Israel: c. 1900. An albumen photograph taken by photographers of the American Colony. The American Colony was founded by the Spafford family in Jerusalem in 1881, with a second wave arriving in 1896, which believed that its work would expedite the Second Coming of Christ. The utopian Christian sect devoted themselves to the people of Jerusalem, caring for the sick, and setting up soup kitchens and schools with the aim of ensuring their salvation through charitable work.
Anna & Horatio Spafford had suffered business losses in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. By 1873, the family had recovered and were to celebrate Christmas in Paris. Horatio was detained and Anna sailed with their four daughters from New York. Their ship sank in a collision with another mid-Atlantic, with the loss of all four girls, only Anna surviving. Horatio rushed to meet his wife in Wales. On his transatlantic crossing, he wrote the verses that were to become the hymn "It is Well With My Soul". By 1881, their faith led the Spaffords to establish the American Colony in Jerusalem. Elijah Meyers, a member of the colony, began taking photographs in Jerusalem of places and important events, including the visit of Wilhelm II. This endeavor turned out to be quite profitable, and photography was incorporated into the society's fundraising efforts. Meyer first headed the photographic division: he was followed by Lewis Larsson, who traveled extensively in the Middle East from 1903 - 1910.
This image is one of Larsson's from his travels. 8 1/2 x 10 3/4", with a number and a title in English, German and French. Lower right corner chipped. Otherwise very good condition. Item #27834