Volume XIII · Spring 1958 · Number 3
Trip to Syria, 1855
HENRY A. WARD
[In conjunction with the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the founding of Israel, on April 25, 1958, an exhibit was placed on display in the lower foyer of Rush Rhees Library, the theme of which was American interest in Palestine and the Holy Land in the nineteenth century. Many American travellers in the Near East were then, as now, inspired by a desire to see the places associated with the birth of Christianity, some were in search of scientific information, others were merely in search of adventure. The published accounts of their travels formed the basis for the exhibit. In addition to books we were able to display a few manuscripts: letters written from Palestine by visitors, and a diary kept by Henry Augustus Ward, young Rochesterian, who travelled through Egypt, the Syrian Desert, Palestine, and the eastern Mediterranean area in the spring and summer of 1855, in company with Charles Wadsworth, of Geneseo.
Ward, then only twenty-one years of age, revealed in this closely written, penciled notebook a keen observation of men and events, of natural phenomena and historic settings. He recorded them in his diary in schoolboy fashion, with little regard for the niceties of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The diary is, nonetheless, an entertaining account, and reveals the existence of bitter strife among the religious and racial groups, and poverty and hardships among the inhabitants such as still exist today. The discomforts of travel, which he accepted without complaint, would seem forbidding to the twentieth-century American. Portions of the diary which relate to the Syrian Desert and Palestine follow.--Margaret Butterfield]
We cross the large sandy Wady Serf and ascend the mountain on the opposite side from the summit of which we see the Red Sea. We camp under shelving rocks for lunch. One of the baggage camels got exhausted coming up the mountain. We follow several low gullies and camp at night by a spring. I follow the chasm for some distance, seeing tanks of water, geodes of calc., spar., soda, common salt, etc. Wady Arish. View of chalk strata (?) in the distance like snow bordering the foot of the mountains. Chalk formation in the valley. Rabbits, partridges, etc. Immediately on the sun's setting the wind comes up stealing across the desert like a dark fog. We reach the tent by light which they suspend in an acacia. One is easily lost at night on the desert. The subsequent moonlight. Wady Arish is smooth gravel and pleasant. We travel in the morning and stop in the middle of the day on account of the heat. The Bedouins thrust their heads in under our tents to avoid the sun's rays. We pass many high cliffs of chalk with chert near the top. One of them has been so abraded as to leave nothing but an abrupt cone in the middle of the desert. We reach Nikel very late. Nikel has a citadel and tanks for the accommodation of pilgrims to Mecca. I visit the citadel and see the governor. Bedouins bring herds of camels to water at a huge well.
/ Sunday. / We leave late as the governor claims from our Bedouins a sum (112 piastres) which another of their family owes him for a camel. They pay a part (60 p.) We continue our journey with the Towara tribe because the Tzaha on two days notice did not appear. We take a man from Nikel as a witness of the fact in case we should meet any Tzaha. See a Jerboa (?). Pass over chalk rock for many miles. The camp stops early and in the evening, we have a heavy thunderstorm. The ground is very wet and slippery for some distance and then all is dry. The desert is covered with flints from the rock formerly there and blackened by the sun's rays (?). Pass large patch of snails on bushes. The mirage is quite distinct. The desert spreads out like an ocean on either side while we pass from hill to hill. We meet a Tzaha taking wheat from Gazar to Nikel. Camp in Wady Gerish. We cross many dry beds of brooks with bushes on either side. We lunch in one of them. Most of them flow to the north. We get belated and our Bedouins will not let us sing or whistle as we pass by starlight between many steep hills. We follow the deep bed of a brook for a few miles when the Shekh of a family of the Tzaha's stops us as transgressors on his territory. He has a long white beard, a ben[ign] countenance, a gun and long handled hatchet. The camels are stopped by four others and we sit in a circle and after a long confab we prove our right and are let off by taking one man with a camel as guide etc.
