every physical condition that
is favourable to health, happiness, and prosperity. That is one of the
reasons why the peninsula has been fought over so fiercely through all
the ages by the dominating nations of the earth.

The peninsula, which extends from the southern coast of Russia into
the Black Sea, is almost circular in form, and measures 225 miles
east and west and 155 miles north and south at its widest points. The
total area is about ten thousand English square miles. The delightful
climate and the scenic attractions have made the Crimea the playground
of Russia, and the southern coast is lined with splendid villas
belonging to rich nobles, merchants, and manufacturers, and hotels of
all descriptions, villages of boarding-houses, and popular resorts for
the accommodation of the ten thousand. The hotels are open the year
around, the thermometer runs up to ninety degrees in midsummer, but the
heat is tempered by cool breezes that play upon the Black Sea, and in
winter the climate is ideal. The best months for comfort are May, June,
October, and November, and the imperial family of Russia usually spend
them here at a villa called Livadia, where the late Alexander III died
several years ago.

A range of mountains called the Yallis runs parallel with the southern
and eastern coast, culminating in Tohadyr-Dagh, a peak which rises
4,800 feet above the waters of the Black Sea, and is surrounded by
other peaks between three thousand and four thousand feet in height.
The southern coast is very abrupt and picturesque. The cliffs rise
abruptly from the water to the height of 2,000, 3,000 and even 4,000
feet, and are crowned with domes, pyramids, pinnacles, and spires
of rock as fantastic as the architecture of a dream. The cliffs are
honeycombed with caverns caused by the decomposition of the limestone
and are the delight of geologists, because of their stalactites and
stalagmite formations. Other phenomena are abundant. Hot springs
and mud volcanoes bubble up, spout steam, and indulge in other
frightful manifestations, which made the Crimea uncanny and mysterious
to the ancients, but in these prosaic days the hot mud is used to
cure rheumatism and skin diseases, and the hot water to restore the
digestive apparatus of Russian gluttons.

These caverns were once inhabited by a mysterious race called the
Cimmerians and Troglodytes, who were supposed to live in darkness and
worshipped a virgin goddess named Iphigenia. When a stranger landed
on their shores they robbed him and sacrificed him on her altars. In
modern times the hotel landlords carry on a similar business on a cash
basis. They allow strangers to depart with their lives, but without
their money.

The mountains of the Crimea are covered with dense forests and wild
flowers grow there more abundantly than in any other part of Europe.
The woods and meadows are carpeted with white and purple violets. The
tulip, the veronica, the lily of the valley, the geranium, sweet peas,
and other flowering plants reach perfection in a wild state, and are so
plentiful that nobody thinks of cultivating them. In the northern part
of the Crimea are salt lakes from which a hundred million pounds of
salt are harvested annually by evaporation, and distributed throughout
Russia, bringing much profit to the operators, and a large revenue to
the government. The coast abounds in a great variety of fish, which
furnish another profitable occupation for the people, and are shipped
by train loads into the interior of Russia every day.

In ancient times the Crimea produced vast quantities of corn, which
was exported to Greece and Rome and other Mediterranean countries,
but agriculture has been supplanted by horticulture, and the sunny
slopes of the peninsula are covered with orchards and vineyards and
truck gardens. The Crimea is famous for wines, although they are
too sweet and heavy for the American taste. Fruits of every kind,
peaches, apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries,
and currants, walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, hazel nuts, melons, and
vegetables of every variety are produced in enormous quantities
and shipped to northern Russia. The Crimea is the hothouse, the
conservatory of the empire, and supplies early vegetables to the tables
of the rich residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow, as the truck forms
of Florida provide for those of our northern cities.

The largest part of the population of the Crimea are
Tartars--Crim-Tartars they are called, to distinguish them from other
representatives of that race--Crim being the Russian form of the word
Crimea. They are Mohammedans and have a streak of the savage left
in them. No Tartar was ever thoroughly civilized. They resemble the
Sicilians in character and habits--in their passionate natures, their
jealous dispositions, their vendetta and love of revenge, but they are
a sober, industrious, generous-hearted people, whose most sacred fetich
is hospitality. They never turn a stranger, even a tramp, from the
door. They are always courteous, always deferential and expect their
kindness to be returned in good faith.

The Crim-Tartars have a genius for gardening. They love plants and
trees and flowers. Whatever they sow brings forth a thousand-fold. They
tend the orchards and the gardens of the peninsula, raise the fruit and
make the wines, carry on the fisheries, furnish household servants
for the hotels, boarding-houses and villas, and leave shop-keeping
and trading to the Armenians and the Jews, who are numerous there
as everywhere else in southern Russia, and control financial and
mercantile affairs.

The Crimea is a fascinating field for historians and archæologists,
for its original inhabitants furnished much material for mythology,
and their remains abound in various parts of the little peninsula. The
Cimmerians, the first inhabitants referred to in history, were known
to Homer and Herodotus, and their gloomy situation is described in the
“Odyssey” xi, 15:

     “There in a lonely land and gloomy cells
      The dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells;
      Unhappy race! Whom endless night invades,
      Clouds the dull air and wraps them round in shades.”

The Scythians, an Asiatic tribe, drove the Cimmerians out of the
Crimea in 680 B.C. The latter crossed the Black Sea and settled along
the coast of Asia Minor. Thence they spread over Europe and were the
founders of three races--the Welsh, the Milesians, and the Goths. Welsh
names abound throughout the Crimea, and in the mountains of Wales the
old families are known as Cymry.

The Strait of Kertch, which connects the Sea of Azov with the Euxine,
or Black Sea, is labelled the “Cimmerian Bosphorus” on all the early
maps. The word Bosphorus means, literally, “the passage of an ox,” and
is an ancient designation of all streams and water-courses which will
permit an ox to cross them by wading or swimming.

The port of Theodosia, the first important town on the Black Sea south
of Kertch, dates back a thousand years before the Christian era and was
known to Ptolemy, Strabo, Pliny, and the historians and geographers of
the Romans, Greeks, and the Egyptians under the name Caffa; afterward
as Ardava, which means “the city of the seven gods.” This was the
capital of the Milesians in the seventh century before Christ, and it
was a place of great importance. Scattered throughout the country are
tumuli, which are believed to be the graves of kings, and several of
them have already been explored with surprising success. Herodotus,
the Greek historian, who must have visited Crimea about 375 or 400
B.C., describes the peninsula in considerable detail, and tells about
the burial ceremonies of Scythian chieftains. The same customs were
followed by the Milesians in Ireland centuries afterward.

He relates that when a king died his body was embalmed and laid in
a tomb surrounded by at least one of his wives and several of his
servants and his horse, who were strangled for that purpose. His
weapons, golden cups, and other articles of daily use were placed
beside him in the sepulchre, in order that he might be properly
equipped in the next world. Earth was then piled upon the tomb until it
formed a miniature mountain. Several of these tumuli have been opened;
one, in which Parisades I, who was king of Crimea in the fifth century
B.C., was buried, contained the skeletons of his queen, of several
attendants, a horse with helmet and greaves, various arms and utensils
for eating and drinking, and the bones of a sheep.

In the neighbourhood of Kertch are extensive catacombs similar to those
built by the early Christians in Rome. Excavations conducted under the
direction of the Russian authorities several years ago disclosed rich
ornaments of gold and silver, quaint arms and utensils of exquisite
workmanship, which are now in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg.
The walls of the catacombs are plastered over and covered with
cryptographs and paintings, containing the history of prominent people
who are buried near by. They are similar to the inscriptions on the
Egyptian tombs, and represent combats, hunting scenes, court ceremonies
and various other human activities, with accurate pictures of horses,
oxen, dogs, and other animals. The men are usually represented in
shirts of mail, wearing trousers supported by belts and conical
caps similar to the Turkish fez. These catacombs date back at least
twenty-five hundred years, and in several cases the occupants can be
identified as the early sovereigns of the Cimmerians and the Milesians.

In the sixth century B.C., a Greek colony from Ionia settled near
Kertch and dedicated their city to the god Pan, calling it Panticapæum.
Coins bearing the effigy of that divinity have been dug up in the
neighbourhood. In the same century the Scythians sent a force of men
into Asia Minor to assist in repelling the invasion of Darius. In the
year 480 B.C. the king of the Crimea was Archæanax. His successor was
Spartacus, who died 438 B.C. The people of the peninsula preserved
their independence until 115 B.C., when Parisades, the last native
king, surrendered to Mithridates, who was the sovereign of twenty-two
nations, and able to converse with the inhabitants of all of them
without an interpreter.

From that time on the Crimea was the scene of continual struggles. The
Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Goths, the Huns, the Genoese,
the Venetians, the Byzantines, and other races succeeded one another in
control at intervals of a century or two. The Golden Horde of Tartars
in the fourteenth century drove out the Genoese and retained control,
although compelled to pay tribute to the Turks, until in 1771, when
the Tartar khan, Sahym Ghyrey, surrendered to Prince Potemkin and the
Crimea became a part of the Russian empire.

One of the early rulers, Pharnaces, son of Mithridates, A.D. 63, was
in command of the forces that were whipped by Cæsar so easily at the
battle of Zelah as to cause him to send his famous despatch to the
Roman senate: “Veni! Vidi! Vici!”

Another of the kings of the Crimea, Polemo II, a pagan, married the
daughter of King Agrippa of Bible fame and adopted the Jewish faith,
which he afterward renounced when his wife deserted him.

The Tartar khanate, which dates from 1380, had its capital at
Baghtchasarai, about thirty miles northeast of Sevastopol and the same
distance northwest of Yalta. The Khan Sarai, or palace, was restored
and refurnished according to the original style by Prince Potemkin
for the reception of Catherine the Great when she visited the Crimea
in 1787. It is a fantastic building of barbaric splendour, and it is
said to be described in the famous poem “Lallah Rookh.” The Russian
poet Pushkin rhapsodizes over its beauties in some pretty verses
of description. It is by no means as beautiful or as extensive as
the Alhambra in Spain, but resembles it in the arrangement and the
decoration of the apartments.

There are several well-preserved tombs of the khans who reigned
between 1380 and 1786, including a graceful mausoleum, similar to those
at Delhi outside the walls, in which repose the mortal remains of
Deliarah Bikeh, the beautiful Georgian wife of Khan Shahim Gherai. Her
original name was Maria Potorzka. She was the daughter of a Georgian
chieftain, a Christian by birth and training, and refused to change
her religion. In one of the apartments of the palace is a fountain
which her husband, Shahim Gherai, erected in her memory as a symbol of
the tears he shed after her death. It is called “the flood of tears.”
Outside the walls, in an octagonal mausoleum with a dome, she is
buried, and over the door is written in Tartar characters:

“This is the tomb of Deliarah Bikeh, beloved wife of Shahim Gherai,
died 1746 A.D. She was a Christian.”

The fountain bears the same date.

About four miles from the town, upon the crest of a lofty crag called
Chufut Kaleh (“Jewish rock”) is another stately tomb. It is regarded
as one of the finest specimens of Tartar architecture in existence,
and was erected in 1437 in honour of a Jewess, Nene Kejeh, queen of
Toktamysh, khan of the Golden Horde.

There are many Jews in this part of the Crimea, whose ancestors came
there eight centuries before the Christian era. They are of the Karaim
sect and follow the Mosaic laws strictly. They are supposed to have
many old manuscripts of priceless value, but the Russian government
has never been able to secure any of them for the Imperial Library
at St. Petersburg, although repeated attempts have been made. The
museums at St. Petersburg have collections of great value and interest
illustrating the arts, industries, habits, and customs of the early
occupants of the Crimean peninsula. There are also many interesting
ethnological and archæological examples in a pretty little museum at
Odessa; but only a few of the ruins of ancient cities have ever been
excavated and many tumuli remain unexplored. It is a popular impression
that the manuscripts carried from Jerusalem at the time of the
captivity and brought to the Crimea shortly after, are numerous and of
the greatest value, but the rabbis pretend to know nothing of them.

The Karaims in the Crimea have enjoyed full rights and privileges
as citizens of Russia since 1802 and have never suffered from the
restrictions and persecutions of their race elsewhere. They live in a
suburb of Baghtchasarai, from choice and not from compulsion. The name
means “the stronghold of Israel,” and it has been the headquarters
of the community for 2,500 years. From this stronghold the sons of
Karaim have scattered over the peninsula and along the northern coast
of the Black Sea in pursuit of trade, and like most of their brethren,
they are industrious, energetic, and successful competitors in every
business in which they engage.

Their synagogue stands upon a hill called Mount Zion, their cemetery is
in the valley of Jehoshaphat, where thousands of tombstones bear Hebrew
inscriptions. The most ancient epitaph that can be deciphered commends
the virtues and piety of a rabbi, Moses Levi, who died “in the year 726
after the exile,” which is the same as the year 30 A.D. Another marks
the grave of “Zadok, son of Moses the Levite, who died 4,000 years
after the creation, and 785 years after the exile,” which was 89 A.D.

There are many Karaims in southern Russia, and more in Egypt and
Turkey. They are found in larger or smaller numbers everywhere along
the coast of the Mediterranean. They adapt themselves very readily to
their surroundings. In the Crimea they speak the Tartar language; in
Odessa they speak Russian; in Athens they speak Greek, and in Egypt
their language is the Arabic.

The market place of Baghtchasarai is one of the most interesting places
in the Crimea. The display of fruits and vegetables makes the observer
hungry. It also gives an unusually good opportunity to study ethnology,
for representatives of the most ancient races in the world, which have
exhausted themselves or have been exterminated elsewhere, may be found
engaged in ordinary avocations, unconscious of the fact that, counting
generations of ancestors, they are entitled to the distinction of being
the aristocracy of the earth. The Jews, the Cimmerians, the Milesians,
the Scythians, the Tauri, families in the Crimea, have pedigrees that
run back farther than human history.

The habitations of European seashore resorts are very much alike, and
consist of solid rows of masonry packed as closely as possible, with
large windows fronting the water. The ground floors are always occupied
by a series of gayly decorated show windows, with small shops behind
them, restaurants, cafés, flower stalls, and confectioners. On the
opposite side of the street there is always a sea wall, with a heavy
stone balustrade, protecting a cement promenade, from which piers
at intervals extend over the water and to the bath houses that are
clustered on the beach. All the life and all the ardour of those who
come for health or pleasure are expended upon this thoroughfare, which
is crowded from ten to eleven o’clock in the morning until midnight,
and the restaurants, tea pavilions and cafés are always filled with
people eating and drinking and having what they consider a good time.

Yalta, which is considered the Newport of Russia, the most fashionable
resort for both winter and summer in that great empire, resembles,
in the way I have described, those of France and Spain, Italy and
England, but here nature has also offered irresistible inducements for
the rich people to build villas upon the slopes of the mountains that
rise in the background, leaving a belt of about a mile wide to be thus
occupied. There is a Greek church, with five gilded domes, numerous
hotels and handsome residences belonging to grand dukes, princes and
other dignitaries; rich merchants and manufacturers. They are mostly of
very ornate architecture, built of rough brick or stone, covered with
white stucco and embellished with elaborate mouldings over the windows
and doors and along the cornices and the balconies. Some of them are
painted, and, in two or three cases, the owners have their coats of
arms displayed in brilliant colours on the walls.

One of the most attractive villas is that of the emir of Bokhara, a
political protegé of the Russian government. He goes there every winter
and sometimes in the summer, also, for he is glad to get away from home
as often as the Russian government will permit him. His villa is a fine
specimen of Saracenic architecture. He has a farm back in the hills,
also, but seldom goes there.

The hotels are very comfortable, large rooms well furnished, good meals
well served, and, during the summer months, the tables are placed on
the lawn, a practice which the managers of the hotels at our summer
resorts at home might adopt to the comfort of their patrons, instead
of feeding them in hot, close dining-rooms, blazing with light. In the
heat of midsummer a dinner will be relished a great deal more if it is
served on a lawn under the shade of a tree in the soft twilight, than
in a superheated dining-room. The charges are high, quite as high as
they are at any of our fashionable resorts, but that is to be expected.
European hotel people have discovered to their profit that tourists
will pay whatever is asked, and there are no more ten-franc-a-day
stopping places on the continent.

The bath houses are not so large nor so good as in America, and
comparatively few people bathe. The women are afraid of spoiling their
complexions and the men find more sport in other diversions.

There are lovely drives in every direction from Yalta, and waterfalls,
gorges, highly decorated gardens, dense groves, observation towers,
restaurants and all sorts of attractions scattered along the slopes of
the mountains, which rise 2,500 or 3,000 feet behind the town. I am
told that there is an average of about 7,500 visitors at Yalta daily
the year around, for in that climate, like that of Monterey and Santa
Barbara, California, one month is as pleasant as another. Hence, people
from the north of Russia come in the winter and people from the south
of Russia in the summer, and the hotels are always filled.

There is no railway, although they are talking of one to connect with
the trunk lines that run between Sevastopol and Moscow. Everybody
has to come on the steamers from Sevastopol, Odessa, Nicholaief,
Rostov, Batoum, and other ports on the Black Sea. The visitors from
St. Petersburg, Moscow and other northern points take a train to
Sevastopol and then come around by steamer in four hours, or by
carriage over a wonderful mountain road, a ten-hour ride. The steamers
are not very comfortable because the state-rooms are all below the
water line, so that the port holes cannot be opened, and there is no
ventilation; but the voyage between Yalta and Sevastopol is made both
ways in the day-time, in order to give passengers an opportunity to
enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery along the coast, and they keep
well in toward the shore for that purpose. I do not know of any other
sea voyage that will equal it for scenery.

There is a roadway around to Sevastopol from Yalta cut out of the side
of the cliff, on a level averaging 300 or 400 feet above the water,
and often running as high as a thousand feet on the slopes of the
precipices, which was built by the late Prince Woronzoff. It is one of
the most delightful and picturesque drives you can imagine. You leave
Sevastopol at nine o’clock in the morning, lunch at the Gate of Baidar,
which is the water shed, spend the night at Aloupka, and drive over to
Yalta in time for luncheon the next morning. There is a procession of
carriages loaded with tourists going both ways daily.

For nearly the entire distance a wall of rock rises from 1,000 to 4,000
feet almost abruptly from the Black Sea, being broken at intervals by
gorges and narrow valleys which run back into the fertile fields in the
interior of the Crimea. Wherever there is room for a handful of soil it
is cultivated. There are Tartar villages every few miles, and between
them orchards, vineyards, gardens, and truck farms, from which fruit
and vegetables are shipped to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The tables of
the rich people of those cities and other parts of Russia are supplied
with early vegetables and fruit from this source.

Below the roadway and between it and the water many beautiful villas
are located among the rocks and the trees. Hotels and sanitariums occur
every few miles. The hard, smooth roads are kept in perfect order and
decorated on both sides with sweetbriar roses, which continue to bloom
through the entire summer. There are myriads of wild flowers also, for
which the Crimea is famous, and it is said to have a larger variety
than any other place in the world.

This coast is much more beautiful than that of Dalmatia, although it
lacks the life and colour that is given the latter by the costumes
of the women and the men. It is more like the drive from Cork to the
Lakes of Killarney than any other place I know. The French Riviera is
more finished and polished and complete, the villas are finer; the
hotels are more imposing and the architects and landscape gardeners
have embellished nature to a greater extent, but there is more natural
beauty on the Crimean coast.

You cross the highest point, 2,200 feet, at Baidar Gate which occupies
the site of an ancient fortification intended to protect the tax
collector and to prevent hostile armies from passing along this coast,
and there you eat your luncheon upon a balcony from which you can look
down more than 2,000 feet upon the turquoise waters of the Black Sea.

Near by, upon a promontory projecting out from the precipice, a
beautiful Byzantine church has been erected as a memorial to a tea
merchant of Moscow named Kouzedneff, who had a winter villa on the
coast immediately below. The interior of the church is extravagantly
decorated and with much taste, and among the paintings is the
Christmas scene in the manger at Bethlehem. A beautiful babe lies on
a pile of straw in a stable, emitting a halo of light from its entire
body, like a block of phosphorus or radium, while a girl and a young
man in the costumes of Russian peasants look down in adoration upon
their child.

Aloupka is not so fashionable as Yalta, but is more beautiful. The
location is more picturesque and the surroundings are more attractive.
It is an assortment of hotels, boarding-houses, and sanitariums
collected around one of the most unique and fascinating country seats
I have ever seen--the palace of the Woronzoff family, built in 1839
by a governor of the Crimea of that name. He was one of the most
famous fighters in Russian history and one of the ablest executives,
and contributed more to the glory of Catherine the Great than almost
any other of her servants. He was viceroy of the Crimea and afterward
of the Caucasus, and his grandson, Prince Woronzoff Dashkoff, is
governor-general of the Caucasus to-day.

The Woronzoff palace occupies a terrace one hundred and fifty feet or
so above the Black Sea, and a stately stairway, fit for any palace,
extends from the threshold of the main entrance to the edge of the
water, being guarded on both sides by marble lions, some of them
asleep, some of them awake, some of them yawning and others in a
playful mood. The façade was copied from one of the palaces of the
Alhambra, which critics have pronounced very much out of place on
a Tudor castle. Four Byzantine towers at the corners of the walls
have also been objected to as untasteful intrusions. The rest of the
architecture is in harmony and resembles that of an English castle
of the period of Henry VIII. It was built by Sir Matthew Blore, an
English architect.

There is a monumental hall and dining-room with wainscoting and ceiling
of heavy carved oak; a drawing-room done in Wedgwood tiles of blue and
white; a second drawing-room in empire style, a library that would
not be out of place in one of the Oxford colleges, and other rooms of
dignity and perfect order. There is a large courtyard upon which the
offices of the estate and the stables open. The latter are now occupied
by a battalion of troops, which have been considered necessary to
protect the place since the revolution.

The grounds, which are unique, are always open to the public and
attract many visitors to the town. They include a dense artificial
forest of thirty acres at the foot of a precipice 4,000 feet high,
filled with enormous bowlders that during the ages have fallen from the
cliffs in odd shapes and lodged in positions which the landscape artist
has utilized in an ingenious and artistic manner. There are said to be
1,140,000 plants. Every tree was planted by hand and 127 varieties are
represented. Every plant and flowering shrub that will grow in that
climate may be found upon the grounds, and we were told that some of
the varieties cannot be found elsewhere in the Russian Empire.

Everything seems to be unique. For example, a large bowlder shaped like
an irregular pyramid, with the narrow end upward, has been converted
into a fountain. A hole has been drilled through it and a pipe has been
laid which throws a stream of water an inch in diameter to the height
of fifty feet, but strangest of all is the tomb of a pet dog, whose
precious bones occupy a marble sarcophagus large enough for a child,
placed in the centre of a cave formed by two enormous bowlders which
lean against each other. Chiseled upon the rock at the side of the
entrance is this epitaph:

                              CHEMLEK
                   Born in Brussa, May 20, 1861.
                   Died Aloupka, Nov. 24, 1874.

Near by is a grotto fitted up as a chapel, with an altar and the
stations of the cross, where, the old bearded Tartar who showed us
around said, the Princess Woronzoff-Dashkoff used to pray for the soul
of her dog.

The owners seldom visit this beautiful estate. The prince has been
viceroy of the Caucasus at Tiflis for many years and affairs there have
been so troublesome as to require all of his attention.

In front of the park at Sevastopol is a monumental sea-gate called the
“Grafskaya Pristan,” or “landing place of the nobility.” A stairway of
white marble fifty feet wide leads from the edge of the water to the
summit of the bluff, where is a classic marble pavilion, supported by
twelve Ionic columns. Here the czar and other distinguished visitors
are received with ceremony. This pavilion was erected as a memorial
to Prince Mihail Simonovitch Woronzoff who, next to Potemkin, was the
empire-builder of southern Russia. Traces of his ability and evidences
of his energy and enterprise are found everywhere. He was one of the
earliest governors of Odessa, where he founded numerous educational and
charitable institutions and gave an impulse to trade and commerce. He
was equally a benefactor to Sevastopol and the Grafskaya Pristan was
a tribute of the people to the permanent benefit he conferred upon
them.

[Illustration: Villa of the Czar at Livadia, Crimea]

Another interesting place near by is called “Gaspra,” where three
notorious women who had been banished from the Russian Court at
St. Petersburg took refuge and not only repented of their sins but
attempted the impossible task of converting the Tartar population to
Christianity. One of them was the Princess Galatzin, whose amours were
more notorious than those of Catherine the Great; another was the
Baroness de Krudener, who told Alexander I, to his face, in a crowded
ballroom, that he was an awful sinner. The third was the Countess de la
Mothe, who was publicly whipped and branded in Paris as an accomplice
in the theft of a diamond necklace from Marie Antoinette.

Another beautiful estate in that neighbourhood, which belonged to Gen.
Leo Naryshkin, was laid out by Joachim Tascher, said to have been a
natural half-brother of Josephine, the first empress of France. When
Napoleon became emperor, Josephine offered Tascher a position suitable
to his rank and relationship, but he declined and begged to be allowed
to remain in obscurity, to follow his favourite pursuit of gardening.

Alexander III, emperor of Russia and father of the present czar, died
October 20, 1894, in a pretty little villa near Yalta, on the southern
coast of the Crimea, overlooking the Black Sea. It was his favourite
residence, as it was that of his father, Alexander II, before him. At
Livadia he could throw off those dignities which hedge about a king,
and live like an ordinary man. A stately chapel of the Byzantine type
of architecture, with five gilded domes, stands on the hillside near
by as a memorial to this man whose piety and devotion were among his
most marked characteristics. He was a stern, relentless, implacable
autocrat, very different in character and disposition from his father
and his son, men of amiable disposition and great forbearance.

It is a singular fact that every alternate czar has been a tyrant and
every other one a broad-minded man of liberal views. But Alexander
III was embittered by the assassination of his father, who was
the most generous and benevolent of all the czars. He emancipated
the serfs and gave them land and a draft of a constitution giving
Russia a parliamentary government, which he intended to confer as a
voluntary gift upon his subjects, lay upon his desk the morning he was
assassinated. He was gentle and considerate and unselfish as McKinley,
and died the same way. No assassination was ever less excusable.

Alexander III was naturally of a reticent, morbid disposition, without
the slightest sense of humour, but lofty aspirations and a keen
appreciation of his imperial prerogatives and power. He conceived it to
be his duty to punish the entire 135,000,000 population of Russia for
the crime of a few fanatics, and thus arrested the progress of Russian
civilization during the entire period of his reign. He even went so far
as to issue an edict forbidding the education of the peasants, because
it made them discontented, closing all the schools in Russia to the
children of the labouring class and permitting the attendance only of
those whose parents had a certain income and paid a certain amount of
taxes. This decree was revoked by his son Nicholas II, who has few of
his characteristics, and is as different from him as one man can be
from another.

Alexander III sent more poor creatures to Siberia than all the other
czars. He was neither merciful nor just; his heavy hand fell upon
the innocent as well as the guilty. No modern monarch has caused so
much grief, so much suffering, or was guilty of greater cruelty and
injustice in his administration.

No Oriental king of the Middle Ages was more fond of display, or
more rigorous in his requirements concerning the ceremonies and the
etiquette of his court, yet the man loved to escape his imperial
splendour and seek rest and recreation in a cottage of not more than
twenty rooms, with his wife and children and a few Tartar servants.
There he lived the simple life and enjoyed it. There was no ceremony;
there was no etiquette; there was no imperial prestige to maintain.
There he became the husband and father instead of the king.

In the palaces of St. Petersburg he was always surrounded by Cossacks,
policemen, and detectives, even in the family circle, and never crossed
the threshold of his apartments without a military guard. At Livadia,
fearless of anarchists, he wandered about the village with his wife and
children, talked familiarly with the Tartar peasants, and often visited
the villas of his friends. There was a guard at the gate and a sentinel
at the door of the cottage, but he never had an escort when he went out
for his walks or drives.

There are thousands of more spacious and pretentious country villas
in Russia; there are hundreds of thousands in the United States more
beautiful, more luxurious and better equipped than that in which he
lived and died. Every village in America has homes equally elegant
and comfortable, but Alexander III found it the most satisfactory and
the most restful of all the places in the world. In the little red
cottage, with its broad verandas and its walls half hidden with vines,
he could forget the affairs of state that made his reign so stormy.

Alexander II, his father, fled to Livadia every winter for two or three
months for relaxation from the stern and tragic life he was compelled
to lead. The present czar has spent his happiest days there, also, and
during his childhood was brought every winter to escape the arctic
climate of St. Petersburg, with his governesses and tutors, and the
rooms which he and his brothers occupied remain very much as they
were in those days. They open immediately off a small hallway in the
centre of the cottage on the ground floor, and the windows, which are
only breast high from the lawn, overlook the garden. They are small
and cosy, but very plain. Boyish traps are still hanging on the walls;
tennis rackets, fencing foils and masks and rubber-soled canvas shoes.

There is an ordinary hat rack, a table and two plain chairs in the
entrance hall. Two or three hats that belonged to Alexander III still
remain where he hung them when he wore them last. The children’s
schoolroom and the bedrooms of the boys occupy one half of the ground
floor. On the opposite side is a dining-room, a very plain apartment,
with a polished floor and a rug and sideboards, carving tables,
high-backed mahogany chairs and a table that will seat twenty.

Back of the dining-room is the kitchen, and over it, on the second
floor, is the drawing-room with handsome and tasteful but inexpensive
furniture. There is a grand piano, a Swiss music box, upon a stand
in the corner; a collection of fans and other feminine trifles in a
cabinet; several presentation books and albums, and rather ordinary
paintings upon the walls.

There is a suite of three rooms for the emperor and a corresponding
suite for the empress. Her sitting-room is very pretty, with a Brussels
carpet on the floor and hangings and upholstery of cretonne. Her
bedroom is furnished with the same material and is similar to those
you can find in every country-house of well-to-do people and much more
convenient than any palace apartment I have ever seen. The bedstead
is of brass with a canopy and curtains of cretonne. Between the
sitting-room and the bedroom is a dressing-room, with several large
wardrobes and a storeroom for linen with chests of drawers.

The czar’s library contains two desks of plain, ordinary white oak, one
for himself and one for his secretary or military aide. It is furnished
with substantial leather tufted furniture, cretonne hangings and an
ordinary Brussels carpet upon the floor, while the walls are hung with
family photographs, including a group taken on the front porch of the
cottage when the late King Christian, Queen Alexandra of England, King
George of Greece and other relatives of the Dowager Empress were there.
There are several photographs of Queen Alexandra of England and King
George of Greece about the house. The affection and devotion for which
the royal family of Denmark is famous is illustrated by the number of
photographs that are scattered around.

