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So far as we know there is among the constituents of the American Board little of that small criticism, of which a good deal has been heard in Great Britain the past year or two, in reference to the mode of life of foreign missionaries, as if they did not exercise all the self-denial that was proper. There is a narrow way of looking at this matter which assumes that the calling of a missionary makes it his duty to deny himself the comforts of life and live in some degree as an ascetic. But there is a broader and a better view. While exercising all care and economy, in constant remembrance of the care and economy of the great multitude who contribute for their support, missionaries should make such provision for health and comfort that they shall not be embarrassed in their work and can with full physical and mental vigor devote all their energies to the tasks before them. It is the height of folly, both for the missionaries and for their supporters, that these laborers at the front should spend so much time in securing their own sustenance or should so scrimp their provisions that they shall not have full energy for the work or shall shorten their lives. A recent article in 7% e /ndian Medica/A’ecord presents some striking facts as to men who have come to India in full vigor and who have in a short time retired disabled or have gone down to their graves. This article states that in one society which provided only a portion of the monthly maintenance of its missionaries, the mortality among them had been as high as twenty-two per cent. per annum ; in another society, working on similar lines, the death-rate was eighteen per cent. per annum. In still another, which simply sent its missionaries but provided no allowance, compelling them to selfsupport after they reached the field, the mortality had been as high as thirty-two per cent. per annum. We cannot forbear giving an extract from the article in The Indian Medica/ Record, to which we have referred : “Missionary zeal and missionary enterprise have done more for India than any state effort could ever hope to accomplish, and the best work has been done by those societies, which, having a due regard for the health and safety of their workers, have provided for the proper conservation and protection of their lives. Lives thus prolonged and preserved have brought with them accumulated experience which has yielded the advantage not only of laying foundations of lasting and useful work, but of seeing it cared for, nourished, and brought to fruitful perfection by the hands that inaugurated it. Work to be productive of good in the mission fields of India must be lifelong. The short-service system is both imbecile and expensive. The language and habits of the varied peoples of this vast empire cannot be familiarized sufficiently for essective work in a few years. But to enjoy good health and to protect the lives of missionary workers, it is the bounden duty of the great religious societies of England and America to make a full and ample provision for the support and comfort of their representatives in India.”
ON January 29, Rev. Cyrus A. Clark and family took up their temporary residence at Miyazaki, in the province of Hyuga, on the southeastern side of the island of Kiushiu. It is hoped that this city will prove a centre for work for a population numbering a little over 4oo,ooo. Mr. and Mrs. Clark received a warm welcome from Christian people now in Miyazaki, a number of whom, in true Oriental style, met them many miles on the road to the city.
THE TREASURERSHIP OF THE AMERICAN BOARD.
THE last issue of the Missionary Herald reported the death of Henry Hill, Esq., who was the Treasurer of the American Board for thirty-two years, from 1822 till 1854. It is a singular fact that we have in this issue to report the death of the only other ex-Treasurer, James M. Gordon, Esq., who succeeded Mr. Hill in 1854, and who served in this position for ten years, till December 1, 1864, when he resigned to accept the cashiership of the Columbian National Bank of Boston. Mr. Gordon, however, subsequently served for eleven years upon the Prudential Committee, and was one of its Auditors from 1876 till the time of his death. In his official relations Mr. Gordon rendered most faithful and excellent service to the Board, and his sympathies and prayers and means were always directed to this work, and it was with a heart full of joy and gratitude that he gave a daughter to the foreign missionary cause. The donors of former years, especially, will be glad to see in these pages the lineaments of these two men through whom they have sent their offerings to the foreign missionary work.
