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Letters to Rev. and Mrs. Isaac Bird, 1822-1835.
10 letters
Collection number: MS 0035

Letters to Rev. and Mrs. Isaac Bird, 1822-1835; missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon. Correspondence in English and Arabic (with translations) reflects living conditions among Christian missionaries in the Middle East chiefly with regard to their health, general living conditions, and prospects for success among the Nestorians, Muslims and Jews.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Rev. Isaac Bird, b. Salisbury, Connecticut on June 19, 1793; graduated Yale College and Andover Theological Seminary. Sailed to the Middle East as a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1822. Was principally in Malta, Beirut and Smyrna until 1835, when his wife Ann's ill-health brought them back to the United States. Following his return, Rev. Bird taught at theological seminaries in New England and died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1873.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Collection of 10 letters written to Rev. Isaac Bird and/or his wife Ann P. Bird when they were missionaries in Beirut. Many of the letters mention the diseases affecting the area and one letter has slashes in it from when it was fumigated. The letters also give news of the conditions other missionaries in the Middle East were working in, such as a fire destroying a school and the absence of gingham with which to make dresses. One of the Arabic letters concerns repayment of a debt owned to Rev. Bird. Two separate translations of the 4 letters in Arabic is included.

This collection is organized by language into two series, subarranged by recipient.

  • Letters in English
  • Letters in Arabic

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Rev. and Mrs. Bird Letters, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA

History of the Collection

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form:
English and Arabic
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Diseases - Middle East - History - 19th century - Sources.
  • Middle East - Economic conditions - 19th century - Sources.
  • Missionaries - Middle East - Correspondence.

  • Assaad, Jacob.
  • Barker, J.
  • Bird, Ann P.
  • Bird, Isaac, 1793-1876.
  • Dwight, Elizabeth Barker, 1807-1837.
  • Haddad, Samar Tanus.
  • Isa, Latouf.
  • King, Jonas, 1792-1869.
  • Lafluf, Yusuf.
  • Misaad, Yusuf.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Tod, Emma.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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