Dreams and Diplomacy in the Holy Land: American Consuls in Jerusalem in the 19th Century

The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel

March 19, 2013 - March 2, 2016


1. Early U.S. Colonialism in the Holy Land

2. U.S. Consuls in Jerusalem

3. Consular Support for the Jewish Constituency

4. Appendix

In the mid-19th century, United States foreign policy emerged from its traditional non-involvement in the East. Beginning in Istanbul, and then in the Holy Land, Americans came as private citizens or as official emissaries. The appointment of American consuls was often based on personal connections or the spoils system rather than professional ability. The post in Jerusalem lacked stability, and no fewer than 16 consuls served there from 1857 until the outbreak of the First World War. This exhibition deals with the relationship that developed between the United States of America and the Holy Land, starting in 1844. It is a collaboration of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation and the National Library of Israel. Presented here is a selection of items on display at the exhibition. You can also visit the Virtual Tour by Ardon Bar-Hama for a unique immersive experience.