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COLLECTIONSUnpublished articles, Provisional translations
TITLEEarly History of the Bahá'í Community in Boston, Massachusetts
AUTHOR 1Anise Rideout
ABSTRACTOverview of history 1900-1940. Includes early translations of some 2-dozen tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá.
NOTES The date of this is unknown. It is cited in Peter Smith's "The American Bahá'í Community" as being held at the US Bahá'í National Archives. The date of typing, credited to Helen Miller, is also unknown, though R. Abrishamian noted in 2013 that she had "long passed away". The PDF prepared by Abrishamian from an OCR of an image scan (download it here: rideout_history_community_boston.pdf) was then cleaned up and HTML-formatted by J. Winters. Another proofing, with reference to the original, is necessary.

See also History of the Bahá'í Faith in Boston.

TAGS* `Abdu'l-Bahá, Writings and talks of; Bahá'í history by country; Boston, MA; Massachusetts, USA; United States (documents)
CONTENT On February 23rd, 1900, Miss Sarah J. Farmer, Founder Green Acre Fellowship in Eliot Maine, sailed as guest of her dearest friend, Miss Maria P. Wilson for the Mediterranean, hoping to visit all points of interest, leisurely, winding up at Oberamergau. Miss Farmer at that time was feeling somewhat exhausted nervously, much was hoped from this visit to Europe. Almost at once Miss Farmer discovered an old friend, as passenger on board this ship. Miss Josephine Locke, art supervisor of schools in Chicago; with her was Miss Elizabeth Knudson. Miss Locke, wearied by overwork, was being sent to the Orient by her brother for rest, and change of scene. A few days after this agreeable surprise Miss Farmer confided to Miss Wilson that Miss Locke and her friend retired each morning for an hour or so to a remote and quiet spot on the ship. Miss Farmer said, "They have a tiny black book, they seem very secretive about it." After some questioning Miss Locke finally admitted the little" black book" was indeed a secret. After some persuasion they agreed to share the secret with Miss Farmer and Miss Wilson. The little book proved to be a book of prayers, not ordinary prayers, however, in fact, they were Bahá'í Prayers. At the World's Fair held in Chicago, 1893, Miss Farmer became interested in the Congress of Religions. Spending as much time as possible listening to reports of delegates from far and near, as a result Green Acre was born and the fellowship inaugurated. She had, however no definite remembrance of the Bahá'í Faith which was on the program, Miss Locke soon gave all the information she had received in Chicago from one called Dr. Kheirella, who had the idea of forming a Bahá'í class which included twelve lessons, given in a very imperfect way, for money, which nevertheless aroused the hearts and souls of a good many people in Chicago. These two ladies became fired with a desire to go to Acca and after a while they received permission to visit Abdu'l-Bahá, then a Turkish prisoner in Acca, but the brother of Miss Locke warned her not to do this, he gave as a reason, that the Turkish Government, would undoubtedly seize both of them and "no one knew how they could be extracted, if ever." Miss Farmer was so impressed by the relating of this spiritual message, she immediately declared: "I too must go to Acca and see Abdu'l-Bahá!"

Miss Wilson, a very cautious person, felt it to be unwise; but was overborne in her decision, finally declaring: "If there is a new Prophet it certainly would not be a Mohammedan!" A message was sent to Acca asking if Abdu'l-Bahá would receive four American ladies instead of two. In due time permission was granted, they might come for a three day visit. After some delay these four ladies arrived in Haifa domiciled on Mount Carmel, in the German Hospice, eventually being transferred to the home of a Persian Believer, in Haifa. One morning about two a.m. they were conducted to a small boat, it was dreary and raining. Before daylight they arrived at the home of Abdu'l-Bahá, that home which we all remember with the long flight of stairs. Met by the daughter of Abdu'l-Bahá who conducted them to rooms where they might rest, for an hour or so. About six thirty a.m. Monira returned saying the Master wished to see the lady whom he called the Nun.

After the death of Miss Farmer's parents, she wore a costume of gray cloth, a long cape, and a small gray bonnet, with a long gray veil, thrown back; this costume was worn instead of black and was used as long as she lived, changing in summer to white. She related she had been busy writing a long list of questions, not taking time to rest, at the summons from Abdu'l-Bahá she hurried away leaving the list of questions on a table!

Abdu'l-Bahá stood with his back to the door thru which they entered, near a window, before turning he said, "You have forgotten to bring your written questions," turning to them with a smile he said, "Never mind we Shall find answers for them all," Monira who acted as interpreter speaks English. After a long talk with Miss Farmer Abdu'l-Bahá said, "You must remain here with me for a long time."

Miss Farmer explained we came as the guest of Miss Wilson. All arrangements had been made for at least six months. She felt it to be her duty to continue with Miss Wilson. Abdu'l-Bahá urged her repeatedly to remain with him. Saying let Miss Wilson proceed alone. Between her desire to remain with the Master and a feeling of duty as the guest of Miss Wilson she felt torn, unfortunately continuing the journey with Miss Wilson.

By the light of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh all may see her life was not fulfilled in the way it might have been, had she yielded to the wishes of Abdu'l-Bahá. She alone of the four recognized in a dim way His Station. Only after some months Miss Wilson too realized, that Abdu'l-Bahá was the Greatest Spiritual Teacher in the world. After visiting many countries finally going to Oberamergau for the Passion Play. They went to Paris in September, became the guests of Madame Jaxson (an ardent Bahá'í and extremely wealthy woman) contacting a small group of believers, remaining in that city two months. There were several Oriental Believers, also May Maxwell, Marie Hopper and Mr. Hopper, Mason Remey and some others. Returning to America in October.

Two years later Miss Wilson returned to Acca alone, to ask Abdu'l-Bahá one question. She had planned to meet a cousin in England and spend sometime travelling with her.

As soon as she could do so she asked Abdu'l-Bahá this question. "What do you wish me to do for the Cause in Boston?" He looked at her long and steadily, then said, "I would like you to return to America and inaugurate the Feasts as they are carried on in the East, not only the Nineteen day Feasts but all the days of commemoration also the Fasting Season."

She related her plans to visit England and other countries, then said, "When would you like me to return?" He replied, "Tomorrow you can get a ship which will take you to America. I would like you to go on that ship."

After a moment she looked into His face and said, "I will do it." He then said "Good! Good! Then Thou art firm as a Mountain. Until she left this earth she never wavered in obedience to "Our Blessed Master." Miss Wilson sold her old home on Main street, Malden, and settled in a small house in the same city at 68 High street.

The Bahá'í Message had been given in Cambridge and several people accepted it. The Message was given here by Ali Kuli Kahn. The meetings were held here, sometimes in the home of Alice Ives Breed, also at the home of Althea Dorr, both confirmed Believers. Miss Wilson using every effort to institute the Feasts which we held religiously. Often Miss Wilson and myself kept the Feast together, although in those days we were allowed to invite friends.

We had only the little black Prayer book, translated by Dr. Fareed.

Also letters from the few pilgrims who visited Abdu'l-Bahá and who took notes, sometimes they were printed in pamphlet form. Many written in longhand. Anyone receiving a Tablet from Abdu'l-Bahá usually had copies of the translations made, and sent them to us.

Miss Wilson had very many Tablets. Every word was precious. When Some Answered Questions appeared we were overjoyed. Gradually other things were printed.

One thing was entirely different at this time, we were net allowed to talk openly about the Cause. If we were questioned we had every opportunity to give the Message. After Abdu'l-Bahá was free from prison it was different.

At Green Acre many talks were given. Mirza Abul-Fazl about 1905 and 6 was sent by Abdu'l-Bahá with an interpreter Ali Kuli Khan. This was a place where all Religions were discussed. Situated in Eliot Maine. Under this Able Teacher many accepted the Message of Bahá'u'lláh.

