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A Muslim in Victorian AmericaThe Life of Alexander Russell Webb$
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Umar F. Abd-Allah

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195187281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195187288.001.0001

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 The Yankee Mohammedan

 The Yankee Mohammedan

(p.3) 1 The Yankee Mohammedan
A Muslim in Victorian America

Umar F. Abd‐Allah

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an introduction to the life of Alexander Russell Webb (1846-1916), who adopted Islam as a private faith and personal fulfillment of his identity as an American. He is considered one of the outstanding figures in the early history of Islam in the United States, and his legacy constitutes a valuable point of reference for all Americans today, and especially for those in the growing Muslim community of the United States. Webb was born and raised in Hudson, New York. In 1887, President Cleveland, the first Democrat to be served elected president since the end of Reconstruction, appointed Webb as American consul to the Philippines; he served in Manila until 1892. The Philippines afforded Webb access to information about Islam that he had not had in the United States. Shortly after his arrival in Manila, he decided to embrace Islam. Webb returned to New York in February 1893 and set about establishing his mission in Manhattan, immediately attracting front-page headlines in the New York Times and other American newspapers.

Keywords:   Alexander Russell Webb, Muslim, United States, Muslim American, Manila, American consul, Islam

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