Armenian Pioneers in America

The first Armenian known to have immigrated to America was Martin the Armenian. He arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1618, when the colony was only eleven years old. A few other Armenians are recorded as having come to the United States in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but they mostly came as individuals and did not form a community. A number of Armenians were known to have served for the side of the Union during the Civil War. Three Armenian doctors, Simeon Minasian, Garabed Galstian, and Baronig Matevosian, worked at military hospitals in Philadelphia. The only Armenian known to have participated in hostilities was Khachadour Paul Garabedian, who enlisted in the Union Navy as Third Assistant Engineer and attained officer rank. A naturalized citizen who hailed fromRodosto, Garabedian served aboard the blockade ships USS Geranium and USS Grand Gulf from 1864 until his honorable discharge from the Navy in August 1865.

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