Blind and Sighted Pioneer Teachers in 19th Century China and India (revised edition)

This article introduces blind and sighted men and women who developed education and employment for blind people in China and in India from the 1830s onward, and whose pioneering efforts have disappeared from later accounts of blind people's history. This revised and much extended online version is published in April 2011: www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles201104.html and www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles201104.pdf

M. Miles, West Midlands, UK.
m99miles@hotmail.com

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SYNOPSIS
Blindness, blind people and blind teachers appear in literature from both Chinese and Indian antiquity. Legal and charitable provisions existed and a few blind characters played a role in epic history, while most blind Asians probably lived quite constricted lives. The 'official' starting dates for formal blind schools are 1874 in China, and 1886 in India, but in fact there was well documented educational work with blind people from the 1830s onward in both countries, and many aspects of it are both interesting and instructive for what came later. Two of the key 19th century special teachers were blind young women. In 1837, missionary teacher Mary Gutzlaff integrated several young, blind, Chinese orphan girls in her small boarding school at Macau. One named 'Agnes Gutzlaff' was then educated in London, and returned in 1856 to Ningpo, moving later to work in Shanghai. Agnes became the first trained and experienced person in China to teach blind people to read, using first the Lucas system, then Willam Moon's embossed script. She was a competent musician, and also supported herself by teaching English. Meanwhile, in the late 1840s, a class of blind adults received formal instruction from Rev. Thomas McClatchie at Shanghai. In 1856, Rev. Edward Syle opened a small industrial workshop at Shanghai for older blind people. In India, William Cruickshanks, blind since his boyhood at Madras, was educated with sighted boys. From 1838 to 1876 he was head of several ordinary South Indian schools. The Bengal Military Orphan Asylum, Calcutta, having blind orphans in its school, adopted the Lucas reading system by 1840. This was overtaken by Moon's embossed type for blind readers in several Indian languages during the 1850s. Missionary women such as Jane Leupolt, Amalie Fuchs, Mary Daüble, Elizabeth Alexander, Maria Erhardt, Emma Fuller, and their Indian assistants, used Moon script to teach blind children in integrated classes across Northern India in the 1860s and 1870s. The first regular teacher at an 'industrial school' for blind people at Amritsar was Miss Asho (later Bibi Aisha), a blind young Indian woman who had been educated in an ordinary school at Lahore. Asho read first Moon, then Braille, was competent at various handicrafts, and became adept at teaching other blind women and girls.  Later accounts of the beginnings of formal education for blind people in South and East Asia have omitted the cultural background, several decades of 'casual integration' in ordinary schools, the early use of Lucas and Moon scripts, and the prominent part played by teachers who were themselves blind. This article describes the missing decades and people, with extensive reference to primary sources, and suggests some reasons for the biases and omissions in later accounts.

CONTENTS

 1.0  Introduction

THE HERITAGE FROM ANTIQUITY
 2.0  Blind People in China's History
 3.0  Blind People in India's History
 4.0  Languages, Access and Interpretation

NINETEENTH CENTURY PIONEER TEACHERS:  CHINA
 5.0  Mary Gutzlaff at Macau
 6.0  Edward Syle and Thomas McClatchie at Shanghai
 7.0  Introducing the Protestant Work Ethic
 8.0  Agnes Gutzlaff and Miss Aldersey at Ningpo
 9.0  Agnes Gutzlaff, Useful at Shanghai
10.0  The Second Wave of Pioneers in China

NINETEENTH CENTURY PIONEER TEACHERS:  INDIA
11.0  Beginning with Charity in India
12.0  Blind Students at Madras and Calcutta
13.0  Jane Leupolt of Benares
14.0  Miss Hewlett, Miss Asho & Other Pioneers in North Western India
15.0  Annie Sharp and Miss Askwith
16.0  Reflections

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS

 NOTES

REFERENCES

 

BLIND & SIGHTED PIONEER TEACHERS IN 19TH CENTURY CHINA & INDIA (revised edition)

 

1.0  Introduction
1.1  In both India and China there are records of blind people formally being taught to read in the late 1830s, and of blind people teaching others to read from the 1850s onward. The script invented in 1832 by Thomas Lucas at Bristol, England, consisting of embossed characters in the sort of symbols used by stenographers, was used in both China and India. Next the embossed type devised by the blind Englishman William Moon around 1847, based on modified characters of the Roman alphabet, gave strong competition to Lucas's 'shorthand' script. The system of embossed dots devised by Louis Braille during the 1820s and perfected by 1834, spread more slowly, and eventually overtook both Lucas's and Moon's systems throughout the world. [1]  The teaching activities in China and India first took place with blind children 'casually integrated' in ordinary school settings. There were also formal efforts in both countries to teach blind people some income-generating handicrafts, at least as early as the 1850s. These activities were developing almost in parallel with developments in education of blind people in European countries. Though the Indian and Chinese starting dates were forty to fifty years later than the beginnings in France and England, developments in each continent were slow and the methods and technology were unsophisticated. They were so simple as to be transferable from West to East by missionary amateurs, with a modest amount of adaptation. The results were sufficiently positive to reinforce the process and to make some positive impact on attitudes towards blind people within a few local communities.

1.2  In both China and India, the history of the earliest blind and sighted pioneer teachers has been lost from both public and professional awareness. The first 'official dates' of education for blind people in India are usually given as 1886 or 1887, and in China as 1870 or 1874, when the 'first school for the blind' is said to have been started in each country by foreign missionaries. The present account recovers the detailed and fascinating 'missing history', with extensive contemporary documentation, and suggests some reasons why these records and activities disappeared from view. Trends since the 1950s away from 'institutional' education can in fact be seen as a rediscovery of the attitudes, practices and debates of the pioneers a century earlier.

1.3  Versions.  Parts of this revised online version (2011) have been in progress intermittently since about 1996, taking advantage of the capacity of the web for revision and extension without being too solidly or prematurely 'fixed in print'. The first web version appeared in 1998 at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, which closed c. 2007; an early version of the material appeared on an ERIC microfiche; and the 'Indian' half formed part of a chapter in the author's doctoral thesis at the University of Birmingham in 1999. A brief polemical sketch of some aspects also appeared in print as part of a conference proceedings. [2]  During the past 15 years, considerably more background information became available, and historiography of the fields involved became more complex and interesting. The current version appears to be about 50% longer than early versions, but part of the increase arises from adding the complete 'References' list separately, by authors' names alphabetically, after they have appeared scattered throughout the 'Notes'. Most of the 'revision and extension' occurs in additional details in the end-notes, so the structure of the main text is fairly similar to that of earlier versions, with some changes of nuance and interpretation arising either from additional information or the author's further reflection on the issues involved. There are unlikely to be any further versions, though some tweaking of errors may continue, as they come to notice. There remains infinite room for research in greater depth and detail of all parts of this vast new field, which hopefully will be taken up by scholars with greater competence, skills and range of languages.

 

 

THE HERITAGE FROM ANTIQUITY

2.0  Blind People in China's History
2.1  Blind people are recorded in Chinese antiquity as the beneficiaries of charitable institutions, and as court musicians. Details exist of the various ranks and positions of the musicians:  they and their sighted assistants had specific seats on either side of the ruler, and used various stringed and wind instruments, drums and other rhythm-makers. [3]  Helpful and respectful behaviour is described in the Analects of Confucius, towards blind music-master Mien, when he makes a visit. Confucius tells Mien when he has reached the steps, and when he has reached the sitting mat. After Mien is seated, Confucius tells him who is present in the room. [4]  These social arrangements are from a period several centuries before Christ. The Guilds of Blind Musicians and Fortune-Tellers which functioned in China at least until the middle of the 20th century, claim a continuous existence back to 200 BC. [5]  Across this huge span of time, a few odd dates on blindness can be placed from western sources. Mary Darley, a missionary at Kien-Ning in Fukien Province, reported working with people in a 'Blind Village' first established in the tenth century CE by a king whose mother became blind. [6]  In the mid-fourteenth century, the traveller Ibn Batuta described a temple at Canton in which blind people received care, bed and board. [7]  At Shanghai, William Milne visited a Foundling Hospital dating from 1710, in which there were some blind or otherwise disabled babies. [8]  When Chinese historians seriously take up the field of disabilities, they will no doubt find much more detailed material from state documentation accumulated over the past 2,500 years. The few spots mentioned here merely indicate that activities in the 19th century inherited a very long and continuous cultural tradition of social responses to the needs and skills in blind people's lives.

3.0  Blind People in India's History
3.1  Blind people appear also in the literature of Indian antiquity. In the Rig Veda a person is deliberately blinded, but is said to be healed by the semi-divine twin Asvins. [9]  The central plot of the greatest Indian epic, the Mahabharata, turns on the prohibition against blind Dhritarashtra becoming king. [10]  This epic contains many references to visual impairment, such as Princess Gandhari's decision to blindfold herself, so as not to be superior to her blind husband. [11]  Dhritarashtra did become king; but he later complained that, on account of his blindness, his eldest son treated him like a fool and paid no heed to his words. [12]  An early 'industrial disability' was mentioned in the epic, when some priests' eyes became weak and painful from the continual smoke of burnt sacrifices, until they went on strike. [13]  There was also a connubial quarrel, during which Pradweshi complained that her learned but blind husband Dirghatamas was unable to support her financially, so she had been obliged to support him. [14]  Another learned blind teacher was Cakkhupala, who was depicted as taking a journey led by a sighted guide holding the tip of his staff; but later, in a familiar setting, he took his exercise independently. [15] The ancient Laws of Manu described various prohibitions on blind people, who were considered to be afflicted as a result of misdeeds in a previous life. [16]  The Code of Kautilya aimed to protect blind people from insulting remarks. One could be fined for verbally scorning a man as 'blind'; but also for ironic use of a reverse term such as 'man of beautiful eyes'. [17]  Chandra Roy, in a doctoral thesis on blindness in India, suggests that there was a civic and religious concern for the welfare of blind people in India as early as the 15th century BC; but he believes that this concern diminished during the Upanishadic period, when the pursuit of transcendental values was emphasized. [18] Nevertheless, early literature celebrates some individual social workers whose mission was to feed blind and other disabled people. [19]  As in China, Indian history celebrates a small number of outstanding blind people. One of the best known is the 16th century poet Sur Das, possibly a court musician under the emperor Akbar. [20]  However, Indian historical documentation seems to be scantier than that of China. Credible material is harder to distinguish from legend, and dating is often very difficult.

4.0  Languages, Access and Interpretation
4.1  Some 16th and 17th century sources with occasional notes on Asian disabilities exist in European languages, for example in Dutch and Portuguese - the latter more particularly in records of the activities of Roman Catholic religious orders at Goa and at Macau. [21]  By the 19th century, English language sources are dominant, and some of them begin to reflect technical progress occurring in Europe, in education for blind people. The weakness of available historical sources in Chinese and South Asian languages, and the lack of European-language resource material in Asia, is suggested by unsatisfactory historical notes in recent publications, based on modern authorities. China's "first school for the blind" is said to have been founded in 1870, by "P.W. Moore"; or by "Pastor William Moore"; or in 1874 by "William Moon", or "Moon Williams". These dates and names are muddled or mistaken, probably in the transliteration from English to Chinese and back. Possibly the bookseller, publisher, evangelist and teacher of blind people, 'Pastor' William Murray, became "P.W. Murray", then "P.W. Moore", and was confused with the blind publisher and evangelist Dr. William Moon (1818-1894) of Brighton, England.  Other sources err in suggesting rather more than was actually available, such as "schools for disabled people in China" more than a century before 1949, without supporting documentation. [22]  However, five years of academic efforts to collect resources from across China have finally resulted in the publication in 2010 of three large volumes of historical source materials on special education, from antiquity to modern times, with a possibility of further volumes to come, which should encourage the growth of serious, evidence-based research in this field. [23]  For India, the start of services for blind people is given mistakenly in almost all textbooks, as being in 1886 or 1887 at Amritsar. The blind historian R.S. Chauhan, of India's National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, recently tried to probe a little deeper, but reported his frustration at the dearth of materials. [24]

4.2  European sources, on which the present paper depends, naturally had an agenda influenced by European concerns. Nevertheless, if one is not blinkered by stereotypes of 'missionaries' or 'colonialism', it is possible to discern in the primary sources a range of thoughts and responses to blindness, not perhaps so different from those found in Europe in the 2000s. Within a few decades, however, the pioneers' thoughts and works were being tidied up by their successors, to give a polished picture of successful 'mission philanthropy'. Where the actual pioneers were not found apt for polishing, or where their historical records were not available, some of them simply disappeared from historical accounts, in favour of more acceptable, or better documented, 'pioneers'. The Europeans in China reported little of the thoughts and feelings of Chinese people; and when they did, it was of course at second hand. Nevertheless, it is possible to find in the 19th century material much that reappears with little change in the autobiography of a modern Chinese blind woman, Lucy Ching, from the 1930s to 1980. [25]  Items such as the restriction of vocational training for blind people to courses in "massage and music" have continued into the 1990s. [26]  The present paper, therefore, intends primarily to bring this 19th century material back into play, without trying to force it into any particular interpretative framework or theory.

4.3  During some 15 years since research was begun for earlier versions of the present article, there has been a slowly growing interest in histories of obscure or marginalised groups, a discovery of 'disability history' mostly in western countries, an interest in the part played by women in the colonial activities of nations such as Britain and the Netherlands, and other aspects of supposedly 'subaltern' histories, along with a 'critical' view of activities formerly seen as 'benevolent' or 'philanthropic', such as providing education for blind children with appropriate methods, either integrated with sighted children or in separate locations, or with a mixture of approaches. Such scrutiny is broadly to be welcomed; yet in the early stages of its growth, one may notice a heavy load of western theorising transposed into situations where westerners were working in Asian situations of which the modern theorisers seem to possess only the dimmest awareness now, and little if any awareness of the constraints and challenges experienced 100 or 150 years earlier. Before compiling the present sketch, the author, who is neither a woman, nor a missionary, could call upon twelve years' experiences of living in South Asia and developing services for children with disabilities during the 1970s and 1980s, at the invitation of Asian colleagues and organisations. Considering the varied difficulties and complexities encountered during this modern period of work, and learning later of the disability service development carried out by European and South Asian women in the 19th century, the author felt some recognition of the descriptions of what they had been doing, and considerable admiration for their achievements despite considerable obstacles, some of which seem to persist in similar forms to the present. Certainly some flaws can be noticed in the earlier activities, or in the way they were described, as well as there being flaws in the modern ones!  Readers should make up their own minds how far they trust the evidence offered, and the framework in which it is presented.

