1858 Senate Report Regarding the "Outrages at Jaffa" - The Rape and Murder of the Dickson Family Colony

May 1, 1858

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1858 Senate Report Regarding the "Outrages at Jaffa" - The Rape and Murder of the Dickson Family Colony
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      Background

      The idea which had brought them to Palestine was simple - Jewish statehood was a prerequisite for Christ's second coming, and so it was incumbent upon them, as Christians, to help the Jews establish a state in Palestine. That was, alas, the only simple part of the mid-19th century movement which brought evangelical Christians to the Holy Land - for the reality of life in Palestine, for Jew and Gentile alike, was brutal. This truth was brought home all the way to Washington when, in 1858, the American agricultural colony in Jaffa - founded on the mistaken premise that local Jews might want be taught to cultivate the land, and so make a start toward sovereignty - was savagely attacked by local Arabs. The murder, rape and general horror of the affair quickly came to be known as the "Outrages at Jaffa", and for once, elicited a strong American response. The State Department, incensed, dispatched two American Jews - Edwin de Leon, the Consul at Alexandria; and Uriah Levy, commander of the battleship USS Macedonian - to vigorously protect the American Christian communities in the Levant. This they did, by De Leon threatening the Ottoman authorities with war if they did not punish the perpetrators, and by Levy sailing his warship off the coast of Syria, making the point that war was indeed possible, if not imminent.

      The colonist Walter Dickson had hired the Gross-steinbeck brothers, who in turn married Dickson's two daughters - but the Jews whom they had come to instruct, stayed away. What local attention they attracted, unfortunately, came from the resident Arabs, whom they generally managed to keep away with small arms supplied by the U.S. Navy.  When, however, five Arabs came to the Dickson farm on the night of January 11, 1858, ostensibly seeking a lost cow, and stayed to murder the men and rape the women, the Jaffa Colony was, essentially, finished.

      This Senate document concerns the State Department's response to the "Outrages at Jaffa." It begins with the dispatch of the American Consul at Jerusalem, J. Warren Gorham, reporting the attack, continues with a narrative of the American response, and ends with the Secretary of State's commendation of De Leon's actions.

      Students of literature will note that among the victims, and survivors, of the atrocities at Jaffa, were two Steinbeck brothers - and so it is that the novelist John Steinbeck's great-grandfather was beaten there, his great-grandmother raped, his great-grandfather's brother murdered and his great-grandmother's sister raped. These same cognoscenti may also remember that the great American writer Herman Melville visited the Dickson Colony in 1857 and, some twenty years later, wrote about it, and the murder there, in his epic poem, Clarel.



      BUCHANAN, JAMES. United States Senate. 35th Congress, 1st Session. Ex. Doc. No. 54. Message of the President of the United States, in Answer to a Resolution of the Senate, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1858, 30 pages, octavo, (216 x 141 mm). Disbound, later cover sheet.
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      35TH CONGRESS,
      1st Session.

      SENATE.

      Ex. Doc.
      No. 54.

      MESSAGE
      OF THE
      PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

      IN ANSWER TO

      A resolution of the Senate, concerning the outrages lately committed against the family of Mr. Dickson, an American citizen residing at Jaffa, in Palestine.

      MAY 4, 1858.--Read and ordered to lie on the table. Motion to print referred to the Committee on Printing.

      MAY 6, 1858.--Report in favor of printing submitted, considered, and agreed to.


      To the Senate of the United States :

      In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 24th ultimo, I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with accompanying documents.

      JAMES BUCHANAN.

      WASHINGTON, May 1, 1858. 



      DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 
      Washington, April 30, 1858. 

      The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolution of the Senate of the 24th instant, requesting the President " to transmit to the Senate, if not incompatible with the public interest, copies of any correspondence in the Department of State concerning the outrages lately committed against the family of Mr. Dickson, an American citizen residing at Jaffa, in Palestine," has the honor to lay before the President a copy of the documents specified in the accompanying list, which embrace all the correspondence on file in the Department of State concerning the subject referred to.

      Respectfully submitted,

      LEWIS CASS.

      To the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

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      2         OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      List of documents accompanying the report of the Secretary of State to the President, of the 30th of April, 1858.

         Mr. Gorham to Mr. Cass, with accompaniments, January 19, 1858.
         Mr. De Leon to same, with accompaniments, January 29, 1858.
         Mr. Gorham to same, with accompaniments, February 3, 1858.
         Mr. Brown to same, with accompaniments, February 17, 1858.
         Mr. De Leon to same, with accompaniments, February 22, 1858.
         Mr. Gorham to same, with accompaniment [sic], February 26, 1858.
         Mr. De Leon to same, with accompaniments, March 6, 1858.
         Mr. Brown to same, with accompaniment [sic], March 24, 1858.
         Mr. Appleton to Mr. Gorham, April 16, 1858.
         Mr. Cass to Mr. De Leon, April 16, 1858.


      Mr. Gorham to Mr. Cass.

      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA AT JERUSALEM,
      Jaffa, January 19, 1858.

      SIR : I have the honor herewith to transmit copy of the documents which I have sent to the American consul general at Constantinople, relative to the abominable outrages which have been committed here upon American citizens.

      With the highest consideration, your obedient servant, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      U. S. Consul.

      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Secretary of State, Washington, U. S. of America.


      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA AT JERUSALEM, 
      Jaffa, January 17, 1858. 

      SIR : It is my painful duty to inform you that, on the night of the 11th of January, 1858, an attack was made upon the house of Walter Dickson, an American citizen residing at Jaffa. The house was forcibly entered ; he himself struck down by a blow upon the head ; his wife and daughter violated, and Frederick Steinbeck, a Prussian, but who has American letters of protection, murdered. The house was pillaged of most of its contents.

      On the receipt of the above intelligence, I had an interview with Dr. Rosen, the Prussian consul at Jerusalem. We agreed entirely as to the steps to be taken ; we went together to the pacha [sic] of Jerusalem, represented to him the urgency of the case, and the necessity of his acting directly and energetically in the matter. The pacha [sic] immediately despatched a note to the governor of Jaffa, directing him to use the most energetic means for discovering the culprits. He also sent one of his council to see that these measures were put into effect [a]t once.



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.          3

      The next day I went to Jaffa. On the 15th I presented the case before the governor of Jaffa, the officer sent by the pacha [sic], and the full council, or medjlis. I used most forcible, but not undignified, language ; making them understand that I was determined to press the matter with the utmost force ; that I should be sustained to the fullest extent by my government ; that there were many American ships of war in the Mediterranean, the commanders of which could not fail to hear of the atrocious affair in a very few days ; but I made use of no threats. I think that a great effect was produced. Each member of the council assured me that he would use his utmost endeavors, &c. I replied that I did not want their protestations, but their actions ; and concluded by saying that the matter would not be allowed to rest until full satisfaction (as far as anything could satisfy, under the circumstances,) was obtained. This was the substance of what I said, although the audience was a very long one.

      The Prussian consul and myself have offered a reward of one thousand piasters for information which may lead to the detection and conviction of the offenders. 

      I have employed an ex-chief of police, a most efficient man, with promise of the same reward ; I have also employed many secret and efficient agents.

      The Prussian consul, who remains in Jerusalem, is in perfect accord with me. 

      Owing to the slight intercourse which the people here have had with Americans, they know little of their power and influence. To make them feel our power, and the influence of our consuls, it is very evident that every effort must be made in the present case, so to act as that such a case shall never occur again. Every effort has been and shall be made by me to this effect, and I trust that the most active and efficient support may be given me.

      If you will excuse me from every appearance of direction, I would suggest that a firman should be demanded from the sultan, requiring the pacha [sic] of Jerusalem and the governor of Jaffa not only to use their authority and influence now, but to guarantee the safety of individuals and property for the future. The pacha [sic] is an enemy to Christians, and will not move in this matter until he is forced to. 

      I am, sir, your obedient servant,

      J. WARREN GORHAM, 
      United States Consul, Jerusalem.

      Hon. JOHN P. BROWN,
      Consul General of the United States of America at Constantinople. 


      Statement, under oath, of Walter Dickson, aged 58, of Groton, Mass.

      CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
      Jaffa, January 16, 1858. 

