Sunday, January 03, 2010

0 62 testimonies about the Bulgarian population in Macedonia at the end of XІX s. and the begining of XX s.

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    1. First Evaluation of the Bulgarians

Below is an excerpt from a letter of Edwin E. Bliss written in Constantinople, December 10, 1857, and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 54, No. 3, March, 1858; among other things, it states:

"... This, my first acquaintance with the Bulgarians, has given me a very favourable opinion of them. Others have expressed a different estimate, but I should be inclined to rank them before the Armenians in native intelligence and cultivation. Certainly a higher degree of civilization prevails among them than among the Armenians of Asia Minor. They have better homes, better vehicles, better instruments of husbandry. . .." (p. 74)

2. The Nationalities of European Turkey

The following excerpt is from an article dealing with the population of the European part of the Ottoman empire written by Rev. H . G. O. Dwight of Constantinople. It was published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 54, No. 10, 1858, and states:

"We cannot be sure of our statistics here, but the following is probably a near proximation of the truth:

Rumanians ._ __._ ___. .... .... 4,000,000
Slavonians ._ .... .... ._._ .._.     7,500,000
Proper Greeks __ _.. ____ ....  1,000,000
Albanians .... ._._ .... .... .... .__1,500,000
Osmanly Turks .___ _.. .... .... .1,000,000
Armenians, Jews and others __ ...500,000

"Let us look at each of these classes separately. ... Of all the races now mentioned, the Bulgarians undoubtedly claim our first attention. They inhabit not only what is usually called Bulgaria proper, extending from the Danube to the Balkan mountains, but also a widely extended region south of these mountains, reaching to the Bosphorus and the Marmora and the Aegean Sea, and embracing a good part of ancient Thrace, Albania and Macedonia…

"But the most interesting feature in the Bulgarian character remains still to be stated. For many years past they have shown the most extraordinary eagerness to possess the Word of God in their own spoken tongue. Several editions of the New Testament in the Bulgarian language have been printed under the direction of the British and Foreign Bible Society. They have found an immediate sale, and still it seems difficult to supply the demand. . .. Possessed of so many rare qualities, and scattered as they are over almost the whole of European Turkey, they present themselves to us as the chosen instrument of the Providence, by whom chiefly the truth 'as it is in Jesus' is to be disseminated through all the other races of this Western Empire of the Turks." (p. 322)

3. Relations Between Greeks and Bulgarians

This excerpt is from a letter written by Mr Charles F. Morse, December 3, 1860, and appearing in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 57, No. 3, March, 1861. It states:

"Previous to 1764,1 the Bulgarians had their own Patriarch and bishops; but at that time, the crafty Samuel [1], Greek Patriarch, procured the absorption of the Bulgarian Patriarchate into that of his own church. The Bulgarians of European Turkey are now three or four times the number of the Greeks; and they justly feel that they can no longer submit to such degradation and oppression, and strongly desire the recognition of their ancient privileges. After the granting of the famous Hatti humayoun, they applied for the independent recognition of their church. They were refused, and this only strengthened them to make another application. There are ten to urge it now where there was one three years ago. Meantime the breach between them and the Greeks has been growing wider and wider. The Greeks accuse the Bulgarians of plotting against the Government, the Bulgarians proclaim their fidelity to the Porte, and substitute in their liturgy the name of the Sultan in the place of the Greek Patriarch. They have demanded the reading of the Slavic in their churches instead of Greek. The contest has sometimes been so fierce as to lead to bloodshed in the churches, but the Bulgarians have generally gained their point. . . .

1 See note one.

"Meantime our books are extensively sold. One of the students sent from Bebek into the Sophia field sold in two months over 5,000 piasters' worth. Apparently the work will be upon us in all its magnitude before we are prepared for it. The importance of occupying the two remaining great centers, Sophia and Uskup (Skopie), in the western part of the field, apparently cannot be too strongly felt." (p. 68)

4. "Seed Growing in Secret"

Under the above heading an article written by Reverend E. W. Jenney appeared in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 75, No. 2, February, 1879. An excerpt from this article states:

"Most of the Bulgarians in Macedonia who can read, possess the Word of God in some form, and many of the Greeks and Wallachians [Arumanians of Macedonia—Ed.] have the New Testament in their own tongues." (p. 59)

5. The Bulgarians in Macedonia

Writing to Tsanoff on March 7, 1879, Rev. J. H. House, among other things, states:

"The evidence which I have been able to gather seems to leave no doubt the majority of the Christian population in Macedonia within the boundaries of the San Stefano Treaty is Bulgarian. And in general those who call themselves Greeks, are either Vlachs or Grecianized Bulgarians." (Tsanoff, A. S., Bulgaria in the Eastern Question, pp. 181-186.)

6. Love for Political Independence

In an article under the heading of "Village Life in Bulgaria" written by Rev. J. H. House in Samokov, Bulgaria, and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 79, No. 10,"October, 1882, among other things, states:

"They [the Bulgarians] are characterized by a strong love of political independence and self-government, and exhibit this characteristic in the management of village affairs. In this respect the Bulgarians seem to me to bear a strong resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon race. These people are by no means found only in the province of Bulgaria. They are scattered throughout European Turkey and Eastern Roumelia." (p. 405)

7. Mission Work Among the Bulgarians

Under the above heading, an article written by Rev. James F. Clarke in Samokov, Bulgaria, appeared in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 75, No. 6, June, 1883. Discussing the April insurrection in 1876, the Russo-Turkish War, and the subsequent sufferings, Dr Clarke states:

"The Bulgarians form one of the most important and interesting elements of the Eastern question. They number about six million, who, by the Treaty of Berlin, are divided nearly equally between Bulgaria, under a Prince, giving only a tribute to the Sultan; Eastern Roumelia, which has a governor, appointed by the Sultan, but with the Liberal constitution; and Macedonia, which is still under the full control of the Turkish government...

"In the national awakening the Bible has an important part. The Testament, translated by a Bulgarian monk, and published twenty-five years ago by the British and Foreign Bible Society, was sought by the people with an intense avidity, not because of desire for spiritual truth, but because it was one of the first Bulgarian books available to them in the still 'Sweet mother tongue'....

"The Mission Work of the American Board commenced in 1858. There are now stations in Constantinople, Philippopolis, Samokov, and Monastir. . . .

"The following year, a part of Macedonia passed through the same experiences, and some twenty thousand people poured through Djumaya, then occupied by the Russians, to various parts of Bulgaria and East Roumelia... During these repeated calamities the missionaries of the American Board labored for many months for the alleviation of distress, expending about 45,000 dollars, received from England, at a cost to themselves of much privation, sickness, and suffering. ..."

8. Turkey and the Greek Influence

In a letter dated March 18, 1886, Samokov, Bulgaria, published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 82, No. 6, June, 1886, Rev. James H. House discussing the "Political Outlook", among other things, states:

"... we have strong hopes that the friendliness between Turkey and Bulgaria may lead to an alleviation of the conditions of the Bulgarians in Macedonia, where, in large portions of the province, Bulgarian schools have been closed by the government through Greek influence, and neither the Slavic nor Bulgarian languages are allowed in their churches." (p. 218).

9. Workers and Deeds

The following excerpt from an article published in Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 27, March 7, 1889, states:

"Among those who had a share in the early work for the Bulgarians the first mention should be made of Dr E. Riggs, who has ever since been doing so much to give the Bible to this people. He became interested in them when a missionary in Salonica, in and about which place were, and now are, many Hellenized Bulgarians, who have always been known as Greeks, because they were members of the Greek Church. In 1847, he prepared a grammar for the study of the Bulgarian language." (p. 1)

10. Monastir and Seres

The following excerpt is from a report of the American mission on "Monastir as We Found It," published in Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 47, referring to Monastir (Bitolia):

"... The 40,000 inhabitants consist of Turks, Bulgarians, Wallachians [Arumanians—Ed.], Greeks, Albanians, Jews, Gypsies, and 'scattering'. (Here we may say that perhaps half the population of all Macedonia is Bulgarian, while the other half consists of the above-named nationalities.) The official language is Turkish, the language of trade is Bulgarian, and population in the surrounding region seems easily approachable with the Gospel."

11. "Zornitza" has been Suspended

Reporting on the work of the American mission in European Turkey, there appeared in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 93, No. 11, November, 1897, the following announcement:

"The weekly Zornitza, which for twenty years has been the Christian periodical for the Bulgarian speaking peoples of both Macedonia and Bulgaria, has been suspended for lack of funds... Bulgaria and the Bulgarians have a strong desire for independence and for progress in all that which makes a nation strong and great." (p. 432).

12. Annual Review for 1897-1898

At the annual meeting of the Board of the American Foreign mission held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 5, 1898, a report of the Annual Review of the Work of the American Board (1897-1898) has been made. The foreign secretaries of the American mission abroad preparing the report were Rev. J. Smith, D.D., and Rev. James L. Barton, D.D. The report has been published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 94, No. 11, November, 1898. Reporting for European Turkey Dr Smith, among other things, states:

"As this mission lies a part in Macedonia and so under Turkish rule, and a part in Bulgaria, it presents two divergent political aspects. The work is conducted almost exclusively for Bulgarian speaking people in both sections, although attention is turning more and more to the Albanians who have been neglected so long, to the shame of Chistendom. In the Turkish part of the mission the political conditions do not materially differ from those which prevail upon the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus. . .

"The evangelistic work of the year gives much ground for encouragement. In some sections of Macedonia the people seem especially ready to hear and quick to respond. The new station at Salonica is becoming a center of power. . . . The departments we need just now to push in this mission are the preparation of a native agency and the formation of a Christian literature for the Bulgarian people." (p. 446)

13. The School at Samokov

Reporting on the Collegiate and Theological Institute at Samokov {The Missionary Herald, Vol. 97, No. 4, April, 1901), the secretary, Dr James L. Barton, among other things, states:

"The field of the Institute is the Bulgarian nation, including those who dwell in Macedonia. This school stands today as the only evangelical Christian school of its grade and stamp."

