Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward

No. 37.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that the number of deaths from cholera in Alexandria, according to the official reports for each day since my despatch No. 34, has been as follows:

27th June, two hundred and fourteen; 28th June, two hundred and nine; 29th June, one hundred and ninety-seven; 30th June, one hundred and eighty-four; 1st July, one hundred and ninety-five; 2d July, two hundred and twenty-eight; 3d July, one hundred and seventy-six; 4th July, one hundred and eighteen; 5th July, one hundred and thirty-two; 6th July, one hundred and forty-two.

It will be observed that the greatest mortality occurred on the second, when the number of deaths was 228, but that two days afterwards the number was reported 118, nearly one-half. This favorable change is due to a strong north wind which has prevailed during the week, and which it is earnestly hoped may continue. Moreover, the beginning of the rise of the Nile has been reported by telegraph from the upper country; a favorable effect is expected when the wave shall reach the Delta, now in about twelve days, by covering with water the low and stagnant places.

From the interior we continue to hear the most distressing reports. At Cairo the mortality is very great, as many as four hundred and fifty-seven deaths having been reported officially to have occurred in a single day, while private reports, perhaps exaggerated, estimate the deaths at twelve hundred daily. At Tanta; at Zagazig, at Damietta, Rosetta, and other places, the deaths are fright-fully numerous. At most of these places there are no physicians, and the sufferers receive no assistance.

It is estimated that more than thirty thousand people have left Alexandria since the malady appeared on the 11th ultimo. It is ascertained that eighteen [Page 324] thousand passports have been granted; if it be assumed that an average of two persons travel under each passport, the number of departures has been thirty-six thousand.

For three weeks after the outbreak of the malady, the American community was happily spared; but it is my painful duty to report the death yesterday morning of Mr. A. C. Pangelaki, a citizen of the United States by naturalization. His father, I believe, was one of the victims of the massacre at Scio; the orphan boy was brought to the United States, and I have heard that he was employed in the Greek department at the University press in Cambridge, near Boston. After several years’ residence in America he returned to the East, never forgetting, however, his adopted nationality. At Smyrna, in the year 1846, he published a little book of lessons designed to facilitate the study of the English language by foreigners. For at least ten years past he has been a resident of Alexandria, where his mild manners and blameless character have contrasted him favorably with some others of the same nativity who have sought to live here under the American flag. His age was fifty. I should mention that it is said by the physicians that the disease of which he died was congestion of the brain, not cholera; but as I met him in perfect health thirty-six hours before the sudden illness which in two days more ended with his death, I am still inclined to regard him one of the victims of the existing unhealthy state of the atmosphere.

The present is the sixth time Egypt has been visited by cholera, renewing in destructiveness the mortality of the ancient plague. The first outbreak of the cholera was in 1831, the next in 1838, the third in 1848, the fourth in 1850, the fifth in 1855; the period of exemption has never exceeded ten years, the term between the preceding and the present visitation.

It will readily be understood that in times like these no festivity was appropriate on the fourth of July; but I may report that on that day their excellencies Cherif Pacha, minister of foreign affars, and Mourad Pacha, governor of Alexandria, notwithstanding their severe duties and anxieties, did not fail to visit me officially, and offered their congratulations on the happy recurrence of our national anniversary, and their best wishes for the prosperity of the Union. But one American vessel remains in port, and she clears to-morrow for England.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.