The founders of the American Colony in Jerusalem in 1881 were proud of their American roots. The group of utopian, millennialist Christians were later joined by Swedish-American and Swedish believers. Here we see them celebrating the 4th of July with a pageant in which a man and woman are dressed as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty (circa 1905). The picture is hand colored.
The American Colony set up clinics, orphanages, cottage industries and soup kitchens for the poor of Jerusalem, earning favor with the Turkish rulers of Palestine. Their concern for all citizens of Jerusalem was evident in the shelter and assistance they provided to destitute Yemenite Jews who arrived in Jerusalem in 1882.
Founders of the American Colony
circa 1905. The founders' adopted son
Jacob, born a Jew, is on the top left
When World War I broke out, the American Colony's photographers were able to work on both sides of the conflict.
At the start of World War I and before the United States joined in the war effort, American aid to the Jews of Palestine was crucial for their survival. In October 1914, the U.S. Navy's North Carolina delivered $50,000 for the Jews' relief. In some cases the funds were administered through the American consul general in Jerusalem so that the money would not be confiscated by Turkish authorities.
More historical pictures and essays at www.israeldailypicture.com Descriptions based on photo-essays by Lenny Ben-David.