After these meetings from house to house the Believers agreed to open public meetings, Mr. George Ostburg was asked to find a suitable hall in the Back Bay of Boston. Our first public meeting was, therefore, held in Beckton Hall, 200 Huntington Ave, on Sunday, November 7, 1909. The following were present:

Mrs. Harriet Sprague, Mrs. Lily Ostburg, Mrs. Frances Godard, Mrs. Helen Campbell, Mrs. Francis Harding, Miss Anise Rideout, Miss Julia Culver, Mirza Raffie Esphahani, Miss Althea Dorr, Mr. George Ostburg, Miss Maria P. Wilson, Mrs. Alice Ives Breed.

Meetings were held every Sunday at eleven a.m. for two Feasts of Nawruz were held in this hall, other Feasts (and meetings?) from house to house were arranged for week nights.

On March 24, 1910 we had our first election of officers:

ChairmanMr. Harlan Ober;
Cor. Sec.Miss Grace Robarts;
Record. Sec.Miss Julia Culver;
Treas.Mr. George Ostburg;
Vis. Comm.Mrs. Harriet Sprague; Miss Lily F. Ostburg;
Lib.Mr. George Ostburg.

First Board of Council

Mrs. H. Sprague; Mr. Harlan Ober; Miss Julia Culver; Mr. George Ostburg; Miss Grace Robarts Mrs. F. Goddard; Mrs. Alice Ives Breed; Mrs. Helen Campbell; Mrs. E. Flees

Executive Committee

Mr. Harlan Ober,Chairman
Mrs. Ostburg. Sec.
Mrs. Breed,
Mrs. Goddard
and Mrs. Moore.
Committee on Feasts and Hospitalities

We each received a Blessing Box in which to place money for expenses of a delegate to go to Chicago for the First Convention. Mr. Harlan Ober elected delegate.

Following are names of various speakers at our meetings:

Mr. Howard McNuttMr. Fred Lunt
Mr. Stanwood CobbMr. George Ostburg
Mr. MooreMrs. Alma Knoblock
Mr. WoodcockLua Getsinger
Mr. DreyfusMrs. Brittingham
Dr. GetsingerAlice Buckton
Harlan OberAlice Ives Breed

Raffie Esphahani chanted in Persian.

Starting with twelve declared Believers, closing at the end of second year fifty-two women and fifteen men total sixty-seven.

These meetings were advertised in the Saturday Evening Transcript. Strangers came in every Sunday morning.

Eventually our numbers were increased by a group from the Theosophical Society, including Dr. and Mrs. Guy, Mrs. Sarah Van Winkly, Mrs. Louise Waterman and others.

Several years later Miss Harriet Williams came from that society; Miss Williams proved to be a generous, hard working member giving freely of her time, money, and personal service, as long as she was physically able to do so.

To us who were awakened in the Early Dawn of this Movement, to those who first carried the Torch of Bahá'u'lláh, these days stand out like clear and fiery stars of an early and lovely tropical day. Filled with wonder. This Revelation became a balm to our souls. We clung and still do cling together, much as the early Believers in Christ.

Sometime later the first set of by-laws in America came into use in our community. These by-laws were the work of Mr. Alfred Lunt and one or two others. A committee of three was chosen to help enforce them. This committee was later enlarged to five, in course of time to nine. Eventually this group became the "Spiritual Assembly" elected each year by vote of the community.

In 1910 there came from Chicago a beautiful soul, Miss Edna McKinney afterwards Edna McKinney Tibbetts.

Her heart was on fire; she labored day and night to give the message. During all the succeeding years until 1930. After listening to many and varied speakers I have yet to hear another who could surpass Edna McKinney in this respect.

She gave the message of Bahá'u'lláh in a concise, logical, and clear statement. One could feel the Beloved of the Worlds thru this Faithful firm Believer. Her personality was pleasing. Her modesty beautiful. She knew the teachings, was brief and yet very clear. She received numerous Tablets from Abdul-Baha, who loved her and appreciated all her efforts. She made some of the finest reports stenographically of the talks of Abdul-Baha in this part of the country.

In 1911 a man of great ability along many lines, a born leader of man, Mr. William H. Randall, became interested in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. He became in a short time a devoted student of the Cause, with clear insight, was able to understand and make plain statements regarding these teachings. Confirmed in 1912 by the Master who was at that time living in a house of Miss Maria P. Wilson at 68 High St., Malden. Mass. He quickly became an eloquent speaker, a generous supporter of Bahá'í Affairs, and the chief means of the development of Green Acre as a Baha’i Center. His generosity and loyal support of his Bahá'í Friends in times of need and stress is well known. He was an untiring, energetic worker for the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. His devotion, love and service remain in the hearts of all who knew him. Many who contacted him in the outside world were trilled and made aware by his absolute sincerity and fearlessness. He will remain forever a great figure in the Bahá'í History of America. He passed from this world Feb11, 1929. On Feb 12th, the National Spiritual Assembly received the following cable from Shoghi Effendi: "Grief stricken passing Harry Randall. Distinguished and Beloved Servant of Bahá'u'lláh. Assure family and friends fervent prayers, heartfelt condolences in behalf Holy Leaves and myself. Hold befitting Memorials -signed Shoghi.


In response to earnest entreaties of the American Friends Abdu'l-Bahá crossed the ocean against the advice of His friends and associates in the Orient. He says: "Nevertheless, I have come to America to meet the friends of God, this will demonstrate to you how great my love is for you. To see you I have taken this long voyage although there were many troubles and vicissitudes, yet when thought of the meeting with you all things vanished away." From an address given by Abdu'l-Bahá, on the day of his landing in America April 11, 1912, Star of the West Sept. 8, 1912.

Imagine the sensations of the friends at this time. Friends in Boston anxiously awaited his first visit here, which occurred during the week of May 23rd, arriving 22nd, 1912. That evening (Sunday) he was invited to open a convention of the Unitarians held in Tremont Temple of this city. He spoke for thirty minutes to a large and appreciative audience. Dr. Fareed interpreted Abdu'l-Bahá chose the Hotel Victoria as his headquarters, which he later gave up for the Hotel Charlesgate, as one of the friends had hired and paid for a suite there. He disliked to hurt the feelings of this person. He however, kept and paid for rooms at the Victoria, receiving the friends and inquirers there. He remained in the city for five days. On the twenty third of May he went to Worcester gave an eloquent address at Clark University. During the week in which Abdu'l-Bahá remained in Boston he gave an address at Faelton Hall on Huntington Ave., the hall was filled to overflowing, Miss Alice Bucton, Chairman. he also received visitors at the Hotel two days of the five were devoted to this. Very many people in all walks of life crowded into his reception room. Here Harry Randall saw him for the first time.

May 23rd 1912. As this was the birthday of our Lord, Mrs. Breed and her committee decided to make it a real party with an American birthday cake. Each Bahá'í brought a gift of fruit, candy, and beautiful flowers. In addition our Syrian believers came. They were invited to make and serve coffee in true oriental style, several kinds of Syrian food were offered and enjoyed by all. The birthday cake with nineteen candles was placed before Abdu'l-Bahá. He cut this cake with his own hands before serving the Feast he gave a beautiful talk explaining this day the 23rd of May was always to commemorate the Declaration of the Bab. Then in a laud voice "Never as my birthday". Although we saw Him many times after this visit in Boston, we agreed this evening was the outstanding event. His face during the Feast was joyous, for the moment he looked and seemed utterly happy. The little son of Ali Kuli Khan clung to him. Followed him about. Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to him in Persian. Raheme answered in English, laughing merrily. Our Blessed Master held him fast, whispering in his ear. It appeared a great joke to them both. This little child was then about five years of age, and very beautiful. They created a charming picture. Sometime later going thru Boston to Dublin, N.H. Abdu'l-Bahá was invited to speak before the Theosophical Society at Kensington Building, Corner of Boylston and Exeter St., July 24, 1912. This address is printed in full in Star of the West, July 13. 1913. It is of interest to note that the Bahá'í Community of Boston shared a room with this society, in this same building for the winter of 1934-1935. Also 1936 until then no one remembered our Master had been here in this building. His presence and creative words neither of which can ever perish. We occupied the same room in which he spoke.