When we first meet, the shekhs of either party touch their temples three times and make the sound of kissing. The men of the same tribe do the same, but with the others merely shake hands. After the territory matter is finished a Tzaha with a gun (barrel) four to six feet long demands of my Bedouin $1 still due on a camel which he sold one of his family. Supported by his party he tries to take in lieu of the sum (which "Dochiel" had refused) his sword, and protect it, but he refuses with disdain. Being likely to be overcome he ties a knot in the tarboosh tassel of one (Tzaha) signifying that he commits his cause to him for settling. After some talk it is agreed that Dochiel pays the $1, but if it has (as Dochiel pleads) been already paid for him to the governor at Nikel, our guide is to return it. That being all settled we start, but having gone a short distance another overtakes us and claims of another man (Salim) $1.25 due on a camel which he sold one of his family. Salim denies that it is one of his family who owes it and demands that it shall be referred to the Shekh. He, having taken the powder flask from either party as a pledge of being paid for his services and Salim's cloak as a pledge that he will abide by the decision, holds a long examination in most beautiful accents. Salim having sworn that the debtor is not of his family is acquitted and at once pulls the long beard of the Shekh as much as to say "Oh most wonderful judge." Salim receives his cloak and each pays the Shekh five piastres and receives his powder flask. A Bedouin then claims that the camels have eaten his oats near by, but the Shekh tells him to be still and after all the men say "Peace be unto you," we separate.
We pass several low spots where Bedouins are reaping (with sickle) meagre oats and wheat. I (being ahead) visit two Bedouins cutting wheat and show them for their wonderment my gun and watch. After my going on they stop our three camels and demand presents (saying I paid them $1.) and try to steal from the saddle bags. The Wady Oger contains many old lines of fortifying-wall (?) level with the ground. We reach our camp (which was also stopped by some Tzahas demanding a fee for crossing their territory) and our Bedouins watch all night.
The desert is more covered with bushes and dry grass. We see many men working in grain fields and one plowing with an antique plow and camel. We lunch at the ruins of an ancient city with many low walls of well dressed stone, some huge half-natural, half-artificial cisterns. A sort of chapel with interior arches and a well at which our Bedouin draws water. We cross (in two hours) the bed of a large stream and on the opposite side a large well walled with cut stone (from the old city) one of which has an ornament cut on it. There are many men, women, and children at the well drawing water for camels, donkeys, goats, etc. We bargain for a camel but Hassenein tells us they would only take the money and keep the camel. One of them trys to slip a towel out of Hassenein's bag. A Bedouin woman visits our tent at night with her child on her shoulder and a water bottle around her neck. We pass several tents on the hill side and are accompanied for a short distance by a man on alow handsome horse. We are stopped in the bed of a stream by four Bedouins who refuse to let the camels pass without a present from Hassenein. After many high words he gives them each three piastres. We see two females riding vis à vis on a camel and in the distance two Bedouins skulking along on horseback. After stopping a little in a valley they ride up to us, and stopping our camels demand from Hassenein thirty piastres each. He refuses and then a scene occurs. Hassenein refuses to pay them, they steal things from him and the Bedouins, which are with difficulty recovered...
We pass over a long broad plain of low dry grass and enter the hill country of Judea. We follow a deep winding gorge for a long distance. The hills are of mountain limestone, and are covered with shrubs. A man with a gun follows us for some distance telling us to stop. He is at length joined by others successively to the number of six who stop our camels, make mine kneel down and two try to take my gun away but are stopped by others. They were going to hinder us as merchants going to Hebron and our Bedouins as men of that place, but Hassenein swearing solemnly that we and they are not, we are permitted to proceed. We follow the tortuosities of the valley, passing some little pieces of wheat (carefully bound up and carried home by women) and some cattle. Near sunset we reach Daharea, a rude village on a heap of ruins with two small ancient square towers on it.
We pitch our tents (close together) at a little distance and soon receive a visit from a Turkish officer (formerly at the quarantine of Hebron) and the Shekh of the town. The former rode a low mettlesome horse, had well cultivated mustaches and a splendid pointer. The Shekh visits our tent in the evening and smokes a pipe. He tells us that he is at war with Hebron, that he has killed thirty of their men and five horses, that he lifted one man off his saddle with his spear and that his own horse received three balls and that his party (who numbered 1500) stopped a large caravan of butter, fruit, etc., going to Hebron, and took everything. Our Bedouins being unwilling to trust themselves near Hebron, he tells them they must. He gives us a guard for the night and insists, with a most rapacious mien, on a backsheesh of $7. He also begs a number of things from Hassenein which he dare not refuse. He is a young man, but strongly built and with his dark beard and eye has a somewhat malignant look. Our Bedouins bring their camels in close and watch all night. Anxious to leave the region we have our Bedouins pack up early and after receiving another visit from the Shekh (who begs a few trifling things from Hassenein) we start with a guard who belongs to the quarantine. He is a bullet-headed Turk with a flint-lock gun and a fine pair of pistols. He rides a fine, low, bay horse with handsome trappings.
