Report on the treatment of Armenian children in Trebizond, July 20, 1915

American Embassy,
July 20, 1915

The Honorable
The Secretary of State,


Supplementing my despatch July 15, 1915, with reference to the Armenian Situation, I have the honor to enclose herewith copies, in duplicate, of a despatch on the same subject received from the American Consul at Trebizond.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(signed) [U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry] Morgenthau

Enclosure: copies in duplicate dated July 7th.1915.

July 7, 1915.

Honorable Henry Morgenthau,
American Ambassador


Referring to my despatches to the Embassy of June 28th, 30th and July 3rd regarding the deportation of the Armenians from Trebizond to the Interior via Gumashhane and my despatch of July 3rd to the Department, copy of which was sent to the Embassy, regarding the suicide of Cavass Ohannes I now desire to report that the Armenian population of Trebizond Vilayet is estimated at 36,000 persons. The city of Trebizond and surrounding villages is estimated at 10,000 Armenians. Of this later number 5200 have already been sent away. The children, when the parents so desired, were left behind and placed in large houses in different parts of the city. There are approximately three thousand such children retained in these houses called by the Turks "Orphanages"

Girls up to 15 years of age inclusive, and boys to 10 years of age inclusive are accepted; those over these ages are compelled to go with their parents. A number of Armenian women and young ladies are retained in these houses to look after the infants and children. The institutions are guarded by gendarmes and each institution has a Turkish Mudir or Director.

Dr. and Mrs. Crawford received about 300 children into their school from parents who were being sent away. Some of these children were very small and there were a few babies. In some cases the parents left money or jewelry to cover the expenses of the children, or for safe keeping. Of course this was all contrary to the proclamation on which had been posted by the government.

The Governor General sent words to Dr. Crawford that he would be required to give up the children as the authorities were prepared to take care of them but nevertheless left the children a few days until arrangements could be made for them then sent and took them all away. The authorities also called upon him to turn over all money and articles of any kind deposited by Armenians in contravention of the proclamation.

Very disquieting reports concerning the treatment of these people who have been sent away are current and if one half turn out to be true it will be shocking.

I have the honor to be Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Signed:- Oscar S. Heizer.
American Consul.

RG59, 867.4016/103

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