 

NINETEENTH CENTURY PIONEER TEACHERS:  CHINA

5.0   Mary Gutzlaff at Macau
5.1   Carl [Charles] Gutzlaff (1803-1851), the colourful Pomeranian pioneer missionary to China from 1827 to his death, is credited with having "rescued six blind girls in Canton", [27]  and with being the founder of 'mission' to blind Chinese people. [28] What the 'rescue' consisted of, and how many victims came from Canton, is less clear. The blind girls, accumulating one by one, were certainly welcomed within Gutzlaff's extended household; yet the first, who received the name 'Mary Gutzlaff', had actually been found in Macau, after being kidnapped, blinded and maimed to make her a more pitiful beggar. [29]  She was brought to Mrs Mary Gutzlaff, the missionary's second wife. [30]  Another girl, 'Laura', was apparently brought to the Gutzlaffs by her father, after she had been blinded by her step-mother while he was away from home, again with the idea that she should earn her bread by begging. [31]

5.2   Reports by westerners of 'native barbarity' may always be treated with some caution; yet in the case of Mary, contemporary detail is given of a surgeon, Mr. Hunter, who operated successfully on her limbs, but could not restore her sight. [32]  The missionary booklet giving this detail took pains to assure its youthful readers that "The Chinese are not savages... They are very polite people"! [33]  Macau had had an Ophthalmic Hospital for a few years, run by T.R. Colledge, [34] which closed in 1832. [35]  Nevertheless, the well-known surgeon Peter Parker of Canton also tried his skill on Mary's eyes, with some apparent success initially, [36] though the ultimate result was negative. John Robert Morrison, one of the most knowledgeable among the foreign community, was another contemporary witness of Mary's condition. He noted the painful frequency with which blind people were "condemned perhaps, irremediably, to a life of vice and ignominy: for the destitute blind of China are among the most depraved, and (lepers alone excepted) the most degraded class of outcasts." [37]  In the case of Laura, she herself  "was able to give an account ... of the last scene to which she was ever an eye-witness, her step-mother heating a knitting-needle, and with it and poisoned soap, robbing the helpless child she was bound to protect, of the inestimable blessing of sight. Laura could remember her father's return, the grief and indignation with which he beheld his mutilated child, the sudden and stern resolve rather to part with his little one, than to leave her in such cruel hands." [38]

5.3   Whatever melodrama may have accompanied the 'rescue' of these blind girls, the prosaic task of bringing them up fell first into the hands of Mrs Mary Gutzlaff, who as Miss Wanstall had gone to Malacca in 1832 as a teacher, and had married Gutzlaff in 1834, moving with him to Macau. She opened a small school there in September 1835, under the auspices of the Society for Promoting Female Education in China, India and the East (SPFE), with help from the Morrison Education Society. [39]  Susanna Hoe suggests that the school at Macau "very soon concentrated its efforts on blind Chinese girls", [40]  but this seems a little overstated. At the start there were "twelve little Chinese girls and two boys"; by December 1836 there were "twenty-three children", by March 1937 there were "twenty-six children, residing always with us", but in mid-1838 there were sixteen boys and five girls enrolled and boarding in the Gutzlaff residence. [41] It is unclear whether all five of the mid-1838 girls were blind, whether all were old enough to be 'in school', and whether among them all there were the "four little blind girls" mentioned by Mrs Gutzlaff in a letter dated October 4, 1837, thanking a Philadelphia friend for sending embossed books. [42] Certainly, the Gutzlaffs put two blind girls, Mary and Lucy, on a boat to London early in 1839, under the care of a nurse, [43] and soon after their arrival they were enrolled as boarders in a school run by the London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read. [44]  Yet at the end of that year, William Milne mentioned "the 5 blind children under Mrs. Gutzlaff's care (now at Manilla)" [45] (They had decamped during the skirmishing between China and Britain over the opium imports.)

5.4   What seems to have happened is that Mary Gutzlaff, finding it hard to retain pupils at her school for more than a few months, realised that there would be no such problem with blind girls. [46]  Morrison reported in July 1837, when there was only one blind pupil, that Mrs Gutzlaff was "anxious to increase the number of her blind pupils", but he did not favour the idea "until an adequate teacher can be procured". Clearly the number of blind girls did increase; and the remarkable picture appears of one of their fellow pupils, a 9-year-old sighted Chinese boy, teaching them to read their embossed books. He was Yung Wing [sometimes shown as Jung Hung] from a village on Pedro Island near Macau. More than seventy years later he recorded the curious chain of events by which he entered Mrs Gutzlaff's school, aged seven, noting casually that the three blind girls, Laura, Lucy and Jessie "were taught by me to read on raised letters till they could read from the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress." [47]  A very young assistant teacher had in fact been in the pipeline from the SPFE, namely Theodosia Barker, who had briefly studied Chinese in London and had "also studied the system of instruction pursued at the Blind Asylum, which it is thought may be introduced with advantage into China". [48]  Whether Miss Barker's preparation would have proved "adequate" was not seriously tested. She reached Macau in February 1838, but not long afterwards married an American missionary, Mr Dean, whom she accompanied to Bangkok. [49]  This loss - of a sort that occurred not infrequently with the SPFE's female agents - may have enhanced the less than cordial response by the SPFE in June 1839, when they received a letter from Mary Gutzlaff, "stating that she had sent two blind children to the Society to be trained as teachers". The SPFE replied that its funds were not available for children's education, "even those whose faculties being perfect would afford the hope of their being hereafter useful, certainly not those whose infirmities could only render them a permanent burden." [50]

5.5   Mary Gutzlaff, though lacking specialist training, can certainly be regarded as a pioneer teacher of blind girls in China. The added merit may be claimed, that her school was both 'inclusive' and 'multicultural' - there is a certain charm in the idea of little Yung Wing busily learning to read a translation of ancient Middle Eastern scriptures (allegorised by the English tinker Bunyan, and printed in raised type in America), then passing on the skills and knowledge to three even smaller blind Chinese girls!  Mary Gutzlaff could also be hailed as an early example of the adventurous young career woman, travelling east by herself, setting up schools, managing her home and profession independently while her husband distributed evangelical tracts along coastal China; and finally being deprived by later (male) historians of the credit for her benevolent work, which was automatically assigned to her husband. Alternatively, in the modern 'critical' fashion, Mary might yet come to be denounced by some as an exploiter who found it easier to 'control' blind girls than sighted children; who taught a 'colonial' curriculum of English and Judaeo-Christian propaganda, and tried to raise public support for her school by emphasizing the grisly fate from which she had rescued them.

5.6   Exactly what Mary herself thought she was doing, is now hardly to be known; but there was some public discussion of possible strategies for achieving the education of blind Chinese people, and thus rendering them potentially 'useful' - that key word of 19th century evangelicalism. Morrison in 1837 asked the London Missionary Society whether some missionary coming out to China might not "acquire in a few months a perfect knowledge of the system of teaching the blind?"  More visionary, at that time, was his suggestion that  "a blind scholar, himself well acquainted with the system - one imbued with true piety" might accompany such a missionary  "as an assistant". [51]   Although formal education for blind people in Europe was still then very restricted, and most blind Europeans lived in poverty and with minimal social status, Morrison was clearly capable of imagining a blind person providing technical skills to the mission, as well as contributing "true piety". His idea was also perhaps more realistic than the earlier suggestion by the ophthalmologist Colledge, that little 'Mary Gutzlaff' be sent to London for training, so that she should return as an instructress. [52]  The latter plan was criticised on the grounds of the child's age - not because of any possible ill effects of a long voyage, different climate, food etc, but "on the score that she will forget her own language". Instead, it was proposed that "some two or three children, and an adult, may be sent from England, from the Blind Asylum, competent Teachers of the blind in handicraft as well as mental pursuits." [53]  It is not clear how this would have addressed the issue, i.e. the need to find people who were competent both in Chinese languages and in skills to teach blind people.

5.7   The outcome was that two pairs of blind girls were despatched by sea, 'Laura Gutzlaff' and 'Agnes Gutzlaff' following Mary and Lucy, and being admitted to the London Blind School on the 3rd January 1842, "aged 7 and 5 1/2 respectively". [54]  For two months, the school had four blind Chinese girls; but Mary died in March 1842, and Lucy in July 1843. [55]  Before Lucy died, she and Agnes were able to demonstrate their skills at a 'Children's Missionary Meeting' on 29 March 1842. "Mr Thompson ... introduced the little blind Chinese girls. Lucy and Agnes were then made to stand up, and they read with their fingers from their raised letter books the 25th  [chapter]  of  [the gospel of]  Matthew. They read with great distinctness and propriety, but as their voices were weak, only those who were very near could hear them."

5.8   The language problem with the remaining two young children still defeated the stratagem of 'pairing'. A teacher later noted that  "At first Laura and Agnes spoke their own language together, but after a time it was gradually forgotten, and at last became to them as a foreign tongue." [56]  Meanwhile, Mrs Mary Gutzlaff had sailed to America with a further three blind Chinese girls, Fanny, Eliza and Jessie, whom she hoped would be trained as teachers and would return to China,  "to convince the Chinese, that those who are deprived of sight, are not mere excrescences on the face of society, but that they can be taught, can in most cases support themselves, and can be useful and happy". [57]  None of these three 'American' Gutzlaff girls did return; but at least one of them, Jessie, who died in 1915, had made herself 'useful' through several decades as a skilled proofreader of Braille publications, and earned enough money to endow a scholarship for the education of Chinese students in Shanghai. [58]

5.9   Of the London girls, Laura died at London in 1854, as a young woman of around nineteen years. She had spent many years as a learner; but also shared some of what she learnt. In 1857 a blind youth from Cornwall wrote, "There is an Institution forming here, and I am appointed one of the teachers. They wish me to teach Moon's system, which I have learnt, but I don't like it.  T.M. Lucas's is the best system of all.  I learnt it from Laura, the Chinese girl, when she visited Exeter nine years ago." [59]  Laura would thus be counted among the 'useful' members of the human race.  The continued history of Agnes, as a more remarkable pioneer teacher, will appear below in sections 8.0 and 9.0.

 

6.0   Edward Syle and Thomas McClatchie at Shanghai
6.1   If Mrs Mary Gutzlaff was the 'mother' of modern education for blind children in China, the 'father' of therapeutic industry for blind adults may have been the Rev. Dr. Edward W. Syle (1817-1890). [60]  Syle was an Englishman who had a long and varied career as a missionary, much of it with the American Episcopal Mission at Shanghai. There, his work with blind people was done in friendly collaboration with the Rev. Thomas McClatchie (1814-1885) of the Church Missionary Society, and briefly with the help of the Episcopalian Rev. Phineas D. Spalding (1847-49). Syle was both a practical man and a scholar. The journal of his work, giving much thoughtful description of Chinese life and customs, was serialised in the Episcopalian periodical The Spirit of Missions. Syle was also the father of a deaf son. That experience may have increased his interest in people with any sort of disability. [61]

6.2   Looking back from twenty years later, Syle noted that the Shanghai Asylum for the Blind developed initially from the duty laid upon himself, McClatchie and Spalding, to act as almoners for the small Church attended by foreigners in the period 1845 to 1848. [62]  Each Tuesday afternoon, some 60 needy people received a little money from the offerings made by the Church congregation, and listened to Christian teaching. Spalding recorded this duty on Tuesday, January 11th, 1848, saying "I have the halt, lame, blind, deaf, and afflicted in almost every way one can imagine". [63]   On December 5th of that year the numbers were the same, and Spalding noted that eight or ten received the money at their homes, "as they are too old or infirm to come for it". [64]  No doubt the majority of elderly disabled people were cared for and honoured by their own families at home, with the filial piety traditional in China. Nevertheless, in March 1849, one of the old men present at the weekly dole, after learning some Christian doctrine, demonstrated that judgements about personal 'usefulness'  were not the exclusive preserve of Victorian evangelicals. He posed to Spalding a seemingly universal question of old age:  "I am deaf of my ears, I am blind of one eye, and the other but slightly sees; I am lame of one leg, and I am seventy-four years old, and what use am I?" [65]

6.3   Edward Syle would soon concern himself with this question, especially when the almoners concentrated their charitable giving on blind people. Many tricks had been played on them to obtain money, and they were also worried about "the suspicion that we are ready to buy people to become believers". [66]  They felt there would be less grounds for suspicion, "when the object of our charities are such a poor, neglected set of people, that their adherence to our faith does not seem to be worth having, even if it could be purchased". [67]  Syle perceived in the blind recipients of charity  "a langour, an inertness, a stupor... which convinced me that all we wished for had not been accomplished. ... what they wanted was 'something to do'; but what that something should be, did not so readily appear." [68]   Enquiries were made into some common occupations of blind people at the time, at least in urban, coastal China. It was found that blind people were "largely employed as fortune-tellers; sometimes as guitar-players and ballad-singers; that some earned a few cash by grinding in the oil mill - going round and round in a circle of not more than ten feet diameter; and that others, more skilful, worked, during the cotton season, at cleaning the seeds from the raw material. Others again went about the street gathering old paper with writing on it, which they sold to a certain temple for burning." [69]

6.4   Syle was perhaps too kind to record the organised bands of blind and lame beggars, "raising their importunate and ceaseless din... pressing their claims upon the attention and compassion of the shopkeepers, householders and gentry" as described by William Milne at Ningpo, [70]  or begging outside the temples; [71]   Nor did he mention the commonly practised sexual exploitation of blind girls and women. [72]   Syle did jot down a story of the powerful influence, on the Church accounts clerk, of a blind "strolling fortune-teller, casually passing by his door" who had convinced this superstitious man that he should not attempt anything in his life until he was 36 years old. [73]  Syle's main concern, obviously, was to find feasible, worthwhile occupations for his blind people; but some time passed before he achieved this, among his many other duties, and with time away in America from early 1853 until 1856.

