Letter from Pliny Fisk to Isaac Bird, June 26, 1824



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No. 3

Damascus June 26, Sat. 4. P.M.

Dear Br. B.

I wrote to you twice from Deir el Qamar. Thursday we set off for this place at 7 A.M. We descended to the stream that runs between D. el Q. & Btedyn, the Emir's Palace & leaving the Palace to the right began to ascend. The stream that runs through this valley I take to be the same that empties a little N. of Sidon & is there called Berook. At 8 1/2 we passed the Goat's Fountain [?Ain el Maaza]. At 11 1/2 we stopped to dine & sleep a little while in the shade at Ain Berook. A most delightful spot. The water issues forth at several different places & forms a considerable stream of the coldest, best water I have seen in the country. We rested till 40 min. past one. At 3,40 we reached the highest summit of Lebanon at this part of the Mountain. Then began a tolerably regular descent to the Plain of Coslo Syria. The E. side of Mt. Leb. is tolerably well wooded principally with oaks but of a stinted growth. At 5.40 min. reached the Plain. At 6.40 crossed a river & encamped for the night in a little brush hut full of holes & full of vermin. This is the river that rises at Balbeck & runs along between Lebanon & Anti-Leb. &, as I suppose, empties between Sidon & Tyre. About a mile from the place where we lodged is a village called Gib Geneen at the foot of A a projection from Anti-Leb. Friday started at 5 1/4 leaving

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Gib Geneen & the Projecting Mountains on our right at 6 1/4 we passed a village called Carmel. At 6 3/4 we left the Plain of Bekaa or Coslo Syria [bowing?] been 2 1/2 hours in crossing it. A little farther S. it is not more than half a wide. At Baalbec it is still wider. Antilebanon where we round it is not so rough, steep & rocky as Lebanon, & has more fertile valleys & plains among its hills. At 10 1/2 we stopped at Yentah to eat & sleep again in the shade of a grove. Rested till 12. 45 min. Our journey in the afternoon was principally in a Wady, a part or the whole of it is the Wady Halooah. At 5 we reached Dimas & put up for the night at a tolerably comfortable but where we found a plenty of sour milk, -- very refreshing. This morning we set off a quarter before 3. I cannot tell how many times I fell asleep before day, but I sometimes come near falling off my mule. In the morning we had a very learned [underscore] & animated discussion about twilight & sunrise. At 7 we came in sight of Damas= =cus, situated in an extensive plain surrounded by immense gardens & orchards of fruit trees. At 8 we left Anti-Lebanon & entered the plains of Damascus. We very soon came among the orchards & gardens. At 9 we entered the city. Mr. Cook & I dismounted at the gate & Mr. King had not rode far before he was obliged to do the same. We were now walking about town most of the time for 2 1/2 hours,

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before we could find lodgings. The Capuchin Convent could not receive us because the rooms were all full. The Terra Santa could not recieve us because a few days ago an order was received from the Reverendissimo not to receive any of the men who distribute books. The Greek Patriarch could not receive us because he has so many Bishops & Priests with him that his house is more than full. We at length obtained a room in a private house where we now are with the servant & baggage all in the same room. -- You will be glad to hear that I find myself quite as well at the close of my journey as I was at the beginning of it. Br. King is just about as well as usual. His eyes look red after the journey, & I fear will not allow him to study so much as he wishes. -- Mr. Cook says I may tell you he is always the better for travelling. Both the Brethren join me in love to you all. We mean to take as good care as we can of ourselves & one another. Pray for us & be assured we shall often think of you. If there is any more work for us to do, the Lord I trust will preserve us. ---- Talk to Willian now & then about his uncles. --

Your affectionate brother P. Fisk

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[Writing in Arabic?]

Rev. Isaac Bird


Rev. P. Fisk Damascus June26. Bayroot 30. --

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