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|1911. 9 Aug
||When 'Abdu'l-Bahá was about to depart on his first voyage to the West He wrote to Albert Smiley, host of the annual Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration. On the 22nd of August, 1911 while in Thonon-les-Bains He wrote to H.C. Phillips, secretary of the Mohonk arbitration institution. These letters were unique because He usually didn't initiate correspondence. He was, undoubtedly, making arrangements to speak at their annual conference as Ali Kuli Khan had recently done.
While crossing the Atlantic on the S.S. Cedric He told a newspaperman, "I am going to America at the invitation of the Peace Congresses of that place, as the fundamental principles of our Cause are universal peace, the oneness of the world of humanity and the equality of the rights of men..." When the ship docked in New York and the gangplank was lowered, the press clambered aboard to interview him and he told them, "Our object is... the unity of mankind... I have come to America to see the advocates of universal peace..." [Who Will Bell the Cat The Story of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Visit to Lake Monhonk by Janet Ruhe-Schoen]
These meetings at Lake Mohonk were instrumental in the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. [Wikepedia]
||Egypt; Thonon-les-Bains; France; Lake Mohonk
||Albert Smiley; H.C. Phillips; Ali Kuli Khan; Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour
|1911 11 Aug
||The beginning of `Abdu'l-Bahá's first Western tour. [AB139]
`Abdu'l-Bahá departed from Egypt with a party of four on the S. S. Corsica for Marseilles, Thonon-les-Bains and London. [AB139; GPB280; SBR22, SoW Vol2 no.10 (8 September, 1911) p7]
Subsequent research has shown that the ship was not the S.S. Corsica as stated in GPB280 but rather the L'Orenoque. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris page 6 note 47.
See BW1:130 for a list of cities He visits between 1911 and 1913.
It is believed that funds for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s teaching journeys to the West were provided by an oil-rich believer in Baku, Áqa Músá Maqiof (alternate spelling Musa Naghiyev) (1849-1919). [AY11; ABF295note684]
||Baku; Alexandria; Egypt; Marseilles; Thonon-les-Bains; France; London; United Kingdom
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; S. S. Corsica; Orenoque; Ships; Funds; Donations; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Musa Naghiyev; Musa Maqiof
|1911. 21 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá and His party took a ferry from Geneva to Thonon-les-Bains and were met by Laura Dreyfus-Barney. They stayed at the Hôtel du Parc. He wrote to His sister, Bahíyyih Khánum. It was she that He had placed in charge of the affairs of the Faith in His absence. [ABF12-13, LTDT172-173]
About this time He also wrote to His wife, Munírih Khánum. [ABF14]
||Geneva; Switzerland; Thonon-les-Bains; France
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Munirih Khanum
|1911 22 Aug
||The Master sent for Juliet Thompson who had been waiting in London for His permission to join Him. [DJT157, ABF14-15]
See LGHC140-142 for Juliet's letter to Lua Getsinger, then teaching in California at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's request.
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Juliet Thompson
|1911 23 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá went for a carriage ride in the nearby hills. ["With 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Switzerland" by Juliet Thompson, SoW Vol 2 no 14 (Nov 23, 1911) p9-13, ABF15]
Later that day, by chance, 'Abdu'l-Bahá encountered the Persian prince, Sultán-Mas'ud Mírzá Zillu's-Sultán (1850-1918), the eldest son of Násirid-/dín Sháh, (1850-1918) in the Parc Hotel. He was in voluntary exile in Europe accompanied by his four sons. At various times, he had been the governor or governor-general of various provinces in Iran from 1862 to 1907 and had persecuted the Bahá'ís zealously. He was responsible for ratifying the execution of the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs in 1879. Upon meeting 'Abdu'l-Bahá he presented his excuses but 'Abdu'l-Bahá forgave him by saying "All those things are in the past. Never think of them again." [DJT172-3, ABF17; ABW411]
Annie Boylan arrived in Thonon-les-Bains from America by way of Lausanne. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is reported to have told her that the building of the Shrine of the Báb was the fulfillment of the prophecy that "the Lord would come and rebuild the temple that had been torn down". He added that the Tomb of the Báb and that of Bahá'u'lláh were considered the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkar. [SoW vol 11. no. 1 (March 21, 1920) p1-15, ABF18] iiiii
||Thonon-les-Bains; France; Isfahan; Iran
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Zillus-Sultan; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Annie Boylan; Mirza Muhammad-Hasan (King of Martyrs); Mirza Muhammad-Husayn (Beloved of Martyrs); King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Other; Persecution
|1911 22 Aug - 3 Sep
||`Abdu'l-Bahá took up residence at Thonon-les-Bains on Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). [AB140; GPB280; SBR219]
While there He encountered Zillu's-Sultán, the eldest son of the Sháh of the time, Násirid-Dín Sháh. It was he who had ratified the execution of the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs and at least 100 others. The whole family was in exile in Geneva at this time. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was very courteous to this man who had been such an inveterate enemy of the Cause. [DJT172, AY19, GPB201] .
The Master sent for Juliet Thompson who had been waiting in London for His permission to join Him.