      On the night of the 11th of January, 1858, at about 10 p. m., three men came to my front gate and inquired about a stray cow. I and my 

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      4                OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      son-in-law, Frederick Steinbeck, answered that their cow was not with ours. After about twenty minutes they went away, but in half an hour they returned and called out "Steinbeck." My son-in-law went to the gate, and they told him they had been to see Abdallah, who was the shepherd of their nearest neighbor, and he said the cow was in our yard. They wanted to come in. I told Steinbeck not to open the gate, and they said if we would not open the gate they would stay all night. I took a ladder, set it over the gate, went up and looked over the wall--saw five men there. I fired a gun loaded with powder only, as is the custom when there is danger. I then went in and went to bed. After a few minutes the dogs raised an alarm. I went out to where the dogs were, and saw that the gate was already broken down. I ran into the house and notified Frederick. We both went out. Frederick took the gun. We went to the gateway. Frederick talked to them in Arabic, which I could not understand. We then advanced under shelter of the wall. The gate was down, partly in and partly out of the gateway. The men were on the outside of the gateway, on the other side. One shot was fired. Frederick said, "they have hit me, take the gun." He gave me the gun and I fired at random through the gateway, and then I ran into the house. Frederick had got up and gone in before me. When I went in he was on the floor, his wife and Mrs. Dickson bending over him, and trying to staunch the blood. I examined the wound and found he was shot in the lower part of the bowels and groin of right side. He said, " father, pray for me, that I may be able to bear it." We fastened the doors. It was then between 12 and 1 o'clock. We heard a noise at the door--they were prying up the door from the bottom. The casing at the top gave way, and the door flew open. They all rushed in, and one of them, a tall black man, (or painted,) with a handkerchief over the lower part of his face, struck me with a long crab club about 7 feet long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter at the bottom ; he struck me down to the floor and stunned me. When I recovered, I jumped to my feet, but was ordered to sit down. They began to search and plunder the house. I then got up and tried to run out of the house to give an alarm ; one of them followed, knocked me back, and ordered me to sit down. After they had hurriedly examined the trunks they came back to me, and demanded my money. I took my purse from my pocket (it contained about one Spanish dollar) and gave it to him. They caught my daughter, Mrs. Steinbeck, by the arm ; she caught hold of me ; they struck her with the breech of their guns, and forced her to let go her hold. She then caught hold of the bedstead, and they pulled it over ; in the bed were my daughter and Mrs. Steinbeck's two children.  They took her away from the bed and dragged her out of doors.  One man staid [sic] in the house and four went out ; they came back in about half an hour. While Mrs. Steinbeck was out of the house the remaining man dragged Mrs. Dickson into the adjoining room ;  they were then ordered to sit on the floor ; they began to ransack and plunder again, returning every now and then to threaten my life. One of them took me by the head and struck at me with his sword ; I fended off the blow with my hand ; then they went into the store-room ; they then demanded if we had a mule or a donkey,


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.           5

      and they told me to go and show them the way to the tibben (or straw) room ; they were continually making up and carrying away bundles ; they were outside of the house a long time ; it was nearly daylight when they went away.

      Sworn to before me, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      United States Consul.


      Statement of Sarah Dickson, aged 58, of Dunstable, Massachusetts.

      CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
      Jaffa, January 16, 1858.

      On the night of the eleventh of January, 1858, when I was in bed and asleep, somebody rapped at the gate. Frederick Steinbeck, my son-in-law, went to the gate and talked some time ; he then came in and went to bed. Mr. Dickson, my husband, went out and looked over the wall, and came back and told us there were five men outside the gate. They called out: "Steinbeck!" I remember nothing until some one came in and said "they have broken down the gate." Mr. Dickson and Steinbeck both ran out. I heard the report of two guns. Soon after, Frederick came in and said, "Oh, Mary, I have got a ball." He went about half way across the floor, then fell. Mary tried to catch him ; we tried to stop the blood which was coming out of his right groin. We were occupied with him when they broke in the door ; Mr. Dickson was standing at the left hand of the door ; the men entered together ; one of them struck Mr. Dickson on his head ; he fell backwards ; as he fell he gave a dreadful groan. They then pulled the stove and the clock to pieces, and took and ransacked every box and trunk in the place ; they then seized Mary, who clung to the bed ; they pulled the bed over, and struck her a great many times with the butts of their guns ; they then dragged her out of the house ; four men went out with her, one remained. This last man caught me by the arms and dragged me into the other room. I had on only my drawers, my night-gown, and a quilted skirt. He put his hand into the bosom of my night-gown, and ripped my dress open to my feet ; he pulled off one leg of my drawers ; he then violated my person. I went into the next room and sat down by Mr. Dickson. I began to flow as I sat down. One of the men then forced Mary Steinbeck into the next room. I have no clear recollection of what happened after that, except of their going about and ransacking every thing ; and of their striking Mary with a shoe hammer.

      Sworn to before me, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      United States Consul.

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      6                         OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      Statement under oath of Mary E. Steinbeck, aged 24, native of Groton, Massachusetts.

      CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 
      Jaffa, January 18, 1858.

      About ten o'clock, on the night of the eleventh of January, 1858, the dogs began to bark ; my husband, Frederick Steinbeck, went out and opened the gate and saw a man running away. Then Frederick and Mr. Dickson, my father, went out together, and three men came outside the gate and said they were looking for a cow which they had lost. Frederick and father said there was no cow there, and the men went away. Frederick went to bed, but father sat up. In a short time, we again heard voices, some one came to the gate and called "Steinbeck." Frederick rose, and went to the gate, and they said they had been to a shepherd's that lived near us, and he said that the cow was in our yard. They wished to come in and look for the cow. Frederick told them to go and get the shepherd. They talked a long time ; Frederick left them and came into the house again. He took off his clothes and came to bed ; he laid about ten minutes, then got up, dressed and went out. They again told him to open the gate, and said they would break it down if he did not. He came in and said they were going to break down the gate ; he began to load the revolver. Presently we heard a crash ; father said, "they have broken the gate." Frederick and father both went out ; Frederick took the gun, for the revolver was not loaded. We soon heard the report of a gun, and Frederick soon after opened the door, and said, " Oh ! Mary, I have a ball !" He staggered into the middle of the room and fell. I went to him and took his head in my lap ; then I unbuttoned his pantaloons and saw where the wound was. I saw only one wound, which was a little above the right groin ; the blood was flowing very copiously ; he tried to speak ; he said " Oh ! Father forgive all my sins and help me to bear this dreadful pain." The thieves came to the door of the room where we were, at this time ; they pried the door open from below ; the door opened and five men entered ; the foremost had a large, long stick, and he struck father. Father fell backwarks [sic] ; I sprang to him, the blood was running all over his face in streams ; I assisted him to the back part of the room, and he sat down. They then took the funnel off the stove ; another went to the clock and tore out the weights, &c. The white man caught part of Caroline's wearing apparel and threw it over his head and face. The others had their faces covered, excepting their eyes ; they then began to open what trunks were in that room unlocked ; others went into the other room, and found locked trunks ; they wanted me to go in and open them. I refused, but said if they would bring the trunks to where I was, I would unlock them ; I did so. I then went back and sat down by my husband. The white man came to me and wanted me to go out doors and show him other rooms. I refused ; he took hold of my arms ; I seized the bedstead ; then one of the black men came and struck me in the breast with the stock of his gun, and once or twice in the back. He pulled me until the bedstead gave way, over my husband's body out-


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                       7

      side of the house ; he pulled me some distance from the door ; he was accompanied by two black men. He threw me down on the ground ; I struggled, he took out his pistol and held it to my breast ; then I yielded. He violated me. Before I had time to rise, another one came ; he violated me and bit my cheek. Then a third one violated me. They then went into the house, and I got up and followed them. I went to Frederick ; I could not feel his pulse ; I sat down by father and mother on the floor. The men were ransacking everything. They came and asked where the money was ; they took hold of me, and pulled me into the other room, striking me on the head ; they all left the room but one ; he threw me down, he bit me, and violated me. Then there was but one light left, which they took, and went into the other part of the house. Father prayed. They came back and asked for a light ; I lighted one for them. Then they went out, but one came back and asked me where the others were ; I answered ; guided by my voice, he came in and took hold of me. I struggled violently ; he pulled me into the other room and violated me. Before he left me, the white man came in with a lantern, They demanded money ; I told them we had none. They pointed guns at father's breast ; one of them put his hand on father's head, bent it down and struck at him. Father caught hold of the sword, and so did I ; father had his hand badly cut. The man then raised his hand over me, he struck at me with a sword ; I shrunk my head under the table, and the sword struck the table violently. One said, " kill her, and let us go ;" one asked me why Frederick slept there ; I did not answer. He took a hammer and struck me on the hip ; he tried to take my ring. One said, " Let it be." They then went out. We sat half an hour at least without stirring, in the dark. Then I got up and went to the door ; I could hear them, but not see them. Mother managed to get a light. I suppose it was nearly five o'clock before they went away.

