Missionary to the Far East
Hasseltine Judson and her husband Adoniram
Judson, were the first Americans to establish
mission in the Far East . More than a
missionary's wife, Ann herself felt the call
to the mission field, especially
international, before marrying Mr. Judson.
She gave her life to God for
service wherever He might call her.
Hasseltine was born in Bradford ,
Massachusetts in 1789. As a young girl she
spent much of her time reading religious books
and praying. Ann was a part of the New England
religious revival of 1806 and at this time she
resolved to devote her life to God. She
prayed, “Direct me in Thy service, and I ask
no more. I would not choose my position of
work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy
will, and I will readily comply.” (Deen, Great
Women, p. 171).
studied at the Bradford Academy and began
teaching when she was eighteen years old. At
21 she met Adoniram Judson who was a
Congregational minister at the time at a
Missions meeting that was held in her home,
hosted by her father, John, who was a deacon.
They were soon engaged and they were married
on February 5, 1812 . The next day they set
sail for India on the “ Caravan” .
The voyage took four months and they arrived
in Calcutta , India on June 18.
the voyage both Ann and Adoniram read “ Lives
of the Martyrs and Saints,” along with several
books on baptism and upon their arrival they
joined the Baptist Church and they were
baptized by immersion in a Calcutta chapel.
They wrote home about their change in
conviction, which caused some criticism, but
good came from this change also. The Judsons
were instrumental in the awakening of Baptist
church in America to their duty to carry on
foreign mission work. Due to their influence,
the Baptist General Convention in Philadelphia
was formed in 1814, which appointed the
Judsons as Baptist missionaries with freedom
to select their own field of labor.
after they arrived in India , they were
ordered by the government to return to America
, so the Judsons moved their missionary work
to Burma , located between India and China .
They settled in Ragoon, the principle seaport
of Burma and began learning the language. They
quickly realized that it would be very
difficult to preach Christianity in a language
lacking the words God, Heaven, and Eternity,
but nevertheless they proceeded to translate
the Scriptures into the Burmese language. They
began with the book of Jonah, which was
especially attractive to the Burmese mind.
adopted the Burmese dress with its light tunic
of bright-colored gauze and a skirt of bright
silk, slit at the ankle. A dedicated
missionary, Ann formed a society of native
women who met together on Sundays to pray and
read the Scriptures and conducted classes for
women. Her greatest contribution to the cause
of women and missions was her inspirational
writing. She wrote enthralling stories of life
on the mission field and the struggles she
faced, predominantly when her husband was
confined to Burmese prison for nearly two
years. She also wrote also wrote tragic
descriptions of child marriages, female
infanticide, and the trials of the Burmese
women who had virtually no rights except what
rights their husbands allowed them. Ann felt
that even worse than the ill treatment of
women was their ignorance. Burmese women were
not taught and they spent their days in
idleness. She worked to remedy this situation
and enlisted the help of women back home.
most women missionaries, Ann suffered from
poor health on the mission field. She served
for thirteen years in Burma before she died at
the age of 37 on October 24, 1826 . She was
buried at Amherst under a tree while her
Burmese converts wept over her grave. In the
decades after her death numerous biographies
and biographical sketches were written about
Ann and she became a role model for all
Christian young women.