Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Leslie Davis and Other American (and Western) Consuls   
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems



For some time, the diplomatic and consular representatives of the foreign powers in the Ottoman capital were sending alarming reports to their governments and these, supplemented by accounts from newspaper correspondents, had fanned a flame of resentment against the Moslem Turks.

C.F. Dixon-Johnson, British author, paraphrased from his 1916 book, "The Armenians." The same source relates:

...The agitation on the part of the Armenian committees in the different capitals of Europe had been carried on to such purpose that there was hardly an American or English newspaper which had a good word left to say of the Turks, let alone their government... "A horde of adventurers of various nationalities, déclassés of every sphere of life, cashiered officers among the rest, who had left their native country for its good, were eking out precarious livelihood by providing newspaper correspondents, if not Embassies, with backstairs information. The agitation carried on in England by Canon McColl and the Duke of Westminster, backed by sundry fervent Nonconformists, had the effect of exhibiting the fanatical Turk as thirsting for the blood of the Christian".

Sidney Whitman, who came to Istanbul in 1896 as correspondent of the New York Herald; from "Turkish Memories" (New York, Scribner, 1914)


"Although in all of my dispatches, and in my letters to the
Embassy (of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau), I confined myself to statements of actual fact ... such reports of facts and actual occurrences were not well received by the Embassy. ... [T]he attitude of the Embassy at [Istanbul] towards a Consular Officer's reports was largely influenced by the opinions of its Armenian Dragoman, Mr. Schmavonian..."

W. Hollis Stanley (U.S. Consul General, Ottoman Beirut, 1911-17) in a Feb. 2, 1920 report to the Secretary of State.


The more I look into the subject of the Armenian "Genocide," the  more I learn about how the people trusted as reliable sources either had a different agenda or suffered from poor moral character. For example, while building the "Census" page of this web site, I included the report of a badly biased fellow named William Rockwell. Based on the New York Times article I took his information from, he seemed pretty genuine on the surface... a professor, after all. However, what he turned out to be was just another biased missionary; missionaries were on a par with the Armenians as the most unethical liars, regarding the reporting of the massacres. (Of course, other missionaries reported such tales in honest belief that they had occurred, since their bigotry told them Turks were natural born killers. Here is an account regarding how "honest" people imagined Turkish atrocity stories.)

The more I found out about Ambassador Morgenthau, the more I discovered the man's lack of character. An Armenian web site that provided a bio of Ambassador Morgenthau (that I included on his page) reported: "The US consulates in the interior of the Ottoman Empire relayed a stream of alarming reports detailing the extent of the measures taken against the Armenians... Oscar H. Heizer in Trebizond, Leslie A. Davis in Mamuret-el-Aziz, or Harput (Kharpert in Armenian), and especially Jesse B. Jackson in Aleppo regularly posted the Embassy with their own eyewitness accounts of the treatment of the Armenians."

At this point I don't have too much information on these fellows, but the same forces that drove the missionaries and Morgenthau appear, on the surface, to have driven them as well. The American consul in Izmir, George Horton, was a Turcophobe of the most rabid kind.  These people all seem to be cut from the same cloth... no objectivity, a huge compassion for Christians (in the sense that they could do no wrong), and an almost psychopathic hatred of the Turks. No wonder when someone came along with a balanced view... Ambassador Bristol... he would get attacked by Armenian and Greek forces (and their bedfellows) as being pro-Turkish. Actually considering the Turkish side of the story and regarding the Turks as fellow human beings were unheard-of concepts among these racists.

The only American consul I got an excellent feel for was George Horton.... the way he wrote his book, "The Blight of Asia," totally shows him to be the ugly bigot that he was. (Just as Ambassador Morgenthau's book and articles strongly condemn him.) I don't know much about the other three consuls, although Leslie Davis wrote a book, as well; this book, which I haven't yet read, would probably provide revealing insight into his character and  open-mindedness, or lack of.

Leslie Davis is a "big gun" of the Armenians; he was quoted in at least two biased PBS programs eager to portray the "Genocide" as established fact, "Armenia: Survival of a Nation," and "The Great War." I started wondering who is this Leslie Davis? The only information I found were from Armenian or Armenian-friendly sources.


"The pride of race brings about many singularities and prompts the Armenians to prey on missionaries, Jesuits, consuls and European traveler with rapacity and ingratitude. The poor Armenians will demand assistance in a loud tone, yet will seldom give thanks for a donation. Abuse of Consular officers and missionaries is only a part of the stock-in-trade of the extra-Armenian press."Mark Sykes, "The Caliph’s Last Heritage" (London, 1915)... offering a strong clue as to how the Armenians influenced not only the missionaries (which we already know), but more tellingly, the consuls, such as Leslie Davis.
(Mark Sykes, by the way, was recruited by his nation's Wellington House to write at least one anti-Turkish propaganda booklet, "The Clean-Fighting Turk: A Spurious Claim.")



 Leslie Davis was a U.S. consul in Harput from 1915-1917, frequently termed an "eyewitness" to the events. Here is the description of the book prepared on the basis of his reports:

Leslie Davis, from the PBS series, "The Great War"

Leslie Davis, from the PBS series, "The
Great War"

     The Slaughterhouse Province: An American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide. 1915-1917. Leslie A. Davis. Edited, with an introduction and notes by Susan K. Blair. Published by Aristdie D. Caratzas, New Rochelle, NY. 1989. 216 pp.

A searing indictment of the Ottoman Turkish government for its brutal massacre and deportation of its Armenian population in 1915-1923 by Leslie Davis who as U. S. consul in Harput from 1915 to 1917 was an eyewitness to the atrocities committed upon Armenians. Much of what he saw could scarcely be told in ways that would be palatable to western sensibilities, for as he wrote: " It is hard for one living in a civilized country to believe that such things are possible; yet, as Lord Bryce has said, `Things which we find scarcely credible excite little surprise in Turkey."' Nevertheless, his report survived to comprise "The Slaughterhouse Province".

