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Members and activities of the American Colony (Jerusalem)

Members and activities of the American Colony (Jerusalem)

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Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Includes photographs of American Colony leader Anna Spafford and her daughters Bertha (Spafford ) Vester and Grace (Spafford) Whiting, Frederick Vester (husband of Bertha Vester), John D. Whiting (husband of Grace Whiting), Ruth Whiting (sister of John D. Whiting) and the Matson family. Documented are trips in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Malta; American Colony buildings and activities, visitors to Jerusalem, and Arab life. Some photographs depict friends and family of Colony members in the United States, Norway, and other locations.
Album page image number 1-16 (p. 1-15): Photographs include: trips to Nazareth, Mar Saba, Emmaus, Jaffa, Malta, and Beirut; the boat the Celtic, Bertha (Spafford) Vester with gift of Muslim girl's school to Kaiser Wilhelm II (Ottoman Empire coat of arms), ruins of Bala'bakk, group portrait of American Colony residents in 1904, wedding of Bertha Spafford and Fredrick Vester in 1904, residence of the American Colony, and a picnic at Sherafat (Sharafat).
Album page image number 17-30 (p. 16-30): Photographs include: man ascending "convent" of Meteora, Greece in basket; Anna Fast working in hospital, "Old Building" of the American Colony, convention in Pottawatomie Point, Michigan; horse races and dancing in Abu Ghosh (Abu Ghaush), school at the American Colony "Old House," Mr. Dudeavitch in Africa, Malta, trip to Sherafat (Sharafat), near Jerusalem; Tombs of the Judges, Jerusalem; kindergarten at the "Old Building," bronze statue of Buddha, Kamakuru, Japan; convention, Lake Michigan; Mr. Rimestad from Stavanger, Norway; portrait of young American Colony members including John and Ruth Whiting, Mr. Danehardt at Kulonieh (Kaloniyeh), group portrait celebrating 50th anniversary of arrival in Jerusalem of Frederick and Rosine Vester, wedding of son of Sheik of Abu Ghosh, 1904; American Colony building ("Pasha's Palace") including salon, canning store room, courtyard and fountain; and Lewis Larsson and Anna Spafford in the salon of the "Pasha's Palace."
Album page image number 31-47 (p. 31-46): Photographs include: harvest and weaving room at the American Colony, picnic at Ain Farah with Ernest F. Beaumont on the right, Dilbe, Bedouin visiting American Colony, wedding of Florence Page and Fareed Naseef at American Colony, visit to Jerusalem of the Kaiser Wilhelm II and Augusta Viktoria, group portrait of American Colony residents at Tombs of the Kings, Jerusalem, in 1901; visit to "Ain ed-Deek" (Ain Duk) and Jericho, tennis court, American Colony; visit to Bethlehem, Book club in 1898, visit to Jaffa, 1904; family of Prof. Sahlberg, Sodus Point, Lake Ontario; and the Morehouse family.
Album page image number 48-60 (p. 47-61): Photographs include: Salon in "Old House" of American Colony in 1890, Jerusalem city walls, children, visit to Ramallah, Miss Jennie Hishmah, children's party at the "Old House," Frederick and Bertha Vester, picnic at Emmaus, Mrs. Guild and Anna Grace (daughter of Frederick and Bertha Vester), Spafford(?) family portraits, four women in Chicago, 1896; Geo. Fredricson and family, supper at Kulonieh, 1905; party at Artas, John Whiting with Arthur Shaw and others, Anna Grace Vester as a baby, visit to Barrage Park, Philae, and the Great Pyramid in Egypt, 1905; "Mrs. Watson's visit to the Bedouin," the American Colony "Old House", and ruins at Palmyra, Syria.
Album page image number 61-75 (p. 62-76): Photographs include: town near Bala'bakk, ruins at Palmyra, Syria; Bedouins(?) with camels and goats, Tiberias, Bethsaida, Mar Saba, Callirhoe hot springs, Jordan; ruins, "Kalonia," visit to Sharafat, Anna Grace Vester, Jennie Hishmeh, Frederick and Bertha Vester with daughter Anna Grace and others, Lulu Meyers, portrait of the Matson family in Jerusalem including Eric Matson, and Ottoman officers in Jerusalem.
Album page image number 76-85 (p. 77-86): Photographs include: portrait of John Whiting with Hussein al-Husseini and Ismail al-Husseini, photographs of drawings by American Colony member Ernest Forrest Beaumont of the Ecce Homo Arch and Robinson's Arch, Jerusalem; mosaic inscription, Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, Jerusalem in snow, 1904; and models of the Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple, Justinian's Church, and the Temple Area, Jerusalem.
Many of the photographs were created by the photographers of the American Colony Photo Department, located in Jerusalem. Founded in the late 1890s by Elijah Meyers, the photo agency was headed during its heyday (ca. 1903-1933) by Lewis Larsson, whose staff photographers included Erik Lind, Lars Lind, Furman Baldwin, and G. Eric Matson. It transitioned into the Matson Photo Service around 1940, with photography by Matson, Hanna Safieh, Joseph H. Giries, and others. John D. Whiting contributed periodically to the work of both agencies. For more information see: and
Album made by or for Grace (Spafford) Whiting. "Grace Spafford" stamped on front cover.
Seven photographs are missing from album.
Album unpaginated, album page numbers supplied by Library staff.
Six unattached photographs stored with album. Of these, five photographs were formerly attached to album pages and were scanned in their appropriate places. One photograph showing Bertha and Frederick Vester on the American Colony tennis court, was found with album, but does not appear to have been placed on the album pages.
Photographs include: Collodion printing-out paper prints, gelatin silver printing-out paper prints, albumen prints, platinum prints, and one cyanotype.
Some uncaptioned photographs identified by similar images in LOT 13845 and matching negatives in the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection (LC-M33-767 and LC-M31-617).
LOT title devised by Library staff.
John D. Whiting's diaries, correspondence, and other materials are located in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division (Papers of John D. Whiting).
Forms part of: Visual materials from the papers of John D. Whiting (Library of Congress).
Transfer; Manuscript Division; 2006; (DLC/PP-2006:051:17)







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