6.5   In the meantime, Syle recorded other data on blind people and service options. One day, the topic of good works and charitable institutions came up in the course of lessons with the most respected of the missionaries' Chinese teachers. Since it was known on both sides that the missionaries engaged in their weekly dole, Syle enquired whether it would not be possible for the teacher himself "to undertake to collect subscriptions and set on foot an Institution for the Blind, such as they are said to have at Soochow". [74]  The old man replied that this would be immensely difficult, because only a wealthy Chinese would have the entrée to collect money from other wealthy men; and that anyway, much of the money collected for such objects was eaten by the collectors. Syle was surprised that this "heathen taking off the actions and reasoning of other heathens" should do so in a way "so singularly like the reasoning of the reluctant in Christian lands"!  Syle himself was not over-burdened with social work theory or with good reasons for doing nothing. After expelling two poor boys from the mission's High School on the grounds of "invincible dulness", he found that he could not bear "to cast off the poor children", so arranged with his Chinese assistant for the boys to have their daily rice and a place to sleep while they attended another school. "This", he told his journal hopefully, "seems like a very natural beginning of an orphan asylum." [75]

6.6   Another illuminating story was recorded, of an elderly blind Chinese man who, after serving as a writer in the official Grain Department for 42 years, had lost his sight. Being now "a man half living and half dead", the old clerk complained that  "I have no way of getting my living. If I had been an old servant in a merchant's house he would have fed me in my blindness and old age; but the mandarins are always changing about, and know nothing more of the men that serve them than that they do their work and get their wages." [76]   Moved by the lengthy and harrowing account, Syle incautiously suggested to this blind man that he might see again - which then required the hasty but difficult explanation that spiritual, rather than bodily, eyesight was on offer.  Eventually, Syle's own eyes were opened as it occurred to him that this matter might be communicated more effectively by one of the blind Chinese converts of the Church, a man named Yan-paon. He therefore introduced the two blind men, and left them to talk. [77]   Further years elapsed before Syle perceived that all the poor, blind Chinese Christians might be 'useful' in distributing Christian literature. By 1856 he was noting that whenever they dispersed from the Church, they were given a handful of books for distribution and encouraged to bear witness to their new faith. Apparently the novelty of the situation brought many opportunities:  "'A blind man carrying books!' the people exclaim. 'What can you want with them?'" [78]

6.7   The condition of blind people in general, "who are frequently left to starve in the streets", caused Thomas McClatchie to think of building an asylum, but he lacked the funds. [79]  His first nine years of missionary labour, 1844-53, brought "the apparent result of ... 8 blind converts and one schoolmaster", [80] baptized only after lengthy instruction and scrutiny. [81]  However, the conditions in which some blind Chinese Christians lived may have served to rebut the charge, already hinted, of their being 'rice-Christians'. Dr Fish, a physician new to Shanghai, described thus his visit to the dwelling of two of them:   "A man suffering from fever and rheumatism, and totally blind, lay on a little pallet almost incapable of motion; while his wife, also blind, and very much emaciated, seemed to be suffering from disease of the heart. The house was a mere hovel, of the smallest dimensions, and without a floor; and as I cast my eyes around the desolate-looking apartments, it seemed hardly possible that two human beings, both sick and blind, could inhabit such an abode; yet here they have lived for years, and here they most likely will die." [82]

6.8  Hearing these two pitiful specimens talk cheerfully about their faith was described by Fish as "worth all the sermons I had ever heard".  Another newcomer, the Rev. C.M. Williams, was moved by the sight of blind people at the Holy Communion service, who  "with their long staves would feel their way to the rail, where they would kneel and receive the emblems of the Saviour's love." [83]   Less elegantly, another missionary remarked that "We have a goodly number of them in our company today, and it is affecting to see them groping their way along". [84]  Among them were some who managed to pull the wool over missionary eyes. The Episcopalian bishop at Shanghai, William Boone, had been very cautious in his baptism policy for professing believers, but was still forced within a year to denounce two blind 'Christians' as "arrant impostors". [85]

6.9  Less has been recorded of blind women at Shanghai, but one of the women missionaries managed to catch the authentic spirit of Nien-ka-boo-boo, a lively and intelligent old blind woman who belonged to the church and lived in a room at the Bishop's premises. One day, as this old woman was leaving her Christian instruction class, another woman in the class asked the Bishop for help with her rent. "Nien-ka-boo-boo, turning to the Bishop and laughing heartily, said 'Un sien-sang,' 'I dwell in my own house'."  This was hardly a tactful remark in the situation, but the blind woman's "entire satisfaction in her independent circumstances" caught the witness's eye. [86]  The missionaries often showed some ambivalence towards their elderly, blind, Chinese sisters. Miss A.M. Fielde, commenting on her work at Swatow in 1873, recalled how she had begun by teaching "five old, wrinkled, ignorant women"; then admonished her audience never to wait "until very suitable persons are found", since it might be God's choice to give them women who were "old, blind, bound-footed, degraded, stupid". This rather weak display of magnanimity was further diminished by Miss Fielde's hope that if you "make the best of them", God might kindly provide you with better material! [87]

6.10   Westerners usually took a poor view of Chinese methods of treating eye diseases. Mr Colledge, for example, writing of his ophthalmic service for the labouring classes at Macau, thought that "the utter incapacity of native practitioners denies to them all other hope of relief". [88]  His view was endorsed by William Lockhart, another early western surgeon, who married one of Mary Gutzlaff's nieces and worked in China from 1838 to 1864. [89]  On the other hand, it is interesting to read in a report on girls' and women's work at Shanghai, of a girl whose "eyes were in a very diseased state", for which "foreign medical aid was resorted to, but proved entirely ineffectual, and it was supposed that total blindness would be inevitable"  - yet the girl's teacher noted that she was finally placed under Chinese treatment, after which her eyesight steadily improved. [90]  The same teacher recorded an anecdote about one of her pupils, who had offended an old blind woman of the church, but then knitted some fine gloves as a peace offering for the old woman. [91]   Such incidents make a welcome contrast with the tendency of later writers to present a bland picture of missionary 'good works' with compliant or even saintly blind people.

7.0   Introducing the Protestant Work Ethic
7.1   Employment, of a sort that missionaries could approve, finally began in 1856 after Syle noticed an old woman "twisting some long sedgy grass into strings, such as are used for holding together, by hundreds, the copper 'cash' which are in such constant use."  He promptly asked her to teach his blind pensioners this modest craft, and "thinking, perhaps, that I was slightly deranged", she agreed. [92]  Conversion of the blind people to the Protestant Work Ethic took a little longer. Syle put it to his future work force, especially the Christians among them, that they had kept part of the biblical Fourth Commandment - i.e. rest on the Sabbath; yet they had neglected the other part - to work six days. The point was conceded by the assembled blind people, with the proviso that they were "Poor, blind helpless creatures - how could they be expected to do anything!"  Syle played his next card: they could make cash strings. The reaction was unanimous: "Such a thing has never been heard of." [93]  The meeting adjourned, for a week of animated debate in tea shops and other places.  At the next confrontation, a blank refusal to work was given by the blind people. Syle rebuffed this with the biblical edict, "A man that will not work, neither shall he eat". Those who wanted their dole to continue must learn to work; those who would not learn, should get no further dole.

7.2  Syle was far from being a capitalist 'grinder of the faces of the poor', and he seems to have won the day without ill-feeling. The pensioners "came to take a cheerful view of the whole thing, and were highly amused at the idea of blind people presuming to be 'operatives'." [94]  Two rooms were loaned by the Methodist Episcopal Mission, and Syle recorded the opening of "this humble 'school for the blind'" on November 4th, 1856, with six apprentice string-twisters. [95]  Within ten days, a dozen blind people were at work. The product range had doubled, as two of the workers knew from their earlier sighted years how to make the common rural straw-sandals. [96]  The first batch of sandals was bought by Kiung Fong-Tsun, superintendent of a well-known Shanghai institution, the Hall of Universal Benevolence. Syle had invited this man, on the 11th December, "to visit my Blind School". A long and cordial collaboration ensued between the two men. [97]  A week later, Syle received $100 from an American merchant, "towards carrying on my Blind School experiment". [98]

7.3   The industrial school soon required more space, and moved from the loaned rooms into "two apartments near our own (Episcopal) Church, also in the city". [99]   Further crafts and customers soon followed. In November 1857, Syle found the blind people "picking oakum - an employment furnished them by one of the ship chandlers here, who is well disposed to assist in this matter." Another merchant quickly drummed up $500 dollars' worth of charitable subscriptions for the school. [100]  By April 1858, the blind workforce was making door-mats from coconut fibre. [101]  The missionaries were not content merely to keep idle hands busy. Bishop Boone, ordaining Deacon Tong-Chu-kiung on February 19th, 1857, advised that when he saw his brethren "sitting down in their industrial schools, and the blind industriously twisting their rope", he must read them some godly book, to "beguile their tedious hours, and enlighten their dark minds". [102] Syle's own voice and views dominate in the account of this industrial workshop - there is practically no other account. We do not know what the blind workers thought or felt. Syle tells us that, after a while, the workers had "brightened up wonderfully; and seem to look upon themselves as persons of no small consequence; members of a 'highly respectable community'." [103]  The homes of many of them remained abysmal. Their working day may justly have been described as "tedious hours". Their pay was very small. Yet whatever it was, they were beginning to earn it by their own skill and labour, as their product range grew and found a market. Perhaps they did indeed begin to value themselves as people who were worth something.

7.4   After a few years, the work program faltered for reasons not fully clear. Syle himself spent several years as a pastor in America, after his first wife died in 1859. [104]  There were financial problems in running the workshop at Shanghai, and political troubles in the region. Syle mentions the devastation of premises "by the rebel occupation of the city". [105]  Further, the blind workers had not discovered the capitalist principle of 'built-in obsolescence' - their coir mats were strong enough to last ten years; they also lacked designer appeal. [106]  Nevertheless, work was restarted in 1868 with 36 blind people producing mats sold for $215 during seven months. Three sighted workers were "engaged in purchasing coir, finishing the mats, selling them, and paying out the wages". [107]  The 1868 annual report also mentioned receipt of reading material in Moon's script, "in the Vernacular of Shanghai reduced to alphabetic writing", which would soon be put to good use. [108]  Syle was keen that "some new branches of industry should be cultivated", and during 1869 there was knitting for some adults, and a start on reading for others, using the Moon books. [109]  He was clearly gratified that a newly established Chinese philanthropic work in the south west of Shanghai "would appear to have taken a hint from our method of operation, and to have introduced the working and teaching elements into their Asylum". [110]

7.5   Syle's industrial school continued after he left Shanghai for Japan, around 1870, but the financing was sometimes precarious. The work was left in the hands of the American Episcopalian Rev. Elliot Thomson. His report in 1873 refers to "a small balance in hand" and compliments the Chinese manager, Ze-lan-fong "for his energy and zeal in conducting the establishment". [111]  Far on in 1914, the workshop was still functioning as modestly as when it first began, with "eleven old men and two women who knit stockings and make straw rope". [112]  It was working in 1928, when Hawks Pott thought (mistakenly) that it had begun "in 1858", and was "more in the nature of a charitable than of an educational enterprise." [113]  In fact, the workshop had served its purpose as a bridgehead, opening up work possibilities and experimenting to see what blind people could learn and do, at a time when expectations were minimal among both blind and sighted people of Shanghai. By 1931, Syle's imaginative, pioneering work would earn no more than a dismissive half-sentence from a missionary chronicler of services for blind people, who thought it was "not until about 1875 that work of a tangible nature was started"! [114]  Thus 'small' was not 'beautiful' for writers in the heyday of the massive rehabilitation institution. Another fifty years on, when small neighbourhood centres with local community involvement were beginning to be better appreciated, Syle and his blind workforce had long disappeared from historical memory; yet the earlier documentation still exists, for those who are not convinced that the present generation is invariably wiser than all previous ones.

8.0   Agnes Gutzlaff and Miss Aldersey at Ningpo
8.1  Agnes Gutzlaff, sole survivor of the blind Chinese girls sent to London, completed 13 years of education at the school of the London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read. [115]  At a missionary 'Farewell Meeting' in August 1855, she was commended to the port of Amoy (now Xiamen), for the task of teaching "her countrywomen, similarly afflicted to herself, under the auspices of the Chinese Evangelization Society", the organisation founded by Carl Gutzlaff. [116]  Agnes was perhaps the first blind person of whatever nationality to be sent by a missionary society to another country. She was almost certainly the most technically competent person to go abroad on a mission to blind people. Twenty years earlier, J.W. Morrison had envisaged a (male) missionary learning to teach blind people, with a blind (male) assistant. [117]  He could hardly have imagined a single blind, Chinese girl, aged about 19, undertaking both roles by herself.

8.2   Agnes left England presumably with great curiosity and some trepidation, for the country she had known only as a small girl. Her arrival at Hong Kong with John and Mary Jones, two missionaries partially supported by the China Evangelization Society, was quite inauspicious. The newcomers were accommodated temporarily by some German missionaries, for Mary Jones was about to give birth, and then all the Jones family were ill; the eldest boy died there of dysentery. [118]  The Joneses and Agnes had originally expected to go to Amoy, but the destination changed to Ningpo (Ningbo), 500 miles further up the coast. [119]  The Joneses had insufficient funds for the journey, and needed to be helped out by various missionaries. Young Hudson Taylor, who would later found the China Inland Mission, wrote home disapprovingly to his mother about the arrival of the impecunious Jones party, with Agnes lumped in as extra baggage:  "By some means he, his wife & remaining three children (the last four very unwell) & a blind Chinese girl (!) arrived in Shanghai. They were kindly received by Mr. Wylie - had not money to go to Ningpo. ... As you may suppose this has caused no little sensation." [120]

8.3  Hudson Taylor's own financial arrangement with the China Evangelization Society was shaky, [121]  which seems to have made him the more irritable with other people's apparent improvidence. The Joneses had no guarantee of support from that Society, merely a promise of help as funds permitted. Taylor thought this was bad enough, "without having taken additional charge" of Agnes, who had only £10 per year promised for her support. Patrolling the financial, social and racial boundaries of his time, Taylor remarked  "how very wrong it is, to take a poor blind beggar girl, bring her up in the best style, & then leave her with a less sum than will [nearly? meanly?]* pay for her food, for she cannot now live as a Chinese." [122] *[handwriting unclear]

8.4  However, Ningpo was reached at last. Agnes was welcomed by Burella and Maria Dyer, two young missionary teachers working with Mary Ann Aldersey. [123]  In 1844, Miss Aldersey, a woman of independent means and "the most famous lady missionary of those early days", had opened, at Ningpo, what the foreigners believed was China's first girls' school. [124]  Her reception of Agnes in June 1856 was positive: "Last Saturday, we received an interesting addition to our teachers in the arrival of Agnes Gutzlaff, whom Mrs Gutzlaff, many years ago, rescued from heathen wretchedness". [125]  The stock phrase recurred as Aldersey noted Agnes's education at the hands of her Christian teachers, "preparing this blind girl, through a course of years, for usefulness".  Agnes, weary no doubt of being part of the Joneses' baggage, showed herself  "very desirous of commencing some work of usefulness immediately". She was introduced to a girl in Aldersey's school who had become blind after her enrolment. A similar girl from another school had been invited to attend, and Aldersey planned to "fill up a few vacancies" with further blind girls. There would be plenty of opportunity for 'usefulness'. [126]