Davis, who realized the need for a detailed record of the atrocities, had brought along a doctor with him in his forays who determined and described the causes of death of the victims. Davis photographed many of the victims and his pictures are included in the appendix. So damning was Davis' report that the editor who embarked on compiling the book in 1985 was threatened repeatedly by sources unknown to her and her family and eventually was forced to move to an undisclosed location for safety. On June 16, 1991 The Washington Post, in an article "An Author Living in Hiding" reported these threats in detail while examining the importance of Davis' report that was sent to the U.S. State Department in 1918, where it was classified and lay hidden for seven decades until it was published in 1991.

Holdwater examines: To me, an "eyewitness" means someone who actually witnessed events as they occurred. The author of "The Blight of Asia," American Consul George Horton, was also called an "eyewitness"; however, he was not. He might have been in the vicinity of the fires that engulfed Izmir, since he was the consul in Izmir. However, if you read his own book, he did not stray to witness what was going on first hand. He simply relied on the reports of missionaries and Armenians.

Leslie Davis apparently did go out and check out the tragedies for himself; another Armenian site claims "He brought along a doctor, who determined and described the causes of death, and a photographer, who took pictures of the victims." (Ah. The previous description had Davis acting as his own photographer.) So he made maybe one or two trips, at least with a doctor... since taking along a doctor in such unpleasant forays would have complicated such journeys.

What did he see? Corpses. He had to rely on this doctor, and Armenians and missionaries to tell him who these people were, and how these people had died. He did not "witness" anything but the bodies of these corpses. All the familiar horror stories he must have relayed in his reports had to come from his own trusted sources.

Yes, there were massacred bodies. Were they  victimized by marauding Muslim gangs, most out for revenge for what Armenians had done to their families... or were they killed by the gendarmes, as part of a government sponsored policy of extermination? We don't know. We don't know, because Leslie Davis was not an eyewitness as to how these people lost their lives. Even if gendarmes were involved, that doesn't prove a state-sponsored genocide. When Lt. Calley massacred the villagers of My Lai in Vietnam, that did not mean the United States government was behind a policy of genocide, to exterminate the Vietnamese people.

Lord Bryce

Lord "The Liar" Bryce

     Then there is the passage of Mr. Davis quoting Lord Bryce. BAD sign. Lord Bryce was behind the Bryce Report, notorious for its made up fabrications. Of course, Leslie Davis might not have been aware of the immense propaganda role Lord Bryce had played. Working for the government as Davis did, however, probably he wasn't that naive.

Regarding: "The editor who embarked on compiling the book in 1985 was threatened repeatedly by sources unknown to her and her family and eventually was forced to move to an undisclosed location for safety." Response: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. So let's see now. Susan Blair discovered Davis' reports in the government archives and decided to fashion them into a book. Since the book was independently published by Orthodox sympathizer "Aristdie D. Caratzas," and not a sizeable publishing company, it's not like news of this upcoming book was peppered throughout the major press. For these implied Turks to have threatened Susan Blair, they would have had to HEAR about the book, before the book came out. Next, we have to think about the motive. Since there has been no end to the fabricated testimony of Armenians and their supporters, what Turk — few in number in the U.S, back in the late 1980s — would have taken it upon himself to threaten Susan Blair, assuming he would have heard about this book-in-progress? What difference is yet another damning testimony going to make.... the libraries are awash with such books. However, Susan Blair and Aristdie D. Caratzas are well aware of how the American public can readily believe those big bad Turks are capable of intimidation, and worse. Wouldn't it be a wonderful publicity stunt to feed such notions into the press, especially a prestigious newspaper as The Washington Post, and elevate the importance of this book? P. T. Barnum would have been proud.

Here is an example of Leslie Davis' work:

"...On Saturday, July 3rd... as they were entering the city, the men were separated from the women and all of them brutally massacred by the gendarmes; we know how the gendarmes informed some other men that the Vali had sent for them to return to Mamouter-ul-Aziz and when they had taken them a short distance killed everyone of them; we know how their wives and daughters were outraged by the gendarmes who accompanied them and by the Kurds and Arabs whom they met; we know how these women and children were driven over the desert in midsummer and robbed and pillaged of whatever they had...we have heard how thousands from all parts of the Empire were brought together at Deir-ez-Zor, where they remained in the most wretched poverty for nearly a year, after which all who had not perished in the meantime were massacred just outside the city."

Gee, I wonder how Leslie Davis knew all of that, since Leslie Davis wasn't an eyewitness? Could it be he relied on the word of missionaries and Armenians, just like his boss in Istanbul, Henry Morgenthau?

Let's see now; first, ALL of the men were "brutally massacred." Uh-huh. (These must have been all the remaining old men, since we know from Armenian claims that ALL the young men were "shot on the spot," during the initial phase of getting rounded up for the relocating.) Then ALL of the remaining women and children suffered the worst horrors imaginable, and left in the desert to be robbed and pillaged of whatever remained. It's amazing that ANY Armenian made it to Deir-ez-Zor alive, after such a horrifying ordeal. But, wait! They somehow hold on for nearly a year, "after which all who had not perished in the meantime were massacred just outside the city." ALL! That means there were zero survivors, which is believable, given the described atrocious circumstances.


 It's amazing that there are any Armenians left in the world, today. Yet, their worldwide numbers have more than doubled, since. (An estimated three million existed worldwide, just before the "Genocide"; today, the number is around seven million. (Some Armenian sources claim as many as ten million.) So then, through ten to fifteen centuries, the best they could manage was getting their numbers up to three million... then, according to most Armenian claims, from 1.5 million to 2 million were murdered (other estimates range from 3 million, 4 million to... 35 million; I'm not kidding. 35 million), leaving a little more than a million Armenians worldwide. In just eighty five to ninety years, their population skyrocketed to seven million, a population explosion unheard of throughout their long, long years of history. Something isn't right with this picture.