About the middle of Aug. 1912 while he was visiting Green Acre. Abdu'l-Bahá sent forth word he would like the use of a house for a short time, as he was very weary and wished rest. "Preferably a house on a hill." needless to say there were numerous offers from mansions to humble cottages, among these was that of Maria P. Wilson, offering her house in Malden. This is a small house of seven rooms. There were nine men in all, however this house was accepted at once. A room was found in the neighborhood for Valli'u'llah Khan. Abdu'l-Bahá found this little house restful. During the time spent in Malden hundreds of visitors presented themselves from far and near. Many confirmations took place, notably Dr. and Mrs. Guy, Harry Randall, Mrs. Whalley and many others. Abdu'l-Bahá invited Fred Mortissen [Mortensen. –J.W., 2013] to remain with him for one week in this house. Before leaving Malden, Abdu'l-Bahá instructed Miss Wilson regarding the future of this house.

While there his seal was stolen. From this house Abdu'l-Bahá went to Medford. Mass., to the home of one or the believers and healed the wife of this believer of Tuberculosis the only person in America for whom this was done.

In this old worn House our Blessed Master has left the imprint of his devotion and love. In all America there is no other house, which remains exactly the same as when he lived in it. Truly a Shrine where one may, if he seek find Spiritual Solace.

After this brief rest in Malden. Abdu'l-Bahá proceeded to Montreal, Canada leaving several of the Persian friends in Malden, who afterward joined him in Chicago.

Singularly only one home in Malden was opened to him. That of the late Madame Morey a musician, very well known in Boston. In her home he gave a beautiful talk to more than one hundred people. Madame Morey was a Rosicrucianist she accepted his teachings.

This visit proved to be his last in Boston. The following months were rather difficult and uphill. We met here and there financially unable to hire a permanent hall. Three of the friends decided to hire a small room at 18 Huntington Ave., which was available for weeknights only. We held together there and in all the history of our community I am sure we were never more united. The room was in a central location but not attractive in any way, yet it lingers in my heart as a place of Love and Peace. We kept the Light burning. Early in the year of 1913 one of our most energetic and firm Believers moved to New York. A farewell reception was tended Mrs. Alice Ives Breed, Feb 14, 1913. In this some little room. We were sorrowful, indeed that this dear servant of Bahá'u'lláh must leave us, a more efficient devoted Friend we have not known in Boston. She was a great loss. There were times when her wise council would have saved many mistakes and her loyal clear-sightedness would have been invaluable.

The winter of this year 1914 we hired a room in the Pierce Building, Copley Sq., Mr. and Mrs. Edward Kinney and family were in Boston, also Mary Hannaford Ford. Stanwood Cobb spent several months with his parents in nearby Newton coming in town for our meetings always lending a helping hand, speaking for us and helping at Feasts. Our meetings were filled with the Holy Inspiration of Bahá'u'lláh and we were blessed in having our membership increased. The following years during the World war we were cut off from communication with our Beloved Abdu'l-Bahá. This proved calamitous in many ways.

However, it soon became clear that we must constantly realize the value of Unity and firmness in the Covenant, to study the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, also to realize the importance of prayers. During the three years following most of us were called upon to bear many and severe tests, some greater than others. By the will of God we kept together, only a few wavering.

April 29 to May 2nd, 1917, the Ninth Annual Mashriqu'l -Adhkar Convention was held in Boston at the Hotel Brunswick, Boylston St., We were able to secure for our Ridvan Feast a large restaurant operated in connection with the department store of Filene Sons. Several hundred people attended. This Feast like all others at this time was open to the public. After a delicious dinner talks were given by many Believers. Every one seemed happy. We had all been much depressed by the long and seemingly endless war.

Regrettably there are no available notes of this Convention. We were however able to attract many people of note. We had some very interesting addresses each evening given by Ali Kuli Khan, Harry Randall, Alfred Lunt, Albert Hall and others. We seemed to be able to present the Bahá'í Faith in a clearer and more definite manner to non- Bahá'ís than ever before.

In the fall of 1919 a home on Charles St., Boston was secured about twelve rooms. These were furnished and used for various purposes. A caretaker installed, and for nearly a year we experienced perhaps the most successful period of our existence. Attracting people of all classes, our numbers were increased. Those of us who recall this house do so with sincere longing. It's location was central. It lay directly between two sections, one of poverty and the other of wealth. Many souls were attracted, and many became firm Believers. Within the year, however, the city decided to widen Charles St., thereby cutting our house in twain. We were obliged to abandon it. Ever since we have cherished the hope of creating a permanent center once more.

October 4th, 1919 Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Randall with their young daughter Margaret sailed from New York enroute for that Blessed spot, Haifa. With them went Reverend Albert Vail as their guest. They were joined in Paris by Mr. George Lattimer returning December 24, 1919. Each of us eager to hear every incident of this visit, such splendid talks and satisfying answers to our questions.

Our dear friends were never too tired or too busy to ----- fill our souls with the Divine Light. ---- Open to all. Their patience and longing to give to----- and serve Bahá'u'lláh was a joy. To hear directly from Abdu'l-Bahá after those years of war and silence gave ---- and great happiness. During the absence of the Randall ------ blessed by having two dear friends who came from Chicago, ----- guests at the Randall home. Also to give loving attention -- --- of Mr. and Mrs. Randall. They were Mr. and Mrs. Charles -------- were very active and helpful in our Community. Both ------- teachers, untiring in their service.

------Mr. and Mrs. Randall were in Haifa, they purchased land ------ pilgrim house which was built later as a gift from the ----- Charles Mason Remey was the architect. This house is ------- guest house for all the women who visit the holy family. It ----- . Once soon after the Randall family returned ---- this writer became seriously ill. Our dear Harry ------ used to visit those who were ill. He came into my ------ on, greeting the family and then turning to me ------- an hour to give you, what would you like to talk ------ I said Haifa. He said: "Well, what of the visit, ------- any time that I can think of? I said" No, the ------ did the Master say last?" Harry looked at -------- said, "this is strange, no one else has Asked about ------- I went into his presence alone, at his command, -------- window, he called to me in English to come nearer, ------- He embrace me, kissing me on each Cheek, then putting his hands together, cuplike, he said, "I give you to drink from this chalice, drink thereof first yourself, then offer it to all". I left the Beloved Presence at once weeping.

During this winter or 1920 a study class for Bahá'í Juniors was started by Miss Ella Robarts, their meetings were held at Bahá'í Unity House, 120 Charles St. starting with nine juniors increasing to more than twenty in a few weeks. Bahá'í Prayers and Hidden Words were memorized, also the history of this faith was taught. All kinds and conditions of juniors were present. Frequently a real party was introduced. Feb.19, Mrs. Henry Culver then living in Cambridge invited the juniors to a "study party." The weather proved extremely cold, only three juniors presenting themselves. Not to be discouraged some children in the neighborhood were invited by the hostess to come in. These came chiefly from the "byways", there were Italians, Irish, Scotch And West Indian among the visitors. Thirty one in all. The party proved a great success. Miss Robarts edited a little magazine called "the children of the Kingdom," named by Abdu'l-Bahá. This was well received and continued until "Auntie Victoria Badieians Gardens arrived. All those children have grown up, some of their numbers had become confirmed Believers, others scattered and lost sight of.

Early in April 1920 Janabi Fazel of Tehran Persia, arrived in New York, sent by Abdul-Baha. moving about from one community to another. Boston was most fortunate in having him for several months, giving the Message of Baha’u’llah in such a way as to feed one's soul. One felt satisfied and certain that this is the truth. He spent the summer at Green Acre teaching. He confirmed many people during the year he was in America. Three years later he returned with Madam Fazil and his little son, about four years of age. Another son was born in Boston a few months after their arrival in this country, at the hospital of Eliza Taylor Ransom M.D. Dr. Ransom is a member of our Community.

Early in 1920 Harlan Ober contracted pneumonia and was very seriously ill recovering slowly. Abdu'l-Bahá asked the Boston Believers to send him two souls whom he might later send to Persia. Mr. and Mrs. Ober were chosen. They spent some time Haifa. Were there at the time Abdu'l-Bahá was knighted.

Great was the rejoicing in Haifa when, on the 23rd day of September 1918 at three p.m. after some twenty-four hours fighting the city was taken by British and Indian cavalry, and the horrors of war conditions under the Turkish Rule came to an end.

