Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward

No. 104.]


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Having in a previous despatch given some details in relation to the Turkish army, I deem it proper to furnish the following statements of the same, partly [Page 279] n correction of statements in that despatch, and for the purpose of approximating as near as possible to complete accuracy. At the death of Abdul Medjid, the Turkish navy consisted of 105 vessels of all sizes, 1,252 guns, and 8,314 horse-power. Of these, three were steam line-of-battle ships, carrying S6, 84, and 82 guns of 650 horse-power each, 5 frigates (steam,) each of 24 guns and 459 horse-power, 4 corvettes (steam,) mounting in all 68 guns and 600 horsepower, (total;) 13 sloops, mounting in all 73 guns and of (total) 1,560 horsepower; 1.9 steam transports, total horse-power 1,664. Of the sailing vessels, there were one line-of-battle ship of 428 guns; another of 64 guns; 1 frigate of 34 guns; 13 corvettes of 136 guns; total: 11 brigs, total 176 guns; 4 schooners, total 36 guns; 8 cutters, total 60 guns; 25 guns boats, total 85 guns. Grand total, 105 vessels of all sizes, 1,252 guns, and 8,314 horse-power.

Since the accession of the present Sultan there have been added to this force: one line-of-battle ship (steam,) 96 guns, 800 horse-power; 3 frigates (steam,) 60 guns, 600 horse-power; 7 corvettes, 52 guns, 1,080 horse-power; 9 transports, 970 horse-power; besides 4 iron-clad frigates in course of construction, mounting 136 heavy guns, and 8 sailing floating batteries, mounting 25 guns. Total 32 vessels, 490 guns, 4,500 horse-power, exclusive of the mailed frigates.

The present Sultan has increased the naval force by more than one-third of its artillery and almost double its steam power, raising the total to 1,742 guns, and about 15,314 horse-power.

Exclusive of the chief arsenal of construction at Constantinople, there are four other secondary arsenals: at Ismid and Ghemlek in the sea of Marmora, and Sinope and Eregli in the Black Sea, and two minor ones at Rhodes and Metelin. At all these places vessels are built.

The naval school is at Khalki, one of the Princes’ islands in the sea of Marmora, where excellent instruction is given in nautical science to about 200 youths. General knowledge and the English language is also taught. The following is a table of the rank and monthly pay of the officers, including rations. The American gold dollar equals 23 Turkish piasters: Lieutenant, 500 piasters; captain of corvette, 700 piasters; captain of frigate, 1,200 piasters; commandant, 1,500 piasters; captain, 2,000 piasters; rear admiral, 3,000 piasters; vice-admiral, 10,000 piasters; admiral, 25,000 piasters. The number of men employed in the active service is 10,900; including the reserve force, it amounts to 33,000 men. The fleet is manned by conscription and by volunteers. The term of service is eight years, at the expiration of which period the men return to their homes, where they are divided into the first and second class reserve. During the present reign great zeal has been displayed in the perfection and increase of the navy, and new vessels are constantly being ordered in England and France, while the dock-yards of the empire are alive with unwonted activity. It is evident that the Sultan is fully aware of the peril to which the empire is exposed by the ambitious designs of Russia and France, and that he is determined to spare no expense or effort to meet the crisis which, constantly menacing the national existence, must sooner or later confront him.

In this connexion, I regret to announce the death of Mehemed Pacha, the minister of marine. I had the honor of his intimate acquaintance, and whenever we met he never failed to speak of the government and people of the United States in the kindest terms. He never forgot the courtesy exhibited to him in 1852, when on a visit to the United States.

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With great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.