Page images
PDF
EPUB

expression of doubt should come from America. To this expression of feeling I responded that it was because we were such a friendly power that we could be frank, and that I was satisfied with his assurances.

He added that the United States Government could rest assured that nothing would ever be done to close the door now open in Manchuria, and that American commerce and American capital were, of all other countries, the one Russia most desired to attract for the benefit of her Eastern Chinese Railway, which would be rendered more profitable by the opening up of the tributary territory.

He said, however, that the question of final evacuation involved certain details, including among other things the protection of this railway and the interests which it involved questions which did not concern any other power and were matters of detail.

I did not deem it wise or necessary to ask for particulars, which were not volunteered, especially as Count Lamsdorff had been so positive and had spoken with so much earnestness on the two points which it was my object to have cleared up. *

*
I have, etc.,

ROBERT S. McCORMICK.

Mr. Hay to Mr. Riddle.

[Telegram.--Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 13, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that the treaty negotiations between the United States and China are substantially terminated, with the exception of the question of localities to be opened to trade in Manchuria; that the Chinese Government still claims that it is prevented from agreeing to this by Russian opposition, although the United States minister at Peking informed the Chinese Government that this is untrue, and has asked the Russian minister at Peking to confirm to the Chinese foreign office Russia's desire that the demand of the United States be complied with.

Mr. McCormick is directed to ascertain from the Russian minister for foreign affairs if the Russian minister at Peking has been instructed in line with the above, and if not, Mr. McCormick is to urge prompt action in the desired direction.)

Mr. Riddle to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

St. Petersburg, June 15, 1903. (Mr. Riddle reports that the Russian minister for foreign affairs requests that the minister of the United States to China communicate to the Russian minister to China the demands of the United States

relative to localities to be opened to trade, and promises that the minister of Russia will be authorized to reply frankly to the minister of the United States and the Chinese Government what the attitude of the Russian Government is. The minister for foreign affairs states to Mr. Riddle that because of the distance, and without knowing what localities are meant, he can not blindly commit himself, as he admits there are some ports whose opening Russia would not favor before the Russian evacuation of Manchuria under satisfactory guaranties is completed.

A frank interchange of views between the two ministers at Peking is recommended by the minister for foreign affairs.)

Mr. Hay to Mr. Riddle.
[Telegram._Paraphase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 24, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that the United States minister to China was instructed, in accordance with the wishes of the Russian minister for foreign affairs, as expressed in Mr. Riddle's telegram of June 15, and duly communicated with the Russian minister at Peking and was told by him that he had no instructions except to await discussion of the question at Washington, and could make no statement to the Chinese Government nor to anyone concerning Russia's attitude.

Mr. Hay states that the above is not true as regards Washington, as the Russian ambassador at that capital is without instructions.

Mr. Riddle is directed not to bring the subject up, but to make a statement as outlined above if questioned by the minister for foreign affairs.)

[Translation.]
IMPERIAL RUSSIAN EMBASSY, Washington, July 1/14, 1903.

(Handed to the Secretary of State July 14, 1903.)

Pro memoria.

The Imperial Government declares that whatever may be the outcome of the negotiations actually in progress between Russia and the Celestial Empire, which have for their only purpose the obtaining of guaranties for the essential interests of Russia in the province occupied by their forces, it has never entered into its views to oppose the opening to foreign commerce by China in the course of the development of its commercial relations of certain cities in Manchuria so long as foreign settlements are not established.

The above declaration does not concern Kharbin, a city situated in the zone allotted to the eastern line of the Chinese railway system, and which is consequently not found in the sphere of the entire and uncontrolled jurisdiction of the Chinese Government. Foreign consuls will not be admitted in this city unless the Imperial Government deems it opportune.

OUTRAGES PERPETRATED ON JEWS IN RUSSIA.

Mr. Hay to Mr. McCormick.

[Telegram.—Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, April 29, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that it is persistently reported upon what appears to be adequate authority that there is great want and suffering among the Jews in Kishenef, and that their friends in the United States desire to know if financial aid and supplies would be permitted to reach the sufferers. Mr. McCormick is instructed to obtain the desired information without discussing the political phase of the situation.)

Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.
[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

St. Petersburg, May 9, 1903. (Mr. McCormick reports that it is authoritatively denied that there is any want or suffering among the Jews in southwestern Russia, and that aid of any kind is unnecessary; that while the offer is appreciated in the spirit in which it was made, it is gratefully declined.)

Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

St. Petersburg, May 13, 1903. Sir: Referring to your cablegraphic instruction in the matter of alleged famine conditions among the Jews in Kishenev, I have the honor to inclose herewith a cutting from the London Standard of May 1, * * * which will throw some light on the subject of that instruction. I have, etc.,

ROBERT S. McCORMICK.

