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13 / 11 / 2018

Eli Smith 1801-1857 American Missionary and orientalist visited Assyrians (Nestorians) of Urmia/Salmas in 1830 and paved the way for first American Mission to Nestorians of Urmia in 1835

Smith was born in Northford, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale with a B.A. in 1821. In 1826 he graduated from Andover Theological Seminary, was ordained, and was sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to superintend the ABCFM printing press at Malta. Already competent in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and having some knowledge of French, German, and Italian, he later learned Turkish and Armenian. Determined to master Arabic, he went to Beirut for language study, returning to Malta in 1827. In 1829 he accompanied Rufus Anderson in exploring mission possibilities in Greece, and in 1830, accompanied by H. G. O. Dwight, he began a 16-month journey of exploration reported in Researches of the Rev. E. Smith and Rev. H. G. O. Dwight in Armenia: Including a Journey through Asia Minor and into Georgia and Persia, with a Visit to the Nestorian and Chaldean Christians of Oormiah and Salmas

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