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Kansas Physician Confirms Howard Report

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  • A brief bio of Marryat.

    The Biographical Treasury a Dictionary of Universal Biography (London: Longman, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1868 ), Page 651
    by Samuel Maunder

    MARRYAT, Captain FREDERICK, R.N., the most popular of England's naval novelists, was born in 1786. Entering the navy at an early age, he served in the Impérieuse under Lord Cochrane, took part in the attack on the French fleet in Aix Roads, and in the Walcheren expedition in 1809; and in 1814, when lieutenant of the Newcastle, gained great distinction by cutting out four vessels in Boston Bay. For his services during the Burmese war he was promoted to the rank of captain, and he was subsequently made a C. B., with a good service pension of £150 a year. Captain Marryat commenced his literary career as a contributor to the Metropolitan Magazine, of which he afterwards became the editor; and in its pages several of his most successful stories appeared. His first work, in three volumes, was the “Naval Officer,” published in 1829. This was followed in 1830 by the “King's Own ;” and in 1832 appeared “Newton Foster,” a great improvement on the two former works, and “Peter Simple,” which is generally considered to be the best and most amusing of all his publications. From this period Captain Marryat's industry kept pace with his success; and among the numerous works, which flowed from his pen in an uninterrupted stream, may be enumerated, “Jacob Faithful,” “Mr Midshipman Easy,” “Masterman Ready,” “The Pacha of many Tales,” “Japhet in search of a Father,” “Poor Jack,” “The Pirate and Three Cutters,” “Snarleyow,” “Percival Keene,” &c.; besides the “Phantom Ship,” originally contributed to the New Monthly Magazine, and “Joseph Rushbrook,” which first appeared in the Era, a London newspaper. In 1837 he paid a visit to the United States, and on his return he published his “Diary in America,” which reflected somewhat severely on the national character of the Americans. This was followed by three additional volumes, and by his “Travels of Monsieur Violet,” supposed to be founded on the adventures of Chateaubriand in the woods of the New World. Few men have written so much and so well as Captain Marryat. To the last, his literary powers remained unabated; and by common consent he is facile princeps among the delineators of naval character and naval life. Died, Aug. 9, 1848.


    • A thirty volume series on travel written by the grandfather of Col. Claude Conder has a handy footnote summarizing the works discussing the idea that the lost tribes of Israel has migrated to Nort America.

      The Modern Traveller: North America, Volume 24 (London: James Ducan, 1830), Pages 151-152
      by Josiah Conder
      This quaint notion, first started by the Romish Missionaries, (who discovered the word Messiah in Mexico!) has found several advocates among Protestant writers; particularly Adair, the author of a "History of the Indian Tribes," who was for many years employed as agent among the North American Indians. In 1816, the Rev. Dr. Elias Boudinot, of New Jersey, published a volume entitled "A Star in the West, or an humble Attempt to discover the long lost Ten Tribes of Israel;" in which the same opinion was maintained. In 1825, appeared another volume on the same subject, by the Rev. Ethnan Smith, pastor of a church in Poultney, entitled, "View of the Hebrews, or the Tribes of Israel in America." Of these two volumes, Mr. Israel Worsley has made copious use in his "View of the American Indians, shewing them to be Descendants of the Ten Tribes." London, 1828. Still more recently, the hypothesis has found an enthusiastic advocate in a female Writer: "The Hope of Israel, &c, by Barbara Anne Simon." 8vo. London. 1829. A critical account of these latter publications, and a refutation of the error on which the notion rests, will be found in the Eclectic Review, Aug. 1829, art. 2.


      Links to the works mentioned.

      The History of the American Indians (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775), link
      by James Adair

      A Star in the West: Or, A Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (Trenton: D. Fenton, S. Hutchinson and J. Dunham, 1816), link
      by Elias Boudinot

      View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America (Poultney, VT: Smith & Shute, 1825, 2nd ed.), link
      by Ethan Smith

      A View of the American Indians (London: 1828), link
      by Israel Worsley

      The Hope of Israel: Presumptive Evidence that the Aborigines of the Western Western Hemisphere are Descended from the Ten Missing Tribes of Israel (London: R. B. Seeley and W. Burnside, 1829), link
      by Barbara Allan Simon

      This books quotes from a speech by Major Noah.

      Pages 33-35

      The Eclectic Review (London), Third Series, Volume 2, August, 1829, Pages 116-132

      Worsley's View of the American Indians, &c.

      Not mentioned in the note above, this book has a long footnote based on Adair's book but the author says he knows of no confirmation for Adair's observations.

      A General and Connected View of the Prophecies Relative to the [...] Houses of Judah and Israel, Volume 1 (London: F.C. and J. Rivingtom, 1808), link
      by George Stanley Faber

      Pages 42-55

      Volume 2, link


      • In 1848 Major Noah gave a speech in connection with an attempt to raise money to build a new synagogue (or temple) in Jerusalem.

        Here's a link to the New York Tribune which carried the speech.

        New-York Daily Tribune, November 25, 1848, Page 1, Column 1

        M. M. Noah's Address
        Delivered at the Hebrew Synagogue in Crosby St. on Thanksgiving Day to Aid in the Erection of the Temple at Jerusalem

        Links to an easier to read version of the speech, with 2 excerpts. One discusses the salutary effects the actions of "Reformers, Socialists, Communists, [and] Philosophers" are having. The second a claim that the remnants of Herod's temple survive beneath the Al Aksa mosque.

        The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, Volume 11, March 1, 1849, Pages 65-69

        Building of the Temple at Jerusalem [Part 1]

        Page 69

        The result of this religious freedom manifests itself in gradually withdrawing from the great Founder of the Christian faith, the divine attributes conceded to Him by his disciples and followers. Since the Reformation, this change has been gradually unfolding itself; but professing Christians did not dare to express their doubts even to themselves; they were unbelievers ever, but only in the deep recesses of the heart; but now Reformers, Socialists, Communists, Philosophers, openly express their doubts. All Germany is deeply tinctured with this belief, and other Luthers are springing up, declaring their unchanged belief in the sublime morality of Jesus of Nazareth-—their entire confidence in Him as an eminent and illustrious reformer, teacher, prophet, brother; but denying his divine issue, his participation in the God-head, and his right to share with the Almighty the attributes of divinity. The Jews are deeply interested in the extension and preservation of Christian morals; to us and to the world it would be a deep calamity to see own laws, our principles, owr doctrines abrogated, which have been so beneficially spread throughout the world, under another name. If we were enfeebled and broken down, and had not the power to enforce and carry out the doctrines of our faith, still, happily, they have not been lost to the world, but flourish under another denomination. “Do unto others as you would desire others to do unto you-—love your neighbour as yourself” —-deal justly with all men, honour your parents, be faithful to the governments that protect you, be merciful, be charitable, and love God with all your heart and soul—these are Jewish precepts, advanced as such by a great Jewish reformer, and ingrafted upon the religion adopted by his followers and friends; but their divine origin is unchanged.

