H. V. Hilprecht to A. W. Terrell, January 1894

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A letter from the curator of the Babylonian Section of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania discussing "the Armenian question" and requesting Terrell's help in getting some antiquities the Museum had purchased through Turkish customs for shipment to Philadelphia.

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{In a different hand at top right, in pen} Hilprecht J[ny] 95 {= "January 1895", date of receipt?}

{In a different hand at top left, in pencil, with a flourish after the final T} Hilprecht

{Printed letterhead} University of Pennsylvania Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology

Babylonian Section, H. V. Hilprecht, Curator {handwritten text begins below}

Philadelphia, Dec. 30, 1894

Dear & esteemed Judge Terrell,

To judge from the newspapers, the Armenians must create a great deal of trouble everywhere, and doubtless your mind is occupied more than ever with hundreds of problems to solve the questions which you understand to manage with such eminent skill. These lines are written principally to assure you that whenever I am asked and pressed concerning the Armenian question - and this is often enough I try to give a truer account of the real state of affairs than most of our newspapers do. The good American heart sees the blood of hundreds of innocent women and children and only cruelty on the side of the "abominable Turk." But they do not know here, how on the side of Armenian egotistic subjects of foreign states nothing is left undone to paint coloured and one sided accounts calculated to make an impression on the Christian heart of the American people

Last edit almost 5 years ago by adamrabinowitz
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and how constantly Armenian agents are busy to create disorder at home and to print exciting pamphlets abroad. I always regarded it an impudence of the worst kind that the so called Young Turkey party -certainly nothing but Armenians or principally so -- dared to send to me and to the other prominent foreigners in Constantinople (during summer 1893) by the misuse of the English mail their scandalous pamphlet against the present Sultan, which contained so many lies -- for I was able to control part of them -but doubtless had their result. Your position is a difficult one, as our good American people know too little about the truth. But I have spoken with such emphasis publicly at a party given by Provost Harrison of the University the other day and at a reception given to Mrs. Hilprecht & myself the other day, that it was not without result. May God give you his wisdom from above and a good and strong health in the New Year, then you will mind very little these fights, rather regard them as good exercises because they drive the blood quicker through your veines {sic} and furnish you a good appetite and digestion. My whole heart and mind is with you, and often I find myself in your workshop at the Legation in discussion on archaeology.

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Mr. Gargiulo gave me the names of two men who had not received back their musical compositions from the Chicago World's Fair, in order to look after their whereabouts. I have sent them to Washington to the gentlemen who was in charge of such things. He will do his best to find out what became of them.

This week the seven American Oriental, Archaeological and Philo logical Associations met in the University of Penns. At the scientific joint session I was requested to deliver the first lecture on the Expedition and its results. I was careful to avoid anything in regard to the collections now in our Museum and simply stated that so and so many thousands antiquities -- as was already stated in your excellent report to Washington -were sent to Constantinople.

In connection with our last summer's diversion I now have a request. I unhesitatingly come to you with it, as you were kind enough to tell me again and again to inform you at once, if there was any trouble in getting the antiquities presented to us by the Sultan's Irade out of Constantinople, and you would see at once that they were sent. Permit me

Last edit almost 5 years ago by adamrabinowitz
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to give you the following confidential facts before. Hamdy Bey has informed Dr. Peters, and the latter the Com-mittee officially, that he (in other words His Majesty, as Hamdy Bey told me on the morning when the Prince of Bavaria visited me in the Museum, that "the Irade for the presentation of antiquities to us had been granted by the Grand Vizier) had given me all the antiquities for our Committee, as were not desirable to the Imperial Museum. This statment, I think, must be the basis for our action. As you know, I entrusted Mr. Curmusi the agent of your Legation, with authority for shipping our antiqui-ties, as soon as the Irade necessary for their passing (unopened) the Custom House, had been granted. Confidentially he informed me several times since, that Halil Bey (Hamdy's brother) always told him, the tablets etc. could not yet be shipped, as this Custom House Irade had not yet been issued. He (Curmusi) is in despair and does not know, how long this delay will last. On the other side Halil Bey said to me, when I left in November, that I could rest absolutely assured the Irade would be soon issued and the antiquities be with us in January. I have now written to Halil Bey something to the following effect -- as Curmusi's letter and information must not be mentioned: "Doubtless the antiquities presented to us by Imperial Irade and (according to personal information

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from Hamdy Bey to me in Constant. and according to Hamdy's written information to Dr Peters and through the letter to the committee) -- had been shipped by Mr. Curmusi long before this. I therefore thanked him heartily and begged him to excuse my liberty for accepting Hamdy's offer to look after the Custom House Irade himself -- an offer which I should not have accepted in view of Hamdy's many other duties. Our American Minister would have gladly acceptedconsented to do us this favor himself, as we were obliged to him for other courtesies, and as he was a great friend of the Museum in Constantinople." So I had only asked him, to convey our thanks once more"

My proposition, dear Judge Terrell, would be this: Would you be kind enough to send over to the Museum your cavass or somebody else (directly to Halil Bey, director), with the message that you had been requested, once more to thank His Excellency for this courtesy, as you had been informed by me, that doubtless the boxes had been sent to Philad. by the Museum through Mr. Curmusi. Halil Bey will have to answer your waiting cavass by letter, and you will then be enabled by a direct message him to judge

Last edit almost 5 years ago by adamrabinowitz
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