1849: The American Ceylon Mission, founded by chance
Brief Sketch of the American Ceylon Mission,
with an appendix. Jaffna American Mission Press 1849
First edition pp.56, 2 folding tables, disbound.
This pamphlet provides a general overview of the American mission's activities, especially its educational initiatives, and of its operating principles, including its Articles of Belief and Rules of Life. It also contains brief biographies of the missionaries connected with the American Ceylon Mission, and short obituaries of Tamil converts. The tables are a view of the annual expenditure of the Mission from 1816 to 1848, and a view of the Tamil and English and Tamil schools connected with the different mission stations from 1816 to 1849. The American Ceylon Mission was founded by chance. The American Board of Foreign Missions had sent its first missionaries to India in 1812, but with the Anglo-American War underway they were ordered by the Governor-General to leave Calcutta by the same vessel on which they had arrived. On the return voyage, one of them, Samuel Newell, happened to land in Ceylon. He saw the potential for a mission and, although he himself moved on to Bombay, three missionaries were sent to the island in 1816 making their base in Jaffna.