239 Days in America, Day 128: August 16, 1912 | Dublin

Five Hundred Welcome ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Green Acre 1

In 1912, a flagpole made from two ship’s masts rose from the grounds to a height of eighty-five feet. It flew a white flag, thirty-six feet wide, the word “PEACE” emblazoned across it in large green letters. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá could see it from the seat of his automobile. He had left Dublin, New Hampshire, at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 16, 1912, with three of his secretaries and Mr. Alfred Lunt, a New England lawyer. The party stopped for lunch in Nashua, arriving in Eliot in the afternoon. At last the car descended from the main road to the Inn on the river, over a long driveway that had been dressed on both sides with a thousand multicolored Japanese lanterns. Five hundred people waited to receive ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

New Hampshire 2

The next day, Friday, August 16, Abdu’l-Bahá left Dublin at 10:00 A. M., had lunch at Nashua, New Hampshire, and reached Green Acre, in Eliot, Maine, in the afternoon.

Green Acre 3

Abdu’l-Bahá stayed at Green Acre for one week. The school had been founded by Sarah Farmer and her father as a center for educational exchange; to it came spiritualists, philosophers, artists, and educators. When Abdu’l-Bahá arrived, the way to the main building was decked with multicolored lanterns. Five hundred people were waiting.

Talk at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine 4

Real love is the love which exists between God and His servants, the love which binds together holy souls. This is the love of the spiritual world, not the love of physical bodies and organisms. For example, consider and observe how the bestowals of God successively descend upon mankind, how the divine effulgences ever shine upon the human world. There can be no doubt that these bestowals, these bounties, these effulgences emanate from love. Unless love be the divine motive, it would be impossible for the heart of man to attain or receive them. Unless love exists, the divine blessing could not descend upon any object or thing. Unless there be love, the recipient of divine effulgence could not radiate and reflect that effulgence upon other objects. If we are of those who perceive, we realize that the bounties of God manifest themselves continuously, even as the rays of the sun unceasingly emanate from the solar center. The phenomenal world through the resplendent effulgence of the sun is radiant and bright. In the same way the realm of hearts and spirits is illumined and resuscitated through the shining rays of the Sun of Reality and the bounties of the love of God. Thereby the world of existence, the kingdom of hearts and spirits, is ever quickened into life. Were it not for the love of God, hearts would be inanimate, spirits would wither, and the reality of man would be bereft of the everlasting bestowals.

Friday, August 16, 1912 5

At dawn, while we were still in bed, we heard the Master sweetly chanting a prayer. We at once got up, went to Him and were served tea and refreshments from the all-bountiful Sághí. He instructed us to collect our belongings and prepare to leave. Around 10:00 a.m. Mr [Alfred E. Lunt’s automobile arrived and the Master left Dublin. En route He had lunch at Nashua, New Hampshire, and after a little rest continued on His journey. We reached Green Acre in the afternoon where more than five hundred people were waiting for Him. Both sides of the entrance had been decorated with multicolored lanterns and a festive reception awaited His arrival.

After a short rest, the Master entered the main room of the Inn and gave a brief talk about the investigation of truth. From there He went to the home of Miss Farmer, the founder of the Green Acre Society. This distinguished lady was revived by His visit and although she was not feeling well, she accompanied the Master back to the Inn.

In the evening at the hotel, in response to questions from the audience, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá delivered a most impressive address on the love of God, the immortality of the spirit and the divine teachings. Everyone was deeply moved and their hearts were transformed.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

A crowd of more than 500 people welcomes ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Green Acre

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 16 1912


  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Five Hundred Welcome ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Green Acre.” 239 Days in America, 16 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/16/five-hundred-welcome-abdul-baha-to-green-acre/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 123.
  3. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 125.
  4. 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, 256. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/19#582917379
  5. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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=6#section145

239 Days in America, Day 127: August 15, 1912 | Dublin

The Sun Sets on Dublin 1

THE SUN SETS ON Dublin Lake, illuminating the eastern shore. The boathouse is now quiet, just the lapping of the water can be heard, the buzzing of mosquitoes, and the occasional sound of the loon.

