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G. Drysdale (George Drysdale) Dempsey.

Tubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings online

. (page 9 of 13)
Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 9 of 13)
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and further, now we are having native Christians
in very many localities out in the country, and
they will look to us for medicine when sick. So
I decidedly say, what is needed is a good prelimi-
nary knowledge of medicine for use out among
the people, away from the larger cities. I have
always thought that we ought to haye some medi-
cal instruction of this kind given to our young
men, in our excellent Theological Seminary, so
ably conducted for many years by Dr. T. J. Scott.
I very much wish a department of this kind might
be added, even if we had to drop some other sub-
jects. Dr. Dease is well qualified to take charge
of such a work as this. He has done much dur-
ing past years in educating young women in
medicine.

Upon arriving home in 1864, I immediately



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i8:5 Twenty-one Years in India.

began a systematic course of reading under a
medical friend. I had no thought of completing
a full course, but I kept on giving the subject at-
tention as I could without n^lecting my other
duties. The Church I was serving here at Little
Falls, kindly gave me permission to attend medi-
cal lectures in Albany through the wedc, coming
home to supply my pulpit on Sundays. In this
way I accomplished the prescribed course and
graduated in January, 1866. Not a very good
thing to do. I certainly would not recc¬Ђnmend it
to anybody, but I was anxious to accomplish it
for the work in India, for which I felt I had not
had the preparation I could wish, and that this
would, in some respects, make up for it. A little
later I returned to India and was stationed at
Naini Tal, where my home has been ever since,
when I have been in India.

Sir Henry Ramsay, Commissioner of Kumaon
and Gurhwal, suggested that I should take charge
of three Government hospitals, located at differ-
ent points in the Bhaber at the foot of the moun-
tains. After a time the Central Hospital, located



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Twenty-one Years in India. 183

at Naini Tal, was placed under my charge; I had
charge of these institutions for several years.
They were charitable institutions, and I only re-
ceived a traveling allowance to meet my expenses
in visiting them, as I found it necessary in their
superintendence. The Government gave me an
expression of thanks for my services, and made a
liberal grant of medicines, supplies, and surgical
instruments for two private or mission hospitals,
one at Dwarahat, another at Bheem Tal, that I
desired to open. I think much good was done by
this work, though there were some difficulties at-
tending it that made me doubt if it would be wise
for us to continue to take charge of the hospitals
after my time was up. The work was very exact-
ing and exhausting, and had grown upon our
hands so much that I thought it would not be
wise for us to try to go on caring for the Gov-
ernment part of it.

I will now mention one case, out of many that
might be cited, to show the way the people were
affected by our work. It was our misfortune to
have, in some way, given offense to one of the



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i86 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

seemed in the order of providence that I should
make the effort. Nund Kishore applied at once
to Government for a "Grant in Aid," to help the
project along, that he knew would bring the sub-
ject before Government, and it would be talked
about in Government circles. Most of the Gov-
ernment surgeons gave it as their opinion that
the thing was not practicable ; they said it would
be a good thing if it were so, but, in their opinion,
native women had not sufficient ability to grasp
the subject, to begin with ; and even if they had,
they certainly do not have sufficient stamina and
strength of character to enable them to practice
with any fair degree of success. Sir William
Muir, one of the very best men I have ever known,
was Governor at the time, and was much inter-
ested from the first. He said, "It, of course^ is an
experiment, but it is worth trying; it may prove
the beginning of a great popular movement." So
the grant was given. In about two years a com-
mittee of medical men of high standing was sent
to report to Government the progress made by
the young women. They examined them very



