"Truth of any kind is food for the soul."

The Rev. Jesse Caswell, 1841

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Boston Evening Transcript Article

In its Last Edition for Saturday, 21 May 1904, page 28, the Boston Evening Transcript published an article entitled, "Christianity in Siam," which provides commentary based on a "report to the American Bible Society from its agency in Siam."  In the summary sub-headings the contents of the article are described as including: "The Present King Favorable to Missionaries—Bible Circulation Helped by Railroad—New Protestant Church to Be Built at Bangkok."  This article appeared on the second page of a Google search, "siam protestant."

A few random thoughts:

  • For those trolling the Web for sources relevant to Christianity in Thailand, it is important to use as many different combinations of search terms as one can think of.  I've spent many hours in the last couple of years doing just that and continue to come up with new sources nearly every time.  Obviously, there is still a large amount of primary material unavailable online and most more recent publications are unavailable, but even so the Web is a rich source of data—if one can find it.
  • This article appeared in a "secular" newspaper,  Boston Evening Transcript, at the turn of the 20th century at a time when the press, secular and religious, was still an important source of missionary and foreign church news.  For the nineteenth century, that press provides an immense amount of crucial data for mission and church work in Siam.
  • Much of the focus of this particular article is on "the Laos people," meaning the people of Bangkok's northern dependencies, which in 1904 were being increasingly integrated into the Siamese state.  It documents on the ongoing need, as seen by the ABS, for translating the whole Bible in northern Thai, a task that in fact was never completed.
I should note, finally, that I won't include this source in this website's "English-Language Bibliography of Materials Related to Christianity in Thailand," because it is not significant enough for inclusion.  It is too brief, and it is a secondary source.  Including all of the article on Christianity in Siam is simply not an option for the bibliography, but I did want to mention it here as an example of what is "out there" on the Web.