8.5  Miss Aldersey, locally known as the "Witch of Ningpo" and credited with magical powers, often had trouble attracting and keeping pupils - why should this well-to-do lady leave her own country to teach other people's children, unless sinister motives lay behind it? [127]  Some local suspicion undoubtedly transferred to Aldersey's new protegée. A class of blind adults could not quickly be found, even by a visit in April 1857 to a local asylum, "one of the few places supported or aided by Chinese charity". [128]  Yet this modest pace of development also gave Agnes time to learn the Ningpo dialect. Aldersey further noted in January 1858 that not all the younger pupils were ready learners. Ching Vang, a blind girl, "was very untoward for some time; so much so, that, to avoid unceasing annoyance to Agnes, I contemplated sending her back to her parents."  Agnes must have persevered, for Ching Vang later professed Christianity and her teachers continued "training her for future usefulness". [129]  Agnes was teaching three blind girls at this time. [130]

8.6  The issue of Agnes's linguistic abilities is interesting, because some later mission chroniclers believed she was "unable to do much to help the blind owing to ignorance of the Chinese language and customs". [131]  Even at the time, Hudson Taylor wrote dismissively that she "plays well on the piano-forte, has been brought up in the drawing-room, & knows nothing of Chinese". [132]  The suggestion of language incompetence is directly rebutted by an independent contemporary witness, who reported in 1859 that "Agnes had little difficulty in acquiring the language, was able to speak with great facility at the time I was at Ningpo, and it pleased God to bless her labours". [133]  This view was endorsed by Miss Aldersey. Fond as she was of Agnes, Aldersey was also a woman of intelligence and discernment, unlikely to be misled over such a basic requirement for evangelistic usefulness:  "You will be pleased to hear that Agnes (whom I love very much), being now able to speak the colloquial, is making herself very useful in a School of Industry for the Blind, which I have established in the midst of the city. She spends the whole of every morning there, teaching by word of mouth, and in some cases by the raised character, hoping that sooner or later, the seed sown may take root." [134]  The second industrial school for blind people is thus incidentally placed on record, starting within two years of Syle's school at Shanghai. As in the latter, Aldersey's blind people made  "string, straw shoes, and sandals. One or more can knit the coarse socks for the Chinese. The chief employment hitherto has been making mats". [135]

8.7  From this period, an open letter from Agnes Gutzlaff survives, "written in English by Herself" to her friends in England. She began of course with 'usefulness':  "I have been longing to write and let you know of the sphere of usefulness God has opened for me in mine own country. Miss Aldersey has a working institution in which she employs the blind at her own expense; they come every day from nine to five. They make mats, straw shoes, stockings, and a kind of string. We have at present eleven workers in the Institution. I go every morning at nine. I teach them reading, and speak of the only living and true God; also of Jesus, who is the only Saviour of the world. ... In the afternoon, I teach four girls in the house." [136]

8.8  This was by no means the whole of Agnes's work. Miss Aldersey had earlier mentioned a regular "two hours' trip on the canal from this city" to visit a blind woman whom Agnes was teaching to read. [137]  There were other rural trips, in which Agnes was something of a spectacle - a blind woman, of Chinese appearance but dressed as a 'foreign devil', reputedly able to read books with her fingers, and accompanying a well-known witch...   "A month ago I went with Miss Aldersey into the country, to a place called San Poh. We were there only a few days, and each day crowds came to see us. One day I went to call on a Christian woman who was ill; as soon as I got there, a large crowd gathered round the door, and almost would have done mischief to it, because they could not get in to see me: for the room was too small to do so. I left quickly, and when they got a peep at me, they exclaimed, "Oh, she is really a human being!" [138]

8.9  Agnes probably traded on the public spectacle, in aid of 'usefulness'. William Moon had sent out copies of St. Luke's Gospel embossed in the Ningpo dialect, and "a young woman" at Ningpo, i.e. Agnes,  "frequently sat in the Market-place and on the steps of the Idol Temples (where numbers of persons congregated), and there read the Gospel narrative to the assembled crowds of surprised and attentive listeners." [139]  Behind this exhibition lay a 'battle of the types'. The London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read had earlier sent "part of the Gospel of St. John to Miss Aldersey" in Lucas's script, which Agnes had learnt and used at the Society's school in London; as well as sending "a ciphering board and type" at Miss Aldersey's request for the use of their indefatigable former pupil. [140]   Agnes, however, had by now taught herself to read Moon's embossed type. [141]  She preferred the Moon version and must have advised Miss Aldersey of its superiority, because the latter also reported to the other Society, supplying Moon's books, that this was her own "decided preference". [142]

8.10  By the end of the 1850s, Miss Aldersey was ageing and weary. With Agnes and a few others, she had been living with the Rev. and Mrs. Russell of the Church Missionary Society, [143]  and planning her retirement. After 23 years' work in China, she went in 1860 to Australia, leaving her schools to be run by the American Presbyterians; but "the school for the blind, under the charge of Agnes Gutzlaff, the blind native teacher ... still depend upon her for support." [144]  From Adelaide, Miss Aldersey wrote to thank the Russells for their kindness to Agnes, and to ask for continuing "protection and guidance" from C.M.S. missionaries towards her. Miss Aldersey guaranteed that Agnes would "at no time be an occasion of expense to them", undertaking that she and her heirs  "shall be responsible for necessary expenses which the Christian public may sometimes fail to provide for". [145]  A special note was enclosed about the association of Agnes with the German missionaries of Hong Kong. Aldersey was anxious that Agnes should not be handed over to them, "or to other parties, who might perhaps fail to appreciate her and her services as we do." [146]

9.0  Agnes Gutzlaff, Useful at Shanghai
9.1  At the time of Miss Aldersey's departure her colleagues at Ningpo faced the increasing political turbulence that had been spreading across China; and news of Agnes's activities became scarcer. She was still teaching at Ningpo in 1861, [147]  and the Rev. William Russell appreciated her musical talents. As well as supervising her blind industrial school, Agnes led a singing class  "for those members of our Church who have an ear and taste for it, with a few of our schoolboys; so that by this means we have been enabled, during the latter part of the year, to have the praises of God sung as well as spoken in the native church". [148]  However, this harmonious situation did not last. An evangelical magazine in England reported in October 1862 a letter received from Mr Russell stating that  "on the capture of Ningpo by the Taeping insurgents, he and Mrs Russell were obliged to leave the city and to send Agnes Gutzlaff to Shanghai, where she is conducting an Industrial School under the superintendence of the Rev. John Hobson".  Yet in fact, some months before that was published, the Rev. Hobson, who had been British Chaplain at Trinity Church, Shanghai, died while on a visit to Japan. [149]  It seems very likely that Agnes worked initially at the Industrial School founded by the Rev. Edward Syle at Shanghai; but Syle and his family were no longer there when Agnes arrived. After the death of his wife in 1859, Syle returned to the US with his children in December 1860, took charge of a church in Philadelphia, and married again. The blind people's organised light industry came to a halt at some time after the Taiping forces occupied Shanghai and in the subsequent fighting which led to their defeat in 1864. After some years' work in the US, Syle returned to Shanghai and reported in June 1868 that "Both ground and house have recently been put in order, after the devastation caused by the rebel occupation of the city. Work also (which for some years was intermitted) has been resumed..." [150]

9.2  In those intervening years, news of Agnes appears only in brief summaries, unless new material may yet become available perhaps from Chinese sources, or unpublished correspondence. Miss Lydia Fay, the American missionary and scholar of Chinese literature, noted in 1866 that "I see Agnes Gutzlaff occasionally" at the Chinese church in the city, but that Agnes had been ill; and the possibility of Agnes playing a harmonium at the church was mentioned. An article in 1867 about "The Blind Chinese Teacher" has an engraving from a photograph of Agnes (taken in 1855), but adds no new information except that she was "still usefully employed in imparting to others the instruction which she has found so valuable to herself". [151]

9.3  Finally, a resumé or obituary appeared in London in 1878, describing Agnes's life at Shanghai, though it does not give the date of her death:  "She resided at Shanghai, in a native house, retaining the European dress; and in order to enable her to converse with the inhabitants of that district had to learn the Ningpo and the Shanghai dialects. Her employment was that of a teacher of English to the educated Chinese. She was much respected by all classes, and had the entire confidence of her countrymen. As an instance of this the Committee are informed that after the Tai-ping rebellion had been quelled, and every known rebel had been executed, a history of the nature of the rebellion and of the religious tenets of the Tai-ping-Wang was desired. Application was made to Agnes Gutzlaff, who, knowing that implicit confidence might be placed in the honour of the inquirer, soon found out a member of the body who gave the desired information." [152]

9.4  Perhaps some of the earlier points in this testimonial influenced later writers to think that Agnes had been of more use to English culture and the upper classes than to her fellow blind people; but it would be unreasonable to doubt her ongoing work for blind people. She was not only the first well-trained teacher of reading for blind people in China's long history, [153]  but as a role model Agnes was unique - a blind young woman living independently and mostly paying her way by using the skills her education had provided. Apart from the well-to-do who could pay for English lessons, the whole pattern of Agnes's life would suggest that she probably continued serving the poor and needy, whether blind or sighted. At the same time, perhaps the later point about making contact, through Agnes, with someone having inside knowledge of the Taiping beliefs, caused uneasiness in some western minds. Her position seems to have been liminal throughout her life, on the edges of Chinese society and of English society and of the 'sighted' world. Yet the resumé concluded that Agnes  "worked hard, lived sparingly, and saved money, and at her death her property was left to found a hospital called by her name." [154]

9.5  In the absence of more precise information, the 'Gutzlaff Hospital' (also sometimes known as the 'Gutzlaff Eye Hospital', or Gutzlaff Native Hospital') gives possible clues to the close of Agnes's life. From blind beggar girl, to teacher with £10 per year, to founder of a hospital, seems almost a 'rags-to-riches' outline, without disclosing where the 'riches' came from, or their size. Agnes's savings from several years of teaching were probably augmented by gifts or a legacy from Miss Aldersey, from local sources, and perhaps from sources in England. Like its founder, the Gutzlaff Hospital was a place of modest pretensions but undoubted usefulness. During a discussion in 1874 of the future of a different hospital, the "Gutzlaff Eye Hospital" was said by Mr Egbert Iveson to be "located in the property in Ningpo Road which formed Miss Gutzlaff's bequest for the purpose, but had to depend on external sources of income". [155]  It was open by the end of 1871, for in September 1872, Dr Alexander Jamieson reported on his "nine month's daily attendance upon a large number of outdoor patients at the Gutzlaff Hospital". [156]  Half a year seems a credible period, following Agnes's death in June 1871, for the legal formalities of her legacy to be processed and for her trustees to collect working funds and arrange staff and basic equipment for a small hospital. [157]

9.6  How the Gutzlaff bequest came to be sometimes called an Eye Hospital is unclear. [158]  Agnes quite likely wished that ophthalmic work should be prominent; but there is little evidence that it was.  Jamieson's half-yearly Reports on the Health of Shanghai regularly gave details of cases he treated at the Gutzlaff Hospital from 1872 to 1883, but none involved eyes. [159]  Surgeon Henderson, who was Jamieson's contemporary, noted that eye diseases were "the commonest and most largely represented in the Shanghai Native Hospitals", and discussed these problems at length; yet the sole case he mentions at the "Gutzlaff Native Hospital" was one of a facial tumour. [160]  From c.1871 to 1876, a room at the Gutzlaff Hospital was "hired by the Municipal Council as their vaccinating station at a rent of $150 per year", which must have been contributed very usefully to running costs. [161]  This reinforces the picture of the Gutzlaff Hospital as a small, low-budget, general-purpose institution, "in one of the back streets of the English Settlement", [162]  where Chinese people came with the usual range of outpatient diseases and various orthopaedic and obstetric problems on which Jamieson operated. Eye work very probably did take place, but of so routine a nature that Jamieson found nothing worthy of publication.

9.7  By 1883, the trustees had implemented an idea that had been considered for several years, to amalgamate the Gutzlaff Hospital with the new St. Luke's Hospital (formerly the Hongkew or Hongque Hospital), and thus "to lessen the number of Hospitals - there were then some that were small and struggling", among which was clearly their own. [163]  Proceeds from the sale of the Gutzlaff Hospital's effects gave St. Luke's "a piece of land on which the present out-patients department stands", and with which the Gutzlaff name should continue to be associated. The name was indeed orally transmitted as far as the 1930s, where it appears in Wong & Lien-Teh's monumental History of Chinese Medicine; but the key role played by Agnes had disappeared. [164]

10.0  The Second Wave of Pioneers in China
10.1  As Agnes was disappearing from the scene, William Hill Murray (1843-1911), a one-armed colporteur with unusual talents in memorisation and language learning, was employed with the National Bible Society of Scotland. He arrived in China in 1871, spent some months learning  Mandarin at Chefoo, and in 1873 was based at Peking (Beijing). In the course of his colportage work he began to notice many blind men who were interested to have some part of the Bible, in the hope that someone would read it to them. (Had Murray met Agnes Gutzlaff, she could have given him much information about the earlier history of blind Chinese people reading the Bible). After struggling for some time to discover a way to make Bible reading easily accessible to blind people, and unsuccessful efforts to interest missionaries in this idea, Murray finally hit upon a method based on Braille, made some experiments around 1877-78, and late in 1878 he was beginning to teach one or two blind men and boys. Murray himself had learnt (or improved) his Braille at Peking along with the blind daughter of a medical missionary, little Miss Mina Dudgeon and her teacher, Miss Chouler. By the time he had four blind students, early in 1879, he was visited by the traveller and writer Constance Gordon-Cumming, who was delighted by what she saw and heard, and later took it upon herself to tell the world of Murray's remarkable work. [165]

10.2   Murray's small beginning of education for a few blind men and boys in 1879 would later become the Beijing Blind School, one of the leading national centres in the 2010s. [166]  It was followed in 1883 by the Hankow Blind School, foundation of which is now attributed to David Hill - though it was the somewhat eccentric zealot Pastor Crossette who collected the first blind boys, and who revised Murray's system of Braille for the Hankow dialect. [167]  Work was begun in 1889 leading up to the foundation of a school for blind girls at Canton, from which Dr Mary Niles was later credited with opening "the first institution for these unfortunates in China", [168]  - though, once again, it was a blind Chinese woman who actually did the teaching, [169] and any earlier work with blind girls was ignored.

10.3   William Murray, David Hill and Mary Niles have repeatedly been honoured by 'popular history', as the founders of education for blind people in China. The pioneering efforts of earlier workers such as Mary Gutzlaff, Thomas McClatchie, Edward Syle, Miss Aldersey and 'Agnes Gutzlaff', are clearly documented from primary sources between 1837 and 1870, as shown here; yet they still await recognition. It does no service to China to omit nearly 40 years of documented work teaching and training blind children and adults before Murray started his school.

