BY JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER, M.D., LL.D.,
Professor of Chemistry and Physiology in the University of New York;
Author of a "Treatise on Human Physiology,"
c., c. NEW YORK: HARPER BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE. 1864.
Text prepared by Anna Krepps via the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, to both of whom H-Bahai is grateful.
Draper's book is important to Baha'i studies because it had a significant impact on the thinking of Iranian Baha'is in the 19th century. `Abdu'l-Baha refers to it by name in his Secret of Divine Civilization and in Persian letters in the early 20th century. Draper's book was first published in 1862, then again in 1864. (We are here presenting the 1864 edition.) It was soon translated into French: Histoire du développement intellectuel de l'Europe, Paris [etc.] A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven et cie, 1868-69. Because it had an unusually positive view of the contributions of Muslim and Middle Eastern civilization to that of Europe, it was immediately embraced by 19th century reformers in the Ottoman Empire. At least a partial Arabic translation appears to have been prepared from the French edition and `Abdu'l-Baha mentions the book as early as 1875. The influence of the book on other Middle Eastern reformers, especially Francophone ones, has not yet been traced, but it seems to be an example of an early American impact on the region. Another of Draper's books,on the conflict between religion and science, was translated into Ottoman and published in 1895.