We go down a steep hill on leaving the town, and pass many reapers at work in the wheat and singing a constant refrain. We pass several fine wells in the valley. Our Turk rides ahead to one of them and sleeps until we come. The continual succession of limestone rocks are covered with filbert, spruce, laurels, mountain ash bushes. We pass several ancient sepulchral (?) caves cut in the solid rock and now filled up with soil. We pass a cistern (ancient) cut in the rock with two pillars left to support the roof and steps cut to enter it horizontally.
When still distant we hear the guns of Bedouins attacking Hebron. We hasten on (our Turk first repriming his gun and pistols) and cross a valley in the bottom of which are some beautiful walled gardens of vines, figs, wheat, cucumbers, etc. When on the opposite hill we have a beautiful view of Hebron, its stone dwellings, synagogues, and mosques and the plain of Mamre. The Bedouins are constantly firing on the opposite side and we hasten to the quarantine and are received by the director who shakes hands with us after we tell him that we have not got the plague. Our Bedouins are in a great haste to leave, and we part without much ceremony.
We take one of the director's rooms in the quarantine which is on the side of the hill, with several separated suites of rooms and a wall around the whole. We go out on the roof in front of our door and see the battle. The Hebronites are on the roofs of their houses defending themselves against several villages of Bedouins which are collected against them. Shots are being fired continually on the north and east sides of the town by people behind olive trees, rocks, and stone walls. For a long time we can do nothing but hear the reports of the guns, and the constant war cry of the Bedouins on an average several times per minute, and loud like a cannon. The parties keep the same position for many hours, stopping only to lunch. At length a band of friendly Bedouins comes pouring down the hill by the quarantine, some on horses, more on foot, singing their war cry and brandishing their swords. A villager beside us, thinking that they are the enemy, hides behind a rock with his gun and sword ready to kill the foremost, but discovers his mistake and joins them in running to Hebron where they are joined by a part of the town and all hasten to a valley at the east and after a short fight drive the assailers up the hill from rock to rock. Some return slowly, wounded. In the burying ground near us, men are at work digging graves and one person is buried. Toward evening the enemy congregate on the north hill and the Hebronites, making a sortie, chase them half way up where both parties entrench themselves behind stone walls and in low towers and fire incessantly. After dusk the flash of each discharge is seen and looks beautifully. The man cries twelve o'clock from the minaret and soon after firing ceases, and the enemy retires after burning some wheat and crying taunts at the Hebronites.
We visit the town during the firing and find the shops closed, the people all collected in the bazaars and all the camels, horses, cattle, and goats collected there for fear of the enemy. As the villagers dare not go to Jerusalem with us we send a sort of half-beggar, half-saint to bring mules from there.
The Hebronites bury some persons in the morning and the young women, with white shawls over their heads come in mass, beating the air and crying as they go sit around the grave, bewail the dead (telling his virtues, etc.) and throw dust on their heads. The Hebronites have been kept from gathering their grain on the hills, but during the forenoon they send donkeys up, with armed escorts, to the west hill and also thresh some which has already been brought in front of the town. All the goats, cattle, etc., are sent out to feed with guards. Four old men who had wandered too far returned naked, having been stripped by the Bedouins but not killed because of their ages. After lunch we visit the village and find the shops open. The bazaars are mostly like subterranean passages arched over with rude stones. We visit the synagogues and see a Jewish school and a Hebrew copy of the scriptures on rollers. We also visit the Rabbi in a very comfortable house. There are about four hundred Jews in Hebron at present, chiefly of Russian origin. The janissary of the consul at Jerusalem has come here to protect their quarter in case the town should be taken. There are many pretty girls among them dressed like Europeans with a head dress wound with a cashmere shawl. We see the outside of the large Mosque which covers the tombs in the cave of Machpelah. Some of the lower stones are finely hewed about fourteen by three feet, and very ancient, perhaps of Solomon's temple. The Jews are not allowed to enter but they weep in a corner near the southern door . . .
The mules and horses arrive from Jerusalem early this morning, having been detained by the way by the Fellahs who think of going to Hebron, until two government soldiers say to the contrary. The Jews all wish us to carry letters, which we are obliged to refuse except one which was pressed upon us. We follow for some miles a narrow lane with stone walls on either side and most difficult to pass on account of its being filled with rocks. On either hill are vineyards, figs, olive orchards, and wheat fields, with old watch towers in the former. One of these vales is that of "Eschal."