[Inclosure.]
[From The London Standard, Friday, May 1, 1903.)

KISHENEF, April 24, 1903. When I arrived here late last evening, the Bessarabian capital presented all the appearance of a city suddenly evacuated by its inhabitants and committed to the charge of the military. At 11 p. m. not a civilian was to be seen in the streets, but

hundred yards. Under the terror of the last few days, people of all classes and conditions carefully shutter and bar their windows after nightfall. On crossing the municipal boundary, my coachman was halted by a police inspector, to whom he handed a ticket received at the railway station, showing whence he brought his fare. In the hotel vestibule I find another inspector of police questioning a group of young and middle-aged men, all apparently Jews and refugee guests, who have temporarily deserted their houses for the greater security of the police-guarded hotel. In the cross corridors of the bel-étage I pass two other police inspectors similarly engaged

in cross-examining guests and domestics. Several of the former, I obserye, wear head bandages. One of these inspectors follows me to the door of the apartment to which an attendant is conducting me, salutes me respectfully in military fashion, desires to know whence I come, and begs to be favored with a glance at my passport. Ilis examination of my papers being satisfactory, and his demeanor unusually affable for an official of his class, I offer him my cigarette case, and essay, with a pretense of casual curiosity, to elicit some information with regard to the terrible and fatal tumult which has convulsed the city during the last few days—that is, during the Russian Eastertide. The attempt failed. The police inspector lauded the quality of my tobacco, smilingly observed that the discussion of tragic events was a bad soporific, and wished me spokoinoi notch. My room attendant goes about his duties in a curiously dejected and perfunctory manner. I ask if he is fatigued, and then learn that he is a Jew who has lost two relatives in the murderous attack upon his coreligionists.

My early peregrinations of the city this morning were made under the favor of delightfully sunny and genial spring weather, whose brilliance enhanced, indeed, the glaring desolation of the scene of wreck and ruin in the Jewish quarters more especially, and in all the chief thoroughfares generally. I should say, at the outset, that Kishenef is for the nonce in a state of close siege. There are 15,000 troops in the city; 9,000 are kept in barracks under arms, and 6,000 cavalry and infantry are on patrol duty. All the infantry patrols and stationary pickets carry fixed bayonets, and the cavalry carbines are loaded with ball cartridge. These precautions, after the terrible outbreaks of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday last, appear to be unnecessarily excessive. The popular tumult and outrages ceased simultaneously with the receipt of the order from St. Petersburg authorizing the governor and commandant to fire upon the rioters. As a matter of fact, the military did not fire a shot during the frightful mélée. So far as I can gather in the best-informed quarters, there were 56 Jews, including 3 women and 4 children, and 7 Russians killed in the émeute between Easter Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening. There are 339 injured people in hospital, the great majority of whom are Jews and Jewesses, including about 40 young children. About 700 arrests were made. I witnessed this morning the funerals of 5 victims who succumbed to their injuries yesterday. Added to the numbers given above, this makes a total of 68 lives lost, and the fatal record is probably not yet complete.

Altogether, some 2,400 shops, magazines, stores, and booths were wrecked, and the windows of private houses, public buildings, banks, and commercial offices were wholly or partially shattered. Street kiosks were overturned and smashed, and signboards torn down and used as battering-rams against shuttered windows and closed doors. The streets are still thickly strewn with the wreckage of all kinds of wares pillaged from the Jewish shops and booths. Desperate attempts were made upon the various banks and banking agencies, but these were saved by the military and are still under armed guards. In such leading and fashionable thoroughfares as the Alexandrofskaya and Pushkinskaya, and in the immediate neighborhood of the official residences of the governor, the mayor, and the commandant, there was any amount of destructive havoc. Every shop in the block in which my hotel is situated is wrecked, and all the front windows of the hotel itself are shattered. It is in the Jewish quarter proper, however--in the bazars and the adjoining streets-that the full fury of the frenzied anti-Jewish rioters has left its desolating mark. Not a house or shop was spared. The battered windows and doors are now roughly nailed up with unsightly boards, which hide the looted interiors. To-day the Jews are venturing out of doors under the ubiquitous and protecting presence of the military. Here and there, at courtyard gates and street corners, one sees small groups of sad and terror-stricken Jews and Jewesses bemoaning their bereavements and material losses. The greater number appear with bandaged heads or arms in splints and slings.

