American Travelers to the Holy Land in the 19th Century

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The vision of the Holy Land in 19th-century America was shaped by religious and cultural sentiment, and influenced by the experiences of those groups who traveled there: missionaries, pilgrims and tourists, explorers, settlers, and consular officers, all of whom had different motives for their journey and reports.

Ottoman Palestine held an allure for American travelers. Whether their motivation was religious; scientific, such as Edward Robinson whose visits opened the field of biblical archeology; or curiosity, like Mark Twain’s travels through Palestine, which unexpectedly launched his career as a writer, all who made the journey were taken unaware by the realities of what they encountered on the ground.