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American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions reports from missionaries, 1884-1891. : [manuscript]

Identifier: RG4908

Scope and Contents

Papers date from 1884 to 1891 and consist of handwritten and type-written pages. Collection is in good condition and has been housed in an acid free folder.

Papers consist primarily of letters from female missionaries living and working in girls’ schools in Turkey and India. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including: missionary life; observations regarding the culture of respective host countries; discussions of school organization, curriculum, and students; and homesickness.


  • 1884-1891


Historical Note

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) first established its presence in India in 1812 when eight individuals, including three women, set sail from Massachusetts. By the 1830s, mission schools were opened in Madura and Madras and the Board had active missions throughout Istanbul.

The letters in this collection date from the late nineteenth-century and are written by female missionaries who led literacy and healthcare efforts in India and Istanbul. The letters give a personal voice to the Women’s Board of Missions’ activities, particularly its efforts to connect with native “Bible women”, or local Christian converts.

Missionary letters from the field serve as fundamental sources for the history of the various places where the Board operated. Though official in nature, the correspondence in this collection is quite personal and illuminates some of the struggles, as well as accomplishments, of young female missionaries abroad.

The Library contains a wealth of information on the ABCFM and its efforts abroad. This small collection is just one of many that contain the personal papers of ABCFM missionaries. Those interested in learning more about the extent of the ABCFM’s work through the eyes of its missionaries, may be interested in our collections from such distant places as South Africa and Japan.


.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

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Repository Details

Part of the Congregational Library & Archives Repository

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Suite 200
Boston MA 02108