The New York Times (September 24, 1915)
Special to The New York Times.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23.-Charles R. Crane of Chicago, a Director of Roberts College, Constantinople, and James L. Burton of Boston, Foreign Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, visited the State Department today and conferred with Acting Secretary of State Polk and other officials regarding the slaughter of Armenians by Turks and Kurds in Asia Minor. They will attend a meeting of a general committee, to be held in New York within a few days, to devise a plan for appealing to the American people for funds and aid for as many of the unfortunate Armenians as can be helped.
It was learned, in connection with the conferences held here today, that general representations have from time to time been made to the Ottoman Government by Ambassador Morgenthau for humane treatment of Armenians. Despite these representations, the slaughter of Armenians has continued.
The records of the State Department are replete with detailed reports from American Consular officers in Asia Minor, which give harrowing tales of the treatment of the Armenian Christians by the Turks and the Kurds. These reports have not been made public. They indicate that the Turk has undertaken a war of extermination on Armenians, especially those of the Gregorian Church, to which about 90 per cent of the Armenians belong. The Turkish Government originally ordered the deportation of all Armenians, but, some time ago, after representations had been made by Ambassador Morgenthau, the Ottoman Government gave assurances that the order would be modified so as not to embrace Catholic and Protestant Armenians.
Reports reaching Washington indicate that about 500,000 Armenians have been slaughtered or lost their lives as a result of the Turkish deportation order and the resulting war of extinction. Turkish authorities drove the Gregorian Armenians out of their homes, ordered them to proceed to distant towns in the direction of Bagdad, which could only be reached by crossing long stretches of desert. During the exodus of Armenians across the deserts they have been fallen upon by Kurds and slaughtered, but some of the Armenian women and girls, in considerable numbers, have been carried off into captivity by the Kurds. The reports that have been sent to the State Department by its agents in Asia Minor fully confirm these statements made in the appeal sent to this country by Viscount Bryce, formerly British Ambassador to the United States, to try stop the slaughter of the Armenians. Viscount Bryce stated that the horrors through which the Armenians have passed have been unparalleled in modern times.