Collection American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006

Articles and Essays

  • A Community in Jerusalem

    The story of the American Colony in Jerusalem begins with Anna and Horatio Spafford of Lake View, Illinois, and the involvement of their family in the 1873 shipwreck of the luxury steamer, the Ville du Havre. The majority of passengers traveling aboard the Ville du Havre lost their lives in that catastrophe in the mid-Atlantic. Among the drowned were the Spaffords' four young daughters.

  • American Colony in Jerusalem Timeline, 1828-1980

    1828 to 1873. 1828 Oct. 20 Birth of American Colony founder Horatio Gates Spafford, in Lansingburgh (North Troy), N.Y. (d. 1888). His father Horatio Gates Spafford, Sr., (b. 1778) was born in Vermont, in a family originating in Yorkshire, England. Named for the Revolutionary War general Horatio Gates, the elder Spafford was an inventor and writer, author of a popular gazetteer of the state ...

  • The Bertha Vester Diaries

    By the first part of the 1900s, first-generation founders of the American Colony in Jerusalem had passed away or grown elderly. Esteemed matriarch Anna Spafford continued to offer inspiration to followers, but she focused primarily on religious guidance of the polyglot American Colony community of Americans, local converts, and Swedes. Second-generation members who had come to Jerusalem with their parents as children or teenagers, ...

  • The Locust Plague of 1915 Photograph Album

    Witnesses to the locust invasion that befell Jerusalem and the nearby Syrian region in 1915 agreed that they had seen nothing to equal it in their life-times. It was truly a natural disaster of biblical proportions.