Item #010173 1878/1888 – Cabinet card photo of missionary John Wright and his Persian wife, Shushan, who was murdered along with her unborn baby by a disgruntled Armenian teacher at the Presbyterian mission school at Oola Salmas. John, Shushan Wright.
1878/1888 – Cabinet card photo of missionary John Wright and his Persian wife, Shushan, who was murdered along with her unborn baby by a disgruntled Armenian teacher at the Presbyterian mission school at Oola Salmas

1878/1888 – Cabinet card photo of missionary John Wright and his Persian wife, Shushan, who was murdered along with her unborn baby by a disgruntled Armenian teacher at the Presbyterian mission school at Oola Salmas

Blanchester, Ohio. 1878/1888. Card.

This cabinet card photograph shows the Wrights dressed in their Sunday best as they pose before a country-scene studio backdrop. The card indicates that the photograph was taken by Spence, a photographer doing business in Blanchester, Ohio. The card is annotated on the reverse, “John Wright & / Persian wife. / Missionary to Persia / in 1878. / Cousin of Papas.” The annotation is probably mistaken about the date of the photograph; all other references indicate the Wrights visited the United States in 1888. In nice shape.

. Very good. Item #010173

By far, the Presbyterians provided the largest numbers of missionaries in Persia. Although they were forbidden from proselytizing to Muslims, Persian authorities had no issue if they attempted to convert Nestorian-Christians, whose concept of Jesus Christ differed significantly from that held in western countries. As Nestorians were also allowed to missionize freely in Persia, the Presbyterians focused on them, believing that they might be more likely to be permitted to discuss religion with Muslims.

John Wright was an American missionary form Ohio. After his first wife died, Wright married Shushan Oshana, a Nestorian Christian from Persia, who had converted to Evangelical Christianity. Together, they taught in the mission school at Oola Salman in western Persia. There, they employed a housekeeper-nannie named Asli, who attracted the eye of an Armenian Nestorian, Minas, another teacher at the school. One night when Shushan went to check on her daughter, who slept in Asli’s room, she found her baby had been left alone after Minas had lured Asli to a clandestine rendezvous. After Shushan subsequently dismissed Minas from his teaching job, Minas came to the Wright’s home on May 14th supposedly to collect his final wages. When John left the room to obtain the money, Minas pulled out a hidden dagger and stabbed the pregnant Shushan repeatedly over most of her body. She and her unborn baby died a fortnight later on June 1st. Minas was quickly captured and brought to trial, where he was convicted and received a life sentence.

(For more information, see Kashari-Sabet’s “Religion and the Diplomacy of US-Iranian Relations” in the September 2019 edition of Iranian Studies, “Mr Pratte to Mr. Blaine” at the State Department Historian’s website, and “Shushan Wright, died 1890” at the Presbyterians of the Past website.)

Unique, at the time of listing no other photographs of John, his martyred missionary wife, Shusan, or any other missionaries to Persia are for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows none have appeared at auction and none are held in institutional collections per OCLC. >/p>.

Price: $500.00

See all items by ,