Armenians' Deaths Laid To The Turks -nyt19151113a

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Five Missionaries Sucumb to Shock of Armenian Horrors, Says Report

NOVEMBER 3, 1915

The strain and shock of the tragedies that the war has brought to Turkey during the last year is responsible for the deaths of five of the American missionaries on duty in the Turkish Empire since the first of last May, the period covered by the Turkish Campaign against the Armenians, according to the annual report of the Rev. Dr. James L. Barton, the foreign secretary of the Board of Commissioners of yesterday.

The missionaries whose deaths are attributed to the terrible conditions in Turkey were Mrs. Mary E. Barnum, died at Harpoot, May 9, after fifty-six years of service in Turkey; Mrs. Charlotte E. Ely, died at Bitlis, July 11, after forty-seven years continuous service: the Rev. George P. Knapp, died at Diarbekir, Aug. 10, after twenty-five years service at Harpoot and at Bitlis; Mrs. Martha W. Reynolds, wife of the Rev. Dr. George C. Reynolds, died Aug. 27 from injuries received while in flight from Van to Tiflis, Russia, and Mrs. Elizabeth Ussher, died of typhus fever at Van, July 14, after sixteen years of service.

The report goes into the war situation in detail. Among the hundred of thousands who perished in Turkey, Dr. Barton states were "professors and teachers in our schools pastors and preachers, pupils, and all other classes, "every one of whom he adds, "miserably perished at home, or toward northern Arabia or elsewhere where vast multitudes have been exiled."

"Probably in all history," Dr. Barton continues, " two hundred missionaries have never been called on to pass through more terrible experiences than have our missionaries in Turkey during the last nine or ten months, and the end in not yet."

Referring to the treatment of Americans by the Turkish authorities, Dr. Barton says that when Harpoot was made a military center several of the buildings of Euphrates College were voluntarily turned over to the Turkish military authorities. A large dormitory was not and the American Consul sealed the door with the official seal of the United States.

"This seal." adds Dr. Barton, "was ostentatiously broken by the Kaimakam of Harpoot, and so since March the college has discontinued its work altogether. The mission buildings at Aflon and Kara Hissar were early taken possession of by the Government, as was the school building at Adabazar.

"In their dealings with Americans the officials have assumed that the decree of abrogation of the capitulations has put all foreigners under local official control. As result their houses as well as their persons have been searched repeatedly, their communications with the United States Consuls and even with the Ambassador have often been suppressed, their movements seriously obstructed, and in one instance, that of Dr. and Mrs. Smith at Diarbekr, they try by court-martial. No charges worthy of consideration were preferred. Several missionaries have suffered brief periods of imprisonment."

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922