14. Dr Riggs' Service for the Bulgarian Language

The following is an excerpt from a paper—Memorial Service for the late Rev. Elias Riggs, D.D., LL.D.—read by Rev. Robert Thomson at Constantinople, 1901. Among other things, Dr Thomson states:

"Closely connected with this must be mentioned Dr Riggs' share in exercising a powerful influence on the Bulgarian language itself. This influence has repeatedly and generously been acknowledged by competent authorities. In the first instance, he had to decide, when he began work on the Bulgarian Bible, whether the Macedonian or Thracian dialect should be employed—the two being at that time about equally prevalent. With astonishing intuition he decided in favor of the Thracian; and there can be little doubt that this fact did much—perhaps everything—to turn the tide in the direction in which it has flowed so strongly ever since. Then, there had to be laid down the principles, which presently became the traditions, by which the work of the Bulgarian Publication Department was to be guided. These were strongly conservative. The Department refused to give way in the slightest before the on-rush of foreign words, phrases, and terms of expression. Always when possible it fell back upon the Slavic and Russian rather than adopt a European word. It aimed at the purest Bulgarian; and it adhered to the most classic orthography till finally compelled to yield some points." (Annual Review for 1897-1898, p. 20.).

15. Ellen Stone and the Bulgarian Immigrants

Miss Ellen Stone in an article—Bulgarian Mission work—published in The New York Observer, September 19, 1907, discussing the arrival of Bulgarian immigrants, writes:

"Among the multitude of immigrants arriving to our shores from the East there have been an increasing number of Bulgarians from poor, oppressed Macedonia, and also the free and prosperous province of Bulgaria. It is estimated that 25,000 are already here."

16. Greece and Serbia Forbid the Missionaries to Preach in the Bulgarian Language

The following quotation is from the Almanac of Missions, American Board, 13th edition, 1915 (the Balkans), p. 20. It states:

"In Serbia, with our station at Monastir [Bitolia—Ed.], there have been difficulties in adjusting the language question to the work, and in Greece, with our station at Salonica, there was no missionary who could speak Greek, and many of the Bulgarians fled to Bulgaria."

17. Concerning the Work of the Missionaries

Rev. Robert Thomson in a letter written in Samokov, Bulgaria, May 12, 1906, dealing with the "Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the American Mission at Constantinople, 1906", and published in Almanac of Missions, American Board, 1915, writes:

"Reasons will doubtless easily suggest themselves to you that largely explain the much readier acceptance which Asia Minor has given to the evangelical message than this Peninsula has; but it is not so easy to find an explanation of why Bulgaria alone, of all this group of little nations, should have opened its heart to that message. Greece, which received so much sympathy and aid from Europe, but especially from Britain and the United States, during the period of its emergence as a sovereign people, very soon practically expelled the missionaries that came to her from these very lands, and has ever since remained all but inaccessible to evangelistic effort. Servia, Roumania, and Montenegro have from the first maintained rigidly closed doors; while the Albanians, though more perforce than by choice, have made no response to the modest effort that for a dozen or more years past has been put forth among them. Can it be that the providence of God so timed events as designedly to delay Bulgaria's achievement of independence until the Gospel had gained such a place on her soil that she—and she alone of all these nationalities—could hardly have banished it even had she been inclined? If that is so, then it would seem that Bulgaria has been marked out by God to play a vastly higher and more important role in the history of south-eastern Europe than even has been predicted for her on other considerations.

"Be that as it may, how interesting it is, in the light of the progress that has been made, to read of those earliest inquiries about the Bulgarians, instituted by Constantinople missionaries some twenty or more years after Dr Goodell's first arrival in the Golden Horn. Dr Riggs' contact with Photinoff of Smirna—the pioneer of modern Bulgarian literature, and the first translator of the Scriptures into that vernacular—his visit to America and fellowship with the Methodist Episcopal Church there just when its mission to Northern Bulgaria was about to be opened, his tour of exploration with Dr Byington from Salonica to Stara Zagora, passing through all the four towns that are at present the stations of our Mission, those singular though abortive negotiations carried on through him between the Bulgarian and Greek hierarchy with the final triumph of the former, these things seem clearly now to have been the drawing of God's Spirit and the guiding of His providence to lead us to occupy the one field which in this region was to prove fruitful, and the field which seems to hold in promise mighty results for the whole Peninsula and beyond. So also the leading that guided Dr Riggs to select the Thracian and not the Macedonian dialect for the language of the Bulgarian Scriptures has fitted wonderfully into the plan.

"And now, on the verge of the jubilee of the starting of evangelical work in Bulgaria both north and south of the Balkans, and in Macedonia, we have nothing but words of good cheer and confidence to send you. God has not permitted us the wide extension and strong growth that He had given you at this stage in your history; but He has given us enough to assure us that He is with us." (p. 89)

18. Memories from Robert College

One of the greatest authorities on the Balkans and the Near East has been the distinguished Dr G. B. Washburn, former Professor and President of Robert College in Constantinople. Living for decades in the Turkish capital, Dr Washburn has made an excellent study of the races and nationalities—their struggles and aspirations—in European Turkey. Witnessing the formation of the Bulgarian state, Dr Washburn discusses the San Stefano Treaty, the Berlin Treaty, the Macedonian insurrection of 1903, and England's role in the affairs of Turkey. The quotations and page references below, bearing on the Bulgarian people, are from Dr Washburn's book, Fifty Years in Constantinople, published in Boston, Massachusetts, 1909. Speaking about the students at Robert College, Dr Washburn writes:

"Most of the boarders at this time were Bulgarians, and for twenty years the great majority of the graduates were of this nationality. During the previous decade the Bulgarians had awakened from the sleep of centuries. They had thrown off the yoke of the Greek patriarch of Constantinople and began to dream of escaping from that of the Turk. It was a nation of peasants, held in ignorance by a double bondage. When they began to seek for enlightenment their attention was first directed to Robert College by Dr Long, then an American missionary in Bulgaria and later a professor in the College. Although Dr Hamlin had interested himself in the Bulgarians in 1856 and used his influence to have missions established in Bulgaria, it does not appear from their correspondence that either he or Mr. Robert had ever thought of them as possible students in the college, and Mr Robert died without knowing that he had played an important part in founding a new state in Europe, (p. 39)

"We were brought into somewhat intimate relations with it [The Constantinople Conference of 1876[2]] by the fact that England had been leader in the plan of the conference and that we know more of the people and the situation in Bulgaria than anyone else

2 See note two

in Constantinople. Lord Salisbury and Sir Henry Elliott were the English delegates, and two of the men who came with Lord Salisbury were in later years ambassadors here, Lord Curry and Sir William White, (p. 116)

"The anticipated antagonism between Lord Salisbury and General Ignatieff, the Russian delegate, did not appear. They worked together all through the conference, and reached a plan which, if it had been accepted by the Turks, would have brought peace and prosperity to the empire. Unhappily, Sir Henry Elliott did not agree with Lord Salisbury, as he told me himself, and perhaps unconsciously, he encouraged the Turks to resist, (p. 117)

"March 3, 1878, a treaty of peace was signed between Russia and Turkey at San Stefano which would have been final but for the attitude of England and Austria, (p. 131)

"The treaty of San Stefano was of course a hard one for Turkey, but it would have been better for England and for all the people of European Turkey if it had been allowed to stand, and far better for the Armenians in Asia. (p. 132)

"The treaty of Berlin which was signed July 13, 1878, was one most important event of the nineteenth century in European history, but it was not made in the interest of any one in the Turkish Empire. I do not know that it professed to be, although Lord Beaconsfield congratulated himself on having 'consolidated' the empire, an euphemism for having reduced the size of it. Each power sought only to further its own interests and ambitions; and for the people chiefly concerned, the result has been a succession of wars, revolutions, and massacres down to the present day. This is not the place to discuss this treaty, but we may take a single illustration from the people in whom Robert College was most interested at that time, the Bulgarians. The treaty of San Stefano had created a Bulgaria essentially on the lines agreed to by the Powers at the Conference of Constantinople. The Treaty of Berlin divided the Bulgarians into five sections, going one part to Servia, one to Roumania, one to an autonomous province called Eastern Roumelia, one to Turkey and one to constitute the Principality of Bulgaria under the suzerainty of the Sultan; and it was England especially that insisted upon this and also upon the right of Turkey to occupy and fortify the range of the Balkan; all with the object of making it impossible for the Bulgarians to form a viable state, which might be friendly to Russia. The Englishmen who know Bulgaria, all our friends, understood the folly and wickedness of this at the time. All England has learned it since.

Thus far the results have been the revolution of 1885, which resulted in the union of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia, the war with Servia, the insurrection in Macedonia and the Province of Adrianople, and all the massacres and unspeakable horrors of the last thirty-nine years in Macedonia, to say nothing of what Bulgaria has suffered from the intrigues of foreign powers ever since the Treaty of Berlin. The awful massacres and persecutions from which the Armenians have suffered since 1886, have been equally the result of this treaty, (p. 133)

"The year 1903 was marked by the outbreak of the revolution planned by the Macedonian committee, not only in Macedonia, but in the province of Adrianople. The insurgents were Macedonian Bulgarians, but were not supported by the government of free Bulgaria, or by any European Power, and they failed, although they demanded nothing more than the execution of the Treaty of Berlin. Russia and Austria intervened, but neither of the powers wished to have the Macedonian question settled until they could settle it in their own interest, (p. 286)

"The college is best known in Europe for the influence that it had in building up a free state in the Balkan Peninsula. Fifty years ago, except to a few students of history, the Bulgarians were a forgotten race in America and western Europe. We did not exactly discover them, but we played an important part in making them known to the Western world at the time when they most needed help. Years before this they had discovered us, and through the young men who studied in the college they had come to have faith in our wisdom and good will. The most important thing that we ever did for them was the educating of their young men to become leaders of their people at a time when there were few Bulgarians who knew anything of civil government in the free state.

"This was our legitimate work and naturally and inevitably led to our doing what we could for them after they left the college, to give them the advice which they sought in their own work, and to defend their interests where we had influence in Europe. That, in this way, we had an important part in the building up of this new state is a fact known to all the world and best of all by the Bulgarians themselves, who have never failed to recognize their obligation to the college and to manifest their affection for us as individuals." (p. 298)


1. The Voden (Edesa—Ed.) District Almost Entirely Bulgarian

In A. S. TsanofFs book, Bulgaria and the Eastern Question, published in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 1879, there is on pages 181-186 a letter of March 10, 1879, written by Mr Baird. Among other things Mr Baird writes to Tsanoff:

"If you take the home language as a guide, I do not think that among the non-Mussulman population of the Monastir caza (district) there are more than 125 purely Greek households. In the Tikvish district there are, perhaps, about 12 households (all strangers). . . . The district of Vodena is almost completely Bulgarian, although most of them are Grecomans (adherents of the Greek patriarch). In Veles there are perhaps about 10 Greek houses, and in Shtip (Istip) about 25. As for Radovish, Strumitza, and Doiran, you know that the Bulgarian population at least predominates.

"If you count as Greeks the Arnauts (Albanians) and the Vlachs, along with the Hellenes, then their number becomes larger, but still in comparison (with the Bulgarians) it is very small."

