Dawnings of light in the East: with biblical, historical, and statistical notices of persons and places visited during a mission to the Jews, in Persia, Coordistan, and Mesopotamia.

Stern, Henry Aaron 1820-1885.

Book ID: 9070


8vo. x, 278 pp., [1 adverts], 3 tinted lithographs plates including a frontispiece, 1 folding plate, original decorated gilt cloth, faded and soiled, all edges gilt, from Bath Public Library with usual blindstamps and label verso front cover, small cut out at top corner of front endpaper, light foxing and small damp stain to lower margin of first 2 leaves, otherwise copy in good condition, Charles H. Purday, London, first edition, 1854.


Henry Aaron Stern (1820 – 1885), missionary of Jewish origins. Early in 1844 he was appointed a missionary to the Jews in Asia Minor, and sailed to Palestine. In the same year he began to work as a missionary to the Jews in Baghdad, Hillah, Basrah, Iran and the Gulf. In 1847 he made a tour through the cities of Persia and returned to England in 1849. In June 1850, he returned to Baghdad and remained until 1853. In July 1856 he made a missionary tour among the Jews who live in the interior of Arabia, returning in the following January to Constantinople, where he stayed until 1859.
In this work, Stern described his journey in September 1844 from Damascus to Palmyra, Baghdad, Babylon, Najaf and Basra. He sailed in the Spring of 1848 to Bushire and the Arab Gulf, in the Vessel (Clive), of the East India Company. The objective of this journey according to Stern was to study the possibility of sending Christian missionaries to “ places where the foot of the missionary had never trod.” Stern wrote daily entries of this cruise. His first stop was at Bahrein where he met Sheikh Muhammad bin Khalifa and his brother Sheikh Ali. Stern describes the meeting, and the conflict between Sheikh Muhamed and his uncle Abdallah Ibn Ahmad. He also describes Manama, Mubaraz, Arad, and the pearls fishery, ‘ from which the great revenue comes.” In Bahrein Stern decided to travel to Arabia, saying “ From what I personally observed [ in Bahrein] and experienced, and from reports and informations I obtained from the natives, I’m led to suppose that Arabia must be a vast and promising field for missionary enterprise’. In fact, Stern travelled later to Arabia and produced his book” Journal of a Missionary Journey Into Arabia Felix” (London 1858.)
From Bahrein Stern cruised to the bay of Magood, “ which contains about hundred and fifty houses, and many tents and entirely inhabited by the Wahabees, who caused few years ago great trouble to the Sultan and the Viceroy of Egypt….. Abdul Wahab, the founder of the sect, may be regarded as the first reformer of Islamism, in the heart of Arabia.” DNB, Ghani 353; Not in Blackmer.

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