Terry Abraham, a native of Oregon, has lived in Idaho since 1970. Now retired from the University of Idaho Library, he is the recipient of the Idaho State Historical Society's Esto Perpetua award. Author of Mountains So Sublime: Nineteenth-Century British Travellers and the Lure of the Rocky Mountain West (2006), he is the editor of Chinese Servants in the West: Florence Baillie-Grohman's "The Yellow and White Agony" (2007).
At first, the Chinese in Idaho and the West usually buried their dead in exclusively Chinese cemeteries. Later, Chinese burials also took place in Christian cemeteries. Together, both types of cemeteries exhibit a variety of Chinese funerary customs and rituals, including fengshui, or grave placement; exhumation of remains for shipment to China; diverse grave markers in Chinese and/or English; and funerary structures, such as shrines and burners. Burning paper replicas of real objects sends them to the spirit world for use by the deceased in the afterlife, while burning “Hell money” transforms it into currency that the deceased can use to purchase needed items.
Terry Abraham offers an illustrated presentation of eyewitness accounts of the western landscape by British tourists and travelers to the Rocky Mountain West. Literate and opinionated, the British came to the West to explore, to hunt and fish, and to invest. They wrote over 300 books about their experiences and illustrated many of them with engravings, woodcuts and photographs. Originally published for contemporary British audiences, their descriptions of the American wilderness provide a window into our past. This slide presentation is based on research in the great libraries of Oxford and London.