Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Evangelism in India: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1833-1910

Date Range: 1833-1910
Content: 69,017 pages
Source Library: Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA


The beginnings of American Presbyterian mission work in India antedate the organization of the Board of Foreign Missions. In 1834, William Reed and J.C. Lowrie arrived in India under the auspices of the Western Foreign Missionary Society, the Board's predecessor, and established a station at Ludhiana. Two years later, stations were opened in Saharanpur, Sabathu and Allahabad. In 1840, the India Mission was subdivided into the Punjab Mission, which encompassed the original four stations, and the North India Mission, also known as the Farukhabad Mission.

The work of the Presbyterian Church in India reflected the Church's concern for the educational, medical and spiritual needs of the Indian people. Coordination of the three missions' activities in these areas were directed by the India Council after 1913, while considerable interdenominational cooperation existed as well. A variety of educational institutions which had developed in the 19th century continued to grow in the 20th. Some of these included the Christian Boy's Boarding School, later known as Ewing Christian High School, the Allahabad College and Agricultural Institute, Forman Christian College, the North India School of Medicine for Christian Women and the Isabella Thoburn College.

Medical work was carried out through a variety of hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, sanitariums and leper asylums. Institutions like the Wanless Chest Hospital in Miraj, the Philadelphia Hospital in Ambala and the Fatehgarh Memorial Hospital serve as monuments to the medical work done by the Presbyterian Church in India. Evangelism in India took the form primarily of village itineration where male and female missionaries ministered to the spiritual needs of the populace while simultaneously attending to their medical and educational needs.

Evangelism in India: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Mission, 1833-1910 documents the Board of Foreign Missions' tripartite ministry (Farukhabad, Punjab, and the West Indian missions) in India but also reflects the development of the modern Indian state in a broader sense. Reaction to foreigners generally and Protestant missionaries specifically, discontent with British rule and the development of the Independence movement, and racial and internecine religious warfare between Hindu and Muslim populations are well documented.

This collection features a wide range of primary source materials, including:

  • Correspondence
  • minutes of meetings
  • receipts of sale
  • inventories of supplies
  • diary accounts
  • annual reports on mission work
  • personal and field reports including information on the number of newly-organized churches, ordained ministers, and church members

The handwritten documents within Evangelism in India: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Mission, 1833-1910 provide a wealth of information necessary for research in Religious Studies, South Asian Studies, Asian Studies, International studies, and Global Studies.

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