2. A Tour to Seres and Surroundings

In the issue of March, 1884, of The Missionary Herald, Vol. 80, No. 3, occurs the following item:

"Mr House of Samokov, in company with Miss Stone, has made a recent trip to the Macedonian part of their field, and especially to the city of Seres and vicinity. ... He was struck with the character of the Bulgarian race residing there, and was greatly impressed with the bright, intelligent look of the boys in the Bulgarian school in Seres, mostly from the villages." (p. 106)

3. Preacher Mobbed by Greeks In The Missionary News from Bulgaria (published in Samokov, Bulgaria), No. 4, issue of October 14, 1885, occurs the following news item:

"At his Bulgarian service in Seres, Preacher Litsa was mobbed by Greeks and afterwards driven from the city, because they wished to repress all Bulgarian influences, that Macedonia may seem politically to belong to the Greeks. At present there can be no redress. So the thousands of Bulgarians in that region must not hear the Gospel in their own language. We ask prayer for all the above cases." (p. 2)

4. Seres as Center for Work Among the Bulgarians

In the issue of May 10, 1887, The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 13, in a report of the Annual Meetings, occurs the following item:

"... The occupation of Seres by Mr Sampson, in connection with his Greek work, was cordially endorsed, though the Mission still hopes that a long time will not pass before it will be possible to make this place the center of a Bulgarian work, since for the larger part the Christian population of the district is Bulgarian, and although a majority of the citizens of Seres is of Bulgarian extraction, now strongly prefers to use the Greek language." (p. 1)

5. Intrigue of a Greek Bishop

In the above-mentioned issue of The Missionary News from Bulgaria, occurs the following item:

"The Greek bishop in Strumitsa is intriguing to keep the people in darkness, but the light is breaking on many villages on the plain, in sight of his lofty residence in the city. A month ago several men came to the missionary, and begged him to come to their village, Velusa, five miles away, and preach there so their wives might hear the Gospel." (p. 8)

6. Missionary Work in European Turkey

From a report of Mr Bond, missionary of Monastir [Bitolia— Ed.], published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 84, No. 8, August, 1888, the following quotation may be given as an illustration of what has been occurring in many parts of the Mission in European Turkey. Under the date of May 22, 1888, Mr Bond, writes:

"Last month Mrs Bond and I, with our boy, spent a Sabbath in Lerin (Fiorina). . . . The Bulgarians have no church building owing to the opposition of the Greek ecclesiastical rule, but their old priest has set apart a room in his own house as a private chapel. . . . The Sunday before we were at Resen, a town fifteen miles west of Monastir. Here, too, we were making our first visit. We occupied a large room at a khan [an inn—Ed.], and an hour before the time announced for the morning service, the room was" full, so that we began at once. At the end of two hours I announced an afternoon service and dismissed the meeting. But in ten minutes the room was full again. And so it continued until sunset. At one time there were eighty persons present, and altogether I judge that at least one hundred and fifty must have heard our preaching and singing. Both here and at Lerin the women came freely to the khan, and seemed equally interested with the men. More than a month ago I made a tour to Strumitza, Radovish, Veles, and Tikvesh, and received nine persons to communion, baptized five children, and performed one marriage ceremony.

"When in Radovish I visited Raklish, a small village one hour distant, in company with Mr Anastasoff and several of the Brothers. The villagers gathered about us on the green close by the Bulgarian church. In fact they invited us to go into the churchyard. ... I never saw a more interested audience than those poor villagers as they sat about us on the ground that Sunday afternoon, a hundred or more of them." (p. 352)

7. Greek Efforts to Grecianize the Bulgarians

For centuries the Greek Patriarch at Constantinople had been designated by the Sultans of Turkey as the spokesman for and spiritual leader of all the Christian subject races under Turkish rule. Favored by the Turkish authorities, the Greek spiritual dignitaries missed no opportunity of keeping the Bulgarian people spiritually subjugated. The following quotation is from an article dealing with "Race Conflicts", published in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 22, February 28, 1889, which, in part, states:

"One not posted can hardly understand the efforts of the Greek local and national organizations to prove that the larger part of the people of Macedonia are of their race.

"The reason is patent to those conversant with the 'Eastern Question'. Thirty-five years ago the Greek patriarch controlled all the churches and schools in Bulgaria and Roumelia, and by other nations it was generally supposed that the bulk of the people was of the Greek race, but after that the Bulgarians secured a separate church organization. The census of Philippopolis proved that less than one tenth claimed to be Greeks, and, among these, Bulgarian blood largely predominated, while in the but few of the villages were there any Greeks. The same changes are taking place today throughout Macedonia. . . .

"In Nevrokop, a few years since, there was a flourishing Greek school of about 175 pupils, with teachers educated in Athens and Salonica, and supported by funds from those places, while the small Bulgarian school had an inferior teacher. Now the schools are nearly equal in numbers and quality. In other places there is less progress. In Zurnovo, a purely Bulgarian town of 380 houses, the school is under Greek control. After listening for a time to a recitation in Greek, we asked the head teacher why these scholars, who used only Bulgarian in their homes, were taught their school lessons in Greek. He answered, 'Because thus their minds are more developed.' His reply reminded me of a visit to a Greek school where some thirty boys, about ten years old, had not learned the alphabet though they had been studying it more than three months. Three families in this place wish to educate their children in the Bulgarian language. All others, from choice, interest, or fear, are with the Greek ecclesiastics. A man of one of the above three families told me that, because he had opposed the coming of the Greek teacher, 35,000 okes (50 tons) of hay and two barns were burned, and he was obliged to sell his stock for much less than its value, making him a total loss of 1,320 dollars. Another man told me that he lost 10,000 okes of hay in the same fire.

"Upper Brody, with its 800 homes, all Bulgarian, has for some time been the scene of a persistent contest for the mother tongue. Greek is used in both churches and schools except that now, in one church, Bulgarian is read on one side and Greek on the other. Some four years ago a party was formed to open a Bulgarian school, but, in various ways, all the signers of the agreement were induced to disavow or withdraw their signatures, and their persistent leader was then falsely accused before the Turkish government, by the Greeks, of having political aims, and was exiled for four years. . . . The past year again, those longing to have a school in their own language employed a teacher, but through Greek influences, he was arrested, taken to Seres, and after repeated procrastinations, the people were told they could have no school.

"The whole region through which we passed is dotted with villages, most of which our companion had repeatedly visited, and he assured us that nearly all are purely Bulgarian and that, in many of them, the people have suffered much in order to use their own tongue in their churches and schools. Seres seems today, as Philippopolis did thirty-five years ago, to have a small Greek population, which with the aid of ecclesiastical influences, has Hellenized much of the Bulgarian element, but a few who love their own language to whom recruits come from the surrounding villages, are earnest to have their children educated in the home tongue which they best understand.

"In Sermoosaklee, our khandgees,1 two brothers and a son of one of them, after a long talk in Bulgarian on other matters, referred to the contest between the Greeks and Bulgarians as causing much bitterness of feeling. They claimed to be Greeks, and that all in their village were of the Greek race, but, said one, we have a brother who is a pure Bulgarian. As they afterwards told me, only a grandfather had been pure Greek, and so they themselves had but little Greek blood; still the reason why they called their brother Bulgarian was simply because he had been thoroughly educated in that language.

"It seems impossible that the influences which have so long kept a capable people from using their own language shall continue to succeed. The right must triumph. The Greeks are too noble a people to long wish to so depress another race." (p. 7)

8. A Visit to Gorno (Upper) Brody (Anno Vrondu)

Miss Helen Stone, a noted American missionary, while she had visited several Macedonian towns, makes some interesting observations. In The Missionary News from Bulgaria, issue of April 24, 1889, No. 23, she writes:

"What a Sabbath that was in Upper Brody! Our khan [inn—Ed.] was in the center of the market place, and alas, for the sights our eyes must see, for that market place was also the slaughter house of the village!

"In a house just across the way from the khan, we found a woman with a most pathetic face. . . . The husband had but about three months before returned from exile, for political reasons, in Asia Minor, where he had purchased a New Testament in the Bulgarian language, and during his exile had taught himself to read. Now that he had returned, he was teaching his son, for there was no Bulgarian school in the village to which he could send him."

1 Innkeepers—Ed.
And again, writing about the reception she had received from two young teachers at Seres, Miss Stone writes:

"... Now God has sent her and a young lady associate as teachers to that strong, influential village of Upper Brody, to uphold the standard of Bulgarian education where no man dares to teach. May He use them to teach the simple truths of Christianity as well!

"... How I longed to stay among them for hours! But the horses were even then ready, and a long afternoon's ride lay before us. Our old lady had come with a purpose. Had you seen her earnest face, and heard her intense whisper, as she said: 'What can you tell us concerning our freedom?' you would have known that the Bulgarians living in Macedonia feel that their situation is a burning question, when even their women inquire concerning the prospect of their deliverance from their political and ecclesiastical thralldom.

"... Another teacher said to Mr Petkanchev: 'You have saved Macedonia from falling into the hands of the Greeks, because by your circulation of the Tract Primer and other Bulgarian books which otherwise they could not have obtained, you have enabled our children to study their mother-language'." (p. 5)

9. Demir-Hissar and Other Macedonian Cities

The quotation below is from a report of a thirty days' tour in Macedonia made by Dr House and Miss Stone. This report is published in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 35, issue of May 16. 1891. Writing about the success in organizing "three churches" in Radovish, Strumitza, and Monospitovo, and several profitable days in Seres and other Macedonian towns, the report further states:

"At Demir-Hissar, where we spent a night, we found a young Bulgarian teacher, whose school had just been closed because he was suspected of being too ardent a Bulgarian sympathizer. . . .

"... We felt strongly that a service for Bulgarians ought to be started, and that it would keep step with this effort for the evangelization of the Greek portion of the population. Valuable time has been lost already, since our Mission has felt that Seres ought to be occupied, in order to the more rapid development of the work in the ripe field of Macedonia; must more time be lost? Returning from Seres, we spent a night and an interesting half-day in the large Bulgarian village of Upper Brody, where are souls ready to be approached with religious conversation. "... Seres continues to seem so important a point that it should at once be occupied. It is the center of a large Bulgarian population which seems more accessible than that of Bulgaria." (p. 5)

10. A Tour in Macedonia

In a missionary report concerning the town of Mehomia (Razlog) and the Razlog district of northern Macedonia, published in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 38, issue of January 6, I 1892, occurs the following information:

"The present caimacam of Mehomia has been quite progressive, has built bridges which were much needed, secured a firman for a building for the Bulgarian school, for which permission has been sought for years without success.