It is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last day in Dublin. …

Agnes and some friends, and all the Persians have been at the Pumpelly’s home, called “On the Heights,” having dinner and telling stories. “Now let me tell you an Arabian story,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says, “It isn’t going to be a sermon.”

“This he did, to the accompaniment of peals of laughter, repeated again and again,” Agnes Parsons writes. “Needless to say ‘Abdu’l-Bahá brought out every subtle point in the brilliant story, and the mental picture of this beautiful Oriental telling the story with all the enthusiasm of the storytellers of old, is one never to be forgotten.”

Soon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rises; the Cabot children cling to him as he leaves. They do not let go until he is in the motor. On the way home Agnes thanks him for making the evening so special. He looks at her and asks, “Now are you all pleased with me?”

New Hampshire 2

On Abdu’l-Bahá’s last full day in Dublin, His 127th day in America, He said to the crowd, in reviewing all the meetings He had held there, “‘I have explained every question for you, delivered to you the message of God, opened the mysteries of the Books of God before you, established the immortality of the spirit and the nonperishability of the single elements, and explained for you the economic questions and divine teachings.’”

When they asked Him to stay longer, He replied, “‘ … I must go to Green Acre and other places. I must raise the voice of the Kingdom in all places. As the days of My life are limited in this world, I must go to many places and raise My voice to deliver the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Abhá.’”

Thursday, August 15, 1912 3

Today was the Master’s last day in Dublin. Mrs Parsons had asked a large number to attend and had invited the best musicians to play the piano and sing at the beginning of the meeting. The Master sat in an adjoining room enjoying the music. There was such a crowd in the large drawing room that although rows of chairs had been arranged, no seating was available. The Master entered the room to give His last talk in Dublin:

“I have explained every question for you, delivered to you the message of God, expounded the mysteries of the divine Books for you, proved the immortality of the spirit and oneness of truth and expounded for you economic questions and divine teachings.”

As this was His last address everyone came to shake His hand and offer his or her thanks before leaving His presence. Mrs Parsons said that the people were usually happy but because they knew ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was leaving they were sad and wanted to prolong His stay.

He replied, ‘I, too, wished to stay longer but I must go to Green Acre and other places. I must raise the call of the Kingdom in all places. The days of my life in this world are limited, so I must pass through all regions and announce the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Abhá.’

‘Abdu’l-Bahá spent the day saying farewell to many eminent people. After the afternoon meeting, one of the believers, Miss Knobloch, with His permission took several photographs of Him with these servants.

The automobile was ready and He was driven to the home of a friend where a meeting was held. The people were very enthusiastic and inebriated with love and affection. After speaking to them briefly and narrating a few stories, He left.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last day in Dublin, NH

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 15 1912


  1. Menon, Morella. “The Sun Sets on Dublin.” 239 Days in America, 15 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/15/the-sun-sets-on-dublin/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 123.
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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=6#section144

239 Days in America, Day 124: August 12, 1912 | Dublin

August 12, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

IT’S BEEN A RESTFUL, yet eventful few weeks for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Dublin, New Hampshire, but it’s time to make the ninety mile trip eastward to his next stop in Eliot, Maine.

In the week ahead, the sun sets on Dublin Lake, we take a look at “spiritual cravings,” and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrives at Green Acre.

Monday, August 12, 1912 2

A group of Dublin residents had a picnic on the shore of Lake Dublin and invited the Master and His entourage to join them. After sitting for awhile viewing the surroundings, the Master went for a short walk. Upon His return He went to the table and ate sweets and sherbet with the friends. He was pleased to see the simplicity of the repast and to feel the sincerity and warmth of the people.

In the afternoon a large gathering of people came to hear Him. They asked Him to speak on the immortality of the spirit. Everyone was so pleased, happy and filled with admiration that one by one each came to shake His hand and to express his or her gratitude. The Master’s talk was so much appreciated that for many days afterwards He was asked to speak on the immortality of the spirit, economics and the new teachings. At each meeting He spoke on subjects He had already elucidated and on new topics, which greatly increased the admiration of the audience.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

Having a picnic with the friends

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 12, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “August 12, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 12 Aug. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/08/12/august-12-1912-the-week-ahead/.
  2. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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=6#section141

239 Days in America, Day 115: August 03, 1912 | Dublin

“Get the Races to Intermarry” 1

IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, a boathouse of large dimensions, tucked into the trees on the shore of Dublin Lake. Water is lapping at the pylons which support it, rooted into the lake bed. It is built of natural wood and has a dock for the boat to moor. Perhaps there are some chairs or benches and the comforting smell of wood and rope.

