By: Mir M.Hosseini
Howard Baskerville was an American teacher in the Presbyterian mission school in Tabriz when he decided to join the Constitutional Revolution Movement and fought against the Qajar King Mohammad Ali Shah. In 1909 Russian Cossacks laid a siege on Tabriz trying to break the resistance. When he was asked by the American consulate not to get involved in the revolution, he sent back his passport with this historical quote -"The only difference between me and these people is my place of birth, and this is not a big difference."
On Apr,19, 1909, he led a contingent of 150 nationalist fighters into battle against the heavily armed Cossack forces. He was shot to the heart and was killed instantly in the battlefield. He is considered a martyr. A bust of Baskerville is located in the Tabriz Constitution House.
On April, 29, Russian forces captured Tabriz. Famous Movement leaders such as Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan sought refugee at the Turkish embassy on May, 17. Meanwhile, Mojahedin forces commanded by Sardar Asad and Samsamossaltaneh were forcing their way towards Tehran capturing Russian strongholds one by one. When Mohammad ali Shah fled to Russian embassy in Tehran on July, 1909, it was clear that the Constitutional Movement has achieved a great victory.