"In the eastern part of the Razlog district, among the mountains, live the Babiacs, Mohammedan in religion but, like the Pomacks, speaking almost wholly Bulgarian in their homes.

"... The relative position and the contest between Greeks and Bulgarians has changed during the past three years. Then, although the exiling to Anatolia of progressive teachers and others has ceased and some were returning from years of absence, there was still much suspicion on the part of the government against any efforts to open schools and against any other progressive movements, while to the Greeks great confidence was J shown, as if they were sincerely seeking the interests of the government, instead of their own political plans.

"This confidence enabled them to much more successfully oppose the efforts of the Bulgarians to secure for their children an education in their own mother tongue, (p. 2)

"Three years ago the Bulgarian community in Seres were quite anxious lest the coming of the new Greek bishop would be made a time for successful efforts to oppose the schools already started. Now the Bulgarians and Greeks are treated more alike, so that Bulgarians can plan for an education for their children, and, in many new places, the pure Bulgarian population are claiming education in their own language instead of having the minds of their children 'opened by study in the Greek language' (of which they understand almost nothing) as a Greek teacher in a Bulgarian school told me three years ago. (p. 3)

"The Christian population of this place is chiefly made up of Hellenized Bulgarians, as is the case also in a few of the surrounding villages, but most of these villagers are claiming the riizht of having schools in their own Bulgarian tongue. To meet the need for Christian work in all these places, we have for years sought to have Seres occupied by a missionary, or at least by a Bulgarian preacher." (p. 4)

11. In a Village of Seres District

While stationed in Monastir, Mr Bond, an American missionary, visited the city of Seres. Stopping in one of the nearby villages, Mr Bond makes an interesting report on the nature and success of their work. Reporting in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 88, No. 4, April, 1892, Mr Bond writes:

"... At one large Bulgarian village an audience of 200 assembled to hear Mr Kyrias preach, and about twenty-five came to the khan (inn) for conversation." (p. 159)

12. Salonica Considered as Missionary Station

The following excerpt is from a report published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 90, No. 11, issue of November, 1894. Among other things, the report states:

"This mission is so named from its location, but the people reached are the Bulgarians. . . . The principal points of interest the past years in this work among the Bulgarians are the preparation of a Christian literature, especially a Commentary on the New Testament prepared by the venerable Dr Riggs, which it is hoped will supply the special need of the Bulgarian churches; next, the settlement of native pastors at important centers of influence, men who have been educated in this country and have returned to their native land to labor for their own people; and, lastly, the proposed occupation of Salonica in Macedonia." (p. 469)

13. The Beginning of Missionary Work in Salonica

Reporting about the opening of the missionary work at Salonica, Dr House writes under the date of December 7, 1894, and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 91, No. 11, issue of February, 1895. Among other things Dr House states:

"... Brother Haskell had began weekly services in our (his past) house. We have, of course, but few hearers as yet, and yet I have felt encouraged. Last Sunday I was away on a tour to Kukush, an interesting town within easy reach of this city, where I had some eleven or twelve at the service in the house of a friend. "Mr Haskell is off on a tour now to Yenedje with a Bulgarian helper." (p. 60)

14. Bulgarian Bishops in Macedonia

The spiritual development of the Bulgarian people had been I greatly hindered by the Greek ecclesiastical hierarchy. Even after I the Sultan had recognized the independent Bulgarian national I church, the Greek bishops did not cease to provoke anti-Bulgarian I incidents in Macedonia. In The Missionary News from Bulgaria, I No. 50, issue of February 26, 1895, occurs the following item:

"In their unceasing opposition to Greek efforts in Bulgarian communities in Macedonia, Bulgarians have long sought for the I appointment through their Exarch in Constantinople, of their own Bishops in different parts of Macedonia. The coming of Bishop Ilarion to Nevrokop, is one of the results of those endeavors....

"His coming means the emancipation of Bulgarians from Greek E eclesiastical oppression and the use of the Bulgarian language in I their schools and churches. In a talk of an hour at his residence in Nevrokop, he gave, among others, his experiences in the village of Zurnovo, which place I visited a few years before, and where the Greek teacher, on being asked, why he taught in the Greek language children who were all from Bulgarian homes, replied, 'To open their eyes.'

"By the imperial firman the bishop has right to hold religious services in any place to which a Bulgarian community invites him to come. He was so invited by the people of Zurnovo, and went and held an Easter service there, to the gratification of the inhabitants, and without any disturbance. The Greek bishop in Nevrokop endeavored to stir up opposition. He induced the old caimacam of the city to send a zaptie to prevent the visit to Zurnovo, but an intelligent Turk had convinced the caimacam that he had no right to hinder such an authorized visit, and a second zaptie was sent to turn back the first. .. .

"... Similar changes are taking place in quite a number of other villages and in nearly every case the Greeks are the losers. ... "It is well known and appreciated that we sincerely desire the development of the Bulgarian language among Bulgarians, and we have repeatedly heard grateful mention made of the circulation through Evangelical colporters, of spiritual books in the Bulgarian language, under circumstances in which no other Bulgarian books were obtainable." (p. 6)

15. The Early Work in Macedonia

The Rev. C. F. Morse of St. Johnsbury, Vt, reporting in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 91, No. 4, issue of April, 1895, describes the missionary work among the Bulgarian people. It is interesting to note that Rev. Morse was assigned to Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1862, sixteeen years before Bulgaria attained her independence from Turkey. The Bulgarian people were not then, and are not now, confined within the political boundaries of Bulgaria. The ethnic extent of the Bulgarian people is beyond Bulgaria's present frontiers. Discussing the missionary work and the growth of the Bulgarian schools, Rev. Morse, writes:

"As the work in Macedonia is the outgrowth of the general Bulgarian work and in the beginning was superintended from Sofia, it becomes necessary to take a wide range in order to trace its development. The writer was assigned to Sofia in the fall of 1862 . . . because it was central and the best place from which to superintend the general work. . . .

"The greatness of the field was appalling, extending from the Balkan on the north to Thessalonica on the south, and from Nish on the west to Ichtiman on the east. It was undeveloped. Colporters had not traversed it. . . . It was the wildest part of Bulgaria.


"Previous to the coming of the missionaries, the Bulgarians in the larger towns woke up to the necessity of education if they were to become a nation. Young men of promise were selected and sent to Europe to be educated as teachers. Our mission was commenced about this time. These teachers returned, but had nothing to work with, not a single school book. They had to translate from the French and German the lessons for their pupils. In the same manner the missionaries had to make translations from the excellent American school books. A Bulgarian publishing house was opened about this time in Vienna, and took our manuscript school books and published them beautifully. In ten years' time the Bulgarians had as good school books as we had in America. The combined influence of these books and of our two schools, one for boys and one for girls, awoke a general interest in education through all Bulgaria. Schools opened up everywhere. Macedonia felt the impulse. Up to that time Greek was almost universally used in the schools and in the churches. Now the Bulgarian took the place of the Greek. Schools were multiplied. In this way the people were prepared to read the Bulgarian books and literature circulated by the missionaries. But for this change it would not have been practical even now to have established a successful mission in southern Macedonia. The impulse given by missionaries to Bulgarian education and its influence upon the Bulgarian nation is enough to repay all the sacrifices of the missionaries and of the contributions of the patrons of the Board." (p. 138)

16. The City of Salonica

In the notes from the meetings concerning the missionary work in the Balkans published in The News from Bulgaria, No. 53, issue of September 5, 1895, occurs the following statement:

"One of the most urgent unsolved problems of Salonica Station is how to provide for the education of Macedonian evangelical boys or young men. Samokov is far too distant and far too expensive. A four-class school, to be kept on a very simple basis, and supplied wholly by Bulgarian teachers, is a necessity." (p. 8)

17. History of Salonica

The Rev. J. Henry House, D.D., writing about the history of Salonica in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 91, No. 9, issue of September, 1895, states:

"Salonica, recently reoccupied by the American Board as a center for work among the Bulgarians of Macedonia, was the Thessalonica of the Acts of Apostles. . . .

"From a missionary point of view the city is of special interest to us in our work for the Bulgarians, in fact that it was the birthplace of the two great Slavic missionaries, Cyril and Methodius. These two gifted brothers gave up their lives to missionary work among the Bulgarians and other Slavs, especially the Moravians. They were the authors of the Slavic translation of the Scriptures (ninth century) and Cyril gave his name to the alphabet which is now used by Russians. Servians, and Bulgarians, which is called Cyrilic (or Kyrillic). These two brothers are today the patron saints of literature and education among the Bulgarians. They are supposed to have led the king of the Bulgarians to the Christian faith about 865 A.D., and afterwards to have worked among the Moravians, (p. 357)

"The reason for occupying the city as a center for Bulgarian work is the fact that Salonica is the governmental center for a very large Bulgarian population which can be more easily reached from this city, than from any other. Here three railways branch out, one towards Monastir and west, a second towards Scopje and the north, a third towards Seres and east and the latter is expected soon to connect this with Constantinople.

" . . . The most probable estimate of the population today would be: 80,000 Jews; 15,000 Greeks; 5,000 Bulgarians; and 5.000 of other nationalities, making a total of some 120,000 inhabitants. It will be seen from this it is largely a Jewish city; more people speak Hebrew-Spanish than those who speak any other language. The villagers, however, to the north and west of the city are largely Bulgarians." (p. 357)

18. Seres-A Center for Bulgarian Villagers

Reporting about the newer parts of their missionary field in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 53, issue of September 5, 1895, occurs the following item:

"In Seres the priest Chernookoff, author of The Experience of a Priest, was acting President of the Bulgarian Community until last April. . . . We greatly desire to station in this important city. ... It is a great center for Bulgarian villagers. . . .

"Years ago the Bulgarians of Kukush applied to Mr Crosbie at Salonica to be recorded as Protestants. On his refusing, they went over to the Catholics for French Consular protection; of the 1,200 Bulgarian houses, 1,000 have now returned to the Exarch. . . . "[3]

19. Bulgarians Hate the Word "Greek"

The Rev. James F. Clarke, D.D., of Samokov, writing in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 92, No. 2, issue of February, 1896, states:

"Though members of the Greek church, they hate the word Greek because the ecclesiastics of that church have, to a great degree, forced out the use of the Bulgarian language, requiring them to use the Greek language in their churches and schools in order that in any future division of the country Greece may secure the land. The city of Philippopolis, many other places in Roumelia, and almost the whole Macedonia were until recently so controlled that anyone seeking to introduce the use of the Bulgarian language in the schools or churches would be accused to the Turks of treason.

