"The sacrifices and inconveniences were forgotton:" Baptist missionary women to the northeastern immigrant tribes in Kansas, 1833-1853
Women who worked at the Baptist missions to northeastern Indian Immigrant tribes in Kansas were missionaries. Not simply missionary wives, or schoolteachers, both married and unmarried females and their male colleagues considered these women assistant missionaries. By examining first the context in which the women lived, their actions on the field, and finally evaluating their own letters and diaries on the subject, as well as those of men involved in some capacity with them, it becomes clear that while their labor and thought patterns were very different from those of most twenty-first century ministry workers, in their own minds they were missionaries. Female labor patterns ran the gamut from laundry to prayer meetings to medical work. Their writings are full of spiritual references and a hope that their labor will prove beneficial to both this world and the next. In addition to women's identity as missionaries, the findings also conclude that while these females lived extremely religious lives centered around their culture's interpretation of Christianity, some larger, human themes emerge. Overwork, illness, isolation, and loneliness are all themes a careful examiner can find within their writings. Persistence, moments of happiness, and perseverance in the face of hardship also appear. While different in many ways, in these qualities readers can find items which relate to broader studies of western life, as well as women's history. Simply because they are different does not give historians a right to dismiss them. The Baptist missionary women of pre-territorial Kansas contributed to its history, and therefore deserve a place in the history of Kansas, as well as the history of women, and Church history.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History