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. I&7

thoroughly in everything gone over by them, es-
pecially in the treatment of the sick and the man-
agement of surgical cases, and they expressed
themselves as pleased with the result of their ex-
amination. Certificates were given to eight of
the women, commending them as believed to be
qualified to practice, having about the grade of
fourth-class Government native doctors. Govern-
ment was very glad to get some of these women
as assistants in the large hospitals in the cities of
the plains. I graduated four or five more the fol-
lowing year. So much as this was accomplished
by this effort ; it became certain, in the minds of
prominent men in the service, in the medical de-
partment, that the education of native women in
medicine is quite possible, and that, when educated,
there is good ground to hope that they will prove
themselves capable of doing good service. Gov-
ernment immediately opened the medical schools
to native Christian girls, and has done everything
to encourage the movement. When Lord Duf-
ferin came out as Viceroy, Her Majesty, the
Queen, called Lady Duflfcrin's attention to this



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i88 Tw^NTY-ON^ Ykars in India.

subject. Through her efforts a great work has
been accomplished for the women of India. Now
there are female hospitals in nearly every large
city, well supplied with female doctors, both Eu-
ropean and native. Miss Dr. Swain had a class
in Bareilly. Dr. Dease also had a class of this
kind and did much in this direction. All these
efforts helped to awaken interest in this great
humane movement to provide medical assistance
for the millions of women of India, who have been
left to meet the ills that fall to the lot of woman,
without such aid hitherto.

I have just seen a statement that Lady Cur-
zon, wife of the present Governor-General, is in-
teresting herself in this movement, and has raised
a large sum from wealthy natives to further the
education of native women in medicine for prac-
ticing in the homes of the higher classes of the
people.



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CHAPTER XL
Our Work in the Mountains.

In this chapter I propose to describe the work
in the mountains as it existed from 1868 to 1874.
In one of the earlier chapters I have given an ac-
count of the beginning of the work in Naini Tal.
Some years before the mutiny, the Rev. J. H.
Budden, of the London Missionary Society, lo-
cated in Almorah, the old capital of Kumaon,
about thirty miles to the northeast of Naini Tal.
Mr. Budden had built up a very interesting work
there, and was naturally desirous to extend it to
all the centers about the interior hills.

In 1859, ^fter the close of our first Confer-
ence, Mr. Thobum, now Bishop Thobum, was
sent to Naini Tal, and during his time the work
was extended in several directions, especially at
the foot of the mountains, in what is known as
the Bhaber, a tract of land lying in between the
189



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igo Twenty-one Years in India.

mountains on one side, and the Tarai cm the
other.

Sir Henry Ramsay, the Commissioner of Ku-
maon and Gurhwal, was engaged in settling this
region with hill people.

The meaning of the word Bhaber, is waterless
forest. The soil is made up of debris washed
down from the mountains, leaving it slightly de-
scending towards the plains. In this soil water
can not be obtained by digging wells, as it can
in most of Upper India. This is one reason that
makes this portion of India so fertile, water can
be obtained for purposes of irrigation without
great difficulty. To provide water for their crops
in this region of the Bhaber, a system of irrigation
had been devised. The people living in the lower
range of hills near, go down and clear the 4ands
and make themselves winter homes in this lo-
cality, and in this way they escape the cold of the
mountains and raise good crops in a season when
nothing can be grown in the hills. Then, when
the hot season begins, they return to their homes
in the mountains, and so escape the great heat of



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Years in India. 191

the plains, and cultivate their fields in their moun-
tain homes. This has been of the greatest ad-
vantage to these people; it has made them very
comfortable and well-to-do.

Their fields in the Bhaber are now very beauti-
ful and fertile, and, having a fine system of irri-
gation, their crops seldom, if ever, fail. So the
people of this region are much better off than in
any other part of the country with which I am
acquainted.

We have had for many years a very interest-
ing field for work during the cold season down
in this locality. The time came when we wished
to extend our work in the mountains, and in do-
ing this some friction seemed likely to arise, and
we were in danger of conflicting with the plans
of our brethren of the other Mission. This was
the condition of things when I was appointed to
Naini Tal in 1868. As soon as I learned the
conditions existing, I proposed a meeting of the
missionaries of both Societies, in Almorah. This
meeting was held, Messrs. Budden and Kenneday
representing the l^ondon Mission ; Mr. Judd and