In this connection it may be appropriate to say a few words in reference to the Treasurership of the Board. Probably few of our readers are aware of the onerous and complicated duties that devolve upon this officer. More than twenty different permanent funds, in the investment of which frequent changes occur, have to be cared for and the income collected and applied. The receiving and acknowledging of funds, amounting to over $800,ooo annually, a few of the donations amounting to over $1,000 and some of them as small as five cents, together with answers in person or by letter to inquiries of donors, is no slight task. The Treasurer is expected to look after the collection of legacies left to the Board in all parts of the country, many of which are contested and all of them calling for much correspondence. At a recent enumeration there were over 200 legacy cases on hand for consideration, awaiting settlement. A large number of persons have given to the Board various sums, on the condition that the income of these amounts be paid to them during their lives. The care of these funds, now amounting in all to over $70,000, and the semi-annual payments to these donors is the duty of the Treasurer. He must also act as agent and banker for the missionaries in the field, many of whom have interests in this country which must be guarded. He must provide for the outfit and passage of missionaries, with instructions for the journey, auditing their accounts. He must pay the allowances to the missionaries at home, as well as to their children who are in this country; he must see that the money for the salaries of the missionaries and for all the missionary work is ready at the time it is wanted, in the currency of the country, in every mission station where the work of the Board is
carried on. He must give instruction to the several mission treasurers, going over their semi-annual accounts, examining and approving or disapproving each item; and in all missions and stations of the Board he must see that the appropriations are not exceeded. He must see that funds are ready in London and elsewhere to meet all bills of exchange, the bills on London amounting, last year, to over $300,ooo. It is an interesting fact that the transactions of the Board in London through the Barings have been conducted for over sixty years without a single case having arisen in which there was dispute or friction. We have not enumerated all the duties of the Treasurer, for they are varied and multitudinous, but we have said enough to indicate the responsible nature of the trust. The Board has great occasion for thankfulness for the fidelity with which this trust has been administered. The system early introduced, and improved by Mr. Hill and Mr. Gordon, has been changed only to perfect its methods and provide safeguards, so that the expert accountant employed two years since by the “Committee of Nine" to examine the department reported that “ as to the outgoes of the money, I think nothing can be better guarded against error, accidental or otherwise, than the system pursued. . . . I find nothing that I would change.” The present Treasurer, who succeeded Mr. Gordon, has now fullfiled the duties of the office for twenty-seven years. His labors are incessant, and it is but just to him to say here, though entirely without his knowledge or consent, that a Committee of the Board who recently examined the treasury reported: “Mr. Ward is emphatically the right man in the right place.” From the members of the Prudential Committee there is yearly selected a sub-committee on finance, composed of business men of large experience, who devote much time to the supervision of all monetary affairs, and to whom, the Treasurer looks continually for counsel. It is believed that the credit of no institution stands better than does that of the American Board, and friends who contribute to its treasury may have utmost confidence that, so far as skill and foresight can avail, their gifts will be applied effectively and economically to the work for which they are given.
JAMES M. GORDON.
SKETCH OF THE HARPOOT STATION, EASTERN TURKEY. BY REV. HERMAN N. BARNUM, D.D., HARPOOT.
THE city of Harpoot has a population of perhaps 20,000, and it is located a few miles east of the river Euphrates, near latitude thirty-nine, and east from
Greenwich about thirty-nine degrees. It is on a mountain facing the south, with a populous plain 1,200 feet below it. The Taurus Mountains lie beyond the plain, twelve miles away. The Anti-Taurus range lies some forty miles to the north, in full view from the ridge just back of the city. The surrounding population are mostly farmers, and they all live in villages. No city in Turkey is the centre of so many Armenian villages, and the most of them are large. Nearly thirty can be counted from different parts of the city. This makes Harpoot a most favorable missionary centre. Fifteen out-stations lie within ten miles of the city. The Arabkir field, on the west, was joined to Harpoot in 1865, and the following year, on the death of Mr. Walker, the larger part of the Diarbekir field on the south ; so that now the limits of the Harpoot station embrace a district nearly one third as large as New England. The first missionary to occupy this station was Mr. Dunmore, in 1855. He left after three years, and during the civil war in America he became a chaplain in the army and was killed. In 1857 Messrs. Allen and Wheeler located here with their families, and Mr. H. N. Barnum joined the station in 1857, Mrs. Barnum coming one year later. These six missionaries have had a continuous association for thirty-two years, unbroken except by an occasional visit to America — a rare experience in missionary history. Mr. H. S. Barnum came to Harpoot in 1867, and after three or four years of preparation and service he and his family went with Dr. and Mrs. Raynolds, who had spent a year and a half here, to begin the new station of Van. Mr. Browne came the latter part of 1875, Mrs. Browne joining him a year later; and in 1885 Mr. and Mrs. Barton arrived. The missionary families, at the beginning of 1892, are those of Messrs. Allen, Wheeler, H. N. Barnum, Browne, and Barton. The opening of the Female Seminary in 1863 made the assistance of single ladies indispensable. For three or four years Miss West, of the Western Turkey Mission, lent her aid in giving it shape. In 1864 Miss Pond became its principal and continued in that relation until she married Mr. Williams, of Mardin, in 1867, when Misses Seymour and Warfield took the charge. Miss Warfield died in February, 1870, and Miss Bush came during the same year to take her place. Miss Wheeler joined the station in 1880, and Miss Wright a year later, but in 1884 Miss Wright moved to Marsovan. Miss Daniels came in 1885, Miss Heald in 1888, and Miss Barnum the year following. Miss Heald returned to the United States on her marriage in 1891. In 1881 Misses Bush and Seymour surrendered the work of teaching and gave themselves to labor for women and girls among the sixty out-stations. Misses Daniels and Wheeler devote themselves chiefly to the Female Department of the College, which is an outgrowth of the Seminary, while Miss Barnum engages in teaching or touring, according to circumstances. At the beginning of the missionary work female education was almost unknown in this region, and the aim of the Seminary was to educate the wives of theological students, most of whom were married, and to train girls for Christian service. It served its purpose admirably, but with the growth of female education its scope was not sufficiently broad, and hence the College. The number of graduates was 1 oz, of whom eighty-five have engaged in the work. A still larger number who did not take a diploma but who have done Christian service was,