 

NINETEENTH CENTURY PIONEER TEACHERS:  INDIA

11.0  Beginning with Charity in India
11.1  Formal European charitable work in India began in the 16th century with some Portuguese hospitals, [170]  and continued with a modest poor fund at Madras, first for European distress, then for the native poor. [171]  Compared with China, the long years of slowly growing British influence in India gave a different background to work with blind people. Some formal contact was developed a few decades sooner; yet the evidence suggests that it followed a similar pattern of early charitable donations and ophthalmic surgery, [172]  then the education of some blind children in ordinary schools, facilitated by the advent of reading materials using the embossed scripts of Lucas and Moon; with later on some residential asylum or orphanage schools and finally the use of Braille.

11.2  In 1800, when outdoor relief in England was still poorly organised, the Indian Presidency Governments hardly expected to solve "the problem created by the vast number of beggars in India... for many of whom poverty was the result of some physical disability". [173]   However, missionaries personally exposed to disabled beggars were not always willing to see the Government escape all responsibility. For some of them,  "close acquaintance with Indian conditions turned missionaries from pious evangelists to fearless 'radicals' and people-protectors." [174]  By 1802, William Carey, Joshua Marshman, William Ward and others at Serampore were giving weekly alms to blind people and lepers; but were also beginning to campaign for more formal service provision.  Carey was involved with others in starting a leprosy hospital. For this, land and a substantial donation were received in 1818 from Raja Kali Sunkar Ghosal, one of a family that had long collaborated with British charitable efforts. [175] The Raja also opened a blind asylum at Benares in 1826, after arranging "with considerable difficulty and expense" for a survey to be made of blind beggars and their needs. [176]  This survey found 225 blind men, of whom 100 had been born blind. It was also discovered that the majority of blind beggars had existing 'domestic ties' and would not wish to reside in an asylum, where they would not be allowed to go out begging. [177]

11.3   As these early essays in institutional care began, the practice of a weekly dole for blind and other disabled people continued in many towns. At Cawnpore [Kanpur] in 1809, Henry Martyn preached and gave money each Sunday to a crowd of "the blind and the deaf, the maimed and the halt, the diseased and the dying". [178]  At Allahabad, in 1826, Mr. Mackintosh read the Bible regularly to 250 lame, blind and indigent persons, and distributed alms to them from a regular collection among the local Europeans. [179]   In 1839, at Benares, William Smith preached weekly in a chapel crowded with poor people, "of whom a number were blind and lame", before giving out alms or food. [180]   Around 1857 at Rutnagherry, 160 miles south of Bombay, de Crespigny noted that "The lame, the blind, and the deformed receive allowances from a charitable fund supported by the European community". [181]  In fact, dole and preaching lasted to the end of the century. At Agra in the 1890s, a religious service with alms distribution organised by Dr. Colin Valentine for the poorest people, grew into a church with several hundred attenders, "of whom nearly three hundred are blind". [182]

11.4  The great majority of blind people undoubtedly lived at home, sharing in whatever living resources were available to their family - which, in times of scarcity, might be hardly enough for survival. [183]  Of the rural majority, very little is known, since such comments as were recorded about blind Indians were mainly about the 'visible problem' of blind beggars in urban areas.  District Officers occasionally noted traditional rural measures. For example, among the Garrows in north-eastern India most villages were said to have had "a lame or blind person, incapacitated from other work, who invokes the deities, and offers sacrifices for the recovery of sick persons." [184]  Among the Yusufzais along the north-western frontier, Bellew noted that the distribution of alms was "very generally observed by all classes according to their means. The priesthood, widows, orphans, maimed, blind, aged, &c., are the recipients." [185]  Wealthy Indians continued throughout this time to make charitable donations and provide food for poor, blind or otherwise disabled people in the traditional manner. The occasional massive display of bounty occurred, tending to reinforce European doubts about the whole process.  "Dwarakanath Tagore made a startling announcement of a big donation of Rs.100,000 to the  [District Charitable]  Society in 1838. ... The Europeans were naturally stunned, and so were the Indians. ... the amount was utilized by the Society, according to the wish of the donor, in establishing the 'Dwarakanath Fund for Poor Blind'."  In 1840, 214 blind people benefitted from the Dwarakanath Fund. [186]  Whether the soul of Dwarakanath Tagore benefitted in his next incarnation is nowhere documented - but this was the motive often cynically attributed to charitable donations in India, together with the name and fame of being a philanthropist, though sometimes benevolent sentiments were also considered as a possibility (somewhat earlier than the western fashion for incredulity toward philanthropy). [187]

11.5  Conscious of the limitations and dangers of merely doling out money, some missionaries attempted to rouse public awareness and tackle some of the roots of poverty and distress; yet with very slow results. Meanwhile, the next phase of campaigning by practical example involved opening educational institutions; in which there were undoubtedly some Indian children with mild to moderate disabilities casually integrated with their classmates. In the earlier part of the century, such children tended to appear merely in parenthesis. Thus the Rev. Charles Leupolt, to whom the famine of 1837 delivered hundreds of orphans, reported that  "We have at present 121 boys, divided into several classes. They all, with the exception of a few blind, dumb, idiot and sickly boys, read the gospel." [188]  The lowly status of work with blind people continued. In 1881, for example, a visitor to India noted that his host, the Rev. Francis Heyl, was running "an important educational establishment with an average attendance of 116 scholars"; adding as an afterthought that Heyl had "also the care of the Blind Asylum in Allahabad." [189]

11.6   Hundreds of thousands of people died in the 1837 famine, and the missionaries could not easily forget the state in which orphans arrived. Chambers described a scene at Agra, echoed or amplified in all the subsequent famine reports:  "The children, when first thrown on us, were a most harrowing spectacle - emaciated skeletons, the skin shrivelled on their cheek bones, so that they looked like very aged men and women: half clad, as most poor children are, their ribs stood out prominently, like the bars of a grate. In such a state of inanition were they, that it was necessary to feed them at first by a spoonful at a time."  [190]   Many of these children soon died; some continued for a few months; some survived, but with lasting damage. The Rev. John James Erhardt recalled that among the first 330 famine orphans at Agra, many became blind through disease allied to overcrowding and low resistance, until eventually better premises were found at nearby Secundra. [191]  The actual daily care of these children fell, of course, into the hands of missionary wives and their Indian assistants, which further contributed to its modest or absent status in historical accounts.

11.7  Of the blind orphans themselves, very few details are available from the first half of the century.  At Secundra, the Rev. C.T. Hoernle reported on one, who  "made himself very useful in the baking room, preparing all the chapatees for the oven... Before he commenced his work in the above capacity, he used to attend at School with an Urdu class of his age, and tho' he could but sit there; yet, by hearing the other boys read and repeat their lessons in the New Testament, he learnt, aided by an extraordinary memory, the whole gospel of Matthew and parts of the other gospels, and was able to recite any chapter which he was asked." [192]   That capable boy died, and so he figured in Hoernle's report. There is no way of knowing how many other blind children gained skills and survived to independent adulthood. Equally little is known about the vastly greater numbers of blind children and adults who lived quietly in their families, in villages far removed from the urban centres of British rule.

12.0   Blind Students at Madras and Calcutta
12.1  Occasionally, a blind person emerged into the limelight. One of the more remarkable, in 19th century India, was William Cruickshanks, who was born at Vellore in the Madras Presidency around 1800. Apparently his Irish father abandoned William, still very young, at the Madras Military Orphan Asylum. There, his eyesight weakened and he became blind at the age of twelve or thirteen - yet he later became headmaster of that Asylum, and of several other schools. [193]  His education must have been very largely oral, and quite haphazard, yet he persevered with memorising whatever came his way, and gathered sufficient learning to be able to obtain work as a tutor in private families. [194]   He was married twice, and had several children. By 1838 he had made sufficient impression in educational circles in Madras, that he was appointed headmaster of the Native Education Society's School, with 100 pupils; and in 1841 he was headmaster of the Orphan Asylum where he had spent his boyhood. However, it was as head of the Anglican missionaries' Anglo-Vernacular School in Palamcotta (Palankottai) that Cruickshanks gained fame, working there for 26 years, until the late 1860s. [195]

12.2  Cruickshanks was a keen Christian evangelist and brooked no objection from his Hindu pupils to this aspect of the curriculum. He even traded on his blindness, by ignoring boys' efforts to take their leave when he was preaching at them individually - the hapless lads could not rely on visual signals of their wish to depart, and were too polite simply to walk away. [196]  Less partisan was his enthusiasm for music, as a performer on flute and violin, and conductor of choral singing. [197]   He retired from the post at about the age of seventy and took up tutoring of University candidates at Madras; but "once more, in 1875, the aged schoolmaster found a new sphere of usefulness" when asked to oversee the opening of a new school. This was his final work, and he died in 1876. [198]  Cruickshanks had some advantage in his first twelve years of eyesight; and in being Eurasian, which probably made easier his advancement as a teacher. Yet his initial status as a friendless orphan could hardly have been lower; and he could have had no formal help as a blind person and educator by way of learning to read Lucas or Moon scripts until he was in his forties. (No evidence has been seen on whether Cruickshank did learn to use either method).

12.3  Throughout the 19th century, an unknown number of blind children like young William Cruickshanks and the lad noted above by Erhardt were casually integrated with sighted children, picking up whatever they could from oral repetition which was the major tool of pedagogy. Priscilla Chapman remarked on a blind girl at Calcutta in 1826, who  "from listening to the other children, got by heart many passages from the Gospels". [199]   The presence of such children, and the lack of any special means to assist their education, concerned some teachers at the Bengal Military Orphan Institution, Calcutta, who in 1838 or early 1839 requested help from the London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read. [200]   Materials printed with the Lucas system were provided, and early in 1841 the London Society reported  "a pleasing document which has lately been received from the Managers of the Bengal Military Orphan Asylum, in which it is stated that the Blind Orphans in that Institution were learning to read upon Lucas's system, and their joy and satisfaction were great at acquiring such an important source of instruction." [201]

12.4  The year 1844 saw despatch from London of "a further supply of embossed books, for the Blind Children of that Institution." [202]   These blind orphans at Calcutta seem to have been the first in South Asian history to be educated in a school with a formal system designed for their needs. Their identities, and those of their teachers, remain unknown. It may yet be possible to discover some of them in local archives.

13.0   Jane Leupolt of Benares
13.1   One of the forgotten pioneers of education for blind people was Mrs Jane Leupolt, formerly Miss Jane Chambers Jones. She had been among the first three women sent to India by the Society for the Promotion of Female Education in the East, in 1835, as a trained infants teacher, working initially at Burdwan, about 70 miles north west of Calcutta, before moving to Benares (Varanasi). [203]  For many years, amidst multiple duties, Jane Leupolt concerned herself with blind children in the Orphan Institution at Sigra, Benares, for which she was largely responsible, as well as with some local blind adults. [204]  Mrs Leupolt went on leave to England in April 1857, just before the Sepoy Rising and subsequent traumas. [205]  She and her husband returned in December 1860, having collected ideas and inspiration for the future of their work. [206]  They had visited William Moon at Brighton, who subsequently reported that  "The wife of a Missionary lately returned to Benares, tells us of a Blind native Christian woman who is already useful in teaching. A chapter embossed in her own tongue is gone out, and she will probably soon learn to read it herself and become a Teacher of her blind countrywomen. She has a half-blind husband who will perhaps be employed in the same way, and we have promised to pay them, and any others who may become Teachers". [207]   Some formal teaching of blind children was organised by Mrs Leupolt in the early 1860s, and supported by another missionary, Mrs Fuchs. As a result, funding for the teaching of twenty blind boys and girls was eventually supplied by the government, at least by 1864. [208]

13.2  After several attempts, Mrs. Leupolt devised a system to print Hindi using Moon characters, winning a special prize at the Agra Exhibition in 1867 and having readers printed in it. [209]   Vocational or industrial activities were also begun at Benares with the blind youths at Raja Kali Shankar Ghosal's Asylum in the late 1860s, a decade after Edward Syle and Miss Aldersey were engaged in such activities in China. The Asylum Committee reported in 1870 that  "Out of an average of 131 inmates during the year, 40 have been industrially employed, the remainder being physically unfit for any work on account of infirmity from old age, chronic disease, &c." [210]  Mrs Leupolt's embossed books, and an Indian teacher, were introduced into the Blind Asylum, in 1868. [211]  The first teacher died, so Mrs Leupolt brought another, a young man named Titus whom she had trained in reading and writing the raised characters. Not only does Mr Titus have the honour of being the first specially trained Indian teacher of the blind whose name is still known, but there is a brief description of his activities:   "In the morning he taught the blind, and in the afternoon he taught the lame and decrepit who were not blind. He was directed not only to teach the blind to read, but to tell them tales and anecdotes, and to instruct them well in mental arithmetic. Some of the lads took considerable interest in the latter, and entered heartily into it; it also gave them something to think about." [212]

13.3  Education of visually impaired orphans was also in full swing at Secundra, near Agra, by the mid-1860s.  Mrs Daüble listed sixty-nine Indian orphan girls (having Christian names bestowed on them by missionaries). There are comments on each, from which it appears that four were blind, four had only one eye, and four had some other visual impairment. Grace, one of the sighted girls aged ten and a half, was specially noted as "helping Miss Ellwanger in the teaching of the blind girls"; while Adelaide, during her play hours, was "anxious to help the blind girls with their reading". [213]   Of Gertrude, a blind girl, it was noted that she "has begun to learn to read and to knit; although quite blind she is able to help in the kitchen in preparing and baking the chuppaties (native bread)". [214]   Another blind girl, Sarah, regularly taught the youngest children. [215]

13.4  Before the Leupolts retired from India in 1872, the books and printing materials were passed to the Rev. J. Erhardt at Secundra Orphanage, to add to the facilities of its famous printing house. Mrs. Erhardt reported in 1871 that, "We are going to open a new branch in our industrial department; we shall print the Bible in raised characters for the blind. We have now a class of blind girls who read very nicely the books that have been prepared. In time we shall train some teachers only for the blind; there are so many of these poor people in this country, and for whom so little has been done." [216]   One of this class of blind girls must have been Julia, whom Mrs Erhardt mentions nine years later as "a faithful teacher ... She loses one friend after another, all departing to their own homes, but she being blind can never have any other home than Secundra, where she is happy, and beloved by all." [217]  In nearby Agra, Jane Leupolt's materials were also in use by Miss Elizabeth Alexander, an independent missionary lady, who ran a school on the roof of her large bungalow, for "about forty boys and girls, varying in age from five to fifteen, and nearly all of the poorest class. A few are quite blind, and these she teaches from Moon's raised types". [218]

13.5   Very little of Jane Leupolt's work with blind people appears in the Benares C.M.S. mission reports or periodicals during more than thirty years of her labours. It finally received a brief chapter in Charles Leupolt's second set of memoirs, [219]  where the elderly, retired missionary seems to have been discharging an accumulated debt. In the late 1830s when his wife began her work, very few women were 'missionaries' in their own right. The daily work with orphans also had a secondary status - mission boards accepted that it was a right and worthy response to need, but they also saw that it could occupy an ever-growing amount of time, taking away from that verbal proclamation of the gospel for which they had sent men out. The orphanages with which the Leupolts were long associated were not funded by their Mission, but were "run on a faith basis, like George Muller's Orphan Homes near Bristol". [220]  Work with disabled children was also secondary - though considered worthy, it was not seen as being of strategic importance.  Mrs Leupolt, a pioneer educator and innovator, worked in some obscurity, reinforced no doubt by a modesty about her own work, as was deemed appropriate to the Christian woman. Not surprisingly, the historian of Mission in India, Julius Richter, remarked that the work of missionaries wives and daughters was "for the most part carried on in secret, and little of it has found its way into missionary reports." [221]

13.6   Nor were signs recorded, from this mid-century period of work, of dissenting voices among blind Indians, of the sort raised in Britain by Hyppolite van Landeghem in his ferocious denunciation of "exile institutions" where blind or deaf people were immured to their lasting disadvantage. [222]  Even much more muted criticism from blind people is absent from English-language records - though it seems unlikely that all were meekly content to be the objects of charity, whether foreign or indigenous. Van Landeghem's fury was further stimulated by the very fact of missionary work overseas. He protested against money being allocated for China and the East by the Society for Teaching the Blind at Their Own Homes, "whilst around you are at least 27,000 blind "unable to read," and the greater part of whom are suffering all the sorrows attendant on poverty". [223]   Few people in Britain had such a keen missionary vision and international activity as the blind pioneer William Moon. Few were as irritated, by overseas missionary work with blind people, as the blind polemicist Hyppolite van Landeghem.

