Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Of all the Americans ‘Abdu’l-Bahá knew, none were closer to him than Thornton Chase.

... Thornton Chase had first heard about Bahá’u’lláh from the speech Dr. Henry Jessup had given at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893. By mid-1894 he was studying the new faith in Chicago. Three other Americans became Bahá’ís before Chase, but, of the four, only Chase had stuck. He was, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá later said, “the first Bahá’í in America.”
 When Phoebe Hearst planned her pilgrimage to ‘Akká in 1898, Chase’s work with the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company prevented him from accompanying them. “I am heart broken” he wrote to one of the party, “to learn that you are going and it is impossible for me to join you.” Instead, he sent along a letter to be hand-delivered to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, beginning a correspondence between the two men that would unfold over the next fourteen years. Of all the Americans ‘Abdu’l-Bahá knew, none were closer to him than Thornton Chase....
Thornton Chase died from complications just before 7 p.m. on Monday, September 30.

http://239days.com/2012/10/17/the-last-days-of-thornton-chase/