The czar’s sleeping chamber is a large, square room with an outlook
upon the Black Sea. It is left exactly as it was when he died. His bed,
a large four-poster with two mattresses, is shielded from the light by
a high screen, and beside it is a small iron camp bedstead that was
used by his nurse. In the corner is a cabinet bathtub, which closes up
like a settee; in the centre is a table, with several Russian books,
reviews and newspapers--the last he read. There is a sofa behind it
with a pillow embroidered with the imperial arms, where he rested in
his last days. Beside one window is a large easy chair, in tufted blue
leather, much worn, and rather shabby, in which Alexander III sat when
he breathed his last. He died of a combination of Bright’s disease and
dropsy, and his lungs and heart were drowned. For several days before
his death he was unable to lie down, and slept in this chair. It stands
exactly where it was when he died, and where his feet rested a cross of
olive-wood has been embedded in the floor.

The rooms of Alexander II in the winter palace at St. Petersburg and
those of Nicholas I, the iron czar, are preserved in the same way, and
will never be occupied again. But no emperor ever died in such simple,
homelike surroundings as Alexander III.

The widow has never been there since she left for St. Petersburg
with the funeral cortege, but Nicholas II, the son, always spends a
portion of the year in Livadia, usually three months in the fall. The
old vine-covered villa, which has been photographed and used as an
illustration for books and magazines so often, has been torn down,
and a splendid palace of white sandstone, to cost $750,000, has been
constructed on plans prepared by Architect Krasnoff of Yalta.

There are 700 acres in the estate, 250 acres under cultivation and the
rest in park. Nearly 200 acres are in vineyards, and the best wine of
the Crimea is said to come from the emperor’s grapes. It is not
made on the place, but the grapes are hauled to a wine press in the
neighbourhood.

[Illustration: Villa at Livadia in which Alexander III died]

The estate is surrounded by a high barbed-wire fence, draped with
honeysuckle and creepers. It lies between the main highway and the
Black Sea, and people who drive that way can get a very good idea of
the establishment--the groups of stables, the cottages for aide-de-camp
and members of the household, the conservatories, the chapel, and other
buildings which are scattered over the place, and half hidden in the
foliage. There is an especial residence for the cabinet minister, who
attends the czar, and apartments for the entertainment of other members
of the government who are brought here on official business. Nothing,
however, is pretentious. Many summer homes in the United States surpass
it in every respect, but Livadia will always be sacred to Russians
because of its associations with Alexander III.



CHAPTER XIV

SEVASTOPOL AND BALAKLAVA


When the Crimea was annexed to Russia in 1783, Prince Potemkin
recognized the natural strength and military advantages of a village
called Ak-yar and the marine advantages of its harbour, which is a
narrow, deep fiord, extending inward several miles between low hills.
A few weeks after the treaty was signed which gave Russia sovereignty
over the peninsula, Catherine the Great, upon his recommendation,
issued an edict directing the creation of a military and naval station
and a fortress at that point.

She passed two days here in 1787 and rechristened the place with
a combination of two Greek words: Sevastos-polis, which means, in
English, “honoured” or “august city.” From that time Sevastopol (it
is pronounced Sevas-tow-pol--with the accent on the “tow”--) next to
Cronstadt, the Gibraltar of the north, has been the most strongly
fortified place in Russia, the military and naval headquarters of the
Black Sea, with a shipyard for the construction of vessels, shops for
the manufacture of guns, engines, and other machinery and equipment,
both military and naval; and the natural advantages have been improved
with such skill and expense as to make the finest and best equipped
military harbour in Europe. Sevastopol is purely a military town. Every
resident is either connected with the army or navy, or is dependent
upon one or the other branches of that service.

The city was almost entirely destroyed during the Crimean war, but was
immediately rebuilt and made stronger than ever. The Crimean war was
the result of the intervention of Great Britain, France, and Sardinia
for the protection of Turkey against the aggressive movements of
Russia, which insisted upon a treaty with the sultan giving the czar
the protectorate over all members of the Greek Church in his dominion,
who comprise about three fourths of the population of Turkey in Europe.
This claim could not be conceded by Turkey without ceasing to remain
an independent state, and war was declared against Russia in March,
1854. England and France sent fleets and armies to support Turkey and
a campaign was fought on the Danube to resist the Russian invasion.
Fleets of transports, loaded with Sardinians, French, and British
troops were sent to the Black Sea, through the Bosphorus, and landed at
Varna, which is now the port of Bulgaria, in April and May, 1854, but
cholera broke out there, and in September following, an army of 25,000
British, 25,000 French, and 8,000 Turks was transferred to the Crimea,
and disembarked thirty miles north of Sevastopol, where they fought the
battle of Alam and commenced the siege of Sevastopol.

The Battle of Balaklava followed on the 25th of October and that of
Inkerman on the 5th of November. Inkerman was known as the soldiers’
battle, because of the absence of officers of high rank. The British
camp was surprised by the Russians on a dark and drizzly morning when
most of the officers were absent, and the soldiers sustained a hand to
hand fight against five times their number of Russians until 6,000
French came to their aid and completed the rout of the enemy.

Balaklava was one of the fiercest battles ever fought and will be ever
remembered for the charge of the Light Brigade. No more spectacular
exhibition of nerve and courage was ever witnessed, and the act was
performed before an audience of 50,000 men. The charge of Pickett’s
division of the confederate army at the battle of Gettysburg was made
by several times the number of men and was repeated again and again
each time they were driven back. For desperate tenacity of purpose
and heroic determination, the charge of the First Minnesota infantry
at Gettysburg is more notable, but for dramatic effect nothing could
exceed the charge of the 600--or in reality 723--English cavalrymen,
who in obedience to a mistaken order, rode a mile and a half between
two Russian lines, under a murderous fire of musketry to silence a
battery that had been seriously harassing the British position.

The British forces suffered severely in the campaign, more than the
French or the Sardinians, and almost as much as the Russians. The Turks
suffered least of all, notwithstanding the fact that the war was fought
in their behalf. They were an insignificant factor in the struggle.

[Illustration: Grafskaya Pristan--Monumental Landing Place, Sevastopol]

[Illustration: Memorial Church, Sevastopol]

The war was famous for two of the most notable events in military
history--the siege of Sevastopol and the charge of the Light Brigade.
The siege lasted thirteen months, until the Russians were absolutely
starved out. They have always asserted that with food they might have
resisted forever. The city was assaulted four times “with infernal
fire,” and an appalling sacrifice of life, without making much
impression. It was not the assaults that brought Sevastopol down,
but the persistence of the siege. Military critics have often said that
it was a war of spades and not of guns. The entrenchments of the allies
were gradually advanced until the city was like a body of men wrapped
in the coils of an anaconda. The situation being no longer tenable, as
soldiers say, the Russians spiked their guns, blew up their magazines
and fortifications, burned their storehouses, sunk every floating thing
in the harbour, and evacuated, Sept. 10, 1855, having lost in the
siege, according to their own accounts, 2,684 killed, 7,342 wounded,
and 1,763 missing. The Russian losses in the several battles which
preceded the siege were more than 30,000 killed and wounded. The French
cemetery contains 28,000 graves, most of them marked.

After the Russians retired, the allies took possession of the ruins of
the city and remained until peace was declared.

The English losses were placed at 30,000. The unusual severity of the
winter, the lack of food, clothing, blankets, medicines, and other
necessaries caused terrible hardship and suffering, and more than
18,000 British soldiers died of disease, which is ten times as many as
were killed in battle during the entire campaign.

The trouble with the British army in the Crimea was the same that
appeared in the South African war fifty years later; the same that
prevailed on the part of the United States during our recent war with
Spain, a condition that military students are always warning each
other against, but seldom providing for. Although England went into
the war voluntarily, intervening for the protection of Turkey in an
affair which was of no direct interest to the government or the people
of Great Britain, both the army and the navy, in every department,
were totally unprepared. Upon the arrival of the troops at the Crimea,
they were absolutely without necessary supplies of food, clothing,
ammunition, and indeed practically everything else. The medical
department was without drugs, instruments, litters, and all other
requirements.

General Sir Evelyn Wood, in his history of the Crimean War, says:

“The neglect of all preparation for war during the forty years of peace
foredoomed the gallant army which left England in 1854, and general
mismanagement led it to the verge of annihilation. England’s futility
cost her dear in treasure, reputation, in blood; but the victims of
her short-sighted parsimony sustained the honour of Englishmen, and
with ragged clothes, muddy tents, and empty stomachs enriched the best
traditions of the service, past and to come.”

To make bad matters worse, a gale of unprecedented fury struck the
British fleet lying outside the little harbour of Balaklava and wrecked
twenty-one vessels, including the _Resolute_, a frigate, several loaded
transports, and a magazine ship laden with 10,000,000 rounds of rifle
and gun ammunition. General Wood says:

“She had been sent outside the harbour after the battle of Balaklava,
when we were apprehensive for the safety of the place. The _Prince_,
one of our largest transports, went down laden with warm clothing and
stores of all descriptions. It was, however, as unreasonable as it was
unjust to attempt to fasten the blame for the helpless muddle which
ensued on those in the Crimea. It was caused mainly by the neglect to
maintain the departments of the army during forty years of peace. It
was easy to criticise the conduct of our generals, but it should be
remembered that the government by very decided instructions had urged
them on to the undertaking of a great task with inadequate means.”

During the winter following the evacuation, Nicholas, the iron czar,
whose ambition to emulate Peter the Great and Catherine II, the most
famous of his ancestors, was the cause of the war, died. His brother,
Alexander II, a man of less determination and greater humanity, sought
the intervention of Austria, and peace was arranged Feb. 26, 1856.
A treaty was signed at Paris a few weeks later by all the powers of
Europe, in which the integrity and territory of the Ottoman Empire
were guaranteed. Russia was compelled to agree to abandon Sevastopol
as a military and naval station, not to fortify her coast, nor keep
more than six gunboats of a maximum of 800 tons each on the Black Sea.
These pledges, made under pressure, were repudiated by Russia as soon
as she was strong enough to do so. Sevastopol was not only strengthened
in its fortifications, but reinforced by a large fleet of battleships
and cruisers, and finally in 1876–77 the efforts of Alexander II to
drive the Turk out of Europe and emancipate Bulgaria, Rumelia, Bosnia,
Servia, Hertzegovia and Montenegro caused another war which was more
successful than that of the Crimea, and added much territory to the
Russian Empire and won much prestige for the Russian armies.

Sevastopol is to-day stronger than ever, the headquarters of a large
army and a large fleet of battle ships, cruisers, torpedo boats,
submarines and destroyers. New barracks are being erected, the
machine-shops and arsenals have been refitted with modern machinery,
and Russia is preparing for any opportunity that may offer to recover
the prestige she lost in the late war with Japan. The little city of
Sevastopol, which has about forty thousand inhabitants, occupies a very
picturesque situation upon a low promontory or hog’s back, as such
formations are usually called, about one hundred and fifty feet high in
the centre, and sloping gradually to the water on both sides. Viewed
from the sea the city looks much larger than it is, and the white walls
of the buildings glisten in the sun. On one shore is an estuary given
up to commerce. On the other side of the ridge is the naval harbour, or
inner bay, with a narrow entrance, defended by two old-fashioned forts
with square portholes, like those in the harbour of New York. The outer
bay is also strongly fortified, but the batteries are modern and are
masked, and it is difficult for a stranger to identify them.

At the beginning of the War of 1855 the entrance to the harbour was
blockaded in the same way that Hobson tried to bottle up Santiago de
Cuba. The Russians had a large fleet of rotten old wooden ships. They
were quite as good as any the Turks had, and Russia did not anticipate
the intervention of England and France, whose men-of-war were very
powerful in comparison. The Russian Admiral Kazarsky, in command of
the Russian ships, proposed to attack the British ships whether or
no, grapple them, blow them up and go down with them, but the Russian
authorities would not permit such a sacrifice of human life as the
scheme involved. So it was decided to use the hulls for defensive
rather than offensive purposes, and the entire fleet of the czar
was scuttled and sunk at the entrance of the harbor of Sevastopol.
Providence took care of the British fleet and sent a storm which
wrecked twenty-one of the vessels off the entrance to the little
harbour of Balaklava.

On the opposite side of the harbour from the town is the naval
station, reached by ferry boats which cross every few minutes. Immense
buildings--barracks for sailors and marines, hospitals, machine-shops,
arsenals, warehouses, sail lofts, and other structures--cover an
area of several hundred acres and extend up the side of the harbour
into the hills which surround the city on the north. There are tall
smokestacks rising in the air, and long docks and piers running into
the water. The officers’ houses are quite attractive in their situation
and appearance, and form a city of themselves. The commandant is also
the governor-general of the district, which seems a good idea, because
in that way rivalry, controversy, and conflict of authority, such as
constantly occurs in India and other places that might be mentioned,
is avoided. The present governor-general has a charming wife and
family, who speak English perfectly, having lived for several years in
London, where he was naval attaché of the Russian embassy. His official
residence is on the point of the promontory, in the centre of the town,
where he can overlook everything and everybody.

On both shores of the harbour are dry docks, yards for the building of
ships, and long rows of obsolete gunboats and transports of ancient
design. Near where the passenger steamers land is a yard for building
smaller craft and at present large gangs of men are at work upon long,
narrow torpedo boats, a dozen or more keels having been laid in a row.

At the passenger dock is a custom-house, fronting a large square,
with a park and a promenade, bathing-houses, an outdoor theatre,
restaurants, cafés, a skating rink, and a concert stand, where the band
plays every afternoon and evening. The social life of the citizens
centres there during the summer months. Everybody comes out in the
evening. Many families take their dinner there and entertain their
friends, and the scene is animated and enlivened by a large number of
army and navy officers in resplendent uniforms.

There is another park at the opposite end of the town, and a much
larger one, which was the site of the strongest fortifications during
the siege. Some of the old earthworks remain as relics, piles of
sandbags, basket-work, and trenches. The rest have been levelled, the
ground has been planted with trees and laid off into walks, drives,
and gardens. In the centre is a permanent building for the exhibition
of a panorama of the siege, but the original picture has been removed
to St. Petersburg and replaced with one representing the battle with
Circassian cavalry during the invasion of Daghestan.

There are several imposing monuments also, the most notable being in
honour of General Todleben, the engineer who designed and constructed
the defenses of the city at the time of the siege. He is regarded
as the greatest hero of the war, and shortly after the recovery of
Sevastopol by Russians he was presented with a handsome residence on
the main street. It is now occupied for official purposes.

In the public square in front of the custom-house is a striking bronze
figure of Admiral Nazanikin, who captured two Turkish frigates with one
small brig in the war of 1829.

A little way up the street is a memorial church, erected to the memory
of four admirals, Nakhimoff, Lazareff, Korniloff, and Istomin, all of
whom were conspicuous in the siege. Lazareff and Korniloff were both
killed at the battle of Malikoff Hill, near which the British cemetery
is located. This hill is called after a warrant officer in the Russian
navy, who lived on the site of the cemetery and was the grandfather of
the famous French marshal of that name.

Admiral Lazareff was educated in England, held a commission as
midshipman in the British navy for several years, and served under Lord
Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

There are imposing statues located in various parts of the city to
Admirals Kornkioff and Nashkioff and several other heroes of the siege.

There is a memorial chapel for Prince Gorchakoff, commander-in-chief of
the Russian forces during the siege. He died in 1861 and was brought
there for burial at his own request.

There is a charming little museum of pure classic architecture,
containing relics of the siege and of the men who were engaged upon the
Russian side.

Each nation has its own cemetery, in which the dead of the Crimean
War are buried. The Russian cemetery is the largest and occupies the
slopes of a hill across the outer bay from the city. In the centre is a
pyramid of stone 105 feet high, erected by the government in honour of
the officers and soldiers who fell in the siege, and surrounding it are
the graves of 38,000 soldiers.

The French cemetery contains 28,000 graves, and the British cemetery
only about 1,800, nearly all of the bodies of the dead having been
taken back to England. Several famous men are resting there, including
Major-general Sir John Campbell, who, the inscription upon his
monument tells us, was killed in action, June 18, 1855. His brother,
Major-general Colin Campbell, was also conspicuous on the British side
and afterward distinguished himself in the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

Sir George Cathcart, lieutenant-general, commanding the fourth
division of the British army, was also killed in action. By a strange
coincidence, he had served in the Russian army against Napoleon in 1813
and 1814, just as Admiral Lazareff had served with Nelson. Sir George
Cathcart was killed at the battle of Inkerman, wearing upon his breast
three decorations which had been bestowed upon him for bravery by the
Russian czar when he was a young man.

A cottage in which Lord Raglan, commander of the British forces, died,
overlooks the battlefield of Balaklava. It was the headquarters of
the British army and was known as Vracker’s farmhouse, but it is now
occupied and owned by a Russian named Maximovitch, who has a large
vineyard. A sign on his gate reads: “Alpha Vineyard.”

A stone slab under a tree in the garden marks the place where Lord
Raglan used to sit in his last illness, brooding over the unjust
criticisms that were directed at his conduct of the campaign. In one of
the rooms is a tablet inscribed: “In this room died Field Marshal Lord
Raglan, G. C. B., Commander in Chief of the British army of the Crimea,
28th June, 1855.”

On the door of the house are the names of Raglan, Simpson, and
Cedrington, the three officers who commanded the British army during
the campaign.

The British have been more careful and more thoughtful in preserving
the remembrances of their share in the campaign than either of the
other nations, and the cemetery and other spots identified with their
men are preserved in perfect order under the direction of Douglas
Young, the British consul, who also looks after American interests at
Sevastopol.

A trolley line encircles the city of Sevastopol, and extends into the
suburbs, with open cars which are more comfortable than carriages,
because of the rough stone pavements in the streets. There is a
military and naval club, many attractive shops, and several churches,
including a replica of the Temple of Thesus at Athens.

There are several good hotels, the chief one being close to the
passenger landing. It is neat and well kept, and has an excellent cook,
but the charges are as high as those of the Waldorf-Astoria in New
York, or the Savoy in London, with petty extortions that exasperate
travellers, particularly Americans, to the limit of patience. No one
objects to a straight bill at so much per day, even if the total is
excessive, but when you are charged for candles and soap that you
don’t use, for the use of towels and the bed linen, for the ordinary
stationery that is always supplied free elsewhere, and for the use of
the newspapers in the public reading-room, a righteous indignation is
excited.

These impositions, which are common all over Russia, are merely a
gamble. If a guest objects to them they are stricken off the bill;
but if he pays them without protest rather than make a row, as most
Americans do, the landlord is so much ahead. And what makes it more
aggravating than all is to realize that you are being purposely imposed
upon simply to test your forbearance.

The battlefield of Balaklava is carpeted with flowers, and the poppies
are so thick upon the meadow where the charge of the Light Brigade was
made that it looks like a field of blood. There are patches of purple
flowers whose name I do not know, and the road which winds around
the battlefield has a hedge of sweetbriar roses, which are covered
with pink blossoms. You cannot imagine a more peaceful landscape
than the gentle slope of that beautiful valley, lying between two
low ridges, which on the morning of Oct. 25, 1855, was covered with
40,000 spectators--Englishmen, Frenchmen, Russians, Sardinians, and
Turks, involuntary and astonished witnesses of one of the most reckless
exhibitions of human courage ever seen, and one of the most useless
sacrifices of human life. No arena could have been arranged for a
better view of the spectacle. And to-day the landscape is precisely
as it was then, except that the valley is now dotted with several
farmhouses surrounded by groves of locust and shrubbery and a Chicago
windmill stands in the centre.

The spot where the dragoons started, where Earl Cardigan, the impetuous
young Irishman, who commanded the Light Brigade, gave his one and only
word of command during the charge, is marked by a marble shaft and the
pedestal is inscribed:

“Erected by the British army to the memory of their comrades who fell
at Balaklava.”

That word of command was: “Left wheel into line! Forward, march!” Not a
word was spoken after that.

Where stood the battery which was the object of assault is now a cherry
orchard.

Water is very scarce upon the battlefield of Balaklava; all the farmers
have is pumped up by the Chicago windmill, and hauled in casks to the
neighbouring houses. Every drop used to water the English cemetery is
hauled half a mile.

[Illustration: The village of Balaklava]

There were two splendid cavalry charges at the battle of Balaklava, one
by 300 heavy dragoons under command of Major-general Scarlett and the
other by the light cavalry under command of the Earl of Cardigan. The
former, from a military standpoint, was remarkably successful, because
three squadrons of Englishmen surprised, demoralized, and practically
put to rout two brigades of Russian cavalry, numbering nearly three
thousand men. The latter, although one of the most spectacular displays
of human daring in all history, was of comparatively no effect and was
the result of a misunderstanding of orders.

The scene of those two cavalry charges is a wide and beautiful valley
between two low ridges about two miles south of the picturesque little
port of Balaklava. The British troops had taken possession of the ridge
north of this valley, were throwing up earthworks, and completing their
camp, when, on the evening of Oct. 24, 1855, Rustem Pasha, in command
of the Turkish contingent, sent word to Lord Raglan, in command of the
British troops, that the Russians were preparing for a surprise attack
the next morning. As there had been already more than one false alarm,
Lord Raglan contented himself with asking for an immediate report of
any further news and no extra precautions were taken.

Shortly after daylight the next morning General Scarlett, with eight
squadrons of heavy dragoons, started out on a reconnoissance, and as he
passed over the ridge came plump upon the flank of a brigade of Russian
cavalry, about three thousand strong, which was advancing quietly
upon the British position. Both forces were moving without scouts or
flankers, and thus neither of the cavalry generals, whose men were
soon to be in close personal conflict, was aware of the movements
of his adversary. When General Scarlett realized the situation he
immediately gave the command to charge and plunged directly into the
centre of the Russian line, which was only about two hundred yards
distant. But the order was heard by only three of the eight squadrons,
the other five having passed on the other side of a narrow vineyard.
Scarlett’s movement, however, was distinctly seen by the rest of the
army and the witnesses say that when the three troops of dragoons
dashed into the Russian ranks they were entirely engulfed, but, with
their sabers they hacked their way through with such impetuosity that
in eight minutes they were entirely clear. The shock and the surprise
threw the Russian troops into such confusion that they practically fled
from the field, pursued on both flanks by the other British troops.

Scarlett lost seventy-eight men in the charge. The Russians lost about
six hundred.

During this extraordinary episode the Light Brigade, under the command
of Earl Cardigan, remained motionless because the commander believed
that Lord Lucan, in command of the cavalry, had given him orders to
defend the position on which he stood against any attack, and on no
account to leave it.

The Earl of Cardigan was an Irish peer, fifty-seven years old, rich,
reckless and popular, notorious for his love affairs, famous as a
sportsman and as a rider to hounds, resolute in purpose, a dare-devil
with a terrible temper, and entirely without military experience. He
owed his rank and prominence in the army to the purchase system and to
the favour of the Duke of York, and although he had a passionate love
for military affairs, unfaltering courage and a strong sense of duty,
his inexperience alone would have unfitted him for any responsibility.
He had fought two duels. One of the quarrels was over the colour of a
bottle; the other was over the size of a teacup. At the time of the
famous charge, although a brigade commander of troops in the field, he
was living on board a yacht in the harbour of Balaklava by permission
of Lord Lucan, his brother-in-law, commander of the cavalry, while the
officers and men under him as well as his superiors, were cheerfully
bearing the hardships and privations of camp life.

Thus the Earl of Cardigan had nothing to recommend him for his command
but his courage and horsemanship.

The Light Brigade had seen their comrades of the Heavy Dragoons achieve
one of the most brilliant cavalry victories ever recorded, and were
naturally impatient to emulate their example, when an order was brought
to Lord Lucan by a young lieutenant, named Nolan, which read as follows:

“Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front and try
to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop of horse artillery
may accompany. The French cavalry is on your left. Immediate.”

From the spot where Lord Lucan received this order no Russians were
visible, and he asked sharply:

“Attack, sir! Attack what guns?”

Nolan replied with an insulting tone, pointing in an easterly direction:

“There, My Lord, is your enemy, and there are your guns.”

Lord Lucan rode across to where the Light Brigade was impatiently
waiting, and communicated the order to Lord Cardigan, who gave the
command and led his troops down the valley at a slow trot. Shortly
after the advance began, Nolan, the aide who had brought the order,
galloped across their front, shouting and pointing with his sword
toward a Russian battery in a hollow a mile and a half distant. Lord
Cardigan understood that Nolan was indicating the object of the charge,
but the latter was unable to give any further information, for he
was instantly struck by a shell which tore away his chest. His horse
continued on a gallop and his body remained for some seconds erect in
the saddle.

The floor of the valley is as smooth as a race course; there is a
gentle slope the entire distance, which is about a mile and a quarter,
but on the west and south sides were masses of Russian troops and in
front a battery of twelve guns, so that the brigade was subjected to
a cross fire of musketry and a direct fire of artillery the entire
distance.

It is estimated that the entire movement lasted but twenty minutes, and
that Cardigan rode at the rate of seventeen miles an hour. His troops
were composed of the flower of the army, life guards, lancers, hussars,
and light dragoons. Most of them were English and Irishmen, and several
noblemen were among the officers. The command kept its formation with
remarkable skill, considering that so many of their comrades fell from
their saddles, but nearly all the riderless horses maintained their
positions until the battery was reached. The gunners were sabered,
the guns were turned upon their owners and the greater part of the
survivors of the Light Brigade threw themselves furiously upon a line
of Russian cavalry which was supporting the battery in the rear.

The French Chasseurs d’Afrique, which had observed the movement with
astonishment, came to the rescue of the Englishmen, and the latter made
their way back singly and in squads to headquarters.

Out of 723 officers and men who followed the Earl of Cardigan down that
valley only 195 came back.

General Sir Evelyn Wood says: “It was a glorious failure, as the charge
of the Heavy Dragoons was an astounding success, but Lord Tennyson’s
enthusiastic pen blinded the public to the military value of the two
exploits, and thus the determined gallantry shown in the attack of
the three squadrons of the heavy brigade has remained comparatively
unappreciated.”

Of course a controversy followed and it lasted for many years in
the war office, in the newspapers, in the clubs, in parliament, and
wherever men and women talked of the war. Cardigan showed a manly
spirit in the controversy as he had shown unparalleled bravery in
leading the charge. He had never been under fire before. He had never
had the responsibility of actual command under serious conditions
of any kind; he did not have the slightest knowledge of military
tactics, and he admitted frankly that it did not occur to him that
an unsupported movement of cavalry across an open field, a mile and
a quarter, exposed from two lines of the enemy, and in the face
of a battery of twelve guns, was a feat absolutely impossible of
performance. He said he understood that his orders were to take that
battery and he took it. His reckless Irish courage saw no reason why he
should not do so.

Lord Lucan, in command of the cavalry, and who, as I have said, was
Cardigan’s brother-in-law, was utterly astounded when he saw how his
orders had been interpreted, and Lord Raglan, the commander-in-chief,
was paralyzed. The movement could be seen from start to finish by the
entire army and the scarlet uniforms of the Light Brigade made it
possible to watch man by man, as they plunged into the ranks of the
Russians whose uniforms were gray.

Sifting the single grain of truth from the volume of argument and
opinion, the charge of the Light Brigade was a blunder committed by an
impetuous Irishman who misunderstood his orders and whose inexperience
did not permit him to suspect a mistake.

General Bosquet, commander of the French contingent, who witnessed the
charge from the beginning to the end, turned to Colonel Layard of the
British army and remarked:

“_C’est magnifique; mais ce n’est pas la guerre._” (It is magnificent;
but it is not war.)

Lord Tennyson and time have sanctified the blunder and, notwithstanding
the folly of the act and the awful wastage of heroic blood, the charge
of the Light Brigade stands unparalleled as an exhibition of soldierly
discipline and daring. Not a man faltered in the ranks, not a man
hesitated to enter “the jaws of death” and “the mouth of hell,” as
ordered, although every experienced private in the ranks must have
realized that “some one had blundered.” But it was a case of “Theirs
not to reason why; theirs but to do and die,” and they rode down the
long valley with the same coolness and alignment that they would have
kept on the parade ground.

     “When can their glory fade?
      Oh the wild charge they made!
          All the world wonder’d.
      Honour the charge made,
      Honour the Light Brigade
          Noble six hundred!”

Florence Nightingale is the immortal, as she was the most interesting
figure of the Crimean war, and every school child knows her name.
Millions of people throughout the world recognized her as “the Angel of
the Crimea,” although they have never heard the name of the commander
of the Light Brigade or the names of the generals-in-chief of either
army. And I do not believe that one man or woman out of a thousand
to-day can tell who commanded the British troops or the French allies;
I doubt if one in ten thousand could give the name of the Russian
general commander-in-chief; but the fame of Florence Nightingale is
universal. She was the first woman to take up professional nursing;
the first to follow an army into action, to nurse the sick and to bind
up the wounds of the fallen. She was the only woman who ever received
the Order of Merit of Great Britain, the most exclusive and highly
prized decoration, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, that can
be bestowed by the king of England. The membership of the order is
limited to twenty-four and includes such men as Earl Roberts, Lord
Kitchener, John Morley, James Bryce, Lord Kelvin, George Meredith, and
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Florence Nightingale died Aug. 14, 1910, at the advanced age of
ninety years three months and two days. She lived at Chelsea, one
of the outlying parishes of London, and although her body showed the
infirmities of age, her mind was as bright and her sympathies as
active as they were when she won the title of “Angel of the Crimea” in
1855–56.



CHAPTER XV

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE AND HER WORK


In September, 1854, after the battle of Alma, the English newspapers
were filled with complaints and protests concerning the treatment of
the sick and the wounded in the Crimea, and Sir Robert Peel started
a relief fund which amounted to nearly $60,000. Lord Sidney Herbert,
secretary of war, asked Florence Nightingale if she would go to Turkey
with a party of nurses and carry out the scheme of relief proposed by
the contributors to the fund. It is a singular fact that his letter
was crossed in the mails by one from Miss Nightingale volunteering
her services, not as a leader or director of the movement, but as an
ordinary nurse.

Miss Nightingale was then a little more than thirty-four years old. She
was the youngest daughter of William Shore Nightingale, a descendant
of a famous old Derbyshire family of considerable wealth, and her
mother was the daughter of William Smith, a practical philanthropist,
an associate of Wilberforce in the abolition of slavery, in prison
reforms, and similar movements, and for many years a member of the
House of Commons.

Miss Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, May 12, 1820; hence her
name. From early childhood, she had been associated with philanthropic
movements in which her father and grandfather were engaged, and
natural inclination as well as deep sympathy with distress led her
to give her entire time to benevolent work instead of seeking social
enjoyment and distinction. During her girlhood she had been thoroughly
educated, was familiar with the classics and modern languages, and was
one of the first women anywhere to take up the study of medicine.

She gained practical experience in the hospitals of London, Dublin, and
Edinburgh, spent three years with the Sœurs de Charité at Paris, in
the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses at Kaiserworth on the Rhine,
and in the hospitals at Berlin and Brussels, and in 1850, upon her
return to England, had undertaken the management of a home for sick
governesses in London. She was also engaged with Sir Robert Raikes in
organizing “ragged schools” and in segregating diseased children who
attended them. In the meantime she had established a training school
for nurses--the first in England.