        March 15, 1849, Pages 81-85

        Building of the Temple at Jerusalem [Part 2]

        Page 84

        It is not the least curious in the erection of this new edifice in Jerusalem, that we can direct the builders to the spot where all the materials of Herod’s temple yet lie in silent grandeur. Beneath the mosque of El Aksa, the great chambers, the immense granite pillars, the magnificent marble columns with exquisitely carved tops and bases, the richly ornamented gates, the reservoirs still filled with water, in which the Priests and Levites bathed, are at this day to be found, not crumbling in ruins, but erect and majestic, and have been explored within the last two years by one of our people, now a resident of this city, proving, beyond doubt, the error of that prediction, which declared that not one stone of that temple shall stand upon another. At this particular crisis of affairs in Europe, this small sign will arouse the Jews in every direction. They have been busy amid these revolutions. It was not to be expected that a people of their literary, political, and commercial influence-—the bankers of Europe, the merchants of England, the statesmen of France, the philosophers of Germany, the agriculturists of Poland, the poets of Italy, the artists, mechanics and soldiers everywhere, could see these mighty events developing themselves on the Continent, without participating actively in their progress and results. They too will hear the distant sound of that trumpet, whose notes will float around the horizon, and will know who is moving in the great work. The laying of the corner-stone of the new temple will attract an immense number of the faithful to Jerusalem to witness the ceremony; it will not be built as the old one, on the return of our people from Babylon, with the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other. The building and the builders will be protected and assisted by all religious denominations. For many years I have cherished the hope that I might have it in my power to visit the Holy City—-that my country would enable me to say to my people, with the prophet Isaiah, "Hail to the land shadowing with wings, which lies beyond the ruins of Ethiopia, which sendeth ambassadors by sea in vessels of bulrushes," hail to the house of the Jew as well as the Gentile. It would be to me the proudest day of my life, if I could be present at laying the corner-stone of the new temple of Jerusalem—-if I could realise all the associations which spring from the spot where Daniel and Solomon lived—where Isaiah prophesied, and where Maccabees conquered.


        An example of James Gordon Bennett and the Herald sneering at Noah.

        The New York Herald, November 25, 1848, Page 2, Column 3

        More Money and Fools Wanted

        The success of the recent magnificent piece of dupery practised
        on the Irish people, in this land, by which about
        $30,000 were extracted from their pockets, and put
        into the pocket of Robert Emmet, to build up a
        republic in Ireland--the success of that scheme,
        has brought more projectors into the field. On
        Thanksgiving day, M. M. Noah made an address
        to the Hebrews of this city, in the Synagogue in
        Crosby street, for the purpose of raising funds to
        rebuild the temple of Jerusalem. How much he
        got we know not; but possibly the republic and
        the temple will go up together. The Hebrews,
        however, will take care how they put $30,000 into
        any man's pocket, without a receipt.


        A summary of Noah's elaboration of his remarks on a claim about remnant's of Herod's temple.

        The Daily Crescent [New Orleans], January 02, 1849, Morning, Page 1, Column 3

        Jewish Temple

        The assertion of Major Noah,
        in his Thanksgiving address before the Hebrew
        Society, that substantial remains of the Temple of
        Jerusalem were still in existence, and thus, that the
        prophecy of Christ in reference to the destruction
        of the Temple had not been literally fulfilled, having
        called out queries as to his proofs for such a
        statement, he has furnished them in an interesting
        article to the Journal of Commerce. The original
        temple was erected by Solomon 1012 b. c., and was
        destroyed by the Assyrians 424 years after. On
        the return of the Jews from Babylon, the temple
        was plainly rebuilt and stood thus until Herod
        rebuilt it with great splendor. This structure to
        which Christ referred, was destroyed by Titus and
        the Romans, seventy years after the death of Christ,
        and the ploughshare was actually passed over the
        ground surface where the temple had stood.

        Underneath, however, a vast sub-structure with
        vaults, crypts, and massive pillars, remained
        untouched, and for 500 years the earth accumulated
        over it, concealing the ruins from twelve to fifteen
        feet below the surface. When the Turks selected
        Mount Moriah as the site of the Great Mosque of
        Omar, in levelling the ground, this structure was
        brought to light, and now exists almost perfect
        under the Mosques of Omar and El Aksa. The
        architecture is such as to leave no doubt of its having
        belonged at least to the Temple of Herod, the one
        against which Christ prophesied. In this conclusion
        Mr. Nathan, a Hebrew traveller, and Messrs.
        Catherwood and Tipping, each of whom explored
        and took drawings of the architecture, agree.



        • The full version of Noah's further elaboration on the remnants of the Temple in Jerusalem. At the link, there are some interesting drawings of the area in question.

          The Occident and American Jewish Advocate, February, 1849, Pages 550-559, link to PDF file

          The Temple of Jerusalem
          by M. M. Noah

          In our last we briefly alluded to several communications concerning the Solomonic Temple, which had just reached our eye; but as it was so near the end of the month, (the 20th,) it was impossible for us to do more than merely state that such publications had been made. But in order to afford our readers the opportunity of perusing what had been said on this interesting topic, we transfer the whole article to our pages, since we believe thus to render service to the cause of religion by using the details from the perishable form of a daily paper. As the article is so long, it would occupy more space than we can afford to comment on it at full length; but this much we cannot avoid saying, that we do nota pprove Judge Noah 's offering a sort of apology for the inaccuracy ofthe gospel prophecies. They are either literally true or they are not; if the former, then no stone should have been left on the other, in accordance with the prediction; and we well recollect that some Christian travellers have laboured hard to do away with the impression which the west wall of Herod's temple, existing as it does within the circum־ference of the mosque of Omar, must make against the accuracy of the alleged predictions, by saying that it appears that the stones had been replaced in their present position after having been disjointed by the destruction of the entire building, when it is evident that no one would likely take the pains to reproduce a ruin, which when restored could answer no useful purpose. If, therefore, Christians find it difficult to reconcile the predictions with the faith, we do not see why our Israelites should seek for vain grounds to justify the evident incongruities which the gospels present. And suppose that the prophecies are not to be literally accomplished, then we ask what sort of accomplishment will be enough to satisfy an inquirer ? Is in the present case the destruction of one half, or one third, or one quarter, sufficient for the purpose? We may freely ask for an answer before we proceed further. Besides all this, we know of no Hebrew idiom equivalent to "not having one stone on the other;" on the contrary if we mistake not it is Greek, andn owise expressible in the same Hebrew words. But we said we would not comment at the present time; so we must break off, with the ex-pression of the hope that the subject may elicit further discussion before long.—-Ed. Oc.

