The London Times6 September 1843


The expedition of the Pasha of Mosul against the mountain Nestorians has been attended with the most deplorable success, and that success stained, as was to be expected, from the co-operation of the his savage auxillaries the Kurds, with every sort of atrocity. The houses of the wretched inhabitants were fired, and they themselves hunted down like wild beasts and exterminated. Neither sex nor age met with favour or mercy; the mother, brothers, and sisters of the patriarch were the objects of peculiar barbarity, the former being literally sawed in two, and the latter most shockingly mangled and mutilated. The patriarch himself succeeded in effecting his escape, and has taken refuge in the house of the British consular agent at Mosul. The number of victims who have perished in this massacre is not yet known. The population of the mountains amounted to 190,000. Their fate has been truly lamentable and extraordinary. Surrounded by Mussulman hordes, pent up for ages in their native fortresses, the very existence of these children of the primitive church had remained almost a secret to the rest of Christendom. Happy for them, indeed, had it continued so, for their obscurity seems to have been their best protection. No sooner had their country been exploited by missionaries, and the interest of learned and scientific men been awakened with respect to them, than this terrible visitation befel them, and the public is called upon to sympathize with them in their destruction, before, perhaps, it had become generally aware of their existence.Letters from Mosul throw much of the odium of this sad affair upon Europeans. It was the impudent zeal of rival missionaries that first excited the jealous apprehensions of the Pasha of Mosul, and caused him to "let slip the dogs of war" on the unforutnate Nestorians. It is affirmed even that some of these gentlemen, with a view of prejudicing his mind against the American missionaries, suggested to him that they were assisting the mountaineers to raise forts, whereby they would be hereafter enabled to set the Sultan's authority at defiance. These reports were altogether unfounded-their consequences, however, have been dreadful,-such, indeed, as could never have been contemplated by the inventors of them, who have, nevertheless, brought an awful responsibility upon themselves.

The London Times