Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Throughout the nineteenth century, American writers, journalists, explorers, and pilgrims traveled to the region then known as Palestine, publishing travel narratives upon their return to the U.S. Such narratives were wildly popular during this period, and the accounts of these travelers quickly made their way into the nation's collective consciousness. From personal libraries to Sunday school classrooms, their depictions of the Holy Land, which reflected a uniquely American biblical tradition, ultimately painted a picture of Palestine that closely conformed to popular preconceptions of what the Holy Land ought to be, stubbornly resisting contradiction and reinforcing stereotypes already held by many Americans. My thesis examines the effect of these travel narratives on the development of a unique discourse on the Holy Land within American society, and explores the intersection of faith and experience in a part of the world where the two are quite difficult - if not impossible - to separate. Ultimately, this paper attempts to establish a link between the established Holy Land discourse and ultimate American popular support for the Zionist movement in its early stages.

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