Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
 

Joseph Kingsbury Greene Papers, 1857-1912

Summary Information

Abstract

Pioneer American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions Congregational Missionary in Turkey for fifty-one years, stationed in Nicodemia, Bursa and Manisa. Fluent in Armenian and Turkish languages. Papers include diaries, dictionary, sermons and correspondence from Greenes beginning as a missionary until two weeks before his death.

At a Glance

Bib ID 4492539 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Greene, Joseph Kingsbury, 1834-1917
Title Joseph Kingsbury Greene Papers, 1857-1912
Physical Description 10 boxes (10 boxes)
Language(s) English , Armenian .
Additional Description http://library.columbia.edu/content/dam/libraryweb/locations/burke/fa/mrl/ldpd_4492539.pdf
Access

This collection has no restrictions.

Archival papers are available to registered readers for consultation by appointment only. Please contact archives staff by email to burkearchives@libraries.cul.columbia.edu, or by postal mail to The Burke Library address, as far in advance as possible.

Burke Library staff is available for inquiries or to request a consultation on archival or special collections research.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and Content

The collection is organized in three series.

  • Series 1: Diaries, 1859 -- 1917, 1859, 1917

    This series contains the original handwritten diaries penned by Greene. They include regular day-to-day entries as well as sermons. While in Turkey, Greene would commute hundreds of miles from his home base to meet with teachers and other Christians in the area; these visits are recorded. Greene and his first wife experienced frequent sicknesses of malaria, and were granted leaves of absences in order to recover in Europe. Greene would travel for conferences and to address other missionary aid societies as well. Each entry includes the location and date, and often the weather.

    Greene also comments on events happening throughout the world, including when Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Greene closes his last journal entry on Sunday January 28, 1917 with, "Sacrifice for God a joy!"

  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1859 -- 1872, 1859, 1872

    Within this series are handwritten copies of correspondence sent to various people, including other members of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. It also includes newspaper articles which Greene copied into the book and which are written in Armenian.

  • Series 3: Dictionary and Sermons, 1857 -- 1909, 1857, 1909

    Within this series exists the original handwritten English and Armenian dictionaries which Greene created. The dictionary was started in 1859 in Nicomedia, Turkey when he started his missionary work. Greene also kept a separate book of Armenian words which he prepared as he began to learn the language.

General Note

Part of Missionary Research Library Collection : Near/Middle East

In Archives.

Using the Collection

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

Archival papers are available to registered readers for consultation by appointment only. Please contact archives staff by email to burkearchives@libraries.cul.columbia.edu, or by postal mail to The Burke Library address, as far in advance as possible.

Burke Library staff is available for inquiries or to request a consultation on archival or special collections research.

Preferred Citation

Item description, MRL 2: Joseph Kingsbury Greene Papers, series #, box #, and folder #, The Burke Library Archives, Columbia University Libraries, at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

Diaries, letters, sermons, dictionary Cataloged Lynn A. Grove 07/18/88.

Revision Description

2013-06-25 XML instance document created by Brigette C. Kamsler.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sermons Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Armenian language -- Dictionaries -- English Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Congregational churches -- Missions Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
İzmit (Turkey) -- Religious life and customs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Missionaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Missions -- Turkey -- İzmit Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Reverend Joseph Kingsbury Greene was born to David and Lyntha (Miller) Green on April 10, 1834 in Auburn, Maine. He attended and graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1855. Greene became engaged to Elizabeth Augusta Davis, whom he wed in 1857 once she graduated from Mount Holyoke Seminary.

Joseph attended Union Theological Seminary and after graduation in 1858, was accepted by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and ordained in November. He was stationed for three years in Nicomedia, Turkey arriving March 1859. Greene quickly learned the Armenian alphabet and created a dictionary of English, Armenian, Turkish and Greek words. Other locations where Greene was stationed were Bursa in 1862 for six years; and after a furlough in 1868 in Minnesota, went to Manisa in June 1871.

Greene was invited to Constantinople in 1862 to edit the ABCFM-published weekly religious paper, Avedaper, written in Armenian, Armeno-Turkish, and Greco-Turkish, and three illustrated monthly papers for children. The newspapers were strictly controlled by the Turkish government. Greene edited the papers for twelve years.

He took a second furlough to Illinois in 1884, and received the Doctor of Divinity from Bowdoin at this time. Greene began his third missionary trip to Constantinople in 1886, and was stationed there for seven years. Elizabeth died in 1894, which caused him to take a third furlough the same year. Joseph married his second wife, missionary Mathilde Hermine Meyer in September 1895 and they returned to Constantinople in November. Joseph served until 1910, when he retired and returned to America.

Joseph Kingsbury Greene died in Oberlin, Ohio on February 10, 1917.

Sources:

Cleaveland, Nehemiah. History of Bowdoin College, With Biographical Sketches of Its Graduates. Boston: James Ripley Osgood and Company, 1882.

Greene, Joseph K. Leavening the Levant. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1916.