An Armenian-friendly site reports: "After the war, Davis ... traveled throughout the East Coast (of the United States) meeting hundreds of American relatives of Armenians who were deported during the genocide. He died in the 1940s, his humanitarian deeds never fully acknowledged." 

You know, many of the Armenians in America came to America AFTER the years of "genocide," as America bent over backwards to accommodate their poor, suffering fellow Christians. That was a lot of Armenians Leslie Davis  was subsequently unable to let go of, since he met so many of them in the post-war years. It's amazing the man didn't drop dead in shock, if he really believed the kinds of reports he wrote; how could ANY Armenian have survived, if things were as despicable as he reported?

One More Armenian-Friendly Article on Leslie Davis

Armenian film looks back on 'silent genocide'
Kate Dourian LONDON


One day in the summer of 1915 a young Armenian mother hid her baby boy in a mulberry bush in eastern Turkey and prayed the soldiers would not find him. 

by the time the shrub had shed its leaves in the autumn, an entire community of Armenians had died. and, were it not for the baby who survived, the story of what happened in the armenian town of kharpert might never have been told. 

Michael Hagopian, now 86, was that baby. 

He has just completed a documentary film called "Voices from the Lake," reconstructing the harrowing events that unfolded that year. 

It is the story of the mountain town of Kharpert, and the regional capital merze, where 140,000-160,000 Armenians lived and prospered in what was then Ottoman Turkey. 

By 1915, while the world was at war, some 1.5 million Armenians had perished, including virtually the entire population of Kharpert. 

Armenians call it "the silent genocide." Turkey denies the massacre and says thousands of Armenians may have been victims of the russo-turkish war raging at the time. 

Hagopian strokes a mulberry leaf as he repeats the story his mother told him of how a small tree saved his life. 

Whenever soldiers came knocking on Armenian doors in Kharpert with deportation orders, Hagopian's mother would rush to the field where tall poplars shielded the mulberries and make him a safe cradle in the foliage. 

"The mulberry bush is symbolic... It has a purpose in the film in that by the time the leaves had fallen in that one year, the genocide had been completed," Hagopian told Reuters from his home in California. 

Hagopian spent four years researching the film and traveled widely to obtain first-hand material with which to piece together the events that unfolded in Kharpert and Merze, now known as Harput and Elazig. 

The result was a documentary that relies mainly on the eyewitness accounts of Western diplomats and missionaries and Armenian survivors. It was shown in London earlier this month as part of events leading up to the 85th anniversary of the genocide, which Armenians mark on April 24. 

By 1915, Imperial Turkey had lost its European territories and was at war against the forces of Britain, France and Russia. Its only avenue for expansion lay to the east but large communities of Christian Armenians in such trading hubs as Kharpert stood in the way. 

Mr. Davis, from the PBS series, "Armenia - Survival of a Nation"

Mr. Davis, from the PBS series,
"Armenia - Survival of a Nation"

     Hagopian found a detailed account of the killings in the diaries of Leslie Davis, then US consul in Kharpert. 

In 1917, the United States entered World War I. Though no lover of the Armenians, Davis was to provide key evidence that a massacre did indeed occur. 

Hearing reports that bodies had been seen floating in nearby lake Geoljik, Davis took his camera and went to investigate, recording what he saw in his diary. 

He wrote of finding what he counted to be 10,000 bodies of Armenians lying in the lake just west of Kharpert, ironically now called Hazar, the Armenian word for thousand. 

For months, Davis had tried to alert his government to the plight of the Armenians but when it was time for him to leave, he decided not to take the photographs for fear they would be confiscated by the Turkish authorities. 

Instead, he and his Armenian bodyguard Garabed Bedrossian hid the pictures in the garden and left for the United States. 

Bedrossian returned to Kharpert in 1922 and dug up the pictures. Though faded and gnawed at the edges, they provided Hagopian with rare pictorial proof to use in his film. 

Other corroborating evidence came from the diaries and writings of Henry Harrison Riggs, US missionary couple Dr Henry Atkinson and his wife Tacy, Danish medical missionary Maria Jacobsen and German missionary Johannes Ehemann. 

Tacy Atkinson's diary contained a notation that Hagopian says nobody knew existed until he discovered it. 

"I could not write it then but there were 10,000 dead in the lake," she wrote, eight years after returning home from Turkey. 

Davis wrote that by his count, only around 8,000 Armenians survived the massacre of 1915. 

Click on Reuters article if you'd like to read the little bit that remains... which ends, of course, with the ubiquitous, Genocide-proving Hitler Quote.

Analysis by Holdwater


Shades of the bed sheet that rescued the heroes of Musa Dagh! Yet another Armenian legend is born, with the telling of this tale.

Let's see, now... Hagop's mom hid her infant son in a mulberry bush;  "by the time the shrub had shed its leaves in the autumn, an entire community of Armenians had died. and, were it not for the baby who survived, the story of what happened in the armenian town of kharpert might never have been told."

I'd like to know, how did this little baby make it throughout the season, hidden in a mulberry bush? Since there were no survivors, if the baby survived by some miracle, how could he have remembered in his little undeveloped baby brain the events that took place?

(Actually... I guess this was the article's way of being "poetic," which is how Armenians best choose to relate their tales of woe. The article later says, "Hagopian's family was spared because his father was a surgeon whose skills were needed by influential members of the local community. But the whole population of Kharpert was ordered to march out of the town that year." Okay, so it wasn't just the baby, but the baby and his family. Everyone else were goners.)

And was Kharpert ("now known as Harput"... hey. It was known as Harput back then, at least among Turks... which is what counts, since they were in charge. Just like "Constantinople" was "Istanbul," and "Smyrna" was "Izmir." Joe Frazier also taunted Muhammad Ali by keeping on calling him by his old name, Cassius Clay, but he was REALLY Muhammad Ali) really an Armenian town, with an Armenian majority? Or is the Armenian writer engaging in an "uncharacteristic" Armenian "fib"? I believe Van was the only city where Armenians had a majority, and it wasn't an overwhelming one.

