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Dreamland

Dreamland

 American Travelers to the Holy Land in the 19th Century

The image of the Holy Land current in 19th-century America derived from religious and cultural sentiment, encouraged by the experiences of a few groups: missionaries, pilgrims and tourists, explorers, settlers, and consular officers, all of whom had different motives for going to Palestine. They were influenced by the growing interests of other nations, and improvements in regional transportation made their travels possible. 
 
                                                                     Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Following the Civil War (1861-1865), travels to the Holy Land, then part of the Ottoman Empire, provided Americans with a unique opportunity for spiritual revival.
 
The year 2010 coincides with the centennial death of Mark Twain, who traveled to the Holy Land in 1867 and recorded his observations in The Innocents Abroad. Twain’s writing had a great impact on American perceptions of the Holy Land and the developing new age of travel in the Near East.
 
Other important American visitors featured in the exhibition are the writer Herman Melville and the Civil War generals: Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. They all were guests at the Mediterranean Hotel in Jerusalem. This hotel was also the intended destination of the Roosevelt family, but due to overbooking the family stayed at another hotel instead.
 
The manuscripts and documents showcased in the exhibition are part of the collections of the  Shapell Manuscript Foundation. The books and souvenirs are taken from the National Library's collections.
 
The exhibition is displayed on the 2nd floor at the Library.
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 09:00-19:30, Fri 09:00-12:00
 

Curators:

Dina Grossman, The Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Professor Ruth Kark, Hebrew University
Nira Ilsar, The National Library of Israel

 

Academic advisor:

Dr. Anthony Travis, Edelstein Center,
The Hebrew University


Design and production:

Studio Avidani


Museum consultant:

Liat Margalit
 

For more information, please visit the Shapell Foundation website:
 
