Hayastan Maghakian Terzian
My brother-in-law was American Consul Davis’ body guard in Mezre and the Consul himself saved my father’s life. There was a Turkish gendarme by the name of Shadhe who wanted to kill my father. Consul Davis came all the way to our door in Pazmashen. My father was hiding in the back, in the wood shed. He came on his horse and took my father back with him to the Consulate.
When the deportations began, I went to Mezre to say goodbye to my father. He cried. The Consul saw him and told me to stay. Later, my mother escaped from the deportation and also came to the Consulate. We were in the American Consulate during the deportations. Consul Davis saved us. Everybody else, my sisters, my maternal aunt—all of them, all of them—were deported. Our whole village was wiped out.
We lived in the Consulate until 1922. On September 7, 1922, our family left Kharpert along with 250 Armenian orphans on horses and wagons. My father was asked by the Near East Relief to oversee the transportation of these orphans from Kharpert to Aleppo.
From Aleppo we went to Beirut, then to Marseille, and then by ship we came to Providence, Rhode Island.
“One of the persons whom I took in the Consulate was an old man who lived in the village of Pazmashen, which was about two hours distant. He had lived in America for many years and I felt interested in him. Learning that the people of his village were to be deported and that many of the men already had been arrested and put in prison, I resolved to go out to look for him and try to bring him back with me. I went alone on horseback… Not a traveler was to be seen and not a living person except the gendarmes. On arriving at Pazmashen, I found the man still there but greatly frightened. He had escaped arrest the day before by hiding all day in a dark hole in the house… by means of a friendly word and a little money it was quickly arranged for the old man to leave with me… I rode on horseback and he walked alongside, trying to keep out of sight as much as possible… We came by a circular route and arrived at the Consulate toward night. The old man was Krikor Maghakian.”
Leslie A. Davis, American Consul General at Kharpert, February 9, 1918
US State Department Record Group 59, 867.4016/392