Armenians call it "the silent genocide." (What's so "silent" about it? Every time we run into anything Armenian, the subject of "genocide" is rarely far behind. If the genocide were so silent, Armenians and their deep pockets would have been unable to bring up their genocide resolutions up in Congress and other government houses, all these many years.) Turkey denies the massacre and says thousands of Armenians may have been victims of the russo-turkish war raging at the time. (Turkey does not deny massacres took place... only that there was a state-sponsored genocide plan behind the massacres. Notice how the article does not bring up the revolting Armenians —  uhhh, that means the Armenians who revolted — but instead whitewashes the events to make the reader think the helpless Armenians died as innocent bystanders. Some certainly did.)


"Fleeing behind the retreating Russian forces, nearly two hundred thousand refugees, losing most of their possessions in repeated Kurdish ambushes, swarmed into Transcaucasia, with as many as 40,000 Armenians perishing during the flight. The number of refugees cited encompassed essentially all those Armenians of the eastern provinces who had not been subjected to the deportations. Those who died thus did so mainly while accompanying the retreating Russian army into the Caucasus, not as a result of direct Ottoman efforts to kill them."

 Stanford & Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol. II. 


By 1915, Imperial Turkey had lost its European territories and was at war against the forces of Britain, France and Russia. Its only avenue for expansion lay to the east but large communities of Christian Armenians in such trading hubs as Kharpert stood in the way. (In other words, the motive for the genocidal murders were to clear the land of Armenians who stood in the way of "expansion." The only thing on the minds of the Ottoman Turks in the east during 1915 was to desperately stem the Russians and their Armenian lackeys from gaining a further foothold within Anatolia.)

(By the way, Harput was already part of the Ottoman Empire... Leslie Davis was the U.S. consul at Harput, remember? How could a nation expand into lands already a part of the nation? What a dishonest article.)

I have to hand it to this 86-year-old man who managed to make a film, though. Making a film can be a huge and draining undertaking; Frank Capra retired, saying it was a young man's game. (Looks like the filmmaker is the same Hagopian who is behind the "The Armenian Film Foundation." It's strange this important fact wasn't mentioned in the article.)

Insight on Leslie Davis


The article's mentioning (without proof) that Leslie Davis was no lover of the Armenians is likely an effort to paint the picture Leslie Davis was an impartial observer. I don't know if Mr. Davis loved Armenians or not, but chances are he was sympathetic, given the strong Christian connection he was exposed to.... from the only fellow Americans in that part of the world: missionaries.

"Davis took his camera and went to investigate." Oh, now according to this story, he's all by himself, with no doctor, and no photographer. "He wrote of finding what he counted to be 10,000 bodies of Armenians lying in the lake." Wouldn't it take an INCREDIBLY long time to count 10,000 bodies? Especially in a lake? Not to mention being all the way out in the middle of nowhere, without anyone else to help, and with the decaying stench 10,000 bodies must have produced?

"He decided not to take the photographs for fear they would be confiscated by the Turkish authorities." Yeah, like it would have been so difficult to hide photographs among some other papers, or in a secret lining of a suitcase. Assuming, of course, that the Turks would have searched Leslie Davis.... isn't it possible the consuls had some sort of diplomatic immunity, anyway?

If you've read Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, you'll see how the Turks were beside themselves trying to please the high American official... particularly the "mentally sluggish" (that's not a quote from the book... just a common way Morgenthau and other Turk-haters regarded the Turks) police commander, who allowed himself to be almost totally manipulated by Morgenthau. Imagine American consul Leslie Davis returning to Istanbul to board a ship back home to the USA. If the Turks were so doting to the American officials, I'd doubt they would have examined anything.

Maybe there were no photographs to begin with. After all, if Leslie Davis took all that trouble to make a photographic documentation, wouldn't he have found some way to take these valuable  photographs along?

But now we get to the part of the story that really smells.

He had an Armenian "bodyguard"!

For someone who was no lover of the Armenians, Leslie Davis' having chosen an Armenian "bodyguard" (I'd assume he was more like an assistant... why would Davis have needed a bodyguard, most of the time?) says a lot about his sympathies... just like Ambassador Morgenthau had Armenians for right-hand men.

Now, GET THIS...

Bedrossian returned in 1922 and "dug up the pictures."

For the love of GOD!

So those pictures could have come from anywhere...!


A  July 9, 2003 web page entitled "The Garabed Bedrosian Collection [Harvard, ARC]" from: "Dennis R. Papazian" to: "Armenian Studies" sheds light on these mysterious photos.

  Garabed Bedrosian is described as a man of great faith, and also as an "interpreter" along with his role as "bodyguard." So Leslie Davis, like Henry Morgenthau, basically used his Armenian assistant as his eyes and ears.

Davis and Bedrosian's "secretly guarded photographs" were taken "of the surrounding countryside near Lake Goeljuk on horseback. The two men viewed and photographed over 15,000 dead bodies of Armenian men, women, and children."

(Note the number is now 5,000 more than what was recorded earlier, as you'll discover by reading below.)

"Davis left Harput in 1917 and travelled to Finland where he served in a new post. From then until 1922, he wrote a series of letters to Garabed .... Although not mentioned in these letters, Garabed buried the photographs/films in an earthen jar behind the Consulate stable for safekeeping."

Therefore, in five years of correspondence, no mention of these photographs.

"Garabed, most likely as instructed by Davis, gave some of the photographs to L. H. MacDaniels... who was living in Harput and working with his wife for the Near East Relief (1919-1920). It is possible that these photographs may have been copies of the originals. Garabed had also served as MacDaniels' interpreter. According to MacDaniels (as reported by Blair, 1989), Davis had requested that MacDaniels safely get the photographs out of the country."