          (From the Journal of Commerce of Dec. 20.)

          Messrs. Editors:—-In the course of my remarks in the address delivered on Thanksgiving day, relative to the contemplated erection of a magnificent place of worship by the Jews at Jerusalem. I stated, that a considerable portion of the ruins of the temple, chambers, splendid columns, &c., were still in existence, showing the error of that prediction which declared, that not one stone of that building should stand upon another. The statement naturally produced a spirit of inquiry, on a prediction of so much importance, and I am called upon by one of your correspondents, and many others also, to furnish my authority for this declaration, which unsettles a very remarkable passage of sacred history. This is just and proper, because both religion and history should have truth as their bases, if enlightened men are required to believe in them. Before I proceed, however, with facts, allow me to correct one error, which I perceive exists in the minds of many persons.There is no intention among the Jews at the present time, to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem, with all its magnificence and former services and sacrifices;—-that great event can only be accomplished after the restoration, in a state of profound peace, and then under such modifications of forms and ceremonies, as shall be required by the progress of the age. The place of worship to be erected may be called a Temple,but it is simply a Synagogue on a large scale, for the accommodation of the increasing number of Jewish emigrants and residents; nor are the Jews at the present day taking any measures of a political nature for the restoration of the nation to its ancient heritage, beyond indispensable preparations of education, science, enlarged and liberal principles.

          The Jewish people who turn their attention to this interesting subject, rely upon the justice of Christians, who, having dispossessed them, will, under divine Providence, essentially aid in restoring them to the land which God gave to them as a perpetual inheritance. The incipient steps are now taking in the Christian world for the consummation of that great and interesting־ event, and the Jews are patiently regarding these movements, and calmly awaiting the assured fulfilment of their destiny. Your correspondent is curious to know how any of the remains of the Temple can possibly exist, when historians declared that so complete was its destruction that the Roman plough passed over it. You have no doubt heard of what is called the "pious frauds" practised in the early days of the church, and well know that one of the most important references to the founder of the Christian faith in Josephus, is admitted to have been an interpolation, by the most enlightened historians and prelates of that faith, and I proceed to give you the facts that history is less reliable in relation to the utter destruction of the Temple. The firing of that magnificent edifice during the siege of Jerusalem, it is known was the result of accident. Titus Vespasianus, though anxious to reduce the city, was too great a patron of the arts to destroy a structure so splendid. On the contrary, he made every effort to save the building when he found it on fire. The Jewish historians are naturally severe and bitter in their resentments against Titus, to whom they attributed all their misfortunes. I have considered the capture of Jerusalem by Pompey, and subsequently by Titus, as events connected with the career of a warlike nation, aiming at universal conquest, and indifferent where the blow was struck, so that it added to the triumph of the Roman arms.

          After Jerusalem had been reduced, Titus returned to Rome with his spoils, and some 15,000 Jewish captives, and there ended the spirit of conquest and revenge; consequently ploughing up the ground for vindictive objects could not have been reasonable. It is known that when David and Samuel had projected the plan of the Temple, and all the details of building, worship, and general organization had been ־decided upon, David purchased Mount Moriah from Aurunah, a Jebusite agriculturist of some importance, being a fine piece of table land, used as a threshing-floor, and consecrated by the tradition, that this was the spot where Abraham offered up his son. Having purchased the piece of table-land, and finally the whole mountain, he furnished Solomon with a plan of the whole building, which, at immense cost, required eight years to complete. All writers unite in opinion that for durability and strength, no building could compare with it.

          Mr. James Nathan, of this city, made a journey to Egypt and the Holy Land, and visited the remains of the Temple. The following is his own statement of what he saw on that occasion:

          "Two months had now passed over us at Jerusalem, and every attempt to get by fair means a glance at the interior of either of the two mosques that occupy the site of the temple of Solomon had proved fruitless. The opening that accident had made in one of the outer walls, and of which some fortunate travellers before us had availed themselves, was recently walled up and closed by the fanatic and jealous Musselmen, and convinced that nothing but some stratagem could gain us ־admission, we-—Dr. Titus Tobler of Switzerland, and the writer—resorted to the following:

          "A Jewish lad, in my employ as servant, had brought us on a former occasion, a poor Arab mason to lead us to the forbidden localities of the 'Birket el Brack,' a business he had then faithfully performed, and hearing that this man had worked on the walling up of the above mentioned opening, and on various other parts of the mosques, we hit upon him either to reopen the same, or in some way procure us an entry,and after long and tedious preliminaries, amongst which was a promiseof 200 piasters, 'Backshees' was not the least effective, succeeded in persuading him to open during night some small place or aperture, whereby we might enter the subterranean passages and. archways that we know support the mosques.

          "After some few days the Arab said he had accomplished his task,but could not accompany us until after several more days, when the present rites and prayers of the Musselmen had passed, and the mosques became less subject to night visits from the dervishes and devotees.

          "Though fully conscious of the unlawfulness and hazard of our purpose, so anxious were we to realise this most cherished of obects at Jerusalem, as to feel much impatient and mortified at the delay and thus hailed with delight the 28th of January, 1846, as the day fixed upon for our expedition.

          "On the evening of that day, and after dark had fairly set in, the doctor, myself and servant, preceded by the Arab, and provided with lantern, compass, and measures, set out for the mosque, and passing concealed, between heaps of rubbish, and huge cactus trees, down that part of the Tyropean valley, which separates Zion from Moriah, towards the 'Babel Magariah, climbed a little to the north-east of it over an old and dilapidated stone fence, and crossed by a sort of foot-path an open field, already strictly prohibited to the 'infidel dog,' in a north-west direction, towards the south wall of the mosque 'el aksa;' and very near the centre of this wall, and where the city wall joins it, entered a door-way and stumbled over lots of dirt and mason work, through two arched and quadrangular rooms of modern structure, and over what seemed to me an inclining surface, to the hole or opening made by the Arab, and being in the south foundation wall of the 'Aksa' of about twelve inches in height, and sixteen in width.

          "We could not implicitly trust in a man like our Arab, who would secretly, and for money, violate what openly he professed and worshipped, and therefore, I put my hand and head through the aperture,to ascertain something of the earth we might be launched upon, in passing through it; but finding a powerfut current of air rushing towards me and extinguishing the candle that was three or four times relit, we made the Arab pass first, and then squeezed ourselves feet foremost,pulled by the Arab on the other side, and shoved by the other two of our party on this side, through the opening into, we knew not where, and landed successively, and with our dresses nearly stripped off us, some considerable distance, beneath the level of the side we came from.

