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Mid-Nineteenth Century New England Women in Evangelical Foreign Missions: Seraphina Haynes Everett, A Missionary Wife in The Ottoman Mission Field

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This article illustrates American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions’ support of the “missionary matrimony”, mid-nineteenth-century New England women’s perceptions of the missionary career obtained through matrimony, and their impressions of the Oriental mission fields and non-Christian or non-Protestant women, who were depicted as victims to be saved. A brief introduction to New England women’s involvement in foreign missions will continue with the driving force that led these women to leave the United States for far mission fields in the second part of the paper. This context will be exemplified with the story of a New England missionary wife. The analysis consists of the journal entries and letters of Seraphina Haynes Everett of Ottoman mission field. The writings of this woman from New England give detailed information about the spiritual voyage she was taking in the mid-nineteenth century Ottoman lands. In her letters to the United States, Everett described two Ottoman cities, Izmir (Smyrna) and Istanbul (Constantinople), and wrote about her impressions of Islam and Christianity as practiced in the Ottoman empire. Everett’s opinions of the Ottoman empire, which encouraged more American women to devote themselves to the education and to the evangelization of Armenian women of the Ottoman empire in the middle of the nineteenth century, conclude the paper.

Affiliations: 1: Bilkent University,


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