      Sworn to before me,

      J. WARREN GORHAM, 
      United States Consul.


      Statement, under oath, of Caroline S. Dickson, daughter of Walter and Sarah Dickson, aged 11.

      CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 
      Jaffa, January 16, 1858. 

      On the night of the eleventh of January, 1858, I waked up and heard people talking near the gate ; they said they had lost a cow, and they wanted it. Frederick Steinbeck said there was no cow there, and the men went off. Then, pretty soon, they came back and called out " Steinbeck ! " Father and Frederick got up again and asked them what they wanted ; they said they had been to Abdallah's, (who was a shepherd in Mr. Gleeson's house, our nearest neighbor,) and Abdallah said that he had seen their cow with ours. Frederick told them to go and get Abdallah. They pretended not to understand ; and finally said they would stay until morning. The conver-

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      8                  OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      sation was in a very loud tone, in Arabic. I understand Arabic very well. Frederick came into the house and went to bed, and told us all to keep very still, and that he would soon go out and listen to what they were saying. Father got a ladder and looked over the wall and came back and said there were five men outside the gate. I heard a gun go off ; then all was still for as much as five minutes ; then Frederick got up and went to listen. In a little while I heard Frederick say : " You say you will break down the gate, do you ?" They talked a good while, and then Frederick came in and told us they were going to break down the gate. Frederick caught up the gun and ran out. Then I heard two guns go off. Frederick came in and said : " Mary, I've got a ball." Mary jumped out of bed and Frederick fell. Then father came running in. The men tried to open the door ; they pried the door right up ; the door flew open ; then one came forward and struck father with a great club, as much as seven feet long ; father threw up his hands and fell back with a dreadful groan--such a groan as I shall never forget. Mary was rubbing Frederick's mouth and face ; she jumped up and took hold of father's hand and helped him over Frederick and sat him down by the bed. There was one white man and four black men. The first thing the white man did was to put my drawers over his face and head--I saw very plainly that he was a white man. They then broke down the stove funnel and broke the clock ; they brought the trunks, and told us to unlock them. They kept com[i]ng to father and mother, saying " money ;" then they came and took hold of Mary. She caught hold of the bedstead and pulled it down, with myself and two children in it ; she lost hold of the bedstead, and they dragged her out of doors ; they struck her with the wood end of their guns ; then a tall black man came, and took mother into the other room ; I gave the baby to father and went into the other room to see what they were going to do with mother ; the man was tearing mother's clothes awfully. They they began to search the things again. The man who had my drawers over his face let them slip down, and I saw his whole face ; he was white, had a light-colored moustache and a thin beard of a light color ; middling size. This man appeared to be the master. While Mary (Mrs. Steinbeck) was in the room he did not speak a loud word, but I heard him speak when Mary was out ; he had a very mild, soft voice. I remember a man who was threatening father ; he carried his head very far back ; then they wanted to know if we had a mule, and where the tibben-house was ; their lights were almost out. Mary lent them a lantern, and they went out ; after a while they came in and demanded money again ; they opened Frederick's clothes and felt of him. One said, " come, let us kill them and go ;" one took out his sword, bent back father's head, and raised his sword ; father caught the sword and cut his hand badly. Then they came to Mary ; she curled under the table. They asked Mary why Frederick lay there sleeping ; she did not answer, and they struck her with father's shoe-hammer ; they tried to get off her weddnig [sic] ring. She then went away, and did not come into the house any more.

      Sworn to before me,

      J. WARREN GORHAM, 
      United States Consul. 



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                 9

      No. 45.

      Mr. De Leon to Mr. Cass.

      CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA IN EGYPT,
      Alexandria, January 29, 1858. 

      SIR: It is my painful duty to announce to you that the sepoys have found imitators in Syria, making American citizens their victims, as the enclosed communications addressed to me by our consul at Jerusalem will show, (Nos. 1 and 2.)

      The United States corvette Constellation, Captain Charles H. Bell commanding, being in port, I deemed it my duty promptly to communicate the facts, and confer with him in relation to the steps necessary to be taken.

      The annexed correspondence (Nos. 3, 4, and 5,) will explain itself ; and in our conferences the same opinions were expressed by me, frankly and fully, based upon my knowledge of the character of the people with whom we have to deal, and the prestige of the American name in the East.

      To-morrow [sic] morning I take the Austrian steamer for Jaffa, the average time being thirty hours, and shall report the result of my visit on my return. 

      The Constellation will leave for Messina as soon as the wind favors and some small repairs now making are completed.

      It will be evident to the department that the object of my visit to the theatre of the outrage is merely in response to Mr. Gorham's call, and because I think that I may be useful to him as an adviser, from my greater experience of the East.

      Nothing is further from my intention than to attempt to assume jurisdiction where I have none, nor to trench on the prerogatives of my colleagues beyond it. In the hope that the course I have adopted will meet with the approval of the department, the matter is submitted to its better judgment for subsequent action, to vindicate the national name from the shadow which this barbarous outrage on slumbering manhood and defenceless women, if unavenged, would cast upon it. 

      Very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.

      Hon. Lewis Cass,
      Department of State, Washington City.


      No. 1.

      JAFFA, January 20, 1858.

      SIR : I have the honor herewith to enclose a copy of a despatch written to our consul general at Constantinople, in relation to the outrages which have been perpetrated on American citizens in Jaffa.

      Any suggestions or directions which you may think proper to send 

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      10                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      me will be promptly attended to. I have succeeded in causing the Turkish authorities to seem in earnest, but I think that they would not act if they could help it. 

      Yours, very truly, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      U. S. Consul at Jerusalem.

      Hon. EDWIN DE LEON, 
      Consul General of the U. S. of America at Alexandria.



      No. 2. 

      CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
      Jaffa, January 17, 1858.

      SIR :  It is my painful duty to inform you that on the night of the 11th of January, 1858, an attack was made upon the house of Walter Dickson, an American citizen residing at Jaffa.

      The house was forcibly entered, he himself struck down by a blow upon the head, and Frederick Steinbeck, a Prussian, who has American letters of protection, murdered. The wife of Mr. Dickson, aged 58, and the wife of Frederick Steinbeck, violated, and the house pillaged of most of its contents. 

      On the 13th of January I had an interview with Dr. Rosen, the Prussian consul at Jerusalem. We entirely agreed as to the steps to be taken. 

      We went together to the pasha of Jerusalem, represented to him the urgency of the case, and the necessity of his acting directly and energetically in the matter. The pasha immediately despatched a letter to the governor of Jaffa, directing him to use the most energetic means for discovering the culprits ; he also sent one of his council to see that these measures were put into effect at once.

      The next day I went to Jaffa.

      On the 15th I presented the case to the governor of Jaffa, the officer sent by the pasha, and the full council, or medylis. I used most forcible, but not undignified, language ; making them understand that I was determined to press the matter with the utmost force, and that I should be sustained to the fullest extent by my government ; but I made use of no threats. The audience was a long one, but this was the substance of what I said [sic]

      The Prussian consul and myself have offered a reward of one thousand piastres for information which may lead, &c. I have employed an ex-chief of police, a most efficient man, with promise of the same reward. 

      I have also employed many secret agents. 

      The Prussian consul, who remains in Jerusalem, acts in perfect accord with me. 

      Owing to the slight intercourse which the people here have had with Americans, they know little of their power or influence. To make them feel our power, and the influence of our consuls, it is very evident that every effort must be made in the present case. 



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                       11

      Every effort has been made by me to this effect, and I trust that the most active and efficient support may be afforded me [sic]

      With the highest consideration, your obedient servant, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      U. S. Consul at Jerusalem.

      Hon. JOHN P. BROWN,
      Consul General of U. S. of America, Constantinople.



      No. 3.

      U. S. CONSULATE GENERAL FOR EGYPT AND DIPS,
      Alexandria, January 26, 1858.

      SIR :  Having just received important despatches from our consul at Jerusalem, relative to an outrage committed at Jaffa on the persons and habitations of American citizens resident there, and my co operation [sic] having been invited in the matter, I deem it my duty forthwith to submit to you the said despatches, in order that we may take counsel together on the subject.

      This communication will be handed you by my private secretary, Mr. William Johnson, who will also read you the communications referred to, and arrange with you the time and place for a conference between us. 

      I remain, very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.

      Capt. CHARLES H. BELL,
      Commanding Mediterranean Squadron,
      Harbor of Alexandria, Egypt. 



      No. 4.

      ALEXANDRIA, January 27, 1858.

