#35: "Pontus" (1921)

There remained the question of "political" matters. In this respect, our attitude toward the Turkish Government had been careful and correct. We always recognized our obligations to the Government in authority, and our American officials in Constantinople or nearer frequently reminded us, whenever we consulted them, of our duty to maintain a neutral attitude as between contending parties with a spirit of friendliness for all and respect for authority. Our domineering visitors seemed eager to find some incriminating evidence, something that would implicate or compromise us Americans. This clear and strong impression was confirmed by our legally-minded associate, who was in my office at the time while the search was being conducted there, Mr. Theodore Riggs. When I was allowed to be also present, the General and the Judge compared notes in my office over two maps hanging on the wall on which they read the word, "Pontus". "See", they said eagerly to each other, "these are maps of the province of Pontus, which they aim to establish. See, the Pontus boundaries are not the same; on one map they are larger than on the other. They enlarge the boundaries as their ambitions increase". The wall maps were printed in Chicago some years before to illustrate the Roman provinces in the time of the Apostle Paul! But afterwards Turkish papers published statements to the effect that charts had been found in the College on which was outlined the province of "Pontus", which revolutionists connected with the College, especially the Pontus club, planned should be annexed to the Hellenic kingdom.

That evening the Executive Committee of the Greek Literary Society, consisting of three teachers, one alumnus, and two students, were arrested, with the promise that they would return as soon as they had been asked and answered a few questions. But they never came back. Much was made of the Pontus Society seal, as rebellion; it carried a device clearly showing a school boys' club for "musical, literary, and athletic" exercises.

NEXT: The final exodus (1921)