The Slaughterhouse Province Summary
The book I read is entitled “The Slaughterhouse Province: An American Diplomat’s Report on the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917” (Aristide D. Caratzas Publisher). It is considered the first unearthed eyewitness account from a neutral party, published by a diplomat about killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians who lived in the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The reports in the book were written by Leslie Davis, who was a lawyer and U.S. consul in Harput in eastern Turkey from 1914 to 1917. Susan Blair, a researcher compiling proof of the Armenian genocide found the 132-page report in the National Archives, after they were declassified.
Davis’s report, submitted to State Department for internal use in 1918, makes up the bulk of this book, which has an enthusiastic introduction and informative annotation by Blair. The introduction puts the events into historical context, starting from 19th century’s Armenian History and ending with the Young Turks movement. In this book, Davis describes vividly the haste of the Turkish authorities to carry out the roundups and forced marches of Armenians, and eventual slaughter them by Turkish guards or Kurdish militia in outlying areas. He supports his claims …show more content…
Soon reports came in that the Armenian men had been taken into the mountains and killed by Turkish guards. In one incident, on July 5, 1915, about 800 Armenian men were arrested, marched out of town into the mountains and slaughtered. Turkish soldiers, who began the massacre using their rifles, were ordered not to waste bullets and to employ their bayonets instead. Davis did the best he could, offering the protection of his consulate to many Armenians, holding the property of “deportees”. He investigated reports of massacres and helped some Armenians to escape, when aiding Armenians was a crime punishable by