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Old 02-24-2016
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JANE LASSITER


About 80 years old.
324 Battle Street
Raleigh, N.C.


"I am 'bout 80 years old. I am somewhere in my seventies, don't zackly know my age. I wus here when de Yankees come an' I 'member seein' dem dressed in blue. I wus a nurse at dat time not big enough to hold a baby but dey let me set by de cradle an' rock it.

"All my white folks dead an' all my people am dead an' I haint got no one to ax 'bout my age. Dey had my age an' my mother's age in de Bible but dey am all dead out now an' I don't know whur it is.

"My mother an' me belonged to the Councils. Dr. Kit Council who lived on a plantation in de lower edge of Chatham County, 'bout three miles from New Hill.[3] My father belonged to de Lamberts. Their plantation wus near Pittsboro in Chatham County. My father wus named Macon Lambert an' his marster wus named At Lambert. Our missus wus named Caroline an' father's missus wus named Beckie. My grandfather wus Phil Bell. He belonged to the Bells. They lived in Chatham County. My grandmother wus named Peggy an' she belonged to de same family.[Pg 39]

"We lived in little ole log houses. We called 'em cabins. They had stick an' dirt chimleys wid one door to de house an' one window. It shet to lak a door.

"We did not have any gardens an' we never had any money of our own. We jest wurked fer de white folks.

"We had plenty sumptin to eat an' it wus cooked good. My mother wus de cook an' she done it right. Our clothes wus homemade but we had plenty shiftin' clothes. Course our shoes wus given out at Christmas. We got one pair a year an' when dey wore out we got no more an' had to go barefooted de rest of de time. You had to take care of dat pair uv shoes bekase dey wus all you got a year. The slaves caught game sometime an' et it in de cabins, but dere wus not much time fer huntin' dere wus so much wurk to do.

"Dere wus 'bout fifty slaves on de plantation, an' dey wurked from light till dark. I 'member dey wurkin' till dark. Course I wus too small to 'member all 'bout it an' I don't 'member 'bout de overseers. I never seen a slave whupped, but I 'members seein' dem carryin' slaves in droves like cows. De white men who wus guardin' 'em walked in front an' some behind. I did not see any chains. I never seen a slave sold an' I don't 'member ever seein' a jail fer slaves.[Pg 40]

"Dere wus no books, or larnin' uv any kind allowed. You better not be ketched wid a book in yore han's. Dat wus sumptin dey would git you fer. I ken read an' write a little but I learned since de surrender. My mother tole me 'bout dat bein' 'ginst de rules of de white folks. I 'members it while I wus only a little gal. When de Yankees come thro'.

"Dere wus no churches on de plantation an' we wus not 'lowed to have prayer meetings in de cabins, but we went to preachin' at de white folks church. I 'member dat. We set on de back seat. I 'member dat.

"No slaves ever run away from our plantation cause marster wus good to us. I never heard of him bein' 'bout to whup any of his niggers. Mother loved her white folks as long as she lived an' I loved 'em too. No mister, we wus not mistreated. Mother tole me a lot 'bout Raw Head an' Bloody Bones an' when I done mean, she say, 'Better not do dat any more Raw Head an' Bloody Bones gwine ter git yo'.' Ha! ha! dey jest talked 'bout ghosts till I could hardly sleep at nite, but de biggest thing in ghosts is somebody 'guised up tryin' to skeer you. Ain't no sich thing as ghosts. Lot of niggers believe dere is do'.[Pg 41]

"We stayed on at marsters when de surrender come cause when we wus freed we had nothin' an' nowhere to go. Dats de truth. Mister, dats de truth. We stayed with marster a long time an' den jest moved from one plantation to another. It wus like dis, a crowd of tenants would get dissatisfied on a certain plantation, dey would move, an' another gang of niggers move in. Dat wus all any of us could do. We wus free but we had nothin' 'cept what de marsters give us.

"When we got sick, you sees we stayed wid a doctor, he looked after us, but we had our herbs too. We took sassafras tea, catnip an' horehound tea an' flag. Flag wus good to ease pain. Jest make a tea of de flagroots an' drink it hot.

"I married Kit Lassiter in Chatham County an' I had seven chilluns. Three boys an' four girls. All am dead but two. Two girls are livin'. One named Louie Finch, her husband dead. She stays wid me an' supports me. She cooks an' supports me. My other livin' daughter is Venira McLean. She lives across de street wid her husband. Her husband had a stroke an' ain't able to wurk no more. Dey live on five dollars a week. Dey ain't able to help me now. I moved ter Raleigh 20 years ago. My husband died here.[Pg 42]

"I heard 'bout de Ku Klux but dey never give our family no trouble cause we didn't give 'em no cause to bother us. I don't know all 'bout slavery but I 'members dere wus a lot of big fat greasy niggers goin' around, an' I reckin dey fared good or dey wouldn't a been so fat. Dey got plenty to eat even if dey did wurk 'em.