From the beginning of British occupation, large numbers of soldiers and Government Officials of all ranks, even the highest sought interviews with Abdu'l-Bahá, delighting in his illuminating talks, His breadth of view and depth of insight, His dignified courtesy and genial hospitality. So profoundly impressed were the Government representatives by his noble character and his great work in the interest of Peace conciliation and the true prosperity of the people, that a Knighthood of the British Empire was confirmed on Abdu'l-Bahá, the ceremony taking place in the garden of the Military Governor at Haifa, on the twenty seventh day of April 1920.

"The Night has come" November 28, 1921. Bahá'u'lláh called the beloved Abdul-Baha to himself.

A cable was received by Harry Randal who got in touch with the Believers by telephone. A meeting was called at the Culver home for an all night service. There are no words adequate to express our sorrow at this time. Although our Beloved Master was very weary and frail we yet clung to him. The center of the Covenant of God was no longer "Manifest" in the flesh. "A Ransom to each one of the Believers of God". We were very fortunate in holding together and accepting the Will and Testament of our Beloved Lord. Turning to Shoghi Effendi with our whole hearts I know of no one in the Boston Community who refused to do this, or who in any way faltered in following the commands of Abdul-Baha. We had at this time about thirty five confirmed members. We continued to hold Sunday meetings and always one week night meeting either at the home of one of our number or at the regular meeting place. We hired a room in the Pierce Building, Copley Sq., once more, and continued there for several years. We have had at least three other meeting places in this vicinity. After the Ascension of Abdul-Baha the Greatest Holy Leaf assumed the enormous burden of directing the Believers. This Saintly Soul who had known successive sorrow from early childhood sent out powerful messages from Haifa pleading with all to continue to be united and faithful to the Cause of Baha’u’llah. Even after the will of Abdul- Baha was received informing us that Shoghi Effendi was to be the Guardian of the Cause of Baha’u’llah, she kept in constant touch with all the Believers until our Beloved Guardian who was prostrated by the combined separation from Abdul-Baha, and the colossal burden of the Guardianship of this Worldwide Movement, was able to assume his duties. The Greatest Holy Leaf inspired, assisted, and loved Shoghi Effendi until the end of her day.

Our weeknight meetings were held often at the home of Mrs. Walter Coristine who lived in Brookline for two years. Miss Harriet Williams always used every opportunity to have us with her, at her house 18 Huntington Ave. Miss Wilson in Malden held meetings as long as her health permitted. Mrs. Wilkinson and her daughter Miss Roushane Wilkinson and many others. Of course, the Randall home for years was offered with great hospitality. In 1931 a group from Orcella Rexford became interested in this Cause and of that group nine were accepted by the Boston Spiritual Assembly.

At the age of ninety-two my Beloved Spiritual mother, Miss Maria P. Wilson, passed on to join the Friends of God. The years of her life were filled with usefulness, especially the last forty years, she was a forceful, faithful loyal servant of God. Our Beloved Abdu'l-Bahá sent her more than fifty Tablets and in many he addressed her "0 Thou Who art firm as a Mountain!". During the last years of her life until the very last year she remained normal mentally, and wherever she was, at home or in a sanitarium, gave the Bahá'í Message constantly. She had a very keen sense of humor, and a dramatic quality equaled by few. She could have been a great actress. She went often to the New England Sanatorium, which is under the auspices of the Seventh Day Adventist's. A beautiful and modern hospital. Modern equipment electrically, and the very latest dietary cuisines, splendid lectures, given every afternoon, largely on preventive medicine. Everything was the latest that medical science can produce. Miss Wilson was enjoyed by the doctors and nurses. On one occasion she was receiving a treatment for her rheumatism known as the Actenic Ray, she raised her head from the table and said to the doctor: "Look here Why do you not send your children to our public schools, what's the matter with them? The doctor looked at her, and smiled and said: "You see we maintain a school for the children of the doctors and the attendants because the public schools teach some things we do not want our children to learn." What for instance'?" He replied, "the main thing is evolution". Miss Wilson gave him a withering glance of scorn, saying: "You better go back to candles and blood letting!" The doctor simply roared with laughter.

This dear forthright soul willed her little house in Malden to Abdu'l-Bahá, later to Shoghi Effendi, he in turn placed it in the care of the National Spiritual Assembly, but under his advisement.

Miss Wilson passed from this world, November 6, 1928. Harry Randall conducted the services at her funeral. By her desire no clergyman from any church was present. She wished to have a Bahá'í service only. Harry Randal and myself were the only friends from Boston. As we were driving out to Malden, Harry who was then really too ill to undertake the service, looked at me smiled and said: "Well, someone will be doing this for you or me before long", he passed from this life three months later.


Green Acre Bahá'í Colony within the town of Eliot, Maine, comprised about 350 acres. The town stretches along the Piscataqua River, so called by the Indians, meaning the River of Light. There on a bluff Indians came and smoked their peace pipes, before the white man came. This colony was founded by a Miss Sarah J. Farmer, daughter of an early New England Scientist. He put up the first telegraph pole in the East, being an electrical engineer, and he was associated with the Atlantic cable across which was flashed the first message, "what wonder hath God wrought". Many literary and scientific men and women of her time met in the home of Professor Farmer, among them was the poet Whittier, who later wrote the following poem:

What shall we bring to her,
What Shall we Sing of her,
Of our love a taken.
Here on her birthday,
What of her worth say.
Written or spoken?
Perchance while these latter days
Light up Piscataqua's sunsets of glory.
Some bard more worthy of Green Acre.
God's angel we rank her,
If vainly we thank her,
For all she has given,
The years of right living.
Of blessing and giving
Are counted in Heaven
of rough lite the smoother of sorrow the soother.
of trouble the calmer
For blinded eyes seeing,
God bless her for being .just
- Sarah J. Farmer.

After her return from Europe with Miss Wilson, Green Acre gradually became a Bahá'í summer school. A few years afterwards Miss Farmer passed to the other world but not until in her will and testament she made it clear that others were to take up the torch of this Divine Teaching and carry it forward and onward. Abdu'l-Bahá himself when teaching in this country in 1912 spent a number of days in the "Acca of the Western world." as he called it.

From Green Acre other Bahá'í summer schools have been born, in Germany (now suppressed) in England, in Persia, in India, in Australia, and two more in this country. Louhelen ranch in Flint, Michigan, and the other in Geyserville. California.


The following Tablet translated by M.A. Esphahani, Washington, D.C. May 16, 1907. Original Tablet was written in the Master's own handwriting.

To the attracted maid-servant of God, Miss Sarah Farmer.

Upon her be Bahá'u'lláh (Baha'u'l-Abha).

O thou beloved maid-servant of God. I hope thou wilt detach thyself day by day, from this world of earth and become nearer and nearer to the Divine Will.

Therefore take provision for the journey to the other world and free thyself from this earth; that is, become familiar with the Fragrances of Holiness.

The following was written by Abdu'l-Bahá on the flyleaf of Miss Farmer's bible, March 26, 1900.

My God, my God, in Acca Palestine, Elohim to this Thy servant give the understanding of the Old Testament and the New and enable her to speak forth with mighty voice and to sing with power the Holy song and to discover the real meaning and the secret mysteries of these verses, for Thou art the Powerful Inspirer and the Mighty One.
After a lingering illness Miss Farmer, in August passed away.

On April 30, 1938 Mrs. Grace Ober, Beverly, who had been teaching the Bahá'í Faith, in Louisville, Kentucky collapsed and died at the conclusion of an address before several hundred persons at the annual convention of the Bahá'í Faith, in Wilmette, a suburb of Chicago, Ill. Her husband Harlan Ober a member at the National Spiritual Assembly, governing body of the Bahá'í Faith in this country was presiding at the time. For thirty years Mr. Ober served the cause of Baha’u’llah with unremitting devotion, joyously sacrificing everything in the service of God. Mr. Ober was permitted by God to reach her side and bide her goodbye before the end.

