239 Days in America

A Social Media Documentary following 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1912

October 10, 1912
San Francisco, CA
Storify Feature

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Six

WE HAVE REACHED the end of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sixth month in North America. Let’s look back at some of the highlights of the past thirty days.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá left Chicago on September 18, 1912, for the first leg of a nearly two thousand mile trek to California. Joining his entourage was a university student, Saichiro Fujita, whom we met five days earlier when the young man dangled from a lamp post. The group began its arduous journey across the nation, passing through Minneapolis and Omaha, before paying a visit to the home of the “Great Commoner” — William Jennings Bryan — in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Having reached Denver, Colorado, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke at Nona Lovell Brooks’s Divine Science Church, a center of the New Thought movement, which we discussed in “The World is a School”. He also spent an hour with journalist Alice Rohe in Drinking Tea with “The Girl from Kansas”. As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued on to Salt Lake City, the interracial marriage of Louise Mathew and Louis Gregory took place in New York — a marriage he had helped set in motion.

On Day 171, in ‘Abdul’-Bahá Crosses the Continental Divide, we traced his seventeen-hour train voyage from Denver to Glenwood Springs, where he visited the hot springs and took in the fresh mountain air. On September 29, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reached the capital of Utah during The Biggest Week in the History of Salt Lake City. He witnessed a bold display of American industriousness, and on the train ride to San Francisco two days later was inspired to write a letter to Agnes Parsons in Economic Begins with the Farmer.

Arriving in San Francisco on October 3, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asked a reporter to take a message to the American people. America’s Unique Geopolitical Position covered the resulting article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

October 8, 1912, was A Most Extraordinary Day — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to an audience of two thousand in Palo Alto in the morning, and the day had just begun. We covered this talk in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Speaks at Stanford University.

During the month we also published three editorial pieces: What’s Love Got to Do With It?, 150 Years of the Emancipation Proclamation, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Ayn Rand, and the Poor.


  • Dianne

    Thank you so much for your excellent reporting and writing about Abdu’l-Baha’s travels in North America. Each feature story has been highly engaging, educational, inspiring, and entertaining!

  • nine

    What an awesome six months it has been. Your excellent writing has me me feel as if I were accompanying ‘Abdu’l-Bahá only a few steps behind him. I know I will feel empty when the journey’s over.