It is Saturday, August 4, 1912, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is meeting with the servants of the summer residents of Dublin. They are mostly black. Their names will vanish from history because they were never recorded. They are known only by the names of their employers, such as Parsons’ cook and Cabots’ maid.

Now imagine ‘Abdu’l-Bahá making an announcement, and the boathouse going quiet in astonishment.

Louise Mathew had been astonished when he had told her, too. She had first heard about it on the steamer to America, but hadn’t quite grasped what he meant. In fact, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been planning for this moment for more than two years.

Louise Mathew was born in England to wealthy parents. She did not marry, but instead she enrolled into one of the women’s colleges in Cambridge University, where she studied economics, languages, and voice. She was into middle age before she went on pilgrimage to Alexandria to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It was here that Louise met Louis Gregory. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had delayed Gregory’s pilgrimage to make sure the two of them arrived at the same time.

New Hampshire 2

While still in the Holy Land, Abdu’l-Bahá, in the presence of Miss Louisa Mathew of England and Mr. Louis G. Gregory, had noted that interracial marriage was a good way to overcome racial differences. On August 3, at a large meeting held near the Dublin River, He spoke of their forthcoming marriage. Mahmúd recorded:

When He mentioned the matrimony of Miss Mathew, a white woman, with Mr. Gregory, a colored man, which was going to take place … in the course of a few days, the white persons were astonished to see the influence of the Cause and the colored ones were pleased. Incidents like this were little less than miracles; in fact the splitting of the moon into two pieces seemed an easier accomplishment in the eyes of the Americans.

Saturday, August 3, 1912 3

While a few of us were discussing the Master’s explanations and the simplicity and decisiveness of His talks, He said to us:

“The explanations must be adapted to the capacity of the hearers and suited to the exigency of the time. Beauty of style, moderation in delivery and suitability of words and meanings are necessary. It is not only a matter of uttering words. In ‘Akká, Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí would hear me speak and would repeat my words exactly on other occasions but he did not understand that a thousand wisdoms and ingredients other than speech are necessary. In the days of Baghdád and Sulaymáníyyih, Shaykh ‘Abdu’l-Husayn was told that the Blessed Beauty was attracting the Kurds to Himself by quoting Súfí and gnostic terms. This poor Shaykh obtained a copy of the Futúhát-i-Makkíyyih [Conquests of Mecca] and committed its passages to memory. But wherever he quoted them, he saw that none lent an ear to him. He was greatly puzzled as to why people did not listen to him. The Blessed Beauty said, ‘Tell the Shaykh that We are not in the habit of reading the Conquests of Mecca (Futúhát-i-Makkíyyih) but We impart to them the verses of True Civilization. We are not propounding the writings of the Shaykh [Ibn al-‘Arabí], we are propounding the Holy Writ.”

In the afternoon He spoke about how the secondary laws of religions change in every age according to the exigencies of the time and the harmfulness of the materialistic world and the benefit of religion. The meeting ended with a series of sincere questions and answers.

Talk to Theosophical Society, The Kensington, Exeter and Boylston Streets, Boston, Massachusetts, 24 July 1912 4

Consider man while in the state of sleep; it is evident that all his parts and members are at a standstill, are functionless. His eye does not see, his ear does not hear, his feet and hands are motionless; but, nevertheless, he does see in the world of dreams, he does hear, he speaks, he walks, he may even fly in an airplane. Therefore, it becomes evident that though the body be dead, yet the spirit is alive and permanent. Nay, the perceptions may be keener when man’s body is asleep, the flight may be higher, the hearing may be more acute; all the functions are there, and yet the body is at a standstill. Hence it is proof that there is a spirit in the man, and in this spirit there is no distinction as to whether the body be asleep or absolutely dead and dependent. The spirit is not incapacitated by these conditions; it is not bereft of its existence; it is not bereft of its perfections. The proofs are many, innumerable.