      DEAR SIR : I have the honor herewith to send you copies of the communications made to me by Mr. Gorham, United States consul at Jerusalem, as requested by you at the conference yesterday evening. 

      Additional facts have been imparted to me, through travellers just arrived from Jaffa, which increase the gravity of the outrage, and consequently call for prompt, stern, and effectual punishment of the criminals, without which American life and property will never henceforth be safe in Syria, nor the American name respected. 

      From the tenor of Mr. Gorham's letter to me, it is evident he wishes the counsel and support of his official colleagues under the trying circumstances in which he is placed, and I need scarcely add, how much his power would be enhanced by your presence and that of your vessel in that vicinity.

      This is a matter, however, which must be left to your judgment to decide ; for my own part, deeming it my duty promptly to repair to the scene of action to give such aid and counsel as I can, I would re-

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      12                       OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      spectfully request a passage on the Constellation should you conclude to go to Jaffa ; otherwise I shall leave by the first steamer sailing from this port, which will be within three or four days' time. 

      I remain, very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.

      Capt. CHARLES H. BELL,
      Commanding Mediterranean Squadron,
      Harbor of Alexandria, Egypt.


      No. 5.

      UNITED STATES SHIP CONSTELLATION,
      Alexandria, January 28, 1858.

      DEAR SIR : I have received your communication enclosing me copies of letters from Mr. J. W. Gorham, our consul at Jerusalem, giving a statement of the murder and atrocities committed on an American family residing near Jaffa. I have also taken into serious consideration the subject of our yesterday's conversation, in which you proposed to accompany me in this ship to that place. 

      On a careful perusal of these letters, it does not appear that the authorities of Jaffa have refused their assistance to detect the perpetrators of these crimes ; and as Mr. Gorham has written a full account of the transactions to Mr. Brown, our charge' at Constantinople, I have no doubt the latter will take all necessary steps to have the offenders, if possible, brought to justice [sic]

      I therefore do not think it necessary to interfere with the matter in its present state. 

      If our consul at Jaffa should ascertain that the authorities are conniving, or concealing those persons who are implicated in this affair, and the presence of a ship-of-war is desirable, by making this known to our charge' at Constantinople one could be sent in the course of a few months, and at a time when the season is more favorable.

      The coast of Syria at this inclement season is a very dangerous one. There is no safe anchorage at or near Jaffa, and, except in urgent cases, I do not think it would be proper to risk the safety of the ship and crew, where to effect anything we might be compelled to remain for some weeks.

      Notwithstanding, however, the unfavorable season of the year, if it were a case which admitted of no delay, I should not hesitate a mo-moment [sic]. As I have already stated, the affair has been referred to our charge' at Constantinople, whose business it is to attend to such matters, and if the presence of a national vessel should prove necessary, which I think doubtful, the delay of a few months will be of no importance, and an armed ship can be sent at a time when her force, if required, could be rendered useful.

      I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

      CHARLES H. BELL,
      Captain U. S. Navy.

      EDWIN DE LEON, ESQ.,
      U. S. Consul General, Alexandria, Egypt. 



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                       13

      Mr. Gorham to Mr. Cass.

      No. 4.]                               
      JAFFA, February 3, 1858.

      SIR :  I have the honor to inform you that after my arrival in Jaffa to inquire into the circumstances attending the atrocities committed upon American citizens on the night of the 11th of January last, I found that a courier with despatches to me had been stopped on his way to Jerusalem ; that a valuable witness had been allowed to escape ; that during three days nothing had been done by the authorities, and that the Americans were in a state of great agitation and alarm. Under these circumstances, I ordered the American flag to be hoisted at the consulates in Jerusalem and Jaffa for the protection and as an assurance of safety to American citizens, and that the flag should remain up every day until I considered the desirable end attained.

      I received a note, dated January 24, from the pacha [sic], in which he says he is doing everything in his power to discover the perpetrators of the outrage, and asking if the hoisting of the flag was to be considered as an act of hostility to the Turkish government. (A copy of this note I will send you as soon as possible.) To this note I replied :

      1st. That his excellency was mistaken if he thought I intended an act of hostility by causing the American flag to be hoisted every day. 
      2d. That I intended by hoisting the flag to give to Americans a feeling of security.
      3d. That I could not allow any but my superior officers to influence me in hoisting or lowering the flag.
      4th. That I should lower it as soon as I considered the desirable end attained.

      Nothing decisive has yet been done, although numerous arrests have been made. It is my opinion that in making these arrests the government is serving its own purposes, and is endeavoring to create a feeling of hostility and revenge against Americans and Christians generally. That they are not acting in good faith I am persuaded. 

      The flag in Jaffa was hoisted three days, and I then, before I received the pacha's [sic] letter, ordered it to be lowered, The same order was also given for the flag in Jerusalem; when I received the pacha's [sic] letter, I then, of course, ordered it to remain until after my letter had been received. After a few days, if nothing particular occurs, it will be, as usual, hoisted only on holidays.

      I have the honor to be, with the greatest consideration, your obedient servant,

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      Consul of the U. S. of America, in Jerusalem.

      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Secretary of State, U. S. A. 

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      14                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      No. 5. 

      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA AT JERUSALEM.
      Jaffa, February 14, 1858.

      This day I sent to the divan at Jaffa the following message :

      Three days have passed since I saw you ; you then promised to finish this business at once. Is it finished? If so, we are willing to attend the divan to hear the official notification. 

      The following was the answer from Mustaffa Bek, the commandant of all the forces in Palestine :

      " We have four men in prison ; the fifth man, named Abou Ghazelle, of the tribe of Arab-il-Sawalmeh, is not yet found, but the sheik of the same tribe, Mahmoud-il-Hawaytee, is now in prison a hostage of Abou Ghazelle.

      The names of the four men in prison are, Hussein-Abou-Aita, Abd-il-Salam, of the village of Miskeh, dwelling with tribe of Arab-il-Sawalmeh ; Marttar Negro, belonging to the sheik of the tribes of Arab-il-Sawalmeh ; Khaleel-il-Kaabeh, of the tribe of Arab-il-Sawalmeh ; Ali- Abou-Ghazelle, of the tribe of Arab-il-Sawalmeh. This last mentioned person is not taken, but the shiek [sic] of the tribe of Arab-il-Sawalmeh, named Mahmoud-il-Hawayleh, is held responsible.

      I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration,

      J. WARREN GORHAM.
      Consul of the U. S. of America, in Jerusalem. 


      No. 6. 

      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, AT JERUSALEM,
      Jaffa, February
      16, 1858.

      SIR : I have the honor to inform you that, in company with the Hon. Edwin De Leon, I attended this day the medglis or council of Jaffa. There were present Mustaffa Bek, the commandante [sic] of all the forces in Palestine ; Aga Effendi, secretary of the treasury, in Jerusalem ; Nigm-il Deem Effendi, a member of the Jerusalem medglis ; Moosa Effendi il Mufti, also a member of the Jerusalem medglis ; and Mohamed Rafaat Effendi, governor of Jaffa and its dependencies ; and the full council of Jaffa. At this council the Hon. Edwin De Leon and myself saw the prisoners, and demanded that each man in authority in Jerusalem and Jaffa should be held personally responsible for the safe keeping of the prisoners.

      I have the honor to remain, with the highest consideration, your obedient servant,

      J. WARREN GORHAM, 
      Consul of the U. S. of America, in Jerusalem.

      Hon. JOHN P. BROWN, 
      Consul General of the U. S. of America, Constantinople. 



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                     15

      [Translation.]

      To the illustrious our friend the respected consul of the United States, in Jerusalem, &c. 

      Mr. Simeon, your dragoman, called upon us and told us verbally respecting the affair which had occurred at Jaffa, at night, a few days ago, and that you are intending in future to continue the hoisting of the American flag at Jaffa daily (and that he intends hoisting it likewise at Jerusalen [sic]) until that affair will be settled and the criminals of the said evil act shall be punished. 