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192 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

myself representing our Society. Our mutual
friend, Sir Henry Ramsay, met with us, and we
soon arrived at an understanding, and a division
of territory was agreed upon that has been per-
fectly satisfactory from that day to this. We
also formed a general organization, uniting all
our Missions in the Provinces, for mutual help
and improvement, under one general committee.
Our plan provided for holding an annual meet-
ing for both Europeans and natives, alternating
between Naini Tal and Almorah, at which time
it was proposed to hold a mass-meeting, bringing
both classes into closer sympathy and contact,
hoping thereby to awaken greater interest in the
cause. It was thought that a large popular meet-
ing of this kind might be the means of great good.
And so it proved. Some most remarkable meetings
were held. The first one was held in Naini Tal,
in 1870, and it was one of the most impressive
meetings I ever attended. Our Church was packed
mostly with our native friends. Sir Henry Ram-
say presided, and some stirring addresses were
made by Europeans and natives. The effect of



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ISA DAS AND FAMILY OF NATIVE CHRISTIANS.



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Twenty-one Years in India. 193

the meeting in the Province was very far-reach-
ing upon both classes, that is, Europeans and na-
tives. Isa Das was baptized in Haldwane about
this time.

It had a fine effect upon the natives particu-
larly, as they like frankness, something they
themselves are not remarkable for, and like to
have European officials speak out directly on the
subject of religion.

In addition to our central school at Naini Tal,
we had several schools of a lower grade at dif-
ferent points out in the hills at a distance varying
from ten to fifteen miles. These schools were
held in the hills in the hot season, and in the
plains in the cold weather. We had a few that
continued the year round in the Bhaber. They
required a good deal of attention, and when visit-
ing them, it gave me an excellent opportunity to
meet the people and preach to them. I made a
point of always carrying with me a good supply
of medicines, and so prescribed for the sick. If I
found any specially bad cases, I arranged for
them to come into one of our hospitals, where
13



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194 TwENTY-ONK Years in India.

they could have the care and attention needed.
This they could not have in their homes in the
villages.

These were very busy years : the care of the
schools, the constant demands of the sick, attend-
ing at the hospitals, teaching the medical class,
and all other incidental demands upon one's time.
I wonder how I got through it all. In addition
to all this, I had charge of a large English con-
gregation, for which one service in the evening
of each Sunday was held. This service was at-
tended by Sir William Muir and family, and
many others connected with Government. This
service was only continued for about eight months
in the year. The remaining months were devoted
entirely to native work, such as supervising the
schools and hospitals, and visiting the villages in
the country about the foot of the hills.

In 1870 we had a visit from Rev. William
Taylor, who was very celebrated as an evangelist
in those days, and whose labors had been attended
with great success in South Africa and Australia,
and in other countries, as well as at home. In



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TwENTY-ON]^ Years in India. 195

South Africa he had preached through an inter-
preter to heathen natives with marked success; we
hoped he might do so in India as well, but for
some reason that method of speaking to the people
did not succeed as we hoped it might. He held
meetings among the natives quite extensively, and
with some success, but his great work was done
among English-speaking people. He spent about
two months with us in Naini Tal, and was an
inmate of our home for that period, and held a
series of special meetings in our Naini Tal
Church, and many started out in an earnest Chris-
tian life. Mr. Taylor was very well received by
the English residents of Naini Tal, and we re-
ceived great good from his stay among us.

While with us at that time, he and Mrs.
Humphrey compiled and prepared for the press
an English Hymn-book, with tunes, which he sent
to England to his publisher there, and in due time
it came out in very attractive style. Mr. Taylor
sent us a present of two hundred copies for the
use of our congregation. This book served a
most useful purpose with us for a good number of



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196 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India,

years, but it has now been superseded by newer
publications.

Mr. Taylor's coming to us marks an era in
our history as a mission. He soon recognized
that his mission was to the English-speaking pop-
ulation. We have many such who are bom in
India. Many of them are of mixed descent and
are known as Eurasians ; to them, in every sense,
India is home. There are others bom in India,
who are not of mixed descent, but India is their
home; they have but little, if any, expectation of
ever leaving it.