These are all rational proofs. Nobody can refute them. As we have shown that there is a spirit and that this spirit is permanent and everlasting, we must strive to learn of it. May you become informed of its power, hasten to render it divine, to have it become sanctified and holy and make it the very light of the world illumining the East and the West.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

The effectiveness of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Talks

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 3, 1912


  1. Menon, Morella. “‘Get the Races to Intermarry.’” 239 Days in America, 3 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/03/get-the-races-to-intermarry/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 120-121.
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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/zarqanimahmudsdiary&chapter=6#section132
  4. 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, 243. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/17#732392254

239 Days in America, Day 114: August 02, 1912 | Dublin

Being Black in the Progressive Era 1

LOUIS GREGORY INHALED THE sea air as his ship broke from the shore. He was leaving America, crossing the same throes of the Atlantic his African ancestors had — but Louis Gregory was unchained. It was March 25, 1911, and he was on his way to Alexandria, Egypt, to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It was here, in the middle of the ocean, Gregory later said, that he finally felt truly “American.”

Shortly after arriving in Alexandria, Louis Gregory met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “If it be possible, gather together these two races, black and white, into one assembly,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told him, “and put such love into their hearts that they shall not only unite but even intermarry.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s solution to the American race problem seemed to be far more fundamental than the political deals that had been struck — and had failed — since Reconstruction.

Friday, August 2, 1912

A meeting for blacks was held near Lake Dublin. At this gathering the Master delivered an eloquent address regarding unity and amity between blacks and whites. He spoke of the approaching wedding of Miss [Louisa] Mathew, a white woman, and Mr [Louis] Gregory, a black man, which is to take place shortly in Washington DC. The white people in the audience were astonished to see the influence of the Cause and the blacks were pleased. Incidents like these are little less than miracles; in fact, ‘splitting the moon in half‘ would be an easier accomplishment in the eyes of the Americans. This meeting was full of joy.

The guests rejoiced when the Master returned to Mr and Mrs Parsons’s home. His words made a deep impression. He spoke on the oneness of the basic principles of the religions of God and the unity of His Manifestations. When questioned about Muhammad, the Prophet of God, His proofs were clear and persuasive and his arguments decisive, uplifting every downcast heart. Everyone testified to the convincing nature of His argument and the greatness of this Cause. About Islam some seemed restrained but no one uttered a dissenting word. 2

Talk to Theosophical Society, The Kensington, Exeter and Boylston Streets, Boston, Massachusetts, 24 July 1912 3

When you wish to reflect upon or consider a matter, you consult something within you. You say, shall I do it, or shall I not do it? Is it better to make this journey or abandon it? Whom do you consult? Who is within you deciding this question? Surely there is a distinct power, an intelligent ego. Were it not distinct from your ego, you would not be consulting it. It is greater than the faculty of thought. It is your spirit which teaches you, which advises and decides upon matters. Who is it that interrogates? Who is it that answers? There is no doubt that it is the spirit and that there is no change or transformation in it, for it is not a composition of elements, and anything that is not composed of elements is eternal. Change and transformation are peculiarities of composition. There is no change and transformation in the spirit. In proof of this, the body may become weakened in its members. It may be dismembered, or one of its members may be incapacitated. The whole body may be paralyzed; and yet the mind, the spirit, remains ever the same. The mind decides; the thought is perfect; and yet the hand is withered, the feet have become useless, the spinal column is paralyzed, and there is no muscular movement at all, but the spirit is in the same status. Dismember a healthy man; the spirit is not dismembered. Amputate his feet; his spirit is there. He may become lame; the spirit is not affected. The spirit is ever the same; no change or transformation can you perceive, and because there is no change or transformation, it is everlasting and permanent.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

Need for unity and amity between blacks and whites – announcing upcoming interracial marriage

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

August 2, 1912


  1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda, and Jonathan Menon. “Being Black in the Progressive Era.” 239 Days in America, 2 Aug. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/08/02/the-ups-and-downs-of-being-black-in-the-progressive-era/.
  2. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. 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=6#section131
  3. 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, 242-243. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/17#722543803