There can be no manner of doubt that the outbreak took the form of a savage and merciless attack upon the Jews. During the Eastertide more especially, the ignorant and fanatic orthodox Slav is prone to revenge the crucifixion of the Saviour upon his Hebrew neighbors; and once his passions, besotted or sober, are fully aroused, he becomes a wild animal. There is just as little doubt, however, that the popular tumult against the Jews was engineered by the organizers of the politically disaffected secret associations of the Russian industrial classes, whose ramifications are taking root all over the country. Their object is not so much a crusade against the Jews-since their "tenets of freedom” are, in principle at least, opposed to such persecution-as a desire to discredit the imperial and local governments. Their guiding hands were certainly revealed on Monday and Tuesday last, when the mob assailedhappily, unsuccessfully-one of the orthodox churches and the offices of the holy consistory of Bessarabia. For three days and nights past, and at the present moment, the cathedral of Kishenef is protected by four companies of infantry.

Although it is scarcely possible to believe that there is the slightest further danger, or even possibility, of a renewal of the disturbances, not more than a score of shops in the whole city are open this afternoon. All the banks, commercial houses, and other places of business remain closed and guarded. The cavalry patrols have each been increased from 30 to 50 troopers, and the infantry patrols from single to double companies. The garrison commandant has had the main thoroughfares paraded at hourly intervals all day by battalions of infantry and half squadrons of cavalry, in addition to the regular patrols. The Bessarabetz, a leading local journal, again publishes yesterday's stringent injunctions from the governor, General Von Raaben, warning the unruly elements that no mercy will be shown to any disturber of the public peace, who is liable to be tried by drumhead court-martial and summarily shot. The ordinary justiciary is suspended for a calendar month and replaced by martial law.

I am this evening credibly informed that 3 of the Russian victims were constables and that 29 members of the force are under hospital treatment for serious injuries. In the thick of the desperate fray in the Jewish quarter on Monday night, 13 cavalry troopers were dragged from their saddles and brutally beaten. The infantrymen came scathless out of their many struggles with the infuriated mobs, thanks to keeping their ranks well closed.

APRIL 25. The director-general of police, Lieutenant-General Lopuchin, arrived this morning from St. Petersburg. The same special train also brought Major-General Schostak, commander of the Eighth Army Corps, which includes the troops garrisoned in this city.

Two more of the Jews in hospital last night succumbed to their injuries. This brings the death roll to 70, of whom 63 were Jewish victims of the massacre.

Just before nightfall yesterday I had an opportunity of penetrating, unmolested by the police or military patrols and pickets, more closely into the lanes and alleys of the purely Jewish quarters. Whole streets and lanes, throughout their lengths, show nothing but sacked houses, shops, and booths. The open doors and windows gape darkly like those of structures gutted by fire. The contents of the shops and booths have been pillaged, and the furniture and fittings demolished, the private dwellings of the Jews meeting the same fate. It is a mystery to the spectator where the thousands of miserable refugees, thus despoiled, expropriated, and brutally abused, are hiding and herding. Some three or four thousand have fled to Benderi, Tiraspol, and Odessa. Whichever way one turns in the lower part of the city the same scenes meet the eye. There is one somewhat narrow street absolutely blocked between the trottoirs by more than a score of overturned and looted booths. It is curious-although quite customary under similarly terrible circumstances-to observe the anxious solicitude with which the occupants of all the houses and shops left wholly or partially intact have hastened to display ikons and other sacred emblems or pictures conspicuously in every window, or, lacking a sufficient number of ikons, have cut crosses out of white or colored paper, and stuck them on windows, doors, and outer walls. These are the external and visible signs meant to inform the rioters that the inmates are christians.

I found an opportunity this morning for a brief talk with a member of the medical staff of the city hospital. He substantially confirmed the numbers of killed and seriously injured given in my first dispatch. Concerning the reports of Jewish children having been torn limb from limb by some of the murderers, the doctor could only say that no such case or cases had come under his observation, but he admitted that many of the Jewish victims were massacred outright, and some of those who subeequently died in hospital were badly mutilated. The Russian rioter seldom or never employs the knife. Small hatchets and stout wooden clubs, the latter frequently held by a wrist strap, and stones clutched in the hands and used as battering weapons are the chief features of the ruffian's armory.

The population of Kishenef now approximates 160,000, and includes some 65,000 Jews.

APRIL 27. I am this morning credibly informed that the governor, Lieutenant-General Von Raaben, as well as the police master, Colonel Khanzheneff, the latter's chief of staff, and two or three other responsible lccal authorities are to be removed from their posts on account of their lack of promptitude, energy, and decision of action in the early and preventable stage of the dreadful émeute of last week. The minister of the interior, M. Von Plehve, is expected here within the next few days. Notwithstanding the semiofficial assurance given yesterday by the Bessarabetz that there were no more dangerous cases among the injured Jews in hospital, three more have proved fatal within the last twenty-four hours. Altogether some 10,000 Jews have fled from the

« PreviousContinue »