"These circumstances led to the eager purchase of thousands of the Bulgarian Testament, published about the year 1896. They were bought simply because they were in the mother tongue and sweet to the ear of Patriotic Bulgarians. ..."

See note three

20. Voden, Enidje, Lerin

Concerning the financial difficulty of the Monastir and out stations of the Mission, The Missionary Herald, Vol. 92, No. 9, September, 1896, contains the following statement:

"Mr Bond, of Monastir, writing June 7, speaks of the necessity j they had been under of dismissing their Bulgarian preacher at Voden and Enidje, on account of lack of funds. ... At Enidje deeply interested audiences were found, especially among the I women. At Lerin (Fiorina) protected services were held, with j hopeful results." (p. 368)

21. Bulgarian Volunteers

In their Annual Report of the Thessalonica Agricultural and f Industrial Institute, 1912-1913, the missionary school authorities I state:

"Sixth Annual Report. We were waiting daily for word that | peace had been signed in London, but the conference broke down, I and on February 3, the war was resumed. The Bulgarian Government advertised for volunteers, and our boys and teachers, shut I out from active participation so far, were quick to seize their I opportunity. I will not repeat how I counseled them to wait to see I if there was really need of their help, and how, when I saw it f was impossible to stem the tide, I forbade the younger boys, but gave permission for the older ones, to go to serve their country. In the cold dawn of a February morning we sent them away with our counsel and encouragement, after song and prayer together. Eleven students and three teachers went." (p. 19)

22. Greece Forbids the Work of the Mission

With the downfall and expulsion of Turkey from Europe in 1913, a new situation has developed for the American missionary work in the Balkans. They were no longer able to carry on their missionary work. Serbia and Greece immediately forbade the missionary's activities in their newly acquired territories. Concerning Turkey and the Balkan Mission, the 103rd Annual Report of the American Board, 1913, states:

"The Servians early took possession of northern Albania and soon after their arrival at Durazzo, Elbasan and Tirana, they arrested Mr Erikson and Mr Tsilka. Mr Erickson, on December 10, was ordered to leave, with family, within twenty-four hours after notice was served upon him, and Mr Tsilka was kept in confinement for several weeks before he was given his liberty. . . .

"Mr and Mrs Kennedy remained at Kortcha after the Greeks had taken possession of the city for several weeks, but on April 24 they received orders to prepare to withdraw, and they were sent under Greek guard to Salonica. The reasons given by the Greeks for the expulsion of Mr Kennedy were wholly unsatisfactory and without any ground. The Greek government, however, after correspondence gave assurance to our State Department, that as soon as order was restored in Kortcha, Mr Kennedy would be allowed to return. Although Kortcha falls within independent Albania as set apart by European Powers, up to October 1, the Greeks have not withdrawn, and indications are many that they do not intend to do so. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be there.

"In Salonica there was an entire suspension of every form of work as there was in Kortcha and Elbasan during the hostilities and even down to the present time, except that the missionaries gave themselves with great abandon to the work of relief for which there was boundless call. The refugees flocked into Salonica where Mr Haskel and Mr Cooper devoted their entire time and strength to relief work. While they have not been personally molested by the Greek authorities, the later development of their hostility to Bulgaria has raised doubt as to whether the Greeks would allow any work to be carried on in Salonica, or in fact anywhere under the Greek flag, in the Bulgarian language, as there was also doubts as to whether any work in Kortcha or in any part of Albania would be allowed to continue if the Albanian language was used. The Greek officials have expressed themselves as not hostile to the work of the American mission, but they have given no assurance that the work will be allowed to continue." (p. 64)

1. Veles and the Surrounding Villages

Writing from Samokov, Bulgaria, the Rev. Edwin Locke gives an account of a tour in Macedonia. Published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 67, No. 11, November, 1871, among other things Rev. Locke writes:

"Veles is said to have 2,000 houses, two-thirds Bulgarians; and | the same is true of the 95 villages under it. . . . We were much I pleased with the appearance of the inhabitants. A spirit of re- I ligious freedom and inquiry was manifest here that we saw no- j where else. ... It would appear from a good map that we went I 'round about Macedonia', visiting all the important places. . . . 1 The Bulgarians, as a nation, are waking to a new life and vigor, j seeking especially for education—for teachers. Some of the young I men are going abroad, to Germany, to England, to France, for I education, and they return with a knowledge of French and German. ..." (p. 360)

2. The Bulgarians in Monastir (Bitolia)

The American Mission to European Turkey, having decided to establish a new station in Macedonia, had appointed a committee to examine the field and decide upon the best place to be occupied. After an extended tour during the summer of 1874, the place chosen for that purpose was Monastir or Bitolia, over 400 miles west of Constantinople. Writing about the new station in Monastir and the religious condition of the Bulgarians, and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 70, No. 1, January, 1874, Rev. I James F. Clarke states:

"The population of the city (Monastir) is about 30,000 of whom one-half are Turks and most of the remainder Christians, though there are also many Jews. Of the Christians, about 2,000 are known as Bulgarians, the rest being called Greeks, though as a matter of fact, there are scarcely any real Greeks in the city. This place is the center of a considerable population of decided and earnest Bulgarians, but a larger part of the Christian population are Hellenized Bulgarians of pure origin. These latter, like the Bulgarians in and about Philippopolis during the past few years, are "increasingly proclaiming their true nationality, and glorying in it. Almost all the inhabitants of the Southern Macedonia, so far as we can judge, are of the same class. They use the Greek language, and have been universally regarded as Greeks, but their origin is evidently Bulgarian. The contest with the Greek Patriarchate, and the rapid advance of their own nation in social, educational, and political position, are drawing all this class openly to join the progressive Bulgarians." (p. 20)

3. Negotine

Reporting about his missionary tour in the Monastir district, the Rev. E. W. Jenney of the Monastir station writes in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 72, No. 1, January, 1876, some interesting experiences. Rev. Jenney writes:

"... I started for Vellise, reaching that place on the evening of the next day. . . . Last spring, not a man wished, or willing, to hear one word on the subject of religion. Now we are busy from morning till night. . . .

"Although the work was thus opened at Vellise we felt that we must go to Negotine, and left on Monday, September 25th, for that place. There we followed the same plan as in Vellise. . . . 'Come sit with us,' said three men, and soon I had a dozen eager listeners. . . . Soon I saw an old man tottering toward us. With tears in his eyes he said: 'I have a book which my son loved very much. He used to read it a great deal. He is dead. I do not know whether it is Greek, or Bulgarian, or Turkish; I don't know how to read; but he loved this book.' He drew it from his bosom, where perhaps he had carried it for two years since his son died, and said: 'I saw you reading here, and I thought perhaps you could read me something out of this.' It was one of our small Bulgarian Testaments. I read a part of the second chapter of Matthew, and told him its contents. . . . The work is open here; but there are only three to care for the spiritual interests of the Bulgarians in all Macedonia!" (p. 26)

4. The City of Prilep

Upon his visit to Prilep, Rev. E. W. Jenney of the Monastir missionary station had been confronted with the existing region ofterror. Such a situation has been quite common in Macedonia under Turkish rule. Reporting his observations in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 72, No. 4, April, 1876, Rev. Jenney writes:

"The Bulgarians in and about Prilep are afraid to be found on the street after sundown. During the eighteen days previous to the first of December twenty Bulgarians fell at the hands of the Turks. A shepherd was watching his flock and was shot, simply because he was a Bulgarian. When his son reported the case to the Governor, he was thrown into prison, the Governor declaring that he had killed his own father. This was an attempt to dodge investigation. Another son reported the case to the Russian Consul, who demanded that justice should be administered to the offenders. Sixty-eight Turks have since been imprisoned as murderers, but they will all, no doubt, be free in a short time, if they have money. In Krushovo, some eight hours from us, there has not been a regular market-day for weeks, because the Turks rob every one on his return home; if a Turk beats a Bulgarian severely, the sufferer dare not report the matter, knowing well that he will be killed if he does. Unless there is a change in affairs soon, there will, I fear, be an uprising in the spring.

"The terror in some parts is beyond description. A Bulgarian life, in the eye of the Turk, is not of as much value as that of one of the thousands of dogs found on the streets. I sometimes tremble for the future. Travelers who only see Constantinople know not j Turkey. Let one put on the dress of a villager, and after he has I been beaten three or four times within an inch of his life, will wish as heartily as any Bulgarian for a change." (p. 118)

5. The Study of Bulgarian in Monastir

Reporting on the progress of learning of the Bulgarians in Monastir in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 72, No. 6, June, 1876, Rev. E. W. Jenney writes:

"Many men here, who a year ago did not know the letters of the Bulgarian language, now read it quite well. They tell me, 'We have learned to read Bulgarian so that we can understand you'." (p. 184)

6. Palanka, Koumanovo, Vranya

In a seventeen days' tour in Macedonia by Rev. James F. Clarke and a deacon of the Samokov church, the same progress of learning has been observed. Reporting in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 72, No. 6, June, 1876, Rev. Clarke writes

... In Palanka, where the Sabbath was spent, nearly the same experience was repeated. Koumanovo and Vranya were open for work, and there was scarcely any opposition. On the Sabbath a company of the thoughtful men gathered into a little store and asked questions as to the reasons why missionaries had come here. A Greek tried to stir up opposition, but his words had but little influence on the Bulgarians. ..." (p.260)

7. About the Periodical Zornitza

Prior to the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, there has never been a more widely read publication than the Zornitza. Published in the Bulgarian language by the American Mission in European Turkey, it had been eagerly received by the Bulgarian people. Writing about it in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 74, No. 3, March, 1878, Rev. E. W. Jenney of the Monastir station writes:

"... Scores, yet hundreds of Macedonians know of the way of salvation through our paper. Hundreds of homes are thus entered to which no Protestant can approach. In some places ten copies only are taken, but the readers number from fifty to one hundred.

"Nor is the political part only read. I have heard the more strictly religious and historical parts discussed in a manner which shows that the whole paper is prized." (p. 76)

8. The City of Ochrida

Rev. E. W. Jenney, of Monastir, and a young Christian bookseller had visited the city of Ochrida. Giving an account of this visit in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 75, No. 6, issue of June, 1879, Rev. Jenney among other things, writes:

"I visited the market for four hours, and then returned to the khan, where late in the evening, I talked with many Turks and Bulgarians who called upon me! The next day was a saint's day, and crowds stayed for eleven hours, listening and arguing. ... It was a motley gathering, Turks and Bulgarians, learned and unlearned."

