Massive Archive 200 Letters American Missionary Life In Bombay India 1930-1950 For SaleUp for sale is a massive archive of 0ver 200 typed and handwritten letters of an American Methodist missionary Jennie Blasdell became a Methodist missionary who served in Byculla , Bombay India between 1932 and 1952.
This is a fascinating group of letters and documents filled with details of life in Bombay and her interaction with the population , her experiences with the culture customs and gossip of the Methodist church and its inner workings in India.
What I find very interesting is her experiences and opinions regarding Indian independence , Gandhi , WW II, riots, that happened during the Partition of India and much more. She writes in great detail about the country as well as the former British Government and the new Government.
Keep in mind that her opinions come in the context of her serving as a missionary and from the perspective of colonialism of the times.
Mrs Blasdell was a teacher and operated a Hostel and worked on a garden, she also traveled to other missions outside of Bombay.
I counted 120 airmail letters and at least 100 letters many written on Rice Paper with quite beautiful stationary.I have only read in depth approx 10 % of the letters and skimmed over 5 %
I would think it would take at least 6 months to read all the letters in order to get an understanding of this archive.
Some letters are from Robert who was Jennie's brother he was a Methodist missionary and served in Singapore,
Malaya. He wrote a book about his missionary work there are a few of his letters as well as letters from Mrs Blasdell while she was in Portugal.
Excerpts & content from the letters :
Feb. 10, 1948So you want to get into politics and the state of the county do you ?As to Gandhi - There is no doubt in my mind that he has been a great leader, that he has been sincere and strong in his beliefs and he has done,
a great deal for his county. His end having come as it did , give him perhaps greater influence in his death than his life. The Hindu loves to follow the party ( teacher) or holy man. When Gandhi ceased to be the leader of the Congress party , his influence continued and in a much wider sphere.You have
probably heard me say before that , while I believed he sincerely wished to help India , I thought he was too visionary not practical enough to be a real good leader of a nation.Nov 21, 1950
This section of the county has been visited by locusts recently . Of course there isn't much green stuff in Bombay for them to harm and while they flew over they did not stop here . a good bit of damage to crops and gardens over on the mainland . Also , they have appeared in such numbers that they are a danger to the trains . People are ignorant enough and fanatic enough not to want them killed.April 12, 1948
The Godhra situation seems to be under control now and yet people are still not too sure about it. When trouble likes that breaks out and people become so crazed , it is hard to tell whether it is really under control or whether feelings are being hidden . As yet they have no idea of the number of killed.
The Mohammedans still keep in hiding somewhere.Aug 25 , 1948There has been little change in the political situation since I wrote last. Today's paper says that the Hyderabad question is to be brought before the United Nations. Of course , I realize that here in India we get only the Indian side of the question , and according to that everything has been done here that can be done to effect a union.
The Nazam will not give up his place. He seems to be greatly influenced by communisitc leaders.
There is trouble all though the Orient . One of our missionaries from Udgir was here in Bombay a few days ago.
He said the day he left Udgir the mob was in control .
They had a letter later, telling how the bank had been entered after having thrown petrol on the guards and set them on fire.Feb 27, 1948 The Chawl we visited today Sunday is quite a different part of the city than the one where I have my work Most of the people who live in that particular chawl are Christians who work in the mills . We arrived about 2:30 and spent the first half or three quarters of an hour going from room to room, or I might say from home to home.
This group of Chawls is one of the newest in the city and one of the best. Each building has five stories and each floor has twenty rooms so each building takes care of 100 families. A corner of each room is partitioned off where the people wash up and take bathes but there is only one toilet on each floor- 20 families to use it.
The children looked kind of ragged for salaries of mill hands are small. my heart ached for one little girl , although she seemed very happy and proud she did not want sympathy , for she has begun to work in the mills the week before just 14 she is and she works from 8 until 5 with an hour at />On Jul-04-13 at 16:57:32 PDT, seller added the following information:Important please read Hello Buyers, I made a mistake in the sale description I miscounted the number of airmail letters there are only 80 not 120 airmail letters but the bulk of the letters are still related to Mrs Blasdall and the India 170 letters ( including airmail ) are from Mrs Blasdall the mission in India , the header at the top of all the letters its states Mocosa , Bagh India . As for the rest of the letters 10 are from Portugal and and only 2 are from Singapore. four postcards are form Portugal, one map of a mission with Mrs Blastall's is from India as per photo in sale. 26 letters and two paper items are domestic mail & air mail from NY or California. I have been trying to fix the discrepancy regarding the airmail letters since I posted the sale ,for some reason I was having trouble accessing the page on the sale I have been contacted buyers individually , but at this point i may just cancel the sale. I do not want to misrepresent the number of air mail letters. What is correct is that the bulk of the letters do originate from the mission in India and are from Jennie Blasdell. Hope this helpsOn Jul-05-13 at 09:16:12 PDT, seller added the following information:
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