She thus had ten years of preparation for the work she was called
to perform in the Crimea, and within ten days after receiving her
invitation from the secretary of war, was on her way to Constantinople
with a staff of thirty-eight trained nurses, including fourteen
Anglican Sisters and ten Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy. All of them
were volunteers and among them were three ladies of noble families.

Upon their arrival at Constantinople, Miss Nightingale and her nurses
at once took charge of the hospitals at Scutari, the suburb which
occupies the opposite bank of the Bosphorus, and there they found
3,000 diseased and wounded Englishmen lying on the ground, without
any comforts, and lacking actual necessities. They had no proper
food or medical attendance, and the few surgeons who were trying to
relieve their distress were without instruments or drugs or bandages,
or even the commonest medical supplies. Hundreds died from sheer
exhaustion, from lack of nourishment and ordinary attention, and as
Miss Nightingale herself described the scene: “Neglect, mismanagement
and disease had united to render the situation one of unparalleled
hideousness.”

Within a few days Miss Nightingale had in operation a kitchen capable
of feeding eight hundred men daily, and a laundry which was ample to
wash the linen that had never been changed until she came. With a
daring that few men would have shown, she ordered warehouses broken
open by force and confiscated supplies that were needed by her
patients. Her courage, her zeal, and her determination brought order
out of chaos, and a few weeks after her arrival the hospitals at
Scutari were in excellent condition.

As is usual in such cases, Miss Nightingale was the continual object of
attack from malicious, jealous, and uncharitable people. But this made
no difference in her work or her influence, and when she received an
autograph letter from Queen Victoria conveying her congratulations and
expressions of gratitude and sympathy she felt sure of her position.

More nurses kept coming from England, and several other hospitals
were established on the Bosphorus. Then Miss Nightingale went to the
Crimea and organized at Balaklava and vicinity the work I have already
described. In addition to hospitals, she established a series of
reading tents and recreation huts for the diversion of the soldiers,
and sent to England for books, periodicals, and newspapers. She set
up neat coffee houses as a counter attraction to the liquor saloons;
she started lecture courses, opened school-rooms, and upon her own
responsibility founded a bank where the soldiers could deposit their
pay and secure money orders for transmission home. More than $350,000
passed through her hands in that way before the end of the war.

After the evacuation of the Crimea by the British troops, Florence
Nightingale returned to England. Her last act in the Crimea was the
dedication of a cross, twenty feet high, upon the crest of a crag
overlooking her hospital. The only inscription was these words:

                      LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US

Upon her return to England, Miss Nightingale received from Queen
Victoria a beautiful jewel designed by Prince Albert, accompanied by
an autograph letter; the sultan of Turkey sent her a diamond bracelet,
valued at $100,000, and she was overwhelmed with gifts, testimonials,
and tributes of every sort from municipalities, corporations,
benevolent societies, religious associations, and individuals. A
fund in cash, amounting to about $240,000, raised as a gift to her,
was at her request devoted to the establishment of a training school
for nurses at St. Thomas’s Hospital. She was a guest of the queen at
Balmoral, she received the “freedom of the city” from nearly every
town of importance in England, and was honoured in every possible way
by every class of people, from royalty to the clubs of workingmen and
women.

She was the only woman who ever received the Order of Merit; she was
the only woman who was ever made a member of the Order of St. John of
Jerusalem; Queen Victoria bestowed upon her the Red Cross; the city of
London conferred upon her “the freedom of the city,” an honour enjoyed
by only one other woman--the late Baroness Burdette-Coutts. For twenty
years or more her birthday has always been recognized by an autograph
letter of congratulations from the queen or the king of England, and by
resolutions of congratulations from numerous organizations throughout
the world.

She celebrated her ninetieth birthday on May 12, 1910, and one of the
first acts of King George V, who came to the throne only a few days
previously, was to send her a telegram of congratulation.

After her return from the Crimea, Miss Nightingale was engaged for
several years, under the direction of the secretary of state for war,
in reorganizing the military hospital service of Great Britain. Her
instructions and rules in regard to army nursing, which fill a large
volume, prepared at the request of the war office, have been the basis
of reforms throughout the world. They were of special importance during
the Civil War in the United States and the war between France and
Germany which followed shortly after, and led to the founding of the
Red Cross Society, now established in every civilized country.

Miss Nightingale did not confine her work to the military service, but
directed and assisted the organization of training schools for nurses
in all the principal cities of Great Britain and the establishment of
district nursing associations for outdoor relief among the poor. Her
theory had always been that hospitals should be reserved for surgical
cases and infectious or contagious diseases and that, so far as
possible, the indigent sick should be treated in their own homes.

She reorganized the infirmaries connected with workhouses and
almshouses throughout Great Britain, and through her influence acts
of Parliament were passed making compulsory the employment of trained
nurses in these institutions instead of women paupers to whose tender
mercies the care of the sick had always been committed.

During all this activity, Miss Nightingale found time to write a series
of books of instruction, and many pamphlets and papers concerning
public health and the efficiency of hospital administration. In 1858,
she published a book on hospital construction. In 1860, her “Notes on
Nursing,” a volume of five hundred pages, ran up to an edition of one
hundred thousand copies. Other publications on similar subjects came
from her pen with extraordinary frequency.

But at last her frail constitution broke down under this labour and
responsibility. She became a helpless invalid, confined to her bed for
more than twenty-five years, yet she continued to devote her entire
time to “doing good work--work after my own heart, and, I trust, God’s
work.” From her pillow she continued to direct several institutions
and movements in which she was particularly interested. The meetings
of boards of directors and trustees of a dozen benevolent institutions
were held regularly in her bedroom, and her judgment was regarded of
the highest value on all subjects relating to hospital management and
benevolent work. Even up to the last month of her life she continued
to receive reports and to give instructions, to write communications to
the government authorities and to give advice upon various subjects,
and it was not until forty-eight hours before her death that she was
considered dangerously ill.

There never was a more useful woman than Florence Nightingale, and
never one more honoured and revered throughout the world. Therefore
there was a universal demand in England that she should be honoured
with a burial and a monument in Westminster Abbey, and when the
executors of her estate who were in charge of the funeral refused an
offer from the dean and chapter, there was great surprise. It afterward
appeared that Miss Nightingale had given the following directions in
her will:

“I give my body for dissection or _post-mortem_ examination for the
purposes of medical science, and I request that the directions about my
funeral given by me to my uncle, the late Samuel Smith, be observed.
My original request was that no memorial whatever should mark the
place where lies my ‘mortal coil.’ I much desire this, but should the
expression of such wish render invalid my other wishes, I limit myself
to the above-mentioned directions, praying that my body may be carried
to the nearest convenient burial ground, accompanied by not more than
two persons without trappings, and that a simple cross with only my
initials, date of birth and of death, mark the spot.”

Balaklava, which was the scene of Miss Nightingale’s usefulness, is
an ancient village of Greek fishermen, whose ancestors settled on the
southern shores of the Crimea at least three thousand years ago, to
catch the unusually large variety of fish in which that section of the
Black Sea abounds. Balaklava is the source of a large portion of the
supply of the eggs of the pilchard, the most popular of caviars among
Russian epicures. The name Balaklava is a composition of “bella” and
“klava,” which means “fine port,” although the bay is no larger than
a Norwegian fiord, and is set like a sapphire between two emerald
mountains. The entrance is as crooked as the letter S and very narrow.
Balaklava is also an unfashionable summer resort, a retreat for tired
people, who wish to escape society and who are not fond of style. There
are three or four unpretentious hotels, two or three beautiful villas,
and every fisher-wife takes boarders. There are bathing houses, a
hydropathic sanitarium, and on the mountain side among the vineyards a
“grape cure” establishment, which at the height of the fad was largely
patronized.

There is only one street in the village and houses on only one side
of that. Every citizen, therefore, has the benefit of an exquisite
view. There are a few small shops and cafés and two pavilions where
visitors can sit and sip their tea and look over the waters. The view
is fascinating and the effect is heightened by the miniature character
of the place--the bay is so tiny, the village so small, and the cliffs
which enclose them are so high and bold and rugged.

A walk over the cliffs leads to the ruins of a castle and fortress
built by the Genoese in the Middle Ages on the summit to command the
harbour. Only a portion of the walls remain. The castle, or citadel,
was the apex of a triangular fortification, the base of which was
parallel to the port, and there was a strong tower at each corner.
The Genoese were in possession of this part of the coast for several
centuries and made Balaklava a stronghold. A graphic description of
the place was written by a Russian merchant named Nikitin, who stopped
here in 1472 on his return from a trip to India, but a thousand years
previous Balaklava was described by Strabo and other Greek writers when
it was known as “the calm port of the signals.”

“Miss Nightingale’s seat,” on the hillside overlooking the village,
is a group of rocks where she used to go for rest and thought, and
beside it are the graves of a few of her brave nurses. Every house in
which she slept, every place in the vicinity that is associated with
her in any way is hallowed. The present owners are as proud of that
distinction as owners of English castles are of the rooms in which
Queen Elizabeth slept. Her principal hospital was at the monastery of
St. George, said to be the oldest and one of the largest in Russia.
Most of the monks fled on the approach of the allies, and the British
seized the buildings for hospital purposes and placed them under Miss
Nightingale’s charge. The room she occupied is sacred and is shown to
all visitors with great satisfaction.

The monastery was built in the latter part of the ninth century,
somewhere about the year 890, by certain Greek merchants who were
miraculously saved during a fearful storm by the intercession of St.
George. It occupies an extraordinary position at the top of a cliff,
several hundred feet above the sea, in the midst of an amphitheatre of
black basaltic rock, which rises to the height of one thousand feet
on both sides and in the rear. The amphitheatre is entered through
a tunnel cut in the rocks, no doubt by the ancient troglodytes,
whose remains are found in the neighbourhood. Tradition says that
this amphitheatre was the site of a temple and altar to the goddess
Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, and here were sacrificed all
strangers and castaways that the Tauri found upon their coast.

The most interesting remains of the troglodytes are found in cliffs
overhanging a little stream at Inkerman, where another fierce battle
was fought during the Crimean war. The Russians have erected a monument
in the field where most of the fighting was done, and a granite shaft
marks the centre of the English camp, which is inscribed:

                 In memory of the English, French
               and Russian soldiers who fell in the
                 battle of Inkerman, Nov. 5, 1854.

                 Erected by the British Army, 1856

The battle of Inkerman was a surprise. The Russians crept up a ravine
in the night and before daylight struck the sleeping Englishmen in
their camp. It so happened that many of the officers were absent and in
the beginning every soldier fought independently for his life. After
the dawn, when there was light enough for the Englishmen to see what
was going on, the defence was thoroughly organized and the Russians
were driven back with a heavy loss.

The village of Inkerman occupies the head of the bay which forms the
harbour of Sevastopol and is surrounded by the most noted quarries in
southern Russia. They have been worked for ages, and vast chambers have
been excavated in the soft limestone which underlies the scanty soil of
a high, dry, bare plateau. These chambers are entered through square
doorways cut in the cliffs and wooden tramways and skids are laid along
the floors of the galleries, so that the blocks of stone can be hauled
out. It is as soft as chalk when first cut, but grows hard by exposure.
Odessa, Sevastopol and other cities in southern Russia are built almost
entirely of this material. At present the quarrymen are engaged in
cutting out vast quantities of small blocks of stone for a new palace
which the czar is building on his estate on the Crimean coast, near
Yalta.

Both walls of the gorge in which Inkerman sits are honeycombed
with artificial caves, supposed to have been the dwellings of the
troglodytes of mythology in prehistoric ages, and afterward the
refuge of the early Christians during the persecutions of the emperor
Justinian. Some of the caves were converted into chapels and are used
as such still. There is a monastery of twelve or fifteen monks entirely
underground, occupying the cliff dwellings of the troglodytes, and on
the opposite side of the gorge is a chapel that will accommodate a
hundred and fifty or two hundred people, where service is held every
Sabbath and mass is sung every morning. In the vestibule are niches for
coffins, and only clean skeletons are lying in three open graves which
were chiselled out of the stone. They were uncovered only a few years
ago and are supposed to be the remains of early bishops or priests.

Pope Clement I was sentenced by the emperor Trajan of Rome, to hard
labour in these quarries and was brought here in the year 94 A.D. He
was afterward condemned to death for trying to convert the natives to
Christianity and suffered martyrdom by being thrown from the cliffs
into the sea in the year 100. Until the ninth century, on each
anniversary of his death, the sea receded from the shore for the space
of seven days, leaving his petrified body exposed upon the sands, and
multitudes of pilgrims came here on these occasions to venerate him and
to be relieved of deformities, disease, and distress. Pope Clement was
subsequently canonized.



CHAPTER XVI

ODESSA--CAPITAL OF SOUTHERN RUSSIA


We crossed from Sevastopol to Odessa by steamer in about eighteen
hours, stopping to discharge cargo and passengers at the ancient
port of Eupatoria. The Greek name denotes the origin of that town,
which flourished centuries before the Christian era, but is now of
comparative insignificance. In the morning we found ourselves in a
crowded harbour under a bluff 200 or 250 feet high, crowned with
several monumental buildings and presenting a noble front to the sea.
At the extreme western end of the town, beyond the expanse of foliage
of Alexander II Park, are the buildings of the industrial exposition,
which is now in progress. Their fantastic forms are so white that they
look like the fancy ornaments with which confectioners decorate wedding
cake.

Odessa is comparatively a new town, being only a little more than a
hundred years old, and entirely a Russian creation. The Turks had a
fortress here called Khodja-bey, which was carried by assault in 1778
by the Russian forces under General Ribas during the war with Turkey,
which Catherine II provoked for conquest. The title to the property
was conveyed by the Great Turk to the czar of all the Russias by the
treaty of Jassy, December 29, 1791. It graciously pleased her imperial
majesty to utilize the natural advantages of the location for defence
of commerce, and she ordered a town created here. General Ribas laid it
out and built the first house, and her majesty, who was always fond of
classical names, commanded that it should be called Odessus, from the
Odyssey of Homer, which mentions this place.

In 1803 the Duke de Richelieu, a refugee from the French Revolution,
who came to Russia and was given an important commission in the
army, was appointed governor. The population then numbered only a
few thousand, but his enterprise and taste made it a beautiful and
important city. Upon his death, Count Woronzoff, afterward prince,
to whom I have alluded several times in connection with the Crimea,
took up the work where Richelieu left it off, and proved himself a
remarkable builder. He founded the university, the public library, the
museum, the municipal opera house; and schools of medicine attached to
the hospitals were encouraged and subsidized by him. He gave an impetus
to trade and commerce which lasted for half a century; he built roads
into the interior, dredged the harbour, created docks, and encouraged
the introduction of profitable industries.

Woronzoff was born in St. Petersburg in 1782, and was the son of a
distinguished statesman. His father was ambassador to London during his
boyhood, which caused him to be educated there, and he took a degree
at Cambridge University. Returning to Russia he obtained a commission
in the army and commenced his military career as a subaltern in a
Caucasian regiment commanded by a famous Georgian, Prince Tzytzyanoff.
He proved a brilliant soldier, was promoted rapidly and wore the
epaulets of a major general before he was thirty years old. In the
war with Napoleon he commanded a division of grenadiers and during the
retreat of the French, followed closely upon their flank to the German
frontier.

At the conclusion of the war he went to England and remained until
he was called by the emperor to undertake the organization of the
government of Bessarabia, and shortly after succeeded the Duke de
Richelieu as governor of Odessa. He was afterward governor of the
Caucasus and the Crimea, and in all three provinces his memory is
revered and many public works exist as monuments to his enterprise and
foresightedness.

The most conspicuous object on the bluff that overlooks the harbour
of Odessa is a mansion built by Prince Woronzoff and occupied by him
for many years. It is of classical design, with walls of granite,
and is surrounded by limited but handsomely embellished grounds. The
chief feature is a pergola of lofty granite columns reached from the
house, and rising from a little promontory that projects from the
bluff. It can be seen for a long distance and invests with a classical
character the earliest impression of the city. The mansion is spacious,
containing thirty large apartments, and is entered through an extensive
courtyard under a monumental gate. For several years it has been
occupied as a school for engineers.

In 1810, when the first census was taken, Odessa had 9,000 population;
in 1910 it has 520,000 but there has been a steady decrease during the
last five years, which is due to the rivalry of other ports which are
attracting trade because of better harbours, better railway connections
and better facilities for doing business. The strong and violent
socialistic element in Odessa has also injured the city by frightening
away capital and preventing the establishment of manufacturing
industries because of the fear of labour strikes.

About 25 per cent. of all the grain exports from Russia were shipped
from Odessa until about ten years ago. The total often reached
nearly three million tons, but the old-fashioned methods of handling
freight, and particularly grain, in use here are so expensive as to be
practically prohibitory. Sometimes the elevator charges are as high
as two and a half cents per pood, or thirty-six pounds. Nicolaieff,
Kherson and Rostov-on-the-Don have such superior facilities that Odessa
cannot recover the trade until she improves her docks and harbour and
mechanical appliances for handling freight.

The imperial government has plans for extensive improvements in the
harbour of Odessa to furnish suitable facilities for handling the
grain, at a total expenditure of ten million dollars. A commission
from St. Petersburg and the municipal officials have made thorough
surveys and completed designs which have been submitted to the duma
for approval and the necessary appropriations. The work will be done
under the direction of the minister of commerce and labour at St.
Petersburg and will include a breakwater nearly a mile long, costing a
million dollars or more, a series of stone wharves and piers costing
two millions, railway terminals costing two and a half millions, four
grain elevators and conveyors, with a capacity of seventy-two thousand
tons, each two millions; granaries, conveyers and other facilities for
loading and unloading, one million; an electric light and power plant
to cost half a million; filling in and reclaiming land, half a
million; and various other features.

[Illustration: Chamber of Commerce, Odessa]

Odessa has the reputation of being a very fast city, one of the most
immoral communities in Europe, and the young Russians are given to
gambling and dissipation of all kinds. At night the streets are
brilliantly lighted, and are crowded with promenaders of both sexes.
There are many cafés on the sidewalks, in the interior courts of the
business section, and in the parks and squares. All night the air
is filled with music and laughter, and pleasure-seekers turn night
into day. One is inclined to wonder when the crowd of men he sees in
the cafés and theatres attend to their business, but when the shops,
offices, and banks open in the morning at ten o’clock there seems to be
no lack of customers and clerks, and everybody is on the rush.

The Exchange, a handsome building of Oriental architecture, is the
centre of activity. The trading takes place in a splendid hall on lines
similar to those of the board of trade at Chicago. The remainder of the
building is devoted to sample rooms, committee rooms, reading rooms,
and other purposes.

As grain is the principal staple of southern Russia, and Odessa is the
chief market, all business movements centre around the board of trade.
Business is very dull just now; there have been several bad crops;
fourteen of the largest flour mills in the city have been closed down
for want of wheat to grind, and that has thrown a large number of
people out of employment, as well as reduced the volume of business.
But this year’s crop is a record breaker and prosperity is expected
soon again.

There are more than 200,000 Jews in Odessa--exceeding one third of the
entire population--and, as everywhere else, they control the banking,
the manufacturing, the export trade, the milling, the wholesale and
retail mercantile establishments, and practically everything of an
industrial and commercial enterprise. And, naturally, they are hated by
the Russians and envied for their success and prosperity. The prejudice
against the Jewish population elsewhere as well as here is due to
economic rather than religious reasons--simply because they are getting
richer and more prosperous, while the Russians are losing ground in
all the professions and occupations. They have wasted their capital in
bad investments and dissipations and extravagance, and are forced to
mortgage their property to the Jews to keep up appearances.

In the meantime the Jews have been securing control of all the
profitable enterprises and lines of business in Odessa. Their sons show
the same earnestness and zeal in the university that they show in the
counting-room. Therefore they make the best doctors and lawyers and
engineers, and their services are in demand, while the Russian members
of the professions are idly waiting for business. A Russian will employ
a Jewish lawyer or doctor or engineer in preference to one of his
own race, not because he loves the Jew or desires to encourage him,
but simply because he needs him, and recognizes his superiority, his
shrewdness, and his success.

The same is true among the working classes. The Russians labourer
spends his wages for vodka. The Jew puts his in the savings bank.
The Russian labourer never saves anything. The Jew is economical and
abstemious, his family live on bread and vegetables, and by keeping
good habits they grow strong, while the Russian grows weak. While the
proud young Russian is carousing in the cafés chantant, and losing his
money in gambling halls, the Jewish young man is busy with his books.

This difference in habits produces the results which exasperate the
Russian and drive him to the persecution of his rivals. He considers
it an insult to himself and his race whenever he hears of a brilliant
achievement or instance of prosperity among the Jews, and the spirit of
envy and jealousy so aroused is the cause of persecution.

Odessa is a fine city, one of the finest in Europe, and its proud
people are in the habit of comparing it with Paris, Vienna, and Berlin.
The streets are wide and well paved and most of them are shaded with
double columns of trees. There is no residence section, however, as
in many other cities, for everybody lives in an apartment-house, with
the lower floor occupied by shops and the upper floors for lodgings
and offices. Most people live with their business. You will find a
hardware shop, a dairy, a grocery on the ground floor of your dwelling,
insurance offices and lawyers scattered through the upper floors,
with the households of the tenants in the adjoining rooms. There is
no home life, almost everybody lunches and dines at a restaurant, and
in the summer months they are mostly on the street. In the winter
the weather is very cold. In October house-keepers close the double
windows and stop the leaks with cotton batting and padding made for
that purpose. This keeps out every particle of fresh air until spring.
I have never found a people so afraid of fresh air as the Russians, and
that antipathy is very annoying to American and English people who are
compelled to occupy the same compartments in railway trains and the
same dining and drawing rooms in the hotels.

Another peculiarity is that everybody wears an overcoat of the same
weight, summer and winter. No matter how hot it is the men wear long,
thick, heavy overcoats over their regular suits. This is especially
true of army officers, and it is odd to see a gallant captain in winter
apparel walking in the promenade with a graceful young woman in the
lightest of embroidered white batiste.

The principal business section of Odessa is noted for its architecture.
The public buildings and the hotels are unusually good. The cathedral
of the orthodox Greek church, which is placed in the centre of a wide
square, where it can be seen to the best advantage, is a splendid
example of Byzantine architecture, and the interior furnishings fine
examples of gilt carving. There are several highly revered relics--the
arms and fingers and teeth of saints.

The municipality erected and owns the opera house, one of the finest
in Europe and modeled after that of Paris. A subsidized opera company
gives performances twice a week for six months of the year. Around
the opera house is a group of interesting buildings. Several of the
most important streets of the city focus there. It is the centre of
the banking community and exporting business. The city hall is a
large building of classic design overlooking the bay, and contains
a well-proportioned chamber for the use of the provincial duma or
legislature.

[Illustration: Municipal Opera House, Odessa]

Beginning at the city hall and extending for a quarter of a mile or
more along a bluff that overlooks the bay is a wide promenade, heavily
shaded, that is cool even at noon in the heat of midsummer. There
thousands of people gather every evening and spend the twilight
walking to and fro, flirting and gossiping and having a good time.
On a shelf in the bluff a little below is a large and well-arranged
playground for children, maintained by the city, where grown people,
except nurses and mothers, are not admitted. Adjoining it is an
open-air gymnasium for men, equipped with ample facilities, and that is
well patronized also.

Leading from the esplanade to the docks below is a wide stairway of
stone, which was built seventy-five years ago, and a continual stream
of human beings is surging up and down throughout the day and the
night. There are restaurants and cafés on each side, and at the foot
several public bathing-houses before you reach the docks.

The principal hotels and cafés front on the promenade, and during the
afternoon and evening the music never ceases and the gay crowds never
grow less.

Among the other public buildings around the opera house is the Imperial
Museum, where a small but remarkable collection of Scythian and Greek
antiquities from the Crimea and the coast of the Black Sea have been
arranged in excellent taste. It is unique in several respects and the
most important collection consists of twenty thousand coins, dating
back to the beginning of civilization--Greek, Persian, Scythian,
Cimmerian, Taurian, Gothic, Avar, Genoese, Turkish, etc. I am told
there are coins in this collection that cannot be found anywhere else,
and what makes it the more interesting is that every one of them was
dug out of the ground in the Crimea or along the northern shore of the
Black Sea. How so many coins of different denominations and different
periods of time came to be buried in the earth is a mystery. Perhaps
it was due to the carelessness of people who went around with holes
in their pockets, scattering silver and gold and copper over the earth
as they walked; perhaps they were so much afraid of burglars that
they buried their money, or maybe they were overtaken by the wrath of
the Almighty, like Mrs. Lot, and the money they carried refused to
turn into salt. But it is the actual fact that not only these twenty
thousand specimens, mostly prehistoric, were found in the soil at
different places but similar money is being dug up every few months.

Opposite the museum is an attractive looking building called the
English clubhouse by a sort of official Irish bull. Notwithstanding
the name, there isn’t a single Englishman or American in the list of
members and no newspaper, magazine, or other publication in the English
language can be found in its reading room. This anomaly is due to
the opposition of the Russian government to all social organizations
among its subjects, for fear of conspiracies and co-operation in
resisting the tyranny of laws and the police. When this club was
proposed a permit was asked for a social organization on the plan of
an English club, and, after due consideration, it was granted for “an
English club,” that is, a club similar to those of England. Hence the
significance of the name.

There is a German club and an Anglo-American club in the same
neighbourhood, to which the English-speaking portion of the population
belongs, and a British Sailors’ Institute on the lines of a Y. M. C. A.
for the benefit of the crews of the many British steamers which come
regularly to Odessa.

In another part of the city the imperial library occupies an imposing
building of classic design with several hundred thousand books. The
university, which ranks third among educational institutions in Russia,
occupies several buildings and has between four thousand and five
thousand students. The schools of art, engineering, chemistry, and
medicine are celebrated, and the students of medicine have access to
several enormous hospitals and charitable institutions for the infirm
and defective. I am told that medical science has attained much higher
proficiency in the southern provinces than in northern Russia.

There are several military schools, which are needed more than anything
else, and are well patronized, for the army is the principal thing
here, and when a young man is deciding upon a career he always tries
that first. The army grows bigger, the taxes grow higher, the people
grow poorer, and labour becomes scarcer in Russia every year. Military
rank seems to be essential to happiness and social prestige. Nearly
every man you meet on the street or in the hotels and cafés wears a
uniform and everybody has a military rank. The school teacher, the
apothecary, the lawyer, and doctor, and architect, the clerks in the
custom-house, the post-office and city hall--even the convicts in
the prisons--wear uniforms, and the registrars of the schools of the
university are dressed like major-generals.

There is a boom town in southern Russia with a short history like
that of some of our Western cities--yesterday a village, to-day a
flourishing centre of commerce and trade, to-morrow the metropolis of
the Black Sea. The boomers call it “The Winnipeg of Europe,” but it
was named Nicolaieff, in honour of Nicholas, the iron czar, and it is
situated at the mouth of the river Bug, at the head of an estuary of
the Black Sea, sixty miles north of Odessa and six hours’ sail from
that port by the ordinary steamers.

Until 1884 Nicolaieff was a sleepy and insignificant village included
in the area which Catherine II wrested from the Great Turk in the war
of 1778. During the Crimean War it gained some historical prestige by
being a temporary naval station after Sevastopol was corked up. During
the latest war between Russia and Turkey in 1877–78 it was used as a
rendezvous camp, but there was no business there until 1884, when a
railway from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities in the northern
part of the empire was extended down to touch the Black Sea, and
Nicolaieff became an outlet for the grain of southern Russia and an
entrepôt of much imported merchandise.

The convenience of the situation, the superiority of its harbour over
that of Odessa, and the favour of the imperial family and the clique
of sycophants and speculators who hang around the grand dukes, gave
it a preference among shippers, and, since 1898, it has been growing
faster than Minneapolis or Seattle. It has jumped from 18,000 to
200,000 population in a decade. During the same time it has acquired
the largest shipping business in grain, manganese ore, and coal in the
Russian Empire and is booming along in an extraordinary manner. The
population is increasing at the rate of ten thousand a year. The volume
of business is gaining with even greater rapidity, the value of real
estate has advanced 1,000 per cent. during the last eighteen years and
the wealth of the community is increasing at a corresponding rate.

The successful prosperity of Nicolaieff, correctly or incorrectly,
is attributed to the partiality of the grand dukes and the imperial
court, through whose influence much has doubtless been done to
encourage the new town, at the expense of Odessa. A deep harbour has
been dredged, with a channel of thirty feet; the government has built
elevators, and the department of communications has manipulated railway
rates and traffic arrangements so as to divert the grain trade in that
direction.

It is the unanimous opinion that Nicolaieff is favoured above all other
cities by the imperial family and the members of the court, and that
the benefits and advantages it enjoys have been entirely due to their
influence for two reasons:

First, it is asserted that the grand dukes and their friends are
heavily interested in real estate speculations at Nicolaieff and have
made enormous sums of money by the advance in the prices of property,
which is entirely probable.

Second, it is asserted that the grand dukes and their friends are not
only willing but anxious to destroy Odessa because of their hatred of
the Jews. Nearly all of the business at Nicolaieff is in the hands of
Russians; at Odessa the Jews control everything, and will enjoy the
benefit of whatever is done for the improvement and prosperity of this
city.

This is a strange reason, but stranger things have happened in Russia
and even more civilized countries. The court never comes to Odessa.
There is no nobility, no aristocracy, no society here. It is purely
a business community, and the wealthy classes are all Jews. It is
asserted that the governor-general cannot round up enough civilians
of sufficient rank to fill his dinner table, while a large number of
impecunious noblemen and poor relations of the proud families of the
court have been given lucrative situations at Nicolaieff.

One would think that the grand dukes would keep out of such schemes,
after their experience at Manchuria. It was their avarice and grasping
disposition that brought on the war with Japan. You will remember that
the first clash between the two nations occurred in the Yalu Valley of
Korea, where a company organized by the grand dukes was trying to steal
the timber.

That is a historical fact, and there may be equal foundation for the
reports that are so freely repeated concerning their speculations at
Nicolaieff. If so, the future prosperity of the town rests upon an
unstable foundation.

The latest story is that the naval headquarters are to be removed from
Sevastopol to Nicolaieff, through the influence of the grand ducal
circle, but it scarcely seems credible that such a perfect harbour and
such enormous investments in shops, docks, warehouses, arsenals, and
other plants as have been made there should be abandoned to gratify a
few greedy speculators, not to mention the sentimental and historical
interest, and the soil that has been sanctified with Russian blood.

