The Ottoman Period – part C

1808–1810 – Three groups of Jewish religious immigrants arrive at the Acre port. These groups, totaling about 500 persons, include some who are mitnagdim-perushim (followers of the Vilna Gaon, opposing Chasidism). The first group is led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Shklov; the second group led by Rabbi Hillel ben Benyamin Rivlin and Sa’adya Ben Rabbi Noson Nota of Vilna; the third group led byRabbi Israel of Shklov and a Rabbi Chaim 181.

1810 – Suleiman Pasha builds the Khan al-Khamir (the Donkey’s Khan) in the eastern part of the city, near the Land Gate, between the Dahr al-Omar and al-Jazzar walls. Likewise, he establishes the al-Majadila Mosque in the city’s northwest. Also in this year, Rabbi Chaim ben Rabbi Tuvia Katz of Vilna visits Acre and in a letter to his friends writes about the lofty status of Haim Farhi.

1812 – The al-Jazzar Mosque is damaged in an earthquake 182. Swiss orientalist and traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (the discoverer of Petra) visits Acre and observes that the Khan al-Umdan is one of the most nearly perfect that he has ever seen 183. Shlomo Zalman Zoref—grandfather of Yoel-Moshe Salomon, one of the founders of Petah Tikva—is arrested and imprisoned upon his arrival in Acre. His release is secured with a high ransom paid by Haim Farhi 193.

1814 – The traveler Johannes Bramsen speaks in praise of Acre: “…almost all the houses are built of stone, most having two stories, with well-constructed windows…nearly all the streets are broad…” 184.

1815 – Suleiman Pasha builds the aqueduct to Acre. Today, remaining portions of the aqueduct can be seen on the east side of the Nahariya-Akko road. Queen Caroline, wife of the Hanoverian George IV King of the United Kingdom, arrives in Acre and meets with Suleiman Pasha 185. The traveler William Turner, author of “Journal of a Tour in the Levant,” visits Acre and provides details on the makeup of the population 186. Otto Friedrich von Richter, a German explorer and orientalist, comes to Acre 187. The trade and export of cotton from Acre dwindles following conflicts between French merchants and the governor of Acre, along with the ascendance of other trading centers in the Middle East and world 188.

1816 – The traveler and author James Silk Buckingham visits Acre 189,190. He describes contrasts within the city: “…the city is a blend of glory and adornment along with the wretched and dismal, of bad planning with reasonable practicality…” Likewise, he relates details about Acre’s population and about the powerful position of Haim Farhi 191.

1817 – In the summer the English traveler and writer Thomas R. Jolliffe visits Acre. Louis Nicolas Philippe Auguste, Count of Forbin, a French painter, antiquarian and later curator of the Louvre Museum, comes to Acre. He makes paintings of the city and provides a verbal description and facts on its population. In addition, he makes declarations opposing the economic policy of Suleiman Pasha and his advisor Haim Farhi who restrict the advancement of the French merchants 193. The Souk al-Abyad (the White Market) burns down entirely; Suleiman Pasha rebuilds it.

1818 – Suleiman Pasha dies, 194 and the regime passes to his associate, Abdullah Pasha, who serves in this capacity until 1831. Avraham Romano arrives from Turkey and settles in Acre. He is the adjutant and bodyguard of Hakham Bashi (Turkish: Chief Rabbi) Makhlouf Eldaoudi 195.

1819 – The English aristocrat William Rae Wilson, author of “Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land,” writes a great deal on Acre and possibly visits the city 196.

1820 – Abdullah Pasha suspects Haim Farhi of conspiring with the Turkish Sultan to remove the Pasha from his position of authority. Abdullah issues an order to kill Farhi, and the assassination is accomplished. Rabbi Israel of Shklov comes to Acre in order to lobby Abdullah Pasha to lessen the heavy taxes imposed on the Jews. The Pasha commands that Rabbi Israel be thrown in prison 197. Louis ãîåàæå joins a French delegation seeking to acquire horses for the French cavalry. He visits Acre and reports extensively on the organization of the Ottoman government 198.

1821 – John Carne, the English traveler and author visits Acre. He reports on the death of Haim Farhi and on Abdullah Pasha’s preparations to defend himself against Suleiman Pasha, governor of Damascus, who is coming to punish Abdullah for Farhi’s murder. Abdullah initiates a mass conscription of citizens to prepare fortifications and excavations. At the time of the siege of the city, Abdullah manages to escape to Egypt where he stays for some two years until his return to Acre.

1824 – Rabbi David (Dovid) of the school of Hillel (along with Rabbi A. Ya’ari) visits Acre and describes in minute detail its population and housing 199.

1829 – Anton von Prokesch-Osten, an Austrian diplomat, arrives in Acre to conduct negotiations with Abdullah Pasha for the return of the confiscated property of the Austrian honorary consul Antonio Catafago 200, 201. Prokesch is also responsible for convincing Abdullah Pasha to surrender at the time of the naval siege on Acre in 1830 202.

1831 – Henri ÷åøðéé , a French voyager, arrives to travel in the country but is arrested and detained for many days by the Egyptian soldiers of Ibrahim Pasha during their siege of Acre 203. Darwish Pasha of Damascus also besieges Acre.

1832–1840 – Beginning in May, after a siege of seven months, Ibrahim Pasha conquers Acre and rules the city on behalf of his uncle, Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt.