          "Proceeding a few steps direct north, my eyes were struck with the tall and graceful proportions of two white marble pillars about nine or ten feet apart, supporting a handsome arch, and constituting, originally,a high and most noble gateway.

          "The pillar on the west side of the entry was partly walled in, by mean Arab mason work; the one on the east, however, was clear, and measures 65 feet in circumference about 5 feet from its base, where it has a gentle swell that tapers gradually towards the top.

          "The capital of projecting leaves, tastefully carved, is by far themost beautiful I had ever before seen, and resembles nearest the Corinthian, which seems merely the extension and embellishment of the same style, but in comparison overdone and deprived of the chaste and exquisite simplicity of the former. On scraping a little of the dirt from the surface of the easterly pillar, it presented a soft alabaster and glistening whiteness, that shone in candle light, like diamonds in pearl dust.

          "Close to this pillar, and to the east of it, the 16 to 18 feet highwall, is composed of four large stones, the undermost of which is 15 feet long, 4 feet high, and 5 feet in thickness, and precisely like the often described stones in the wall of the 'weeping place, ־which are admitted by all to be of the court wall of the ancient temple.

          "The arched room or chamber in which we now were, is 43 feet wide, from east to west, 37 1/2 feet long from south to north, commencing from the gateway as the most southerly line, and as near as can ne told without measurement, about 25 leet in height, and supported in the centre by two large pillars, one of which measures 14 1/2 feet in circumference, and the other seems of the same size, and was therefore not measured. The arched roof or ceiling is divided into small compartments, the three most southerly and nearest the gateway, have round grounded centres, with cornices and a sort of roseete, which, however, I had much difficulty to discern by candle light, and will therefore not be too positive in their character. Dr. T. being short-sighted regretted much not to be able to see and examine them.

          "In the east and west walls were several niches,with straw matting on the floor in front of them. The Arab said they were graves, but it is more likely they are praying places for the dervished. Two of these niches were rather large recesses, and bore strong evidence of antiquity.

          "We also came to a large oblong and door-like opeing in the centre of the east wall, which the Arab said was the mouth of a very large 'Birket,' (cistern). Having־ no ladder with us, and finding no other way of descending, we dropped some stones down, and judging from the sound and time it took to reach the bottom, there was no water, but considerable depth. From memory I think we concluded about eighty feet.

          "Between some rude mason work that forms part of the south wall on the west side of the entry, the upper oprtions of a pillar, precisely like those of the two white marble ones in the gateway, near there proud features, in captive but unconquered beauty.

          "A stair-way of nine steps hewn out of solid rock, commences 37 1/2 feet north of the gateway, and is as wide as the chamber just described, and as the continuation of it, to which it leads. This continuation measures 150 additional feet, from south to north, and is as much lower in ceiling as the nine steps are high, say from 6 to 7 feet.

          "Six colossal pillars at regular intervals, and in a stright line with the two centre ones above mentioned, support the rocky roof, some of them, if not all, are of one piece, and cut out out of one gigantic rock that must have lain imbedded here for geological ages, and out of which, I cannot but believe, this entire continuation must have been excavated. The second pillar north of the stairway, is 11 1/2 feet in circumference, the first one was not measured, but is much larger. A piece of one of the pillars I knocked off with some difficulty, to carry with me, and now hold for some future geological examination.

          "We looked carefully at various parts of the east and west walls, and could find no place where they seemed joined, but they felt somewhat smoothed either by friction or some coat of paint or polish, that once might have been on it.

          "The roof has no embellishments besides the curved lines that bend down into the pillars, and give it the appearance of one grand and massive, yet lofty and self-supporting structure, so peculiar to the most ancient orders.

          "We had now passed under the entire 'mosque of Aksa' יto its northern extremity—-187 1/2 feet north of the first described magnificent gateway—-and noticed to the northeast a small inverted arch, the meaning of which we did not fathom, and in the northwest corner a door,through an opening of which we looked, and saw a stairs leading up to the centre grounds of the 'Haarem Sherief,' and had the 'Kubbet el Sukra' (copula of the stone) right in front of us.

          "On our return we re-examined every object leisurely for correction,and leaving the place by the way we had entered, ordered the Arab to replace the stone and close the hole he had made, which a day or two thereafter he said he had done, and when cautioning him not to speak of what had passed, he said, if he did it would be his last speech.

          "From the locality, character, and expression of the entire structure, and the various objects therein, here described, no less than from that thorough conviction that is forced upon the mind, whenever it meets with truth and genuineness, I cannot but sincerely believe in the antiquity of these relics, but reserve to myself the privilege of an opinion more in detail, for some future time, and after some more study and reflection, as to whether the whole or what part thereof, belongs to the temples built by the Jews under Solomon, Cyrus, or Herod.

          "James Nathan."

          " P. S.—The floor was measured by steps calculated here at 2 1/2 feet each, the other measurement is of French feet."

          I could have no doubt, from this statement of Mr. Nathan, that these were the remains, not ruins, of the Temple, and I proceeded to make further investigations, with the most entire success. Mr. Catherwood, well known as an enterprising traveller, was, in 1833, in the service of Ibraham Pacha, at Jerusalem, as a civil engineer, and wearing the dress and speaking the language of the Mussulman, he strayed one day into the boundaries of the great mosque of Omar, and took a drawing of the interior. He proceeded to the mosque El Aksa, and descended into the subterranean vaults, and, without having the idea impressed upon his mind, that these were the remains of the temple, he says,--"At the southeast corner of this rock, (a limestone rock under the dome of the mosque,) there is an excavated chamber, to which there is a descent by a flight of stone steps. This chamber is irregular in form, and its insuperficial area is about six hundred feet, the average height seven feet." In another part of his description he says in reference to these ruins,—"Here are fifteen rows of square pillars, from which spring arches, supporting the platform. The whole substructure appears to me of Roman origin, and in connexion with the golden gate, and the one beneath the El Aksa, together with the ancient bridge, to have formed a connected plan of foundations, to the great temple of Herod." After describing the length of the last wall, 1520 feet, of the south 940, of the west wall 1617 feet, and of the north 1020, the remains of which, still existing, Mr. Catherwood says, in conclusion,--"The mosque of Omar occupies the position of the Ho!y of Holies of Solomon's Temple."