After narrating his experiences in being called before the Governor, Rev. Jenney continues: "On my return to the khan I was called by Turks and Bulgarians who were curious to know what the governor had said." (p. 225)

9. The Population in the District of Monastir is Bulgarian

The Russo-Turkish War, which was waged for the liberation of Bulgaria, terminated with the ephemeral treaty of San Stefano of 1878. Just about that time the Rev. J. W. Baird, from Monastir, wrote to another American missionary in Constantinople concerning the nature of the above treaty. Rev. Baird writes:

"I do not know whether Bitolia enters (in accordance with the treaty) in Bulgaria, but if the population is regarded, it is almost exclusively Bulgarian."

See Tsanoff, A. S., Bulgaria and the Eastern Question, pp. 181-186.

10. In Monastir Preaching has been in Bulgarian

In a report published in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, Samokov, Bulgaria, No. 8, issue of July 10, 1886, occurs the following item:

"Our mission began work in Monastir in 1873. Of the six languages of the city Bulgarian was chosen as being most widely known both in that place and in the regions around. . . . Preaching has been in Bulgarian." (p. 3)

11. Frontiers Between Bulgarians and Albanians

Rev. J. W. Baird, of Monastir, has been very much interested in the Albanians. Reporting in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 85, No. 12, December, 1889, about his observations on a trip to Kortcha, Rev. Baird writes:

"... The road is well made, and goes through an exceedingly picturesque, mountainous country along the north and west shores of the beautiful Prespa lake, the summer residence of the old Bulgarian kings. ... Up to this point, Zvezda, the inhabitants, with the exception of two villages, are not Bulgarians, but Albanians, with an intermixture of Wallachs." (p. 536)

12. Ethnic Character of the People in Monastir District

Writing in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 88, No. 10, October, 1892, Rev. J. W. Baird, of Monastir, gives an ethnic sketch of the people of the Monastir area. Describing the various groups, Rev. Baird writes:

"The people, coming from many towns and villages, are a heterogeneous mass. Nearly one-half are Moslems, though very few of them are of Asiatic origin. Then come Bulgarians, Roumanians, Jews, Albanians, Gypsies, and Greeks. The Bulgarians live their own schools, which . . . have been growing rapidly in number and efficiency not only in the city but all over Macedonia. The other Christians, with some of the Bulgarians, hold to the Greek Church. The other schools (in Greek), though liberally tided by funds from abroad, are not increasing. Greek-speaking villages are not found in northern or in central Macedonia.
" . . Until a year ago the missionary work has been done entirely in the Bulgarian language.
"... The present force of native Bulgarian helpers is one ordained and four unordained preachers and five female teachers."

13. The City of Skopie

In a report in the Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 53, issue of September 5, 1895, about the work of the British and Foreign Society's colporter in Skopie (Scopia), occurs the following statement:

"In Scopia the British and Foreign Bible Society's colporter is the center of the work. He preaches when at home and does much good... The city is one of the leading four cities in Macedonia, containing 35, 000 or more inhabitants. An evangelist living here could easily reach Prishtina, Veles, and Kavadartzi by rail, and would be but eight hours from Tetovo where the colporter claims there is a wonderful opening for evangelical work. . . .

"... Prishtina is an important outpost because situated in Old Servia, the people use Servian tongue, and from here the Gospel may be able to get a foot-hold in that nation which has so doggedly refused it. The Prishtina brothers understand Bulgarian well enough to profit by the labors of a Bulgarian worker. ..."

14. Monastir, Kavadartzi, Strumitsa

Below are several excerpts from a report on the missionary work of the above Macedonian towns, published in Missionary-News from Bulgaria, No. 55, August 10, 1896. Among other things, it states:

"... The Monastir Station reports for the seven and a half months since the previous Annual Meeting, the building of a new church which costs 990 dollars of which 110 dollars remains as debt. Services have been held in Bulgarian and Albanian. (p. 9)

"In Salonica the work has been pushed vigorously without insurance. ... (p. 9)

"For lack of funds we were obliged Feb. first to give notice to the preachers in Kavadartzi that after three months, it would be impossible to employ him. (p. 10)

"Widow Usheva, of Bansko, is doing excellent work in Todorak and has 13-16 women under instruction including all the wives of the seven men known as Protestants.

"Ground for a church in Strumitsa for which the friends gave about 440 dollars, has been awarded to the agent of the Greek bishop and 46 dollars costs of suit is now required of them. The caimacam plainly told the friends that the Greek influence was so strong that he could not give them their rights and that they must apply elsewhere, (p. 10)

"Preacher Dascalloff is encouraged by the work in Uscup (Skopie).

"Seres increasingly seems a wonderful center for work among Bulgarian villagers." (p. 11)

15. Monastir—Center of the Bulgarians

The excerpt below, taken from "The 91st Annual Report of the American Board, 1901", clearly shows the ethnic areas in the work of the American Mission. It is important to note the fact that the missionary work among the Serbs was confined around Prishtina and Mitrovitza. To quote:

"In Monastir (station) ... the work is for Bulgarians and Albanians. That for the Bulgarians centers in Monastir, and that for Albanians in Kortcha; there is one organized church which is Bulgarian, with sixty-nine communicants. The contributions of the people for their own work were $510.75. .. .

"The Servian work in Prishtina and Mitrovitza, and surrounding towns, is an interesting and growing work. The first Servian school of the mission has finished a successful year in Prishtina." (p. 43)

16. Serbia and Greece Against the Bulgarian Language

Reporting on the Balkan Mission, "The 104 th Annual Report of the American Board, 1914", among other things states:

"The Greek government at Salonica has forbidden the Bulgarians to preach or hold meetings in their own tongue, although they have not forbidden the missionaries to preach and conduct services in that tongue. There will be, probably, no increase in the privilege of working through the Bulgarian language, but a tendency to diminish that line of work. The Agricultural and Industrial Institute, under the direction of Dr House, has been put upon 'm English basis, although all of the students study Greek, in te of the fact that most of them are Bulgarians. Dr Haskell, whose language is Bulgarian, has, at the request of the mission, moved to Philippopolis as it seemed unwise for him at his age to undertake the study and mastery of another language. Mr Cooper has taken up systematically and earnestly the study of Greek while remaining at Salonica, and the station is asking for a new Greek-speaking missionary.

"In Monastir, while the Servian government has appeared to be friendly and has given free expression to its confidence in the schools and work of the mission, nevertheless, there is a growing evidence of its endeavor to curtail our work. The Greek schools were closed as soon as the Servians took possession of the country, although our own schools were allowed to go without change, the government insisting, however, that the Servian language should be taught, and that the Bulgarian language should not be used in the school. They did give permission, however, for the teachers to use what they called the 'Balkan' language when they were unable to explain to their pupils either in English or in Servian what they wished to make clear. Under these conditions the school closed the year. This autumn, in beginning, it seems as if the local government intended to draw the lines closer about the school, and while they speak in friendly terms and appear to be cordial to the missionaries and the work, it is reported that they contemplate putting a tax on each pupil of ten dinars each, which is about two dollars in American money. There is also a rumor that they do not intend to allow any Bulgarian teacher to teach in the schools and that they may possibly prohibit any foreign teachers from having part in the school instruction. These are only rumors at the present time, but if they eventuate in action it would mean that only Serbian teachers will be recognized as proper teachers for the girls' school. The British Consul, who looks after American interests in that part of Serbia, has taken up the matter in a friendly way and is endeavoring to bring about a clear understanding between the missionaries and the local government in a way to allow the school to go on without any special handicap.

"In Bulgaria there has been no hindrance to the work during the year. The country itself has made rapid recovery from the war, showing great recuperative power. The relation of the missionaries to the Government recognition, while the same distinction is sought for the boys' school, but had not been obtained at the time of the writing of this report. There is no question but that the Bulgarians look with favor upon the United States and upon Americans as their best and truest friends. Missionaries are not only not under suspicion, but their relations to the officials, from the King and Queen down, are all that could be desired." (pp. 68-70)

17. In Monastir Under Servian Rule

Describing the difficulties with which the missionary work has been confronted in Monastir under Serbian rule, "The 105 th Annual Report of the American Board, 1915", among other things I states:

"Monastir fell into Servia, but it was the extreme southern! point, so that the war to the north had little effect upon the city I or the work of the girls' school there. Everything has gone in the* ordinary way except the difficulty in dealing with the Servians,} who were suspicious of any use of the Bulgarian language. As Servian teacher was put into the school at the expense of the | government who was of little use to the school but was regarded; largely as a spy to report to the officials on what was going on.; The church was allowed to conduct its services in Bulgarian language, but with the warning that soon that would have to be changed. I The missionaries and the Bulgarian teachers were doing their best; to get the Servian language so that it could be used in the school I work, although the official language of the school has been regarded as English, and as the students were all eager to learn English, the difficulty was somewhat simplified." (p. 95)


1. In a letter from Rev. Charles F. Morse dated Sofia, August 9, 1867, and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 63, November, 1867, among other things occurs the following:

"Razlog is the name of the district in north-eastern Macedonia. It contains eleven villages, five entirely mixed, the greater part being Bulgarian and one Turkish. . . .

"Bansko is situated on the south side of the plain, and is the largest village having between four and five thousand inhabitants, all Bulgarians!

"My helper also had visited the place six times and had sold a number of books, and met with a favorable reception!" (p. 362)

2. Djumaya

A letter written by James F. Clarke from Djumaya, January 30, 1879, has been quoted by A. S. Tsanoff in his book, Bulgaria and the Eastern Question. The following is an excerpt from that letter. Among other things it states:

"During my visits in the Raslog district, and when I have been in Djumaya, I have noticed the almost complete absence of the Greek element in the population. Some of the inhabitants of these parts are merchants who go on business even to Salonica and speak Greek fluently, but they declare that they are, and they are, pure Bulgarians. Their families do not understand any Greek. . . .