 

14.0   Miss Hewlett, Miss Asho, & Other Pioneers in North Western India
14.1  Other women were active in North Western India and the Punjab from the 1850s, doing whatever they could to teach blind children who came their way, with whatever materials came to hand. For example, a young woman called "Blind Sarah" was one of several orphans cared for by Mrs. Fitzpatrick at Amritsar c. 1851-56; and then by Mrs. Strawbridge; who "in addition to careful Christian training, taught her to read the only embossed English book then within their reach". [224]  Later, when the Rev. John Matlock Brown began missionary service at Amritsar (1861-1865), "he took out with him from us  [i.e. from Moon's Society]  a chapter in Urdu, which was hailed with great delight by Blind Sarah". [225]  These women, in their often obscure work in isolated mission stations, were undoubtedly influenced or strengthened by the theme, recurring in the Judaeo-Christian scriptures, of God choosing poor, weak and despised persons to 'confound the mighty' and to bring about other unexpected results. While some of their husbands may have been calculating the 'strategic' effects of educating high-caste Hindu boys, the wives apparently perceived the 'usefulness' of devoting time and energy to teaching individual blind orphans, or the sort of 'old, ignorant, blind women' referred to above by Miss Fielde in China. Few people in India had less 'value' than such girls or women; [226]  yet the more imaginative of the women busied themselves, and waited for the unexpected. The response of their pupils, both in their interest in acquiring skills and then in adopting Christian beliefs, was often greater than that of able-bodied people, which perhaps reinforced the women in the counter-intuitive sides of their value system.

14.2  Of the many casual encounters of this sort, between missionary teachers and  blind children, one resulted in the first blind Indian teacher upon whose skills a school for the blind was founded.  Asho was born c. 1861 at Lahore, in a Muslim family, and lost her sight through smallpox, when three years old. [227]  At the age of ten, she was admitted to school at Lahore around 1871, by Miss Emma Fuller, a formidable teacher with the Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society, who had joined her sister Mary Fuller in 1868 and who reportedly opened seventeen schools in the area. [228]   "Although Miss Fuller had no technical knowledge of work among the blind, it is certain that she made no difficulty of this, but readily and even eagerly received the little Asho into her school, and with loving ingenuity found methods of imparting to her general knowledge, as for instance facts in geography, etc., and very patiently she caused her to commit to memory many Bible stories and hymns." [229]

14.3  Asho was orphaned c. 1875, and her brother tried to arranged her marriage with a blind Moulvi (Muslim religious teacher and leader). Asho thereupon took refuge with Miss Emma Fuller, and ultimately she was baptised and sent to Mission boarding school at Ludhiana, under the care of Miss West, where she remained for four years. [230]   The description by Miss Tucker, in 1880, of a blind young woman at the recently opened Converts Industrial Home, Amritsar, very probably refers to Asho, who stayed there for three months and learnt to read Moon script:  "One blind convert was knitting, and knitting remarkably well. At Miss M. Smith's desire she brought her Gospel in embossed letters, and her progress in reading does great credit both to her own intelligence and perseverance, and those of her instructress, a blind native Christian". [231]  For several years, Asho was to work with Miss Fuller and other missionary ladies, visiting Zenanas (women's quarters in private houses) and presenting the Christian faith to Muslim and Hindu women. [232]  These experiences led on to her main career as a teacher of other blind women and a hospital Bible-woman at Amritsar, which she began in 1886, and continued for over forty years. [233]

14.4  In the early 1880s, Miss Sarah Hewlett, who was in charge of St. Catherine's Hospital, Amritsar, and her colleague Miss Frances Sharp, had been prompted to consider opening a school for blind people, by the large number of blind women for whom the hospital could provide no relief. [234]  "At last, in 1886, a small knitting class was established, and two or three blind women of low caste were persuaded to join it, and they received a few pice a week as payment. ... Knitting did not commend itself to the minds of the pupils, who had proved begging to be a far more lucrative occupation". [235]  Frances Sharp had already communicated with her sister, Annie Sharp, who duly travelled from England, under the Church of England Zenana Mission Society, and reached Amritsar in the Autumn, 1886, with the idea of working with blind women. By this time, however, the knitting class had been disbanded, and  "it was decided to try again; and as Miss Sharp had brought with her a knowledge of basket-making, there was every encouragement to believe that some industrial work might now be successfully attempted." [236]

14.5  The first step to achieving this goal, as Annie Sharp later noted, was that "we got a Christian blind teacher", who was of course Miss Asho. [237]  Sharp continued, however, by disclosing that progress was not entirely harmonious: she thought that Asho "was sent to us chiefly because other missionaries found her so difficult to manage". [238]  From Miss Asho's point of view, it is hard to know whether she had more trouble managing her missionary supervisors, or managing the other blind women whom she was to instruct. Hewlett, having the earlier experience of the knitting class failure, and having managed a hospital for several years, was perhaps more objective in her judgement than Annie Sharp. She noted that Asho first  "began to try again on the poor hopeless blindies whose class had not been kept up; and she soon begged us to set aside stocking-knitting for such, and to introduce the coarse mat-making with its much larger possibilities of usefulness and sale". [239]

14.6  The introduction of mat-making (incidentally, some 30 years after the blind work-force at Shanghai had undertaken a similar craft), was attributed by Hewlett to the earlier foresight of Miss Fuller, who  "did not fall into the mistake of acting as if knitted stockings were the only commodity which could be produced by blind people; she taught  [Asho]  to make from a kind of string manufactured in India from an indigenous rush, a stout useful door-mat, which has been, from the time of Asho's coming to us, a growingly important article of manufacture and sale in our school". [240]  On the question of personal relations, Hewlett also realised that Asho was used to being the only blind person around, first of all at her school in Lahore, then later in the company of missionary women. It took her some time to adjust to the presence of other blind women competing for the attention of the missionaries. Nevertheless, Hewlett believed and clearly stated that "Asho's coming really marks the date of the beginning of this school." [241]

15.0  Miss Annie Sharp and Miss Askwith
15.1  In view of the number of well-documented educational or vocational activities with blind children and adults in ordinary schools, special classes, workshops or asylums in various Indian locations starting from the 1820s, and the clear documentary evidence that the blind workshop at Amritsar was initiated in 1886 under Sarah Hewlett and soon centred on Miss Asho as the professional instructor, it is curious that almost all modern texts, without reference to primary sources, award the palm to Annie Sharp for starting the 'first blind school in India'. Sharp herself was more modest about her own efforts and skills. In 1889 she wrote to G. Martin Tait in London, a member of the Committee for Home Teaching of the Blind, who had enabled Annie to gain a little experience by accompanying one of his home-visiting teachers a few times. Annie was conscious that  "you thought me a little foolish to propose teaching the blind, when I had scarcely any experience of what they might be made to do." [242]  Up to October 1889, the hospital's little blind class had been "managed in a large verandah"; but was then on the point of moving "into another portion of the premises". [243]  Craft skills were always emphasized, along with Christian teaching, and the work was named the 'North India Industrial Home for the Blind'. Nevertheless, some students learned to read either Moon or Braille, "according to their capacity. The former is the easier, but the latter can also be written". [244]

15.2  In its earlier days, the institution catered mainly for adults - but later, around 1904, there were "23 women, 21 girls, and 26 boys. [245]  By then, it had moved to Rajpur.  Annie Sharp died a fortnight after the move, on 25 April 1903, of cholera. [246]  She had undoubtedly given herself energetically to working as the institution's manager; but this untimely death may also have contributed to Annie being elevated, with little or no apparent justification, to the title of "Mother of the Education for the Blind in India". [247]  By contrast, Miss Asho's role at Amritsar was cut down, by one later chronicler, to that of "the very first blind convert woman to enter the Home for training". [248]   This contrasts rather sharply with the view of her senior contemporaries, that she joined as a competent teacher whose skills were essential to the success of the enterprise!  Another chronicler, while appreciating Asho's performance in public reading of the Bible in Moon script, suggested that she had become a Christian "in the Blind School", rather than having taken this step earlier. [249]

15.3  These errors of fact, though presumably unintentional, underlined the subordinate position assigned to Asho by later writers. That this blind, young, orphan, Indian, Christian woman was actually the key professional resource person around whom the Amritsar blind workshop was built, may have been an unexpected fact of history; but it was clearly attested by witnesses with the least reason to be mistaken about it, i.e. the missionary women who were her contemporaries and to whom she was responsible. A quarter century later, Asho, now more respectfully known as Bibi Aisha or Ayesha, was still pursuing her work and continuing to win her colleagues' respect, as indicated by Ethel Mark, senior house surgeon at St Catherine's Hospital:  "Our Bible-woman, Bibi Ayesha, who is blind, as you know, is getting on in her age. She is still boldly giving out Gospel message to the out and indoor patients; though blind her hearing is wonderful and she can tell the steps of familiar patients. Sometimes the patients take advantage of her blindness and try to sneak into the consulting rooms out of their proper turns. Sometimes they push their way and take the ticket or snatch the ticket out of her hands, but on the whole they treat her with love and respect and always enquire if she happens to be away." [250]

15.4  In South India, despite William Cruickshank's example, formal education for blind children seems to have been slower to develop than in the north. The southern pioneer, so far as English records are available, was Miss Anne Jane Askwith at Palamcotta, who noted in 1890 that "We now have a class for little blind girls". [251]   Part of the inspiration for this class was a blind Indian woman, Miss Marial, who had been taught by a Bible-woman, and became a Christian, to the anger of her relatives. She took refuge in the Bible-woman's house, where, as Askwith recorded,  "She did what she could to help by fetching water, cleaning the house, and beating rice, but still she felt she was a burden. ... I found out that besides household duties she had gone out with the Bible-woman teaching and singing to the people, and that they listened most attentively to her, and especially the little ones liked her to teach them; ... She is an active, intelligent, and independent woman, a happy exception to the generally helpless, ignorant and incapable blind people of this country." [252]

15.5  As Askwith's classes developed, various academic subjects were taught, and in due course the blind girls were "examined by the Government Inspector and Inspectress just like our other schools." [253]  Many pupils went on to become teachers in ordinary schools. Miss Askwith noted that   "When they leave school we give them a copy of every book we have in the raised type, an arithmetic frame, a few clothes, and a certificate of conduct, and thus equipped they go forth to earn their own living. ... We ourselves employ twelve or more young men as teachers and monitors in some of the Mission schools for boys, and we receive very good reports of their work."  The books thus given out were in Moon's type; whereas the arithmetic frame was used with Braille. [254]  The blind girls lived in the Sarah Tucker Institution with the sighted pupils, though they studied separately. [255]

16.0   Reflections
16.1  Brief glimpses have been shown of some educational and vocational activities with and by blind children and adults, mainly between 1840 and 1880 in China and 1900 in India. Much of this work took place before the dates conventionally assigned for the 'start of blind education' in the two vast nations. Documentary evidence clearly suggests that it was pioneered by people other than the 'recognised' founders. Some of these newly-revealed pioneers were blind people, who were thus, in a sense, doubly pioneers. Many of the pioneers, both blind and sighted, were women, working in comparative obscurity. [An earlier version  of this article stated that they were "labouring under a double social disadvantage"; however, the facile assumption that women 'must have been' at a social disadvantage is perhaps no more than a backward projection of modern campaign slogans.]  [256]  They were using the successful new reading materials of their times, first the Lucas system and then Moon's script, while Braille's dots were slowly gaining ground elsewhere. The efforts of some active blind people to learn whatever they could, and then to teach others, were appreciated by their sighted mentors, at the time; but in most cases those efforts disappeared from the accounts given by later chroniclers, who apportioned the credit to the sighted instead of the blind. This may have been partly due to the conventional assumption, by later sighted people, that good works 'must have been' done by sighted philanthropists to helpless blind people. Yet that may not be the whole explanation, as the work of several earlier sighted pioneers was also passed over or undervalued by later writers.

16.2  Most of the 19th century integration of blind learners in ordinary schools, and the willingness of teachers to accommodate them and to find special methods for them, has disappeared from later accounts; or it has been dismissed with the suggestion that the first 'real work' began with those who managed to construct 'institutions to care for the blind'.  In a thesis written in the 1930s, Dev Raj Seth believed that in India before 1886, "There were no homes for the blind, the deaf and the mute, and what the early and primitive institutions did was simply to teach the poor, luckless creatures a few handicrafts, such as basket-making, carpet-weaving etc, to earn their living". [257]  Taylor & Taylor, in their compendium on Indian disability services, knew of nothing for blind people before 1886, and wrote of the "first integration of blind children in regular schools, in Maharashtra State, and perhaps in the whole of India" as beginning in 1958. [258]

16.3  As the wheel of history turns and the 'institutional' approach (denounced by some zealots in the 1980s and 1990s as cold, cruel 'segregation' - unaware that Van Landeghem and his coterie had raised such issues 120 years earlier) has given ground, across several decades, to ideas of integration, inclusion, and home- or community- based approaches, it is a good time for some fresh evaluation of work in the mid-19th century.  Between them, China and India can be assumed to have nearly 50% of the world's blind and low-vision population, a majority of them living in rural areas where no formal education or training is available. Some hundreds of urban schools and training centres now exist, with access to modern educational and vocational methods, and with some teachers who have developed their own imaginative approaches, or had some exposure to European ideas. [259] These services, worthy as they are, still reach only a very modest proportion of those who might benefit from them. Often they are not well rooted within the cultures and concepts of these two vast nations, and thus do not lend themselves to ready replicability and multiplication. There is little if any feeling of a dynamic continuity with the past, or any awareness that some blind Chinese and Indians themselves took up the challenges in earlier centuries and contributed to service development, both educational and vocational.

