Lot 279 of 429:
Amer. woman missionary to Ottoman Turkey fears “deceitful" Arabs  

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Fiancee of American missionary to Ottoman Turkey (Iraq) fears “deceitful, oppressed and morally degraded” Arabs - letter

Peck, Julia White

New York


March 19, 1851


Autograph Letter Signed,. 4pp.+ stampless address leaf. To her future mother-in-law, Mrs. Henry Marsh, wife of a St. Louis lawyer. The 21 year-old fiancée of a Protestant missionary to Ottoman Turkey looked ahead with trepidation to joining her future husband in what is now the oil-rich city of Mosul in northern Iraq. 

All that she knew of her destination came from letters from her intended, Rev. Dwight Marsh, and from long talks with another missionary who had just  returned from Mosul, Beirut and Aleppo after years among “a people where habits and morals are so much inferior to ours. He told much of the moral degradation, the deceitfulness, ingratitude of the Arabs, of the low condition of our own sex. Oh it is a dark picture and one which make a woman cling to the delightful privilege of her own sweet home in America and shrink from mingling with oppressed and degraded beings”, only one of whom had converted after the missionaries’ long labors. “I do not look forward to a life of ease, I expect trials but I do think I can trust Christ for grace equal to each days need. I do hope to be of some use as a member of the Mission.at Mosul and I am full of joy and gratitude in the hope of being in so interesting and hopeful field…”

Rev. Marsh returned to the United States briefly the following year, just long enough to marry Julia, who returned with him to Mosul. A son was born to them , but both the child and the mother died in Mosul in 1859.

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