#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)
to "OTTOMAN ANATOLIA"