Past PHS LIVE: Presbyterian Mission in Persia and the Life of John Haskell Shedd | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Past PHS LIVE: Presbyterian Mission in Persia and the Life of John Haskell Shedd

April 10, 2024

On April 4, Executive Director Nancy J. Taylor was joined by Dr. Hooman Estelami and descendants of John Haskell Shedd for a discussion on the history of Presbyterian missions in Persia.

John Haskell Shedd served as a missionary in the city of Urmia in Northwestern Persia beginning in 1859. During his time in Urmia, Shedd methodically recorded his observations and experiences as he conducted missionary work among Christian populations in the Turco-Persian border region during the late nineteenth century.

Following a presentation on the first community of Presbyterian missionaries based in the city of Urmia, descendants of John Haskell Shedd will discuss their experience discovering an original manuscript about the life of Shedd and their efforts to publish the biography in 2023.

Click the video below to watch the session.

Learn more about the Presbyterian missionary in the city of Urmia through the traveling exhibit Assyrians from Persia (Iran) to the United States, 1887-1923.

Assyrians are the last Aramaic-speaking ethnic community indigenous to a homeland between Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Their communities were transformed by missionary education beginning in the 19th century, but documenting this history through Assyrian voices has proven elusive in the wake of their displacement. This exhibit's unique collection of papers and objects from the Lake Urmia region (Iran), documents the life, travels, and education of one Assyrian-Iranian family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The letters, journal, historic images, passport, and currency that form the exhibit are intended to highlight the importance of archiving and preserving family-held documents that enhance deeper understanding of the modern evolution of social and cultural change, especially among indigenous minority populations.

Exhibit Dates: March 21 - April 30, 2024
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9am-4pm

Learn more about the exhibit.

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