"I believe slavery wus all rite whur slaves wus treated right. I haint got nuff edication to tell you nothin' 'bout Lincoln an' dem udder men. Heard 'em say he come thro', reckon he did too. I belong to the 'United Holiness Church'."
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[TR: Date stamp: AUG 8 1937]



[Pg 44]

DAVE LAWSON
EX-SLAVE

MY FATHER WHO KNEW THE PRINCIPLE CHARACTERS TOLD ME THIS STORY YEARS AGO

"Yes, suh, de wus' I knows 'bout slavery times is what dey tols me 'bout how come dey hung my gran'mammy an' gran'pappy. Dey hung dem bof at de same time an' from de same lim' of de tree, but dat was way back yonder befo' Mistah Lincoln come down here to set de niggers free. My mammy wuzn' but six months ole den an' I wuzn' even bawn, but Aunt Becky tole me 'bout it when I was ole enough to lissen.

"Dis ain' no nice tale you gwine hear. It's de truf, but 'tain't nice. De fus' time I heard it I didn' sleep none for a week. Everytime I shut my eyes I seed Marse Drew Norwood wid dat funnel in his mouf an' de hot steam blowin' up like a cloud 'roun' his wicked face an' skeered eyes.

"Dey say my gran'pappy's Ole Marse was de meanes' white man de Lawd ever let breath de breaf of life. His name was Marse Drew Norwood. He was de riches' lan' owner anywhare 'roun'. He owned more lan' an' more niggers den anybody in Person or Granville counties. But he didn' make his money wid no farm, no suh, he sho didn', he made his money buyin' an' sellin' niggers. He bought dem cheap an' sold dem high. He would catch all de niggers dat run away from other plantations an' keep dem in his lockup 'twell he fatten dem, den he would take dem way off down in Georgia, Alabama or some place like dat an' sell dem for a big price. He would come back wid his pockets runnin' over wid money. Some folks say he stold niggers to sell, but nobody never could catch him.[Pg 45]

"Marse Drew lived over here on de Virginia line 'tween Red Bank an' Blue Wing. He owned lan' 'cross de No'th Carolina line too an' lived close to Blue Wing. He treated his niggers so mean dey was all de time runnin' off. If he caught dem he beat dem near 'bout to death. He did beat Cindy Norwood to death one time kaze she run off to Marse Reuben Jones place an' axed him to keep her. She got pizen in de cut places on her back an' had fits three days befo' de Lawd took her. But Marse Drew jus' laugh an' say he didn' keer; dat she wuzn' no 'count nohow.

"I ain't never seed Marse Drew kaze I was bawn way after de niggers was freed, but dey tole me he looked like a mad bull. He was short wid a big head set forward on his big shoulders. His neck was so short dat he couldn' wear no collar; he jus' kept de neck bindin' of his shirt pinned wid a diaper pin. De debil done lit a lamp an' set it burnin' in his eyes; his mouf was a wicked slash cut 'cross his face, an' when he got mad his lips curled back from his teef like a mad dog's. When he cracked his whip de niggers swinged an' de chillun screamed wid pain when dat plaited thong bit in dey flesh. He beat Mistis too. Mis' Cary wuzn' no bigger den a minute an' she skeered as a kildee of Marse Drew. She didn' live long dey say kaze Marse Drew whipped her jus' befo' dey fus' baby wuz bawn.

"Marse Drew done whip Luzanne kaze she burnt de biscuits, an' Mis' Cary give her some salve to rub on de cut places on her back. When Marse Drew foun' it out he got so mad dat he come back to de big house an' tole Mis' Cary dat he gwine touch her up wid his whip kaze she give Luzanne de salve, dat when he want his niggers doctored he[Pg 46] gwine doctor dem hese'f, so he got to use his lash a little bit to make her remember.

"Mis' Cary got so skeered dat she run 'roun' an' 'roun' de house, but Marse Drew run after her, an' every now an' den he th'ow out dat plaited whip an' curl it 'roun' her shoulders. Every time it hit it cut clean through her clothes. Mis' Cary got so skeered dat de baby come dat night befo' 'twuz time. De baby wuz bawn dead an' Mis' Cary went on to glory wid it. Dey say she was glad to go. Yes, suh, everything on dat plantation, animal an' man was skeered of dat whip—dat whip dat never lef' Marse Drew's wris'. It was made of home-tanned leather plaited in a roun' cord big as a man's thum'. All day it swung from a leather strop tied to his wris' an' at night it lay on a chair 'side de bed whare he could reach it easy.
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"It was jus' befo' de Yankees come over here to fight dat Marse Drew bought Cleve an' Lissa Lawson. Dey was my gran'mammy an' gran'pappy. My mammy den was a baby. Marse Drew bought dem for fo' hundred an' fifty dollars. Dat was cheap kaze de niggers was young wid hard farm trainin'. Ole Marse didn' buy mammy. He said a nigger brat wuzn' no good, dey wouldn' sell an' dey might die befo' dey growed up, 'sides dey was a strain on de mammy what breas' nussed it. Lissa cut up powerful kaze he made her leave de baby behin', but Marse Drew jus' laughed an' tole her dat he would give her a puppy; dat dey was plenty of houn's on de plantation. Den he snapped de chains on dey wris' an' led dem off. Lissa an' Cleve never seed dat baby no more. Aunt Beck Lawson took an' raised her an' when she got grown she was my mammy.