The following poem was written by Grace Ober some time before her death:

The "Call" is to man as well as to bird,'
'Tis the Call of "The Father" which has ever been near. Down the Ages.
The "Sunlight of Truth" is shining again!
'Tis opening the prisons, this loosing the Chains,
'Tis uniting the Hearts, and molding One Nation.
'Tie binding all Races in a Relation -Eternal. Mature and Diving.
- Grace Ober.


Alfred E. Lunt passed from this life Aug 12, 1936. Abdu'l-Bahá advised Mr. Lunt to withdraw from all political affairs, and give his time to settling estates, and other Civic activities, which advice he followed - this was less remunerative but more helpful to humanity.

Mr. Lunt's devotion to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh was outstanding and the very theme of his life.

Mr. Lunt, former president of the National Republican College League and city solicitor of Beverly in 1909-1913 died late yesterday at his home, 207 Dodge St., Beverly, after a long illness. He was fifty-nine years of age.

Long active in the Republican Party, Mr. Lunt served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1912 when William Howard Taft was nominated for the presidency. He took active part in the national presidential campaigns of 1908, 1916, and 1924 as director of the college bureau of the Republican National Committee.

A native of Beverly, born Feb 12, 1878 he was a son of Hervey and Elizabeth Blake Lunt. After being graduated from Harvard in 1903 and the Harvard Law School in 1905, he established a practice in Beverly. He opened a law office at 89 State St, Boston, in 1913, where he remained until recently.

During the war he served on the local legal advisory board under the draft act. He was general counsel from 1915 to 1922 for a large group of manufacturers and merchants in this State, making an exhaustive study of labor practices and labor legislation.

He was a past president of the Harvard Republican Club and member of the Green Acre Fellowship of Eliot, Me., National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of United states and Canada, and of the Essex Bar Association. He was a founder and first business manager of the Harvard Illustrated Magazine and for several years served as executive secretary of the Massachusetts Manufacturers' Association.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Mildred K. Lunt; three daughters, Mrs. Waldo Gardner of Salem, Mrs. Kames N. Shamey of Lynn, and Miss Jean Lunt of Beverly; and two sons Alfred Lunt, Jr. and David K. Lunt, both of Beverly. He also leaves a sister, Mrs. Frank Roberts, and a brother, George A. Lunt, both of Long Beach, Calif., and another brother Clarence H. Lunt of Wenham.


Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís Boston, Mass.

In August 1938, Miss Roushan Wilkinson received a letter from the Guardian, in which he urged the Boston friends to establish a Center saying,

"The matter of choosing a suitable place for an official and permanent Center of the Cause in Boston. is indeed most vital. Not only such a fixed headquarter would help in increasing the efficiency and quality of your labors. it would in addition, greatly enhance the prestige of the Cause in the eyes of the public. The Guardian would strongly advise that every effort be exerted to secure such a center for the Cause in Boston, and will pray that the friends may all be guided and stimulated to contribute all they can, to meet the necessary expense."
    (Signed) H. Rabbani
At the request of the local Spiritual Assembly, the room committee found a studio in Trinity Court at Dartmouth and Stuart Sts. which seems to be ideal for our present needs. The studio will accommodate comfortably approximately 75 people, more if necessary. It will have complete equipment for feasts, and a room that can be used by travelling teachers if desired, (with closet and bath room.) It can be developed into a real Center, and being on the ground floor near the Court entrance is easy of access.

Ya Baha el Abha!

Members of Boston Bahá'í Community -Feb., 1940.

Anderson, NatalieTrinity Court. Dartmouth St., Boston, Mass.
Archambault, Victor2 Pilgrim Rd., Arlington, Mass.
" , Helen(Mrs.)"
Austin, H.H.120 Boylston St., Boston, Mass
Brandon. Orville28 Webster St., Malden, Mass
" " (Mrs.)"
Boykin, Cloyd L.16 Harwich St., Boston, Mass
Burrill, Mr. & Mrs.?
Bailey, Mmy (Miss)Palmer Mem. Inst., Sedalia, N. C
Britt, John?
Cooper, Isabella (Mrs.)131 Wildwood Ave., Arlington Hts., Mass.
Crampton, Adrian87 Howland St., Roxbury, Mass
Curley, Helen C. (Miss)275 Beacon St., Boston, Mass
Darbinian. Nadine (Mrs.)10 Museum Rd., Boston, Mass
Dingwall, Janice (Mrs.)38 Sawyer Rd., Wellesley Hills, Mass
Gilbert, Agnes (Mrs.)215 Holyoke St., Boston, Mass
Gladding, RichardY.M.C.A. Beverly, Mass
Gorham, Lois (Mrs.)296 Boylston St., Boston. Mass
Gross, Ethel, (Mrs.)24 Westminster Ave. Roxbury, Mass
Holton, Bertha (Mrs.)30 Holyoke St., Boston, Mass
King, Mabel (Miss)18 Day St., Somerville, Mass
Kidder, Elizabeth (Dr.)Cabot St., corner Federal St., Beverly, Mass
Kidder, Alice"
La Vey, Herbert39 Huntington Avenue. Boston, Mass
Lewis, Eliza (Mrs.)30 Holyoke St., Boston, Mass
McCurdy, T.E. (Dr.)365 Mass Ave., Boston, Mass
Mapp, AlexanderBox 526, Avon, Mass
" " (Mrs.)"
Mapp, Benton51 Summer St., Brockton, Mass
McAlear, Henry66 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, Mass.
" Theresa (Mrs.)"
" DuncanSo. Washington St., North Attleboro, Mass.
McKechnie, Anna F. (Mrs.)41 Revere St., Boston, Mass
McKenzie, John331 Huntington Ave., Boston, Mass
" " (Mrs.)"
", James31 Bromfield St., Watertown, Mass.
Manchester, Marion I. (Miss)50 Rutland Sq., Boston, Mass
Mason, Vernita (Mrs.)9 Kingswood Rd., Auburndale, Mass.
Merkle, R. G.296 Boylston St. Boston, Mass.
McClennen, Joshua (Mrs.)Channing St., Cambridge, Mass.
Miller, Lelia (Miss)1061 Saratoga St., East Boston, Mass.
Miller, Helen A(Miss)3 Church Rd., Newton, Mass.
Nelson, George (Mrs.)82 Ivy St., Brookline, Mass.
Nickerson, George (Mrs.) 258 West Newton St., Boston, Mass.
Oglesby, Mabry C.30 Holyoke St., Boston, Mass
" Amet'u'llah(Mrs.)"
Orloff, Roan, (Miss)20 Charlesgate West, Boston, Mass
Ober, Harlan29 Corning St., Beverly, Mass
Ostburg, George (Mrs.)52 Emerald St. W. Quincy, Mass
Ransom, Eliza (Dr.)30 Bay State Road, Boston, Mass
Reed, Gertrude (Miss)99 Lexington St., East Boston, Mass
Russell, Marion (Miss)28 Dane St., Beverly, Mass.
Sullivan, Patricia (Mrs.)30 Walden St., Jamaica Plain, Mass
Small, Rachel (Miss)62 Cheney St., Roxbury, Mass
Small, Charlotte (Miss)"
Smith, Minnie (Miss ) 14 Charlesgate West, Boston, Mass
" Elizabeth (Miss)"
Shamey, Elizabeth (Mrs.)207 Dodge St., Beverly, Mass
Steward, Grace (Mrs.)17 Barnes Ave., Orient Heights, E. Boston, Mass
Tasker, Lorna (Miss)15 Ives St., Beverly, Mass.
Tomlinson, S.A. (Dr.)456 Mass Ave., Cambridge, Mass.
Torrence, Zylpha (Mrs.)367 Crescent St., Brockton, Mass
Waterman, Louise (Mrs.)7 Center St., Cambridge, Mass
Watson, Alberta (Miss)2 Hazelwood St., Roxbury, Mass
Zmeskal, Otto305 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Mass
" " (Mrs.)
Richardson, Dorothy (Mrs.)
" Clarence
Bowditch, Nancy (Mrs.)44 Harvard Ave., Brookline, Mass
Gregory, LouisEliot, Maine
Gregory, Louise (Mrs.)"
Wilkinson, Roushan (Miss)1232 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass.
Wright, Louise (Miss)82 Ivy St., Brookline, Mass.
Wentworth, Lydia (Miss)22 Stearns Rd, Brookline, Mass.
Watson, Alberta2 Hazelwood Rd, Roxbury, Mass.
Zimbler, Gertrude (Mrs)1238 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass
Paul, Charles L.1798 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass
Porter, Pearl (Miss)1018 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass
Rideout, Anise (Miss)34 Stearns Rd, Brookline, Mass
Miller, Harry S. (Mr. )3 Church Rd, Newton, Mass

The ranks of the isolated Bahá'ís have been increased by the hundreds of Believers formerly voting members of an established Bahá'í Community, but now isolated through the application of the Guardian’s ruling that voting Believers might henceforth reside within Civic limits of the Community where the Spiritual Assembly is established.