          Here are two authorities unknown to each other, who have seen the remains of the temple under El Aksa; but I have others fully as conclusive. Shubert, the German traveller who visited Jerusalem in 1837, says in his travels,—-" We heard of these walls under the temple hill, which are supported on thousands of columns and also of the reservoirs for water, which are in connexion with them." Mr. Tipping, in 1842, was more fortunate. In making his researches under the brow of the hill, he came to a small grated window, which is at the end of the subterranean aisle, and on attempting to raise his friend Mr. Walcott up, to gain an inside view from the grated window, he was assailed by a number of Mahomedans, who drove them off, but in wandering about the spot, a deaf and dumb boy, suspecting what their object was, made signs to go with him, and he led to a small break in the wall. Both gentlemen squeezed through the narrow entrance. Let us hear Mr. Tipping's account, which does not materially vary from Mr. Nathan's, with this difference, that Mr. Nathan paid it a single and short visit; Mr. Tipping went often to make drawings. After having entered the crypts, Mr. T. says, that the double gateway "consists of a square, or rather quadrangular entrance hall, the four flattishly-vaulted groined roofs of which are supported bya central monlith of white stone, with a capital bearing traces of a perpendicular palm-leaf ornament, certainly not Corinthian, or any other of the five classical orders. From this hall sprung originally two sets of steps, leading upto the long passage, divided by a row of square columns of 3 or 4 stones each, corresponding with the divisions of the gateway and the monolith. The groined roof of the hall is Roman in style, of excellent workman-ship, and bearing altogether a finer stamp than the entablature. Might we not safely attribute it to Herod? The broad division between the arches consists of bevelled stones of Cyclopedian dimensions; the sides of the long passage are also built of huge bevelled stones; but the walls of the hall are apparently plain and Roman, though of great size. This seeming anomaly perplexed me for a long time; but at length, and while examining these side walls closely, I ascertained by visible traces, that it had been bevelled, but that in order to construct side pilasters, corresponding with the central pillar, and bearing the two arches springing from it, the bevelling had been chisselled away, thus affording a slight relief to the pilaster. This was the crowning discovery; in as-much as it furnishes incontestable evidence of a third epoch in the structure, and of a far ulterior antiquity. Is there room possibly for more than one conclusion as to the original, or more ancient masonry, considering under what circumstances of national decay the second temple was built? Do not those vaults and passages, as to their ulterior structure, belong to the age of Solomon?"

          You thus perceive, Messrs. Editors, that Mr. Catherwood and Mr.Tipping, both eminent travellers, speak of these extraordinary remains of a splendid edifice, as the remains of the Temple, and Mr. Nathan, one of our own citizens, and of the Hebrew faith, in passing through them, could arrive at no other conclusion. Saracenic they are not; Roman though in style, they were not built by the Romans, for they destroyed what they could in Jerusalem, and built nothing. The convictions to which I have arrived from these facts are, that these chambers, pillars, archways, groined roofs, and entablatures, are the remains of the first floor or basement of Solomon's temple, upon which Herod erected the temple destroyed at the siege of Jerusalem under Titus.

          The first temple of Solomon was erected 1012 years B.C., and was finally destroyed by the Babylonians 588 B.C., having stood 424 years.After the return from Babylon, it was plainly rebuilt, and stood until Herod rebuilt it with great splendour, and it was finally destroyed seventy years after the death [sic] of the founder of the Christian religion.

          After the burning of the temple by Titus, and the Romans finally abandoning Jerusalem, the ruins remained five hundred years without disturbance, during which long period the earth accumulated over those ruins, covering up and concealing them some twelve or fifteen feet below the surface. And when a site was required for the great mosque of Omar, the commanding position of Mount Moriah, was naturally considered the most eligible for the new structure, and the ground, was levelled over the remains of the temple as now discovered, and the mosques of Omar and El Aksa erected over them. I entertain no doubt that if those mosques were removed, and the earth laid bare on Mount Moriah, the entire ground floor, or the first story of the temple, would be laid open. If, therefore, such a prediction was ever made, it certainly appears, by these discoveries, that it was not verified. 1 have־ always doubted, whether it ever was made in the accepted sense we receive it, and with every ־respect for the opinion of others, I proceed to give my reasons. The New Testament was written at intervals by the apostles, more to preserve a record of events, occurring in their time, than to constitute a religious companion for the Bible. Several of the books were lost, and amended when found, and brought into its present form nearly 200 years after the Christian era. It must necessarily have undergone many changes by the early fathers of the church. But the most important fact, equally applicable to the Old Testament as well as the New, is, that we adopt passages literally which are meant only as figuratively-—a style and mode of speaking, laconic and abbreviated, even at this day prevailing in the oriental countries; consequently we discover throughout the Scriptures printed in the English language, incongruities, corruptions, and erroneous translations, ad infinitum. Here, however, are the, stately remains of the temple, and here we have another illustration of the historic truth of the Bible. Your correspondent, I hope, will be satisfied that I have not ventured upon an important statement, without being in possession of all the facts.

          M. M. Noah

          We return our thanks to the Messrs. Harper & Brothers, for their the accompanying engravings, made from drawings by Mr. Tipping.—-Ed. Oc.


          • A brief bio of James Nathan.

            The Jewish Encyclopedia, Volume 6 (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1912), Page 51

            GOTENDORF, JAMES (JAMES NATHAN): German-American merchant and litterateur; born Feb. 9, 1811, at Eutin, Holstein, Germany; died at Hamburg Oct. 5, 1888. He went to the United States in 1830, and for the next twenty years was engaged in the commission business in New York. About 1843 he became friendly with Horace Greeley (upon whose advice he changed his name from "James Nathan" to "Gotendorf"), and through him with Margaret Fuller, afterward Countess Ossoli, in whom he aroused feelings of passionate friendship. In 1845 he left New York, but returned in 1850, and for two years engaged in a banking business in Wall street. He then retired to Hamburg, where he spent the remainder of his life. Fifty of Margaret Fuller's letters to him were published under the title "Love-Letters of Margaret Fuller" (New York, 1903).

            Bibliography: Love Letters of Margaret Fuller, p. 190. Letters from Gotendorf appeared in the Tribune (New York), Sept. 10, 12, 16, 1845.


            A summary of an 1847 article about Nathan.

            American Jewish Historical Quarterly, 1920, Page 501

            Excerpts from Scrap Books [collected by the Rev. Mr. Lyons]

            From the Sunday Times, December 12, 1847, original article on "Interesting Discovery of the Ruins of Solomon's Temple. Journey of Mr. James Nathan, a Jew, through the Holy Land—-his discovery of ruins of Solomon's Temple, on ruins of Herod's built on Mt. Moriah." Destruction of woodwork of Temple by fire in time of Titus, leaving columns, chambers, subterranean passages, etc. Probability that Mosque of Omar on site of Temple is supported by columns of Temple. Entrance of Mr. Nathan into cavern, a description of same. Mr. Catherwood's description of Mosque El Aska—-his opinion that sub-structure is of Roman origin, i. e., is that of Temple of Herod. The Mohammedan Mosques on Mt. Moriah occupy same site as Solomon's Temple. Subterranean pillars, etc., not work of Arabs. Therefore ruins formed foundation of Herod's Temple, built on ruins of Temple of Solomon. (For further particulars concerning this, see "Love Letters of Margaret Fuller, 1845-1846," New York, 1903, and Joseph Lebowich on same subject in The Menorah, Vol. 36, No. 2.)


