Echoes From Smyrna
Chapter 38
By George Horton
Danish translation: Genlyd fra Smyrna
Source: Preservation of American Hellenic History (PAHH)
Published on : January 26, 2014

Chapter from George Horton's online book: The Blight of Asia
Danish: Asiens svøbe

As throwing some light on the spirit in which the foregoing pages have been written, I append the following letters, the first two from American missionary associations, the third from a committee of prominent Turks at Smyrna:

Incorporated 1812
Congregational House, 14 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.
March 22, 1923.

Doctor George Horton,
American Consul-General,
Care Consular Bureau, State Dept.,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Doctor Horton,

Enclosed is a letter written by Mr. Getchell in behalf of the missionaries of Smyrna, addressed to Doctor Barton, to have been handed to you on board the steamer which you in some way failed to take.

It was thus delayed and reached my hands only yesterday.

Please accept the sentiments expressed although unfortunately so long delayed in transmission. The original of the letter addressed to Doctor Barton was delivered when the party reached America and was read by him on his return from China.

We are watching events in the Near East with the greatest interest and, as one of the missionaries has said, "with hopes that scarce know themselves from fear".

I have heard that the American Consulate is again functioning in Smyrna and it is possible that you are there once more. If so, it will be a comfort and a relief of many persons whose interests are still largely centered in that city.

I trust that you and your family have maintained your health despite the terrible strain upon you and that you will be able to continue in the splendid cooperation with our missionaries that has characterized your work in the past.

Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) Ernest W. Riggs.

The letter referred to as "enclosed" was as follows:

Athens, Greece,
October 12, 1922.

Reverend James L. Barton, D. D.,
Secretary of the American Board,
14 Beacon Street,
Boston, Mass.

Dear Doctor Barton,

At a recent station meeting of the Smyrna missionaries now refugees in the city of Athens (numbering fourteen adults) a vote was passed recognizing the exceedingly helpful and sympathetic services of our Consul-General, Doctor Horton, during the days of the late Smyrna tragedy. The vote also expressed the desire that a copy of this letter be sent to the State Department, Washington, D. C., and one also to Doctor Horton himself.

During those days of Turkish fire, pillage and massacre, which laid the beautiful city of Smyrna in ashes and rendered homeless her Christian population of not less than 500,000 people, including the refugees from the surrounding towns and villages, Doctor Horton passed through more trying, exacting and dangerous experiences than I could imagine any official of the United States Government, doing service abroad, has ever been called upon to undergo.

Under such circumstances, when our American Consulate was crowded with helpless human beings, all looking to the consul for help and advice, Consul Horton kept cool but never cold. His warm sympathetic heart went out to each sufferer, and aid was extended wherever possible.

The missionaries are especially grateful for the assistance rendered by Doctor Horton in helping to rescue teachers and pupils from the schools, with the result that not one teacher from the American Girls' Institute, at Smyrna, is missing; and most of the girls, who were in the burning building, have been saved.

Since the flight to Athens, Doctor Horton has been most energetic in helping to feed, clothe and house the needy refugees.

We wish to put on record our appreciation of Doctor Horton's brave and sympathetic efforts for ourselves, as well as the natives of the city.

On behalf of the missionaries of Smyrna Station, I remain,
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) "Dana K. Getchell."

The third and following letter was received by me in Washington, August 20, 1923, in the Turkish language. Among the signers are Ilimdar Zade Edhem, President of the Islamic Emigration Committee and Hali Zeki, proprietor of the well-known Shark Gazette.

My constant policy during the long time that I was in the Near East, was to befriend, in so far as my official position permitted, all who might be in need of help, irrespective of race or religion.

30 July, 1339 (Turkish date)

Since the appointment of His Excellency, George Horton as Consul-General of the United States in Smyrna, His Excellency has won the heart of the whole Turkish nation by the sympathy and good will, which His Excellency has always shown every Turkish man.

During the Greek occupancy of our country His Excellency, Mr. George Horton, gave full protection and kindly treatment to those of the Turks who went to him for protection and the right of humane existence.

We therefore beg to express our heartiest thanks to His Excellency, Mr. George Horton, for all the interest and kindly services rendered by him for the Turkish nation, which has also created in our hearts a deep and eternal affection for his honorable nation.