16.4  'Of the weaving of baskets there is no end'; yet the modern distaste for forcing blind people into these few, deeply worn, occupational grooves must not detract from the achievement of pioneers who thought that blind people would have better lives if they were constructively occupied and gained a sense of themselves as people making a useful contribution. Whether oakum-picking and mat-making are considered worthier occupations than fortune-telling, singing for one's supper, and prostitution, is partly a cultural decision. When the latter were the only occupations traditionally open, the offer of string-twisting, basket-weaving, mat-making and similar crafts was very likely a genuine improvement in the choices available. In the 21st century, the possibilities open to blind people should be vastly wider; yet in poorer areas of every country, some blind children and adults still get no help or encouragement to learn basic mobility and domestic skills, or even to make baskets.

16.5  The newly-revealed pioneers certainly had some limitations, which should be judged against the background of their own and earlier times. Most of this evaluative work remains to be done, using more indigenous sources in various languages, and sketching in more of the background of social developments for other disadvantaged or disabled members of communities. The present article was undertaken, and subsequently revised, both to give retrospective recognition to those whose worthwhile efforts were (and continue to be) overlooked or ignored, and for the intrinsic interest of what they did in their time. It has presented mostly the bare bones of historical data, with a few glimpses of blind individuals, and provides biographical and bibliographical clues to facilitate further work. That cannot be the end of the story. Bare bones are merely a start, and an invitation for layers of flesh and clothing to be added by scholars of the appropriate fields.

 

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS
Library and archival resources at the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, London (School of Oriental & African Studies) and Manchester, the Indian Institute Library of Oxford University, Birmingham City Libraries and Inter-Library Loan Service, the British Library, the Church Missionary Society, the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, the Religious Society of Friends, the Royal London Society for the Blind, the Royal National Institutes for the Blind and for the Deaf, the (former) Selly Oak Colleges, the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, the Royal Society of Medicine, Overbrook School for the Blind, Philadelphia, and the Tata Institute for Social Science, Bombay, made possible the compilation of this paper. (Many items have been further verified via Google and Google Books, during 2010.)  Use of these resources, and the kind assistance of several individuals, are cordially acknowledged: Henk van Setten, whose 'History of Education' site gave the first web publication in 1998 of an earlier version of this work;  Archivist Edith L. Willoughby at Overbrook School, and staff of Dorton House School (Royal London Society for the Blind) sent a number of useful documents about the blind 'Gutzlaff' girls who went to London and those who went to the USA. Ms Tanya Hart kindly gave access to material from her thesis on William Hill Murray.  Dr Philip Harper diligently tracked down some genealogical information on the Van Landeghems. Mr Charles Hale kindly provided a jpeg of the gravestone of Samuel and Ellen Sharp. Finally, much gratitude to Dr Chen Guanghua who provided, with great enthusiasm, a cultural and linguistic bridge between the British author and modern China, and assiduously translated parts of an earlier version of this article, making it available to Chinese historians of special education.

 

 

NOTES

-- ARMPI: Annual Report of the Managers of the Pennsylvania Institution for Instruction of the Blind.

-- LonBl: Annual Reports of the London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read.

-- SPFE:  Society for Promoting Female Education in the East.

 

[1]   P.V. Mills (1965) Thomas Lucas and his embossed stenographic characters. British J. Ophthalmology 49: 485-489.  Moon's system is still used in Britain, see e.g. R.N.I.B. (1985) Reading by touch with the Moon method. London: Royal National Institute for the Blind.  H. Blodget (1891) Mr. Murray's method of applying Braille's system for the instruction of the blind. Chinese Recorder XXII (6) 256-260.

[2]   M. Miles (1999a) Some historical responses to disability in South Asia and reflections on service provision; with focus on mental retardation in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and some consideration of blindness. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, UK, 601 pp.  M. Miles (1999b) Blindness in South & East Asia: using history to inform development. In: B. Holzer, A. Vreede & G. Weigt (eds) Disability in Different Cultures. Reflections on local concepts, pp. 88-101. Bielefeld: transcript-Verlag.

[3]   K. Chimin Wong & Wu Lien-Teh (1936) History of Chinese Medicine, 2nd edition. Shanghai: National Quarantine Service, pp. 43-44.  James Legge (transl.) (1879) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, Part I, The Shih King. Oxford: Clarendon, (Dec.II, Ode 5), pp. 323-324.  J. Legge (transl.) (1885, reprint 1926) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, part III, The Li Ki (Royal Regulations). London: Oxford University Press, (Bk VII, Sect. IV; Bk VIII., Sect. II), pp. 385, 406-409. J. Legge (transl.) (1885, reprint 1926) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, part IV, The Li Ki (Royal Regulations). London: Oxford University Press, (Bk XII) pp. 35-37. The latter mentions "the school of Yin, in which the blind were honoured", pp. 36-37.

[4]   Arthur Waley (transl.) (1992 reprint) Confucianism: The Analects of Confucius. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, (Book XV: 41), p. 201.  [The Analects were compiled, in the form now received, probably in the 3rd century of the Christian Era, some 700 years after the death of Confucius (c. 550 - 479 BC)].

[5]   Sir Clutha Mackenzie & W.S. Flowers [1947] Blindness in China. Report to the Government of China. [Nanking?]: British Red Cross, for Ministry of Social Affairs, pp. 25-35.  Sidney D. Gamble & John S. Burgess (1921) Peking: A Social Survey. London: Humphrey Milford, pp. 166-175.  John S. Burgess (1928) The Guilds of Peking. New York: pp. 66-75, 117-118, 124, 131, 137, 159-160, 164, 193, 201-203. A guild of blind storytellers is also mentioned by John K. Fairbank (1994) China. A New History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, p. 274.

[6]   Mary Darley (1917) Cameos of a Chinese City. London: Marshall Bros, pp. 112-116.

[7]   Henry Yule (transl.) (1916) Cathay and the Way Thither, revised H. Cordier. London: Hakluyt Society, Vol. IV, pp. 121-122. Hospice care for indigent disabled people dates from the sixth century: Joseph Needham, Wang Ling, Lu Gwei-Djen & Ho Ping-Yü (1970) Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West. Cambridge University Press, pp. 277-279. More familiar in every age however were the ragged, woeful, blind beggars depicted by Zhou Chen in 1516: Fairbank, China. A New History, illustration no. 15, after p. 76. Efforts to suppress begging and to find paid 'employment' for blind people were reported from the 1570s by Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, transl. R. Parke (1588) The Historie of the Great and Mightie Kingdome of China, reprinted London (1853) Hakluyt Society, pp. 66-68.  Initiatives from 1590 onward are examined by J.F. Handlin Smith (1987) Benevolent societies: the reshaping of charity during the Late Ming and Early Ch'ing. J. Asian Studies 46: 309-337, and works referenced therein.

[8]   William C. Milne (1857) Life in China. London: Routledge, pp. 49-55. See also Y.Y. Tsu (1917) Native charities of Shanghai, in: E.C. Lobenstine (ed.) The China Mission Year Book 1917, pp. 503-519, Shanghai: Christian Literature Society of China;  and Mary N. Gamewell (1916) The Gateway to China. Pictures of Shanghai. New York: Revell, pp. 185-216.

[9]   Ralph T.H. Griffith (transl. 1926) The Hymns of the Rigveda, 3rd edn. Banares: E.J. Lazarus, pp. 78-80.  [Compilation of the Rig Veda hymns, in their current format, may have been achieved by 1500 B.C.; some Asian scholars would date it earlier.]

[10]   K.M. Ganguli (transl. 1883-1896, reprint 1993) The Mahabharata, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. (Adi Parva, Sect. CIX, CX, CXLIII).

[11]   Ganguli, (Adi Parva, Sect. CX).

[12]   Ganguli, (Vana Parva, Sect. XLIX).

[13]   Ganguli, (Adi Parva, Sect. CCXXV).

[14]   Ganguli, (Adi Parva, Sect. CIV).

[15]   Eugene W. Burlingame (1921) Buddhist Legends. Translated from the original Pali text of the Dhammapada Commentary. Harvard University Press; Reprint (1969) London: Luzac. I: 154-158.

[16]   Wendy Doniger & Brian K. Smith (1991) (transl.) The Laws of Manu, London: Penguin, pp. 60, 62, 220.

[17]  R. Shamasastry (transl. 1961) Kautilya's Arthasastra, 7th edition,  Mysore: Mysore Printing and Publishing, p. 236.

[18]   S.C. Roy (1960) Culture contact as a dynamic of social change. A study of the treatment of the blind in India. PhD thesis, School of Education, New York University, pp. 61, 260-261.

[19]   See e.g. the exploits of Aputra, and the heroine Manimekhalaï in the Tamil classic, transl. A. Daniélou (1993) Manimekhalaï (The dancer with the magic bowl), London: Penguin, pp. 55-56, 149.

[20]   Fritz Lehmann (1982) Akbar and Sur Das. Indica 19 (1, No.36) pp. 23-34.

[21]   See e.g. A. Damas Mora & J.C. Soares (1936) Leprosy in Macao. Chinese Medical J. 50: 721-725;  Fatima da Silva Gracias (1994) Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa (1510-1961), New Delhi: Concept, pp. 136-137.

[22]   Irving Epstein (1988) Special educational provision in the People's Republic of China. Comparative Education 24: 365-375, on p. 365.  L.-Y. Wu (1993) Suggestions for refining the Chinese Braille system. J. Visual Impairment and Blindness 87: 289-294, on p. 289.  Hanlin Yang & HongBo Wang (1994) Special education in China. J. Special Education 28: 93-105, on p. 95. See also Yongxin Piao, Richard M. Gargiulo & Xu Yun (1995) Special education in the People's Republic of China: characteristics and practices. International J. Special Education 10: 52-65.  John Lewis, Stella Chong-Lau & Julianne Y.C. Lo (1997) Disability, curriculum and integration in China. European J. Special Needs Education 12: 95-106, on p. 97.  E. Vaughn (1992) Educational achievement of disabled individuals in the People's Republic of China. J. Visual Impairment and Blindness 86: 189-190, on p. 189.

[23]  Gu Ding Qian, Piao Yongxin & Liu Yanhong (eds) (2010) Zhongguo Teshu Jaioyushi Ziliaoxuan ("Selected Materials for the History of Chinese Special Education"). 3 volumes. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Publishing Group.  [Information kindly communicated by Dr Chen Guanghua, College of Teacher Professional Development, Shenyang Normal University.]  See also  M. Miles (2007) Disability and Deafness in East Asia: Social and Educational Responses, From Antiquity to Recent Times. A bibliography of European‑language materials with introduction and some annotation. www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles200708.html

[24]   R.S. Chauhan (1994) The Triumph of the Spirit. The pioneers of education and rehabilitation services for the visually handicapped in India, Delhi: Konark, pp. 11-12, 19. Further evidence appeared in M. Miles (2001) Including disabled children in Indian schools, 1790s ‑ 1890s: innovations of educational approach and technique. Paedagogica Historica 37 (2) 291‑315.

[25]   Lucy Ching (1980) One of the Lucky Ones. Hong Kong: Gulliver; reprinted 1982, London: Souvenir.  Even if more 19th century Chinese sources become available, the female world may be under-represented: see Pui-lan Kwok (1992) Chinese Women and Christianity, 1860-1927, Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, p. 3.

[26]   Zhang Ning-Sheng, Zhouy Ren Lai and Xu Bai Lun (1995) The implementation of mainstreaming education for blind children in China: achievements, problems and counter measures. International J. Special Education 10: 12-20, on p. 14.

[27]   Samuel Couling (1917) Blind in China. Encyclopedia Sinica. London: Oxford University Press, pp. 51-52.

[28]   Herman Schlyter (1946) Karl Gützlaff. Als missionar in China. Lund: Gleerup, and Copenhagen: Munksgaard, p. 112. Gutzlaff married three Englishwomen (Maria Newell in 1829; Mary Wanstall in 1834; Dorothy Gabriel in 1850) and anglicised his name as 'Charles Gutzlaff'. (R.G. Tiedemann, 2004, 'Gützlaff, Karl Friedrich August (1803-1851)'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press). He also used the Chinese name 'Kwo' of his fictive 'adopted' Chinese father, see: The Gleaner in the Missionary Field, No. 5, July 1850, p. 39.

[29]   Archives of London Missionary Society, Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. CWM South China incoming letters, Box 3, 1830-1839, Folder 3. J.R. Morrison, manuscript letter dated 24 July 1837.

[30]   E.M.I. (1842) The History of Mary Gutzlaff. London: John Snow, p. 8. This children's booklet is about the blind girl, not about Mrs Mary Gutzlaff. The girl's name was originally Fokien (E.M.I., p. 7). Adopted orphans were often given European names by the missionaries, perhaps to assist in their 'financial adoption' by mission supporters 'at home'. Similarly, many of the missionaries acquired Chinese names, which may have made them seem a little less foreign and devilish to their hosts.

[31]   [No author shown] [1859] The Blind and their Books: with some account of Laura Gutzlaff, a native of China.... London: Wertheim, Macintosh & Hunt, pp. 20-21.

[32]   E.M.I., The History of Mary Gutzlaff, p. 8.

[33]   E.M.I., p. 3.  Whatever kindness or abuse may have been offered by ordinary people on the individual level, it was a leading Chinese scholar who in the mid-19th century proposed that the population problem should be solved by drowning all female children, and all "physically abnormal" male children!  Frank Dikötter (1992) The limits of benevolence: Wang Shiduo (1802-1889) and population control. Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies 55: 110-115, on p. 113. The subsequent impact of Chinese 'eugenics' on disabled people is discussed by Emma Stone (1996) A law to protect, a law to prevent: contextualising disability legislation in China. Disability & Society 11: 469-483.

[34]   [No author shown] (1833) Ophthalmic hospital at Macao. Chinese Repository II: 270-273.

[35]   Wong & Lien-teh, History of Chinese Medicine, p. 310.

[36]   'Eastern-Female-Education Society', State of Mrs. Gutzlaff's School at Macao, Report dated Oct 14, 1836. Missionary Register, 1838, pp. 277-278, on p. 278.  [The name of the Society underwent some evolution. Initially it was the "Society for Promoting Female Education in China, India and the East", founded in 1834. After a few years the title was shortened to the "Society for Promoting Female Education in the East", which could further be abbreviated to "Female Education Society". Magazine or journal editors invented further versions, such as "Chinese-and-India-Female-Education Society" (which was in use by some from 1834 to 1838) or "Eastern-Female-Education Society).]

