Skip to comments.Iranís Yankee Hero (Commemorating Howard Baskerville)
Posted on 04/19/2009 4:13:11 AM PDT by SolidWood
FEW Americans have heard of Howard Conklin Baskerville, but most Iranians know his name. A native of Nebraska, Baskerville graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary and moved to Iran as a Presbyterian missionary. He was 23. The year was 1907. Baskerville was an idealist at a time of idealism in Iran.
The year before Baskervilles arrival, the ailing king of Iran, Mozaffar ud-Din Shah, had bowed to popular demands for a constitutional monarchy and Iranians had drafted the first Constitution of their 25-century-long history. A parliament, the Majlis, was established and each city elected an assembly, or Anjoman. Tabriz where Baskerville worked as a schoolteacher was the capital of the constitutionalists and its assembly assumed a national role in the movement. Many Iranians presumed that the time for change had finally arrived.
But the shah died in January 1907, and his son Muhammad Ali Shah was a Russophile and despot who opposed the Constitutional Revolution. His Cossack brigades, commanded by Russian officers, attacked and bombarded the Majlis. The constitution was suspended. Politicians, journalists and the leaders of the constitutionalists were hanged.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
In remembrance of a hero, Howard Baskerville, who as a Christian missionary, not only brought many Iranians to Jesus Christ, but also died fighting alongside Iranian Constitutionalists who revolted against the backward tyranny of the Qajar Monarchy and their Russian masters.
The Contstitutional Revolution 1906-1909 was the first time in an islamic country that a broad coalition was standing up for a western constitution, parliament and balance of power. Many of the western minded Constitutionalists yearned for a republic, emancipation of women and secularization of Iranian society. However most of the attempted reforms failed because of the tribal nature, mullah agitation, decadent Qajar rule and Russian and British interference.
It was not until after World War I, that under the authocratic, western oriented rule of Reza Pahlavi, Iranian politics and society was de-islamified, modernized and the mullahs stranglehold broken.
Until the mullahs seized power, the Iranian Parliament (Majles) was decorated with this carpet, depicting the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, interlinking the American and Iranian struggle for freedom.
100 years after the Constitutional Revolution all lovers of freedom should pray for a defeat of the evil schemes of the islamic regime against the free world, Israel and the Iranian people. Hopefully freedom loving Iranians will be able to raise the banner of constitution, democracy and liberty once again. Of course the islamic regime took care that today the people is disarmed, unlike 1906-1909 where every household was well armed.
An object lesson for the whole world about the price of freedom.
Thanks for all the pictures and extras you put into this thread.
“As a scholar, Professor Thomas M. Ricks, Director of the Office of International Studies at Villanova University, has collected a considerable amount of material for his forthcoming book about Baskerville. Professor Ricks served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran during the 1960’s, but it was the story of his subsequent visits to Baskerville’s grave in Tabriz during the 1980’s and 90’s that caught my interest.
At the height of the anti-American sentiment in Iran during the 1980’s, Prof. Ricks commented that whenever he visited Tabriz and went - unannounced - to the place where Baskerville was buried, the tomb was always covered with yellow roses. Given the political climate, no one claimed any knowledge of who had placed the flowers on any particular day, but there was general agreement that the tomb always had fresh flowers on it. “
Wow...very interesting. I’d never heard of this guy. Thanks for posting.
Thank you for the ping & this very important piece of history.
I’m on limited internet time at moment, and don’t have the chance to read any of the links you’ve provided. So, unsure if any of your links mentioned this:
“Tapestry of George Washington
The Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah Diba gave this intricately hand-knotted wool carpet to the people of the United States in November 1977. It was intended as a gift for the U.S. Bicentennial, but it took two years to complete and was not ready in time. This carpet was created by the renowned weavers of the city of Isfahan in Iran and contains 120-160 knots per square centimeter. Even though the techniques of Persian carpet weavers are quite traditional, this unusual motif features images of U.S. President George Washington and the presidential seal.”
The carpet was intended to be a gift during Gerald Ford’s presidency (1976), not Carter’s.
It has it's sucessor in this rug woven by a grateful Afghan:
Amazing piece of artistry and handwork.
Thanks for that one, too!
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