Scudder, Catharine Hastings

Scudder, Catharine Hastings, a missionary to India of the Presbyterian Church, was born in Utica, N.Y., Aug. 22, 1825. She was the daughter of Prof. Thomas Hastings, known and honored throughout the churches of the United States for his successful efforts in raising the standard of church music. In her tenth year, she joined the Presbyterian Church under the pastorate of Dr. Erskine Mason. The development of her piety gave early indications of her destiny as a missionary. When eleven years old, her heart was deeply affected by the fact that the missionaries who had charge of the Ceylon mission schools were obliged to disband some of them for want of funds, and to send back to the darkness of heathenism many of the native children, and her sympathy led to corresponding action. She prepared a constitution, and formed a family association to sew for the heathen, and this association continued in existence until she left home for India, and exchanged manual for mental and moral labor in behalf of those for whom she felt a life-long solicitude. From the time she determined to devote herself to the missionary work, her character matured rapidly and with remarkable power, and the beauty of the Lord shone in and around her. In September, 1846, she was married to the Rev. William W. Scudder, son of the Rev. John Scudder, M.D., who was about to return to his native India as a missionary in that field, so long the home of his honored father. Soon after, they embarked for India, on the ship Flavio. In mid-ocean there was a revival on board, in which several of the roughest sailors were converted. When 280 miles from Madras, a meeting was held, at which there were eight of the seamen hopefully trusting in Christ for salvation. She united with the Church on the first Sabbath after her arrival on the shores of India, and enjoyed a delightful communion season with the Indian Church, full of gratitude to God for having permitted her to arrive on the field of her labors. Her allotted station was the island of Ceylon, and there, as soon as she could master a few words of the language, she commenced her work. She was permitted to prosecute her labors during the short period of two years only. While on a journey with her husband, returning from Madura, she was attacked with cholera, and died March 11, 1849, declaring in her last words that she was happy in Jesus. (W. P. S.)

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