What inspires a woman to throw over her life from one day to the next, to go from apparent comfort and a great job in a big city to a remote post in a country she’s never been to, where they speak a language she hasn’t studied at all? And what would possess her to leave the first country after five years of hard work for an entirely different one, retraining herself all over again? (more…)
Archive for the ‘Turkey-missionaries’ Category
Posted in Amherst College Alumni, British Raj, Missionaries, Photography, Turkey-missionaries, Uncategorized, William Earl Dodge Ward, WWI, tagged Amherst College missionaries, Dora Judd Mattoon Ward, India - missionaries, Langdon Ward family, Missionaries, Turkey, World War I on May 17, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Need an idea for Halloween? See the photograph below from a costume party in Turkey, ca. 1920-21, except for the French soldiers, who are real and probably on duty (which doesn’t rule out their garb for your party purposes). The other men are in “Pierrot” costume, perhaps inspired on this occasion by the popularity of “Yama Yama Man,” a strange song and dance routine not to be missed for your daily dose of weirdness from another place and time.
The photograph is from an album formerly belonging to Dorothea Nesbitt Chambers (Blaisdell), daughter of missionaries William N. and Cornelia P.W. Chambers. Dorothea, a Bryn Mawr graduate, was a hardworking but fun-loving woman who grew up in Turkey and worked there for the YWCA before her marriage in 1926. She is probably the photographer here.
Make room in Times Square: the Class of 1852 is ready to party with you and ring in 2015 dressed in spanking new glass.
This group of 42 men has been the subject of two posts, the first about their wild and crazy Philopogonian ways, and the second about a project to reseal the individual daguerreotypes from the class. I recently resealed the last daguerreotype in the group, so we begin 2015 with a sparkling set of nice, clear photographs.
First, a few details about the daguerreotypes themselves: All 42 daguerreotypes are sixth plate size (approx 2.75″ x 3.25″). The plates have a variety of damage but most looked pretty good after merely replacing the old cover glass (with its fascinating variety of gunk) with new Electroverre low iron glass that I cut to size. I do not rinse or otherwise treat the plate except to gently blow off dust. Class member Daniel J. Sprague’s plate had the photographer’s name (J.D. Wells) stamped on the plate itself — an unusual practice — and another plate had Wells’ name on the mat. All others were unmarked but most were also probably by Wells. (more…)
Posted in Amherst College Alumni, Armenian history, Missionaries, Photography, Turkey-missionaries, William Earl Dodge Ward, tagged Adana, Armenians, Kurds, Massacre of 1909, Missionaries, Turkey, William Earl Dodge Ward, William Nesbitt Chambers on September 26, 2014| 5 Comments »
Mosul. Erbil. Erzurum. Aleppo. Adana. Armenians. Yazidis. Kurds. Read the news lately? If you have, then these words suggest something to you. Undoubtedly, we’ll all be even more familiar with them soon enough.
But in the archives “everything old is new again.” Or maybe it’s more accurately the reverse, everything new is old, with new associations mingling with older ones. Around here, the words above are likely to remind us of our many Amherst College missionaries who left the campus to make new lives in the Middle East, often for decades and generations.
For example, when I hear “Kurds,” I think “Koords” (having a weakness for old-timey spellings). And then I think “Earl Ward. Missionary and photographer in Turkey between 1909 and 1913.” And then, “Nesbitt Chambers, missionary in Turkey for forty-five years.”
We may be hearing a lot about the Kurds these days, but Ward and Chambers heard about them before we did, including their reputation for being fearless warriors, a reputation that’s still talked about today.
Posted in Amherst College Faculty, Amherst College Presidents, College History, Objects Collection, Student life and customs, Turkey-missionaries, tagged Amherst College Fire Brigade, Countess Amherst, drafting tools, Earl Amherst, Hair jewelry, historic objects, nineteenth century eyeglasses, nineteenth century medicine, nineteenth century Turkish clothing, Objects Collection, phrenology, pipes on March 28, 2014| 1 Comment »
Our objects collection houses many of the things you might expect: reunion badges, fraternity pins, endless college mugs and tshirts… but it also contains a wide variety of surprises.
Here are a few for your enjoyment:
(click on the images for more information)
These tiny shoes and bracelets are part of a complete Turkish young girl’s outfit belonging to Laura Bliss, daughter of Edwin Bliss (Class of 1837) who was a missionary to Turkey from 1843 until 1852. Laura was born in 1846 and was six years old when her family left Turkey. She received this costume as a gift sometime before then. What you can’t tell from the images is how very small the shoes are – they range in length from 6 to 7.5 inches – they would likely fit a preschooler.
Posted in Amherst College Alumni, Missionaries, Turkey-missionaries, William Earl Dodge Ward, tagged Armenia-history, Edwin Elisha Bliss family, Harpoot-history, Turkey-missionaries, Ward family on August 5, 2013| 2 Comments »
In my June 2013 post I mentioned several collections from and about Amherst College alumni who had careers as missionaries. In this post I want to focus on one item from one of those collections, the William Earl Dodge Ward (AC 1906) Family Papers.
While listing the collection (the finding aid is here), I examined a photograph album that Earl Ward, an avid photographer, had put together to document his first trip as a missionary, from 1909-1913. Earl’s album begins with pictures he took on his way from Constantinople to Harpoot, where he was to be stationed as the mission’s accountant, with teaching duties on the side. The album also contains many photographs from the years he was in Harpoot itself, including photographs of Armenians, Turks, and Kurds going about their daily lives. Most of the photographs are small and faded, but they still beautifully illustrate life in the region. Toward the end of the album there are a few large photographs that Earl obtained from an unidentified photographer. One of them caught my eye right away – it’s a group shot, obviously commemorating an event.