A postcard mailed on October 30, 1913, shows the Market Square in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the only city in Wisconsin visited by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in 1912 traveling by train from Chicago on Sept. 15 and returning Sept. 16.
Kenosha was one of the earliest Baha’i Communities in the U.S., having been established in the 1890’s.
Sunday, September 15, 1912 From Mahmud’s Diary
[Chicago — Kenosha]
The friends were waiting with their automobiles at the railway station to take the Beloved to the hall of the Mash
The Master went onto the stage of the auditorium and sat on a chair. It was a divine and joyous festival, the people like heavenly angels of the utmost spirituality, prayerfulness and gratitude. `Abdu’l-Bahá spoke briefly but effectively about the victorious power and penetrating influence of the Cause of the Blessed Beauty. He then went to a long table that extended the length of the hall which was covered with a variety of multicolored flowers.
As lunch was being served, the young friends, having received `Abdu’l-Bahá’s permission, sang songs of praise to Him, accompanied by a piano. The Master then gave an account of the persecutions and hardships of Bahá’u’lláh, the time spent in the Most Great Prison, the Turkish revolution and the changes that took place after the establishment of a constitutional form of government in Turkey. `God removed all obstacles’, He said, `and provided all the necessities, thus enabling `Abdu’l-Bahá to reach this place and have the pleasure of seeing you.’
The friends then brought their children to Him to be blessed. He took the children onto His lap one by one and gave them flowers, fruits and sweets. Mr Jackson said:
Every time we have held a public entertainment for the friends we have left two seats vacant at each end of the table, one in the name of Bahá’u’lláh and the other in that of `Abdu’l-Bahá. We constantly longed to witness a day such as this. We have now attained our highest hopes and our eyes have seen the light of the Master.
Another person said, `When the clergymen were informed of your arrival, they announced in the churches that this evening the prophet of the East will speak at the Kenosha Congregational Church.’
After lunch `Abdu’l-Bahá left the hall of the `Mashriqu’l-Adhkár’ and went to Mrs [Henry] Goodale’s home, where the friends were overjoyed and uplifted to hear Him speak. He said to them, in part:
The Cause of God has always appeared from the East but it has been more effective in the West. Once Badrí Pásh
said in an address, `Gentlemen, Westerners have taken everything from us: the sciences, the arts and the laws they took from the East. Now we fear that they may wrest from us the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, as well.’ Those were his words. But Bahá’u’lláh is neither of the East nor of the West, neither of the South nor of the North. He is holy above all these directions. He is heavenly and godly.
`Abdu’l-Bahá’s address in the evening at the Congregational Church was on the unity of the Manifestations of God, that they are one in essence and that the differences among their followers is due to obsolete imitations. His explanation of the divine teachings gave new life and insights to the audience. After His talk, everyone came to Him to pay Him their respects.