Nicolaieff is a very crude and uncouth place at present. It covers an
enormous area, with wide streets, well shaded with artificially planted
trees, and long blocks of one-story houses. Some of the streets are
three miles long and two hundred feet wide, with parking in the centre.
As is usual with new towns, living is very expensive. The swells drink
champagne instead of beer, and seats at the opera are five rubles
instead of two. There are several large department stores filled with
the most expensive goods; the jewellery shops are equal to any in St.
Petersburg and quite as many diamonds are disposed of. One shop sells
nothing but goloshes and during the muddy weather in spring and fall,
fifteen clerks are necessary to serve the crowds of customers. There
are several large restaurants with orchestra music; café chantants are
found on almost every block, with artists from Paris, and they run all
night. The most popular resort just now is an American skating rink.

The school-houses are superior to any others in Russia, outside of
St. Petersburg or Moscow. There are technical schools for instruction
in all the branches; there is a military school, a naval academy and
a school of art and architecture. Altogether Nicolaieff is the most
up-to-date town in the empire, and has great confidence in the future.
The municipality has recently negotiated a loan for $500,000,000 for
public improvements--an electric tramway, a new sewerage system, new
markets and slaughter-houses, a new court-house and school-houses and a
municipal pawnshop.

Kherson, one of the oldest towns on the Black Sea, not far from
Nicolaieff, is also prospering mightily under the favour of the
imperial government. While its future is not so bright as that of
Nicolaieff, a great deal of government money is being spent there for
public improvements and it is growing rapidly.

Kherson has a historic interest, because it was the home and is the
burial place of the great Prince Potemkin, one of the many lovers of
Catherine the Great, who conquered this country for her and added
the north coast of the Black Sea to her domain. He died in 1791
and Catherine built a cathedral over his grave. Her crazy son and
successor, Paul I, jealous of his mother’s love for Potemkin and his
influence over her life, ordered the body to be taken from the splendid
marble sarcophagus she had designed for it, and “thrown into a hole
under the floor of the crypt, and the crypt filled with earth, and
levelled over, so that it will appear as if it had never existed.” This
order was obeyed, but in 1854 Nicholas I had the crypt cleared out and
the remains of Potemkin restored to the altar of the cathedral and a
monument erected in memory of the great prince upon which his principal
achievements are inscribed.

There is an extraordinary painting in this cathedral, which illustrates
how far the flattery of empresses can be carried. It represents
Catherine the Great in the guise of the Holy Virgin, borne to paradise
on the back of a double-headed eagle of Russia.

John Howard, the great English philanthropist, is also buried at
Kherson, where he had large business interests and spent much time.
He died there while on a business visit. There is a monument to his
memory, erected by the citizens, bearing this inscription:

                            JOHN HOWARD
                       Died January 20, 1790
                In the fifty-sixth year of his age
                        Vixit Propter Alios
                        Alios Salvos Fecit

Southern Russia is developing very rapidly in population, in wealth, in
the area of land cultivated and in the volume of grain harvested and
coal produced. The large estates, which have comprised as many as forty
thousand and fifty thousand acres, owned by non-residents among the
nobility, are being split up into small farms and sold to the tenants
who actually work the land, through the assistance of agricultural
banks which have been established by the Russian government.

Many wise people think this is a bad policy, because the small farmer
cannot handle labour-saving machinery, and thus multiply the capacity
of his hands, but the socialistic policy of the duma is to feed the
land-hungry, and every peasant demands a farm. There has been no
necessity of applying the compulsory clause or going into the courts
or commencing proceedings for expropriation. Sufficient land has been
offered for sale thus far to satisfy every demand, as in Ireland, and
within a few years the entire area of southern Russia will be divided
up into “one-mule farms,” which is as much as one family can cultivate.

A good deal is being done in the way of improving the educational
facilities of the peasants. There is now a school in almost every
village and almost every child fifteen years old and under can read
and write. Fifteen years ago a peasant who could read and write was as
rare as a lion. The schools are of a very low grade, however, and the
number ought to be increased, but the officials who have charge of such
matters answer the criticism by saying that they will start a school
for every competent teacher that can be found. It is not a question
of school-houses, they declare, but a question of teachers. Other
people retort that there would be a sufficient number of teachers if
the government would offer reasonable wages. The salaries paid are no
inducement for competent teachers to offer their services. Educated men
and women can earn more money in other occupations.

There is a deep murmur of discontent throughout all the provinces that
have been annexed to Russia within the last century, over a recent
edict issued by the czar prohibiting instruction in any other but the
Russian language and forbidding the organization of literary societies
and mutual improvement clubs to study other languages and literature.
The same trouble occurred in the Turkish provinces, but as the Russian
Empire is a conglomerate of seventy-seven different races, each having
its own language, history and traditions, the situation is more serious.

The object of this edict is to Russianize and assimilate these numerous
elements and destroy, as far as possible, their individuality and
clannishness, but the people consider it an attack upon their race
and their traditions, and it has caused an intense prejudice against
the Russian national public schools. I am told there has been much
improvement in the personnel of the clergy of the Russian church. It is
slow, but apparent. The salaries paid to the priests are not sufficient
to support their families, and therefore intelligent and educated
men are kept out of the priesthood. The ignorance and incompetency
of the priests is responsible for a dry rot and an almost universal
disintegration in the established church. The intelligent people
are losing their respect for the priesthood and drifting away into
dissenting sects, which are becoming stronger and more numerous as they
attract more intelligent and influential elements of the population.

Everybody will agree that it is a good deal of a job to steal a
battleship, but that very thing was done off the harbour of Sevastopol
on June 27, 1905, during the Russian revolution. There is a big fleet
of war vessels always lying in the inner and outer bay of Sevastopol,
strung along for several miles, and some of them go out to maneuvre
every day. I counted three battleships, four cruisers, and we could
see a swarm of gunboats, torpedo boats and submarines, and three or
four big transports tied up at the dock of the naval station. They were
painted “battle gray,” or lead colour, and looked very formidable; but
the record made by the Russian navy in the war with Japan demonstrated
that it can lose ships easier than it can capture them.

The huge, lead-coloured leviathan called _Panteleimon_, in honour of
one of the most popular saints in the Russian calendar, was formerly
the _Potemkin_, and under that name left Sevastopol for gun practice
Sunday morning, June 25, 1905, convoyed by a torpedo boat. On Tuesday
the crew sent a round robin to the captain declaring that their food
was not fit to eat and that the meat especially was decomposed and
unhealthful. At the second meal on that day the crew refused to eat
their rations and dumped them overboard. They were mustered on the
quarterdeck, where the executive officer ordered those who considered
the food wholesome and had taken no part in the demonstration to step
to starboard.

A majority of the sailors obeyed the order. The malcontents were then
ordered forward, and as they started at a sign from their leader each
seized a gun from the pyramids that were stacked upon the deck after
the muster, and each began to load with cartridges from his belt. The
executive officer commanded them to stack the guns. As they refused
to obey, he seized a gun from the nearest man and fired two or three
shots with it at the spokesman of the complainants, who fell mortally
wounded to the deck, and died in a few moments. The mutineers returned
the fire and followed the officers to their cabins, shooting them down
as fast as they were overtaken. Several officers who jumped overboard
were killed in the water, and it is said that a rapid-fire gun was used
upon them. Every officer and midshipman on the _Potemkin_ and about
thirty sailors were killed in the mêlée. The officers on the torpedo
boat attempted to go to the rescue of their comrades on the _Potemkin_,
but the sailors would not permit it, and before the day was over seized
their commander and all the other officers, put them into a boat and
cut them adrift.

A managing committee of twenty mutineers was organized upon the
_Potemkin_, who selected the chief boatswain for navigator, and started
for Odessa, where they arrived about daylight the next morning, June
28. They took ashore the body of the sailor who was first killed by
the executive officer, placed it in a coffin and left it lying upon a
bier in front of a Russian orthodox church near the railway wharves,
which is attended chiefly by sailors and workingmen. Inscribed upon a
paper pinned to the breast of the dead man was his name, Omelchuk, and
a statement that he had been murdered by Captain Gilyarkovsky because
he was not willing to eat putrid food. It was also explained that all
of the officers of the battleship had been killed by the crew, and that
the vessel was under the command of a committee of sailors, who would
bombard the city if any attempt was made to take away the body of the
sailor or attack the ship.

The news spread rapidly and created a profound sensation. Thousands
of workmen gathered around the bier at the church and listened to
inflammatory speeches made by anarchists and other agitators, and
on the following day began a series of riots lasting all that week;
accompanied by murders, looting, arson, highway robbery, blackmail, and
the hold-up of all passenger trains on the railroads entering the city.
This disturbance was followed by a general strike in which the strikers
set fire to warehouses, elevators and other buildings along the dock,
seizing the cargoes of several steamers and throwing them into the sea.
Almost the entire docks of Odessa were swept with fire, and many of the
rioters, drunk with wine and other liquors found in looting, are said
to have perished in the flames. The exact number of killed during the
disorders has never been ascertained, but is estimated at six hundred
men, with a few women and children. The financial loss and damage done
to property amounted to several millions of dollars.

While this was going on the stolen battleship _Potemkin_ was lying at
anchor in the harbour within sight of the esplanade which is the centre
of social gayety and a parade ground for the people of Odessa. The
next morning the sailors seized two colliers, private property, and
transferred the coal to the bunkers of the battleship.

On the thirtieth of June the Black Sea fleet, consisting of four
battleships and five torpedo boats, arrived at Odessa under command of
a senior flag-officer and the _Potemkin_ went out to meet them with
decks cleared for action. She first ranged alongside the battleship
_George Victorius_, the crew of which met them with an ovation and
immediately after rose in mutiny, overpowered their officers, disarmed
them, and conducted them ashore, with the exception of Lieutenant
Grigorkoff, officer of the deck, who committed suicide.

The mutineers, having full possession of the _George Victorius_,
appointed a committee of twenty sailors to take charge. A quarrel
ensued, and a portion of the crew, actuated partially by fear of
punishment and partially by jealousy and dissatisfaction, gained the
upper hand and under the leadership of the boatswain surrendered to
the commander of the military district of Odessa. Several days later
the crew delivered over sixty-seven of the leaders in the mutiny and
renewed their oaths of allegiance to the czar. After this the commander
and officers of the vessel went on board and resumed their former
duties.

The crew of the transport _Prut_ also mutinied, seized their officers,
killing an ensign and boatswain who resisted. But on the following day
they thought better of the situation, released their officers, and
requested them to take command again.

The battleship _Potemkin_, under the command of her former boatswain,
attended by the torpedo boat No. 267, then started for a cruise around
the Black Sea, visiting various ports, saluting them according to
custom and, in two instances, requesting provisions and fuel, which
were refused. At the port of Constanza, in Roumania, the authorities
endeavoured to persuade the mutineers to surrender the ship, with
an assurance that they should not be arrested or held subject to
extradition, but after consulting together the six hundred sailors
rejected the proposition and continued to sail about several days
longer until their coal gave out. Finally, when they realized that it
was impossible for them to obtain more fuel, or to continue afloat
without it, they cruised quietly into the harbour at Constanza,
Roumania, where the committee in command entered into negotiations
with the government for the surrender of the ship.

It was agreed that none of the mutineers should be arrested, detained,
or otherwise interfered with, but that every man aboard would be
permitted to land and to go where he pleased, on condition that no arms
or other property belonging to the ship should be injured or carried
away, and that everything should be left exactly as it was when the
mutiny broke out. It was also agreed that the sailors should be given
five days to get out of the country.

This agreement was kept, and five days later the _Potemkin_ was
delivered by the captain of the port of Constanza to a crew of officers
and men from the Russian navy, who were sent down from Sevastopol
for that purpose. Her bunkers were filled with coal and she was
taken back to Sevastopol, where she was repainted and renamed. Her
extraordinary experience is never alluded to in the Russian navy. It
is a painful topic. Most of the mutineers left Constanza and scattered
over Europe. Those who remained in Roumania have been protected, but
many of the others have been captured. Some are in prison, some were
shot at the time of the arrest, others were hanged under sentence of a
court-martial.



CHAPTER XVII

THE KINGDOM OF ROUMANIA


The western coast of the Black Sea is divided into four parts--the
Russian province of Bessarabia at the north, a strip of European Turkey
at the south, and between these two contesting nations are Bulgaria
and Roumania. The latter is a recent nation, made up of the ancient
principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, which have the Danube River
for their southern and the Carpathian Mountains for the northern and
western boundary. Hungary is on the other side of the range.

Roumania is the most advanced of all the Balkan states yet at the same
time one third of its area toward the north and west is inhabited by a
semi-savage class of shepherds--one of the strangest peoples in Europe.
They follow their flocks in utter solitude among the heights of the
Carpathians during the warmer months of the year, and in the winter
drive them down into the sheltered valleys and plains. They never
accept the shelter of a roof, but sleep among their flocks like dogs,
no matter how cold the atmosphere or how deep the snow. They seldom
speak, and many of them have lost the use of their tongues in their
solitary existence. They are a race by themselves. They are entirely
illiterate; they cannot abide in towns, and they wear a costume of
their own, consisting of coarse white woollen shirts, long mantles of
wool as thick as a carpet, and high caps of sheepskin with the wool
upon them. They let their hair grow long until it hangs upon their
shoulders, and their beards sometimes reach to their waists. They
are very superstitious; they know all the signs and omens, and their
folk-lore and legends have been the theme of poets and writers of
romance for centuries.

There is a race of gypsies in Roumania, too, of greater numbers than
are found in any other country. They are called Tzigany and are
famous for their musical genius. Tzigany orchestras are the fashion
in European restaurants these days, and their wild, weird, passionate
music has a fascination and an exhilaration that comes from none
other. These gypsies number perhaps a quarter of a million and are
related to the tribes that wander about Hungary. They preserve their
distinctive habits, customs, and dress as well as their racial purity
with fierce jealousy. No Tzigany ever marries any but a gypsy; and they
are faithful until death to the members of their own race, although
their transactions with the rest of the population are usually open to
suspicion.

The population of Roumania is about six million, of whom about three
hundred thousand are Jews, 250,000 Roman Catholics, 50,000 Protestants
and the rest orthodox Greeks. It is a singular fact that, although
a greater part of the population belong to the Greek Church, their
greatest pride and satisfaction are found in their descent from the
Roman legions which overcame and occupied the country during the reign
of the emperor Trajan, a century after the Christian era.

The famous column of Trajan, in the centre of Rome, which is familiar
to everybody, bears an epitome in marble of his campaign for the
subjugation of Roumania. You will remember that it is covered with
carvings, winding around it from top to bottom, like the coils of a
serpent, which show the progress of armies and battle scenes. These
carved reliefs contain 2,500 human figures and representations of
hundreds of animals and other objects, and all of them relate to
Roumania. Trajan lies buried beneath this column, but in the Middle
Ages the piety of the popes led them to remove his statue, which was
originally placed upon the summit, and to replace it by one of St.
Peter, so that the rock upon which the Christian church was builded now
assumes, responsibility for the Roman campaign along the Danube.

Trajan left his legions in Roumania as a rampart against the barbarians
upon the north and east, and, notwithstanding the constant invasions
of Avars, Huns, Goths, Tartars, Mongols, Turks, and other hordes from
Asia, their descendants have held their ground, and nothing, as I have
said, is dearer to them than their consciousness of Latin origin. Many
of the customs of the ancient Romans still prevail. And on a certain
holiday in all the villages may be witnessed a revival of the Pyrrhic
dance so sacred in mythology. The peasants wear robes in imitation of
those of the ancient Roman warriors, with bells on their belts and
sleeves; they stamp their feet on the ground like the North American
Indians, and they shout in unison as the warriors of mythology are said
to have shouted in order to prevent Saturn from hearing the voice of
the infant Jupiter, the future king of the gods. The Roumanian peasants
bestow Latin names upon their children, and even upon their steers. A
farmer will call his oxen after Cassius, Cæsar, Brutus, Augustus, and
Antony, and the name of Trajan is as common as the name of John with us.

There are several tangible traces of Trajan remaining. One of them is
a bridge which he built to convey his army across the Danube in the
year 104 A.D. It consisted originally of twenty piers, each 160 feet
long, 145 feet high and 58 feet wide. The original piers still remain
as solid as the mountains, although the bridge has several times been
rebuilt; and the road which leads to the bridge along the right bank of
the Danube is still maintained. Whoever cares to go there may find a
bronze tablet blackened by the hand of centuries, which still bears a
Latin inscription, with the name and the titles and the achievements of
Trajan.

The original inhabitants of the country were called Dacians, and their
warlike disposition got them into print very frequently. They are
discussed by Pliny and Herodotus as the bravest and most honourable of
all the barbarian tribes, and Thucydides alludes to their prowess on
horseback with the bow and arrow and the determination with which they
resisted the advance of the Persian king, Darius. About 325 B.C. Philip
of Macedon invaded Dacia and laid siege to one of the towns. That great
Grecian conqueror was about to give the signal for an assault upon
the walls, when the gates opened and a long line of priests, clad in
snow-white robes, with lyres in their hands, came forth and approached
the Macedonian camp with songs of peace. Impressed with the spectacle
and their confidence in him, Philip spared the citadel, married Meda,
the daughter of the king, and entered into a treaty of offence and
defence, which was greatly to his advantage in his future campaigns.
Even to-day the natives wear gold pieces bearing the busts of Philip
and Alexander the Great and their successors upon the Macedonian throne.

The Romans were driven out by the Goths and afterward by the Huns, and
for a thousand years the history of the country is one continuous and
confusing struggle against successive savage tribes, which marched both
east and west, going and coming between Europe and Asia. The high road
between the continents led over Roumanian soil, and the trail is now
followed very closely by the railway between Budapest and Constanza,
the principal port of Roumania upon the Black Sea.

Constantine the Great introduced Christianity, and by the year 360 A.D.
Dacia was one of the most thoroughly civilized parts of Christendom,
but there was no peace for the people until they obtained their present
government. For century after century no settled authority seems to
have existed in the country, which was the shuttle-cock of the rival
sovereigns of Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey. Peter the Great took
the country under his protection, and Catherine the Great soon after
her accession began to prepare the Roumanians for annexation to Russia.
She was not able to carry out her designs, because Austria had become
restive at the rapid expansions of Russia in her direction, and it was
solely to pacify Austrian fears that Russia in 1774 consented to place
Moldavia and Wallachia under the protectorate of the sultan of Turkey.

In that relation the people lived until the great revolution of 1848,
which, sweeping over Europe, aroused the national spirit among the
Roumanians and revived their pride in their ancient origin, their
native language, their literature and their history. The wealthier
families, the land owners, called boyards, as in Russia, sent their
young men to the universities of Germany and France, where they
developed ideas of liberty and patriotism and came home to educate
the people. The same spirit aroused the neighbouring nations to
civil liberty and advocated independence from Russia and Turkey, and
Roumanian patriots offered their lives as a sacrifice for the freedom
of their country. The revolutionary leaders, however, were compelled to
flee, but proclaimed the grievances of their country wherever they were
scattered and awakened practical sympathy in France and in England and
wherever the friends of liberty were found.

The Crimean war gave them a chance to escape from the control of both
the principal participants in that great struggle, and one of the
articles in the treaty of peace guaranteed the autonomy of the two
provinces along the northern bank of the Danube. This action was soon
followed by a mutual agreement between Wallachia and Moldavia to unite
as a single state under a single government with a foreign prince, a
member of some reigning family of Europe, as their king. In 1859 they
both elected Col. Alexander Couza as their “hospodar,” or lord, who
assumed the throne as Alexander John I, Prince of Roumania.

Couza was a failure. He did not please anybody, and in 1866 was forced
to abdicate in a dramatic manner. The incident was repeated almost
in detail twenty years after at Sofia, capital of the neighbouring
kingdom, when Prince Alexander of Bulgaria was compelled to resign
his throne. On the night of Feb. 23, 1866, a party of army officers,
members of the national assembly, and leading citizens of Roumania
entered the palace, forced open the door of the prince’s bedroom and
demanded his abdication. The document had already been prepared, and
when the prince was handed a pen wet with ink he signed it promptly.

He was allowed to dress and pack a few necessities for travelling, was
placed in a carriage and driven by relays of horses to the nearest
railway station, where he was shipped off to Paris, and Roumania saw
him no more.

A provincial government was organized, a national assembly was called
and proceeded to elect the Count of Flanders, younger brother of the
late King Leopold of Belgium, as hospodar. The sultan protested,
and the Count of Flanders declined the honour. Prince Charles of
Hohenzollern, a member of the royal family of Prussia, was chosen in
his stead and the choice was unanimously ratified by a vote of the
whole people. Again the neighbouring nations remonstrated, but Bismarck
sent for Prince Charles, who was then a colonel of dragoons in the
Prussian army, and advised him to hurry to Bucharest in disguise,
saying:

“If you fail, you will at any rate have a pleasant reminiscence for the
rest of your life.”

One month later Prince Charles appeared at Bucharest and was received
with great enthusiasm. He had slipped through Austria in disguise.

Prince Charles was proclaimed ruler of Roumania on his twenty-seventh
birthday. His father was the head of one of the non-reigning branches
of the Hohenzollern family of Prussia, and a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm
the Great. His grandmother was a Bonaparte. He was educated at Dresden
and had served for several years in a crack regiment of Prussian
cavalry. He was a personal favourite at the courts of Vienna, Berlin,
St. Petersburg, and Paris. He was a man of broad ideas, accurate
judgment, and keen intelligence.

The first act of the new prince was to call a convention to revise
the constitution, which was liberalized and gave the Roumanians a
free press, free speech, free religion, free compulsory education and
other rights and privileges. And its provisions have been recognized
consistently in relation to the Jews, whose commercial supremacy
and success have aroused the jealousy of the less enterprising and
intelligent natives, as in Russia, and has made them the object of the
most cruel persecution to which that race has been subjected in recent
years. There have been numerous conspiracies and intrigues against the
authority of Prince Charles, but he has grown in strength with years,
and in 1906 celebrated the fortieth anniversary of his reign amid
universal rejoicings and unanimous expressions of confidence.

During his reign he has distinguished himself as a military commander
as well as a statesman. He supported the Russian army with great skill
and courage in the war with Turkey in 1877–78. On March 26, 1881,
Roumania proclaimed herself a kingdom, with the consent of the Powers,
and the prince was recrowned King Carol I.

The crown that was placed upon his head was made of iron from the
Turkish cannon which he had personally captured at the battle of
Plevna. Since that date Roumania has made constant progress in wealth
and civilization, and although the king has remained childless, the
people have cordially accepted his nephew, Prince Ferdinand, as heir to
the throne, and the latter has strengthened his claims for popularity
by marrying the Princess Marie, daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth of Roumania is probably the most accomplished and
intellectual of all the royal women of Europe. She speaks, reads, and
writes six languages fluently, and has written poems in four. She is
a poetess of no mean ability and her stories and essays have been
awarded a high place in European literature. They have been translated
into all the modern languages and have been read by the people of
every civilized land. A book of maxims, entitled “The Thoughts of
a Queen,” was granted a medal of honour by the French Academy. She
has published more than thirty books and has contributed hundreds of
articles to magazines. She has shown unusual skill in literary research
in connection with Roumanian legends and folk-lore. She has written an
opera entitled “Master Manole,” which has been successfully presented
in Munich and other cities of Europe. She is a brilliant pianist
and was a favourite pupil of Rubinstein and Clara Schumann. She is
equally accomplished as an organist and frequently conducts orchestral
concerts in the music hall of the palace at Bukharest. She has composed
symphonies and other orchestral pieces. She plays the harp gracefully,
and has adapted the gypsy melodies of her country to that instrument,
frequently calling attention to their similarity to the ancient
melodies for the harp in Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth is also an accomplished artist. She has painted several
pictures of recognized merit and has done miniatures of many of her
friends on ivory. She is skilful with a needle, in embroidery and in
lacemaking, and has introduced both arts among the peasant women of
Roumania. She has also introduced the silk worm and has persuaded the
government to plant hundreds of thousands of mulberry trees throughout
the country. She has founded schools, opera houses, hospitals, asylums
of various sorts, training homes for nurses, and a home for women
of education who have lost their money. Much of her time is devoted
to charity and in organizing and directing both military and civil
hospitals and other institutions.

Although the national religion is the orthodox Greek, and King Carol,
her husband, made a public profession of that faith when he was crowned
in 1866, Queen Elizabeth was excused from doing so at the time of their
marriage in 1869, and has continued to be an earnest and active member
of the Lutheran congregation in Bukharest, for which she erected a
modest but appropriate house of worship at her own expense. However,
she does not intrude her faith upon others and participates in the
religious festivals of the people without the slightest reserve. They
know that she is a Protestant and that she recognizes the claims of
their own faith and always remembers that she is the queen of an
orthodox Greek population.

Those who know her well say that she never wastes a moment, and she
keeps many assistants busy looking out for the poor, finding employment
for those who need it and serving the interests of the Roumanian
people. Although Bukharest has the reputation of being a very immoral
city, there has never been a scandal in the court; her ladies in
waiting and maids of honour have always been women of exemplary lives,
and their devotion to her is remarkable. Her sweet disposition, her
generous heart, and her anxiety for the welfare of her subjects are
universally recognized, and it is said that no one has even known her
who has not loved her.

Queen Elizabeth is better known throughout the world by her nom de
plume of “Carmen Sylva,” and many people who have read her charming
lyrics have been ignorant of the fact that they were written by a
queen. The peasants of Roumania call her “Mamma Regina.” She is now
sixty-seven years old, short in stature, a matronly figure, a bright
complexion, and pure white hair. Her features are small, her profile is
regular Greek; her lips are thin; her eyes are blue, and her forehead
is high. She usually brushes her hair straight over a roll and coiled
at the back of her head in the old-fashioned way. On formal occasions
she appears in royal robes; when she goes out among the people in
the country she usually wears the national dress, which pleases them
immensely, and while she is at home and employed among her multifarious
and often distracting duties she dresses in plain black with a
white linen collar. Her gowns and her hats are seldom at the height
of fashion, and most of the wives of the boyards, the land-owning
aristocracy of Roumania, spend more for gowns and jewels than she. On
state occasions she wears a crown that once was worn by Josephine, the
unhappy empress of Napoleon I, and she owns a string of pearls that was
also worn by Josephine, to whom her husband’s great-grandmother was
related.

Notwithstanding her unqualified popularity among her own subjects, her
brilliant success in everything she has undertaken, and the respect
and esteem in which she is universally held by the royal families of
Europe, “Carmen Sylva” has had a very sad life, and when her face is at
rest one can recognize the effect sorrow has had upon her. The saddest
thoughts that come into her mind are regrets for her childlessness. A
babe was born to her after she had been three years upon the throne,
and she called her Marie. But the child lived only a few years and
their cradle has since then been empty. The royal palace at Bukharest
has known no greater sorrow.

Queen Elizabeth is the daughter of the Prince van Wied, whose ancestors
held for several centuries one of the most noble and picturesque
castles upon the banks of the Rhine. Her mother was the eldest daughter
of the duke of Nassau, sister of the late queen of Sweden, and of the
present duke of Luxenburg. Her aunt is the venerable Grand Duchess
Helena, widow of Grand Duke Michael of Russia.

The queen’s childhood was full of sadness because of the illness of
her father and her only brother, for both of whom she was nurse and
companion. The boy was afflicted with an incurable disease from birth,
but had a brilliant mind and lingered on earth until he was fourteen
or fifteen years old. Elizabeth’s life was wrapped up in his, for they
were never separated until his death. She has written the pathetic
story in lines that bleed. After the death of her father and brother
she made the tour of Europe with her mother, and visited several of the
courts of her royal relatives, but at a hotel in Cologne she accepted
a proposal of marriage from her future husband, Prince Carol of
Hohenzollern, then a colonel in the Prussian army, who had been elected
king of Roumania a few months previous and had gone to Bukharest in
disguise to accept the crown. Their courtship was very brief and
unromantic. “Carmen Sylva” once told the story to Helene Vacaresco,
one of her ladies-in-waiting, and it is worth repeating.

“One day at Cologne,” she said, “where we had gone to spend a few hours
and listen to a Beethoven festival, we met, by accident, the reigning
prince of Roumania, Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. We were
staying that afternoon at the Hotel du Nord, which can be seen as the
train crosses the Cologne station--I never pass on my way to Germany
without remembering vividly every word of the interview there which
settled my fate. I was very glad to meet the prince of Roumania again,
as he had been much talked about in my presence of late, and I knew he
had won his way to the throne among political perils almost as great
as the perils of war. He had crossed Austria in disguise, because the
Austrian government had objected strongly to his election.

“In the small garden of the Hotel du Nord, where the beautiful towers
of the cathedral threw their shadows upon us, I poured eager questions
into his ears without even casting a glance at his refined and regular
features, and he patiently answered every one of my inquiries. He told
me about his difficult task, and about the exotic country that had
become his own, his wide plains and savage mountains, its white-clad
peasantry, frugal, grave, and endowed with weird powers of untaught
eloquence and poetry. He spoke long and well, while I listened
breathlessly, rapt in astonishment and delight. He described the great
masters of the land, those boyards, cultivated yet barbarous in mind
and customs, whose souls were alive with the blended charm of the
Byzantine influence, and the hot blood of old Latin descent. I envied
the young sovereign who had taken up a sceptre whose maintenance
required as firm a grasp as a sword, and I said to him, openly: ‘You
are a happy man.’

“‘And the concert?’ asked my mother as we went up to our rooms. ‘You
were so impatient to go to the concert before we met the prince.’

“‘The concert?’ I repeated in utter amazement. ‘I had forgotten all
about the concert! Oh, mother, you can’t guess how deeply interesting,
how thrilling is the conversation of the prince of Roumania, and how I
envy him his beautiful task! Just imagine, he rules a nation quite new
to the world, but, at the same time, ancient in blood and history; and
he has to understand them and to make them happy. A splendid mission,
indeed!’

“‘Well, my child, that task, that mission, might be yours also. The
prince of Roumania wants to marry you. He has come here with the sole
purpose of meeting you. This is no chance encounter, as you believe.
You have but one word to say.’

“I remained perfectly bewildered for a few seconds; then, as if urged
on by the resistless impulse of my destiny, I answered:

“‘Yes, I will marry him. I will help him and follow him to that
wonderful land.’

“Half an hour afterward the prince of Hohenzollern came up to our
private sitting room. He kissed my hand as he entered, and my lips
trembled timidly for one moment on his bowed forehead. Then he knew
that he was my accepted future husband. This time he did all the
talking himself; I was abashed and silent, but still intent on his
every word. Not one syllable of love, not one stray compliment, was
uttered during those hours whose meaning has since thrown a light over
my whole existence. Ours was no love marriage, but it was a union based
on self-devotion, duty, and a fervent desire to do our best toward each
other and toward the nation that I already loved. That very evening the
prince went back to Roumania; he was to return in three weeks, and then
take me back with him as his wife.”

