- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Rendel J. Harris and Helen B. Harris


[page v]


THE following letters consist of a correspondence carried on by my wife and myself with a small circle of interested friends in England who followed our expedition to Armenia in the spring of the present year with every form of sympathy, spiritual, moral, and material. As often happens in such cases, the information which we were able to send concerning the condition of affairs in the interior of Asiatic Turkey was soon in demand by others than those for whom it was initially designed; and when the channels which we had marked for our little stream of testimony had once been overflowed, it was not easy to refuse the request of a leading London firm of publishers who wished to make our brook into a river (with appropriate banks of copyright). And so, though we had no intention in the first instance of allowing general publicity to these letters, we have in the end agreed that they may be reproduced.

One reason, which encourages us to believe that they may be further helpful in the cause of the redemption of the Eastern Christians from Turkish tyranny, lies in the fact that they have already been the means of convincing some thoughtful persons of the gravity of the

[page vi]

issues involved. And this has been accomplished, as I suppose, not by any extravagant tale of horrors, nor by the recapitulation of stories of unnatural cruelty and crime, but by the rude sketch which the letters furnish of the Armenian national life and character as seen by those who have taken time for the study, and who are both sympathetic and critical in their attitude towards these unfortunate people, so as not to underrate their virtues, nor, on the other hand, to be blind to their faults. We were soon compelled to recognise that civi¬lisation in Armenia was making very rapid strides in¬deed, even in face of a tyranny which had assiduously encompassed the destruction of "the whole forest of civility," as Wordsworth calls it, and which in recent repressive measures had " doomed it to perish, to the last fair tree." But of a genuine civilisation it may be said, as of a truly progressive religion (and the Armenians have both), that the forces which are with us are more than those that are against us.

The moderate tone of the letters was necessary, too, in a country where correspondence was continually in danger of being intercepted by the authorities; but it must not be assumed that we have told more than a fraction of the misery which we have seen, or reported more than a very small fraction of the horrors of which we have heard.

Some trifling expansions have been made by means of footnotes for the sake of persons who may not have followed the story of Armenian undoing so closely as to be familiar with all the historical matters alluded to.

[page vii]

I take this opportunity of thanking those friends who have helped us hitherto in the prosecution of our journey and in the circulation of the letters, especially Mr. F. W. Crossley of Manchester, whose advice and assistance have been invaluable to us, Dr. E. Hingston Fox, who took upon himself the burden of the transcription and distribution of our bulletins, and our friend Edmund Wright Brooks, who acted and still acts as treasurer of the fund which the Society of Friends opened on our account, and whose sympathetic co-operation has been given to us so freely through the whole of this difficult expedition.



Table of contents
The cover and pages 1-4 | Preface | Table of contents (as in the book)
Turkish Armenia with Route of J.R. & H.B. Harris (a map)
Letter I | Letter II | Letter III | Letter IV | Letter V | Letter VI | Letter VII | Letter VIII
Letter IX | Letter X | Letter XI | Letter XII | Letter XIII | Letter XIV | Letter XV
Letter XVI | Letter XVII | Letter XVIII | Letter XIX | Letter XX | Letter XXI | Letter XXII
Letter XXIII | Letter XXIV | Letter XXV | Letter XXVI | Letter XXVII | Letter XXVIII
Memorandum: Notes of Information from J. R. H. | Letter XXIX | Letter XXX
Letter XXXI | Letter XXXII | Letter XXXIII | Letter XXXIV | Letter XXXV
Letter XXXVI | Letter XXXVII


Source: J. Rendel Harris & B. Helen Harris. Letters from the Scenes of the Recent Massacres in Armenia. London, James Nisbet & Co., Limited, 1897
Provided by: Aram Arkun, Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center
Scanned by: Karen Vrtanesyan
OCR: Irina Minasyan

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