"Yes, suh, Marse Drew bought dem niggers like he was buyin' a[Pg 47] pair of mules. Dey wuzn' no more den mules to him. It was early summer when he brung dem to de plantation, but when wheat cuttin' time come Lissa an' Cleve was sent to de wheat fiel's. Dey was smart niggers, dey worked hard—too hard for dey own good. In dem times 'twuz de smart, hard workin' niggers dat brought de bes' price, an' nobody didn' know dat better den Marse Drew.

"One day Cleve seed Marse Drew watchin' Lissa. She was gleamin' de wheat. Her skin was de color of warm brown velvet; her eyes was dark an' bright an' shinin' like muscadines under de frosty sun, an' her body was slender like a young tree dat bends easy. As she stooped an' picked up de wheat, flingin' it 'cross her arm, she swayed back an' fo'th jus' like dem saplins down yonder by de creek sways in de win'.

"Cleve watched Marse Drew on de sly. He seed him watchin' Lissa. He seed de lustful look in his eyes, but 'twuzn' Lissa he lustin' after; 'twuz money he seed in her slender swayin' body, in de smooth warm brown skin, an' de quick, clean way she gleam de wheat. Stripped to de wais' on de Alabama auction block she would bring near 'bout a thousan' dollars. Cleve 'gun to sweat. He turned so sick an' skeered dat he could hardly swing de scythe through de wheat. Marse Drew done took his baby away, an' now sumpin' way down in his heart told him dat he was gwine take Lissa. He didn' keer if he parted dem, 'twuz dollars he seed swingin' 'roun' his head—gol' dollars shinin' brighter den stars.

"'Twuz de nex' day dat Marse Drew went to Cleve's cabin. He walk up whistlin' an' knock on de door wid de butt of his whip.[Pg 48]

"Cleve opened de door.

"Ole Marse tole him to pack Lissa's clothes, dat he was takin' her to Souf Boston de nex' day to sell her on de block.

"Cleve fell on his knees an' 'gun to plead. He knew Ole Marse wuzn' gwine take Lissa to no Souf Boston; he was gwine take her way off an' he wouldn' never see her no more. He beg an' promise Marse Drew to be good an' do anything he say [HW: to] do if he jus' leave him Lissa, dat she was his wife an' he love her. But Marse Drew hit him 'cross de face wid his whip, cuttin' his lip in half, den he went over an' felt of Lissa's arms an' legs like she might have been a hoss.

"When he done gone Cleve went over an' set down by Lissa an' took her han'. Lissa 'gun to cry, den she jumped up an' 'menced to take down her clothes hangin' on de wall.

"Cleve watched her for a while, den he made up his min' he gwine do sumpin', dat she ain't gwine be took away from him. He say: 'Quit dat, Lissa, leave dem clothes alone. You ain't gwine leave me, you ain't gwine nowhare, hear me?' Den he tole her to make up a hot fire while he brung in de wash pot. He brung in de big iron pot an' set it on de hearth an' raked de' red coals all 'roun' it, den he filled it wid water. While it was heatin' he went to de door an' looked out. De sun done gone down an' night was crowdin' de hills, pushin' dem out of sight. By daylight dat white man would be comin' after Lissa.

"Cleve turned 'roun' an' looked at Lissa. She was standin' by de wash pot lookin' down in de water, an' de firelight from de burnin' lightwood knots showed de tears droppin' off her cheeks.[Pg 49] Cleve went outside. 'Bout dat time a scritch owl come an' set on de roof an' scritched. Lissa run out to skeer it away, but Cleve caught her arm. He say, 'Don't do dat, Lissa, leave him alone. Dat's de death bird, he knows what he's doin'. So Lissa didn' do nothin', she let de bird keep on scritchin'.

"When 'twuz good an' dark Cleve took a long rope an' went out, tellin' Lissa to keep de water boilin'. When, he come back he had Marse Drew all tied up wid de rope an gagged so he couldn' holler; he had him th'owed over his shoulder like a sack of meal. He brung him in de cabin an' laid him on de floor, den he tole him if he wouldn' sell Lissa dat he wouldn' hurt him. But Marse Drew shook his head an' cussed in his th'oat. Den Cleve took off de gag, but befo' de white man could holler out, Cleve stuffed de spout of a funnel in his big mouf way down his th'oat, holdin' down his tongue. He ax him one more time to save Lissa from de block, but Marse Drew look at him wid hate in his eyes shook his head again. Cleve didn' say nothin' else to him; he call Lissa an' tole her to bring him a pitcher of boilin' water.
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"By den Lissa seed what Cleve was gwine do. She didn' tell Cleve not to do it nor nothin'; she jus' filled de pitcher wid hot water, den she went over an' set down on de floor an' hol' Marse Drew's head so he couldn' move.

