Saturday, November 12, 2016

CLARA & NELLIE C. LONG - Missionary Children

On January 1, 1868 an accounting was taken by the U. S. State Department entitled "Lists of Citizens of the U.S. residing in Istanbul on January 1, 1868.  (National Archives.  State Dept. RG59, Consular Dispatches, Constantinople, Microfilm T-194, Roll #9).  

This is how the Long family appeared on that list:

Albert Long, age 35, born Washington, PA,  Missionary – arr. 1857
Persis S., ----  [no age given], [no birthplace given],wife
Mary L.,   [no age given], b Massachusetts, dau.
Nellie A.,   age 9, born Constantinople,  dau
Clara S., age 7, born Constantinople, dau
Rosa C., age 5, born Constantinople, dau.

On a single tombstone in the Protestant Cemetery, Ferikoy-Istanbul, there is inscribed the names of both girls.   Under Clara's name appears this:  "Died Feb. 15, 1868" and under Nellie's name is ascribed this:  "Died 3 Aug 1879, age 21."  From the information above, we can see that little Clara died a month after the information for the State Department was collected.

Their father was the Rev. Albert Long, DD, at that time a Professor of Natural Science at Robert College in Istanbul.

In a book entitled "Fifty Years in Constantinople and Recollections of Robert College," author George Washburn tells about Dr. Long's work:

"Dr. Long, not yet 40 years old, taught several years in America, was a missionary of the American Methodist Church in Bulgaria for 12 years, and a co-translator of the Bible into Bulgarian."

"On our arrival at Constantinople…we found Dr. Long very anxious as to the health of his daughter, and not long after, Mrs. Long and his daughter went to southern France in the hope that a change of climate might restore her health…. His daughter died at the college on August 3, 1879."

"Dr. Long left Robert College in June of 1901 for a year of rest in America.  He had been in failing health and the doctor thought a year off would restore him.  He and his family left for Liverpool, England, where he was hospitalized.  He died on July 28, 1901 and is buried there….Mrs. Long died in December of 1901 at Enfield, New Hampshire leaving two daughters who still reside in that town."

Lynn Scipio, in his book "My Thirty Years in Turkey," wrote the following: "Dr. Long had been a professor at Robert College for 29 years.  He was born in December of 1832 and graduated from Allegheny College.  He came to Turkey as a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church."

When I was in Istanbul in 1992, the girls' tombstone was broken in half.  One half was tossed in a rubbish pile.  I was able to retrieve it, and in my rudimentary Turkish I asked the custodian who lived on the grounds to please keep these two pieces together because Nellie and Clara were sisters.  He said he would fix it.  I truly hope he did. 

It is all that is left of these dedicated Immortal Nobodies in Istanbul, Turkey.

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