      Now, we are exceedingly surprised of this information, for what had occurred outside of Jaffa, and the slight wound to the father of the Prussian wife ; we have not neglected the means necessary about it, and we have issued very strong orders, which we have sent with very strong terms, for the investigation and apprehension of the perpetrators of that horrible deed ; and we have sent officers to represent us at Jaffa for this very business ; and  we are still employing our thoughts in what should be done in necessary investigation in this affair ; and we have written to the localities ordering the apprehension of the criminals in order that they may be brought to justice, and that is known to all ; and the endeavors to detect the criminals is perpetual. Therefore we cannot understand the necessity of continuing the hoisting of the American flag daily in Jaffa and Jerusalem, for those who have committed that wicked act are not to be found nor known, that it might be said we are neglecting the affair in not taking them or punishing them according to law for their crime so as to induce you to hoist your flag as means for protection on an affair which has happened contrary to the local government ; and God forbid that anything has happened contrary to the local government ; and God forbid that anything has happened to interfere with the allied powers ; moreover, what has happened cannot be counted as want of security in the localities, for such crimes like this, at night, for worldly gain, do happen often in many parts, and in the grand capitals also ; and now there is not the least neglect in doing all that is necessary toward the apprehension of the criminals and bringing them to justice canonically, and as the sublime powers, according to the treaties, have zeal in all the proceedings of their agents, and likewise, the illustrious government of America. Thus, if you purpose [sic] continuing hoisting the flag daily is for the annoyance of the Sublime Porte, we inform you to excuse us for not accepting of your so doing ; and, therefore, we find it necessary and friendly to write to your friendship this letter, and we are sending a copy thereof to our friends the consuls of the allied powers ; and we have seized this opportunity of expressing our friendship, on this 9th day of Jamad, 1274.
      [Sealed.]

      THURYA.

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      16                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      No. 10.

      Mr. Brown to Mr. Cass.

      LEGATION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
      Constantinople, February 17, 1858.

      SIR :  Under date of the 17th ultimo I received a despatch from the consul at Jerusalem making known to the legation a lamentable occurrence which took place near Jaffa, when a prote'ge' of the consulate of Beyrout [sic], named Schunberg [sic], was killed, and his wife and wife's mother, both natives of New England, had been violated by five individuals, supposed to be natives of Syria, and asking the assistance of the legation to secure the arrest and punishment of the assassins.  

      I immediately applied to the Porte for a vezirial [sic] order to the governor of Jerusalem, commanding him to take all the steps necessary in the case, and having just transmitted it to the consul there, now have the honor to inclose [sic] a translation of it to the department. 

      The consul general in Egypt, Mr. De Leon, deemed it advisable to proceed to Syria, in the view of aiding the consul of Jerusalem with his advice and experience, which, no doubt, must have been of much use to the latter.

      I beg leave to enclose, also, copy of the letter which I addressed to the consul at Jerusalem in transmitting him the vezirial [sic] order and its translation. 

      His highness Aali Pasha, the grand vezir [sic], expressed to me his profound abhorence [sic] of the crime, and his hope that its perpetrators might be arrested and punished. 

      I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

      JOHN P. BROWN,
      Charge' d' Affaires, ad interim.

      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Secretary of State of the United States.


      UNITED STATES LEGATION,
      Constantinople, February 17, 1858.

      SIR :  Since my last, dated the 4th instant, I have procured from the Sublime Porte the enclosed vizereal [sic] order, addressed to the governor of your city, on the subject of the crime perpetrated on the family of Mr. Dickson.

      The governor has reported the affair here, assuring the Porte that he was doing all in his power to arrest the criminals, and it seems to place confidence in his zeal and good intentions.

      His highness Aali Pasha, with whom I have spoken on the subject, very warmly expressed his abhorence [sic] of the crime, and the hope that the local authorities would succeed in bringing its perpetrators to justice.

      If you find any disposition on the part of the governor of Jerusalem,


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.              17

      or the caimakam of Jaffa, to deviate from the orders of the Porte, or to neglect their duty towards you, I would address the former a formal protest, and send the legation a copy of it. If the members of the council of Jerusalem show bigotry or hostility towards you in the matter, denounce them to the governor by name, and apprise him that you will report the same to me for the information of the grand vezir [sic]. I have been informed that the council is fanatic and opposed to the governor.

      I regret very much that Captain Bell did not deem it proper to call at Jaffa, when the presence of his corvette would have had an excellent effect.

      I do not see what more I can for for you for the present ; if, however, anything occurs, which would require further action on the part of the legation, please let me know without delay.

      With much respect, your obedient servant,

      JOHN P. BROWN,
      Charge' d' Affaires.

      J. W. GORHAM, Esq., 
      United States Consul, Jerusalem.


      :[Translation.]

      REJEH, 1274, (FEBRUARY 15, 1858.)

      EXCELLENCY : The American legation has represented, by means of an official takin or note, that five individuals of Jerusalem, on the 26th [sic] of last month, at night, broke into the house of an American citizen named Mr. Dickson, killed his son-in-law, violated his daughter and her mother, and fled, after robbing the house of all of its effects. Moreover, it adds that, according to the report of the American consul (at Jerusalem,) though one of the members of the local council of that place had been sent to Jaffa for the purpose of securing the arrest of the assassins, the caimakam of Jaffa, by want of energy, had as yet effected nothing ; and the legation consequently demands that effective measures be adopted for the arrest of the individuals, the enforcement of the proper punishment of their crimes, and the restoration of the whole of the effects of which the Americans have been robbed.

      According to the representation made by your excellency, measures have been taken already, in the view of the proper execution of the duty of the local government in the premises, and it is therefore hoped that ere this the criminals have been seized. It is unnecessary to repeat to your excellency that the sense of justice and the laws ofthe [sic] Sublime Porte require the securing of the life, property and honor of every person within its territory, and the grievous assassination of the son-in-law of the American, and the violation of his daughter and her mother, and the loss of his effects, is a source of deep pain to me. The want of energy on the part of the caimakam of Jaffa, in making proper search for the criminals, is, in every point of view, incompatible with his official duty ; and the responsibility of thus permitting the perpetration of so heinous a crime justly rests upon the local government [sic]

      Ex. Doc. 54----2

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      18                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      Depending upon the upright character of your excellency, the present letter is now written to direct that you will, by all means possible, have the assassins found and tried before the local council, and the code prescribing punishment be carried into effect against them, as well as have the whole of the effects of which the American has been robbed, restored to him. 

      MEHMED EMIR, Aali,
      Grand Vizier.

      His Excellency SERIYA PASHA, 
      The Mutirarif (governor) of Jerusalem, 
      with the rank of Roomeli Beylerbey.

      Accurate translation :

      JOHN P. BROWN.


      Mr. De Leon to Mr. Cass.

      No. 46.]         
      CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE U. S. A.  IN EGYPT,
      Alexandria, February 22, 1858.

      SIR :  I have the honor to report to you the satisfactory result of my mission to Jaffa thus far. My report must be brief to-day, as I have just arrived here, and the mail closes in a few hours ; full particulars of the whole affair the next mail will bear to you.

      After a struggle of three weeks' duration against the apathy, hostility, and treachery of the Turkish officials, we have succeeded in  forcing them to detect and seize the criminals, four of whom now lie in irons in the prison at Jaffa, with the sheik of the tribe of the fifth criminal detained as a hostage for his production by the tribe.

      The governors of Jerusalem and Jaffa, and the members of the grand council, have solemnly pledged themselves to us to detain and produce the criminals when the order for their execution can be obtained from Constantinople, for which both they and we have formally applied, they being personally responsible for their safe keeping in the interval. 

      We have insisted that the punishment should be inflicted where the crime was committed, at Jaffa, and refused to allow the case or the criminals to be transferred either to Jerusalem or Constantinople. Knowing the promptness and efficiency of Mr. Brown, United States consul general at Constantinople, we entertain no doubt that the requisite order for the execution will arrive speedily, as any delay would tend to decrease the effect of the steps thus far successfully taken. The entire Christian and foreign population of Syria and Palestine have watched our proceedings and their issue with mingled feelings of surprise, joy, and gratitude ; and if the matter is properly concluded, the American name will henceforth never be ignored, nor its people insulted or injured, while that memory remains with Turk, Arab, or Christian.


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                  19

      I commenced the war at Beirut ; our steamer was driven, in a crippled condition, three days and three nights after leaving Alexandria. The accident proved a fortunate one, as the enclosed despatch to Mr. Brown (marked A) will show ; the pacha [sic] of Beirut being the official superior of all the pachas [sic] in Syria, assisted by a special diplomatic agent sent by the Porte, resident also at Beirut.

