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STORM OF LIFE: A Missionary Marriage from Armenia to Appalachia

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by Gretchen Rasch

Reverend Robert Stapleton (1866-1945) and Doctor Ida Stapleton (1871-1946) were American missionaries in Erzerum in the late Ottoman Empire .They were part of the extensive missionary community that sought to help Ottoman Armenians, using the influence of New England Protestantism along with Western education and culture. They witnessed the deportation of the city s Armenian population and the great battle for Erzurum between Turkish and Russian forces during World War I. They also participated in the great effort by Near East Relief to aid the destitute peoples of this region after 1918. Their service to Armenians ended in the early 1920s after the establishment of modern Turkey. Back in the United States they assisted the Appalachian poor in the Kentucky mountains during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This book uses the Stapletons private papers, as well as other primary and secondary sources, to draw a picture of the missionaries everyday lives and struggles.

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