"When Ole Marse seed what dey was fixin' to do to him, his eyes near 'bout busted out of his head, but when dey ax him again 'bout Lissa he wouldn' promise nothin', so Cleve set on him to hol' him[Pg 50] down, den took de pitcher an' 'gun to pour dat boilin' water right in dat funnel stickin' in Marse Drew's mouf.

"Dat man kicked an' struggled, but dat water scalded its way down his th'oat, burnin' up his insides. Lissa brung another pitcher full an' dey wuzn' no pity in her eyes as she watched Marse Drew fightin' his way to torment, cussin' all niggers an' Abraham Lincoln.

"After dat Lissa an' Cleve set down to wait for de sheriff. Dey knew 'twuzn' no use to run, dey couldn' get nowhare. 'Bout sunup de folks come an' foun' Marse Drew, an' dey foun' Lissa an' Cleve settin' by de door han' in han' waitin'. When dem niggers tole what dey done an' how come dey done it dem white folks was hard. De sheriff took de rope from' roun' Marse Drew an' cut it in two pieces. He tied one rope 'roun' Cleve's neck an' one rope 'roun' Lissa's neck an' hung dem up in de big oak tree in de yard.

"Yes, suh, dat's what happened to my gran'mammy an' gran'pappy in slavery times. Dis here cabin we's settin' in is de same cabin whare Cleve an' Lissa scalded Marse Drew, an' dat oak tree 'side de paf is de same tree dey was hung on. Sometimes now in de fall of de year when I'se settin' in de door after de sun done gone down; an' de wheat am ripe an' bendin' in de win', an' de moon am roun' an' yeller like a mush melon, seems like I sees two shadows swingin' from de big lim' of dat tree—I sees dem swingin' low side by side wid dey feets near 'bout touchin' de groun'."
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Too sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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WILLIE McCULLOUGH

8 McKee Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Age 68 years.

"I was born in Darlington County, South Carolina, the 14th of June 1869. My mother was named Rilla McCullough and my father was named Marion McCullough. I remember them very well and many things they told me that happened during the Civil War. They belonged to a slave owner named Billy Cannon who owned a large plantation near Marion, South Carolina. The number of slaves on the plantation from what they told me was about fifty. Slaves were quartered in small houses built of logs. They had plenty of rough food and clothing. They were looked after very well in regard to their health, because the success of the master depended on the health of his slaves. A man can't work a sick horse or mule. A slave occupied the same place on the plantation as a mule or horse did, that is a male slave. Some of the slave women were looked upon by the slave owners as a stock raiser looks upon his brood sows, that is from the standpoint of production. If a slave woman had children fast she was considered very valuable because slaves were valuable property.[Pg 78]

"There was classes of slavery. Some of the half-white and beautiful young women who were used by the marster and his men friends or who was the sweetheart of the marster only, were given special privileges. Some of 'em worked very little. They had private quarters well fixed up and had a great influence over the marster. Some of these slave girls broke up families by getting the marster so enmeshed in their net that his wife, perhaps an older woman, was greatly neglected. Mother and grandmother tole me that they were not allowed to pick their husbands.

"Mother tole me that when she became a woman at the age of sixteen years her marster went to a slave owner near by and got a six-foot nigger man, almost an entire stranger to her, and told her she must marry him. Her marster read a paper to them, told them they were man and wife and told this negro he could take her to a certain cabin and go to bed. This was done without getting her consent or even asking her about it. Grandmother said that several different men were put to her just about the same as if she had been a cow or sow. The slave owners treated them as if they had been common animals in this respect.

"Mother said she loved my father before the surrender and just as soon as they were free they married. Grandmother was named Luna Williams. She belonged to a planter[Pg 79] who owned a large plantation and forty slaves adjoining Mr. Cannon's plantation where mother and father stayed. My grandmother on my mother's side lived to be 114 years old, so they have tole me.

"I ran away from home at the age of twelve years and went to Charleston, South Carolina. I worked with a family there as waitin' boy for one year. I then went to Savannah, Ga. I had no particular job and I hoboed everywhere I went. I would wait all day by the side of the railroad to catch a train at night. I rode freight trains and passenger trains. I rode the blind baggage on passenger trains and the rods on freight trains. The blind baggage is the car between the mail car and the engine. The doors are on the side and none at the end. I hoboed on to Miami over the Florida East Coast Railroad. I next went from Miami to Memphis, Tenn. after staying there a few days and working with a contractor, I again visited Charleston, S.C. I had been there only two days when I met some Yankees from Minnesota. They prevailed on me to go home with them, promising if I would do so they would teach me a trade. I went with them. We all hoboed. We were halted at the Blue Ridge mountains but we got by without going to jail. We then went to N.J. From N.J. to Chicago, Ill., then into Milwaukee,[Pg 80] Wis., then on into Minneapolis, Minn. Many towns and cities I visited on this trip, I did not know where I was. My Yankee companions looked out for me. They taught me the trade of making chairs and other rustic furniture. They taught me 164 ways of making different pieces of furniture. I spent 11 years in Minnesota but during that time I visited the South once every three years, spending several days in the county of my birth. Mother and father farmed all their lives and they often begged me to settle down but the wanderlust had me and for 30 years I travelled from place to place. Even while in Minnesota I did not stay in Minneapolis all the time. I visited most every town in the state during the eleven years I stayed there and made hobo trips into most of the adjoining states.

