#12: Armenian revolutionaries (c. 1900)

One day Dr. Tracy had occasion to be in Amasia, the ranking city, above our Kaimaklik, less than 30 miles away. He was informed that a group of young Armenians desired to meet with him in private. According to their request, he was conducted by secret ways to a hidden chamber where he met the band, headed by a recent graduate of the College and the spokesman. Every man wore the well known headdress of a brigand or revolutionist, was fully armed with good weapons, and wore his bandolier of cartridges. The fine, tall young leader explained to his College President that patriotism was a religious duty and he led in prayer. Then he stated their purpose. The Armenians had lived for generations as bondsmen under the unjust, oppressive, and cruel Turks. They were entitled to relief from such suffering, as was so well known throughout the world that the European powers at the Berlin Conference had promised reform measures. But nothing was done. It seemed necessary for the Armenians themselves to take the lead, to create disturbances by insurrection to show the Europeans that Turks could no longer control or protect the Armenians, or maintain order in the country. They pledged their lives, their all, to the sacred cause. They would shed blood if necessary, and they would not spare their own blood. Then the Europeans would remember the Armenians and their promises in behalf of the Armenians and would come to their help.

The Christian educator was certainly in a difficult position. Wisdom, judgment, inevitable danger, probable failure, counselled peace, order, patience, in spite of some natural sympathy with the oppressed. Dr. Tracy was clear and strong in counsel and as winning as possible in manner. It was not long before the band was broken up and the leader, our alumnus, was slain.

NEXT: A grateful Turk (c. 1902)