||THE PERSIAN PALACE - It was expected that the
people of America would take a deep interest in the customs, manners,
handicraft, and people of Persia. In token of this expectation a
company of twenty-two Persians arrived in Chicago, April 9, 1893.
They had traveled from Sheeraz and Teheran overland to
Constantinople, and thence by Austrian Lloyd steamer to New York. A
few weeks later a second contingent arrived safely from Ispahan by
the sea route - down the Persian Gulf, through the ocean to the Red
Sea, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, New York and
Chicago, being sixty days on the way - one of the longest journeys
taken by anybody to reach the World's Fair. These people hoped to
attract Americans by setting up their shops, where the weaving of
carpets, rugs and shawls, the engraving of metals, the labor of
lapidaries, and the manufacture of Persian candies might be seen.
But the genius of Midway Plaisance was pleasure and not instruction.
The working people of Persia soon became the scarcely seen on-lookers
in Midway, beholding "the greatest Oriental star, Belle Baya, the
prize beauty of the Paris Exposition of 1889," and other dancing
girls, who were nothing more nor less than young women of Paris,
educated in the \plain\f2\fs20\i cafes chantants \plain\f2\fs20 of
that pleasure-seeking city. The original idea of the Persian Palace
was laudable. The development which made the place profitable and
popular was instructive only in deplorable things. It stood near the