Ann Hasseltine Judson
- February 5, 1812
MarriageWed Adoniram Judson
ReligionDeparted to estabish Christian mission in Burma
OrdealImprisonment of Rev. Judson
Missionary Modeling: The First of the Mrs. JudsonsRead more...
She carried the light of civilization into the darkest corner of the world, it seemed. For those at home reading of the heroic service of Ann Hasseltine Judson, the first celebrated female American missionary, it was an ideal sacrifice: to leave home and venture into this darkness armed with true belief. The work of spreading Christianity exposed her to disease, starvation and bodily suffering before she died in Burma. In biographies written during the latter half of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Judson becomes a contemporary, realist saint, her martyrdom "magnanimous and sublime," her career a public distinction (Clement, 52). Her devotion to the noble cause of saving souls modeled a new way women could participate in heroic work outside of the home, though memorials often frame Ann's ministry as the helpmeet of her missionary husband, Adoniram Judson. George Hervey writes: "As the life of Mrs. Ann Hasseltine Judson was completely identified with that of her heroic husband, it has been thought neither desirable nor possible to contemplate them altogether apart" (277). Yet, in Burma, surrounded by strangers, Ann would face her most significant trials apart from her husband, bereft of his protection and in fact, protecting him.