The Pilgrim’s Notes of Thornton Chase
Kalimát Press, New Edition.
To visit ‘Akká–that was the ardent desire of every early American Bahá’í. And there, to “attain the presence of the Master.”
This is the account written by Thornton Chase, designated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “first” American Bahá’í, of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1907. This is one of the few pilgrim’s notes–Juliet Thompson’s book is another– that gives a well-written narrative description of the journey. The book is also notable for the high quality of the photographs of the Holy Land that Chase was able to publish. These photos are reproduced in the book.
Chase, along with a few other American Bahá’ís, had their pilgrimage tragically cut short when the governor of Beirut was notified of their visit. They spent only four days in ‘Akká. Nonetheless, Chase was transformed. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá himself recalled that during his pilgrimage, Chase “became free from the troubles of this world.”
You must read this poignant and heart-warming memoir.