Helene Vacaresco who, as I have said, has been a lady in waiting to
Queen Elizabeth for many years, and is her authorized biographer,
commenting upon her usefulness and devotion to her subjects, says:

“From the moment of her arrival in her new country to this hour, her
life has been a constant effort, a constant labour of love on behalf of
her people. Patiently and without ceasing she listens to the throbbing
of their veins, to the wants and aspirations of a race she has tried so
hard to understand that she has almost become a Roumanian herself.

“When she reached the banks of the Danube, when before her dazzled
sight white-clad peasants made their appearance, wearing carved silver
knives in their belts and big peacock feathers on their high fur caps;
when in brilliant costumes the women rushed forth to meet her, veils
thin as the mountain mists floating around their proud features, and
distaffs trembling on their bosoms; when the gayly attired village
beauties danced the national dances before her to the sound of the
rude violin; when disheveled and ragged tziganes played tunes a
thousand years old, yet fresh with the eternal youth of innocence, then
Elizabeth believed her own life would be like an eternal pastorale.
And at once she gave her heart to the rustic crowds whose welcome
was showered upon her, who blessed her winning smile and her ready
curiosity to learn more about them and their village homes. No one
will ever know or appreciate the whole extent of the labour that from
morning to eve made her stoop toward the soil from which she drew the
secrets of the race, or raise her head to the sky whence faith and
inspiration descended upon her sacred toil.”

Queen Elizabeth and her ladies in waiting spend the summer months at
Castle Polesch, at Sinaia, about sixty miles from Bukharest in the
Carpathian Mountains. It is an imposing but gloomy edifice of gray
stone and red brick, situated in a wild forest, and looks like a very
ancient, although it is a very modern castle. It has been surrounded
by villas and hotels which attract the wealthy classes from Bukharest
society.

The lack of an heir to the throne of Roumania was supplied by the
selection of Prince Ferdinand, a nephew of King Carol, and a son of
Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern. He was born August 24, 1865, was
proclaimed crown prince of Roumania in 1889, was married in 1893 to the
Princess Marie, daughter of the Duke of Albany, and a granddaughter of
Queen Victoria. They have two sons, Carol, born in 1893, and Nicholas,
born in 1903, and three daughters.

The good people of Bukharest take great pride in their city and they
call it “the Paris of the Balkans.” So far as gayety and glamour and
sin and wickedness are concerned the term applies. It might be said
also that the extravagance of everybody who has money to spend, the
exorbitant prices that are imposed upon strangers for everything they
eat and drink and do, the giddy costumes and conduct of the feminine
patrons of the cafés, and the gay crowds that pervade the streets from
the time the lamps are lighted until they are extinguished, are all
quite up to the Paris standard. Men of experience assert that Bukharest
is a wickeder city than Budapest, and that is saying a good deal. Every
stranger is surprised to find such handsome residences, such luxurious
hotels, such imposing public buildings and such fine mercantile houses
and business blocks in the capital of so primitive a country as
Roumania, and there is a striking contrast between the city and the
country life in that little kingdom. Outside of the larger cities the
peasants cling tenaciously to their ancient customs and costumes and
habits of life. No country in Europe, unless it be Dalmatia, has so
much of what artists call “local colour.”

In the villages on market days you can see crowds of peasants, both
men and women, wearing the national dress, which is artistic and
attractive. In Bukharest, however, the women wear Paris gowns and Paris
hats, and the hobble skirt is as common these days as it is in any city
of Europe. The extravagance of the people is seen on every block. The
cafés are numerous, and they are always crowded; the public vehicles
are smarter than any you see in London, or Paris, or New York, and
they are drawn by magnificent Russian horses, black as ebony, with
long, flowing manes and tails. The coachmen wear a gay livery--a long
tunic of velvet, generally blue or black and heavily embroidered with
gold braid. Nearly all of them are Russian exiles. They belong to a
dissenting religious sect called the Skoptski, which is proscribed
by the orthodox Greek Church. But the cab charges are quite as high
as they are in New York, and twice as high as they are in Berlin. It
is asserted that there are more automobiles in Bukharest than in any
other European city in proportion to the population, and there are
taxicabs galore.

The hotels are as fine as any in Europe and their charges are higher
than those of Paris or New York. Everything is French--French cooks,
French waiters, French bills of fare--and French charges. A friend
who came straight to Bukharest from Monte Carlo and occupied similar
rooms at the most expensive of the hotels at both places asserts that
the charges at Bukharest were 15 and 25 per cent. higher than at Monte
Carlo.

One is surprised at the number of jewellery stores and the gorgeous
displays of diamonds and other precious stones, which are pointed out
as evidence of the extravagance of the people, and it goes without
saying that merchants would not offer such things for sale unless
there was a demand for them. We did not have an opportunity to see the
women of Bukharest in full dress, but from the toilettes displayed
at the cafés and at other public places one can infer what might be
seen indoors on occasions of display. The Roumanian women are famous
for their dress and for their good looks. It has been said that they
combine the beauty of the Magyar, the grace of the Viennese, the style
of the Parisienne and the passion of the Neapolitan. They are said to
be brilliant conversationalists also, quick of perception and nimble
of wit. Most women of the upper class are educated at home by French
governesses, who do not contribute so much to their intellectual as to
their social attractions. As one broad-minded gentleman put it, “the
Roumanian girl is a natural flirt. She can’t help it, and her French
governess adds refinement to the art and makes her self-confident to
recklessness.”

It is not fair, to judge women or men upon a short acquaintance,
and, although the stranger who visits Bukharest for a few days must
necessarily carry away an impression of frivolity and extravagance, I
am very sure there must be an undercurrent of earnestness and goodness
where there is so much froth. The cafés are always open and one would
think that the people of Bukharest never go to bed. The population is
about the same as that of Washington, but there are ten times as many
street lamps, twenty times as many restaurants and cafés, and twice as
many theatres. The gambling houses are wide open, and it is said that
very high stakes prevail. The Roumanians are a nation of gamblers and
many Russians go to Bukharest to play. They find much to attract them
in other respects, and perhaps the reputation of the city has been
injured by visitors from other lands.

In Bukharest one can hear genuine Tzigany orchestras and genuine gypsy
music, of which that heard in London and New York is only a mild
imitation. In every restaurant and café there is a band--sometimes only
two or three and sometimes a dozen musicians--constantly playing those
ravishing rag-time barbaric melodies that have been conceived in the
semi-savage brains of some gypsy genius. Occasionally a Tzigany girl
sings to the accompaniment of the orchestra, wild, weird strains of the
native music, which cannot be transplanted without losing its force and
fascination. While we cannot understand the words, the meaning of the
music is as plain as if it were written in English capital letters.

The Roumanian language is more like the Italian than the Russian,
and has a Latin origin, because the population of the country is
descended from the Roman legions that were sent up in the year 104
A.D. by the Emperor Trajan to hold the barbarians at bay and the
name of the country is properly “Roman-ia.” It is a liquid language
and flows freely off the tongues of the people, who talk faster than
any Frenchman you ever saw and gesticulate like the Italians. If any
one should hold the hands of a Roumanian woman she would become dumb
instantly.

The architecture of the business section is solid and regular, and
would remind you of Frankfort, or Leipzig, or Dresden, or any city
of similar size on the European continent, but the shop windows are
more like those of Paris. We were told that the merchants put nearly
all their goods in their windows, and that may be true, but they
certainly arrange them with a great deal of taste. There is a number of
newspapers, all intensely partisan, including a humorous publication
of merit. Its cartoons are equal to those of any of the German funny
papers.

There are two universities in the country, and the government pays
39,000,000 francs ($7,800,000) for the support of the schools.
Education is free and compulsory, but there is a lamentable lack of
schools in the rural districts, so that the purpose of the educational
provision in the constitution is not fully carried out. Nearly 70 per
cent. of the young men who report for military service can neither read
nor write and only a little more than half the school population is in
actual attendance.

The University of Bukharest has 3,443 students and the University
of Jassy has 629. There are schools for engineering, agriculture,
forestry, and art. There are various technical schools in the larger
cities, all of them under the care of the general government, and
they are well attended. The administration of King Carol is as
thorough as the Germans in promoting technical education and in
introducing scientific theories into practice in municipal and national
administration. Many of the young men go to Paris or to Berlin for
post-graduate courses, and several of them have become distinguished in
science, literature, music, and art. The Roumanian taste for painting
is as bizarre as that for music. The pictures by native artists in the
art stores and galleries of Bukharest are vivid in colour and action
and daring in their conceptions.

There is a good deal of politics in Roumania, and partisanship usually
encourages radical measures during political campaigns. But King Carol
is more than a figurehead. He takes a deep interest in diplomatic and
legislative affairs, and has recently concluded negotiations for an
alliance with Turkey, Austria, and Germany against the other Balkan
states, England, and Greece. Although Roumania has the same religion,
neither the government nor the people have much political sympathy with
their neighbours in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Servia, and Greece, and in
case of war between Greece and Turkey, Roumania would undoubtedly be
found on the side of the latter. The influence of Austria and Germany
is much greater in Roumania than that of any other nation, which is not
unnatural, as the king is a German, and a near relative of the kaiser.

The Roumanian army, for its size, is often said to be the best in
Europe. The king is a trained soldier and has taken an active personal
interest in its organization and equipment. But the people grumble at
the expense. The standing army for a nation of 6,000,000 people here
is precisely as large as that of the United States, with a population
of 80,000,000, not including 200,000 reserves, who are paid full wages
for two months in the year, when they are in camp. The army of Roumania
costs more than $15,000,000 a year, which is almost equal to $2.50 of
taxation per capita upon every man, woman and child in the country.

Roumania is fortunate in having unusually rich resources. The wide
plains in the valley of the Danube produce enormous crops of grain and
are cultivated with American machinery. Several of the manufacturers
of agricultural implements in the United States have branch houses,
whose sales mount into the millions every year. Roumania is the most
profitable market for American agricultural implements in Europe
excepting Russia and Hungary. The farms are large and are owned by a
landed aristocracy--there are no orders of nobility in the country--who
live in a feudal state and have armies of retainers born and brought
up on the soil they cultivate. The land owners are called boyards--the
same term is used in Russia--and the profits they make from their lands
are expended in maintaining handsome and extravagant establishments in
Bukharest.

There are enormous flocks of sheep also, mounting into millions,
and immense herds of cattle scattered among the foothills and on
the mountain slopes. The sheep and cattle barons of Roumania have
residences in Bukharest also, and spend a great deal of their money
there. Few of them ever try to live on their ranches, which are in
charge of overseers, and they do nothing to improve the condition
of their labourers or to provide them with schools or even decent
habitations. The farm villages throughout the country are in a
primitive condition--worse than those of Ireland. They have not
been improved for centuries, but the peasants are not unhappy or
discontented and they do not know that their condition could be
bettered. The Greek priests keep them in order and exercise a similar
influence to that of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland and Italy,
and while they have the credit of being honest and earnest, most of
them are uneducated and some are actually illiterate. I was told that
there was scarcely a hundred university men among the entire clergy of
the orthodox Greek church in Roumania, although there are nearly seven
thousand churches, six bishops, two archbishops and a patriarch, who is
at the head of the spiritual system of the country.

There is plenty of petroleum of a high grade and two or three German
corporations are refining it, but the exports are small owing to the
inability of local refiners to compete with the Standard Oil Company.
The market is practically limited to Roumania and the adjacent
countries. Several years ago the Standard Oil Company tried to obtain
control of the Roumanian wells in order to get a more complete command
of the market in the East, in competition with the Russian producers
at Baku; but the Germans had more influence with the government and
kept the Americans out. There is a disposition among business men here
to regret the outcome of that transaction, because they believe the
Standard Oil Company would have made a great deal more petroleum than
the Germans have ever done, and would have contributed in a larger
degree to the prosperity of the country. The government officials
sympathize with this view of the case, and if the Standard Oil Company
should again attempt to secure control of the industry in Roumania it
would have the encouragement of the administration and the business
organizations. The German refiners are doing practically nothing in the
way of improvement and expansion, and are actually letting their plants
run down.

In no country has the Jewish race suffered more brutal and relentless
persecution than in Roumania, and as elsewhere it has been more from
economic than from religious motives. It is true that synagogues have
been plundered and polluted; laws have been passed and regulations have
been framed to hinder believers from performing their rites of worship.
On holidays, Good Friday, and anniversaries of the saints, fanatical
mobs have often attacked quarters in which Jewish families have lived,
but these have been mere incidents in a general campaign that has
continued for a thousand years for the purpose of disabling the Jew
from competition with his Christian rivals in commerce, industry, and
the professions. That is the secret of all the Jewish persecution in
Russia to-day and everywhere else that this remarkable race suffers
from discrimination under the laws and the prejudices of society.

There is no doubt that Jews were among the earliest inhabitants of
Roumanian territory. After the destruction of Jerusalem and the
dispersion of its inhabitants by the Roman Emperor Titus many families
found their way into what are now Roumania, Hungary and Austria, and
many more followed the Roman legions, who occupied this country a
hundred years after the Christian era, and settled in different places
favourable to their trade. They were treated with favour in early
days, many became rich and influential, but shared the lot of the
whole population which was subjected to the caprice and the tyranny
of the semi-barbarous rulers who succeeded to the throne. Jews were
conspicuous in the professions as well as in finance and trade; they
often occupied high places under the government and were honoured
with the confidence of kings as well as that of the public generally.
They played an important rôle in state affairs, but all men of wealth
suffered blackmail in those days and were the prey of greedy and
impecunious princes. It was not until the development of civilization
in the eighteenth century that the Jewish population was singled out
for special attention. Then they were made objects of insult and
persecution, but it was not until the nineteenth century that they
were deprived of any of the rights that other men enjoyed in commerce
and trade. Jews were allowed to live in all the cities, villages, and
market towns and to engage in all the crafts and lines of commerce.
They were permitted to join the guilds of artisans and merchants on an
equal footing with Christians, and their skill, ability, and sagacity
enabled them to acquire special privileges, favours and influence.
They engaged in all of the professions; they were physicians, lawyers,
bankers, merchants, manufacturers, distillers, goldsmiths, and their
representatives were found in every occupation.

For various reasons during the earlier part of the nineteenth century
the Jews were accused of crimes and conspiracies, and in 1821 a
tremendous storm broke out against them. Their homes were pillaged and
burned, their business houses were looted; men, and even women and
children, were stoned in the streets, and no protection was given them
in the courts or by the police. Taxes were doubled; they were forbidden
to engage in certain trades or live in certain towns and cities; they
were compelled to wear a distinctive costume; they were arrested on
trivial pretexts and compelled to pay heavy fines, and property owners
were prohibited from renting shops and stores and houses to them. But
when the Revolution of 1848 broke out the Jews took an active part in
it, contributed liberally to the cause of liberty and were among the
leaders of the movement which accomplished so much for the freedom of
the people. Their services were recognized at the time, but no sooner
was the kingdom of Roumania recognized in 1866 than a methodical and
thorough system of persecution was adopted, which has continued until
the present day. It has been intended to drive the Jewish population,
which numbers about a quarter of a million, from Roumania, to deprive
them of their property and savings and to relieve the native members
of the professions and occupations from rivals with whom they cannot
compete. The motive, as I have said, is purely business, and religion
has not been offered even as a pretext.

One of the first acts of King Carol when he came to the throne of
Roumania in 1866 was to provide a constitution which guarantees civil
and religious equality and freedom to all citizens of Roumania; free
compulsory education, the right of petition, the right of public
meetings, and specifically provides that the difference of religious
creeds shall not be used as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in the
enjoyment of civil and political rights or the exercise of any of the
professions, trades, or industries.

These provisions were still further guaranteed by the powers of Europe
in a treaty signed by all of them at Berlin at the close of the war
between Russia and Turkey in 1878. Article thirty-four of that treaty
specifically mentions the Jews. This treaty proclaimed the equality of
all creeds before the law for the special purpose of regulating the
Jewish question in Roumania, but its provisions were promptly nullified
on the pretext that all persons living in Roumania who did not profess
the Christian religion were aliens and therefore the provisions did not
apply to them.

This theory has been the basis of all legislation and regulation
in Roumania since that time. The Jewish subjects of Roumania who
had assisted in the revolution for liberty, who had been cordially
commended by their neighbours and their king, disappeared from
existence with a stroke of the pen. Thenceforth there were no Roumanian
Jews, and all Jews who happened to be in Roumania were declared outlaw
aliens, not subject to protection.

To emphasize this action a series of raids upon Jewish settlements was
organized, and the hunting down of the Jews began. The most brutal
atrocities were committed. Thousands of families were driven from their
homes, and in many cases their houses were burned over their heads.
These raids were led by officials and policemen and soldiers, and for
months they were general throughout Roumania. The barbarities shocked
the Powers of Europe to such an extent that energetic remonstrances
were addressed to the Roumanian government, and a change of the
ministry occurred. But while the violence was suspended, except at
intervals, the object of driving the Jews from Roumania was attempted
by legislative measures.

The guarantee of protection in the Berlin treaty has never been
recognized. Every Jew has been declared an alien, although his
ancestors may have lived in the country for twenty centuries. No Jew
can be naturalized except by act of parliament; they are prohibited
from holding government positions; they are not allowed to organize
corporations or joint stock companies; they are shut out of the learned
professions; they cannot be bankers or brokers, agents or forwarders,
or engage in any similar classes of business; they cannot engage in
manufacturing, and cannot work in factories; they cannot be employed
upon railroads; and there is a law providing that no one shall employ a
Jew without also employing two Roumanians, which practically prohibits
them from earning wages in the small industries and on small farms.

Jews are prohibited from owning farm land, and the renting of land to
a Jew is forbidden. No Jew can keep a drug store, or be a veterinary
surgeon; they cannot be employed in the sanitary service of the state
or municipality; they cannot be received as free patients in hospitals,
except in cases of great urgency; no Jew can peddle merchandise in
Roumania, or sell liquor, or tobacco, and nearly every other mercantile
occupation is closed to them.

The free schools are for Roumanians only; Jews must pay tuition fees,
and even then they cannot be admitted if Christian children want
their places. A law passed in 1898 debars Jews from all professional
and agricultural schools and admits them only to schools of commerce
and of the arts and trades to the number of one fifth of the average
attendance, and then they must pay tuition, where Christian students
are admitted free. Where they have founded schools of their own they
are hampered with the most exasperating regulations and are required to
keep open on Saturdays and on other Jewish holidays.

Although the Jewish population is not recognized by law, the young men
are compelled to serve their time in the army, just as if they had a
legal existence, but no Jew can be an officer; they are excluded from
pensions, and in barracks and camp they are required to perform menial
service, to clean the streets and the closets and to carry off the
garbage.

A Jew has no standing in court; his testimony is not accepted; when he
is a defendant he has no right to employ counsel or question a jury.
It is not necessary to recite other features of the peculiar laws and
regulations which are intended to drive the Jews from Roumania by
making it impossible for them to earn a living there. It is sufficient
to say that a Jew is not recognized as having a legal existence; he is
an object of persecution as well as contempt and has no redress for any
ill treatment he may suffer in body, mind or estate.

These persecutions have driven a large proportion of the Jewish people
from Roumania to the United States and other countries. Emigration
is their only hope, and the number of arrivals at the ports of the
United States in 1902 caused Secretary Hay to call the attention of the
civilized world to the inhuman treatment of that race in Roumania by
making a formal protest. The pretext for this unusual action was the
large number of emigrants that had been driven to this country under
conditions which rendered them unfit for citizens of the United States
and were likely to make them a burden upon public and private charity.

Secretary Hay’s protest caused a tremendous sensation throughout the
diplomatic world, and was discussed everywhere, but no official action
was taken by any European government in regard to the matter, and
the only beneficial effect was to direct the eyes of the world upon
Roumania and thus cause a cessation of the persecutions for the time
being. Since then the treatment of the Jewish subjects of Roumania has
not been so cruel as before, although no law has been repealed and no
restriction has been modified. The tide of immigration has recently
been turned from the United States to Turkey, where the government
has invited Jewish colonists to settle in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia,
Syria, and other parts of the empire. And there are large schemes of
benevolence to transplant as many as can find room upon the unoccupied
lands of Turkey.

Notwithstanding all this persecution, the Jews of Roumania seem to be
flourishing. They are still the leading business men of that country,
and in the coast cities they show evidence of prosperity.

A large business in the way of grain exporting is done at Constanza
and other ports. All the export grain goes out that way, but more
than half the crop is sent up the Danube on barges to Budapest, which
manufactures almost as much flour as Minneapolis.

The railway from Budapest via Bukharest to the Black Sea is the
shortest route from central Europe to Constantinople, although it is
necessary for passengers to change to a steamer at Constanza. The
steamers are fast and comfortable, sailing promptly in connection with
the trains three nights in the week, so that the journey can be made
without delay.

South of Constanza are two or three Bulgarian ports which also handle
a good deal of grain, which is shipped in bags, and not in bulk, as
in the United States, by various lines of steamers to Marseilles and
Genoa. The Black Sea region probably exports more wheat than any other
part of the world except the United States and the Argentine Republic.

The Bulgarians have a summer resort on the Black Sea called Varna,
which is well patronized by the wealthier classes, and is said to be
very attractive. The king of Bulgaria has a villa there.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE NEW RÉGIME IN TURKEY


The new government of Turkey is doing as well as could be expected,
notwithstanding the many embarrassments which are perfectly natural
under the circumstances. It has been properly said that the greatest
evil which Abdul Hamid inflicted upon his country was by depriving it
of men of capacity, trained to exercise the functions of government.
His policy of centralization, the monopoly of administration which he
kept in his own hands, and the small number of subordinates who were
entrusted with responsibility, has resulted in a lack of experience and
knowledge which is being realized now for the first time in its full
significance. Almost everybody agrees that the leaders of the Young
Turk party, and the cabinet ministers they have selected, represent the
best sentiment of the country, and that a better class of officials
could not be found. They are honest and disinterested to a degree which
has been unknown before in Turkish history. They are full of good
intentions and their greatest fault, or rather weakness, is shrinking
from responsibility. The people have expected much and have received
little or nothing.

People complain that it is more difficult to do business with the
government now than it was under the old régime because now a
contractor has to deal with forty different people, when formerly
he had to deal with one. Now, if he fails to consult or overlooks
some official who has to do with the case, or neglects to show that
deference which the sub-deputy assistant to some minister expects, he
makes an enemy for life, and his business is blocked beyond relief.
And, although the prevailing opinion gives the new government an
excellent reputation for integrity, there are still skeptics who insist
that the bribes are passed under the table instead of over it, as was
formerly the case.

It is scarcely to be expected that a nation will change its habits in
a day. The payment of “baksheesh” has been customary in Turkey since
the beginning of time, and the practice was not only tolerated but
recognized as legitimate by the former government. Abdul Hamid, for
example, expected the ambassadors and ministers of foreign powers to
pay the salaries of the officials of the foreign office with whom
they had to deal, which relieved him of the necessity of paying them
himself, and the same system prevailed through the entire government.
Nobody ever went to a Turkish official for a favour without bringing
a gift. That has always been the custom in all Oriental countries,
even in Bible times, and the value of the gift must correspond with
the value of the favour desired. No one who understands the Oriental
character would concede that this practice had been entirely abandoned
at the sublime porte, although the ministers and the other men high
in authority are believed to be incorruptible. Mr. Crawford, the
Englishman who is in charge of the customs, has made it perfectly plain
to the employés of that department, that any man who accepts a bribe
from an importer must hand in his resignation at the same time. There
has undoubtedly been a great improvement in this respect. The delay
in granting concessions for public works, therefore, is not due to the
reasons which might have prevailed in the old régime, but merely to
indecision on the part of the officials, who have never been accustomed
to decide questions of importance for themselves and hesitate to
do so for fear they may be criticised. They try to shoulder the
responsibility upon somebody else or, as the saying goes, to provide a
screen behind which they may hide in case they are criticised. These
delays have been the greatest fault of the administration.

The next most serious cause of complaint is the failure of the
government to require the governors of provinces and other local
officials to go ahead and carry out plans for the benefit of the
people. It is conceded that the character and ability of the local
officials have been greatly improved. Better governors have been
selected, and they have been cautioned that their tenure of office
depends upon their behaviour. The provincial magistrates no longer
depend upon blackmail for a living. Formerly a governor bought his
position and used it to reimburse himself for past expenditures and to
provide for his future. While he was robbing the people and feathering
his own nest, nothing was done for the benefit of the public. No roads
were built or bridges repaired and none of the revenues were spent
for the general welfare. To-day, things are supposed to be different,
and the governors have been instructed to drain the marshes, build
roads and bridges, to improve the prisons and the barracks, to provide
schools and repair the mosques; but they do not act. They are afraid
of responsibility. They cannot get rid of habits formed under the old
régime, when no governor dared do anything without first reporting
his intentions to the sultan and securing his majesty’s approval and
consent.

There are some exceptions. Certain governors have acted promptly
and have received the cordial commendation of the ministry at
Constantinople. Their work has been publicly commended in the Chamber
of Deputies and it is probable that these examples will be regarded as
precedents and imitated by others.

The greatest amount of trouble from this source is found in the eastern
portion of Asia Minor, where ignorance and fanaticism are universal
and where the people need public works more than any other community.
They have given the new régime their cordial indorsement; they have
been told that the new government will give them roads by which they
can take their produce to market; schools in which their children may
be educated; bridges over the streams and other modern improvements,
and they have waited patiently for more than a year for something to
happen; but there is “nothing doing,” and the peasants are beginning to
have their doubts as to the sincerity of the government, which, if it
goes much further, will result in repudiation and revolution.

One great benefit which the peasants enjoy, however, and the importance
of which they recognize, is the abolition of the passport system, which
prohibited the resident of one village from visiting another without
the permission of the police. Now any one can go wherever he pleases
at any time without interference from the authorities and no questions
asked.

Another great improvement has been in the character and the conduct
of the gendarmes or national police, who are under the direction
of the minister of the interior, with local commanders who report
to the governors of the provinces. Formerly the gendarmes were the
brutal tools of tyranny. Every massacre was led by them. They were
blackmailers, robbers, despoilers of homes, ravishers of women, and
murderers, and their uniforms protected them from punishment. Since the
new government came in there has been an almost universal change in
the personnel of the police, and the present force is made up largely
of veteran soldiers with honourable records. The most intelligent and
reliable men have been detailed for the service, and as a rule they are
honest, conscientious and anxious to perform their duties properly.

There are several schools for training them similar to those adopted
by the foreign officials in Macedonia. They are taught by European
officers, and the first lesson is to convince them that they must
command and deserve the respect of the people. It is perfectly natural
that they should be regarded with jealousy by the zaptiehs and spies of
the old régime, but there has been very little complaint and they are
winning golden opinions.

Another serious mistake of the new government has been the treatment
of the Albanians, who were greatly favoured by Abdul Hamid and are
haughty, independent, fearless mountaineers, very difficult to deal
with. They are only semi-civilized, and their province is probably the
most primitive in all Europe. Instead of giving them roads, railways
and schools of their own and cultivating their good will, the new
government has antagonized the Albanians from the start. They were
recognized as favourites and adherents of the old sultan, and the
Albanian regiments, which formed his body-guard and received four
times the pay of the ordinary soldier, were disbanded and sent home
to make mischief. An unwise governor issued an order requiring the
use of the Turkish language exclusively in all the Albanian schools,
which was the most offensive act that could have been committed. The
Albanian representatives in the Chamber of Deputies protested and in
vain. They had thrown in their lot with the reformers and had offered
their support to the government, but the government would not trust
them and treated them as enemies. Hence an insurrection which stirred
up the entire province, cost several hundred lives and hundreds of
thousands of dollars. An armed peace has been restored, but no attempt
has been made to improve the condition of the Albanians. The ruins of
the villages that have been burned and the graves of the neighbours
that have been killed will be perpetual reminders of what the Albanians
consider to be a tyrannical and unjust treatment of their province.

A similar mistake was made in Macedonia, where the sympathy of the
people was so strongly on the side of their nextdoor neighbours, the
Albanians, that the government feared a revolution. Instead of trying
to prevent it by giving the Macedonians new roads and schools and other
public improvements they need so much, an order was issued to disarm
the entire population. Comparatively few guns have been surrendered
and even a smaller number have been found by searching parties. The
rest are buried in the woods, ready for use whenever a favourable
opportunity is offered to show their resentment against the new
government. It would not be difficult to point out other mistakes,
but none so serious as these. And, taking all in all, there has been
a decided improvement in conditions. The finances are in good shape;
the taxes are honestly collected and the money is honestly expended.
The increase in the revenues is remarkable and the importers and other
tax-payers no longer complain of favouritism.

Another sign of progress is the respect which the officials show
to the public, and that is much appreciated. There is still some
complaint concerning the administration of justice, but such troubles
will naturally correct themselves with changes in the personnel of
the judiciary. At any rate, the least that can be said is that the
courts are no longer used for political purposes or for blackmail or
persecution. The present government is the best Turkey has ever had,
and as Sir Edwin Pears, the venerable correspondent of the London
_Times_, says: “Its faults are those of inexperience which time will
cure. Experience will give the ministers greater courage to accept
responsibility, and they and the masses of the people are gradually
gaining confidence in each other and in themselves.”

There has always been a department of education in the Turkish
administration, but it has never amounted to anything until now. The
present minister is an earnest, ambitious, conscientious man, who
realizes the illiterate condition of the people and the importance
of education. And he has begun the organization of a free public
school system throughout the entire empire, to be supported by local
taxation, with subsidies from the imperial treasury. The parliament
appropriated $4,300,000 for the year 1910, of which one sixth was paid
to private schools and the remainder was allotted to public educational
institutions and the free public schools throughout the empire. It is
expected that this amount will be increased gradually year by year as
the revenues will permit. The spirit shown by members of Parliament
promises generous grants in the future.

D. J. Mahmoud Bey, the inspector general of public instruction, told me
that there would be about 65,000 elementary public schools in operation
throughout the Turkish Empire before the end of 1910, and that number
will be increased as rapidly as possible. The greatest difficulty is
to get teachers. Indeed, that is the only obstacle to the extension of
the system. Mahmoud Bey says the inhabitants of the various provinces
are “crazy” for schools, and are willing to pay any amount of taxes
within their power to secure them. But there are no teachers to be
had. The salaries that can be allowed will not tempt educated men away
from other professions and there are so few educated women in the
country that it is almost impossible to find instructors for the girls’
schools. Mohammedan girls cannot attend mixed schools and cannot be
taught by men.

“We have just started two large normal schools in Constantinople for
the education of teachers,” said Mahmoud Bey, “and will establish
others in the provinces as rapidly as possible. It will be at least
two years and probably three years before any of the students from
these schools will be available for teachers, and in the meantime we
will have to do the best we can. We are getting some teachers from the
American missionary schools in different parts of Turkey, although they
are, of course, reluctant to let their teachers go. We are placing
promising young men and women in all the American institutions, to be
educated at government expense. We have five government students in
the American College for Girls at Scutari. We shall have as many or
more young men in Robert College at the opening of the fall term. We
have already sent 150 students to Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Geneva and
other European educational centres at government expense. These young
men are selected from the most promising students in our high schools.
We will send more next year. We expect to send twenty-five, perhaps
fifty, young men to America to be educated. We like the American system
of education very much, but in the organization of our public schools
we are adopting the German and Swiss systems rather than the American
because it is more easily applied.