(Blair is the author of the Leslie Davis book; her credibility is already in question for coming up with the wacky story that her life was in danger.)

So Garabed Bedrosian had the wherewithal to possibly make copies. If MacDaniels was a trusted party, wouldn't it have made sense to give a complete second set, if they were only copies? And how could Garabed Bedrosian have possibly been instructed by Davis, if there was no mention of these photos in their years of correspondence?

We are told "Garabed briefly visited Davis in Finland ... to give him the photographs," later kept for years by the Davis family. Davis now began to write letters to Garabed Bedrosian, informing his ex-"bodyguard" that MacDaniels refused to return the photographs, and Davis initiated legal action. Isn't that odd? Especially since something made Dr. Papazian suspect what MacDaniels had on hand could have been copies. Even if they weren't copies, why would MacDaniels had been so steadfast in not returning the photographs? If he have an emotional attachment, he could have made copies himself. As the passing years demonstrated, MacDaniels did nothing with these photographs.

Now the plot thickens. Quoting Papazian:

    "It was not until 1984 that these photographs were 'found'."

By "historian" Susan K. Blair. Interesting that Dr. Papazian put quotation marks around the word "found."

 "Blair was particularly interested in finding the photographs that Davis had mentioned in, but had not filed with, his report. What is puzzling, however, is why Davis did not later submit, to his report, the photographs that Garabed had delivered to him in Finland."

Well, isn't that a critical question? Indeed... WHY?

Blair tracks down MacDaniels, now in his nineties, and he simply gives her the photographs that he kept in a shoebox. WHY?

MacDaniels tells Blair, without divulging Davis' legal action. (Are there public records of this "legal action"? If Davis started such action, why didn't he follow through? If the legal action was followed through, why didn't Davis win? They were, after all, his photographs. Davis had Bedrosian to back him up.)

 "According to Dr. J. Michael Hagopian ... Blair's publisher, Aristide D. Caratzas, now possesses the photographs, and possibly those, that had been kept by the Davis family. The publisher will not allow researchers to view the prints without paying a sizeable fee."

At least the originals aren't "lost," as with the case of Andonian's forgeries. Or... are they?

 "Interestingly, MacDaniels also wrote a series of letters to Garabed from 1921 to 1923, with additional letters in the 1940s. At no time in these letters did MacDaniels even mention the photographs to Garabed, nor the legal issues surrounding the photographs."

Can anyone count the holes in this story? Even the Fulton Fish Market isn't this fishy.

    "Through the work of Consuls Davis and Jackson, Garabed and his family were able to enter the United States."

Just like Morgenthau looked after his own Armenians, and found homes for them in the good old USA.

As I originally wrote...

Those pictures could have come from anywhere...!


Another curious thing about this article, which was from around the year 2000, is that the elderly filmmaker makes no mention of "The Slaughterhouse Province," released a decade earlier; the article sounds like Mr. Hagopian found these diaries and suspect pictures of Leslie Davis on his own initiative. Just like he was the one who found the notation in missionary Tacy Atkinson's diary. (Although the article's sub-headline, "SECRET DIARY FOUND," makes it sound like Mr. Hagopian found the whole diary, and not just a notation.)

So all of this "corroborating evidence" comes from... missionaries. Uh-huh. Lying, deceitful missionaries. Very impressive.

Missionary Mrs. Atkinson wrote: "I could not write it then but there were 10,000 dead in the lake." (What could have stopped her from expressing her private thoughts in her diary? Masters of the English language, those confiscating Turks?)

Ah, so along with Leslie Davis, the dainty missionary's wife took the enormous time and trouble to physically count ten thousand bodies... in a lake.

Now, I don't have any evidence to say what she wrote was a lie. (Although the fact that she was a missionary puts her integrity quotient at extremely high risk.) However, there may have been perhaps one or two missionaries who actually obeyed the "Thou shalt not bear false witness" idea, so let's give Mrs. Atkinson the benefit of a doubt... and simply apply a little common sense.

These 10,000 corpses were in a lake. Dead bodies become horribly bloated in the water and float to the surface. So we have to imagine there are ten thousand bobbing around on the surface of the water.

Missionary Mrs. Atkinson did not have a helicopter to count the bodies from above. So, what did she do? Count the bodies from the shore? Where her line of sight couldn't have seen all the bodies? Or did she go on a boat, with her pad and pencil..? Amidst the stink and stench of the rotting corpses? I have never taken the task of counting 10,000 floating corpses in a lake, but when everything isn't exactly in front of you, losing count would have been the easiest thing to do. Especially when you're not working with a team, but all by your lonesome... which is how I'm inferring both the missionary and Leslie Davis undertook the counting process.

We have to assume both the missionary and Leslie Davis went about their counting on separate occasions, and we have to assume they're talking about the same lake. (Unless there was another lake with exactly the same method of disposal, and the exact same number of victims... which we all must agree, would be highly doubtful. The lake in question is most likely what an Armenian refers to elsewhere as "Lake Goeljuk [later renamed Hazar Gölü]," where Davis had written the Armenians were massacred in the summer of 1915.) Now, I don't know how long bloated and dead bodies typically stay afloat, but I'd imagine after a while, they would have to sink.

How could both the missionary and Leslie Davis come up with the exact same figure... 10,000?

"Suspension of Disbelief" is gaining a whole new meaning in my mind.

The answer is, they could not have. They did not take the enormous undertaking of counting so many bodies, under such trying conditions. (How many days would that have taken, to count so many floating bodies?) What they did was take some Armenian or missionary's word for the number of the casualties, or (at least Mrs. Atkinson, as a missionary) made it up.

Lord Bryce reported to The New York Times on Oct. 7, 1915 that Treibzond's Italian consul claimed ten thousand Armenians drowned in the Black Sea in one afternoon. There is that magic number again... ten thousand casualties.