Thus reducing the Boston Community to about one half its numbers - in 1940.


The attracted maidservant of God, Rideout.

Upon her be the glory of the Glory of the Most Glorious.

O thou dear maid servant of God!

The program of the Nowrooz festival was received and caused utmost joy. Praise be to God that while and colored, like unto the face and hair of the Beloved of the worlds gathered together in utmost love and joy; and Mr. Alfred Lunt unloosed his tongue in eloquent speech. This blessed soul is really confirmed. It is my hope that you, he and thy spiritual mother, Miss Wilson, may pass your days in utmost joy and happiness, singing the melodies of the Kingdom of Abha.

Unto thee and unto them be the Glory of God the Most Glorious.

    (Signed) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Sept 26, 1921.
To His honor, Mr. Randall, unto him be the Glory of God, the Most Glorious. (Boston)

He is God!

O my spiritual associate.!

Since the day thou didst leave the Holy Land, for America up to the present, I have at every dawn and daybreak implored and prayed to the Kingdom of God, beseeching for thee unbounded Assistance and Favor so that thou mayst be confirmed in service. Thanks unto God that Abdu'l-Bahá's supplication and entreaty has been Accepted in the Kingdom of Abha, and thou hast been confirmed in service. Verily, verily art thou son of the Kingdom; art thou confirmed with the Breathings of the Holy Spirit; art day and night without rest, and with all thy power art thou striving in the management of Affairs. Acclamations are being consecutively heard from the Kingdom of Abha. It is my hope that thou wilt become a symbol of Guidance and a banner of the Kingdom of God so that thou mayst constantly receive Divine Confirmation; that (new) doors may be opened unto thee; that the Rays of the Sun of Reality may stream upon thee, and thy face and temperament may become luminous.

Convey on my behalf the utmost respect and kindness to the revered and attracted maidservant of God Mrs. Randall. Feel thou assured that in servitude to the Throne of God, thou art my participator and co-sharer!

Unto thee be the Glory of Abha:

    (Sig.) Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas.
    Sept. 17, 1920.
    Translated by: Azizullah S. Bahadur.
    Mount Carmel.
Copy of Tablet contained in letter from Mirza Ahmad Sohrab

Dated October 12th, 1916. Haifa, Syria.

"To his honor Mr. Alfred Lunt.

Upon him be greeting and praise!

O thou my friend of the Kingdom!

Praise be to God that the city of Boston is stirred into cheerfulness and the believers of God and the maidservants of the Merciful in the utmost firmness and steadfastness in the Covenant and Testament are engaged in the diffusion of the Fragrances of God that the divine favors and Bestowals are continually descending upon the assembly of that city, for they have attained to capacity, and capacity like unto a magnet attracts the heavenly Graces unto men. Ever do I supplicate at the Threshold of the Lord of Hosts and beg the friends infinite confirmation. It is my hope that supplications toward the Kingdom of God may be answered.

According to what is heard the Convention of Mashrek El Askar was going to be held in Boston. The believers of Boston must consider this as one of the greatest divine Bounties and strive with all their strength so that all the delegates coming to the Convention from the different cities of America may become attracted, thankful and grateful and spend a few days with the utmost joy and happiness; thus the Convention in a behooving manner may become assisted in the promotion of the teachings of God, the hearts may become like unto clear mirrors, the rays of the Sun of Reality shine therein, the melody of thanksgiving and glorification to the Lord of Host. may ascend to the Supreme Concourse, the sleepy ones become awakened and the dead ones alive.

Convey to each and all the friends longing greeting on my behalf.

Upon thee be greeting and praise!

    From Abdul-Baha Abbas.
Rue st. Didier 3d
Paris, France

To the Maidservant of God, Miss Maria Wilson, Malden. Mass.

Upon her be Bahá'u'lláh El Abha.

He is God!

O thou revered and beloved and Maidservant of God!

Thy letter was received. Praise be to God that thou art turning thy face at all times toward the Kingdom of Abha, and art engaged in the mentioning of God. Rest thou assured that the heavenly bestowal is destined for Thee. It is a station the attainment to which is longed for by all the revered women of the world. That station is nearness at the Threshold of God, is the Eternal, Everlasting Bounty. All else beside it is ephemeral.

But thy house became my abode and my home. Many days were spent in that home with the utmost joy and fragrance. The mention of "Ya Baha el Abha!" was raised from it and we spread the religion of God. In reality that home is my home, therefore the mention of God must always be raised from it

Convey greeting and kindness to the maidservant of God, Miss Rideout; also to all the friends and maidservants of the Merciful

Upon thee be Baha el Abha

    Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab
    March 12th, 1913
    Paris, France
May 11, 1913

To the Maidservant of God. Miss Marie Wilson, Malden, Mass.

Upon her be Bahá'u'lláh el abha.

He is God!

O thou severed Maidservant of Bahá'u'lláh! Your detailed letter was received, Praise be to God that it was an indication of thy firmness and steadfastness and a proof of the spirituality of your meetings and gatherings.

The days that I spent in thy house and engaged my time in summoning the people to the Kingdom of God were days of infinite joy and spirituality. They shall never be erased from the tablet of memory. Take care of that house because the light of the love of God was ignited in it. The Fragrances or the Kingdom of Abha, perfumed the nostrils. As thou art obliged, there is no harm done if thou desires to rent it.

Regarding the question of Green Acre, if a number of the Bahá'ís go there with the spirit of unity, and calling the people by day and by night to the Kingdom of Abha and giving the Glad-tidings to all the religions and sects, and live together with the utmost of good-fellowship and show towards each other love and unity, that it may set others to think and wonder - it is very praiseworthy. By this I mean that the presence of the friends in Green Acre may become the means of spreading the Divine Light!

Convey the wonderful Abha Greeting to all the believers and the Maidservants of the Merciful on my behalf, and rejoice them through the Glad-tidings of God.

Your meetings and assemblies, must be in the utmost state of spirituality, and those who are present in the greatest of enkindlement, so that their breathes may penetrate through the arteries and veins of the country.

Upon thee be Baha al Abha

    (Signed) 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas
    Translated by Ahmad Sohrab
    May 11, 1913
    Paris, France
Boston, Mass.

To his Honor, Mr. W.H. Randall, Unto him be the Glory of God, the Most Glorious.


O thou who art firm in the Covenant!

Two letters from thee have been received. Now I am writing the answer, but I have no opportunity to write a detailed answer. So with the utmost briefness do I touch on every point.

Thou shouldst strive to the utmost in the pursuance of business. Thou shouldst do this same also in spreading the Breaths of God. Divide thy time into two parts! Spend the one in business and the other in service to the Kingdom of God!

Verily, verily thou hast done thy best since thou hast returned to America in thy work for the Kingdom. Rest assured that the confirmation of the Holy Spirit will support thee!

Thou hast given the greatest importance to the question of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Mrs. Mariam Haney is of the utmost sincerity. It is my hope that the Executive Board will be bestowed with heavenly blessing. At Green Acre last year (summer) you and the friends succeeded to render distinguished services.

Jenabi Fadil is in reality sincere and self-sacrificing in the Path of Bahá'u'lláh. Miss Martha Root is doing her best too. Mrs. May Maxwell is enkindled with the fire of the love of God. She is pure spirit. Mirza Ahmad is serving with heart and soul.