      Encouraged by my success at Beirut, I proceeded to Jaffa, where Mr. Gorham warmly welcomed me ; and from that time to the hour of my departure we co-operated heart and hand in a task the difficulty and even dangers of which cannot be fully explained nor even understood by any one unacquainted personally with the condition of the country and the character of the people with whom we have had to deal, aggravated both by the long impunity with which offences [sic] against life, property, and female honor have been attended. The enclosed extract from the pastoral letter of the English bishop at Jerusalem, (marked B,) written in November last, in which he predicts a repetition of Indian outrages in Syria, so soon verified, and the fact that in the vicinity of the town of Jaffa alone no less than fifteen known  murders and numberless rapes and robberies have been perpetrated within the last two years, all of which have gone unpunished, though in many cases the authors were known, will show the field and materials on which our work had to be done. If, on my arrival at Jaffa, finding that Mr. Gorham had good reason to believe and know that the authorities were seeking to convert this stern tragedy into a farce, I, in conjunction with him, adopted a tone and a course which elsewhere might be deemed undiplomatic, and even violent, as we had to threaten them with the presence of a squadron to bombard Jaffa. The result has proved that this was the only language which could drive them to a tardy recognition of justice and truth, and open their eyes to proofs plain as the midday sun.  

      Had we been supported by the actual presence of a visible force, the work that it took three weeks to accomplish might have been effected in forty-eight hours ; and in view of the actual condition of affairs in Syria at this moment, I would most respectfully suggest (with all deference to your better judgment) the expediency and propriety of detailing a war steamer to that coast, as a visible emblem of our power, to reassure the terrified Christians, to averawe [sic] the fanatic savages, who, like wild beasts, now lie in wait for them, and, finally, to insure the effectual punishment of those five bloodhounds of Jaffa we have in bonds, whose brethren else may rescue or bloodily avenge them on the unprotected heads of the Christians and Jews of Palestine. 

      In the hope that what I have done in this matter may meet the approval of my official superiors, and with the consciousness that it was my duty so to act in the interests, not alone of the United States, but of humanity also, I submit that conduct to the judgment of the department.

      I remain, very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.


      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Department of State, Washington City.

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      20                       OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      Allow me to recommend as entitled to the formal thanks of the department, for valuable co-operation in this matter with Mr. Gorham and myself, Mr. N. Moore, British consul general at Beirut, acting United States consul there, by request of last incumbent ; Mr. B. Bristany, acting vice consul at Beirut ; Mr. G. S. Murad, United States vice consul, Jaffa ; Simeon Murad, United States vice consul, Jerusalem ; Dr. Rosen, Prussian consul at Jaffa, to whom our government is under great obligations for his active and untiring intervention with the pacha [sic] of Jerusalem ; and, though last not least, Halerl Turk, dragoman to the consulate at Jaffa,  whose perfect knowledge of the two languages enabled him to render every word we spoke to the authorities, and whose courage, zeal and constancy are above all praise. 

      Such recognition of services rendered spontaneously, and, thus far, without fee or reward, will be part payment, at least, of the debt due them, and encourage to renewed efforts hereafter, should they be needed. My thanks have been tendered to each and all of them, but they are valueless when compared to that of the department ; nothing will give me more pleasure than, in conjunction with Mr. Gorham, to be the medium of communicating them. 


      A. 

      BEIRUT, SYRIA, February 4, 1858.

      DEAR SIR AND COLLEAGUE :  On the 26th ultimo I received from Mr. Gorham, United States consul at Jerusalem, a communication, copy of which I have the honor to enclose you, covering his communication to you of 17th ultimo.

      Immediately on receipt of his despatches, I put myself in communication with Captain Bell, of United States frigate Constellation, then lying in port of Alexandria, and, both by written and verbal explanations, endeavored to induce him to carry me to Jaffa, that Mr. Gorham might be sustained in his position by the presence of a vessel-of-war, and the co-operation of an official colleague.

      I was the more desirous of effecting this purpose, because I deemed it likely that the absence of the United States minister, and your double functions at Constantinople, might prevent your personal presence at the scene of action.

      For reasons which my correspondence with Captain Bell will explain to you, he declined making the voyage ; and I therefore took the Austrian steamer for Jaffa on the 30th ultimo, but, owing to severe weather, was driven into this port on the evening of the 1st instant, the steamer having been disabled and almost wrecked by the breaking of one engine and one paddle-wheel. 

      After reaching shore, on the morning of the 2d [sic], I called on Mr. Moore, acting consul for United States, and, by his advice, we paid a visit to the governor of Beirut, at which the circumstances of the case were strongly and plainly laid before him, as well as the probable con-



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                21

      sequences that might result from the failure of the authorities at Jaffa to discover and punish the offenders who had committed three crimes, each capital, on the dwelling and on the persons of American citizens. 

      He was given to understand that nothing less would satisfy the American government ; though I explained my action in the matter as " officious," and the place beyond my jurisdiction, which increased the gravity of Mr. Gorham's appeal. 

      The governor promised to write to Jerusalem and Jaffa again on the subject, having already done so previously on Mr. Moore's " officious" intimation, he having been informed of it by the British vice consul at Jaffa ; and on the ensuing day, when he returned my visit, was still more profuse of promises, and more earnest in his expressions.

      As he has authority over the pachas [sic] of Jerusalem and Jaffa, his letters cannot fail to have due weight.

      To-day I leave in a French steamer for Jaffa to advise Mr. Gorham of what has been done here, and have also written to him by Turkish overland post to same effect. 

      The " Constellation" (frigate) was to proceed, weather permitting, to Messina, Sicily, there to remain one month. The captain now is the only commander left in the Mediterranean. 

      It is almost needless to add that my intervention in this affair has been solely in response to Mr. Gorham's call that I may give him the benefit of my experience, and that nothing is further from my intention than to attempt to assume jurisdiction where I have none, or to trench on the prerogatives of any colleague beyond it. 

      In the hope that long ere I arrive, Mr. Gorham may have received the benefit either of your counsel or your presence, I remain, very respectfully and truly,

      EDWIN DE LEON.


      Hon. J. P. BROWN,
      U. S. Consul General, Constantinople. 

      Allow me also to invite your special attention and consideration to the zeal, energy, and ability which have characterized the conduct and proceedings of Mr. N. Moore, acting United States vice consul at Beirut, and the dragoman, Mr. B. Bristany, who, I trust, may receive their due. 



      B.

      Extracts from pastoral letter of English bishop of Jerusalem, under date of November 10, 1857.

      " I verily believe that if things are allowed to continue as they have been during the last two years, we may expect to see and experience scenes similar to those which have been enacted in India.

      " In general, during the past two years, their hatred against the Christians, European and native, has gone on increasing, nor is it a rare thing now, ever since the outbreaks at Nablous, in April 1856, to hear them speak of massacreing [sic] all the Christians. 

      " It is only about three months ago that many Christians closed

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      22                      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      their shops for two days, and shut themselves up in their houses at Jaffa, in expectation of an outbreak of the Musselmans against the Christians on account of two Latin Christians having killed an effendi and fled with the help of the Latin patriarch. A relative of the man killed, an influential effendi, restrained the mob that was ready to strike; and no wonder, for, after the riot of Nablous, alluded to, when an unoffending Christian was murdered, and others severely wounded, my school-house devastated, and, among others, the house of the agent of the British consul at Jerusalem plundered, the rioters were afraid ; but seeing that to this day they remain not only unpunished, but also that we English subjects have not received any compensation for the things then stolen and destroyed in our houses, they are growing exceedingly bold and menacing all over the country."

      NOTE.--The Prussian consul demanded, insisted upon, and obtained compensation for losses sustained by persons under his official protection. The compensation was a small sum of money--two hundred dollars.


      Mr. Gorham to Mr. Cass.

      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, AT JERUSALEM, 
      Jaffa, February, [sic] 26, 1858.

      SIR : I have the honor to enclose copy of despatch to the Hon. John P. Brown, American charge' d' affaires at Constantinople, relative to the outrages perpetrated on American citizens at Jaffa.

      With the highest consideration, your obedient servant, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM, 
      U. S. Consul at Jerusalem. 

      Hon. LEWIS CASS, 
      Secretary of State, Washington, U. S. A. 


      No. 8.]       
      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA AT JERUSALEM,  
      Jaffa, February 26, 1858.

      SIR :  I have the honor to inform you that the last of the perpetrators of the outrages here has been arrested. His name is Abou Ghazelle. All five are now in custody. Their names are Abou Aita, Abd il Salaam, Khaleel il Kaabeh, Mattar il Abd, Ali Abou Ghazelle. 

      Permit me to add, that I owe the warmest acknowledgments to the generous promptitude of the Hon. Edwin De Leon, our consul general at Alexandria, who, as soon as he heard of the outrages, and to his own great inconvenience, embarked upon an Austrian steamer and came to Jaffa, and, by his active and most efficient support to the measures already taken by myself, mainly contributed to the so far successful termination of the affair.

      With the highest consideration, your obedient servant, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      U. S. Consul at Jerusalem.