Here's an interesting passage on the lying methods of the missionaries, from Professor Justin McCarthy's excellent presentation on British propaganda:

Some of the authors were missionaries who had compared notes before they wrote. In his letters, (Historian Arnold) Toynbee remarked how similar the accounts seemed. He found that the authors had read the pieces of others or had spoken to other authors before writing. Yet the Blue Book stated that because the accounts were completely independent the similarity of their stories proved that they were true! The similarities avowedly proved their reliability.

It's enough to get a team of pom-pom girls and create a new cheer: "Give me a 'B,' give me an 'S'..."

Finally, Leslie Davis wrote, "only around 8,000 Armenians survived the massacre of 1915. "

In this Reuters article, I notice the word "massacre" is largely used as a euphemism for "genocide." I guess that was the Armenian writer's attempt at being "fair," since I presume the Reuters editor would not have allowed her to say the things she would have said had she written this report independently.) So we have to assume the statement refers to not one single, isolated massacre.... but the entire "genocide" business alluded to in the title of the article. (The article does say, "By 1915, while the world was at war, some 1.5 million Armenians had perished." So that kind of clinches it.)

Estimates of the Ottoman-Armenian population: M. Zarchesi, French Consul at Van: 1,300,000; Francis de Pressence (1895): 1,200,000; Torumnekize (1900): 1,300,000; Lynch (1901): 1,158,484; Ottoman census (1905): 1,294,851; British Blue Book (1912): 1,056,000; L.D.Conterson (1913): 1,400,000; French Yellow Book: 1,475,000; Armenian Patriarch Ormanian: (*)1,579,000; Lepsius: 1,600,000

Ottoman-Armenian estimates before the war

    Leslie Davis is then claiming out of the entire population of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, only around 8,000 Armenians survived the massacre (that is, "genocide") of 1915.

From the Armenian perspective, that would make sense. Let's see... some 1.5 million Armenians existed in the entire Ottoman Empire, before the war. Armenians usually claim 1.5 million Armenians were murdered. 1.5 million minus 1.5 million should equal a comparatively inconsequential amount like 8,000.

And that concludes our analysis of the credibility of Mr. Leslie Davis.


Other Consular Tidbits



When the Earl of Crewe replied on October 5, 1915, in the House of Lords to the Earl of Cromer’s question as to whether H.M.’s Government had received any information confirmatory of the statements made in the press in relating to "renewed massacres of Armenians," he based his information on a report of the British Consul at Batum, which in turn relied on a Tiflis newspaper, probably The Horizon, "an Armenian propagandist organ and therefore quite unreliable."

C.F. Dixon-Johnson, British author; the above is an evaluation of his 1916 book, "The Armenians." While the consul in question is not American, it provides insight as to how all Western and Armenian-sympathetic consuls derived their information.

In addition, Dixon-Johnson criticizes the claims of another Western consul, the (Italian) Consul (Signor Corrini) who claimed all of Trabzon's Armenian population of from 8,000 to 10,000 was drowned in one afternoon, adding that he had "saw it done with (his) own eyes." Of course, Lord Bryce, who swallowed such a story wholesale, reported it to the Times (as mentioned above), which also swallowed it wholesale, showing how each of these sources fed off each other... the consuls, their bosses, and the press... and how silly it is to hold such biased accounts as reliable, today.

ADDENDUM (2-06): Having read Dixon-Johnson's book in the interim, and the Italian Consul's emotional report, it would appear Dixon-Johnson was criticizing Lord Bryce and The Times of London (Bryce's horror story also made it to The New York Times; see first graphic), rather than the consul. More on the consul (whose name was probably "Gorrini") may be found here.


A Report by J. B. Jackson

J. B. Jackson took the cake among all the U.S. consuls in providing the most sensational reports... that is what I inferred, anyway, from ANI's Rouben Paul Adalian... and his bio of Henry Morgenthau, where Jackson was singled out as the best producer of these reports, with the word "especially." Dr. Adalian also characterized these consuls as being "eyewitnesses."

Who was J. B. Jackson, the man? At this point, I have no idea. (ADDENDUM: Since this writing, I have read "The Burning Tigris," and have learned more.) Apparently, he believed in going all the way with whatever story came his way. Maybe that's how President Lyndon B. Johnson came up with his slogan, years later, with Mr. Jackson serving as inspiration: "All the Way with J. B. J."

Here is an example of Consul Jackson's "eyewitnessed" handiwork, from an Armenian web site.

"On the first of June, 3000 people, mostly women, girls, and children, left Harput, accompanied by 70 policemen...

"On the 15th day they were again troding their way through steep mountains, where the Kurds gathered 150 of the men... and taking them to some distance, butchered them... That day another caravan of exiles, only 300 of which were men, from Sivas, Egin, Tokat joined that from Harput, thus making a bigger caravan, 18,000 all counted...

"On the 52nd day they arrived at another village, here the Kurds took from them every thing they had, even their shirts and drawers and for five days the whole caravan walked all naked under the scorching sun. For another five days they did not have a morsel of bread, neither a drop of water... their tongues were turned to charcoal... At another place, where there were wells, some women threw themselves into it, as there was no rope and pail to draw water but these were drowned and in spite of that the rest of the people drank from that well, the dead bodies still staying and stinking in it...

"On the 70th day, when they reached Aleppo, 35 women and children were remaining from the 3000 exiles of Harput, 150 women and children from the whole caravan of 18,000."

J.B. Jackson, American Consul General at Aleppo, October 16, 1915
U.S State Department Record Group 59, 867.4016/225



Can I tell you conclusively that the above report is a crock of sh...aving cream? No, I cannot. I was not there. Neither were you.

So what we need to rely on is a little bit of logic... and common sense. Before we begin, allow me to remind you of the words of George M. Lamsa, a missionary well known for his research on Christianity. Here's what he wrote in "The Secret of the Near East," The Ideal Press, Philadelphia (1923), page 133:

"...In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses, it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem, and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed, and the bishop killed..."

Yes, Armenians have a tendency to... ehhhh... "exaggerate," but what's J. B. J.'s excuse?