Having advanced over the hill some distance we are stopped by five Fellahs and a Shekh, the former of whom advised us as we valued our lives to go back, as the people along the road knew nothing of travellers. The others insist on taking all of our things and try to disarm the Shekh because he refuses. The matter however is compromised by our opening our trunks and giving them $5. to accompany us as guards. We thus go, our Shekh continually riding ahead to expostulate with other persons who came from the towns on the hills to stop us. Hassenein had a letter from the janissary of the English consul for one of these Shekhs but that event was hardly sufficient to procure us a passage.
We enter a more peaceful region and the Shekh leaves us. After travelling an hour over an awful hilly, rocky, limestone road we reach in the valley "Solomon's Pools" and take lunch at the side of an old Turkish castle with turreted walls and an iron door. Solomon's Pools have been repaired frequently (last under Ibrahim Pasha) so that little remains of the original but the form. From the lower one an aqueduct passes through the valley to Jerusalem, past orchards and the supposed site of Solomon's palace. Above the upper pool is a spring flowing from the rock in a walled grotto.
We pass about two or three miles over the hills to Bethlehem which is situated on a hill overlooking the valley of the Dead Sea. Its sides are covered with beautiful vineyards, fig and olive trees. The town is one mass of low masonry appearing quite recent. We rattle over the smooth, uneven paving stones to the convent. We are at once taken in guidance by a monk who takes us through several chapels (with high round pillars and short huge massive etched supports) and corridors all nice and clean, into a chapel with a handsome mosaic floor, with picture-hung walls, with altar, lighted lamps, incense burning, and people praying. We pass down some stairs to a labyrinthine cave, with low, arched, smoothed, whitened passages.
Our monk unlocks the door of a room quite similar to the others, with one old man in it. Our monk stoops, and kissing the marble floor of a sort of fireplace surrounded by lamps, showed a brass ribband or circular plate on which was written "Hic natus est de Virgine Marie Jesus Christ." Near by, in a side recess, was the manger of handsome white marble. We then visited several subterranean cells, in one of which St. Jerome wrote his copy of the Scriptures. Beautiful picture of the old man pouring over his task. There are many tombs at the sides of the passages, among them are St. Jerome's, St. Paul's, etc. Some of the pictures over these and in other places are very fine, others very old and blurred. He then took us into a refreshment room and after offering us some drink, we paid him $1., and departed well pleased. The rules in the room give pilgrims the hospitality of the convent free for one month, forbid all disgraceful conduct. The outside wall of the building is partly very old. We visit a small cave among some olive trees in the farther end of which is some rock milk (?) said to be the milk of Mary and good for dry mothers. Bethlehemites carve many pictures of holy persons and scenes in mother of pearl, rosaries of olive wood, etc., to sell. We wind around a beautiful hill and visit Rachel's tomb in a sort of mosque. We pass the convent of Elias and Jerusalem comes into view.
It has a pleasing but striking appearance. We pass along the valley of Rephaim, and on a little knoll to the right are the ruins of Caropha's house. We wind around and cross the valley of Hinnom and enter the gates of the city. Everything at first seems insignificant. We go at once to the Latin convent and take rooms... [Here follows a description of a trip to the Dead Sea.]
We wind around the Mt. of Olives and enter Jerusalem. In passing around the city to the right from the Damascus gate, we pass at first near the wall. The gate itself is handsome with its iron-cased doors, its towers, and its windows. The wall is in part of the natural rock hewn off. There are several deep squared excavations cut in the rock near its base. Some holes at the base of the walls have been stopped up, but I am told of extensive excavations under the city from which it is conjectured that the stones for the temple were quarried. Some of the strata of the wall, having quite a dip, and being much contorted, present quite a quaint appearance. To save cutting away the high rocks outside or having to increase the height of the wall, a deep fosse has been cut on this side reaching to the northeast corner. Before arriving there, we visited the tomb of Jeremiah in a large cave under an abrupt section of arched strata. From the corner we had a good view of the upper part of the vale of Jehoshaphat, and on the opposite side of it, a broad vale sloping up the hill where are said to have been Solomon's gardens. The wall on the east of the city is perfectly straight and of the same height (twenty-five feet) throughout the whole length with the Saracens' embrasures and loopholes above. The hill slopes from the very base of the wall and its steep slope is covered with terraced gardens for cucumbers, and winding footpaths.
About the middle of this side of the city is the St. Stephen's gate, and on either side of it is the Mohammedan burying ground consisting chiefly of low white-washed tombs-some, however, are considerable structures and quite old. A road from this gate winds down to the brook Cedron, which it crosses between fig and olive trees and over an arch. Just before crossing is the spot where Stephen was stoned. A large olive tree stands in the centre of an open spot just across the bridge. At the left of this is a place to which we descend by steps, and in which is the tomb of the Virgin Mary with stone walls and façade and iron doors.