1833 – An English clergyman named ååéø îåðøå arrives in Acre some time after the siege and testifies to the physical damage suffered by the city 204. At this same time, following the siege, Alphonse de Lamartine, the French Romantic poet and politician (later Minister of Foreign Affairs) arrives in Acre.

1833–1878 – William McClure Thomson, an American clergyman and author (“The Land and the Book or Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land”), lives in Palestine andvisits Acre.

1834–1837 – Hussein Abd al-Hadi is the second governor of Acre on behalf the Egyptian conquerors.205 His tomb is situated in the courtyard of the al-Zeituna Mosque.

1834 – The “Rebellion of the Fallahin” (peasant farmers) breaks out against Ibrahim Pasha; the rebels besiege Acre.

1835 – Writer and explorer John Lloyd Stephens, the first American traveler to Palestine,arrives in Acre and writes: “In Acre are two palaces of Abdullah Pasha, who was governor of Acre before the Egyptian conquest…” 206.

1836 – British artist and engraver William Henry Bartlett depicts Acre in a famous engraving. He also devotes artworks to the city that he made during his additional visits here, until his death in 1854 207.

1837 – As of May, Moses Abraham Finzi, an Italian Jew, is the British deputy consul in Acre in Acre 208. Andrew Alexander Bonar, a Scots clergyman, and Robert Murray M’Cheyne visit Acre.

1837 – E. de Cadalvene and Emile Barrault draft a map of Acre, at a time when the area of the Old City is listed as 55 acres.

1838 – Visiting Acre are the Americans Edward Robinson, a Bible scholar, and Eli Smith, a Protestant missionary and scholar 209. The Irish surgeon Sir William Robert Wills Wilde, father of the poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, visits Acre while attending as physician on a Mediterranean cruise 210. Rabbi Eliezer Halevy from Safed visits refugees from that city who had taken refuge in Acre.

1839 –The artist Frédéric Goupil-Fesquet stays in Acre and makes a painting of the al-Jazzar Mosque during the building of the minaret, prior to its completion. He writes: “…it doesn’t arise in their (the Turks) understanding to restore the monuments that glorified Acre in the past…” 211. David Roberts, noted Scottish painter, visits Acre 211a.

1840 – Mahmoud Bey is the military commander of Acre. On November 3, Acre is shelled from the sea by a joint British-Austrian-Turkish expeditionary force supporting the Sultan against Muhammad Ali. The powerful explosion of a munitions store causes the death of approximately 2000 people. Khan al-Khamir (the Donkey’s Khan) is totally obliterated and with it dozens of animals. A large section of the eastern Dahr al-Omar wall is destroyed, and a large breach is made in the al-Jazzar wall. There are two additional explosions in the same munitions store in November 1840 and January 12, 1841. British countess Lady Harriet Catherine Egerton visits the Holy Land and reports on the twilight of Egyptian rule in Palestine and Acre.

1841 – The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George undergoes restoration.

1842 – W.P. Hunter visits Acre and makes a painting of the eastern wall as it appeared following the explosion of the munitions store there.

1843 – John Ephraim Durbin devout Methodist, arrives in Acre. As in many other accounts written in this period, he reports on the widespread destruction caused to the city by the 1840 munitions store explosion 212. The traveler John Wilson visits Acre 213.

1844 – Col. R.C. Alderson and Lt. C.F. Skyring of the British Royal Engineers make paintings of Acre.

1844 – 1845 – Kıbrıslı Mehmed Emin Paşha is the governor of Acre. Akili (Achille) Agha, leader of a Galilee Bedouin population, sojourns in Acre.

1846 –German researcher Johannes Nepomuk Sepp, a Catholic, visits Acre 214.

1848 – In early April, William Francis Lynch (author of “Narrative of the United States’ Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea”) arrives in Acre heading an expedition to the Holy Land. Said Bey is the governor of Acre 215. W.J. Woodcock passes through Acre on his travels 215a. German researcher Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer also journeys through Acre 216.

1849 – In a census commissioned by Moses Montefiore, it is mentioned that Avraham Mizrachi teaches in the Ramchal Synagogue in Acre and the head of the synagogue’s yeshiva is the Hakham Avraham Ezri 217. Sheikh Nur al-Din al-Yashruti visits Acre where he establishes the Zawiya (a hall for study, prayer, and spiritual union) of the Shaziliyya Sufis. Jesse Ames Spencer reports from Acre on the composition of its population.

1851 – The traveler Charles William Meredith van de Velde visits Acre 218,219. He is the author of “Memoir to Accompany the Map of the Holy Land” and “Narrative of a Journey through Syria and Palestine in 1851 and 1852.”

1853 – Arab historian Ibrahim al- Aura writes a history of Suleiman Pasha, ruler of Acre. Mustafa Rashid Pasha is the governor of Acre.

1856 – à. ôøàð÷ì from Germany visits Acre 220.

1857 – Kurdish reinforcements arrive in Acre. The Kurds serve in units of irregulars in support of the local Ottoman regime. The Ottomans encourage the Kurdish participation in various local conflicts in the empire’s Middle Eastern regions, with the purpose of weakening and gradually bringing about the termination of these very same irregular forces, which constitute a constant threat to the central authority 220a.

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