No doubt crimes occurred. And many Armenians and Greeks will have no trouble with accepting this particular story's described horrors at face value, bred to look upon Turks as evil incarnate. But the villainy suggested in this incredible tale of monstrousness and cruelty gives "suspension of disbelief" new meaning. No doubt individual sadists who are capable of such misbehavior exist in our world. But to have every single involved individual to think in the same super-sadistic way, with no human compassion, enters the realm of the unbelievable. (With the exception there was a state-operated network for hatred, as with the school system of the Nazi regime, brainwashing people into believing "The Other" -- Jews, in this case -- were less than human. No such network existed in the tolerant Ottoman state and, besides, Armenian Propaganda tells us the racially inferior Turks so respected Armenians, the Turks made sure to get some of that pure Aryan blood, in order to improve the gene pool.)

If there really were seventy policemen (there would have conceivably been hundreds once the other caravans joined in; the seventy only took care of the initial group of 3,000. Let's estimate; if there were 70 cops for 3,000 Armenians, the total number might have been over 400 for 18,000), and if each and every one of these policemen stood by enjoying this nightmare... then they must have all been ordered to implement this slow, sadistic death on the Armenians. Then there must have been a state-sponsored genocide. Unfortunately, for those who relish the thought, there is no proof of state-sponsored genocide... and the possibility of there being hundreds of super-sadistic Hannibal Lecters conveniently coming together at a Hannibal Lecter convention  becomes colossally slim. How many monsters can coincidentally be brought together, realistically? How possible is it that at least a few of them wouldn't have stepped up to the plate and said, "That's enough."

Especially if there were females and children involved.

Another missionary (who happened to be a Mormon, identifying with the Turks as being "misunderstood," and generally -- but not always -- more credible than the Protestant missionaries from the United States), Elder Tanner, observed about the Turks, in 1886: “After all, they are the most honest and moral of the Orientals." In his "Who Can be So Polite and Courteous As a Turk,” he wrote:  "Turks are vastly more moral respecting women than Europeans."

We know the good quality and honorable "clean-fighting" Turks were at the various fronts, and many of the gendarmes were composed of irregulars, since the nation was involved in a battle for its life, and there was no manpower to spare. Well, I don't care if all of these gendarmes were recruited from prisons and were the scum of the earth... while some of them might have been monsters, every single one could not have forgotten about their humanity.

(The reality is that there were even gendarmes who gave up their lives to defend Armenians, and many protected Armenians... as this rarity of an Armenian grandmother bore witness.)

Again, the more zealous S.S. Nazis could have been that way; however, the Nazis were exposed to hate propaganda for well over a decade before doing their dirty work. Hatred was preached in Nazi schools. There was no network to brainwash and spread hatred among the Turks. (That is, in fact, one critical difference between Turks and most Armenians/Greeks.)

If we are to believe every single gendarme would have gone along with this torture, that they deliberately withheld the food, water and other provisions provided for the Armenians (the Ottoman Turks allotted a fortune for the purpose, as bankrupt as they were), and that they were all in cahoots with the marauding and/or blood feuding Kurds, then not a single Armenian could have survived. Perhaps somewhere in the vicinity of 700,000 Armenians were resettled by the end of 1916. We know one million Armenians survived, according to Armenians... out of an initial pre-war population of some 1.5 million, according to neutral sources. If just one per cent of the Armenians survived in this journey (185 of 18,000), many of whom must have died later given their miserable condition (charcoal tongues and all)... and given that Armenian sympathizers love to claim the resettled survivors were polished off after a while anyway, there would have been ZERO Armenian survivors of the 700,000 resettled. Add to this figure the number of Armenian dead from the regular famine and disease that claimed thousands of Turks daily, as Ambassador Morgenthau himself attested in his "Story" book, along with the many Armenians who died as traitorous combatants against their country.... well. Logically, it simply does not add up.

Particularly when we keep in mind figures given even by the biased likes of Professor Hovannisian, who estimated: "By the end of 1916, nearly three hundred thousand Ottoman Armenians had sought safety in Transcaucasia, where nearly half were destined to die from famine and disease." (Richard G. Hovannisian, Armenia on the Road to Independence, Berkeley, 1967, pp. 14-5.) That's almost 150,000 Armenians whose deaths were not caused by Turkish "brutality." One's eyebrows can also involuntarily rise when one encounters documentation on Armenians from Aleppo in later years, where they look pretty well fed (in addition, a Western observer's account of fat Armenians in 1919 Cilicia)... and there are also plenty of younger men among them. (Some 200,000 Armenians in Syria survived by year's end; the Patriarch himself reported 57,000 in Aleppo alone, in 1921. I'd think the bulk of relocated Armenians at other destinations had a similarly positive survival rate; click on last link to see what the Patriarch thought.)

Another thing that's crazy about this story is that these people had to travel on roads, through many towns. (This death march took a whopping seventy days... over two months. A lot of villages must have been passed through.) Even under the deplorable wartime conditions every Ottoman citizen suffered through, wouldn't the sight of suffering, naked women and children create a stir with the residents of these towns? Especially among sheltered Moslems, where public nudity must have come as a shock? Even if these residents were afraid to protest to the gendarmes, thinking the gendarmes were all sadistic monsters who might make them their next victim.... how possible is it that none of the many people who witnessed this horrifying and unforgettable sight not speak up publicly, especially after the war was over? This is the kind of sensational story that would have been endlessly corroborated, once the dust settled. If not among the Turks, then certainly among the Arabs, once Aleppo and its environs were taken away from the Ottoman Empire.

Who came up with the numbers? How did J. B. J. know what took place on the 52nd day, or that there were 150 men murdered? He certainly did not "eyewitness" these events. Who told him there were 18,000 Armenians at the start of this journey?