We are admitted by a monk and descend, with lighted tapers, a long broad flight of stairs. On either side are recesses with the tombs of Scripture females (?) and at the right hand of the base are several small chapels in all of which are pictures of the Virgin Mary, and in the innermost, her tomb. There was formerly an entrance on the left but it is now walled up. There is also a small chapel at the north end with a tall Dutch clock at the side. There is a spring where water trickles from the rock close by Mary's tomb, said to be efficacious for all diseases, and on the other side, a well. The whole is dimly lighted by tapers. As we came out the monk sprinkled our faces with rose water. At the left on going out is a walled passage to a cave said to be the place where our Saviour sweat drops of blood.
From hence we pass up the Mt. of Olives by a rocky path. On the right are olive trees, fig trees, and two high, square, ruinous towers. There is quite a little group of houses on the summit, and also a mosque, and minaret. We ascend the latter by stone steps and passing out onto a circular balcony, have a beautiful panoramic view of the vale of Jehoshaphat, the brook Cedron, and Jerusalem with all the country to Bethlehem on one side, and the Dead Sea with the plain of Jordan in the distance, on the other. One sees all the bustle of the city without hearing it. At the foot of the minaret is an octagonal enclosure, the remains of the walls of a Greek(?) church destroyed by the Turks. Around the sides are blocks against the wall where, in the season of the pilgrims, the Greeks, Armenians, Abyssinians, etc., pray, having respectively a guard to keep them from the abuse or intrusion of the others. In the centre is an octagonal temple covering the place of ascension. The pillars are very old and are now built between, so as to leave no entrance but the door. A square on the floor is wanting, so as to show the rock beneath, and the print of Christ's foot. Americans are not the only ones who write their names; here are Greek, Arabic, Italian, etc., all recorded, and the Hebrews scribble verses over all places interesting to them. We descend the mountain by a path to the left which joins the other at the Garden of Gethsemane. It is surrounded by a high, white-washed wall. We enter by a low iron door at the south east corner. It is made into a garden with alleys and beds, and contains seven(?) very old and gnarled olive trees. A bower on the west side is covered by the passion flower. Many small pictures are inserted in the wall. Passing out, we follow down the brook Cedron on its east bank. We pass a well at which a path crosses the brook, and ascend by broad steps the bank, passing around the southeast corner of the city wall, the lower part of which is here thought to be the original wall as the stones are very large and much disintegrated. Between this corner and the St. Stephen's gate is an old gate (or rather two arched doors) closed since the erection of the Mosque of Omar.
Passing down the brook on the left is the Jews' burying ground, the tombs of which are marked only by a large flat stone with or without a Hebrew inscription. Those stones remind me of where the temple is gone to. A little further on are the tombs of the prophets cut from the rock. The first tomb is that of Absalom which has pillars all around and an added steeple. Then comes the tomb of [--] with pillars and a façade cut out of the rock à la égyptienne. The third tomb is that of Zacharias with a pyramidic top all cut from the rock in one piece. The Jews have brought their tombs close up to this on all sides possible.
Continuing our course, we pass on the left of the hill of offence and along the rocky side of the old village of Siloam. Just across the brook here is the spring of - with steps descending to it as it comes from a subterranean passage said to go up under the city and also be connected with the Pool of Siloam. We visited this some distance farther down. It has a stone enclosure and the brook of Siloa enters it from a little valley above. Here too stands an old tree said to be the one under which Isaiah was sawn assunder.
All the four gates of Jerusalem are guarded by soldiers and are closed at [--] o'clock after which no person can pass without an order from the Governor. On coming to Jerusalem, our dragoman took us to the Casa Nova or department of the Latin convent, where pilgrims of all creeds are provided with good bed and board for a month or less -- gratis. The monks were very attentive to us, served us well, and when we left gave us each a Latin certificate. We afterwards staid at the Mediterranean Hotel, a very comfortable house where we had the company of the Rev. Mr. McCloud, of Montreal, Dr. Murray and Mr. Piccope, late from China, and the Rev. Mr. Mills, a young Welch minister studying up the Jews. We were beset during our whole stay with people from Bethlehem who sold mother of pearl and other work from there -- as figures of sainted persons, rosarys, dishes of mottled marble. . . We had as a guide a little eccentric old man who spoke five languages and knew the city, ancient as well as modern, by heart. He went through his business scientifically, connecting a present thing with one past by the words "You remember that I told you."