"The main Yankee who taught me the trade was Joe Burton. He and the gang helped me to get food until I learned the trade well enough so I could make a living working at it.

"I have made a lot of money making and selling rustic furniture, but now I am getting old. I am not able to work as I used too. Not long ago I made a trip from Raleigh to Charleston, S.C., but the trip was different from the old days. I hitch-hiked the entire distance. I rode with white folks. On one leg of the trip of over 200 miles I rode with a rich young man and his two pals.[Pg 81] They had a fruit jar full of bad whiskey. He got about drunk, ran into a stretch of bad road at a high rate of speed, threw me against the top of his car and injured my head. I am not over it yet.

"I quit the road in 1924. My last trip was from Raleigh, N.C. to Harrisburg, Penn. and return. I have made my home in Raleigh ever since. Done settled down, too ole to ramble anymore."
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IBRAHIM PASHA

Grand Vizir of Suleiman the Magnificent

BY
HESTER DONALDSON JENKINS, Ph.D.,

Former Professor of History in the American
College for Girls, Constantinople

printer's mark

New York
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
LONGMANS, GREEN & CO., AGENTS,
London: P. S. King & Son
1911
In the twelfth century the Asiatic hordes pressing into Asia Minor came into contact with the Greeks. But there was no intellectual reaction between Greek and Turk.

The Seljouk kingdom rose and fell in Asia Minor; then the chieftain Othman5 stepped on its ruins and climbed to power. He and his descendants gradually conquered the Greeks until Byzantium was theirs. Ottoman conquests still continued, until a century, after the fall of Constantinople Suleiman pushed his armies to the gates of Vienna and marked the farthest point of the Turkish invasion of Europe. During Suleiman’s reign Turkey not only dominated the Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and north to the Danube, but it also greatly influenced the rest of Europe. There was not a court in Europe that was not forced to reckon with Sultan Suleiman. So the career of Ibrahim, his distinguished grand vizir, is not a mere romance; it is a career which intimately affected the hopes and fears of Ferdinand of Austria, Charles V of Spain, Francis I of France, and even Henry VIII of England, as well as the Pope and the Venetian Signory.

At the height of their power the Turks were nevertheless still a simple people. While western society has moved from complexity to greater complexity, their society has preserved an unembarrassed simplicity. They are loyal to 15 state, religion, race, family, habit. Their religion is rigidly monotheistic; their government (up to July 24, 1908) has been the simplest possible monarchy, a personal despotism; they are probably the most unaffectedly democratic people in the world; a man is what his merit or his fortune has made him, with no regard to his ancestry; they are unitarian in religion, government and society. In morals the same simplicity prevails, with no torturing doubts and few sophistries. Much that seems like a fairy tale to us is simple unquestioning reality to them.

In this simplicity, this single‐mindedness, they are totally different from the Arabs of the Khalifate, with whom they have been so much associated in Western minds, but with whom they have no relationship beyond that of a common religion. The Turks, I repeat, are a much simpler as well as a more warlike people than any other Oriental nation.

The sources for the life of Ibrahim are classified naturally in three groups: (1st) The Turkish histories and biographies, first and second hand; (2nd) the accounts of European travelers and residents in Constantinople, such as Mouradjia D’Ohsson, Busbequius, and the Venetian baillies; and (3rd) the diplomatic correspondence and documents of the time as found in such collections as Charrière’s Négociations, Gévay’s Urkunden und Actenstücke, and Noradunghian’s and de Testa’s Recueils. A student would also wish to consult the histories written by foreigners, such as von Hammer, Zinkheisen and Jorga, whose sources are found in the three classes of evidence cited above.

It is impossible to confine ourselves to the Turkish sources, because of the notable omission of accounts of institutions, and the total absence of description. Abdurrahman Sheref, the present historiographer of Turkey, is the first Turkish writer of whom I know, who devotes some16 chapters to general subjects such as “The Provinces”, “Literature”, etc., in imitation of European histories. The historians of Suleiman’s time were rather chroniclers, the Comines and Froissarts of their day though with much less of petty and personal detail. Therefore we must turn to Occidental observers for accounts of the Turkish manner of life, their warfare and their government, except where we can learn from Turkish law or poetry. But practically all that the Ottomans have told us of themselves and of their rulers, we may trust in a way we cannot trust Western evidence. Every one who knows the East is aware how a report will pass through the bazaars and into the interior of the country, or up the Nile for hundreds of miles, with marvelous rapidity and more marvelous accuracy. Just as the story‐teller repeats a tale as his remote ancestor first told it, so do men hand down a tradition unembellished and unchanged. Turkish tradition is an expression of the sincerity and simplemindedness of the Turkish character. The Turks are neither sceptics, nor desirous of deceiving, therefore they transmit an account as they have received it.