During His stay he had a visit from Annie Boylan, a member of the New York community that was experiencing disharmony. Unaware of Bahá'í election procedures, a group that was unhappy with the disunity and ineffectiveness of the Council had organized a vote to be rid of several of its Council members. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had written to the community a short time before recommending that the Council be expanded from 9 to 27 members so that all factions could be represented. He also recommended that women be included on the Council and that the name be changed to "the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New York". This apparently addressed the problem of disunity because the New York community went on to contribute significantly to the progress of the Faith on a national level. [DJT181, BFA2p338]
Horace Holley, who lived at Quattro Torri, Siena, Italy at the time, along with his wife Bertha Herbert and baby daughter Hertha, visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the 29th and 30th of August. Please see his Religion for Mankind p 232-237 for a pen portrait of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
He met with Elizabeth Stewart and Lillian Kappes who were on their way to Tehran. [find reference]
It would appear that He returned to Marseilles and travelled to London by sea. [SCU22-23]
||Thonon-les-Bains; Lake Leman; Marseille; France; Switzerland; Italy; London; United Kingdom; New York; United States
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Board of Council; Spiritual Assemblies; Unity; Zillus-Sultan; Persecution; Mirza Muhammad-Hasan (King of Martyrs); Mirza Muhammad-Husayn (Beloved of Martyrs); King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs; Juliet Thompson; Horace Holley; Elizabeth Stewart; Lillian Kappes; Ships
|1911 24 Aug
||Tammaddun'ul-Mulk and Juliet Thompson arrived in Thonon-les-Bains from London via Geneva. She had landed in Southampton on board the Lusitania from America on the 25th of July.
Juliet Thompson had been in Paris in 1899 and had been part of the nascent Bahá'í community there along with May Maxwell and Lua Getsinger. In addition, she had met 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akká in 1909.
She, like many others, was anxious to know when He might come to America. He replied that the unity of the believers would be His invitation. There had been strong differences of opinion among the believers in America and one of those points was in their understanding of the station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Some believed Him to be an ordinary man who, through spiritual practice, had attained HIs station, implying that all could do the same. Others insisted that He was the return of Christ. The differences among the believers in New York was such that an election for the New York Bahá'í Board of Council had been influenced to excluded one of the incumbents. 'Abdu'l-Bahá insisted that the Board be increased to 19 members to ensure his re-election. [ABF19]
|London; United Kingdom; Thonon-les-Bains; France
||Tammaddunul-Mulk; Juliet Thompson; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour
|1911. 25 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá spent the morning with Juliet Thompson, part of the afternoon with Bahrám Mírzá and then visited the Gorges du Pont du Diable on the Dranse river at Le Jotty some 15 km south of Thonon-les-Bains. He travelled by automobile and was accompanied by Juliet and the Dreyfus-Barneys. [ABF27-28, DJT174-178]
See Images of the Gorges du Pont du Diable.
'Abdu'l-Bahá and Juliet discussed dreams. He instructed her to write down her dream and said dreams were of three types: (1) those caused by some bodily disorder, (2) symbolic dreams and (3) dreams in which future events are clearly foretold. [ABF32]
||Thonon-les-Bains; Le Jotty; France
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Gorges du Pont du Diable; Dreams and visions
|1911. 26 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk to those gathered at the hotel on the theme of unity. Present was Annie Boylan, a New York believer who had made the journey to present her case against another New Yorker, Howard MacNutt whom she believed was unfit to serve the Cause. [ABF31-33, DJT180-184]
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Howard MacNutt; Annie Boylan
|1911 27 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá and His party took a ferry to Vevey. a resort town on the other side of Lake Geneva (Lake Leman). Vevey was the location of the Dreyfus summer home and it was near here that Lady Blomfield and her daughters finalized the translation of Paris Talks [ABF33-44, DJT186, SoW vol 2 no 14]
He took a room at the Park Hôtel Mooser where He took some rest and also met Edith Sanderson and her mother. With the assembled friends He discussed immortality and divorce.
The party returned by ferry to Thonon-les-Bains, stopping at Évian-les-Bains. [DJT196-197]
In the afternoon He met with Lillian Frances Kappes and Elizabeth Harnill Stewart who had just arrived from America on their way to teach at the Tarbiyát School for girls in Iran. The school for boys had been in operation since 1897 and the school for girls was just being established in. [ABF43, SoW vol 2 no 18, SoW vol 2 no 14]
||Thonon-les-Bains; Vevey; Switzerland; Evian-les-Bains; France
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Lady Blomfield; Edith Sanderson; Lillian Kappes; Elizabeth Harnill Stewart; Tarbiyat School; Bahai schools; Paris Talks (book)
|1911 28 Aug
||In the morning 'Abdu'l-Bahá's visitor was Sultán-Husayn Mírzá, the eldest son of Zillu's-Sultán. Between 1879 and 1906 he had served as either governor or deputy governor of Khuzestán, Lorestán, Yazd, Fárs, Burujerd and Kurdistan. He was responsible for the martyrdoms in Yazd in 1891 and again in 1903. He had been exiled with his father in 1908.
As a footnote, in his latter years he became a devoted Bahá'í. [DJT206]
Later He gave a talk in Arabic that was published in its entirety by the leading Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram. [ABF45-48, SoW vol 5 no 10, Far Stretching River (translation by Mohsen Enayat)]
||Thonon-les-Bains; France; Yazd; Iran
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Sultan-Husayn Mirza; Mohsen Enayat; Seven martyrs of Yazd; Seven martyrs; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Yazd upheaval
|1911 29 Aug
||Horace Holley and his wife Bertha arrived from Italy with their baby daughter Hertha. They stayed two days. He described their experience in A Pilgrimage to Thonon published in 1911 and in Religion for Mankind p232-237. [ABF49-51; BEL7.1220]
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Horace Holley
|1911 30 Aug
||'Abdu'l-Bahá spent the morning in Thonon-les-Bain and took the ferry to Geneva after dinner. He stayed at the Hôtel de la Paix located at 11, Quai du Mont-Blanc. [ABF5154, DJT208]
||Thonon-les-Bains; France; Geneva; Switzerland
||Horace Holley; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour
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