The union and concord of the members of the Executive Board is attracting confirmations from the Kingdom of God. It is a magnet of success in activities. Mr. Mountford Mills, verily, merits praise. Mr. Roy Wilhelm has no other aim than spiritual progress, conscientious susceptibilities and self-sacrifice in the Cause of God.

As to the question of Mr. Bourgeois, practice ye consideration towards him, but his salary and other arrangements concerning him should be decided by the public Convention next spring. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is a magnet for the confirmation retendered by the Supreme Concourse. The sooner ye begin its construction, the greater the confirmations attained to.

The association that has been formed for promoting the relationship and love between America and Japan will, God willing, be confirmed and assisted. This association is important. It will unquestionably, bring forth great results.

The especial Convention, however, for the removal at racial enmity between the white and colored is, as I wrote to the revered Maidservant of God, Mrs. Parsons, blessed.

Your children are mine, they will, certainly attain to greatest progress in the pursuit of sciences and in the illumination bestowed by the Kingdom of God.

Convey utmost affection in my behalf to thy revered wife, Mrs. Randall. Verily, verily this dear daughter of mine is self-sacrificing to the utmost, and strives ( in service) more than her energy permits. Unto thee be the Glory of Abha!

    (Signed) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Dec.19. 1920
    Translated by Azizullah S. Baradur, Mt. Carmel, Palestine.
To the maid servant of God Miss Edna McKinney. Boston Mass.

Upon her be Baha'o'lla El AbhA!


O thou maid servant of Bahá'u'lláh!

Thy letter was received. Praise be to God that thou art assisted in service and art enkindled with the Fire of the Love of God. Know thou of a certainty that the confirmations of God will descend upon thee and thou wilt become aided in service and on this account thou wilt be helped with the Heavenly Confirmations.

Truly I say thou art a maid servant of the Kingdom of Abha and art engaged in spreading my addresses.

I hope from the favors of His Holiness, the merciful, that thou mayst become confirmed in the guidance of innumerable souls; to awaken those who are asleep, and make those who are deprived the confidants of the mysteries.

Upon thee be Baha El Abha!

    (Signed ) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab.
    August 15th, 1912,
    Dublin, N.H.
To the maid servant of God, Miss Edna McKinney, Boston, Mass.

Upon her be Baha'o'llah El Abha!


O thou my beloved daughter!

Thy detailed letter was received. Its contents portrayed the details of the Feast of Nau Roez. It became the source of infinite joy. Praise be to God that thou art engaged in the service of the Kingdom with an illumined heart, a spirit rejoiced with the Glad Tidings of God and a pure aim. Therefore, rest thou assured that the Breaths of the Holy Spirit shall confirm thee, and day unto day thou shalt become nearer unto the Court of Baha'o'llah and thou shalt obtain greater portion of the Bestowal of Baha'o'llah. I hope that thy tongue may become most eloquent and fluent in teaching the Cause and in the meetings and gatherings thou mayst deliver such addresses as bestow happiness and -beatitude upon the audience!

Upon thee be Baha El Abha!

    (Signed) Abdul-Baha Abbas!
    Translated by M. Ahmad Sohrab,
    May 15, 1913,
    Paris, France.
A portion of a TABLET from HIS HOLINESS ABDUL-BAHA to Mason Remy.

'The friends in Boston are Indeed arising in service. I am pleased with them, am glad of their activities and ever thinking of them and beg for them all from the bounties of GOD assistance and confirmation. Their names are preserved and recorded in the book of the lordly ones in the ABHA KINGDOM. They may rest assured in the Bounty or HIS HOLINESS BAHA'U'LLAH that confirmations shall uninterruptedly descend upon them. I have been greatly affected by the death of Mr. Sanford Kinney. What a lovely child he was. On my behalf tell Mr. & Mrs. Kinney;- Do not grieve, and do not lament. That tender and lovely shrub has been transferred from this world to the rose-garden of the ABHA KINGDOM and that loving dove has flown to the DIVIDE NEST. That candle has been extinguished in this nether world that it may be kindled in the SUPREME CONCOURSE. Ye Shall assuredly meet him face to face in the world of Mysteries in the Great Assemblage of Might!

    Sent to Vatfa & Saffa Kinney
    101 Beach St.,
    Wollaston, Mass.,
Through Mirza Ahmad Sohrab to the Boston Assembly.

Upon them be Bahá'u'lláh el Abha!

O ye friends of Abdul-Baha!

Your letter was received and from its meaning the reality of firmness and steadfastness in the Covenant of God became manifest!

A though you are surrounded by many tests yet i t is hoped that through the Bounties of the Ancient Lord you may become released and free from the limitations of self and walk in the path of the Good pleasure of the Lord!

The first step is for man to put aside his own wish and enter the station of submission and resignation and serve in the Kingdom of God.!

The letter of the Rev. Mr. Campbell was perused. Should he again visit that City, show to him the utmost hospitality and love. I am much pleased on account of this service of yours.!

It is my hope that ye may be enabled to render great service and become the cause of spreading universal peace so that the battlefields of war and strive may be transformed into gatherings of love and reconciliation, kindness and affection!

    (Signed) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab.
    Washington, D.C.
    Jan 27, 1912.
To The maidservant of God, Anise B. Rideout, unto to her be the Glory of God, the Most Glorious,

324 Chestnut Hill Ave.,
Brookline, Mass.
U. S. A.


O thou dear maidservant of God!

Thy letter arrived. Thou hast, very highly, praised Mr. and Mrs. Randall and their eloquent speeches. Those two blessed souls are in reality faithful, attracted to the Kingdom of Abha and firm in the Covenant. Through the bounties of God do I cherish this hope that they will become two active gardeners in the vineyard of God and will become illumined with the light of the Heavenly Confirmations.

O thou maidservant of God! I hope that thou wilt attain to great enthusiasm and rapture; that thou wilt wholly turn into an eloquent tongue, and thou wilt with perfect Joy, play on the harp and raise its melody in this Heavenly Rose-Garden.

Unto thee be the Glory of Abha!

    (Sig.) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Aug. 21, 1920.
    Translated by: Azizullah S. Bahadur,
    Mount Carmel, Palestine
Interview with Abdul-Baha, July 1st. 1912.
Those present:
Miss Maria P. Wilson., Miss Engelhorn
Miss Ella Robarts, Miss Grace Robarts
Mrs. Kate C. Ives
Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and Mirza Ali Kuli Khan
309 West 18th street, New York.
Abdul-Baha, after welcoming the friends said: "I desire to make manifest among the friends of America a New Light, that they may become a new people and that a new foundation shall be established; that concord and harmony may be realized, for the foundation of Bahá'u'lláh is love.

When you go to Green Acre, you must have infinite love for each other, each one preferring the other before himself. The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, 'What happiness exists among you" that the people may see in your faces the Lights of the Kingdom, that the people may wonder at it all, and will turn to you to inquire the cause of your happiness. You must give the message through action and deed, not alone through word. Word must be coupled by deed. You must love your friend better than yourself — yes, be willing to sacrifice yourselves.

The Cause of Baha'o'llah has not yet Appeared in this country.

I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for one another, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Baha'o'llah has been established.

I will pray for you, that you may become the cause of raising the Lights of the Cause of God. May everyone point to you and ask "Why are these people so happy?"

I want you in Green Acre to be happy,. to laugh, smile and rejoice, that all may be made happy by you.

I will pray for you."




Dec. 22, 1921

"Memorial meeting world over Jan. 7 procure prayers for unity and steadfastness Master left full instructions in His will and Testament translation will be sent inform friends.

(Signed) Greatest Holy Leaf"

The Bahais of the world will observe on Jan. 7th, 1923 the day appointed by the Greatest Holy Leaf, the ascension of His Holiness Abdul Baha, and in order that it may be possible for all members of the Assembly to become a part of the spiritual gathering, and for the benefit of those who cannot remain through the night, it has been decided by the Committee of Consultation to extend the unity of the meeting through two periods; the first period from 8 P.M. until 10:30 P.M. and the second period from 11 P.M. until 2 A. M.