Ilimdar Zade Edhem, President of the Islamic Emigration Committee
Sahlebdji Zade Midhat, Merchant
Hussein Djemal, Chemist
Beshir Zade, Merchant
Mehmet Nourri, Carpet Merchant
Hali Zeki, Proprietor of Shark Gazette
Hassan Fowzi, Lawyer
Shaih Kadri
Eyyub Sabri, Merchant
Mehmet Emin, Merchant
Melimet Hamdi, Merchant
Kesreli Hadji Ali, Tobacco Merchant
Berkeli Zade
Hadji Bedriddin
Mkr. Ahmet
Kantardji Zade
Mustapha Nouriddin
Mehmet Zeki, Hat Merchant

Of these and of many other Turks that I have known personally, I have the most friendly and even affectionate recollections. I wish them well and would gladly welcome an occasion that would allow me to be of service to them again.

It is necessary, however, for the honor of the Turkish race that some of its members should denounce the massacres and publicly declare that they are and have always been opposed to them. If the Koran does not advocate the putting to death of the unbeliever as some of its expounders maintain, then it should seem indispensable to the good name of Mohammedanism in general, that all the other Moslems should denounce the Turkish massacres.

The above testimonial was forwarded to me by Mr. Rufus Lane, formerly American consul at Smyrna, who writes among other things:

I thought it would be a pleasure to you to have as a souvenir of your stay here a few lines from some of your Turkish friends, attesting their sympathy for you.
One man declares that you saved the lives of his entire family in 1916, by providing them with food, a doctor and a nurse when his mother, his wife and three children were all down with typhus. I know the man well, as also the circumstances, which no doubt you have forgotten!

George Horton

George Horton (1859–1942) was a member of the US diplomatic corps who held several consular offices, in Greece and the Ottoman Empire, in late 19th century and early 20th century. Horton initially arrived in Greece in 1893 and left from Greece 30 years later in 1924. During two different periods he was the US Consul and US Consul general to Smyrna, known as Izmir today, the first time between 1911-1917 (till the cessation of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Ottoman Empire during the First World War) and the second time between 1919–1922, during Greek administration of the city in the course of the Greco-Turkish War. The Greek administration of Smyrna was appointed by the Allied Powers following Turkey's defeat in World War I and the seizure of Smyrna. (Source: Wikipedia)

What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.


Table of Contents

  1. Turkish Massacres, 1822-1909
  2. Gladstone and the Bulgarian Atrocities
  3. First Steps In Young Turks' Program (1908-1911)
  4. The Last Great Selamlik (1911)
  5. Persecution of Christians in Smyrna District (1911-1914)
  6. The Massacre of Phocea (1914)
  7. New Light on the Armenian Massacres (1914-1915)
  8. Story of Walter M. Geddes
  9. Information from Other Sources
  10. The Greek Landing at Smyrna (May, 1919)
  11. The Hellenic Administration in Smyrna (May 15, 1919 - September 9, 1922)
  12. The Greek Retreat (1922)
  13. Smyrna As It Was
  14. The Destruction Of Smyrna (September, 1922)
  15. First Disquieting Rumors
  16. The Turks Arrive
  17. Where and When the Fires Were Lighted
  18. The Arrival at Athens
  19. Added Details Learned After The Tragedy
  20. Historic Importance Of The Destruction Of Smyrna
  21. Number Done To Death
  22. Efficiency of Our Navy in Saving Lives
  23. Responsibility of the Western World
  24. Italy's Designs On Smyrna
  25. France and the Khemalists
  26. Massacre of the French Garrison at Urfa
  27. The British Contribution
  28. Turkish Interpretation Of America's Attitude
  29. The Making of Mustapha Khemal
  30. Our Missionary Institutions In Turkey
  31. American Institutions Under Turkish Rule
  32. The Reverend Ralph Harlow on the Lausanne Treaty
  33. Mohammedanism and Christianity
  34. The Koran And The Bible
  35. The Example Of Mohammed
  36. The 50-50 Theory
  37. Asia Minor, The Graveyard Of Greek Cities
  38. Echoes From Smyrna
  39. Conclusion