National Geographic : 1909 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE forth in the history of this college bear ing diplomas or certificates of various kinds, that of Doctor and Surgeon, and that of Master of Pharmacy, that of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. They become the doctors of Asia Minor; they become the doctors of the Sudan as far as the Equator; they be come the doctors of Egypt; they become lawyers and teachers and preachers. Those eighteen hundred are but a small proportion of the students who attend the college, for many of them leave before the end of the course or a degree has been received. I admit that I am a prejudiced speaker, but I assure you that I have tried to be accurate in my statements, and I ask you to judge for yourselves whether those eighteen hundred men, going out into the world after a fixed course of study, do not go forth as a mighty force to break down the antagonisms of races and re ligions? go forth as forces of a patriot ism, of a solidarity, of a unity that speak well for the future of the Turkish Em pire ? I do not conceal the fact that the diffi culties that lie before us are very great. But do not forget that eight or nine col leges are doing in Turkey the same kind of work as ours. You can imagine that wherever a graduate is found there is a new light illuminating the region around about him; that there is emanating from that doctor's office, or that lawyer's office, or that preacher's house a force that is making for civilization-those centripetal forces that overcome the forces of ig norance. TURKEY OUR ONLY FRIEND IN 1862 Forty-six years ago my venerable fa ther, the founder of this college and its first president, now in his eighty-sixth year, visited Washington and saw Presi dent Lincoln. He had been directed by his fellow-missionaries in Syria to visit Secretary Seward. His mission was this: There had been some petty misun derstanding in connection with some matter affecting missions, and my father was charged by his fellow-missionaries to see whether it was not possible for the Washington government to use such rep resentations with the Turkish govern ment as to put an end to these petty an noyances. Mr Seward said to my fa ther, "Dr. Bliss, do you know that of all the foreign powers, the government of Turkey is the only one that has expressed any sort of sympathy with the United States in the great struggle now going on?" My father was silent and bowed himself out. He understood. And I wonder, ladies and gentlemen, whether there are not still more potent reasons why we, citizens of a republic that has not yet completed the journey toward the goal of liberty, but citizens of a republic that has been able to measure many a mile upon the arduous pathway, passing over a road that has not been always easy, should not content ourselves with simply sending a message from our Congress to Turkey at this critical hour in her history. Shall we not send to that empire a message in the form of support of these schools and institutions that quietly and silently but effectively are strengthening those forces that are making for civilization? I understand that many of you here in Washington have been interested in a noble enterprise established upon the slopes of Lebanon, the first hospital in the Turkish Empire for consumptives. It is a good work. But I would plead also for those other enterprises, which are making not simply for physical health, not simply for intellectual integ rity, but are making for the moral and spiritual regeneration of the empire. I thank you most sincerely and heartily for your attention. I only hope you will yourselves visit Turkey and see for your selves the growth of liberty, fraternity, and equality in that great empire.