“There is a great educational renaissance in Turkey,” continued Mahmoud
Bey. “The deputies of our parliament are here every day demanding more
schools for their constituents. One of them who was in this morning
said that the people in his province were ‘actually screaming for
schools.’ The deputy from Mesopotamia has just sent me a copy of a
speech he has recently made in approval of our efforts and promising
his earnest support for us in the future.”

The appropriations for 1910 were divided as follows--a piaster being
five cents in American money:

                                              Piasters.
  Subventions to primary schools             20,000,000
  Subventions to secondary schools           12,000,000
  Government primary schools                  3,000,000
  Government lyceums                          3,000,000
  Government normal schools                   2,453,820
  Subventions to provincial normal schools    3,000,000
  Subventions to provincial lyceums           4,000,000
  University of Constantinople                2,928,816
  Agricultural schools                        3,636,000
  Medical schools                             8,502,200
  Schools of music and art                    1,030,000
  Technical schools                           7,839,000
  Schools of commerce                         2,670,120
  Students in private schools                 5,190,000

The several military academies are supported from the appropriations
for the war department. The provincial schools referred to in the
above table are situated in forty or fifty of the largest centres
of population in the different provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The
lyceums are what we call high or preparatory schools. Schools of
commerce are what we call commercial colleges where modern languages,
bookkeeping, typewriting, stenography, and other accomplishments
required in a business career are taught.

The Ottoman Imperial University was established in Stamboul, the
native part of Constantinople, by the ex-sultan, Abdul Hamid, in 1904,
with six departments--law, medicine, politics, theology, literature,
and natural sciences. It was a concession to the orthodox and loyal
families of the Moslem faith who were determined that their sons should
have a liberal education, but were reluctant to send them to the
American missionary colleges or to the European universities. Hundreds
of Turkish young men have been going to the universities of Paris,
Geneva, Berlin, Vienna, and Budapest, and at those institutions have
acquired liberal and revolutionary doctrines which made them dangerous
to the despotism. Abdul Hamid was opposed to education in every form,
particularly among the middle and lower classes of his subjects,
because it made them troublesome and discontented, but he threw a tub
to the whale, as it were, by starting a university of his own about
four years before his downfall. It did not amount to much under his
reign, but since the Young Turks came into power it has branched out
considerably and promises to be an institution of importance.

There are now about twenty-five hundred students in the various
departments, and a faculty of two hundred professors, most of them
competent men, but only a few have had experience in instruction. For
the year 1910, the appropriation for the support of the university was
three million piasters, which is equivalent to $150,000 in American
money--a sum that is ample to meet the present demands.

The university occupies the former palace of Kiamil Pasha, near the
mosque of Sultan Bayazid, on one of the highest and best positions in
the city. While the building is not at all adapted to the purpose, it
is a costly and highly decorated mansion, and when the Cheragan Palace,
occupied by the parliament, was burned in 1909, it was proposed to turn
out the university and use the Kiamil Palace as a parliament house.
Fortunately the minister of public education was able to head off the
plan, because he would have found it very difficult to find even so
good, or so poor a place in Constantinople for the institution. Plans
have been made for a new building to cost five million dollars, but
it will be a long time before the Turkish treasury can afford such an
expenditure.

The largest branch of the university is the law department, called
the Mektebi Hookouk, where an average of more than a thousand young
men are attending lectures to prepare themselves for the bar, and
for employment by the government as magistrates and in other legal
capacities. Many of these young men finish their courses at the
Sorbonne, Paris, and other European institutions. More attention is
paid to the Shariat, the Mohammedan code, than to European law, because
that prevails throughout the entire Ottoman Empire, and is based
entirely upon the Koran. Several propositions have been offered for the
appointment of a commission to modernize this code, that it may better
apply to everyday affairs, but thus far the Mohammedan priests have
been able to head them off.

The law school is open to students of all nationalities. The
matriculation fee is $5.00 and there are similar fees for tuition and
for each examination, which makes the total charge $15.00 for the first
year. Parliament has passed a law authorizing the officials of the
university to waive the fees of students who bring certificates from
local magistrates that they are competent and worthy to attend the
lectures, but are not able to pay the charges. During the year 1910, 40
per cent. of the students in the law department took advantage of this
exemption.

There are about fifty instructors in the law school, and probably 2,500
different young men attend all or a part of the lectures during the
year, coming and going according to their convenience, but the average
attendance does not exceed one thousand.

The next largest school is the Mektebi Milkieh, or school of politics,
where attendance is obligatory and each student is required to appear
at three lectures a day, except on Friday, which is the Moslem sabbath.
There are about three hundred students and nine professors, who are
teaching the several languages spoken in the Turkish Empire, and other
general branches for the purpose of qualifying the graduates to fill
official positions in the different provinces and in the various
departments of the government. It is a training school for government
employés.

The Ulumi Dinieh, or theological department, has ten professors and
one hundred and forty students, who are being prepared for the Moslem
priesthood. The methods of instruction are said to be considerably in
advance of those that prevail in the ordinary medresses, or seminaries.
In the latter the students simply commit to memory the Koran and
study the commentators on that remarkable book. At the university the
instruction is broader and includes other branches of learning.

The medical department has nearly a thousand students and occupies
a separate building near the railway station in Haidar Pasha on the
Asiatic side of the Bosphorus. This school was established many years
ago to train medical officers for the army and most of the instructors
are Frenchmen and Greeks. There are several Germans also. The course
of study covers five years and the examinations are said to be very
strict. There are schools of dentistry and pharmacy connected with the
medical department.

The department of natural sciences has ten instructors and ninety
students, who are mostly engaged in studying chemistry, and the
graduates are employed in laboratories connected with the custom house,
arsenals, and other military depots. There does not seem to be any
fixed course.

The school of literature includes everything else, a sort of omnibus,
where a student may receive instruction in almost every branch. And
the department is divided into various schools of mathematics, modern
languages, finance, engineering and fine arts. The latter has about
one hundred and fifty students under the direction of Vosgam Effendi,
a sculptor who has made a considerable reputation by his work.
Architecture, painting, sculpture, engraving, and etching are taught by
twelve instructors. The school occupies a building in the Seraglio near
the new museum.

A normal school, called Dar-ul-Mouallumin, was added to the university
in 1910, for the purpose of training teachers for the public schools
that have recently been established throughout the empire. The corps
of instructors are mostly drawn from the American missionary schools,
which have been accepted as models by the government, and to secure
admission to the normal schools students must have diplomas from one of
the branches of the university or from some American missionary school.

The best education to be had in Turkey outside of the American colleges
has been given by the military school at Constantinople. Nearly all
the leaders of the recent revolution were educated there. It was a
pet of Abdul Hamid and at times he treated it with great generosity.
The lyceum of Galata Serai, in the foreign quarter of Constantinople,
has been the only other native school where Turkish boys could get a
respectable education, and some of the best men in the Turkish service
have been educated there under a French principal and German and
Swiss professors. The school had a bad reputation, however, among the
autocrats. It was suspected of being a nursery for breeding enemies of
the despotism, and Abdul Hamid compelled several of his ministers to
take away their boys who had been sent there, because of the liberal
tendencies of the faculty. Five or six years ago, the school was burned
down. It was a case of arson, and every body believed that the sultan
paid one of his minions to set it on fire. He would never allow
the Galata Serai to be rebuilt, and the ruins lay undisturbed until
the Young Turk party came into power. Then the school was promptly
reorganized and Fikret Bey, a Turkish scholar and poet and a member of
the faculty of Robert College, was appointed director. As soon as a new
building can be erected the school will resume its old importance.

[Illustration: View of the Bosphorus; ancient castle of Mohammed the
Great in foreground]

There are several Roman Catholic schools in Constantinople, taught by
the Franciscan and Augustinian monks. There is a German school of some
importance and a dozen or more French schools, including a medical
college. Its faculty have charge of the French hospital, which is the
most important institution of the kind in Turkey, and is patronized by
members of the diplomatic corps from all countries. A large number of
schools are supported by the Greek population, and some of them are
attended by the children of Turkish families. There are probably more
Greek schools than those of all the nations put together, and they are
scattered in every part of the city. The French language is taught
as well as Greek, because French is really the language of commerce,
diplomacy, and fashionable society in the East. If a stranger goes into
a bank, he is always addressed in the French language, and it is spoken
by a larger number of the inhabitants of Constantinople than any other,
except the Turkish.

The Armenians, the Jews, and the other different races have their own
schools, which have been made necessary because of the absence of a
general educational system. And it is from the graduates of these
schools that the Turkish government is now getting its supply of
teachers.

The Mohammedan schools connected with the mosques are worthless for
a practical education. The teachers are priests, most of whom have
no knowledge outside the Koran, which, to them, is the source of
all light and learning and law and morals, and is regarded with as
much reverence as the maxims of Confucius by the Chinese. Connected
with each medress, or theological seminary, are several ulemas, or
theologians, who are supposed to be profound thinkers and expound the
doctrines of the church to groups of students who gather around them
in the different mosques. These students are called “softas” and there
are said to be 7,000 of them in Constantinople to-day studying the
Koran and the Shariat--a code of laws used, based upon the teachings
of the Koran, which is the authority of every court in the empire.
These softas become priests, judges, notaries, valis, cadis, and other
local officials. Many of them go into private practice, but there are
comparatively few lawyers in Turkey. A judge here gets the facts direct
from the litigants who come before him and applies the law himself.
The softas are never taught geography or history or mathematics, and
most of them are so illiterate that they cannot read an ordinary book
at sight. The text of the Koran would puzzle them if they had not been
required to commit it to memory.

The English government has established a high school for boys, which
will accommodate about one hundred and fifty, with rooms for thirty or
forty boarders. It is intended primarily for the education of the sons
of English families living in Turkey, but is free to everybody who can
pay the fees. It is partially a charitable institution, and a fund of
$50,000 has been contributed during past years by benevolent people to
assist in the education of worthy young men who haven’t the means to
pay the fees.

Thus you will observe that the lack of government educational system
in Turkey has been very largely supplied by foreigners, primarily for
the benefit of their own children, but often available for the natives
also. Most of these schools have been established and maintained in
defiance of the prejudice and the hostility of the late sultan, who was
opposed to all forms of education and did his best to keep his subjects
in ignorance as well as poverty.

Mr. Straus, the American ambassador, has recently succeeded in
correcting a great wrong inflicted upon these institutions by Abdul
Hamid. He has obtained from the new government an irade authorizing
all foreign schools and benevolent institutions to hold their property
in their corporate name, instead of being compelled to place it in
the names of individuals, as heretofore. His predecessors in the
embassy have been working for it for thirty years or more. He tried
to get such a decision when he was occupying the same post during
the Cleveland administration, but Abdul Hamid was inflexible in his
refusal to do anything for the encouragement of education. The recent
decision of the council of state, secured by Mr. Straus, exempts
all religious, benevolent and educational institutions founded and
conducted by foreigners from the restrictions imposed upon other
foreign corporations. It applies to about three hundred American
schools, hospitals, colleges, orphanages, and asylums, and to as many
institutions of the same kind supported by Europeans.

The privilege of searching the libraries of the mosques of
Constantinople has long been coveted by the scholars of the world,
because they are supposed to contain many ancient manuscripts of
unique value and interest by Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, Egyptian,
and Byzantine scholars and historians, but very few originals of
literary merit are likely to be found there. Constantinople has
never been renowned for its scholars or literary men. It never had a
university until recently. The ancient city of Khiva, far away to the
northeast, beyond the Caspian Sea and the deserts of Central Asia,
was a literary centre when Constantinople was the political capital
of the world. Samarkand, Bokhara, and the cities of Asia Minor were
centres of learning and theological controversy when the thoughts
of Constantinople were absorbed in military and political affairs.
Practically all of the literary treasures in the libraries of this
city are the loot of a score of conquered nations. Most of them, when
brought home from the wars, were dumped at the mosques and other places
without arrangement and generally without any appreciation of their
value or knowledge of their contents. Several of the sultans had an
appreciation of literary merit and encouraged science and art, but
this encouragement has never been continuous. More of them have been
iconoclasts, like the Caliph Omar, who used the books of the great
library at Alexandria, the greatest of its period, to heat the waters
for the public baths.

Many of the manuscripts of the Alexandrian library were stolen, and
some of them, doubtless, found their way to Constantinople. There were
colonies of Greek and Roman scholars all along the coast of the Black
Sea, particularly at Trebizond and in the Crimea. Palestine was once
rich in lore. Damascus, Antioch, Ephesus, Armenia, and several cities
of Persia and Turkestan were well blessed with wise men--authors,
philosophers, theologians, mathematicians, poets, and essayists, and
were the seats of colleges and universities.

Nobody knows much about the libraries of Constantinople, however;
none of them have ever been catalogued; few of them have even been
consulted. The books are piled up on their sides in shelves and covered
with the dust of ages. The Mohammedan priests, who have charge of them,
are usually illiterate men and look upon learning with superstition.
They can give no information concerning the volumes in their charge.
Only occasionally, when some scholar from Germany, England, or Italy
comes here, with sufficient patience and persistence to break through
the restrictions that have protected these collections, has anything of
interest ever been brought to light.

These unknown collections, however, are believed to contain early
copies of the Gospel, of the Greek poets, of the Egyptian geographers,
the Phœnician astrologers, and other ancient tomes, and probably within
a short time we will be able to learn something about them. The lost
books of Livy are supposed to be in a collection of ancient manuscripts
at what is called the topcapon or Cannongate of the Seraglio, the
ancient residence of the Turkish sultans.

Dr. Arminius Vámbéry, a Hungarian author, writer, and scholar of note,
who somehow or other made himself popular with Abdul Hamid, obtained
permission to examine the Cannongate collection, and spent several
weeks there. He afterward persuaded the sultan to let him take back
to Hungary a number of historical manuscripts which were brought to
Constantinople as loot from Budapest after the Turkish army sacked that
city in the Middle Ages. As it was strictly a personal matter between
the sultan and Dr. Vambery, there is no record of what the latter
carried away.

Several years ago an enterprising Russian scholar found his way into
the same library and secured a very early manuscript copy of the
Hexateuch, the first six books of the Bible. The manuscript was sent to
the Russian Institute at St. Petersburg, where it is now being edited
for publication.

Arthur Evans of London also got an opportunity to look over the books
at the Cannongate a few months ago, and found a manuscript of great
historical interest. It was a life of Mohammed II, by Critobolus, a
Greek author, who accepted service under that sultan and became a sort
of Boswell for him. His work is especially important because he was
the only Greek writer of importance in that period who belonged to the
Mohammedan faith and had an opportunity of consulting the Mohammedan
authorities.

There is a strong impression that the libraries at all the mosques
have been looted of their treasures from time to time, because the
opportunity has not been lacking, and they have never been properly
protected. No one has been responsible for the library at that most
famous of all mosques, St. Sophia, which must have been very important
at one time, but is now only a collection of bound manuscripts,
not more than three or four hundred in number, in the custody of a
fanatical old priest. They have been kicked around the mosque and could
easily have been looted by any one who was able to gain the confidence
of the custodian. But all the libraries are amply protected now, and
the world of book lovers will soon have accurate information about
them.

There have been conflicting reports about Abdul Hamid’s library at the
Yildiz Kiosk. It has been represented by some newspaper writers to be
of incomparable value and importance. Others condemned it as a lot of
rubbish. Mahmoud Bey told me that it contains about 40,000 printed
books and manuscripts which have been hauled away to Kuba-Altai, one
of the old palaces in the Seraglio, where they have been examined and
classified by a commission, of which Abdureman Sherif Bey, minister of
public instruction, is the chairman. Captain Safed Bey, perhaps the
foremost historian in Turkey, was in immediate charge of the work.

The sultan’s collection contains many manuscripts in the oriental
languages, which were inherited by him and were received as gifts
during his reign; and many printed volumes of great value for their
bindings and illustrations are in English, French, and German, and
were presented to him by people who were seeking favours and supposed
that he had a taste for such things. But Mahmoud Bey says that he
really did not care particularly for books. He was no student; he
never read anything and was actually illiterate. His early education
was neglected, like that of the present sultan, who has no culture or
inclination to acquire it. Mehmed V is fond of show and ceremony, but
it is probable that he never read anything more serious than a French
novel in his life. Abdul Hamid was a miser in everything. He accepted
all gifts that came his way and seized everything he could reach,
simply for the pleasure of possession. He was crazy to add to his
wealth, but did not care much what he acquired.

Hence his books are a motley collection of good, bad, and indifferent
works in manuscripts and printed in all languages, but there is very
little to interest scholars, so far as they have been examined. They
were never classified nor catalogued, but were carefully kept. Sixteen
librarians were employed during the latter days of Abdul Hamid, and
they had several servants who dusted the books regularly and kept them
clean, but the librarians were neither competent nor inclined to make a
catalogue.

The most valuable items in the collection are ornamental copies of
the Koran and ancient classical poems in Persian and other oriental
languages. Many of them are of script of the greatest beauty. They were
made when penmanship was an art. Painting is prohibited by the Koran,
and for that reason, Moslems turn to penmanship and the illumination of
manuscripts to exercise their taste. There are also many Turkish and
Arabic works of historical value, but thus far no Hebrew, Greek, or
Latin volumes of interest have been discovered.

The acquisitive disposition of Abdul Hamid is manifested in a curious
way by some of the books that were found on his shelves. Catalogues
of American manufacturers, price lists, descriptions of battleships
and torpedo boats, and every kind of commercial advertising was mixed
up with his French novels, illustrated manuscripts of the Koran,
illuminated copies of Persian poems and Turkish classics. One of the
most elaborate volumes in the collection is a description of the
exposition held at the Crystal Palace in London sixty years ago. His
majesty was very well supplied with similar literature. He had the
official reports of almost every exposition that has since been held,
including that of the World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago, which
has additional value for the reason that it is a presentation copy from
Hakki Bey, the present grand vizier and one of the leaders of the Young
Turk party, which shoved him off his throne.

The number of books about Turkey in all the European languages, and
most of them presented “with the compliments of the author,” is
surprising. The sultan never bought a book, and never read one, and
whether these descriptions of his empire were sent him because they
spoke favourably of his reign or the contrary can only be determined by
examination.

Opening into the library was a sort of storeroom filled with Abdul
Hamid’s clothing, new and old, mixed with sheets and towels and other
soiled linen. Why these things should have been there, a long way from
his living apartments, has never been explained. In another room was a
stuffed horse and several stuffed dogs, cats, and pigeons, all of them
pets of his majesty, which he had preserved in that way.

The library of St. Sophia, which was founded nearly a thousand years
ago, consists of only about two thousand volumes, all manuscripts,
without one single printed book, which are piled up like merchandise
upon shelves protected by woven wire doors, in a small room adjoining
that mosque. The walls are covered with beautiful Persian tiles and the
roof is a low enamelled dome. The windows are small and narrow and are
protected by heavy bars. Only since the constitution was proclaimed and
the new government came into power have strangers been allowed to enter
this library, and its existence was practically unknown to the public
until recently. There is no catalogue; the books have lain undisturbed
for centuries, and even now nobody knows exactly what they are.

A quaint old patriarch with a long white beard and keen black eyes that
shoot out rays from under heavy black eyebrows is in charge. He told
me he had been connected with the mosque of St. Sophia for fifty years
and had been in charge of the books for more than thirty years, but was
unable to read one of them. He was very much more disposed to discuss
theology and politics than to tell me about the books, and I learned by
close questioning that he was quite as ignorant on that subject as the
rest of the mullahs about the mosque. He was so garrulous that it was
difficult to stop him long enough for Michel Naskidoff, my interpreter,
to tell me what he was talking about.

His name is Selim Abdullah; he was born and brought up in
Constantinople, and was never outside of this city in his life. He gave
us a few other facts in his biography and to make sure that we did not
report him unfavourably to the minister of education, who gave us a
permit to visit the library, he explained that he had always been in
favour of constitutional government and had never been a fanatic in
religion, but until recently people in Turkey had not been allowed to
say what was in their minds.

Here we stopped him long enough to examine what he said were the rarest
books in the collection. They are kept in a wonderful old chest which
is modelled after a mosque and heavily veneered with mother of pearl.
That chest would be a prize in any museum, and the old man told me that
it was more than 2,000 years old. Nine of the most precious volumes are
kept there under lock and key, and he brought them all out for us. He
told us that they are worth more than 20,000 piasters each and were
written more than 3,000 years ago. They are the original manuscript,
in the handwriting of the authors in the classical language which was
spoken by the early Turks in Turkestan. No one could read that language
now, he said, in Turkey at least, although certain famous scholars in
Khiva are familiar with the text.

He showed us, among others, an exquisite specimen of penmanship bound
in gold covers, about ten by fourteen inches in size, which he said
was an ancient Tartar poem, called “Divan,” written in the year 911,
by Hussein Biscara, one of the most famous of all Tartar poets. This
volume was presented to one of the sultans of Turkey about 600 years
ago by one of the shahs of Persia. The text is the most ornate Persian
script, and each page is illuminated with a border about two inches
wide, of geometric designs worked out in mosaic, with gold leaf and
bright coloured paper. The colours are as brilliant as they were when
the book was written, and the mosaic was made by cutting the coloured
paper and gold leaf into little bits and pasting them on according to
a design. The volume contains fifty-two leaves and 104 pages, also
illuminated with a title page that is a mass of colour. The binding is
not particularly artistic, but is very rich and costly.

The old gentleman explained that no one in Constantinople could read
the book, but in Khiva there were plenty of scholars who could do so.
When we told him we had recently returned from a visit to Turkestan, he
inquired eagerly what the Russians were doing up there and whether they
were persecuting the Mohammedans. He said the Russians are the worst
people in the world to persecute believers in other religions and are
trying to force the Mohammedans and Jews to accept the orthodox Greek
faith. Large numbers of Jews have done so to avoid persecution and to
preserve their property, but no Mohammedan, under any circumstances,
had ever renounced his belief in the prophet. The only nations who do
not persecute the Mohammedans, the old man said, are the English and
the French.

“Do the Americans persecute Mohammedans?” I asked.

“I do not know that I ever heard that they did,” he replied, “but the
Americans are just the same as the English, and most of them live in
England, because they can make more money there. All the Americans want
is money. They don’t care for art, or science, or religion. I have
heard that they dig up the bones of their ancestors from the cemeteries
and sell them to the farmers for fertilizers, they are so greedy to get
money, but I never saw any of them do it. I never saw an American to
know him, but I suppose they look like other people.”

We assured him that we were Americans and that he had been misinformed
about their persecuting Mohammedans. I asked him if he knew how much
American money had been expended to educate Mohammedans and to give
them hospitals, and how much had been devoted to the relief of people
of the Turkish Empire who had suffered in droughts and epidemics and
massacres. He confessed that he did not know; he was not aware that
the Americans had ever contributed any money for such purposes, and
admitted, reluctantly, that he did not read the newspapers, for the
reason that he did not consider them reliable. He had known so many
cases where people had been deceived by newspaper publications, and he
had never read anything about American contributions for the benefit
of Turkey. I told him about the recent Kennedy legacy of $2,500,000
to Robert College and of the Red Cross fund that had been sent to the
relief of sufferers by massacre, by flood, and by epidemics. He had
never heard anything of the kind. He never had anything to do with
Christians.

“We are not Christians,” he said, “because we cannot understand how
they can have two or three Gods (referring to the doctrine of the
trinity). Such a thing is impossible. There is but one God. There can
be no division of spiritual responsibility. It is impossible to believe
that a man can become a God, and I cannot understand why you Christians
have three Gods when the first commandment of Moses forbids you to have
more than one.”

I didn’t try to explain the doctrine of the trinity to him, because our
time was short, and endeavoured to get him back to his books. After a
little further discussion he showed us two ancient volumes in Sanscrit
script on parchment which he said were more than three thousand years
old and were also presented to Mahomet the Great by the shah of Persia.

“Nobody can read these books,” he said, “because the language in which
they are written has been forgotten by all mankind. It is a language
that was spoken by millions of people once, but they are all dead and
it has been forgotten.”

He showed us a gorgeous volume called “Nargai,” which, he said,
contained the observations of Mohammed “the champion,” the first
Turkish sultan of that name, whose reign, beginning in 1314, is noted
as the period when a taste for literature and art and a fondness
for poetry and the drama first prevailed among the Osmanlis. Each
parchment leaf is stained a different tint, including various shades
of the primary colours, and they are ornamented with gold tracery in
the corners and at the tops and bottoms of the pages. On many pages are
broad borders of exquisite design and workmanship.

Another beautiful volume in Persian script on parchment about fourteen
inches square, the old gentleman said, is the third book ever written
about the stars. The author was a very learned Egyptian who lived about
three thousand years ago. The name was on the title page, but he could
not read it--nevertheless, he was certain that there had never been any
such book on astronomy written since that time. It contained everything
that was ever known about the stars, and all other astronomies could
be destroyed without doing any damage so long as this one existed. The
covers are exquisite pieces of leather enamel inlaid with pearl, and
the work is as fine as that of a watchmaker.

All of the 2,000 books in the collection, he said, had been written by
hand. He does not believe much in printed books, because they are full
of mistakes and wear out in a very short time, while manuscripts are
more accurate and parchment lasts much longer than paper. Many of the
books in the collection had belonged to Moorish princes in Spain and
were taken from them at the time of their expulsion from the peninsula.
“The most learned men in the world are Persians. There are very few
scholars in Europe,” he said, and the wisest of them had studied in
this library, which he declared was founded by the Sultan Mahmoud, who
reigned from 1142 to 1158.

The most remarkable volume he showed us was a heavy folio, perhaps 15
by 20 inches in size, of the thickest kind of parchment, covered with
beautiful script. It is a work of world-wide fame, but doubtless there
are few such beautiful copies. It is known in the medical world as
the “Avicenna,” and is a treatise on botany and medicine by a famous
physician and philosopher and the most learned man of his time.

The librarian insisted that it was the most important book on medicine
ever written and that medical men from every part of the world came to
Constantinople to consult it. “It tells,” he said, “about every kind of
disease that afflicts human beings, and about every plant that grows,
and what diseases each plant will cure.” There is no finer specimen of
penmanship in the world than this volume, and although he was certainly
mistaken when he said that it was written by the hand of Dr. Avicenna
himself, he did not wander very far from the truth in his assertions
concerning the value and importance of the treatise. Although many of
its theories have long since been exploded, and human knowledge on the
subjects of which it treats has been expanded, it is undoubtedly the
most famous and remarkable medical work that was ever written, and is
well known to every educated physician.

The author, whose name was Abu Ali el Hosein, was born in Bokhara,
about the year 980 A.D., of a Persian father and a Bokhara mother.
He was educated among the great scholars who at that period made
Bokhara famous as a centre of learning. At a very early age he had
mastered mathematics, logic, theology, and medicine. Before he was
sixteen he was familiar with all the medical theories of that time,
and by gratuitous attendance upon the sick had discovered new methods
of treatment. He developed remarkable genius in botanizing and in
extracting the medicinal properties from plants, in which he was
assisted, according to the popular idea, by supernatural agencies. When
he was seventeen years old he was famous throughout the khanate of
Bokhara, and was appointed official physician to the emir, who owed him
his recovery from a dangerous illness. This appointment gave Avicenna,
as he was known, leisure to study, means to purchase books that he
required, and access to a library which was filled with important
manuscripts on scientific and other subjects.

When he was twenty-two years old, Avicenna left Bokhara and proceeded
westward to Merv, Khiva, and other centres of learning, where he
remained for a few years, and then went over into Persia, where he
settled at Rai, the birthplace of Zoroaster, in the vicinity of
modern Teheran. There Avicenna remained the greater part of his life,
prosecuting his studies, teaching medicine, and writing books. He
received generous support from the emir, although at times he was
subject to persecution and various annoyances. The last twelve years of
his life were spent as physician and scientific adviser to the emir of
Ispaha.

It appears that Avicenna, like many other wise and great men, did not
practise what he preached, but at intervals indulged in excessive
sensual pleasures and dissipation, which ruined his health, and he
died in June, 1037, at the age of fifty-eight, at the city of Hamaden,
Persia, and was buried among the palm trees in the park that surrounds
the palace.

He wrote more than one hundred treatises. Some of them are pamphlets of
a few pages; others extend through several volumes, and they covered
the entire range of scientific and intellectual activity at that age
of the world, from astronomy to zoölogy. His greatest work, entitled
“The Canons of Medicine,” that which was shown me by the librarian at
St. Sophia, for six centuries was the highest authority upon medical
subjects throughout the civilized world. Up to the beginning of the
eighteenth century it was used as a text book in most of the European
universities, and even now lecturers in the most famous medical schools
frequently refer to the discoveries and theories of Avicenna with
profound respect.

In the Middle Ages manuscript copies of this book were sought for the
libraries of kings as well as scientists, and no library was complete
without his works on metaphysics, mathematics, alchemy, logic, botany,
and philosophy. Avicenna ranks among Moslem scholars as Aristotle or
Plato ranks among the Greeks. For six hundred years he was entitled to
his surname of “Prince of Physicians.” In the mediæval world he ranked
equally high as a philosopher and astronomer. His writings have been
discussed and elucidated by hundreds of commentators in every one of
the civilized nations.

And so he continued to discuss his treasures, as fast as his tongue
could waggle, and he would not let us go without explaining his
views on the doctrine of the atonement as taught by the Christian
missionaries in Turkey. He did not know whether Christian theologians
in other parts of the world were guilty of the same folly, but
the American missionaries in Turkey were teaching the people that
they could be saved and go to heaven, no matter how many sins they
committed, provided they repented of those sins before they died.
“This,” the old gentleman declared, “is such a pernicious doctrine that
I am surprised that the government does not prohibit the missionaries
from teaching it. Anyone must see what it would lead to; for if this
missionary theory is correct, it simply offers an inducement for men to
sin. And then, when they get old, and do not care to sin any more, it
is only necessary for them to say that they are sorry and they will be
forgiven and taken back into the fold and have just as high a place in
heaven as those who have been good and pious all their lives.”



