The Nestorians; Or, The Lost Tribes. Containing evidence of their identity, an account of their manners, customs, and ceremonies, together with sketches of travel in ancient Assyria, Armenia, Media, and Mesopotamia, and illustrations of scripture prophecy.

Grant, Asahel.

Book ID: 873


Small 8vo. x, 385 pp., [11], frontispiece map torn with loss, a facsimile of the map is provided, contemporary cloth, rubbed & soiled, foxing throughout, appendices, inscription verso front cover, Harper & Brothers, New York, first American edition, 1841.


This is one of the most interesting of the many accounts produced by missionaries in the Levant. After Smith’s and Dwight’s account of their travels in Persia in 1831 it was decided to undertake a mission to the Nestorians which would include a physician. Grant and his wife arrived in Turkey in 1835 and travelled overland 700 miles to Tabriz on the border between Persia and Turkey, east of Lake Urmiah. The mission itself was established in Urmiah, west of the lake and at the foot of the mountainous region which separates Lake Van from Lake Urmiah. In 1839 Grant made a dangerous journey into this region in order to find the independent Nestorians, whom he believed to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. In 1840 he returned to the States and arranged for his book to be published, but he soon went back to Persia to establish a mission at Ashitha (Asheta), in the middle of Kurdistan, for the mountain Nestorians. The attention thus drawn to these people may have created tensions between them and the Kurds; they were massacred by the Kurds in 1843. Grant managed to escape to Mosul, where he died in 1844 of a fever while ministering to refugees.
Bibliographic references: Blackmer 721 for 1842 edition; Bevis 84.

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