There are of course exceptions to this: Suleiman’s Letters of Victory are overdrawn at times, and a legendary history of him has been found,6 written a century after his reign, in which the events of his life are hard to discover amidst a mass of legend. But this last case seems to have been a direct attempt to write an epic piece, and is quite different from the clear, straight narrative of the ordinary chronicler. The court chronicler’s embellishments consist mainly in flowery phrases, such as “Sultan Suleiman Khan, whose glory reaches the heavens, and who is the Sun of Valor and Heroism, and the Shadow of God on Earth, may Allah keep his soul.” In other words, the 17style is embellished but not the facts, the latter being related as uncritically and directly as a child relates an event.

Sometimes the perspective seems to us very odd, since the emphasis seems to be placed on the unimportant part of the narrative, but in such cases we must seek in the Turkish mind for an explanation of why that phase, unimportant to us, is to the Turkish writer and reader, of importance. As an illustration of this, take the Turkish accounts of Ibrahim’s Egyptian expedition. The Sulimannameh and later histories all give more space to the hardships of Ibrahim’s voyage to Egypt, and to the honor paid him by the Sultan than to the organization of Egypt, which occupied seven months. This seems, and doubtless is naïve, but we can see from it what a great effort a sea expedition was to this inland people, and also how above everything else in importance loomed the favor of the monarch, by whom all subjects rose to power or fell into disgrace. It further shows the stress laid on the lives of courtiers and officials rather than on the ordering of a province, in which, of course, it resembles all early histories.

For details in regard to the sources used for this study, the reader is referred to the Bibliography.
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CHAPTER IV

Ibrahim the General

Suleiman’s reign was one of continuous war, and for the most part, conquest. His two most redoubtable enemies were the infidel Hungarians and the heretic Persians. His first great campaign was directed against Belgrad, which important city he took in 1521. This conquest he followed quickly by the victorious siege of Rhodes in 1522. In these two campaigns, Ibrahim seems to have taken no part, although he accompanied Suleiman to Rhodes in his capacity of favorite.144 But in the first Hungarian campaign the grand vizir Ibrahim was placed second in command, the sultan himself leading the expedition.

D’Ohsson gives an account of the ceremonial that used to precede war in Turkey.145 He says that the Porte never failed to legitimize a war by a fetva from the Sheik‐ul‐Islam given in grand council, after which the sheiks of the imperial mosques met in the Hall of the Divan and listened to the intoning of a chapter from the Koran, consecrated to military expeditions. The first war measure was the arrest of the ambassador of the country to be attacked, who was taken to the Seven Towers. The next day a manifesto was published and sent to each foreign legation; then followed a Hat‐i‐Shereef conferring command on the 91grand vizir. With the order he received a richly caparisoned steed and a jeweled sabre, at a most brilliant ceremonial. Generally war was declared in the autumn, the winter was occupied in preparation, and the campaign was undertaken in the spring. At the day and hour appointed by the court astrologer, the imperial standard was planted in the court of the grand vizir or the Sultan, while imams146 filled the air with blessings and chants. Forty days later the first encampment was set up with further ceremonies.

The splendor of the Turkish tents, arms and dress were admired by all observers. A Turkish camp was a lively place, crowded by priests, dervishes, adventurers and volunteers, irregular soldiers, servants, tents, and baggage; and, on the homeward way, laden with slaves and booty.

The Turkish army was at that time the finest in Europe, both in extent and discipline. The Turks were a fighting people, whose arms had steadily won them place and power from the time when their colonel Othman interfered in a Seljuk quarrel to the time when Suleiman’s armies were the terror of Europe, and the few hundred tents of Othman had become the extensive and powerful Ottoman Empire. The army grew and developed with the demands of the state, for as we have seen above, the army was the state. As Mr. Urquhart puts it:147 “The military branch includes the whole state. The army was the estates of the kingdom. The Army had its Courts of Law, and its operations on the field have never been abandoned to the caprice of a court or a cabinet.”

Mr. Urquhart classifies the Turkish army under three main heads:148

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I. Permanent troops: janissaries, hired cavalry and regimental spahis of the grand artillery, etc.

II. Feudal troops.

III. Provincial troops (Ayalet Askeri).

He reckoned the number of troops at the close of the sixteenth century as follows:

Permanent.