He took us one day to the Seraglio (or Governor's building) said to be identical with the house of Pontius Pilate. We ascended by many flights of stone steps to its roof from which we had a fine prospect of the whole city and especially of the Mosque of Omar. Here is the place to distinguish the several elevations and depressions of the city. The style of the houses is a flat roof with a small low dome above it. The roofs of the houses are usually surrounded by a parapet pierced by a multitude of horizontal pipes, often arranged in some figure, and which serve to ventilate and to peek through. . . At the south of the Seraglio is a Haram, or sacred enclosure, of the Mosque of Omar. It composes the large space in the southeastern corner of the city and occupies the old site of the temple, having the ancient "golden gate" on its eastern side. The enclosure is covered with grass, often scarcely covering the rock, and surrounded by buildings both to shut out the view and to accommodate the Mohammedan poor. In the center is a large raised square of stone ascended by broad steps at the corners, and in the centre of which stands the mosque: an octangular building with a huge cupola, finely pointed, and which (as also the Haram) no infidel can enter.
Leaving the Seraglio we return by the Via Dolorosa, a narrow paved way. We soon pass under the arch of Ecce Homo. Farther on we turn to the left a little distance in the depression of the ancient [--] vale. We are shown several places along the way where Christ is said to have fallen. We again turn to the right just where the road passes under a high pointed house said to be that of the "Rich Man." Passing up some ways we again turn to the left and passing just at the right (opposite our hotel) the place where the writing was placed on a pillar, we pass to the right up some ruins of one of the palaces of the Knights Templar and reach a court just behind the Sacred Sepulchre where is an Abyssinian convent and a fine view of the ruins of buildings of the Knights Templar. Returning and passing around by a southern road we enter under a low arch the court of the Sacred Sepulchre.
Passing across it we enter between two divans where people are smoking and selling things. The first thing we see is a slab of marble upon the floor where Christ is said to have been anointed for burial. The Greeks are saying (singing) Mass here, while one is flinging incense upon each of them in turn, and walking many times around them. We pass around to the left into the large round room supported by high square pillars (each serving as a passage to some other room) and having a huge dome above finely painted but somewhat dilapidated. In the center of this stands a rectangular building with round windows at the side (from which the holy fire comes out) covering the tomb of Christ. We enter this through a vestry into a small room lighted with many lamps (from the various convents in the city) and having a marble table or slab over the tomb. Going out we pass down to the left passing a choir who are chanting to a powerful organ, and enter the Latin (?) chapel. Here is an altar and at the side a grate through which our guide thrusts a candle on a stick and shows up part of the pillar to which Christ was bound (?), the other part of which is at Rome. We then visit (in the east of the church) the various chapels, highly ornamented (especially the Armenian) and lighted with lamps. We descend a long flight of stairs to another chapel and in a room under the rock are shown where the cross was found. Coming out we ascend to the gallery where are also chapels and a stone circle said to be the centre of the earth. Across the first room we enter the Abyssinian chapel, a miserable thing, and see below the floor in the back part, the second tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. At every corner of the church are poor people asking alms.
We became acquainted with several American missionaries while in the city. The aid to one of them, Mr. Dennis, showed us several places of interest. We went one day to the middle of the inside wall of the Haram where in the lower part of the wall are many very large stones said to be those of the ancient temple. They are dressed around the outer edges, which is also true of some of the aforementioned blocks under the city, but is not true of the rest of the wall. The Jews come here every Friday and turning their faces to the wall, weep, and pray through the cracks. Passing south to the wall of the city we ascended it, and followed it around to the right, looking upon the valleys without and the city and its girdle of gardens and prickly pear bushes within. There are many low towers upon the southern wall and platforms inside for standing to repel assailants. The wall is about eight feet thick at the base by two at the top, having two narrowings at different heights, forming places for persons to walk, and is in a fair state of preservation. Just east of the Zion gate inside are a score of whitewashed huts fenced up against the wall: the houses of Syrian lepers, who are never allowed to go farther into the city although they may walk outside of it.
The Pacha of all this region has his residence at Jerusalem but has much difficulty in governing the country around. Besides the disturbance at Hebron there was also an entire rebellion of the Fellaheen around the Nablous so that it was unsafe to pass by there.
An American who has had no old tower or other wonder about him to impress him with a sense of the mysterious, and to look on things as insolvable, is well calculated to look on the ruins of the East and to receive lively, forcible, and correct impressions from them...