            German language book by Nathan's Swiss companion which mentions their exploration of the vaults.

            Topographie von Jerusalem und seinen Umgebungen, Volume 1 (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1853), link
            By Titus Tobler

            Pages 489-

            Topographie von Jerusalem und seinen Umgebungen, Volume 2 (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1854), link
            By Titus Tobler



            • Frederic (or Frederick) Catherwood was an architect who spent time in Jerusalem making sketches to be used in making a panoramic painting of Jerusalem.

              Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land, Volume 1 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1839), link
              by John Lloyd Stephens

              Pages 3-4

              As connected with the subject of his work, and believing that this community feels a deep interest in everything relating to the Holy Land; and, moreover, in justice to one who eminently deserves it, the author would endeavour to direct the attention of the public to Mr. Catherwood's panorama of Jerusalem. Mr. Catherwood passed eight years in the East studying antiquities and architecture, and making drawings of the ruined temples, monuments, and cities of the Old World. The result of his labours is, that he has under his control large panoramas of Jerusalem, Thebes, Damascus, Baalbeck, Algiers, Carthage, and Athens. Mr. Catherwood is connected with Burford, of the great panoramas of Leicester Square, in London; and all his works are intended to succeed each other here and in that capital at regular intervals. He has commenced in this city [New York] with his panorama of Jerusalem, and a large circular building, covering an area of nearly ten thousand square feet, has been erected for its exhibition. It was first exhibited at Burford's; and so great was the sensation created in London, that the first season it was visited by more than a hundred and forty thousand persons. It would be presumptuous in the author to pronounce upon the work of a regularly-educated artist, who resided in Jerusalem a long time, principally for the purpose of making this drawing; but he may be permitted to say that to him it presents a vivid picture of the holy city; and he will add, what, to his mind, is evidence of its correctness of detail, that, at the time of his visit there, he was so fortunate as to find in the hands of a missionary a lithographic map made by Mr. Catherwood from this drawing, with which he was in the habit of rambling about alone, and which he found a better guide to all the interesting localities than any he could procure in Jerusalem.


              Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land, Volume 2 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1839), link
              by John Lloyd Stephens

              A key to the panorama of Jerusalem as displayed in London.

              Description of a View of the City of Jerusalem and the Surrounding Country (London: 1835), link
              by Robert Burford

              Catherwood's account of his visit to the vaults.

              Walks about the City and Environs of Jerusalem (London: George Virtue, 1844), link
              by William Henry Bartlett

              Pages 161-178

              We introduce here a paper from Mr. Catherwood, on the subject of the great mosque and its subterranean vaults.

              Dear Sir,

              You have asked for some account of my visit to the Mosque of Omar, at Jerusalem, and the ground surrounding it, occupied formerly by the temple of Solomon. You also request my opinion on several points connected with its present topography. I was at Jerusalem in 1833, in company with my friends, Messrs. Bonomi and Arundale, and a portion of my time was employed in making drawings, from which Burford's Panorama was afterwards painted; they were taken from the roof of the governor's house, from whence the best general view of the mosque and its dependencies is obtained. Having so often looked upon the interesting buildings, which now occupy this celebrated spot, I feel irresistibly urged to make an attempt to explore them. I had heard that for merely entering the outer court, without venturing within the mosque, several unfortunate Franks have been put to death, and you may therefore conceive the attempt was somewhat rash. However, there were many circumstances in my favour; it was the period of the rule of Mehemet Ali in Syria, and the governor of Jerusalem, with whom I was on good terms, was a latitudinarian as to Mahometanism, like most of the pasha's officers. I had brought with me a strong firman, expressly naming me as an engineer in the service of his Highness. I had long adopted the usual dress of an Egyptian officer, and was accompanied by a servant possessed of great courage and assurance, and who, coming from Egypt, held the "canaille" of Jerusalem in the extreme of contempt. This man had strongly urged me to the experiment; and at last, notwithstanding the remonstrances of my friends, I entered the area one morning, with an indifferent air, and proceeded to survey, but not too curiously, the many objects of interest it presents. As I was about to enter into the mosque, however, I caught sight of one of the guardian dervishes, who are in the habit of conducting pilgrims around it; this man made towards me, in the hope of a better donation than usual. As I was not prepared to go through the requisite ceremonial with this devout guide, I thought it prudent to retreat, as if accidentally, from his alarming neighbourhood, and quietly left the area, without having occasioned the least notice. The success of my first attempt, induced me to make a second visit the following day. I determined to take in my camera lucida, and sit down and make a drawing; a proceeding certain to attract the attention of the most indifferent, and expose me to dangerous consequences. The cool assurance of my servant, at once befriended and led me on. We entered, and arranging the camera, I quickly sat down to my work, not without some nervousness, as I perceived the Mussulmen, from time to time, mark me with doubtful looks; however, most of them passed on, deceived by my dress and the quiet indifference with which I regarded them. At length, some more fanatic than the rest, began to think all could not be right: they gathered at a distance in groups, suspiciously eying me, and comparing notes with one another; a storm was evidently gathering. They approached, broke into sudden clamour, and surrounding us, uttered loud curses: their numbers increased most alarmingly, and with their numbers their menacing language and gestures. Escape was hopeless; I was completely surrounded by a mob of two hundred people, who seemed screwing up their courage for a sudden rush upon me— I need not tell you what would have been my fate. Nothing could be better than the conduct of Suleyman, my servant, at this crisis: affecting vast indignation at the interruption, he threatened to inform the Governor, out-hectored the most clamorous, and raising his whip, actually commenced a summary attack upon them, and knocked off the cap of one of the holy dervishes. This brought matters to a crisis; and, I believe, few moments would have passed ere we had been torn to pieces, when an incident occurred that converted our danger and discomfiture into positive triumph. This was the sudden appearance of the Governor on the steps of the platform, accompanied by his usual train. Catching sight of him, the foremost,—those I mean who had been disgraced by the blows of Suleyman— rushed tumultuously up to him, demanding the punishment of the infidel, who was profaning the holy precincts, and horse-whipping the true believers. At this the Governor drew near, and as we had often smoked together, and were well acquainted, he saluted me politely, and supposing it to be beyond the reach of possibility that I could venture to do what I was about without warrant from the pasha, he at once applied himself to cool the rage of the mob. "You see, my friends," he said, " that our holy mosque is in a dilapidated state, and no doubt our lord and master Mehemet Ali has sent this Effendi to survey it, in order to its complete repair. If we are unable to do these things for ourselves, it is right to employ those who can; and such being the will of our lord, the Pasha, I require you to disperse, and not incur my displeasure by any further interruption." And turning to me, he said, in the hearing of them all, that if any one had the hardihood to disturb me in future, he would deal in a summary way with him. I did not, of course, think it necessary to undeceive the worthy Governor; and gravely thanking him, proceeded with my drawing. All went on quietly after this.