Janissaries 50,000
Spahis 250,000
Artillery, armourers, etc. 50,000

Guards besides those drafted from Janissaries and Spahis—war levies:

Akinji 40,000
Ayab 100,000
Ayalet Askeri (cavalry) 40,000
Miri Askeri (infantry) 100,000

Some explanation of these names will be desirable. The feudal and provincial troops were those whose military service was demanded by the feudal tenure of the timars or fiefs. Of the permanent troops, the celebrated body of the Spahis was recruited from the fiefs, sons of the Spahis being preferred, and were required to follow the banner of the Sultan himself. The Akinji were the light horse, the terror of the Germans and the Hungarians. The Ayab were infantry, a sort of Cossack on foot, as the Akinjis were Cossacks on horseback—without either the pay of the janissaries or the fiefs of the spahis. The famous corps of the janissaries was the heart of the army,—the most privileged, the most terrible, the most efficient of the soldiery. They were recruited from the children, taken in tribute from the conquered Christian states, a thousand a year, and generally became Moslems. The janissaries, the artillery and the guards were the only soldiery paid from the treasury. The Turkish conquerors made war pay for itself, living on the conquered country and carrying home93 immense loot. At the close of his careful pamphlet, Mr. Urquhart makes an interesting distinction between Janissary and Turkish principles. He claims that the former are “violence, corruption, and prostration of military strength, exhaustion of the treasury, resistance to all, and therefore to beneficial, change.” The Turkish principles, he claims, are altogether different and finer.149
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The Turkish artillery was very formidable. It was by means of this and the setting of mines that Belgrad and Rhodes had been taken. There was no navy. There were a number of pirates, freebooters who put themselves at the service of the Sultan and won some considerable naval victories, but they were not a part of the regular Turkish force.

One constant order of battle was observed. The provincial troops of Asia formed the right wing, and those of Europe the left, the center being composed of regular bodies of cavalry and infantry, the janissaries forming the front line. In Europe the home contingents occupied the right wing. Thus were combined permanent and disciplined infantry and cavalry with irregular foot and horse; a feudal establishment with provincial armaments, and forces raised by conscription, by enlistment, and by tribute. By this arrangement the sultan could bring three enormous armies into the field simultaneously in the heart of Europe and Asia.150

A quaint description of the discipline of the Turkish army in 1585 was given by one William Watreman in his book entitled “The Fardle of Facions”, who thought that the speed, the courage and the obedience of the Turkish soldiers accounted easily for their great success in war for two hundred years,151 and said that they were little given to mutinies and “stirs”.

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Watreman was evidently not speaking of the privileged janissaries here, for they were greatly given to mutinies and “stirs.” They realized the immense power that the army possessed, and how definitely the sultan was in their hands. That part of the army stationed at Constantinople as guard to His Imperial Majesty had it in their power to demand the degradation and the head of any hated official, and usually these demands were granted. Authorized by the laws of their predecessors and their own as well, they might furthermore imprison the sultan himself, put him to death, and place on the throne one of his relatives as his successor. When all the corps of this militia of Constantinople unite under the orders of the Ulema, who give the weight of law to the undertaking, the despotic sultan passes from the throne to a prison cell, where a mysterious and illegal death soon removes him.152 The long list of deposed sultans witnesses to this power. Little wonder then that Suleiman, after punishing the rebellious janissaries in 1525, planned to employ them immediately in a campaign.

On Monday, April 23rd, Suleiman left Constantinople with 100,000 men and 300 cannon.153 His grand vizir had 95started a week in advance, commanding the vanguard of the army, largely cavalry. At Sophia both armies encamped, and the grand vizir is said to have “dressed his tent like a tulip in purple veilings.”154 From this point the two armies separated. Ibrahim Pasha threw a bridge across the Save, and advanced to Peterwardein, a natural fort on the foot‐hills of the Fruska‐Gora mountains, which was manned by a thousand poorly equipped soldiers. Suleiman ordered Ibrahim Pasha to take Peterwardein, assuring him it would be but a bite to last him till breakfast in Vienna.155 The sultan then proceeded to Belgrad. The grand vizir began preparations for the siege, storming ladders were laid, and on July 15th the first attack was made and repulsed with loss. The next night Ibrahim sent a division of the army to the other side of the Danube, and the fight continued all the following day until late evening, both by river and land, a flotilla of small boats being on the Danube. In a second assault the Turks pressed into the lower city, but they were again repulsed. Ibrahim, convinced that storming was less easy then he had thought, now prepared for a regular siege. After several day’s fighting a great building in the fort fell, and the walls were broached in several places. Nevertheless the besieged withstood two more assaults, and made a sally by which the Turks sustained great loss. At length Ibrahim laid mines under the walls of the fort, and on the 23rd day of July, twelve days from the first attack, an explosion, followed by a great assault and hard fighting, resulted in the taking of the place. Only ninety men were left to lay down their arms. The Turkish loss also had been heavy.156
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The successful siege, and doubtless also the rich reward of his padisha, decided Ibrahim Pasha to besiege Illok on the Danube, which he took in seven days. The sultan now announced that the objective point of the expedition was Buda. The Turkish army advanced along the Danube, devastating as it went, to the marshy plain of Mohacz. Here there was a battle of the first importance in its political results, as we have seen above, for it routed the Hungarian army, killed King Lewis, and gave Hungary into Suleiman’s hands. It was a brief and bloody battle, lasting but two hours. Petchevi gives picturesque scenes before the battle, and tells of the vast enthusiasm that seized “the holy army”, while Kemalpashazadeh gloats particularly on “the bloody festival.” The plan of the battle was made by the sultan in conjunction with his grand vizir, who visited the former several times during the evening preceding the battle. At dawn on August 29th, 1526, the Turkish army emerged from a wood and appeared before the Hungarians. First came the army of Roumelie, a part of the janissaries, and the artillery under Ibrahim Pasha. Then came 10,000 janissaries and the artillery of Anatolia under Behram Pasha; behind him was the Sultan and his body guards, janissaries and cavalry.

