239 Days in America, Day 6: April 16, 1912 | New York, NY

The Aftermath of the Titanic Disaster 1

One night a few days later he [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] spoke of the ship to an audience in Washington, DC, where the Senate hearings into the disaster had just begun. “Within the last few days a terrible event has happened in the world,” he said, “an event saddening to every heart and grieving every spirit.” “A number of beautiful souls passed beyond this earthly life.”

Talk at Hotel Ansonia to Bahá’í Friends of New Jersey, Broadway and Seventy-third Street, New York

A much greater difficulty confronts us today when we endeavor to establish unity between the Orient and the Occident. Bahá’u’lláh through the power of heaven has brought the East and the West together. Erelong we shall know that they have been cemented by the power of God. The oneness of the kingdom of humanity will supplant the banner of conquest, and all communities of the earth will gather under its protection. No nation with separate and restricted boundaries—such as Persia, for instance—will exist. The United States of America will be known only as a name. Germany, France, England, Turkey, Arabia—all these various nations will be welded together in unity. When the people of the future are asked, “To which nationality do you belong?” the answer will be, “To the nationality of humanity. I am living under the shadow of Bahá’u’lláh. I am the servant of Bahá’u’lláh. I belong to the army of the Most Great Peace.” The people of the future will not say, “I belong to the nation of England, France or Persia”; for all of them will be citizens of a universal nationality—the one family, the one country, the one world of humanity—and then these wars, hatreds and strifes will pass away. 2

First Days in America: New York City 3

As the crowds kept coming to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mahmúd noted, “The friends and inquirers continued coming from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. There was always a group sitting outside waiting for their turn. If granted a private interview by Him of only five minutes, they considered themselves greatly favored.”

Saturday, April 16, 1912

The public meeting today was held at the home of Mr [Arthur Pillsbury] Dodge. After lunch, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke on the subject of the unity of nations brought about by the power of God, the influence of the words of Bahá’u’lláh and the ascendancy of His Cause. Because a large number of people were present, they entered through one door and, after greeting the Master, shaking His hand and seeking His blessings, left by another. Some were tearful while others were smiling and elated, asking for His assistance that they might be successful in teaching and in serving the Cause. This was the state of the people at all the public meetings. If I were to write about this in detail, it would take many volumes. 4

  1. Menon, Jonathan. “The Aftermath of the Titanic Disaster.” 239 Days in America, April 16, 2012. https://239days.com/2012/04/16/aftermath/.
  2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 18-19. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/2#508818977
  3. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 25-26.
  4. Mahmud-i-Zarqani, Mirza. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=2#section23

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