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Free Silver On Bowery

Free Silver On Bowery
The Washington Herald
April 22, 1912
New York

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, Greets Men in Memorable Way.

An incident that might have been immortalized by O. Henry, were he still alive, occurred on the East Side recently, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, the Persian prophet, attired in the flowing robes of the Far East, visited the Bowery Mission. “Bagdad-on-the-Subway,” as O. Henry often called New York, has been the scene of countless incidents that might be woven into tales as fascinating as those related to Haroun-al-Raschid, and many of them have been enacted on the Bowery.

At the end of his address ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said he would like to meet each man as he passed out of the building. He said he had a token for them. Again the eyes of all followed him as he passed down the aisle and took a station near the door, carrying a mysterious looking bag in his hand.

As each man passed the prophet he was allowed to grasp his hand and as he withdrew it in his palm lay a bright silver quarter.

Four hundred men were in the hall, and there was a gift for all. After the last one had gone and the empty bag remained, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá congratulated the leaders of the mission and expressed his pleasure at having been able to be there.

Outside, on the Bowery, the news that there was “a guy givin’ away quarters at the mission” spread like wildfire. A crowd soon collected outside of the iron lattice work that protects the door, but $100 in 25 cent pieces was all the change the good prophet happened to have about him.