In Her Own Right

Letter from Sarah Mapps Douglass to Rebecca White between 1855 and 1858

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Date created Between 1855 and 1858
Creators Douglass, S. M. (Sarah Mapps), 1806-1882
Subjects Douglass, S. M. (Sarah Mapps), 1806-1882 | Preston, Ann, 1813-1872 | White, Rebecca, -1906 | Faith and reason--Christianity | Friendship | Quaker women | Women in missionary work | Women teachers | Across Racial Lines
Geographical location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 39.952584, -75.165222
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Contributing institution Haverford College Library, Quaker & Special Collections
Transcription Dear R, I thank you kindly for Baikes’ work on Africa. I have not had time to read it, my brother carried it home with him and wishes me to thank you for him. He reads every thing he can get on the subject. I do not want him to go, but as he wishes it, and I cannot prevent it, I have at length yielded to it. I am deeply interested in Africa but do not feel willing to give up my brother to go there. However, I have laid the matter (where I endeavor to lay all my burdens) before Him who says “ Cast thy burden on the Lord and he [underlined] will [p.2] sustain [/underlined] thee” and am trying to wait patiently for the end. I feel deep sympathy for those who are called to a missionary life in that far off, glorious, but long neglected land. I think with deep interest of those who may be [underlined] truly called [/underlined] to the work! Holy men and women [underlined] called of God, [/underlined] and annointed [sic] by [underlined] him! [/underlined] Qualified by him! Bearing with them that meek, loving, earnest, working spirit that made Justine Johnson so eminently useful. There is a very interesting young woman now in my school whose husband is going out as [p. 3] missionary to Africa and she wishes to qualify her self [sic] to help him teach; She is a very delicate looking little creature and seems, as far as I can judge, to have the right spirit, she is gentle, humble and affectionate. I am thankful to have the influence of such an [sic] one in my school. Nearly all my “smart [illegible]” are gone down, “higher”, I have suffered in parting with them, for I was tenderly attached to them. Every day the six come in a band at mid-morning recess to greet me with bright faces and loving words, and when they go away a shadow seems to fall upon me. [p. 4] Dear R, will you please give me that poor sketch of Grandfather Bustill. One of the family wishes a copy and I have none to give. 11 mo. 28. This note, dear friend, was begun the day after I received thy acceptable present, but I found no time to finish until today. I often think of you, with kindest wishes for your present and everlasting good. I work very hard just now, and recreate by attending Ann Preston’s lectures. I cannot describe the pure intellectual enjoyment they give me. How marvelously has God fashioned these poor bodies! How imperative the duty that they be used to his glory. [underlined] Can [p. 6] we use them to his glory if we are wholly ignorant of the laws which he has laid down for their proper government? I think not. Then light, more light, for the people that they “may read, mark, learn and inwardly digest. [Margin] Have you heard recently of my beloved friend Hetty Williams? [/margin] I hope to begin my lectures next month. I see duty clearly, yet I shrink and shiver and feel [underlined] so little! [/underlined] “Oh thou my voice inspire Who touched Isaiah’s hallowed lips with fire.” I like Ann Preston as a teacher of Physiology. I have heard several eminent Professors but she excels them all in bringing great truths [underlined] clearly [/underlined] [p. 5] before her pupils. I fear we are going to lose one of our Teachers, Robert Campbell, he has the African fever badly. We shall miss him sadly, he has ever been kind and loving to us. Always looking bright and pleasant and ever on the alert to do some kind office. I am ready to weep when I think of his leaving us. How thankful I feel for our good managers. I am especially grateful to Thomas Wistar and Israel Johnson, our exercise for the Institution seems to run parallel and we have sometimes been favoured to take “sweet counsel together.” I have a budget of talk for thee, dear R, but [cross-hatched] I fear I should tire thee out, so ‘tis well I have no time. Much love to your sister. Fare thee well, is my fervent prayer. S. M. Douglass