              Proceeding southward from the platform of the Mosque of Omar, across a paved footway, shaded by venerable cypresses, at the distance of three hundred and fifty feet, we reach the porch of the Mosque El Aksa, which occupies the remaining space of two hundred and eighty feet, extending to the southern wall of the great enclosure. It consists of a nave and six side-aisles, of a mixed architecture, the entire breadth being one hundred and eighty feet. The columns and piers are very irregular in size, material, and architectural character; some being evidently Roman, while others are Saracenic. At the southern extremity is a beautiful dome, under which stands the gallery for the singers, and an elaborately carved pulpit. Attached to the south-west angle of the building is the mosque of our lord, Abu Bekr. This Mosque is upwards of two hundred feet in length, and fifty-five feet in breadth. Down the centre is a row of eight piers, from which arches cross to the sides: at right angles with this is the Mosque of the Mogrebins, two hundred feet in length, of no particular character. At the opposite end of the edifice, on the edge of the wall, is the small Mosque of Omar, eighty-five feet in length. Attached to this mosque is one still smaller, called that of the Forty Prophets. The mass of buildings projecting at the back, beyond the wall of the great enclosure are merely offices connected with the mosque.

              The interior of this extensive building, like the Mosque of Omar, abounds in traditionary objects. Its distinguishing peculiarity is a large enclosure for the devotions of Mahomedan women, who are not, on any account, permitted to enter the principal mosque. Like the Mosque of Omar, this also has its well. The entrance to the ancient gateway, existing under the mosque, is beneath the archway immediately to the left of the main entrance, by a flight of stone steps. This gateway is apparently of the same age and style as the Golden Gateway; it is two hundred and eighty feet in length, and by means of steps and an inclined plane, the roadway through it ascends from the southern entrance to the level of the area.

              Beneath the dome, at the south-east angle of the temple wall, conspicuous from all points, is a small subterranean mosque, or place of prayer, forming the entrance to the extensive vaults, which support the level platform of the mosque above. (See Plan and Section, p. 177.) It may be presumed that the whole of this eastern side of the platform is so supported, but the only part accessible is immediately beneath the south-east angle. Here are fifteen rows of square pillars, from which spring arches supporting the platfonn. The spaces between the ranges of arches are, as will be seen by reference to the plan, of irregular dimensions. The above sketch will give an idea of their general appearance. The roots of the Olive trees above, have struck through the arches, and in some instances taken root again below. The ground, as will be seen in the section, rises rapidly from the south-east, towards the north and west, so that the height of the southern arches is thirty-five feet, while the northern ones are but ten feet high.

              Those portions of the vaulting now walled up, as seen in the section, (Page 150,) may have been used as cisterns.

              The whole substruction appears to me of Roman origin, and in connexion with the Golden Gate, and the one beneath the El Aksa, together with the ancient bridge, to have formed a connected plan of foundations and approaches to the great Temple of Herod.




              • Catherwood in company with John Lloyd Stephens visited ruins in Guatemala and Mexico. An account of their findings prompted Major Noah to discourse on his pet theories on the Hebrews and the Canaanites in the Americas.

                Vermont Telegraph, July 22, 1840, Page 175, Column 4

                Antiquities of America

                We learn from the New York
                Express, that Mr. Stephens, U.S. Charge to
                Guatemala, and Mr. Catherwood, of the
                Panorama, have met with the most
                encouraging success almost at the outset of
                their researches for antiquities in Central
                America. At Qunagua [?] they made the
                following discoveries:--Boston Press


                The New York Star, (edited by Mr.
                Noah, a Hebrew) offers the following
                comments upon the above facts:

                The people of this country must be
                prepared for extraordinary developments
                in researches throughout Central America,
                Peru and Mexico. We must as a nation
                relinquish our unbelieving propensities,
                our uniform practive of doubting everything
                which we cannot exactly comprehend,
                and believing all things to be a hoax
                or a humbug excepting men or a silver
                dollar, and prepare ourselves by a proper
                study and discipline of mind to know and
                to believe that this new world, so called--
                the discovery of a few centuries--was
                settled by the descendants of Peleg, and that
                the statues above described, together with
                the altars and obleisks, the temples at
                Palenoue, the hieroglyphics, the acqueducts,
                viaducts and military highways, are from
                the same people who built Tyre, Babylon,
                the Tower, the Pyramids and Carthage--
                the Phoenicians! who, driven down
                the Mediterranean by Joshua, after they
                had circumnavigated Africa, visited Britain
                and the Western Islands, found themselves,
                nearly 4000 years ago, in the Gulf
                of Mexico, and there made their settlements--
                speard over the Peninsula to the
                Pacific Ocean and to Cape Horn. Let
                our people be prepared for something yet
                more starting--the downfall of the
                powerful people who build these cities. Let
                them be prepared to to believe that 1500
                years after the Phoenicians had settled in
                America, the nine and a half tribes of
                Israel, after the capture of Samaria, took
                their departure for an "unknown country,"
                and after taking in their train the Tartars
                and Chinese disposed to follow, crossed at
                Bhering's Straits [sic] and passed down on the
                Pacific side until they reached the isthmus
                of Darien, and there they came
                suddenly upon the Canaanites and destroyed
                them a second time, and in the
                new world and with them destroyed their
                temples and their Pagan altars, as they
                were ordered to do by the Almighty
                wherever they found them. Let our
                people know that the red men spread over
                this continent are the descendants of what
                was called the lost tribe, who bear, at
                this day, the proofs in their religion,
                language and ceremonies, of their early origin.


                Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Volume 1 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1843), link
                By John Lloyd Stephens

                Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Volume 2 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1843), link
                by John Lloyd Stephens


                • Account of a fire at Catherwood's panorama.

