Perley, David Barsum (1901–1979)

Assyrian nationalist writer and activist. Perley was born to Syr. Orth. parents in Kharput. Fleeing the persecution of Christians in eastern Turkey during World War I, he came to the USA, lived with relatives in Massachusetts, and graduated from Boston University in 1926. He practiced law in Paterson, New Jersey, specializing in immigration cases, from ca. 1935. He was one of the founders of the Assyrian National Federation in 1933. The theme of Perley’s writing, which was in English and mostly polemical, was the unity of Assyrians as one single nation transcending church membership and including people of E.- and W.-Syr. origin. In 1935 he advocated union ‘under the banner of our Ethnarch, Mar Eshai Shemʿon’.

Select publications by Perley

  • Whither Christian missions? (1944).
  • Chapters 7 and 10, in Y. Malek, The British betrayal of the Assyrians (1935). (with Perley’s picture opposite p. 102)
  • Many articles and reviews in nationalist magazines, e.g., the New Beth Nahreen and the Assyrian Star.


How to Cite This Entry

James F. Coakley, “Perley, David Barsum,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Perley-David-Barsum.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

James F. Coakley, “Perley, David Barsum,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Perley-David-Barsum.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Coakley, James F. “Perley, David Barsum.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Perley-David-Barsum.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Perley-David-Barsum/tei.

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