CHAPTER XIX

THE EMANCIPATION OF TURKISH WOMEN


The emancipation of Turkish women is not complete, but has advanced
with remarkable speed. The restrictions which have kept them in
seclusion and ignorance have already been very largely removed. No
single reform that has followed the change of government has been more
radical or complete. Upon the retail trading streets of Pera, the
foreign section of Constantinople, you can see thousands of unveiled
Turkish women any afternoon and thousands more of women whose veils are
thrust aside so that their physical and mental visions are clear, and
they can look a man in the face without a blush of embarrassment or
shame. In Stamboul, which is almost exclusively of native inhabitants,
the innovation is not so general, but a stranger would scarcely notice
the difference. In other Turkish cities the same change has taken
place. Half the women of the empire wear veils now simply as a matter
of habit instead of preference. The majority of them wear the thinnest
sort of gauze in place of the impenetrable yashmak that they were
compelled to draw over their faces before the constitution. Indeed, the
average veil worn by the women of Turkey to-day does not conceal their
eyes or their features any more than the dotted stuff affected by the
fashionable women of the European cities and the United States.

This gossamer stuff is also in the nature of a compromise, rather than
a mask. During the first weeks that followed the revolution of July,
1908, nearly every woman drew off her veil and many participated in the
political demonstrations, as the women of Paris did in the riots of the
commune. And I was told that throughout the day and the evening the
windows of the residences were filled with unveiled faces, which looked
without embarrassment upon the people who were passing by. To-day
women who drive about in carriages discard the veil altogether; even
the inmates of the imperial harem, which, however, is not so radical
a change as would appear, because the new sultan is perhaps the most
liberal man in all Turkey. So many Turkish women were imprudent in
their behaviour immediately after the revolution that the thoughtful
ones called a halt and resumed their veils as a protest against the
indelicate and unwomanly demeanour of some of their sex. The minister
of police issued an official communication, with the approval of the
leaders of the Young Turk party, requesting women not to go into the
streets with their faces uncovered, and the managers of theatres were
forbidden to admit women to their performances. But such things usually
adjust themselves in time, and the experience of two years has resulted
in a sort of compromise, by which sensible women still wear veils, but
cover their faces only when necessary to protect themselves against
masculine insolence.

The use of the veil for centuries has been more or less an act of
piety, as well as a social custom. It is supposed to be required by the
Koran. I have never been able to find any passage which demands or even
suggests it, but that is the interpretation of the Mohammedan world,
and the association of ideas has made the veil a badge of feminine
virtue. An ordinary Mohammedan woman would no more go into the street,
or stand in the presence of a man who does not belong to her family,
without a veil than she would without a skirt or any other necessary
article of clothing.

This practice prevails throughout the Mohammedan world, but in the
larger cities, where the women of the foreign population have been
accustomed to go about with uncovered faces as they do at home, the
veil has come to be regarded as a badge of slavery, and women of
intelligence and self-respect have detested it as they would shackles
upon their hands or feet. This explains why so many Turkish women cast
off their veils and went about the streets with uncovered faces at
the first opportunity that was offered them. But the thoughtful ones
have settled down to a rational estimate of their condition and have
taken their fate in their own hands. They have decided upon their own
emancipation, but their leaders are wise enough to urge the necessity
of caution and to beg their sisters to avoid every form of imprudence,
lest too radical and rapid a reform should create a reaction.

The change, however, has been a long time coming. It is by no means
the consequence of constitutional government, although the revolution
furnished the opportunity. For many years the traditional Turkish
harem has been breaking up. One of the principal causes has been the
extravagance of the women and their love of fine raiment. None but a
very rich man could afford more than one wife. The French dressmakers
and milliners, who occupy a large space in Constantinople, invaded the
harems with samples and models many years ago, and are entitled to
the credit of being the pioneers of the emancipation of Turkish women.
English and German and French governesses have also played a very
important part in preparing the minds of their pupils and inspiring
them with ideas and ambitions which were incompatible with the harem.
French novels have had an equal influence.

All this has been realized, and the events that have occurred have been
feared. In 1901 Abdul Hamid ordered all Turkish families to dismiss
their European governesses and instructed the police to prohibit
Turkish ladies from visiting European milliners and dressmakers. He
forbade the importation of European books. He summoned a council
of Mohammedan bishops to prescribe the colour of the garments, the
thickness of the veils, and the shape of the shoes that the women of
Turkey should wear, but he was as helpless as Canute, the old Viking,
who only tried to brush back the tide with his broom. The only effect
of the sultan’s efforts to preserve the morals of his subjects was to
strengthen their determination to have their own way. I have heard
that it is folly to oppose a woman when her mind is made up, and
perhaps Abdul Hamid realizes that he defeated his own purpose by his
interference with the fashions of the day. No evidence is needed to
demonstrate that fact. He is a prisoner for life in a gloomy villa near
Salonika, while the women of Turkey are shopping without their veils.

The most important and the most gratifying sign of the times is the
eagerness of the young women of Turkey for education. The use of the
veil is a matter of the greatest insignificance in comparison with
the new spirit that is apparent everywhere among the families of the
higher and middle classes. Many Turkish women have acquired the French
language. A few speak English and German, which they have learned
from their governesses, but they are very few who have a knowledge of
books. But now every woman wants to know and she is seeking in every
direction for instruction that will aid her in performing her duty to
her husband, her family, and herself.

In an article in the _National Magazine_ of London, in the summer
of 1910, Sir Edwin Pears, correspondent of the London _Times_ in
Constantinople for forty years, who knows Turkey better than any Turk,
gave a very interesting review of this situation, and, among other
things, said:

“There is now being held at the great American College for Girls at
Scutari a weekly class of about eighty Turkish women who are studying
preventive medicine, the proper sanitary regulations for a household,
the management of children, and similar subjects of primary importance
to the sex. The lecturers are medical men, for the hekim, or doctor,
is privileged, and Turkish women may attend his lectures, while
conventionality would prevent their being present at lectures given by
any other man. I may mention here that no one has done more for the
education of the women of Turkey than Dr. Mary Patrick, the principal
of Scutari College. She is an enthusiastic teacher whose influence upon
hundreds of girls has been of incalculable value.”

Sir William Ramsey, the eminent Scottish scientist, in a book published
by him concerning Turkey in 1910, said:

“Robert College is one of the most remarkable creations of pure,
unselfish beneficence, guided by admirable common sense, that the
history of the world has known. It has been for more than fifty years
making an educated middle class among the Christians of southeastern
Europe and of Asia Minor. And many people who know the country well
believe that it has done more to render possible a peaceful solution of
the Eastern question than all the European powers and ambassadors. * *
* The sole aim of the American missions and of Robert College has been
to create self-respect and life in the people of this country.

“The American College for Women at Scutari, which is soon going to
migrate to new quarters on the European side of the Bosphorus, aims at
doing for the women of the various races of Turkey what Robert College
has been doing for the men. It was started as a high school in 1871, it
was chartered in 1890 as a college by the legislature of Massachusetts,
and it has also an imperial Turkish irade. The language is English and
the life is English or American, which in this case are equivalent; but
the native languages of the students are also taught, and (if desired)
the languages which are to them classical, ancient Greek, Latin,
Persian, and Arabic.

“Hitherto,” Sir William Ramsey continues, “Turkish girls could only be
educated at the college in defiance of the will and the commands of
the sultan, and therefore the number of such pupils has been small.
Only two Mohammedan girls have graduated. But the different races in
Turkey live side and side, and what is taking place in one community
is not hidden from the other--especially such important facts as the
sending away to school or college of the daughters of any family,
and the inevitable, although gradual, changes in the ideas and life
of the people that result from education. Many instances could be
cited of the imitation by Turks of new habits thus introduced among
their Armenian neighbours by the daughters returned from this college
or educated at the American missionary schools and colleges in the
country.”

Sir William Ramsey continues to say: “The writer Halideh Salih
is a graduate of the American College for Girls, and a writer of
distinction. She has frequently been described as the leading woman
in Turkey in popularity and influence. Her first published work was
a translation into Turkish of an English book, ‘The Mother in the
Home,’ for which she was decorated by the sultan. It always struck
me as remarkable that a Mohammedan sultan--and that sultan Abdul
Hamid--should be the first monarch to bestow such a distinction upon a
woman.”

Halideh Salih is undoubtedly the foremost woman in Turkey. Her father
was formerly minister of finance for many years under Abdul Hamid and
sacrificed his political position and prospects by sending his daughter
to the American College for Girls, because such an act was forbidden
by the sultan. She spent seven years under Dr. Patrick’s instruction,
graduated in 1901, and married a professor in the Imperial University.
“The Mother in the Home” is an old-fashioned book for girls written by
Rev. Jacob Abbott seventy-five or eighty years ago, and she translated
it into Turkish when she was a freshman in the American college.
Her father was so proud of it that he had it printed and circulated
privately among the families of his friends in Constantinople and other
Turkish cities, and, considering its limited circulation, there is
not the slightest doubt that this little volume of fatherly advice to
girls, written by a modest Massachusetts village clergyman, had as
much influence in the emancipation of Turkish women as “Uncle Tom’s
Cabin” had in the emancipation of the slaves. When the constitution was
proclaimed Halideh Salih wrote the leading editorials in the _Tanin_
newspaper, the organ of the committee of union and progress, at the
request of the editor, defining the policy and the purposes of the
revolution. Her articles became the platform of the liberal party in
Turkey.

She has written a great deal for the _Tanin_ since, and for the London
papers and magazines. She has a novel dealing with recent events in
Turkey.

Dr. Patrick bought fifty acres of land upon a bluff 400 feet above
the Bosphorus, behind the village of Arnaoutkeny, six miles from
Constantinople. It is the ancient seat of a pasha, and more than a
century ago was purchased by a rich Armenian, who laid out the grounds
in luxurious style. It has been occupied by his descendants for several
generations. During the last five or six years it has been leased by
the consul general of Great Britain. The sultan tried to purchase it
as a wedding present for one of his daughters, and when he found that
Dr. Patrick had an option upon the property, instructed his minister
at Washington to request President Roosevelt to persuade her to give
it up, but she declined to do so, and fought him off until he was
overthrown and then she closed the trade.

A large part of the property is in forest, venerable old trees as
dark as a druid temple; and a winding road leads from a landing
on the Bosphorus to the mansion at the top of the bluff, 400 feet
above the water, through a ravine. The mansion is in the midst of an
old-fashioned garden surrounded by several immense cedars of Lebanon,
said to be the finest in Turkey. Back of the mansion is a terrace
1,500 feet long and about one thousand feet wide, where the buildings
will be laid out in a quadrangle. They will all be of the same school
of architecture--free Italian renaissance and the material will be
stone quarried on the ground.

The central building, to be called Gould Hall, will be 176 by 80
feet in size, with four stories and a basement. It will contain
an auditorium, to be used as a temporary chapel and for literary
exercises, that will accommodate 700 people, a central parlour or
rendezvous for the students, 40 by 45 feet; several lecture rooms; a
temporary art gallery; the offices of the administration, and several
study rooms. It is hoped that some one will soon give funds for a
chapel, a library, and a refectory, as plans have already been drawn
for these buildings as a part of the general group. Space will be left
for them, but Dr. Patrick is confident that it will not remain vacant
long. The great necessity is to get dormitories where the girls can
sleep and rooms where they can study and recite, in order to relieve
the pressure from those who are earnestly seeking an education.
The rooms in Gould Hall will suffice for administration, worship,
exhibitions, and library until the greater necessities are provided for.

The second building, known as Science Hall, will be connected with
Gould Hall by an arcade to shelter the students in stormy weather. It
will be a memorial to the late Henry Woods, a Boston merchant, and is
being erected by his widow. The dimensions will be 150 feet and it will
be of similar design and the same material as Gould Hall. The interior
will be arranged for lecture rooms and laboratories for biology,
physics, and chemistry and will be used as a dining hall for the time
being, and one of the laboratories as a kitchen until a permanent
refectory is provided.

The next building, of similar design and materials, will be called
Rockefeller Hall and will contain sleeping accommodations for 150
students, two in a room. The ground plan is 114 by 50 feet, with
two wings extending in the rear, 50 by 35 feet, and it will be four
stories in height. There will be two more dormitories, each capable of
accommodating 150 students--a total of 450 boarders, in place of the
190 that were accommodated at the last term.

The twenty-first annual commencement of the Mektep Ammerrycolly
Kuzlaran, or the American College for Girls, at Constantinople in June,
1910, was a momentous occasion in many respects and especially because
the women of Turkey have been so far released from the restrictions
that have surrounded them that they are now free to seek an education
like men and are taking an active and influential part in public
affairs. The commencement was also of unprecedented interest because it
is probably the last celebration of the kind that will ever take place
in the old buildings in Scutari, a suburb of Constantinople on the
Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, where the school was started a quarter
of a century ago, and where so many good women have been educated to
mould public opinion in the households throughout the Turkish Empire
and the neighbouring states. Before another year is passed the college
will be at least partially occupying splendid new buildings, located
on a beautiful site on the European side of the Bosphorus, where the
work of construction has already been begun and is rapidly progressing.
Already the preparatory department has been removed to the European
side. With the change the college not only gains the advantages of
greater room and larger conveniences, but greater dignity and prestige,
pride of purpose, and ambition of achievement, which are the best
inspirations that a man or woman of an institution of learning can
possess.

Dr. Mary Mills Patrick, the president of the college, to whose ability
and energy and tact its success and influence is largely due, had just
returned from a year’s visit to the United States, where she had been
successful in raising funds for the purchase of new grounds and the
erection of new buildings which will enable the college to extend its
influence and usefulness. No one can realize so fully as that noble
woman the importance of the results she accomplished for the good of
the women of Turkey and the welfare of the Turkish race.

Dr. Patrick raised $350,000 while she was in the United States. Miss
Helen Gould gave $150,000 for a new building to be called Gould Hall,
and $25,000 for general purposes, John D. Rockefeller gave $150,000 for
a new building, Mrs. Henry Woods of Boston $50,000, Mrs. Russell Sage
gave $15,000 for land and $5,000 for a wall to be built around it, the
late John H. Converse gave $10,000, Miss Grace Dodge gave $10,000 for
the purchase of the land. Mrs. D. Willis James, Mrs. Henry F. Durant,
Mrs. John Hay, James Talcott, D. Stuart Dodge and other friends made
generous contributions toward the purchase of the land, the erection of
new buildings, and the general fund.

The Mektep Ammerrycolly Kuzlaran, as the American College for Girls is
called by the Turks, is now at high tide. It not only possesses the
most beautiful site on the banks of the Bosphorus, considered by many
the most beautiful sheet of water in the world, but will have a group
of buildings equal to any in the United States. It has been officially
recognized by the Turkish government and commended by the minister of
education as a model for Turkish educational institutions to imitate.
Mahmoud Bey, inspector general of education, told me several times
that he considered it an ideal school. He said it “had set the pace
and furnished the standard for colleges for women in the East. No
institution for women in Europe has a higher standard and its graduates
are recognized as among the most influential women in Turkey.”

The minister of finance delivered the address to the graduating class
and the American ambassador presided. A Mohammedan government is
officially contracting for the education of Mohammedan girls in a
Christian school to be qualified as teachers of Mohammedan children.
This is perhaps the most extraordinary event that has taken place in
the educational world for many years and indicates the radical changes
that have taken place in the Ottoman empire.

A great boom in the education of women is about to begin in Turkey.
The American College for Girls has been the source of inspiration and
the ideal. Everybody agrees that the most remarkable change in social
conditions caused by the revolution in Turkey has occurred among
the feminine portion of the population, and it is conceded that the
wives and mothers of the Young Turk party had a powerful influence
in bringing it about. During the anxious months of conspiracy and
preparation many high-born Turkish ladies worked with enthusiasm
and intelligence for the cause of liberty. Some of them acted as
messengers, carrying concealed about their persons papers which,
if discovered, would have meant their death; others afforded the
revolutionary committees opportunities for holding their meetings and
furnished those who were in danger means of escape. Twelve thousand
spies in the employ of Abdul Hamid were unable to outwit the women of
Turkey in their work, and the leaders of the Young Turk party concede
that they owe their success largely to the assistance of their wives
and sisters and mothers.

It was not the work of a day, however, or a year, but of a generation,
and in the preparation of the women of Turkey for the performance of
this patriotic duty the American College for Girls at Scutari has been
one of the most effective agencies. Its president, its faculty, and its
alumnæ have been engaged for a quarter of a century in a far-reaching
propaganda to convince the women of Turkey that they are entitled to
light and learning, and the results are seen in the eagerness with
which the daughters of the foremost families of the empire are seeking
an education similar to that which English and American girls receive.

It is purely an American institution which began in a small way
twenty-five years ago, and for all those years has offered the only
opportunity for a higher education within the reach of the young women
of the East. Among the faculty are graduates of Cornell, Wellesley,
Barnard, Middlebury, and Smith colleges, and six of the alumnæ of the
institution are on the corps of instructors.

“You ask if there has been any difference in the conduct of our
students since the constitution,” said Dr. Patrick in reply to my
question. “I have noticed a much greater largeness of ideas and a much
wider scope of ambition since the adoption of the constitution has
opened new opportunities to them. The change is wholly favourable.
The new government is decidedly in favour of the education of women,
while Abdul Hamid was stubbornly opposed. It is favourably disposed to
the American College for Women. Djavid Bey, the minister of finance,
delivered our commencement address. Nedjneddin Bey, minister of justice
in the cabinet, sends his daughter to us, and we have five students
whose tuition is paid by the government. We have just received an
application from the government to buy our property in Scutari when
the college moves to its new site, in order that a school for Turkish
women may be continued in the place where one has existed for so long.
This could not have occurred before the constitution, and is sufficient
of itself to convince any one of the feeling of the Turkish government
toward our work.

“Several of our graduates are the wives of men who have been active
in the development of Bulgaria, members of the cabinet and members of
parliament, and I do not know how many had an active part in the recent
revolution in Turkey. At that time we had only two Mohammedans among
our alumnæ. Since then we have added another. Both of these took an
active part in the recent revolution, consulting with the men leaders,
who sought their advice and suggestions, writing for the papers, and
even speaking in behalf of the reform. One of our Mohammedan graduates
has already become a power in political circles of Constantinople. I
refer to Mme. Halideh Salih, who writes for the newspapers constantly,
discussing leading questions with great ability, and her advice is
often asked by the political leaders and the statesmen of Turkey.

“The principal races represented among the students of the American
College for Women are Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Turks, the
proportion of each being not far from equal. It is a new thing,
however, to have so many Turkish girls in our college, and everybody
will be interested to know that a Turkish girl leads the preparatory
school in scholarship. She has been in school only one year, but
during that time has finished all the courses except the last in the
preparatory department.

“During the last year one fourth of all our resident students were
Turkish girls, although it was their first year of freedom--the first
time in history that young women of Mohammedan families have felt able
or willing to go openly to Christian schools.

“Several of our alumnæ have studied for the medical profession and are
practising with success. Until now the conditions in Turkey have not
permitted women to enter into other professions, but that will soon be
changed.

“The present Turkish government is making praiseworthy efforts in the
direction of education,” continued Dr. Patrick. “Reforms have been
instituted in the Turkish University for Men, in the Galata Serai
School, and a large normal school for girls organized in Stamboul by
Mme. Halideh Salih, to whom I have just referred. She has practically
taken charge of it. The department of education is now a careful
and conscientious body of officials who have taken in hand the
reorganization of the different schools and are planning an educational
system similar to that in other countries.

“The visits of the parents of the Turkish girls who have come into our
school this year have been extremely interesting. Invariably they say
that they have long wished to send their daughters here, and they are
curious to see how a woman’s college is conducted. They inspect the
houses and the grounds and express themselves as very much pleased with
what they see. The social position of our Turkish students varies from
that of a cabinet minister’s daughter to the merchant class, but for
the most part they come from cultured and progressive families. Several
of the girls had a knowledge of English or French when they came to us.

“It is impossible to put into words the enthusiasm which has been
awakened among the girls since the political change. The Armenians
are especially enthusiastic. You know that under the old sultan it
was forbidden to speak the name Armenia, but our girls from that
province organized a society and gave a concert consisting of Armenian
folk songs which were formerly forbidden, but since the constitution
have been brought out of various monasteries or Russian homes where
they have been hidden. The meetings of the society have been devoted
to the study of Armenian history and literature. Two seniors wrote
their theses along the lines of Armenian history, and are talking of
beginning research work into the remains of ancient Armenia.

“An enlightened study of history has long been forbidden in Turkey,
although a garbled version has been taught in the schools. Now that all
restrictions are removed it is possible to offer the students a wider
range of reading and discussion and we have endeavoured to give the
Turkish and Armenian girls such a breadth of knowledge of their own
national history as they have never been able to enjoy before.

“The opportunities for people of the lower classes to send their
children to school are so meagre and competent teachers in Turkey are
so few that our students realize the tremendous opportunity offered the
graduates of the American college who are Ottoman subjects to assist
in the education of the people. We have been greatly handicapped in
receiving Turkish students because they have received no elementary
education in their own schools and in their own language.

“It is impossible for those who have not lived in Turkey to realize
what the changes mean and what freedom means. During the preceding
year, for example, we were advised not to have the simple constitution
of an association of our girls put into print, as it would be unsafe
for them if by accident a printed copy should be discovered. But that
is all changed now and we are practically as free as the schools of any
European country.

“The whole country, suddenly awakened to the importance of education,
is filled with a desire to study, and young men and women of all
classes are eagerly demanding a share in the benefits that education
gives. The most serious part of the situation, and a lamentable fact,
is that there are so few Turkish teachers ready or competent to impart
instruction, and already a plan is on foot to send groups to Europe to
be trained. Several night schools have been started in the city, where,
in the absence of other instructors, leaders of the Young Turk party
have themselves undertaken the teaching.

“The Mohammedan women are no less eager than the men, and they
naturally turn for help to this college, which for so many years has
been the only institution for the higher education of women in all
countries in the East. We are ready and able to give them the education
they so eagerly desire, but our quarters are so crowded that it is
impossible to accept more than a small number of the many applications
for admission that we receive. In spite of the knowledge of the present
overcrowded state of the college many Turkish women are so anxious that
their daughters shall share in the new life that is opening to the
women of Turkey that they persist in coming to Scutari to beg us to
take in their daughters. And when they get the inevitable answer that
there is no room, the girls frequently burst into tears, while their
mothers have difficulty in concealing their disappointment.

“When we get into the new buildings on the other side of the Bosphorus
one of the first steps will be the establishment of a normal school.
Even now, in the limited space at our disposal, we have the nucleus
of a normal school in five Turkish young women sent to us by the
government to be trained for teachers of Mohammedan children. Think of
training teachers for Mohammedan schools in a Christian school, and you
will have a slight suggestion of the extraordinary changes that have
taken place in Turkey.

“I am often asked what is the use to educate women for the harem? But
you must know that the character of the harem has entirely changed
under the new régime, and the women of the harem are now at liberty to
learn and to read, and to work, and even to come into contact with the
outside world; to participate in the movements of the day, and even
to influence them. With this liberty and this continual increase of
opportunities it is even more important that the women of the harem
should be educated than any others.

“It is true that the Turkish woman is still more restricted than those
of the European countries and the United States, but the day of her
complete seclusion has passed forever; the barriers that confined her
from contact with the outside world have been removed. She is no longer
ignorant; she no longer is kept from a knowledge of what is going on
around her, and she will have no lack of influence in the development
of Turkey in future years.”



CHAPTER XX

ROBERT COLLEGE AND OTHER AMERICAN SCHOOLS


The forty-seventh scholastic year at Robert College opened in October,
1910, under most favourable and gratifying auspices. Never before were
the prospects of usefulness so glowing. Through the efforts of Mr.
Straus, the American ambassador, Robert College has been recognized
by the Turkish government and is no longer a mere squatter on Turkish
soil, without legal rights and simply tolerated. After many years of
patient application and argument an imperial irade has been issued
recognizing the institution in the fullest sense as entitled to all
the legal rights and privileges of Turkish institutions of learning,
under its charter by the State of New York; and, at the same time,
granting it exemption from the recent “laws of association,” which
require all foreign corporations doing business in Turkey to have
Turkish representation in their boards of directors and trustees. The
same privileges are granted at the same time to the Protestant college
at Beirut, the American College for Girls at Scutari, and to all other
American missionary institutions for higher education throughout the
Turkish Empire. For this recognition these institutions are indebted to
the persistency and the influence of Mr. Straus, who, during all the
years that he has served as the diplomatic representative of the United
States at the Turkish court, has been an active friend and protector of
Christian missionaries and the work in which they are engaged.

In addition to this irade the Turkish government has placed in Robert
College five more students, making ten in all, to be educated according
to American ideas for teachers and superintendents of schools. Although
Robert College is founded on the Christian faith and its students are
required to attend religious worship on Sunday and morning prayer on
week days, it is entirely non-sectarian and no questions are ever asked
as to the religious belief of students, any more than concerning their
political views. They attend worship just as they attend lectures, as
a part of the curriculum, be they Jews, or Greeks, or Mohammedans.
But it is very significant that a Mohammedan government should select
a Christian college for the education of Mohammedan youth. Perhaps
it would not do so if there were Mohammedan institutions where these
young men could be educated. But the Turkish cabinet shows confidence
in the good faith as well as the capacity of the American missionaries
not only in this case but in a hundred other similar cases where the
government is paying the expenses of Mohammedan students in missionary
schools.

Robert College occupies one of the most superb sites of any institution
in the world. It stands on the summit of one of the highest bluffs
of the Bosphorus, commanding a view in both directions and over both
shores of that wonderful body of water. It is a test of limb and lung
to climb the path that leads up the Hill of Science from the boat
landing at the suburban village of Bebek, but when you reach the top
you are fully repaid for the exertion by the panorama that is spread
out before you as well as by the cordial welcome of President Gates and
his associates.

Mohammed II selected this commanding point for the Rumili Hisar, a
mighty castle which he built in the middle of the fifteenth century
while he was besieging the city of Constantinople. Immediately
opposite, upon the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, a similar castle was
erected, and the two commanded the passage so that every ship passing
up and down was compelled to pay toll. Mohammed called this castle
Boghag Kessen (Throat Cutter), for he had a very pleasant way with him.
The ruins are as picturesque and extensive as any in Europe, and the
towers are almost perfect after nearly 600 years, although the floors
and ceilings have long since fallen through. The walls have crumbled
and much stone has been taken away for building material. They were
originally thirty feet thick and thirty feet high and were built with
the greatest haste and energy. Mohammed employed 1,000 masons, 1,000
lime burners, and 10,000 labourers in the construction, and to each
mason was assigned the task of building two yards of wall in three
months. By this division of labour and responsibility the work was
completed in the time named by the ingenious designs of the engineers,
and the outline of the walls forms the Turkish word “Mahomet.”

[Illustration: Robert College, on the Bosphorus]

Certain incidents in connection with the foundation and early history
of Robert College are quite romantic. During the Crimean war a New
York merchant, Christopher Robert, was visiting Constantinople,
and while crossing the Bosphorus one day in a boat to Scutari, the
principal suburb on the Asiatic side, ran across a boat-load of
bread which looked very much like that he was accustomed to at home.
Upon inquiry he learned that the loaves came from the ovens of an
American missionary school conducted by a man named Hamlin at Bebek,
on the opposite side of the strait, and that they were on their way to
hospitals established by Florence Nightingale for the care of the sick
and wounded British soldiers. Mr. Robert, who was a keen Scotsman, was
impressed with the sagacity of a missionary who would enter into an
arrangement like that, and took an early opportunity of visiting the
school. Dr. Hamlin explained that he obtained the contract to supply
the British hospitals with bread: first, because he needed the money;
second, because they needed the bread, and, third, because he had an
industrial department in connection with his school and was trying to
teach his students how to earn their living.

The missionary baker and the Scottish merchant soon became intimate
friends, and Dr. Hamlin lost no opportunity to impress upon him the
opportunities for an American college at the capital of the Ottoman
Empire. As a consequence Mr. Robert gave Dr. Hamlin $30,000 to purchase
a site and put up a building.

Dr. Hamlin selected the ground on which the college now stands, but the
owner, Ahmed Vefik Pasha, Turkish ambassador to Paris, and a famous
man in his day, declined to sell. So Dr. Hamlin had to go elsewhere,
and examined twenty-two sites. As the best, he selected one above the
village of Courouchesmeh, and bought it, but the Turkish notables in
the vicinity protested against the erection of a Christian college in
their neighbourhood, and the ground remained unoccupied until its sale
a few years ago. Meantime Ahmed Vefik Pasha was in need of money, owing
to the failure of the government to provide for his heavy expenses in
Paris, and he accepted the offer he had refused before. A permit to
build was obtained without much difficulty, but no sooner was work
begun than the police stopped it, strange to say, upon the complaint of
France and Russia, whose ambassadors objected to the influence of an
American college on the banks of the Bosphorus.

But Dr. Hamlin was not to be deterred in his purpose and in September,
1863, with three professors and four students, began work in a room
of a large house, now the residence of Mr. Heizer, the American
vice-consul general, which was then used for Christian worship
by members of the English and American colonies, and also by the
missionaries of the American Board for a theological seminary. The
college remained there for eight years while Dr. Hamlin was importuning
the government for a permit to build on his own ground. He became such
a nuisance that Ali Pasha exclaimed one day:

“Will this man Hamlin ever die and stop bothering me about his
everlasting college?”

About that time the late Edwin D. Morgan of New York visited
Constantinople and became interested in the embryonic institution. Upon
his return to Washington he told Mr. Seward, then secretary of state,
about the situation. The latter sent for the Turkish minister and gave
him some very strong talk. The minister, being impressed with Mr.
Seward’s earnestness, telegraphed the Sublime Porte to give a building
permit to the American college at once, “lest it prove a thorny
question.”

The thorn which he predicted, all unconscious of its own influence or
the apprehension it created in the mind of the sultan, appeared in the
Bosphorus a few weeks later in the form of that grand old man-of-war
_Hartford_, with Admiral Farragut in command. The admiral was making a
cruise around the world, without the slightest political or diplomatic
responsibility, but the guilty conscience of the sultan needed no
accuser.

Dr. Hamlin’s son Alfred, now a professor in Columbia University, New
York, was so eager to see an American flagship that he persuaded his
father very reluctantly to waste the time, as he then believed, to go
on board; and, upon paying his respects to the admiral, he explained
who he was and what he was trying to do in Constantinople, and his
difficulty about getting a building permit from the Turkish government.
Dr. Seropain, an Armenian physician, who understood the situation, was
present at the interview, and, knowing that the admiral was to dine
with the grand vizier that evening, suggested that he ask his host the
simple question:

“Why do you refuse the American college permission to put up its
buildings?”

“Please do not say anything more,” said Dr. Seropain, “and do not make
any comments upon the answer you receive.”

A few days later an imperial irade was received authorizing the
erection of the necessary buildings for the college. Dr. Hamlin was
almost paralyzed, but he soon learned that the Turkish government,
putting one thing and another together, imagined that the _Hartford_
had been sent over to enforce the demands of our government in behalf
of the American college, and accepted the situation before it became
serious.

The corner stone of the first building was laid on the Fourth of July,
1869, and on the Fourth of July, 1871, it was formally inaugurated in
an address by William H. Seward, then on his journey around the world.