There are communities scattered about over
the country, and in the large towns, and on the
lines of railway, on the coffee and tea plantations,
and about the mines of different kinds worked in
various parts of the country. The largest Eng-
lish-speaking communities are found in the Presi-
dency towns, or great seaports, as Bombay, Cal-
cutta, Madras, and so on. Mr. Taylor soon
found his way to these great centers, and im-
portant and most useful Churches have been
raised up in all of those places. If any one famil-



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Twenty-one Years in India. 197

iar with the history of this movement ever
doubted that we have a mission to the English-
speaking people of India, if they will consider
what has been done in the way of Churches raised
up, schools founded, and souls saved, I am sure
they will doubt no more.

As a Church, I think we feel that we have
had a very honorable part in helping to improve
the moral tone of European society in India.

Mr. Taylor began his work independent of
our Missionary Society, and his plan was that it
should be carried on on a self-supporting basis,
and it was carried on in this way for some years,
but at length it was adopted by the Board, and is
now carried on as all our work is, directly under
the Missionary Society.

I have spoken of Mr. Taylor's visit to us as
forming a crisis in our history. It does so in this
way : our mission field had been definitely located
as embracing Oudh, Rohilcund, and the mountain
districts of Ktmiaon and Gurhwal. We had
found it necessary to break over our bounds, in
one or two instances, before Mr. Taylor's arrival.



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198 Twe:nty-on^ Y^ars in India.

His work extending over the South of India,
made it necessary to extend our limits until we
ceased to recognize any limits whatsoever. We
came to feel that we must let God lead us, and
He does not set bounds to his work as we are
inclined to do. We have had many things to
learn as the years have gone by, and among them
is this : it is better to let God lead us by his Provi-
dence and Spirit as to where we should go and
what we should do.

Before dismissing the subject of Mr. Taylor's
visit, I desire to add a word as to how he im-
pressed me. I had a very good opportunity to
study his character as he appeared at that time.
He was with us in our home for about two months,
and he could not see just what God's plan was for
his future. He had finished his work in our Mis-
sion in the plains, and he was now waiting to see
where God would lead him. He waited very pa-
tiently for the Lord to show him His will. I
think I have never seen such unwavering faith as
he seemed to exercise. He seemed to feel that he
and the Lord had a perfect imderstanding; he did



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TwENW-ONE Years in India. 199

not seem to have a single doubt, under circum-
stances that most persons would have felt to be
rather dark and forbidding. I felt that he was
indeed a great man of God. He was peculiar in
many things, but it seemed to me easy to see that
he was a remarkable man, and that God was with
him in a wonderful way. This was an opinion
formed of him many years ago, before he became
the founder of our extensive and wonderful work
in South America, and our pioneer Bishop of
Africa.

An interesting incident occurred this season,
which may be worth mentioning. Our colporter
Obadiah, whose field of labor was down at the
foot of the mountains, when out on one of his
tours, was overtaken by night when in an isolated
nook among the foothills of the Great Himalayas.
He was hospitably entertained by a Hindu family
living in the region. The members of the family
became much interested in what he told them
about our Savior, and in the morning would take
nothing for his entertainment, but insisted in pay-
ing him his price for a Testament in Hindee. In



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^oo Twenty-one Years in India,

a few months I had the great privilege of baptiz-
ing the whole family, which consisted of a father
and mother and two sons.

That Testament was loaned to another family
some miles away in the mountains, and I soon
after baptized that family, and then several others.
In a little time a Christian community was gath-
ered in the Bhaber, in which we were deeply in-
terested for many years. The families gathered
in at that time are nearly all gone now.

In 1873, owing to malarial fever contracted
down at the foot of the hills, I was induced to
take a voyage from Calcutta around to Bombay
on a coasting steamer. We visited all the ports
along our route. I was especially delighted with
our visit to Columbo, in Ceylon, where we were
very hospitably entertained by a gentleman of
the name of Ferguson, if I remember correctly.
He was the editor of the leading paper of that
place. They were a lovely family, and we enjoyed
a day or two of rest in their lovely home, more
than I can express. Their residence was situated
in a grove of cocoanut trees, a few rods from the
sea.