As this naked group neared Aleppo, is it possible J. B. J.'s "eyes and ears" forewarned the consul of their approach? ("J.B.! Just a handful out of the original thousands is about to enter town, all naked women and children, with charcoal tongues!") After J. B. J. must have logically corrected his informer that since the victims' tongues had already turned to charcoal on the 52nd day, none of the group could have tongues left on the 70th day (and perhaps wondered how anybody could have survived under the sun and the evening cold for over two weeks without clothing, not to mention food and water), why did not J. B. J. come up with the idea to photograph these poor souls as they tottered into Aleppo? That would have been the sort of sensational evidence the Armenian researchers at the Malta War crimes Tribunal could have made good use of. (You'll remember, the one where they could not find any reliable evidence of any war crime?)

Unlike co-consul Leslie Davis, J. B. J. must not have had the brains to come up with this simple idea. Since Leslie Davis was Harput's consul, where the 3,000 Armenians started out from, Leslie Davis himself should have had the brains to wire J. B. J. and suggest that Davis would photograph 3,000 healthy Armenians, and J. B. J. should photograph whatever remained at the end of their journey... after all, it was October 1915, and these guys had heard enough terrifying stories to know what to expect. This would have been their big chance to come up with hard proof.

(I read in an Armenian site that the Turks prohibited photography. Give me a break. Even if that were the case, where there is a will, there is a way. Armin Wegner did it. Unfortunately, his photos mainly display suffering people, which hit almost every Ottoman citizen, and don't prove a state-sponsored extermination policy. Not that photos of 185 naked, skeletal women and children would have proven a state-sponsored extermination policy, but it certainly would have looked BAD.) That is especially peculiar, since we know J. B. J. must have listened to his boss, Henry "Holier-than-Thou" Morgenthau... that is, if we are to believe Dr. Dennis Papazian, who informed us in his very own "Misplaced Credulity" that:

In fact, just to be sure, Morgenthau directed his consuls to personally verify the Armenian killings in each of their regions and to carefully draw distinctions in their reports between what they heard--even from reliable sources--and what they actually witnessed.

No doubt J. B. J. went out of his way to "personally verify" this story, that he heard from missionaries and/or Armenians. In fact, he would have had to triple-check and quadruple-check the facts and figures from impartial sources, because the first reaction of any normal, right-thinking person, upon hearing such a far-fetched tale of incredible nonsense, would have been: "That's UNBELIEVABLE!"

The final question is... if J. B. Jackson was so quick to report such a horrifying story without making sure it was the bonafide truth, what kind of a man would that make J. B. Jackson?


(This is the same story, by the way, that appeared in Viscount Bryce's "The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire." 185 survivors are left from the original 18,000 in Bryce's version, which was no doubt lifted from J.B.J.'s tale. Morgenthau freely shared information supplied by his consular henchmen with the likes of Lord Bryce and Lepsius, the Axis of Propagandists. Was that the correct thing for Morgenthau to have done, to share strategic information, as the official representative of a "neutral" country? What kind of a man was Henry Morgenthau? )

A rarity of a report by a U.S. Consul that does not incriminate the Turks.

The U.S. Consul in Mersina, Edward Nathan, said in an August 30, 1915 report to Ambassador Morganthau that the railway route from Tarsus to Adana was full of Armenians; and that they traveled from Adana onwards with a ticket; and despite some difficulties due to crowds of people, the government organized this process in the most orderly fashion; and that the Government did not allow any act of violence or disorder, provided sufficient number of tickets to the immigrants and assisted those who were in need.

Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu, Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications, Ankara, 2001. Source: "EUM, File 2D/13 (see Document 664)"

From ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/relocation/start.html

Holdwater opines: Incompetent Turks! This was no way to run a genocide...

I know what Armenians and their supporters will say to reports such as this, exploring the "other side" of the relocations: sure, the Turks were just like Nazis, fooling the people into travelling so that they can put them into the equivalent of the gas chambers at the end. Well, guess again. Number One, there were no Auschwitzes, Dachaus, or other concentration camps. Armenophile Christopher Walker claims the Armenians were marched off into the desert, "to die," mostly from abandonment. (From this PBS show.) Since the Ottomans did not have the TECHNOLOGY to commit genocide in a wide scale fashion, what would have been the need for concentration camps... assuming the bankrupt nation would have decided putting aside scarce resources for the construction of such camps would have been a good idea in the first place? Any of the incidental (I say "incidental" not to minimize the terror some Armenians suffered through savage attacks but because I believe MOST Armenians died the same way their fellow Ottomans did... through famine and disease... and fighting as combatants) massacres that occurred upon the marching and poorly protected Armenians by marauding bands took place the crude, old fashioned way... via stabbings and shootings.

Armenians and missionaries took these massacre stories and applied them as the rule of their experience and not the exception because of their agendas. The reason why there was an incredible amount of survivors for such an "exterminated" people was because the Ottoman authorities did the best they could for their Armenian citizens, under these trying circumstances. In parts of the country where there were railways, it seems the Armenians' journey was conducted in a civilized fashion. The above report from Professor Halacoglu goes on to say:

"...There arose difficulties at times to find vehicles transporting immigrants due to the need to dispatch military and food items to the front continuously. Therefore, railway stations were congested. It being harvest season the vehicles were scarce, which caused delays in transportation at times, (7) as well as difficulties in the movement of the convoys. In spite of all these difficult circumstances and adverse conditions, the government succeeded, in an orderly fashion, to transport the immigrating Armenians to their new locations of resettlement."

Yes, it's a Turkish source. Lies? In order to determine that, one must call upon impartial common sense.... the above sounds perfectly sensible, given the desperation of a "Sick Man" fighting a war on some five fronts... and one must examine the real orders that came from the Ottoman government, of which there are plenty that supports a sensitivity and caring toward the Armenians. Instead, bigots choose to focus on the made up orders from Aram Andonian and the like, made up quotes that were put into Talat Pasha's mouth, and other falsifications.

Sometimes a cliché says it best: The Truth Will Set You Free.




"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site