The Michaelian-Parmenter Collection

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Advertisement for Persian Rugs

Advertising put out by John Michaelian for the liquidation of his Persian rug business. Advertisement for Persian Rugs, mid to late 20th century . Contributed by Christopher Stedman Parmenter. Ajam Digital Archive,

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the United States saw significant numbers of Armenian immigrants coming to the country. While many Armenians fled the Ottoman Empire due to the hostilities and atrocities waged against them in the led up to the Armenian Genocide, the Michaelian family left under quieter circumstances some thirty years earlier. This collection, contributed by Christopher Stedman Parmenter, and translated by Gegham Mughnetsyan, consists of letters between Michaelian family members detailing their experiences, immigration papers, portraits, and more memorabilia from their initial years after immigrating to the United States.
“The Michaelians were exceptional migrants. The brothers Hohannes (John), Garabed (Charlie) (1867-1939), and Boghos (Paul) (1879-1915) came to the American northeast having been educated by Protestant missionaries at Euphrates College in Harput. They were fluent in English and, like many graduates of Protestant schools, came equipped with letters of introduction. Their brother Hagop (Jacob) (1854-1931), who had been ordained as a minister at Anatolia College in Merzifon, preceded them by a year. Although Hohannes and Hagop made extended returns to the Ottoman Empire after their initial migration (the latter served as a Protestant minister in Constantinople between 1887-92), the four brothers had committed to staying in the U.S. In 1897 they pooled their money to found Michaelian Brothers & Company in New York, importing newly-in-vogue ‘Oriental’ rugs.” -Christopher Parmenter, “How George Became Kevork: Race, Law, and the Many Transformations of the Michaelian Family”

How George Became Kevork: Race, Law, and the Many Transformations of the Michaelian Family

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