NLI_ImageGallery
NliImageGallery
  • Robinson's Arch today.
  • Plan of Jerusalem (Heinrich Kiepert, 1841) from Robinson's books (on display).
  • BuchananwaslaterthefifteenthpresidentoftheUnitedStates. signed23October1846.
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    Reverend Eli Smith's passport document, for a trip to the Holy Land, signed by Secretary of State James Buchanan.
  • Map of the Dead Sea, from Lynch's book (on display).
  • Autograph letter signed, New York, 8 January, 1852.
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    "…Even then we must not despair, because across the great sea, however desolate and vacant it may look, lie all Persia & the delicious lands roundabout Damascus."
  • Autograph letter signed, New York, 8 January, 1852.
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    "…Even then we must not despair, because across the great sea, however desolate and vacant it may look, lie all Persia & the delicious lands roundabout Damascus."
  • ordering payment of salaries to his troops besieging Acre.
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    Letter signed by Napoleon on 19 April 1799,
  • Autograph letter signed, New York, 22 January 1885.
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    "…there was one – 'Clarel' – that your spade had not yet succeeded in getting at. Fearing that you never will get at it by yourself, I have disinterred a copy for you of which I ask your acceptance."
  • letter signed, New York, 22 January 1885.
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    "…there was one – 'Clarel' – that your spade had not yet succeeded in getting at. Fearing that you never will get at it by yourself, I have disinterred a copy for you of which I ask your acceptance."
  • Melville's letter to Clarel: Autograph letter signed, New York, 22 January 1885.
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    "…there was one – 'Clarel' – that your spade had not yet succeeded in getting at. Fearing that you never will get at it by yourself, I have disinterred a copy for you of which I ask your acceptance."
  • Members of the Dickson family were victims of the barbaric attack at Mount Hope.
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    Dickson's Palestine Museum, 1858. Advertisement for exhibition of items from the Holy Land, arranged by Henry Dickson.
  • Page from Twain's notebook, ca. April 1867, in which he first mentions his upcoming Quaker City trip to Europe and the Holy Land. Civil War general William Sherman was one of the intended passengers,
  • From A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Mrs. Stephen M. Griswold, 1872 (on display).
  • The steamship Quaker City.
  • Hartford: American Pub. Co., 1901. 2v. First edition 1869.
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    Twain, Mark (Clemens, Samuel L.).
  • Section of the first scientific map of Palestine, by Cartographer Pierre Jacotin, Paris [1818].
  • Mark Twain's letter describing the night before the Quaker City sailed.
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    "Now I feel good… & I could write a good correspondence… as soon as I get out of this most dismal town."
  • taken by the Abdulla brothers Signed photograph, Constantinople, September 1867.
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    Signed photograph, or carte-de-visite, of Mark Twain, on the way to the Holy Land,
  • Abdulla brothers, Signed photograph, Constantinople, September 1867.
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    Signed photograph, or carte-de-visite, of Mark Twain, on the way to the Holy Land,
  • Mark Twain to Miss Emma Beach, Autograph letter signed, 8 January 1868.
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    "Those Constantinople pictures were very bad, though. I might almost as well send you a photograph of the Sphynx-
  • Mark Twain to Miss Emma Beach, Autograph letter signed, 8 January 1868.
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    "Those Constantinople pictures were very bad, though. I might almost as well send you a photograph of the Sphynx-
  • Twain entered the Holy Land on September 17 and departured on October 1, 1867.
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    Replica of the King James Bible which Twain purchased for his mother during his visit to the Holy Land.
  • Twain entered the Holy Land on September 17 and departured on October 1, 1867.
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    Replica of the King James Bible which Twain purchased for his mother during his visit to the Holy Land.
  • New York, November 1870.
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    Mark Twain records his visit to the purported Tomb of Adam in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. "The grave of Adam! How touching it was, here in a land of strangers, far away from home, and friends, all who cared for me, thus to discover the grave of a
  • David Roberts Autograph letter signed, 2 February 1849.
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    "I send you all the Large Sketches I have here of the Holy City."
  • Autograph letter signed, Connecticut, 7 October, 1868.
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    "If I have heretofore told you the title of my proposed lecture I beg to alter it... It has taken a little different shape from what I had expected- so I now call it "The American Vandal Abroad". I am one of those myself. Twain, on the evening before he
  • Autograph letter signed, New York, 28 December 1869.
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    Two years after his return Twain recommends his traveling companion, Dan Stole, as distributor of the "The Innocents Abroad".
  • A Journey Around the World", American Publishing, 1897.
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    Mark Twain, autograph mock-up of title page and dedication for "THE SURVIVING INNOCENT ABROAD AGAIN or ANOTHER INNOCENT ABROAD AGAIN", to Chatto & Windus, London, 1897. The book was published as "More Tramps Abroad" later in the year. The U.S. edition was
  • A Journey Around the World", American Publishing, 1897.
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    Mark Twain, autograph mock-up of title page and dedication for "THE SURVIVING INNOCENT ABROAD AGAIN or ANOTHER INNOCENT ABROAD AGAIN", to Chatto & Windus, London, 1897. The book was published as "More Tramps Abroad" later in the year. The U.S. edition was
  • passage home to the US.
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    On 31 August 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward wrote to Maine Governor Joshua Chamberlain about the condition of the 156 "Jaffa Colonists", originally from Maine. A week later, Chamberlain advised Maine Congressman Sidney Perham that Admiral
  • passage home to the United States.
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    On 31 August 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward wrote to Maine Governor Joshua Chamberlain about the condition of the 156 "Jaffa Colonists", originally from Maine. A week later, Chamberlain advised Maine Congressman Sidney Perham that Admiral
  • Ticket from the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway, end of the 19th century.
  • Ticket from the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway, end of the 19th century.
  • Jerusalem train station on opening day, 16 September, 1892.
  • organized tourism to the Holy Land from the end of the 1860's.
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    Poster for Cook's "Nile & Palestine Tours", 1901
  • Autograph letter signed, London, 12 October 1840.
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    "Will Mr. Murray permit me to ask: How he is getting on with my Manuscript of Palestine?"
  • Robinson's Arch, engraving from: Wilson, Charles, Picturesque Palestine. London, 1881-83. v.1, p.72.
  • Engraving from: Wilson, Charles, The Picturesque Eretz Israel.
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    Jerusalem as seen from Mount Scopus
  • During the time of Mark Twain's visit. Scale: 1:75
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    Model of the Mediterranean Hotel in its second location in the year 1867
  • One of the most important American families to visit the Holy Land.
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    The Roosevelt Family
  • Photograph taken in Constantinople, en route to the Holy Land, September 1867.
    Signed photograph of Mark Twain
  • Panoramic view of the exhibit