"I am likewise sure that the Greek population in Macedonia is very small in comparison with the Bulgarians. . . . Among the refugees from Macedonia there are about 4,000 at Djumaya, of whose families I have taken down the names of about 3,000. Of those perhaps nine-tenths of the men talk the Greek language but they are of pure Bulgarian blood____" (pp. 181-186)

3. Nevrokop

Reporting of the new field of work in European Turkey in The Missionary Herald, Vol. 77, No. 8, August, 1881, Rev. James F. Clarke writes:

"The outlook is encouraging. . . . The Greco-Bulgarian question is now the one of special interest to these two nationalities, as it was in Philippopolis fifteen to twenty years ago. The Christian population is chiefly Bulgarian. Before the uprising in Thrace in 1876, which resulted in the massacres in Batak and elsewhere, the Bulgarian school was far the most flourishing in Nevrokop. On account of this uprising every Bulgarian teacher, as well as priest, was regarded as a rebel, Russian agent, etc., and most of the teachers fled from Macedonia. ..." (p. 315)

4. More about Bansko

In an article published in The Missionary News from Bulgaria, No. 2, April 30, 1885, referring to a meeting in Bansko it states:

"... Bansko has a purely Bulgarian population of over 6,000 souls. . . . The audiences in Bansko were large and attentive throughout. On Sunday, when the impressive Dedication and Communion Services were held, over 600 were crowded into the room including some who had never before attended an Evangelical service." (p. 3)


1. The Behavior of the Serbians and the Greeks in Macedonia

Discussing the new situation in Macedonia, the Rev. L. F. Os-trander in a letter published in The Rochester (N.Y.) Herald of September 28, 1913, writes:

"There is much I should like to write about the last war and the recent political events in the Balkans, but I can't go into details just now. Bulgaria's diplomacy seems to have been sadly deficient and shortsighted, but at the same time it must be remembered that she was standing out for the realization of a long-cherished national ideal and for the retention of what she had gallantly won at the cost of tremendous sacrifices of man and money. Any other nation would have done the same in her position. There cannot be the slightest doubt that Greece and Serbia were conspiring to crush her for months while still her allies and while she was upholding single handed their common cause, while the conduct of Roumania was too disgraceful for words.

"I believe that, without the interference of Roumania and Turkey, Bulgaria would have eventually defeated Serbia and Greece, but these attacks in her rear paralyzed her army and compelled her to accept almost any terms that her enemies chose to dictate. And who will dare to say the peace of Bucharest is not most unjust, especially if Turkey takes from Bulgaria the greater part of the territory that was awarded to her by that treaty. For it must be remembered that the cause of the war with Turkey was the desire to liberate the respective conationalists of the allied states in Macedonia and incorporate them into those states.

"The great bulk of the population in Macedonia proper was Bulgarian and almost all that region has been assigned to Greece and Serbia, under whose administration there can be no real liberty or equal rights for those who are Bulgarians and are unwilling to renounce their nationality. For them the rule of the hated Turk is admitted to be far preferable. There are over 100,000. refugees in Bulgaria today, who fled for their lives before the Greek and Serbian armies, and it is the policy of those countries to drive out, wipe out, or terrorize into loss of national consciousness, all the Bulgarian element in Macedonia.

"Such a situation can never be productive of permanent peace. Bulgarians and the Bulgarian Macedonians can never be reconciled to it. The peace of Bucharest is only an indefinite armistice. And I must add one word more. You doubtless have been reading hair-raising accounts of horrible Bulgarian atrocities. These reports have been one of the most cruel features of the whole cruel situation. Bulgaria was isolated from the world, with no post and only a single line of telegraphic communication open, through Russia, which country has treated her abominably and is hated today as the one that mostly is to blame for Bulgaria's misfortunes because of her double-dealing and her support of Bulgaria's foes. So here, too, Bulgaria was at the mercy of her enemies. She was practically without correspondents and without means of setting her before the world. Serbia and Greece had the ear of European newspapermen and poisoned the press of the continent.

"I do not say that the Bulgarians are blameless, for war inevitably calls forth terrible deeds, but I do feel that 75 per cent of the terrible deeds attributed to the Bulgarian troops and authorities are either absolute fabrications, malicious misrepresentations, or gross exaggerations. Proof is not wanting that atrocities perpetrated upon Bulgarians by Greeks have been photographed and reported to the world as Bulgarian barbarity against Greeks. Bulgaria all along has insisted upon an international committee of inquiry, and now that it has been appointed, Greece and Serbia are raising groundless objections to its investigations. Let there be full and impartial inquiry. Bulgaria will not suffer in comparison with Serbia and the humane and civilized army of King Constantine, the soldiers of which boast, in letters captured on the field, that they surpassed anything the Bulgarians have done in the way of pillage, arson, and massacre."

2. A Prayer for Macedonia

The Rev. William P. Clarke, of the Monastir station, in a letter written on the last day of 1914 and published in The Missionary Herald, Vol. Ill, No. 3, March, 1915, describes the conditions in Macedonia under Serbian rule. Among other things, the letter states:

"Though I suppose this letter will not be examined before setting to you as I shall not put it in the post office here (where everything is examined)—yet that was bad enough. There is great suffering, some of it due to the war, but much entirely unnecessary. The condition in the villages is worse, even here in Monastir. As I have written before, my prayer is for peace and freedom. May God have mercy on poor Macedonia. ..." (p. 132)

3. The Attitude of Bulgaria During the Balkan Wars

In an article published in The Rochester (N.Y.) Union and Advertiser, March, 1915, Rev. L. F. Ostrander describes in detail the Balkan scramble of 1912-13. Discussing the general historic Balkan development, and Bulgaria's attitude, the article states:

"The Bulgars have been in the Balkan Peninsula since the seventh century. Coming from the banks of Volga, they were doubtless of Slavic origin. In any case, after their conquest of the Slavic tribes already in the Peninsula, they themselves were thoroughly Slavicized in language and customs, and have always been regarded as a branch of the great Slavic race, vitally interested in the plans and ideals of the Panslavic movement. Under the lead of a succession of able rulers the Bulgars in the middle ages established a powerful kingdom, the confines of which embraced nearly all the Peninsula and even extended far beyond the Danube to the north. The Bulgarian Tsar vied with the Bysantine emperor, and the fierce struggles for supremacy engendered hatreds between Bulgar and Greek that continue to this day. Then the Turkish hordes swarmed into Europe, conquering all before them, and for 500 years the Bulgarian kingdom ceased to exist, national consciousness was all but destroyed by the blight of Ottoman despotism. Russia in 1876 took up the case of the oppressed Slavs, defeated Turkey and resuscitated the ancient kingdom in the form of an independent principality that embraced all the Bulgars of the Peninsula. The powers of Western Europe, however, did not allow this stand, and the infamous treaty in Berlin in 1878 restored nearly half of the Bulgars to Turkey, while giving other sections of Bulgarian territory to Serbia and Roumania.


"The diminished principality began its precarious existence in the face of internal dissensions and foreign intrigue on the part of Russia, but in spite of all difficulties it soon developed a strong national life which has ever been inspired by the ideal of ultimate incorporation of the severed parts of the nation, the realization of the true Bulgaria. In 1885 Eastern Roumelia, by a bloodies: revolution, united with the original and Serbia was signally defeated in the disgraceful attempt which she then made to aggrandize herself at Bulgaria's expense. This war made the first prince. Alexander of Battenberg, a national hero, and great was the griei when in 1887 he unselfishly, but needlessly, abdicated in an attempt to gain the good will of Russia for his adopted country. Under his successor, Ferdinand, the great and present ruler, Bulgaria made rapid internal progress and in 1908 threw off the last vestige of vassalage to Turkey and became an independent kingdom. Yet the national ideal was not still realized, 2,000,000 Bulgars remained under the yoke of Turkey, and Macedonia and Southern Thrace were the scene of constant oppression, revolution and bloodshed. Even the regime of the Young Turks brought no permanent relief and by 1912 the situation had become unbearable.


"Bulgaria entered the Balkan Alliance with Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece for the purpose of liberating her co-nationalists in European Turkey, and this purpose must be kept clearly in mind in following her course of action. She felt that for these oppressed Bulgars there could be real liberation only through autonomy for them or through incorporation with Bulgaria. With this purpose in mind she joined her forces with those of the other Balkan states for a concerted attack upon Turkey. The world was astonished by the celerity and thoroughness with which the Turks were crushed, and especially the marvelous way in which the Bulgarian Armies swept over the plains of Thrace, scattered the main Turkish force and drove the remnant behind their last stronghold at Tchataldja. Then while the negotiations for peace dragging through their weary course at London, and while Bulgaria was holding the Turks at bay before Constantinople and Gallipoli, Serbia, and Greece, fearful of the prowess of their ally and with armies free to operate in Macedonia, conspired to make their hold on that province permanent. Serbia repudiated the written treaty she had with Bulgaria as to division of the territory, and Bulgaria felt that she could make no concession from the terms of that treaty, understanding that Serbian and Greek domination of the Macedonian Bulgars would be no liberation for them but only an oppression worse, in some respects, than the Turkish.


"Russia supported Serbia, and so Bulgaria was compelled to turn to the other outside influence struggling for supremacy in the Balkans, the Austro-Germanic. Austrian help was promised in case Roumania interfered, and the Bulgarian troops, hurriedly transferred from the extreme east of the peninsula to the western frontier and central Macedonia, threw themselves into the bloody war of the allies. While Bulgaria was thus in death grips with Serbia, Montenegro and Greece in the west and south, Roumania mobilized and unopposed, marched upon her capital from the north; and Austria did nothing. Then the Turks swept up from Tchataldja and without a struggle retook Adrianople and its region. Thus Bulgaria, isolated and attacked on all sides by five enemies, and unsupported by any outside power, was brought to her knees and compelled to accept any terms of peace which her foes might impose. The treaties of Bucharest and Constantinople gave almost all Macedonia to Serbia and Greece, made over a vast tract of Bulgaria's best territory to Roumania, permanently restored the Adrianople district to Turkey. Bulgaria disbanded her armies and returned to the pursuit of peace. More than the death of thousands of her sons, more than enormous expenditures incurred, she felt the burden of the enormous injustice done her, the bitterness of a great wrong inflicted, and the nation brooded in sullen silence waiting for the time that wrong could be righted and justice obtained.


"When the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were murdered in June of last year all the Balkans were thrown into a state of feverish suspense for it was seen that event involved fearful possibilities. Then the great war began and at once the position of Serbia's little neighbors became difficult in the extreme. Bulgaria at the very outset showed that she desired to remain at peace, and positively declared a policy of neutrality. The strongest kind of pressure has been brought to bear upon her by both contending parties to enlist her cooperation, but this far she has steadfastly resisted it all.