The meeting will be held at the home of Mr.& Mrs. Lawrence Culver. 19 Willard St., Cambridge, Mass., and it is hoped that all may be present and as many as are able remain through both periods.

Undoubtedly this gathering will be unique in the history of the Bahai Cause as it will embrace the East and the West and the whole world of the Kingdom upon earth, supplicating through meditation and prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit of the Center of the Covenant.

    Roushan Wilkinson, Secretary.
Upon her be Baha'o'llah el Abha


O thou maid-servant of God!

Thy letter was received. Thou hast written that in view of the questions of violation thou art perturbed. There is no occasion for perturbation for the Blessed Beauty has closed all doors of error and doubt and has entered with all the friends into Covenant and a Testament. beginning first with the Aghsans, the Afnans and the relatives. Explicitly and in a way that shuts out all interpretation He says that after My Ascension, turn your faces toward him who has branched from the Pre-Existent Root, and then He manifestly Says that by him who is branched from the Pre-Existent such a person is meant. In fine. He has appointed the Center of the Covenant as the authority and the Expounder of the Book. Now it must be either said that the Blessed Beauty has done wrong and was ignorant of the fact that this person deserved this station, or obedience should be shown. In brief, it must be either said that the Blessed Beauty was wrong or right, there is no third alternative. And furthermore, through the assistance and the bounty of the Blessed Beauty a power and might has been displayed by the Center of the Covenant that all the contemporary great men and philosophers are amazed, and bear witness to the fact. There should be no occasion therefore for agitation. If, God forbid, a weakness and inability is exhibited, how will Bahai Unity be preserved and how will the Teachings of the Blessed Beauty be promulgated? Will they be promulgated through the senseless words of those who pretend to be philosophers, or through the doubts of the people of violation and lust? In brief, strive thou to remain firm in the Covenant and under the guarding protection of His Highness the Merciful.

Convey on my behalf to the maidservant of God, Miss Wilson, the utmost kindness. Upon thee be Baha el Abha.

    (Signed Abdul-Baha Abbas
    Translated by Shoghie Rabbani
    Haifa, Palestine
    July 18th, 1919.
To the believers of God and the maid servants of the Merciful,

Boston, Mass.

Upon them be Baha'o'llah El Abha!


O ye friends of God and the maid servants of the Merciful!

Truly I say your letter imparted Joy and happiness and it became the means of hopefulness, for it was an evidence to the effect of the exhortations and advices of Abdul-Baha. If a person reads the Hidden Words, the Eshraghat, Tajallayat, the Glad-Tidings the Words and the Tarazat and lives in accord with one of those Divine Advices he shall reach to the station of perfection, he will become the Centre of Merciful susceptibilities, the dawning- place of human virtues and the rays of the Kingdom will become manifest from his face and character.

O ye friends of God!

These advices and exhortations of the Blessed Perfection are revealed from the Supreme Pen in order to be considered as guides for actions and not to be only read. There are many people who read these tablets, praise their contents, but they do not live according to one of those words. Now praise be to God that you are moved by the exhortations of Abdul-Baha and are attracted and are highly resolved to live in accord with those advices.

Therefore strive ye so that the Lights of the Exhortations of the Blessed Perfection may shine from the lamps of your hearts, casting the heavenly splendor upon all the organs of the body and the signs or severance and attraction with the Love of God may become evident and manifest from your faces and dispositions.

Day and night I am praying and beg for each one of you Divine Confirmations and seek sublime Assistance - so that all of you become heavenly and the Lights of the Kingdom of Abha may illumine your hearts and souls.

Upon ye be Baha el Abha!

    (Signed) Abdul-Baha Abbas.
    Translated by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab,
    July 13th, 1914.
    Home of Abdul-Baha, Mount Carmel, Haifa. Syria.
Tablet to Boston

"Thy letter contained most cheering good news and indicated the oneness of the spiritual state that exists among the believers. His Holiness Baha'o'llah - may my life be a ransom to His believers! - spent the days of His Life amidst infinite hardships and afflictions. He quaffed from every cup of trials and tasted every poison of persecution, so that the Flag of the Oneness of the world of humanity might wave over all the regions, especially among the believers. Now, because in Boston the candle of Unity and concord is ignited, it has become the means of the commendation of the dwellers of the Kingdom of Abha and the cause of the happiness of my heart. I hope that through the bestowals of the Beauty of Abha this love and unity may become more revealed day by day, the rays of the Sun of Reality may become more inter-penetrative, confirming thee to become the bright candle of the assemblage of Unity and assisting thee to raise the call of the Kingdom of God.

"The friends of God must sacrifice their lives for sake of each other, to such an extent that the people may become astonished and exclaim - what love and unity flow from the hearts of the Bahá'ís for one another."

    - From Ahmad's Diary letters,
    April 17, 1914.
Malden House
68 High St.
Malden, Mass.

About the middle of August 1912, while He was visiting Green Acre, Abdul-Baha sent forth word that He would like the use of a house for a short time where, as He was very weary. He wished to rest - preferably a house on a hill.

Needless to say there were numerous offers from mansions to humble cottages. Among those offered was the house of Miss. Maria P. Wilson, in Malden, Massachusetts. This is a small house of six rooms and a large, unfinished attic. This was filled with army cots. There were nine men in all. However, this house was accepted at once, a room was found in the neighborhood for Valli Ullah Khan, a young and very charming Persian who spoke English.

Abdul-Baha found this little house restful. He spoke of it afterwards as a "little Paradise."

During the time He spent in Malden, hundreds of visitors presented themselves from far and near. Many confirmations took place, notably, Mr. William H. Randall, Dr. and Mrs. Walter B. Guy, Mrs. Whalley, Mrs. Mary St. Laurentz, and many others.

Mr. Fred Mortensen was in Green Acre, Abdul-Baha took him in his car with Him and invited him to remain with Him in this house for one week. He also was confirmed in the Malden house and received instructions from the Master regarding his future relative to earning his living.

During the short time Abdul-Baha was living in the Malden house the seal of Abdul-Baha was stolen.

From this house He visited some of the believers. He went to the house of a believer in Medford, Massachusetts, and healed the wife of this man of tubercules, the only person in America for whom this was done.

In this old worn house, our Blessed Master has left the imprint of His devotion and love. In all America, there is no other house which remains exactly the same as when He lived in it. It is truly a Shrine, where one may if he seek, find spiritual solace.

Malden showed no interest - churches were closed for the summer and despite the fact that Miss Wilson tried many places, only one house was opened, that of Mrs. Herbert Morey, a musician, an advanced Rosicrucian. More than one hundred people assembled in this spacious home. The Master spoke for one hour on the History of the Bahá'í Cause. Mrs. Morey accepted the Revelation.

Just before Abdul-Baha left this house He had a talk with Miss Wilson, telling her to keep the house as long as she lived, to plant shrubs and trees, make a garden beautify the outside of the house, but leave the interior of the house as it was. Miss Wilson was an old lady and not able to follow exactly the instructions regarding the garden. She began, but as the war came on she was obliged to rent the place and live in smaller quarters. After the war she returned to the house, living there until her death which occurred in Malden, sleeping always in the room occupied by Abdul-Baha, passing away in the same room in November 16, 1928.

I promised Miss Wilson to forward to Shoghi Effendi the original Tablets with the translations, but before sending them to copy the translations which I did.

When it seemed that a good many believers were not able to understand about keeping the house, a short article with a copy of the translations was sent to Mr. Horace Holley, which was printed in the News Letter, and I received thanks from many of the friends, and of course, if this had not been correct Shoghi Effendi would have corrected any statement which was not right. This did not happen.

Miss Wilson originally willed the house to Abdul-Baha. As she outlived the Master, she, bearing in mind His command that "the mention of God must always be raised from it," willed the house to Shoghi Effendi.

It would be my desire to have a proper statement placed near the front door of the house on the outside. This is merely a suggestion.

Miss Wilson originally willed the house to Abdul Baha. As she outlived the Master, she, bearing in mind His command that "the mention of God must always be raised from it," willed the house to Shoghi Effendi.

It would be my desire to have a proper statement placed near the front door of the house on the outside. This is merely a suggestion.

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