      Hon. JOHN P. BROWN, 
      Charge' d' Affaires of the U. S. A., Constantinople.



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.              23

      Mr. De Leon to Mr. Cass.

      No. 47.]
      CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE U. S. A., IN EGYPT,
      Alexandria, March 6, 1858.

      SIR :  Enclosed you will find three additional papers connected with the Jaffa outrage, marked 6, 7, and 8, respectively.

      Deeming it unnecessary to trouble the department with the steps taken to obtain the successful result, I will merely observe that, satisfied on my arrival of the correctness of Mr. Gorham's opinion that the authorities were trifling with him, I declared war at once by refusing, on my reception by the divan, to smoke pipes or take coffee, an act as significant as a refusal to shake hands would be with us.

      When further asked by the governor whether our countries were not at peace, I promptly responded " No ; we regard murder of men and the violation of women, when permitted and screened by governors, as a declaration of war. You have commenced it, not we." These, with the threat of a war squadron, were the key-notes of my proceedings, and the rest were in harmony with that commencement. 

      The responsibility I assumed I trust the department will justify, under the extreme urgency of the case. Under ordinary circumstances, it would not have been attempted.  

      After the first assault on our part had forced the council into unprecedented activity, a last effort to screen the guilty was made by declaration of inability to find a clue to the murderers. No. 6 was prepared to meet and refute this plea, and, when it was read aloud in full divan, and presented as proof, the struggle was terminated, the confession of Abou Esta, and the capture of his accomplices, immediately succeeding. That the family of the sheik, now held as a hostage, will produce the fifth man, there can be no doubt, if no refusal be accepted.

      No. 7 is interesting, as proving this outrage to be the last and crowning one of a long series ; useful, also, as a picture of real life in Palestine. Mr. Minor, (now dead,) the Dicksons, and the Steinbecks, all belonging to the same family of religious enthusiasts, seeking to evangelize the Holy Land.

      No. 8 is my final despatch to Mr. Brown at Constantinople, previous to my departure from Jaffa, on the 19th ultimo. No response from Constantinople had reached that place, nor subsequently, to my knowledge ; neither have I had any advices from Constantinople, but am daily expecting them. 

      Very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.


      MARCH 9, 1858.

      The detention of the P. and O. steamer allows me to subjoin later news, received this day from Jaffa. From enclosed despatch, No. 9, forwarded to me by Mr. Gorham, it will be seen that the fifth criminal, for whom the sheik was held as a hostage, has been also delivered up ; so that the firman from Constantinople for their execution is all

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      24                         OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      that is now needed to consummate the tragedy they have commenced, by the forfeit of their own lives as an expiation.

      In the letter to me, which accompanies this despatch, Mr. Gorham expresses himself most strongly as to the necessity of the presence of a vessel-of-war in his vicinity, that he should be supported thoroughly and efficiently, and I again repeat my own strong conviction on the same point.

      Respectfully,

      EDWIN DE LEON.

      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Department of State, Washington City.


      No. 6.

      Minutes of evidence taken at Jaffa, in Syria, February 8, 1858, by Edwin De Leon, from the Dickson family, translated into Arabic, and submitted to the Grand Medglis in formal interview of the 9th February, 1858.

      A short time ago, about the month of October, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Steinbeck were living in a small hut, within Mr. Dickson's enclosure, but about 20 yards distant from his house.

      One morning, while Steinbeck was working in the fields, and Mrs. Steinbeck and her little sister Caroline, a girl of 11 years of age, were alone in the house with the infant children of Mrs. Steinbeck, two Arabs, one dressed like a soldier and the other like a Bedouin of the hills, rode up to the door and demanded fire for their pipes ; Mrs. Steinbeck sent Caroline to Mrs. Dickson's house for fire, having none in her own [sic] While she was absent, the man dressed as a soldier, who was of much fairer complexion than the other, dismounted from his horse, walked up to where Mrs. Steinbeck was standing, smoothed down her hair with his hand, took other liberties, and, in the Arabic language, which she understands, made use of very improper expressions, ending with a direct request to be permitted to sleep with her. Mrs. Steinbeck, becoming alarmed, pushed the man away, ran out of the door, and called to her father to summon her husband to her assistance ; both men then rode off ; before they did so, the fairer Arab said to Mrs. Steinbeck, " if you hear horsemen in the night don't be alarmed." Mrs. Steinbeck is a young and pretty woman, of fair complexion and light hair, both of which are very attractive to the Arabs, and this was not the first time she had been assailed with rudeness, but her husband being a young, fearless, and powerful man, she was confident in his ability to protect her.

      When the men rode off, Mrs. Steinbeck stood on the hill and watched where they went to. She saw them go into the garden of young Nahas, where Abou Esta lived, the second garden from their own ; she stood watching a long time, but they did not come out again.

      The next morning John Steinbeck, brother of Frederick, also mar-


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                          25

      ried to a daughter of Mr. Dickson, but living at a separate place, on hearing of the affair, went over to Abou Esta's garden, and inquired of him if he knew who those horsemen were. Abou Esta replied that he did know them--that they were people of the neighborhood, but would not divulge their names, or give any specific information as to who they were. 

      On the same night of their visit, the same men rose up to Steinbeck's house about 10 o'clock, called to him, and when he came out demanded that he should accompany them to show them the road ; he took his revolver in his hand, walked a short distance alongside of their horses, then distrusting them, refused to go further, Upon this, one of the men wheeled his horse in front of him, drew a pistol, and repeated the order ; mistaking the chimney pipe on Mr. Dickson's house for a human figure, asked if that was a man ; Steinbeck answered " what is that to you," fired off one barrel of his pistol, and called out for Henry, Mr. Dickson's son ; the Arabs then spurring their horses rode off at full speed. Near daylight the Steinbecks heard the trampling of horses' feet again about the house, but did not get up.

      In consequence of this circumstance, the Steinbecks left their own house, and went to live again with Mr. Dickson, where they were living when the outrage occurred.

      [Here follows a minute description of the persons and dress of the two men, unnecessary to be repeated here.]

      Mrs. Steinbeck and her sister Caroline affirm positively that the fair Arab, already described, was the same man who headed the party on the night of the 11th January ; they recognized him both by his appearance and his voice, the other four having their faces blackened and otherwise disguised. 

      The morning on which he visited Mr. Steinbeck's garden, he told Mrs. Steinbeck that he was an Arab Bedouin, of the tribe of Abou Kish. On the night of the murder, when Mrs. Steinbeck plead with him, and said " I thought all Bedouins were our brothers," he answered " I am not a Bedouin, I am not your brother, but an Arab from the villages." From the man's dress, voice, and language, Mrs. Steinbeck does not think the man was a Bedouin. The companion of this man in his morning visit had some peculiarities of appearance and dress, which Mrs. Steinbeck gave as clues. The remaining three perpetrators of the outrage she could only describe as large, powerful men--Arabs, but disguised, with their faces carefully covered. 

      About two weeks before the perpetration of the outrage on the Dickson family, Steinbeck and Henry Dickson had gone with their cattle some distance off, say four or five miles, and spent the whole night away from home.

      One week before the murder, Steinbeck went alone with the cattle, intending also to pass all night, but, about sunset, saw two men, in Bedouin costume, at some distance on the hills watching him. They remained until dark, dodging him, apparently desirous of avoiding his observation, and he, thinking their intention was to steal his cattle, drove them home, and stated the circumstance to his wife. 

      After the murder, the men left the house near daylight, carrying off

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      26                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.


      a great deal of plunder, and could not have carried it very far, as they had no horses and the road is a public one, very much frequented from daylight in the morning by the neighboring population. Abou Esta's garden is the only convenient place to secrete it, and he was unfriendly to the Dickson family, having been imprisoned one week before by the governor on a charge of stealing John Dickson's sheep ; for these reasons, all the Dickson family believe that the property was hidden in his garden, and that he was cognizant of the whole affair [sic]

      He was summoned as a neighbor the morning after to assist at the funeral of Frederick Steinbeck, but the family were careful not to breathe their suspicions. The second day he made his appearance again at the house, on some frivolous pretext, but when sought after, had fled and secreted himself, and was finally discovered in his hiding place, remote from his own garden, in the ruins of an old house. His wife, when interrogated, said that four men had taken their supper there on the night of the murder, and left at midnight. When Abou Esta himself was arrested, he also admitted that four men had supped there that night, but slept there all night, and went away in the morning.