                  The New York Herald, July 30, 1842, Page 2, Column 5

                  City Intelligence
                  Destruction of the Rotunda by Fire

                  A few moments after the cloning of this building in Prince street,
                  last evening at half past nine o'clock, it was discovered to
                  be on fire, and in less than half an hour, owing to the
                  combustible state of the paintings and other materials in it,
                  the interior was entirely consumed including the splendid
                  panoramas of Jerusalem and Tbebes. In addition to this
                  loss by Messrs. Catherwood and Jackson, the owners, the
                  former met with an almost invaluable loss in the total destruction
                  of a large portion of his ancient relicts [sic] and original
                  paintings, obtained and produced while on
                  his visits to Mexico and surrounding country. The
                  walls of the building remain standing,
                  although the heat was so severe that they cracked
                  open in several places. The inside of the building, with
                  the circular wall enclosing the flames after the roof had
                  fallen in, presented the appearance of an immense fiery furnace.
                  Mr. Catherwood had left the building but a short
                  time previous to the fire, and had secured the place from
                  damage as was supposed. A story was told among the
                  crowd that the building was struck by lightning, but a
                  gentleman who was standing on the corner of Prince
                  street, when the flames were discovered informed us that
                  such was not the fact. The presumption is that it caught
                  from some spark issuing from the lights inside that had
                  been used in the course of the evening at the exhibition.
                  The total loss is estimated at over $20,000, but a very
                  small portion of which is insured. The building, as well
                  as its contents, we understand, belonged to Messrs Catherwood
                  and Jackson, who are the sole sufferers. We trust
                  the liberality of our citizens will cause it to rise like a
                  Phenix from its ashes.


                  The New York Herald, August 16, 1842, Page 4, Column 1

                  Why is Mr. Catherwood, since the burning of his Panoramas,
                  like an orphan child?

                  Because he has no Pa-nor-a-ma.


                  • William Tipping was an artist commissioned to draw illustrations for a new edition of Josephus. The first volume has a preface with a long section on the vaults.

                    The Jewish War, Volume 1 (London: Houlston and Stoneman, 1851), link
                    by Flavius Josephus

                    Pages xiv-xxxiii

                    The Vaulted Halls and Passages Beneath the Mosque El Aksa

                    The Jewish War, Volume 2 (London: Houlston and Stoneman, 1851), link
                    by Flavius Josephus

                    In an account of their researches in Jerusalem in 1867-70, Sir Charles Warren and Major Claude Conder refer to these vaults as the "Stables of Solomon."

                    The Survey of Western Palestine: Jerusalem (London: The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1889), link
                    By Sir Charles Warren, Claude Reignier Conder

                    Pages 43-44

                    The first distinct account of the so-called Stables of Solomon--the great vaults in the southeast angle of the Haram—-is that of Theodoricus, writing in 1172 AD. John of Wirtzburg says they would hold 2,000 horses. The holes through which the Templars’ horse-halters were passed are still to be seen in the piers of these great vaults, and the Single Gate appears to have been the Crusading southern entrance to the stables.


                    Pages 163-164

                    SOLOMON'S STABLES.

                    These vaults are in part ancient and in part a reconstruction, probably about the time of Justinian. The floor is somewhat above the bed of the Great Course, so that, except at the south-east angle, the whole of the outside wall enclosing these vaults is of later date than the epoch of drafted stones.

                    The name of Solomon’s Stables is of mediaeval origin; the Moslems call them El Masjid el Kadim (The Old Mosque). They were used as stables by the Crusaders, and the holes in the piers by which the horses were fastened may still be seen.

                    Exclusive of the double tunnel of the Triple Gate there are 13 rows of vaults of a variety of spans, from 11 feet to 25 feet east and west; north and south the spans average 11 feet 6 inches.

                    The vaults splay out from south to north, on account of the south-east angle being more than a right angle.

                    In the south-east angle are the remains of some rough rubble work attached to the ancient wall, and these appear to be the remains of a massive semicircular arch.

                    The piers of the vaults are made out of old material, from stones that probably at one time formed part of the south wall; nearly all these piers have drafted margins on one side; in some cases on four sides, and in others on two. These vaults extend from the south-east angle to the Triple Gate, on the south side, and for about 170 feet to north on the east side.

                    It is surmised that Solomon’s Palace occupied this site; but this is a matter of speculation.


                    Princes Albert Victor and George visited the vaults while on a world tour.

                    The Cruise of Her Majesty's Ship "Bacchante", 1879-1882, Volume 2 (London: Macmillan, 1886), link
                    By Prince Albert Victor (Duke of Clarence and Avondale), George V (King of Great Britain)

                    Pages 582-583

                    Then into the mosque el Aksa, where we examined the fine pulpit of carved woodwork given by Saladin in 1187 after he took Jerusalem from the Crusaders. This mosque was originally Justinian’s Basilica of the Virgin. The remains of the five aisles can be seen, and many of the pillars and capitals are of that date, 530 A.D. Then down to the vaults beneath, where the Herodian thick round pillars of the “ Double Gate" are still remaining. These are the only portion of the actual Temple on which our Lord's eyes rested that is still standing. The lintel has been strengthened by the insertion of two side pillars. Then down through the little “ mosque of Jesus ” in the extreme south-east corner of the area, which, as seen from the outside yesterday, was “the pinnacle of the Temple." Here the Moslems show a marble niche of Roman work now lying horizontally on its back, the hollow scoop of which they have named the Cradle of Jesus; His bath and the bed of the Virgin used also to be exhibited here. Then turning through a door on the right-hand side we go into the “ Stables of Solomon," where Sir Charles \Vilson showed us the inside of the“ Triple Gate.” This vast substructure was built by Justinian in {"532 A.D. to obtain a flat platform above (the arches would not sustain any heavy superstructure), out of many older drafted stones: one pillar has been a lintel before it was set on end. The Crusaders stabled their horses here and their iron rings still remain, and it was they who called the place the stables of Solomon. The entrance to these lofty vaults from the exterior seems to have been on the south through the Single Gate. The later work at the Double Gate, and at the Prophet's Gate, and the Triple Gate, is of J ustinian's time, he also built the Golden Gate when he repaired the “ Solomon’s Stables.” There are remains of older work in the south-east angle, under the Cradle of Christ, which mark the original vaults of Herod’s temple. These vaults are probably altogether to the south of the platform which supported Solomon's Temple, the foundations of whose southern wall would possibly still be found, if excavations were ever allowed. Looked out of one of the Herodian windo\vs at the south-east corner, where a mass of masonry has fallen quite recently off the wall outside into the Kedron valley. On remounting to the Temple enclosure we went round outside the mosque of Aksa and saw at the east end the traces of the apse added by the Knight Templars to J ustinian’s church.


                    In the 1990's the vaults were cleared and converted into a mosque. A couple of youtube videos.

                    Solomon's Stables on the Temple Mount: The History and the Destruction

                    Marwani Masjid | Underground al-Aqsa Compound | Jerusalem