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Twenty-one Years in India. aoi

The breaking of the great waves on the shore
as they came rolling in from the vast expanse of
ocean off at the south, was like the booming of a
cannon. The memory of those dear people has,
through all the years, been very precious to us.
They were Baptists, and a few days before had
received a visit from some of their missionaries
on the way to Burmah, who were at that time on
the sea. By appointment, at a given hour Sun-
day evening, we sang a hymn which was written
as a prayer for friends at sea, and then they were
most lovingly remembered in prayer. We were
much touched by this loving thoughtfulness, and
could well appreciate it, situated as we were at
the time. We had a most delightful trip over
the pearl fishery groimd to Tuticorin on the
main land, where we had a wedding of a lady
who had just come out from England, and was
met by an engineer on a railway being built in the
interior, some distance from the coast. We saw
them married, got up as good a dinner for them
as possible in the rickety old Dak Bungalow, and
started them off in an ox-cart for their journey



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202 TwENTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

into the interior to their home that was to be for
a time. We had a most dehghtful stay of two or
three days in Bombay, and then hastened to Alla-
habad to attend the great Missionary Conference
to be held there, beginning on Christmas-day and
continuing until New- Year's. This was a much
larger meeting than the one held ten years before
in Lahore, but it lacked the presence of the dis-
tinguished laymen who took a prominent part in
that meeting. There were missionaries present
from every part of India, and it was a very in-
spiring and memorable meeting. Another Mis-
sionary Conference was held in Calcutta in 1883,
which was very successful. Another was held
in Bombay in 1893. One has just been held in
Madras, which seems to have been a large and im-
portant meeting.

Towards the end of this season, 1873, my
friend. Pundit Nund Kishore, sent for me to
come to Moradabad and visit him. I found him
very ill and evidently nearing his end. He said,
"I have not sent for you as a doctor merely, but
I wish to talk with you and learn what I must



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TwENl'Y-ONE Years in India. ^03

do to be saved/' I urged him to accept Christ
and trust in Him alone. I spent two days with
him and explained the way to him as fully as I
could, and I think he did accept Christ as his
Savior, ahd continued to do so to the end. On
two or three occasions he and his wife and all
the members of his family would come in and
kneel around his bed while I led in prayer. This
means a great deal more than those who do not
know the circumstances can well understand, for
a high caste Hindu to call in his wife and family
for prayer in this way was a very marked and
impressive confession of faith in our holy re-
ligion.

I had the pleasure of introducing Brother and
Sister Parker to the family, who, I knew, would
delight to minister to them in their affliction, and
returned to my home in Naini Tal. The Pundit
died soon afterward, I believe a true believer in
Christ, though he did not make a public pro-
fession of Him other than that made in his fam-
ily. We have many such cases in India, who are
never counted in our statistics as Christians; but



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204 Twenty-one Years in India.

who can doubt that they are counted among the
redeemed in heaven ?

Towards the end of the season it became evi-
dent that I must seek an entire change. I could
not get rid of the malaria, and was on the verge
of nervous prostration. My medical friends all
said I must get out of the country and return
home. So, with many regrets, I bade my friends
in India good-bye for the second time, after about
fifteen years' service in the field, and returned to
the United States.



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CHAPTER XIL

Naini Tal, Pithoragarh, and the Tarai.

Upon my leaving Naini Tal in 1874, the Eng-
lish congregation had reached a point of develop-
ment where it was felt that a pastor was needed
for it who might devote his entire time and
strength to its interests, and that his support could
be provided by the congregation. I had been oc-
cupied with a large amount of native work of
different kinds, as well as the medical work, which
itself was enough to tax the energies to the ut-
most of one well and strong man, and could not
give my chief attention to the English Church.
My salary had been paid from home, so they
could not command my services beyond what
seemed proper to give, all other parts of the work


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 13

Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 9 of 13)