"Why has she followed this course? What consideration has led her to hold herself aloof? In this vast struggle between Teuton and Slav, Bulgaria would naturally be expected to side with her Slavic kinsfolks, the Serbians and the Russians. But what has Serbia ever done to merit Bulgaria's support? The animosities of the early centuries between Serb and Bulgar have never been healed. Serbia, released from Turkish bondage some years earlier than Bulgaria, has always tried to enrich herself at the latter's expense. She basely but unsuccessfully attacked her in 1885. She repudiated the written treaty of 1912 and fought together with Greece to rob her of her fair share of the victory over the Turks. She was a party to the cruelly unjust treaty of Bucharest, under which she holds a large part of Macedonia that was overwhelmingly Bulgarian in population and so should have fallen to Bulgaria. She had administered this newly acquired territory as a subjugated province, under a drastic code of regulations that has made life unbearable for the Bulgars of the region and has driven them in thousands as hunted, penniless refugees to Bulgaria. With some wounds still sore and with the wrongs and sufferings of Macedonian co-nationalists ever before her eyes, Bulgaria can hardly be expected to espouse the cause of Serbia. The more natural course would have been to embrace the opportunity to strike in retaliation and try to secure the territory of which she has been defrauded. The fact that she has refrained from doing this shows wonderful self-restraint on the part of Bulgaria and her rulers."

Speaking further of Greece, the author of this masterly exposition of the Balkan conditions says:

"She knows that it was her insistence that prevented Bulgaria from getting Kavala, the natural seaport of the newly acquired territory on the Aegean Sea, and that drew a boundary line to the west that deprived that territory of much of its value by making railway construction and communication almost impossible. She knows in addition that she is holding a large section of Macedonia which Bulgaria justly claims should be hers because of its Bulgarian population. ..."


"Americans are interested in Bulgaria and her fortunes because of the character and achievements of her people and the ties that connect the two countries. The Bulgars are the most democratic and tolerant people of the Balkans. Their development in recent years has been wonderful, and in the matter of literacy, they hold the first place among all the nations of eastern and south-eastern Europe. Much of this she owes to the influence of Americans at Robert College, Constantinople, and other American schools and movements within her borders. And now political and commercial ties are drawing the two countries closer together, as evidenced by the recent arrival in Washington of Professor Stephen Panare-toff as the first minister of Bulgaria in the United States. Americans are realizing that the frightful reports of Bulgaria's atrocities are almost wholly a mass of fabrications and lies, disseminated by her foes when they had her surrounded and gagged. They are accepting the vindication which the Carnegie Commission of Inquiry on the Balkan Wars has given Bulgaria, and hope to see a tardy justice done her. They hope that she will persist in the wise course of neutrality which she has so courageously followed up to the present and that she may be spared bloodshed and suffering and the horrors of pestilence now devastating Serbia. They also hope that her neutrality will be so valuable to other countries that she will be able to secure a readjustment of the treaty of Bucharest and rectification of the wrongs then so cruelly forced upon her."

4. A Telegram to President Wilson

Leading American missionaries of the American Board sent on December 11, 1918, the following telegram to President Wilson:

"To His Excellency The President of the United States. "Excellency,

"The missionaries of the American Board residing in Bulgaria follow with pride and sympathy your work in behalf of a just and permanent world peace, and on the eve of the conference send you sincere and loyal greetings.

"In fulfillment of your high purpose to apply the principle of nationality alike to conquered and conquering nations, we respectfully urge that, in the settlement of boundaries in the Balkans, due and full consideration be given to the evidence of unbiased witnesses, that the world may be spared a repetition of such disastrous wrongs as were perpetrated against France in 1871 and against the Bulgarian nation in 1878 and 1913.

"It is the testimony of our Mission, which has worked without political purpose among Balkan peoples for sixty years, that in the territory of our Macedonian field, extending from Skopia and Ochrida to Drama, the great bulk of the population is Bulgarian in origin, language, and customs, and forms an integral part of the Bulgarian nation. As the result of travel throughout the Adrianople villages for the distribution of relief we are convinced also that the non-Moslem population, with the exception of the littoral, is almost entirely Bulgarian.

"Entreating for you Divine guidance and support in the tremendous task of solving present world problems,

Respectfully yours, Missionaries of the American Board, Signed:

Samokov, Bulgaria, Dec. 11, 1918."

5. A Note of Protest to the Great Powers

Finding their work blocked by the new conquerors of Macedonia, the members of the American Balkan Mission finally were compelled, August 5, 1913, to send the following note of protest to Sir Edward Grey, as well as to the prime ministers of the other Great Powers. Following is the letter of protest:


"It is well-known fact that for more than fifty years American Protestant missionaries have carried on religious and education work in various parts of the Balkan Peninsula. In this work they have been without political purposes or political alliances, and, on principle, have consistently avoided all interference in political affairs. In view of these facts, a brief statement as to the places where this work has been conducted, the people among whom it has been conducted, and the manner of conducting it, may be a value at this time when the fate of large portions of the Balkan Peninsula is about to be decided.

"About the middle of last century the attention of American missionaries in Constantinople was attracted to the Bulgarian peasants in and about that city, and the impression made by them was so favorable that it was decided to investigate the region from which they came. This investigation was made in the late fifties, and its result was that religious societies in Great Britain and the United States of America decided to inaugurate missionary work in the Balkan Peninsula, mainly among the Bulgarians. The Methodist Episcopal Church of North America, took as its field the region between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains, and began its work in 1857; while the region south of the Balkans was assigned to the Missionary Society of the Congregational Churches of America, which society sent out its first missionaries in 1858.

"These missionaries were located at Adrianople. Others followed them, and in turn, Stara Zagora, Philippopolis, Sofia, and Samokov were occupied before 1870. The work was extended to the Razlog district, and in 1871 the first Bulgarian Protestant church was organized in Bansko.

"In 1878, after a tour of investigation, the city of Monastir was selected as the most favorable center for work in Macedonia, and in the fall of that year two missionary families were located there. From this center the work was extended all through Macedonia, and churches or preaching stations, were established in Monastir, Ressen, Prilep, Vardar-Enije, Kavadartsi, Velles, Skopie, Prishtina, Radovish, Raklish, Strumitsa, and its villages, Velusa, and Monospitovo. In 1894, after the opening up of the railway lines which converge upon Salonica, that city was made a new center of work with supervision over the outlying districts, from Mitrovitsa on the northwest and Mehomia on the north, to Drama on the east. New preaching stations were established in Koleshino, Doiran, Koukoush with its villages Todorak and Mez-durek, Gurmen (Nevrocop district), Drama, Tetovo, and Mitrovitsa.

"Although it was originally the plan of the Mission to work among the Mohammedans of European Turkey as well as among the Bulgarians, as a matter of fact, the work has been confined, with the exception of the recently established Albanian branch almost exclusively to the Bulgarians. The Bible was translated into modern colloquial Bulgarian, and has been circulated all through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Thrace. Over six hundred hymns and sacred songs have been prepared in Bulgarian for the use of the religious communities connected with the Mission in Bulgaria and Macedonia. The language of preaching in all the places of assembly, except Prishtina and Mitrovista, where Serbian is used, is Bulgarian. Schools of Gymnasium rank have been established in Samokov and Monastir, and an Agricultural Institute in Salonica. Primary schools have long been maintained by the Mission in many cities and villages in Bulgaria, and in the following places in Macedonia: Monastir, Todorak, and Mezhdurek (Koukoush district), Vardar, Enije, Koleshino, Monospitovo, and Strumitsa, Drama, Bansko, Banya, Mehomia, and Eleshnitsa in the Razlog district. In all these places the language of instruction has been, and is, Bulgarian, although English has also been introduced of late years in the Girls' Boarding School of Monastir.

"After years of acquaintance with Macedonia, either through

residence or travel, or both, mingling with the people and living in their homes, we are fully convinced that the great bulk of population in the region which we have indicated as the Macedonian field or our work, is Bulgarian in origin, language, and customs, and forms an integral part of the Bulgarian nation.

"We desire to call your Excellency's attention to this simple statement of facts with the hope that it may be of some assistance in securing a just and righteous solution of the momentous problem of Macedonia's future; and we also hope that, whatever the solution may be, the necessary measures will be taken to guarantee full religious liberty for all under the new administration of the country, and to insure the same freedom to carry on a religious and educational work which has been enjoyed in the past.

"A statement identical with this has been sent to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of all the Great Powers.

Signed: J. F. CLARKE, D.D.

Missionary in European Turkey for 54 Years.
J. W. BAIRD, D.D. Missionary in European Turkey for 40 Years.
ROBERT THOMSON OF EDINBURGH Missionary for 30 Years in Constantinople and European Turkey."


1. The correct year of the abolition of the Ochrida Bulgarian Archbishopric is 1767. From 986 to 1018 Vassily II—known in history as "Bulgar-Killer"—as result of five successive campaigns, succeeded to subdue the western parts of the Bulgarian lands where Tzar Samuel had been able to maintain Bulgaria's independence. During that period the Bulgarian patriarchate moved its headquarters from east to west seven times until it finally settled in Ochrida. In 1020 Vassily II reduced the patriarchate to an archbishopric of Ochrida. After the conquest of the second Bulgarian kingdom by the Turks in 1393, the Bulgarian archbishopric of Ochrida continued as such until 1767.

2. The participants of the Ambassadorial Conference in Constantinople (1876) were representatives of Turkey, Germany, Austro-Hungary, France, England, Italy, and Russia. The main purpose of this conference had been the settlement of the Bulgarian question, which had come to a head as result of the April revolt (1876), and Batak Massacres. The Ambassadors' conference decided to create two autonomous provinces of the Bulgarian lands; an eastern province with Turnovo as its capital, and a western province with Sofia as its capital. (See the map on p. 54.)

According to the decision of the conference the limits of the western province were as follows: "The western villayet, with Sofia as its capital, will consist of the Sandjak of Sofia, Vidin, Nish, Skopie, Bitolia (with the exception of two southern districts), part of the Seres Sandjak (the northern three districts), and the districts of Strumitsa, Tikvesh, Veles, and Kastoria."

Dr George Washburn testifies that the American Missionaries in Turkey had given much information to the representatives of the Constantinople Ambassadors' Conference on the ethnic extent of the Bulgarians in the Balkans.

3. The Koukoush citizens' petition to the Pope had been published in the Constantinople newspaper Bulgaria in the issue of September 12, 1859. Describing the activities of the Greek bishop Melety, it declared: "Such bishops are not only a burden to the people but also a sore wound of Christ's flock. Therefore, the people who are compelled to endure such corrupt Greek ecclesiastics are the Bulgarians. The Bulgarian language with its national alphabet and characters should be the language of the church and also the basis for the education of the children."

In order to save their Bulgarian nationality, the citizens of Koukoush became Uniates, that is, they recognized the Pope as their spiritual leader, without changing their Eastern Orthodox ritual. When the Turkish Sultan by a special firman created the Bulgarian national church in 1870, part of the people of Koukoush came under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate. The communication published in the Missionary paper refers to this particular instance.

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