      NOTE.--After this evidence had been submitted to the grand divan, Abou Esta made full confession, giving the names of his accomplices, the places where they were to be found, and the proofs to convict them, as we were informed by the divan. The men were brought into our presence, in full divan, and verified by the names and descriptions given to us, viz : four of the criminals, and the sheik of the tribe of the fifth, who, no doubt, will also be produced in time. 

      Of all these men the sheik alone protested his innocence. The other four maintained a sullen silence, answering only to their names, making no appeal to us of any kind. The sheik was violent in language and gesture, especially to the divan, who will not be apt to let him go into the hills again.


      No. 7.

      An account of robberies and outrages committed upon the property of the late Mrs. C. S. Minor and John A. Steinbeck, her associate and successor.

      On the 4th October, 1853, thieves, climbing up a grape vine, entered an upper room and stole a large amount of clothing and dry goods. 

      In August, 1854, a tent was entered by night and clothing taken ; an attempt was also made to break through the wall.

      In March, 1855, one night, on hearing a noise at the gate, got up and looked around, but not seeing anything, again retired. A little while after some one knocked at the gate and demanded admittance. On my refusal they began to curse and throw stones in the yard and at the windows, breaking several panes of glass. I fired a revolver



      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA [sic]                27

      twice round, and when reloading it the thieves fired at us twice. A colored girl, being just outside the room, received two shots in her back, but as the distance was considerable they did not enter her body, but made her lame for several days.

      In the night of the 7th August, 1855, we heard thieves in the garden ; after firing four times at random, we heard them go off on horseback, but very soon two guns were fired close to our yard, and we heard the balls whistling above us. They kept lurking about us for a good while, but with our fire-arms we kept them away.

      On the 22d [sic] of August, 1855, a fine donkey was stolen from the yard. 

      In January, 1856, had two pieces of carpeting, a woolen bed cover, a silver watch, which I valued very much on account of its having been for a long time in our family, and a great many other things, stolen.

      In May, 1856, had a coat stolen while at work, in which was a pocket-book and several valuable documents ; after several months the coat and papers were found, but the former ruined.

      On the night of the 3d [sic] of August, 1856, the yard was entered and eleven sheep stolen. 

      On the 29th of April, 1857, a fine young donkey was stolen ; on the 2d [sic] of November, 1857, a wall, two feet thick, was broken through, and seven very large sheep stolen [sic]

      All these robberies and outrages have been committed upon us, in which, at least, property to the amount of 7,000 piastres was stolen, without our ever receiving the slightest remuneration or satisfaction.

      JOHN A. STEINBECK.

      JAFFA, February 13, 1858.


      No. 8.]
      ALEXANDRIA, February 23, 1858.

      DEAR SIR AND COLLEAGUE :  I returned yesterday from my visit to Syria, and have this day given an account of my mission to the State Department, with its results, copy of which you will find enclosed and marked despatch No. 46.

      Dr. [sic] Gorham's despatch, of the 17th instant, has conveyed to you, ere this, our conjoint ultimatum to the authorities of Jaffa, and their adhesion to it, which we confidently look to you to confirm and execute. 

      I do not deem it necessary to give any additional details, as Mr. Gorham has doubtless furnished them to you ;  and have only to reiterate the hope expressed in my despatch to the department, that through your well know zeal, energy, and influence at the Sublime Porte, you will be enabled promptly to obtain the firman necessary for the execution of the five criminals who have sinned, not alone against our people, but against all humanity. 

      You will observe that I have recommended to the department the necessity of placing upon that station a war steamer, for the protection of our citizens resident there, or voyaging in Syria ; to yourself I would venture to suggest the additional solemnity which your presence would give to the execution of the final sentence, and how much aid and comfort it would afford to our worthy representative there. 

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      28                        OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.

      Having thus far acted as your proxy in this matter, I now, therefore, resign its future conduct to you, confident that the dignity and honor of the country could not be entrusted to safer hands. 

      Reposing on that belief, and with the assurance that my co-operation, when available, may ever be confidently relied upon, if needed,

      I remain, very respectfully, 

      EDWIN DE LEON.

      Hon. J. P. BROWN, 
      United States Consul General, Constantinople.


      No [sic] 9.] 
      CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, IN JERUSALEM, 
      Jaffa, February 26, 1858.

      SIR :  I have the honor to inform you that the last of the perpetrators of the outrages here (whose sheik was held responsible) has been arrested ; his name is Ali Abou Ghazelli [sic]. All five are now in custody. Their name are Abou Esta, Abd el Salaam, Kha leel [sic] el Kaabi, Mattar el Abed, Ali Abou Ghazelli [sic]. 

      Permit me to add, that I owe the warmest acknowledgments to the generous promptitude of the Hon. Edwin De Leon, our consul general at Alexandria, who, as soon as he heard of the outrages, and to his own great inconvenience, embarked upon an Austrian steamer and came to Jaffa, and who, by his active and most efficient support to the measures already taken by myself, mainly contributed to the so far successful termination of the affair. 

      I remain, with the highest consideration, your obedient servant, 

      J. WARREN GORHAM,
      U. S. Consul at Jerusalem. 

      Hon. JOHN P. BROWN,
      Charge' d' Affaires of the U. S. A., Constantinople. 



      Mr. Brown to Mr. Cass.

      No. 14.]
      UNITED STATES LEGATION,
      Constantinople, March 24, 1858.

      SIR :  I have the honor to enclose to you translation of the second vezerial [sic] letter to the governor of Jerusalem, ordering the execution of the five individuals who were engaged in the murder of the son-in-law of Mr. Dickson and the crime against his wife, at Jaffa. 

      I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant, 

      JOHN P. BROWN, 
      Charge' d' Affaires.

      Hon. LEWIS CASS,
      Secretary of State, Washington.


      OUTRAGES AT JAFFA.                    29

      [Translation.]

      SCHABAAN 5, 1274, (MARCH 20, 1857.)

      EXCELLENCY :  The American legation has demanded, in an official takrir, or notre, that, as four of the five assassins who committed the murder of the son-in-law of Mr. Dickson, an American, residing at Jaffa, have been arrested, and the sheik of the tribe of the fifth has been arrested and held in prison as a hostage for him, measures be adopted for their immediate punishment. According to the previous and recent letters received from your excellency, through your own laudable zeal and perseverance the whole number of these assassins have been taken, and that you are proceeding to their trial and punishment. No doubt is, therefore, entertained that justice and the proper duty of the provincial government will be carried into execution, and it is unnecessary to mention to your excellency the necessity of effecting immediately the inevitable punishment of criminals ;  and with regard to the crime committed by these men, I have, by the present letter, to direct that you will proceed with every zeal and celerity to the arrest of all of them, and to their trial, with strict justice and attention, so as to carry into execution their proper punishment, according to the criminal code of the empire. 

      AALI, Grand Vezir [sic]. 

      His Excellency SERIZA PACHA, 
      Mutesarif of Jerusalem, with the rank of
      Roomely Bey lev Bey.



      Mr. Appleton to Mr. Gorham.

      DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
      Washington, April 16, 1858.

      SIR :  Your despatches, Nos. 4 and 9, dated, respectively, February 3 and 26, relating to certain outrages committed on American citizens at Jaffa, together with a copy of your correspondence with the local authorities in Syria and the consul general at Constantinople, have been received. 

      The department has learned, with much regret, of the commission of these outrages upon unoffending individuals, citizens of the United States, residing in Palestine.

      It has been gratified, however, to notice the promptitude with which you acted in the premises, and the judicious course pursued by you which finally led to the arrest and punishment of the offending parties. I am directed to assure you that your proceedings in this case have been approved.

      I am, sir, your obedient servant,

      JOHN APPLETON,
      Assistant Secretary.

      J. W. GORHAM, Esq.,
      United States Consul, Jerusalem.  

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      Mr. Cass to Mr. De Leon.

      No. 16.]
      DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
      Washington, April 16, 1858. 

      SIR :  Your despatches to No. 47, of the 6th ultimo, inclusive, have been received at the department.

      To the promptness and energy displayed by you, in regard to the late outrage in Syria, in seconding the efforts of Mr. Gorham, at Jerusalem, is undoubtedly to be ascribed the successful result of the measures taken to secure the condign punishment of the perpetrators of the inhuman atrocities at Jaffa ; and while regretting the necessity for a resort on your part, in your interview with the authorities of that place, to language of such a peremptory character, the department does not doubt its having been justified by the conduct of those authorities and the extraordinary circumstances of the case, and feels no hesitancy, therefore, in expressing its approval of the course pursued by you.

      I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

      LEWIS CASS.

      EDWIN DE LEON, Esq., &c., Alexandria.