International Religious Leader Visits Nebraska

The Bahá’í Faith was founded by Bahá’u'lláh in 19th-century Persia. `Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas (1844-1921), eldest son of Bahá’í founder Bahá’u'lláh, became the sole interpreter of his father’s teaching after Bahá’u'lláh’s death.

Portrait of `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas (1844-1921), eldest son of Bahá'í founder Bahá'u'lláh.

Portrait of `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas (1844-1921), eldest son of Bahá'í founder Bahá'u'lláh.

`Abdu’l-Bahá toured the United States in 1912 to promote unity and international peace. He stopped in Lincoln, Nebraska where he met with William Jennings Bryan at Fairview, Bryan’s home. Before leaving, `Abdu’l-Bahá wrote a blessing in the Fairview guest book.

`Abdu'l-Bahá's blessing written in Farsi (NSHS RG3198.AM).

`Abdu'l-Bahá's blessing written in Farsi (NSHS RG3198.AM).

The original blessing is written in Farsi (Persian) and is followed by his signature. Also on the page is a somewhat inferior translation by his interpreter, and the names and signatures of the other members of his traveling party.

Fairview guest book showing blessing by `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas (NSHS RG3198.AM).

Fairview guest book showing blessing by `Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas (NSHS RG3198.AM).

Since its discovery, `Abdu’l-Bahá’s prayer has been translated into English by the secretariat of the International Bahá’í Faith. It reads:

“Bless this family and grant it happiness in both this world and the world to come. Confirm this distinguished person in the greatest service to the human world, which is the unity of all mankind, that he may attain to Thy good pleasure in this world and obtain a bounteous portion from the surging ocean of Divine outpourings in this luminous age.”

– `Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas

For more information about his visit to Nebraska, see these articles from the Lincoln Daily News and Lincoln Daily Star.

-Tom Mooney, Curator of Manuscripts

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2 Responses to International Religious Leader Visits Nebraska

  1. Billie Kay Bodie says:

    How wonderful to be able to access this information about Abdul Baha’s visit to Lincoln, Nebraska! His trip from Haifa, Israel to Egypt, Europe, and America began just over 100 years ago. Celebrations are being held in Baha’i communities along his travel route. We plan to celebrate the anniversary of His trip to Lincoln next year.

  2. Katie Cervantes says:

    Thank you for making available these archives of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to Lincoln. These are incredibly special.

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