Towards noon the Sultan occupied the height commanding the town and saw his enemies ranged before him. The first attack was made by the Hungarians and was successful in producing confusion in the Turkish ranks. But the Turks rallied, and the Akinjis drew off the attack. Ibrahim was always in the forefront, animating his men and “fighting like a lion.” “By acts of intrepidity he snatched from the hearts of his heroes the arrow of the fear of death. 97He restored their failing spirits. Before the most fearful weapons he never moved an eyelash.”157 King Lewis, with thirty brave followers, pushed towards the Sultan in a desperate attempt to take his life, but it was the young king himself who fell instead in the terrible fight. The artillery, discharging its first volley, caused frightful confusion especially in the left wing. The Hungarian right wing, surrounded on all sides, broke and fled, being cut down by the Turks, or drowned in the marsh. The slaughter was fearful, as no prisoners were taken.158 The battle was so tragic to the Hungarians that to this day, when disaster overtakes one of them, the proverb is quoted: “No matter, more was lost on Mohacz field.”159

The artillery of the grand vizir seems to have turned the day and rendered the victory decisive for the Turks. The following day Suleiman, seated under a scarlet pavillion, on a golden throne brought from Constantinople, received the congratulations of his vizirs and beylerbeys and with his own hand placed an aigrette of diamonds on the head of his grand vizir. In gruesome contrast to this splendor was a pyramid of one thousand heads of noble Hungarians piled before the imperial tent. Mohacz was burned, and the Akinjis harried the country in horrid fashion,160 while the main army marched on to Buda. Here the keys of the city were offered to Suleiman, and the campaign was ended, except for the march back to Constantinople, with its details of massacre and spoliation.161

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The credit for this successful Hungarian campaign is ascribed to the grand vizir by three very good authorities. Ibrahim himself, in a speech to the ambassador von Zara, claims to have conquered Hungary:162 the sultan, in a letter of victory to his provinces, gives honor to Ibrahim; and the sheik‐ul‐Islam Kemalpashazadeh, in his epic history of the battle of Mohacz, lavishes praise on the grand vizir as commander of the armies on that field. “Heaven has never seen,” he rhapsodizes, “and never will see a combat equal to that by the prince of the champions of the faith, of this Asaf of Wisdom, this experienced general, this lion‐hearted Ardeshir, I mean Ibrahim Pasha.163 The enemy of the enemies of the Holy War, in an instant he repulsed the shock of the enemies of the faith.”164

Suleiman in his letter gives Ibrahim credit for the taking of Peterwardein and Illok. As to Mohacz he says:165


“The accursed king (Lewis) accompanied by the soldiers of perdition fell before the army of Roumelie, which was commanded by the Beylerbey of Roumelie, my grand vizir, Ibrahim Pasha (May Allah glorify him eternally!). It was then that the hero displayed all his innate valor.”

The first mention of Ibrahim in this letter is in the following terms:


“The leopard of strength and valor, the tiger of the forest 99 of courage, the hero filled with a holy zeal, the Rustem of the arena of victory, the lion of the restoration of dominion, the precious pearl of the ocean of all power, the champion of the faith, the Grand Vizir, Beylerbey of Roumelie, Ibrahim Pasha.”166

The flowers of the Sultan’s rhetoric may be accepted as a matter of course, but the fact that he mentions Ibrahim as deserving of any share in the glory of the imperial conquests is noteworthy, as in his letters of victory he usually reserves all the honor for Allah and himself.167

The campaign of Vienna was the next military event for Ibrahim. It was on the eve of this expedition that Suleiman invested the grand vizir with the office of Serasker.168

Says Petchevi:


One day, going from the Divan to the Vizir Khaneh, the great Lord and Conqueror calling the slaves before his presence addressed them with eloquent and pearl‐scattering words and with divine proceedings, saying: “Nothing prevents our extending our arms at once to all parts of our land, but in every case we cannot personally conduct affairs. Therefore we formulate a berat‐i‐shereef that Ibrahim Pasha, in the name of Serasker may receive obedience and respect.”
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