Mr. Robert continued to support the institution until his death,
when he bequeathed it one fifth of his entire estate, making his
benefactions altogether nearly a half million dollars. Since his death
the college has had many generous benefactors, and the late John S.
Kennedy, who had given a good deal of money before, left it a legacy of
nearly $2,000,000 in his will.

There have been three presidents--Cyrus Hamlin, its founder; George
Washburn, now president-emeritus, who is spending his well-earned
vacation in the United States, and Caleb Frank Gates, D.D., LL.D., who
was born in Chicago and is a son of the late Caleb F. Gates, a partner
of E. W. Blatchford in the shot tower and lead works on North Side.
Dr. Gates graduated at Beloit College in the class of ’77, and from
the Chicago Theological Seminary in the class of ’81; went to Turkey
as a missionary, where he engaged in educational work and was elected
president of Euphrates College in 1894. He remained there until 1902,
when he took a year’s vacation, and was elected president of Robert
College in 1903.

The most distinguished member of the faculty is Professor Alexander
van Milligen, a Scotchman from Edinburgh, where he was educated.
He is perhaps the highest authority in archæology in the Levant,
and has written several books on the Byzantine Empire, Turkey and
Constantinople.

The commencement of 1910 at Robert College was of unusual interest
and significance. It not only added another class of twenty-eight
well-trained young men of ambition to the list of leaders of modern
civilization in the East, but marked an epoch in the history of one of
the most useful of all educational institutions. Robert College has
been struggling along for half a century with limited resources, but,
by reason of a legacy from the late John S. Kennedy of New York, the
trustees will be able to increase its educational capacity threefold,
add eight new chairs to the faculty, extend the campus, and thus
enlarge its usefulness and influence.

“You will find the graduates of Robert College scattered pretty
thoroughly over Turkey, Armenia, and the Balkan states,” said Dr.
Caleb F. Gates, president of that institution, in reply to my inquiry.
“You will find many physicians, attorneys, teachers, bankers,
merchants, shipping agents, clerks in the Imperial Ottoman Bank, in
the post-office service of Turkey, and in the counting-houses of
Constantinople and other cities. Several of our students are merchants
in New York. One of our graduates of the class of ’72, Dr. Zenos, is
professor of theology in McCormick Seminary at Chicago. Dr. Mangasarian
of the Chicago Society for Ethical Culture graduated in the class of
’76. Our first class, graduated in 1868, was composed of two men, both
of whom have since become distinguished. One of them is Professor
Hagopos Djedjizian, who occupies the chair of Armenian language and
literature in Robert College, and the other is Petco Gorbanoff, who has
occupied several prominent positions in the government of Bulgaria and
is now vice-president of its parliament.

“Our graduates have played a most important part in the building up of
Bulgaria. We have furnished at least two prime ministers, Constantine
Stoiloff and Todor Ivantchoff; four ministers of foreign affairs,
three secretaries to the king, one secretary to the Bulgarian cabinet,
three attorney generals, two ministers of public works, a minister of
commerce and agriculture, a minister of the interior, a minister of
finance, a minister of posts and telegraphs, a director of the state
railways, three ministers of justice, a commissary general for the
Bulgarian army, the administrator of the Bulgarian national bank, the
administrator of the state agricultural bank, no less than twenty-two
members of the Bulgarian parliament, and ten or twelve members of the
diplomatic service of that country.

“You will find among the list of our alumni the names of two members
of the deputation which selected Prince Ferdinand to be the sovereign
of Bulgaria and offered him the crown, and the names of both the
commissioners to the St. Louis Exposition, Peter M. Mattheoff and
Dimiter M. Stantcheff. We have furnished ten or twelve professors
for the colleges of Bulgaria, numerous superintendents of schools,
teachers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, and surgeons in the army.

“You will find our alumni teaching in all the American schools and
colleges throughout Turkey, in Armenia, Macedonia, and other provinces.
Most of our Greek graduates have gone into commercial life and
several have been remarkably successful. They are the sons of Greek
merchants in Constantinople, Athens, Patras, and the islands of the
Mediterranean. Some of our Greek students have come from Russia also.
The Armenian graduates have generally gone into professional life, and
have been remarkably successful in medicine, law and education. Two of
them are now studying engineering in Edinburgh.”

“What has become of your Turkish graduates?”

“We have had only one Turkish graduate before this year and he is now
a teacher. Under the old régime Mohammedan boys were not permitted to
attend Robert College. They frequently came, but the government ordered
them away. At one time we had two nephews of former Sultan Abdul Hamid,
but they remained only a few weeks. As soon as he heard they were
studying in a Christian college he sent for them, and we never saw them
again. But since the new order of things we have more applications from
Turkish students than we can accommodate. We have fifty-four Turks
now on our rolls, and I reckon we turned away more than a hundred
last fall. Among them is a nephew of the superintendent of education
and a grandson of the sheik of one of the orders of dervishes. The
Turkish government is sending five students annually, selected by the
department of public instruction. The head of that department said to
me:

“‘Take these young men and make good Americans of them if you want to,
but make them good teachers; we need them for our schools; train these
men; we need good men in Turkey; make them good men.’”

“Do you teach the Christian religion?” I asked.

“We are absolutely non-sectarian, but try to practise the Christian
religion. We do not ask our students to become Christians, but every
student who enters this institution has an opportunity to learn what
the Christian religion is, and can accept it if he pleases, but he is
never asked to do so. We have Mohammedans, Jews, Armenians, orthodox
Greeks, Persians, Russians, Bulgarians, Servians, Bosnians, Egyptians,
Germans, Englishmen, and altogether representatives of fifteen
different races and five different religions, and every one of them is
required to attend daily prayers and the regular services on Sunday.
They sing Christian hymns; they hear Christian prayers; they listen to
Christian sermons, according to the creed of the Congregational Church,
but the sermons are usually lectures on morality rather than doctrinal
exhortations.

“The students thus get the truth concerning religion in the chapel
on Sunday, as they do in the classroom concerning science, history,
and geography on week days, and they can make such use of it as they
please. We have never had any complaints concerning the preaching.
The Jewish and the Moslem students are often among the most attentive
listeners to the sermons and the most punctual in their attendance upon
prayers, but we never ask their impressions; we never discuss doctrinal
questions with them; we never invite their confidence; we never
interfere with the faith they profess.”

“Have you received any congratulations from the Turkish government upon
your recent legacy?” I asked.

“Officially, no; but unofficially several members of the government
have sent us their congratulations. Robert College is now regarded not
only as a part of the Turkish educational system, but as an important
agency in carrying out the plans of reform of the Young Turk party.
They have given us full recognition. Our students have the same
privileges as those of the Imperial University and the government
lyceums. They will be exempt from military service until they finish
their courses; our diplomas will be recognized for admission into
the Imperial University without examination, and the same applies to
appointments in the civil service.

“We had very little trouble with the old régime, although the former
sultan was opposed to all modern ideas and especially American ideas,
because they are inconsistent with his theory of administration. But
the present government is as far removed from that line as possible.
It favours all modern ideas and is especially friendly to American
institutions.

“The government wants to subject Robert College and all other foreign
institutions to the regulations of the Turkish laws of corporations.
They want us to be under Turkish control, to be incorporated as a
Turkish association, and have a certain number of Turkish directors,
but I do not think they will insist upon it, because it would be
entirely contrary to our charter. We are organized under the laws
of New York. The title of our property is held in the name of an
individual and the use of our endowments and the proper management of
our institution require that we shall continue on the same basis as we
are now. None of the foreign corporations, however, is submitting to
the new arrangement. They decline to accept the conditions and we shall
do the same.”

“Has there been any difference in the conduct of your students since
the constitution was proclaimed?”

“Yes; at first all over the empire there was a manifestation of a very
crude and vague idea of what they called liberty having possessed
the minds of inexperienced people. They thought liberty meant that
everybody could do as he pleased, but they soon found out their
mistake. They had the same delusions concerning equality. Liberty
became license. In some of the Turkish schools the students refused
to obey the teachers and tried to run things themselves; they drove
the teachers out of their rooms and insisted that they should sleep
in the dormitories with the students. At Beirut the Moslems demanded
exemption from compulsory attendance upon chapel and Bible classes;
in some of our colleges the students insisted that, under the new
constitution, they had a right to come and go as they pleased; but that
wave of hysteria soon passed over; all the institutions have resumed
their normal condition and the greatest change that we see is a new
inspiration to work and a realization of the opportunities that are
offered educated men. Interest in education has increased to such a
degree that every school is filled, and the schools do not suffer from
the restrictions that often embarrassed them during the reign of Abdul
Hamid.

“One of the most important reforms is the removal of restrictions upon
travel. In former times no citizen could go from one town to another
without the permission of the authorities. That law has been abolished
and now there is no interference with travel. Our students come and
go without passports. The people in the interior can go about and
trade with each other without interference. This has enlarged their
markets; it has given them an opportunity to become acquainted; it
broadens their ideas; it removes prejudices and relieves the social
and commercial stagnation that formerly kept them down. They can now
read newspapers freely. They can read any books they like, and while
no doubt the influence of some of the publications is pernicious, that
fault will correct itself in time.”

“The late revolution was the result of education, was it not?”

“I think it most certainly was. The leaders of the Young Turk party
were educated either in Paris and elsewhere abroad or in the Turkish
military schools, and by that education they were able to realize the
deplorable condition of the empire and the necessity of the reforms
which they have since accomplished.”

“Is the present government doing any more for education than the old
one?”

“It is doing a good deal. The department of public instruction has
been thoroughly organized and is under progressive and intelligent
direction. Normal schools have been established, one for women and
one for men, which will assist to solve the greatest difficulties
under which the department is labouring, and that is the lack of
teachers. Abdul Hamid reduced the university to nothing; the new
régime has restored it, enlarged its scope, and introduced new methods
and many improvements. There has been a considerable increase in the
appropriations for education and a general improvement has taken place
in all the schools. The military schools of Turkey have always been the
best educational institutions in the empire, and their influence has
been good. As a proof of that I can point to the moderation and good
judgment shown by the military leaders in the recent revolution. Most
of them were educated in the military schools.”

“How far are the American colleges in the Ottoman Empire
self-supporting?”

“The conditions are about the same as among similar colleges at home.
About two thirds, and in some cases three fourths, of the running
expenses are paid from the tuition fees, and the deficit must be met by
endowments. American colleges in Turkey are not charitable institutions
by any means. While they need endowments, and must have them in order
to make both ends meet, they do not need them any more than Harvard, or
Yale, or Princeton, or any other college in Massachusetts or Kansas.
The same amount of money will go a great deal farther here than in
the United States, because our students do not expect so much, and
the standard of living is lower here. Hence, I am confident that the
American colleges in Turkey are more nearly self-supporting, on the
average, than similar institutions in the United States.”

There were at last accounts 447 American schools in Asia Minor, with
23,846 students in all grades, from kindergartens to theological
seminaries. The lower grades are entirely supported by the patrons; the
higher grades require a certain amount of assistance to maintain a high
standard, but no more than corresponding institutions in the United
States. There are hospitals connected with most of them, which are also
very important. In almost every case they are the only places in those
sections of the country where the sick may receive medicines and care.
Some of the hospitals are practically self-supporting, the fees of the
patients and the sums paid for medicines being sufficient to meet the
cost of attendance, supplies, and care.

Few of the schools receive financial assistance from missionary boards,
and whenever assistance is given it is with the understanding that it
shall diminish as the income of the school increases. The people for
whom these institutions are provided appreciate the value of education
and are willing to pay what they can for it. Methods of self-help
are provided for students who cannot pay their tuition, so that their
self-respect and independence are not disturbed. In the same way
provision is made for books. In the hospitals no one who is worthy is
ever refused treatment or medicine, but those who are able to pay are
required to do so.

This principle of self-support has been a fixed rule from the beginning
in all missionary work in Turkey, and it has proved to be one of the
most important features of policy. Missionary physicians and teachers
learned at the start that they could accomplish more good by requiring
compensation for all services rendered, because in the Orient, as
elsewhere, no real value attaches to that which costs nothing. Parents
and pupils would be indifferent regarding attendance if the schools
were free; books would be easily lost or damaged or destroyed if they
had not been paid for; and where assistance is rendered to individuals
it is arranged in such a way that the beneficiary shall be impressed
with the value of what he is receiving.

The five colleges and the many preparatory and high schools for men
and women in Asia Minor have not less than 6,000 students, who are
being trained for useful citizenship by a wide range of instruction in
the applied sciences, agriculture, chemistry, pharmacy, engineering,
and even manual training. The courses of study are adapted to the
needs of the country and with a view to qualifying the students for
the highest service for their own people. There are six theological
seminaries training young men for the ministry. Two of them are
intended especially for workers among Arabic-speaking people, one for
work among the Armenians, another for the Turks, and others for Greeks
and Bulgarians.

In these seminaries the largest number of students are natives of
Turkey. Some of the graduates have afterward had the benefit of
post-graduate training in Europe or the United States, but that is not
encouraged. It has been demonstrated by many cases that students from
Turkey who go to the United States find it difficult to return to their
native country, while others are made discontented by differences in
conditions. It is the policy to employ native teachers and professors,
so far as is consistent with maintaining a high intellectual and
moral tone in the schools. That is the rule in all lines of work.
No missionary is ever pastor of a native church. He supervises and
directs, but he leaves the active work to the natives.

Perhaps the greatest value of the educational work done in Turkey
by the American missionaries has been its influence upon native
educational methods; in setting a standard to native schools; in
furnishing text-books; and in awakening an ambition for learning. These
missionary schools have in a large measure caused a revolution in the
social life of Turkey. Men and women who have graduated or have taken
partial courses command the best positions in commerce and society and
have been most successful in professional life. Their services are
sought for and they are able to command larger salaries than others who
have not enjoyed their advantages. Large numbers of former students
are prosperous business men in the principal cities of Turkey, while
others are the leaders in their respective professions. Most of them
are examples in the eyes of the community of the benefit and the value
of an educational training.

The college at Beirut is not included in the estimate I have made.
It was established in 1866 by Rev. Daniel Bliss, who remained at the
head of it until a few years since, when his son succeeded him. It is
one of the most successful educational institutions in all the world,
and one of the most prosperous. It has a campus of over forty acres,
a model plant of dormitories, laboratories, and lecture-rooms for
between 700 and 800 students, representing fourteen different races and
nationalities. No other institution between Athens and Tokio compares
with it.

The International College at Smyrna is the youngest of the group of
American institutions, having been established in 1902. Under the
direction of Dr. Alexander MacLaclan it has had remarkable success,
and has not only become self-supporting but two or three years ago the
trustees were astonished to find a surplus in their treasury. There
is a faculty of twenty-two professors and instructors and between 350
and 400 students, the largest number being Greeks. The International
College has a wide field, because Smyrna is the second city in Asiatic
Turkey, whose cosmopolitan and enterprising population, previous to
its foundation, had no educational privileges nearer than Beirut or
Athens and sent their young men to European universities. The great
popularity and success of the college have undoubtedly been due to
its non-sectarian policy, and while the Christian religion is the
corner stone of its foundation and attendance at chapel exercises and
Protestant worship is required of Jews, Greeks, and Mahommedans, as
well as Christian students, every tendency to proselyting is avoided.
The courses are especially strong in the scientific branches, and
the college has been made a government meteorological station, with
seismograph, a full set of apparatus for recording the weather and for
taking the time. The American College for Girls in Constantinople is
doing similar work.

The Central Turkey College at Aintab is 250 miles east of Tarsus in the
valley of the Euphrates. It was founded in 1874 by Rev. Dr. Trowbridge,
who died after he had placed it firmly upon its feet, and was succeeded
by Dr. Merrill. The college has no endowment, but by reason of its
marvellous management has been practically self-supporting from the
first. It has the reputation of being more sectarian than other
American institutions, and strongly Protestant, which is natural,
because most of the students are studying for evangelical work.
Protestantism is very strong in that section of Turkey. Three churches
in Aintab and Marash have more than one thousand members each, and
congregations of 2,000 are not uncommon. Until recently there have been
no Turks or Jews among the students of the Central Turkey College, and
the patronage has been drawn entirely from the native Protestants and
Armenians, but since the constitution was proclaimed large numbers of
Mohammedans have matriculated, and President Merrill has provided a
private room for them, where they can worship according to their own
custom. The medical department is especially important.

At Marash, a neighbouring city, is a prosperous college for women,
started in 1882, with preparatory departments at Adana, Hajin, and
Aintab, all flourishing and popular, particularly since the new régime
has made it possible for Turkish families to send their girls to
school. At first, it was difficult to persuade even Protestant parents
to educate their daughters. It was contrary to custom, but now that
an educational “boom” has been started, these schools are overwhelmed
with applications from young women they cannot accommodate. Their
educational standards are about the same as those of the average
finishing school for young women in the United States, and the same
text-books are used.

The college at Marash is on the Mount Holyoke plan. There has been
another college for women on the Mount Holyoke plan at Bitlis for more
than forty years, where two noble women, the Ely sisters, have been
training wives and mothers for the passing and the coming generations.
Their usefulness cannot be even estimated.

There is a school for girls at Smyrna, founded in 1881, with 250
students, and another at Adabazar, eighty miles from Constantinople,
with about one hundred students.

A very promising American institution in Turkey is St. Paul’s College,
at the ancient city of Tarsus, with a preparatory department known
as St. Paul’s Academy, founded by the late Elliott F. Shepherd of
New York and chartered by the legislature of that state in 1887. Dr.
Howard Crosby was the first president of the board of trustees. He
was succeeded by Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, chancellor of the
University of New York. Daniel W. McWilliams is secretary, Frederick A.
Booth is treasurer, and William Jay Schieffelin, a son-in-law of the
late Colonel Shepherd, is the other member of the board. The academy
was opened in the fall of 1888, the college in the following year, and
the first class graduated in June, 1893.

St. Paul’s is not a sectarian institution and is intended primarily
to train young men in that part of Turkey to be useful citizens, with
a foundation of Christian learning. The language of the schools
is English, the faculty are all Christians, and most of them are
Americans, and every year a number of the graduating class go up to the
theological seminaries of the American Board, or the medical department
of the Presbyterian College at Beirut.

Tarsus, which, you will remember, was the birthplace of St. Paul, is
a thriving city, eighteen miles from the Mediterranean on the river
Cydnus, and is connected by rail with both Mersina, the port of the
province of Cilicia and Adana. The buildings of the institute occupy
an elevation in the suburbs and command a fascinating view of a great
plain and a long line of the Taurus Mountains in the background.
There is no other institution for higher education within a six days’
journey, and the educational boom that has recently broken out in
Turkey has caused a rush of students from the most influential families
in that part of the empire. Unfortunately only a few of them can be
taken care of. The capacity of the college is limited.


THE END


THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. Y.



INDEX


  A

  Abdul Hamid’s books, 399
    cruelty, 156, 169, 172

  Adana, massacre at, 169

  Albanian Revolution, 383

  Alexander the Great, 27, 234

  Alexander III, Czar, 285

  Alexandropol, city of, 132, 134

  Allen, Herbert N., 196, 207

  Aloupka, town of, 282

  Amastris, city of, 26

  American churches in Turkey, 188
    College for Girls, 418
    Colleges, 446
    concessions, 60
    schools in Turkey, 415

  Americans at Trebizond, 32

  Anatolia College, 17

  Anatolia, location of, 16

  Anatolia Railway, 74

  Angel, President, quoted, 193

  Antiquities of Georgia, 96

  Ararat, Mount, 129, 146
    in the Scriptures, 144

  Argonauts, 85
    story of, 24

  Armenia, history of, 154
    Russian, 135

  Armenian clergymen, 4, 138, 155, 192
    emigration, 188

  Armenian massacres, 168
    monasteries, 138
    schools, 197

  Armenians, persecutions of, 156
    of Tiflis, 111

  Army, Turkish, 173

  Azov, sea of, 259


  B

  Baghdad Railway, 74

  Baku, city of, 217

  Balaklava, battle of, 293, 303
    village of, 320

  Batoum, city of, 56

  Battleship, the stolen, 343

  Bible House, 187

  Bibles sold in Turkey, 202

  Bible, translation of, 185, 202

  Bosphorus, beauties of, 10
    residences on, 12

  Bryce, James, quoted, 105, 144

  Bukharest, city of, 363
    University of, 367

  Bulgarians, famous, 438


  C

  Camels, Turkish, 48

  Caravans, camel, 47

  Cardigan, Earl of, 306

  Carmen Sylva, 358

  Carol, King of Roumania, 354

  Caspian oil fields, 222
    Sea, peculiarities of, 217

  Catherine, the Great, 265

  Caucasus, the, 85

  Caucasus Railways, 99

  Cherigan Palace, burned, 11

  Chester, Admiral, 61

  Christ, relics of, 96, 140

  Christian soldiers in Turkey, 173

  Cimmerians, the, 269, 271

  Circassians, the, 266

  Circassian beauties, 256
    costumes, 257

  Clement, Pope, 323

  Clergymen, Armenian, 4, 138
    Turkish, 4

  Coal deposits, 68

  Colchis, ancient, 56, 85

  Colleges, American, 17, 36, 41, 176, 198, 430, 444

  Concessions, railway, 60

  Congregations, American, 188

  Conquests, Russian, 266

  Constantinople, libraries of, 395
    schools of, 388

  Cossack capital, the, 258
    country, the, 254

  Cossacks, history of, 259

  Costumes, Georgian, 122

  Cotton, culture of, 83

  Crawford, Dr. L. S., 33, 161, 191

  Crimea, the, 265
    flowers of, 269
    history of, 271
    scenery of, 263, 279

  Crimean War, 293

  Crim Tartars, the, 270

  Customs, Circassian, 257
    Georgian, 125

  Customs, Tartar, 229
    Turkish, 5


  D

  Daghestan, 228
    customs of, 230
    history of, 233
    railways of, 230
    wars of, 241
    wheat fields of, 230

  Dariel Pass in Caucasus, 250

  Dashkoff, Prince, 121, 282

  Derbent, city of, 239, 243

  Dervishes, 4

  Diana, home of, 26

  Diogenes, birth place of, 26


  E

  Eden, Garden of, 79

  Education in Germany, 150
    in Roumania, 367
    in Russia, 341
    in Turkey, 42, 385

  Elburz, Mount, 255

  Elizabeth, Queen of Roumania, 356

  Emancipation of Turkish women, 411

  Emigration, Armenian, 188
    from Turkey, 166

  Etchmiadzin, city of, 138

  Erivan, city of, 138

  Erzroom, city of, 135
    mission, 36

  Euphrates College, 176


  F

  Farming in Caucasus, 214, 253
    in southern Russia, 262

  Finances of American missions, 190

  Fire worshippers, 238
    of Persia, 220

  Flour mills, floating, 108

  Fruit in Caucasus, 215


  G

  Gates, Caleb F., 177, 181, 436

  Georgia, capital of, 95
    conquest of, 98

  Georgian costumes, 122

  Georgians, origin of, 95

  German interference, 71

  German, Russo-, agreement, 71

  Germans in Caucasus, 118
    in Daghestan, 232

  Gypsies of Roumania, 349, 368


  H

  Halideh Salih, 417

  Hamlin, Dr. Cyrus, 209, 433

  Harpoot, city of, 177
    mission of, 177

  Hay, Colonel John, 376

  Heavy Brigade, charge of, 305

  Herbert N. Allen, 196, 207

  Hercules, story of, 25

  Honey poison, 25

  Hoskins, Rev. Franklin P., 205

  Hospital at Erzroom, 36

  Hospitals, American, 18, 36, 38, 149

  Howard, John, grave of, 340


  I

  Immigration into Turkey, 84

  Inkerman, battle of, 322
    village of, 322

  Irrigation in Mesopotamia, 78


  J

  Jackson, A. V. Williams, 234

  Jews of Crimea, 274
    of Odessa, 329
    of Roumania, 371
    in Turkey, 84, 174


  K

  Karaim sect of Jews, 275

  Kasbek, Mount, 255

  Kertch, city of, 272

  Kherson, city of, 339

  Koran has not been translated, 204

  Kurds, the, 160


  L

  Lazis, customs of, 8, 53

  Librarian of St. Sophia, 405

  Libraries of Constantinople, 395

  Licorice root, 15

  Light Brigade, charge of, 304

  Livadia, Palace of, 268, 285


  M

  Mahmoud Bey, 386

  Manisson Pass, 250

  Manuscripts at St. Sophia, 403

  Marsovan mission, 16

  Massacres of 1895, 161

  Massacres of 1909, 168

  Masterson, American Consul, 66

  Mazeppa, original of, 244

  Medical work in Turkey, 20, 36, 38, 149

  Mesopotamia, irrigation of, 78

  Milesians, origin of, 272

  Mineral deposits, 68

  Minerals in Asia Minor, 65
    in the Caucasus, 89

  Mission at Erzroom, 30
    at Trebizond, 33

  Missions, American, 16, 36, 38, 149, 176, 185

  Missionary text books, 206

  Missionaries, American, 185

  Monasteries, Armenian, 138

  Monuments, Crimea, 322

  Moslem priests, 6
    religious rules, 196

  Mountains, Caucasus, 88, 244, 254

  Mtskheta, city of, 95

  Museum, Tiflis, 109

  Mythology, Black Sea, 22
    in Caucasus, 85


  N

  Nakhikheban, village of, 129, 142

  Nightingale, Florence, 311

  Nikolaieff, city of, 335

  Noah, grave of, 142
    landing place of, 142

  Nobel, Alfred, at Baku, 223


  O

  Odessa, city of, 325
    Jews of, 329

  Officials, Russian, 117

  Oil fields, Caspian, 222


  P

  Passengers on Black Sea steamers, 3

  Passes through Caucasus, 250

  Patrick, Dr. Mary Mills, 415, 418

  Peasants, Russian, 263

  Persian quarter of Tiflis, 110, 107

  Petroleum at Baku, 222

  Politics in Caucasus, 116

  Priests, Moslem, 192

  Printing offices, mission, 201

  Prometheus, story of, 86

  Publications, American, 207
    missionary, 201


  R

  Railway concessions, 60
    to Mount Ararat, 131
    Baghdad, 74

  Railways in Asia Minor, 61
    of the Caucasus, 90, 99, 102, 214, 252
    of Daghestan, 230
    Turkish, 74
    of Roumania, 377

  Ramsey, Sir William, quoted, 415

  Ravndal, American Consul, 169

  Red Cross work in Turkey, 169

  Refineries, oil, at Baku, 226

  Reforms in Turkey, 442

  Religions of Caucasus, 245

  Resorts, seashore, in Russia, 277

  Revolution in Caucasus, 100
    in Turkey, 379

  Riggs, Dr. Elias, 202, 208

  Rizeh, town of, 50

  Revolution, Russian, 343

  Robert, Christopher, 432

  Robert College, 430

  Rostov on the Don, 258

  Russian policy in Caucasus, 132

  Russian policy in Turkey, 69

  Russians in Daghestan, 249
    in Tiflis, 109

  Roumania, History of, 350
    kingdom of, 348


  S

  Samsoun, city of, 13

  Schools, American, 17, 36, 38, 149, 176, 198, 415, 430, 440
    Mohammedan, 393
    of Russia, 341
    Turkish, 43, 190, 383

  Scenery, Black Sea, 23, 50
    of Crimea, 268, 279

  Scenes on Black Sea steamers, 9

  Schamyl, Prince of Daghestan, 242

  Schauffler, Rev. Dr., 211

  Sevastopol, cemeteries of, 301
    city of, 292
    harbour of, 297
    monuments of, 300
    siege of, 294

  Sheikh-ul-Islam, 175

  Sinub, port of, 26

  Sivas, city of, 38
    mission of, 38

  Smith, Rev. Ely, 204

  Soldiers in Caucasus, 116

  St. George, Monastery of, 321

  St. Gregory, the Enlightener, 138

  St. Sophia, library of, 401

  Steamers on the Black Sea, 3

  Straus, Oscar S., 171, 395


  T

  Tamara, Queen, 95, 99

  Tamerlane, 240

  Tartar characteristics, 229, 270

  Tartars of Tiflis, 111

  Teachers, American, 188

  Ten Thousand, retreat of the, 32

  Text books, missionary, 206

  Theodosia, port of, 271

  Tiflis, city of, 102, 105

  Tigris valley, 78

  Timour the Tartar, 240

  Tobacco, Turkish, 15

  Trade, American, 153

  Translations of Bible, 202

  Trebizond, city of, 29, 47
    massacre at, 161

  Troglodytes, ancient, 269, 323

  Turkey, new régime in, 379, 381

  Turkish customs, 5, 51
    women, 411


  U

  University of Bukharest, 367
    Ottoman Imperial, 388


  V

  Valley of the Don, 259

  Van Dyke, Rev. Dr., 205

  Van, city of, 147
    lake, 66, 148
    mission of, 149

  Viceroy’s palace at Tiflis, 120

  Vladikavkas, city of, 248


  W

  Watering places, Russian, 277

  Wheat fields of Daghestan, 230

  Wheeler, Dr. Crosby H., 177

  Willcocks, Sir William, 78

  Women, American college for, 416

  Women, education of, 424
    Turkish, 411

  Woronzoff palace, 282
    Prince, 326


  X

  Xenophon’s Retreat, 32


  Y

  Yalta, city of, 278

  Young Turk Party, 379, 412


  Z

  Zoroaster and fire worshippers, 230, 238


[Illustration: ASIA MINOR,

THE CAUCASUS AND THE BLACK SEA

Turkish Territory coloured Green. Russian Territory coloured Brown.
The Vilayets of Turkey and the Governments & Provinces of Russia are
separated by Red Lines.]



Transcriber’s note:

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in the original book; otherwise they
were not changed. When in doubt, Transcriber kept the hyphens in
end-of-line hyphenated words.

Many simple typographical errors were silently corrected.

Text frequently uses “régime” and “regime”; both forms retained here.

Illustrations in this eBook have been positioned between paragraphs
and outside quotations. In versions of this eBook that support
hyperlinks, the page references in the List of Illustrations lead to
the corresponding illustrations.

The original book included a large foldout map affixed to the inside
back cover. The digitized source of this eBook divided that map into
four quadrants of unequal sizes. In the HTML versions of this eBook,
the map is displayable in several ways, including smaller and larger
versions of the entire map and smaller and larger versions of its four
quadrants. The Transcriber was unable to recombine the quadrants into a
seamless single map. Some text in the smaller versions is not readable.
The larger versions of the map may not be included in some mobile (epub
and mobi) versions of this eBook, but they are available at Project
Gutenberg.

The index was not systematically checked for proper alphabetization or
correct page references.

Page 3: Redundant book title removed.

Page 453: “Hospitals, American” includes a reference to page 149. In
the original book, that page number was printed below the entry for
“Howard, John”. Page 149 mentions an American hospital but does not
mention John Howard.





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