[37]   Morrison, Archives of London Missionary Society (see note 29 above).

[38]   The Blind and their Books (see note 31 above) pp. 20-21. A blind commentator later noted that "similar practices are not altogether unknown" in Europe, even in Gutzlaff's own country. L.W. Hanks (1872) Blindness and the Blind. A treatise on the science of typhlology, London: Chapman & Hall, p. 13. See also W.H. Jefferys & J.L. Maxwell (1910) The Diseases of China including Formosa and Korea, pp. 303-315, for medical review of 'freaks', deliberate mutilations, and voluntary deformity; and D.J. MacGowan (1893) The artificial making of wild men in China. China Medical Missionary J. VII (2) 79-81.

[39]   Eastern-Female-Education Society (see note 36 above), p. 277.  First annual report of the Morrison Education Society... Canton, September 27th, 1837. Chinese Repository, 1838, VI: 229-244, on pp. 231-232.  Another teacher with support from the Morrison Education Society around this time was S.R. Brown, who had written a dissertation on sign language, and spent three years teaching deaf pupils in New York: William E. Griffis (1902) A Maker of the New Orient. Samuel Robbins Brown. New York: Revell, pp. 49-52, 61. Had Brown used this experience in China, deaf education might have begun 50 years sooner than it actually did (see notes 61 and 62 below).

[40]   Susanna Hoe (1991) The Private Life of Old Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, pp. 28, 108, 172.

[41]   'Chinese-and-India-Female-Education Society', notes dated Dec.14, 1836, and March 15, 1837. Missionary Register, 1838 (March), p. 124.  Second Annual Report of the Morrison Education Society: read 3rd October, 1838. Chinese Repository, 1839, VII: 301-310, on pp. 306-307. The building was described as "a large Portuguese house at Macao, 110 x 60 feet in area" (Griffis, A Maker of the New Orient, p. 71). It had "a delightful gallery round the upper part of the house", where the children sometimes played (Eastern-Female-Education, p. 278, see note 36).  Yung Wing mentioned that he resided on the "third story of the house, which had a wide open terrace on top - the only place where the girls and myself played and found recreation."  Yung Wing (1909) My Life in China and America, New York: Henry Holt, reprinted Hong Kong 2008, p.3. (From these odd scraps of evidence, it is clear that there was sufficient space for the number of residents and variety of activities reported).

[42]   According to Alice M. Carpenter (1937) Light through work. Outlook for the Blind XXXI (3) 77-90, on p. 80, the letter from Mrs. Gutslaff [sic], appeared in the New York Christian Advocate and Journal, June, 1838, appreciating the "two invaluable books for my four little blind girls", in embossed type. (There seems to have been a transcription error where the Journal quotes the letter saying: "Many can read two passages beginning from the alphabet; another little girl can read the alphabet and figures;"  More likely, it was "Mary can read two passages..." in the original manuscript.)

[43]   History of Mary Gutzlaff p. 9.  Eastern-Female-Education Society, Summary of the Fifth year. Missionary Register, 1840, pp. 46-47.

[44]   Archives of the Royal London Society for the Blind, Female Register, Entries 19 & 20, Mary and Lucy Gutzlaff, admitted on 29 July 1839.

[45]   William Milne, manuscript report dated 1 Jan. 1840, "The State of the Protestant Mission to China Proper, in the beginning of the year 1840", pp. 3-5. CWN South China Correspondence, Incoming letters, Box 4, 1840-1847, Folder 1. Various sources give details of seven blind Gutzlaff girls named Mary, Lucy, Laura, Agnes (the four who went to London), Jessie, Fanny and Eliza (the three who went to the USA). There seems to be some confusion by Alfred Little (pp. 9-10) of Eliza with Elsie, a sighted Chinese girl who also went to the USA with Mrs Gutzlaff. (Alfred F. Little, 1939, From Serfdom to Culture. The remarkable story of a blind Chinese girl who rose from a waif in Canton to the position of a proof reader in a large American institution, No named publisher).  The total of seven blind girls is confirmed in the 10th ARMPI (1843) p. 9.

[46]   Second Annual Report of the Morrison Education Society, p. 307.  Gutzlaff himself, in somewhat ironic tone, recounted how his first Chinese congregation consisted of ten lepers, who were glad of any sympathetic company; and his first language teachers had been "in the island of Bintang, four lame men, who were afflicted with dreadful wounds; they were not able to get away from me."  'Visit of Dr. Gutzlaff to Brussels.' Extracted from "Le Glaneur Missionaire," published at Brussels. The Gleaner in the Missionary Field, No.5, July 1850, pp. 38-40, on p. 38.

[47]   Yung Wing (1909) My Life in China and America. New York: Henry Holt, pp. 1-3, 7-8.  Presumably these parts of the Bible (probably Mark's Gospel) and 'Pilgrim's Progress' were the 'two embossed books' sent from Philadelphia in 1837. "The New Testament's book of Mark was the first embossed book for the blind in North America" published in 1833 by the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, Philadelphia, according to the archivist of that institution (now Overbrook School for the Blind):  E. Willoughby (2007) Overbrook School for the Blind, p.12. Arcadia Publishing. Gall and Frere were producing books with raised type by 1837, and some other systems were in competition.  [Apparently the Glasgow University Library possesses a printed and circulated letter dated 10/09/1842 (September 10th, 1842) from Charles Gutzlaff to William Mathieson at Glasgow, having some reference to "John Alston, Treasurer of Glasgow Blind Asylum, supplier of books to Gutzlaff".  The involvement of John Alston (1778-1846) with blind people extended much beyond the financial. He was one of the early experimenters with text printed in raised type for blind readers. "Mr Alston's first specimens of printing from the Roman alphabet were presented at a meeting held on 25th October, 1836. The assembly felt that the time had now come when books for the blind could be sold at moderate cost. ... Mr. Alston soon got types and a printing press in operation."  Andrew Aird (1894) Glimpses of old Glasgow. Glasgow: Aird & Coghill, p. 397.]

[48]   'Chinese-and-India-Female-Education Society' (1838) Summary of the Third Year's Proceedings. Missionary Register, pp. 109-110, on p. 110.  Some years later, at least one further missionary made similar preparations. Ninth Report LonBl, 20 Apr 1847, p. 18: "Your Society has also had the privilege of instructing in its system a lady who has recently sailed for China, as an Agent of the "Society for Promoting the Education of Females in the East;", and she carries with her a complete set of the embossed Publications."

[49]   Eastern-Female-Education Society, Missionary Register, 1839, p. 122. See also S. Hoe, The Private Life of Old Hong Kong, pp. 108-109.

[50]   Archives of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East. University of Birmingham. Ref. FES AM1. Minute 727, 14 June 1839. Susanna Hoe (see note 49) p. 109, dramatises this refusal; yet for the SPFE to have done otherwise would clearly have been a misuse of funds donated for different purposes. The SPFE annual report noted that "Several friends have united to take charge of [the blind girls], and they have been placed at the Blind School in Gloucester Street, Queen Square. They are remarkably intelligent; and have learned to read with raised letters, to work, and even to write." Eastern-Female-Education Society, Missionary Register, Jan. 1840, p. 47.

[51]   Morrison (see Archives of LMS, note 29).

[52]   Eastern-Female-Education, Missionary Register, 1838, p. 278. This aim, unchanged, was quoted from Mrs Gutzlaff in the Seventh Annual Report of the Ohio Institution for the Blind (1843) after Laura, Jessie and Eliza reached the USA: "our object in the education of each of the blind children is to have them, if we may, prepared as future teachers in China" (p. 12).  [The Londoners disconcerted at the sudden arrival of blind children from the East (or modern authors commenting on them) might not fully have imagined the predicament of Mary Gutzlaff. To have full responsibility for the safety and welfare of five or more young blind girls during the preliminary threats and skirmishing of the first 'Opium War' (which would lead to the sudden evacuation of Macau by British residents in August 1839, and several weeks spent by women and children temporarily accommodated on boats bobbing about in Hong Kong harbour) was no light matter. Presumably it occurred to Mary that any high-minded plans for pioneering the wider education of blind children could end disastrously if these particular girls remained near the front line of even a minor war. In the absence of rapid international communication media, it made sense first to remove the girls to safety and 'civilisation', then sort out the details later.]

[53]   Eastern-Female-Education (see note 52) p. 278.  Archives of the Royal London Society for the Blind, Female Register, Entries 48 and 49.

[54]  [No author shown] The Missionary repository for youth, and Sunday school missionary magazine for 1842, pp. 67, 73, 153.  London: John Snow. [Found full text online, April 2009.]

[55]   E.M.I. History of Mary Gutzlaff, p. 14.  [Mrs Chester Luke?] (1844) The History of Lucy Gutzlaff. London: John Snow, p. 15. There would be yet another little 'Mary Gutzlaff', a Chinese baby adopted and so named by Mrs W. Young at Amoy, c. 1852:  Eastern-Female-Education Society (1853) Missionary Register, pp. 86-87.

[56]   The Blind and their Books, pp. 26-27 (see note 31).

[57]   10th ARMPI (1848) p. 9. See also 88th ARMPI, pp. 12-13, quoting  William Chapin's diaries for 1842-1843.  Fanny was at the Pennsylvania Institution for almost 77 years, being transferred in December 1919 to a hospice (88th ARMPI, p. 12).  Jessie died in October 1920.

[58]   Alfred Little, From Serfdom to Culture, p. 15 (see note 45).

[59]   [William Moon] Nineteenth Report. LonBl, 27 April 1857, pp. 8-9.

[60]   J.R. (1890) In Memoriam, Rev. Dr. E. W. Syle. Chinese Recorder XXII: 23-25.  Syle's 'paternity claim' might be disputed on behalf of Carl Gutzlaff. Apart from his wife's efforts to teach blind children or to have them trained abroad, Gutzlaff in 1844 wrote to the Pennsylvania Institution on the subject of blind people in China, stating that "I myself have a house full of them, and set them to work to plait straw shoes, which they do with great dexterity." 11th ARMPI (1844) p. 21. This has some credibility, given Gutzlaff's multiple initiatives, enthusiasms and goodwill. Corroborative evidence has not so far been found for a planned and organised development of occupational therapy or income-generating handicrafts at his house; yet it is hard to imagine that Gutzlaff simply invented these blind people busily making straw shoes, in the belief that nobody could ever check up on them. (The "house full" of blind people is presumably hyperbole).  There had certainly been Chinese predecessors who concerned themselves with occupations for blind people. One such was Lü K'un (1536-1618), as depicted by J. Handlin Smith (1983) Action in Late Ming Thought. The reorientation of Lü K'un and other scholar-officials. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 149, 161-163, 181-182.

[61]   J.R. (1890) In Memoriam, p. 25 (see note 60). See also: Letter from the son of a missionary. Spirit of Missions, 1859, XXIV: 331-332. This must be Syle's son and Bishop Boone's godson (see next, note 62). Apart from working with blind people, Syle jotted down much more about disabilities than did most missionaries, e.g. his note of a fight involving a deaf boy: Journal, 11 Mar 1847, Spirit of Missions, 1848, XIII: 185-188, on p. 186;  his enquiry about a Chinese Albino, whom his servants said must have been a sheep in a previous existence: Journal, 21 Sept 1852, Spirit of Missions, 1853, XVIII: 54-57, on p. 56.  Formal education for deaf children in China was begun in 1888 through the interest of another missionary with a deaf son, the Rev. Dr. Charles Mills, who married a teacher of the deaf: [No author shown] Our missionary corner. The Silent Messenger, July 1896, No. 9, II: 46-47.  See also [No author shown] Deaf-Mutism in China. American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, Oct 1876, XXI (No.4) 256-257. Education of a deaf and blind girl [named Teng Ying] is mentioned by George Fryer (1914) Work among the blind in China. In: D. MacGillivray (ed) The China Mission Year Book 1914, Shanghai: Christian Literature Society for China, p. 325, quoting Miss J. Reincke of the "Blindheim" School for Blind Girls, Kowloon.

[62]   E.W. Syle (1868) Shanghai Asylum for the Blind. Chinese Recorder I: 138-140, on p. 139.  Syle's son, Henry Winter Syle (1846-1890) became deaf as a child, and was sent to the US for his education. He was able to follow his father in becoming an Episcopalian minister, being ordained as deacon in 1876 and priest in 1883. [O.B. Berg (1987) Religion, Protestant. In: J. Van Cleve (ed.) Gallaudet Encyclopedia of Deaf People and Deafness, pp. 433-440, on pp. 438-39.] In March 1852, Edward Syle noted in his journal that "a dumb woman was brought in by a young man who was accustomed to converse with her, and through him I learned that she wanted alms. The manner in which he communicated with her was curious in the highest degree. I observed that he always spoke what he wanted her to understand, at the same time using dumb-show of the most wonderfully brief and significant character. I am sure I never saw anything so concise in the instruction of deaf-mutes at home; yet she seemed to understand him perfectly. True, he did not attempt anything abstruse. When he did, at my suggestion, inquire what she worshipped, she said, and repeatedly insisted on it, that she worshipped nothing at all."  (At the time, 'dumb' was commonly used for 'deaf and dumb').  Syle (1852) Journal Spirit of Missions 17: 305-306.

[63]   P.D. Spalding (1848) Journal, 11 Jan 1848. Spirit of Missions, XIII: 317-321, on pp. 318-319.

[64]   P.D. Spalding (1849) [Journal] 5 Dec 1848. Spirit of Missions, XIV: 177-185, on p. 182.

[65]   P.D. Spalding (1949) [Journal] 13 Mar 1849. Spirit of Missions, XIV: 433-438, on p. 437.  The heritage from Chinese antiquity in fact contains a remarkable celebration of the 'uselessness' of Cripple Shu and various other disabled people, vigorously repudiating the demand for 'usefulness'. A.C. Graham (transl. 1981) Chuang-tzu. The Seven Inner Chapters and other writings. London: George Allen & Unwin, pp. 74-81. On the other hand, one of the eight Immortals of Chinese mythology, Li Tie-guai, found a lame beggar's body useful as a dwelling place, when his own body was not available. W. Eberhard (1986) A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols, transl. G.L. Campbell, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 165-166.

[66]   Syle (1850) Journal, 26 Jun 1849. Spirit of Missions, XV: 185-187.  Syle, 29 Apr 1850, Spirit of Missions, 1851, XVI: 73-82, on p. 75.  Syle, 26 Jul 1852. Spirit of Missions, 1852, XVII: 445-451, on p. 451.

[67]   Syle (see note 66), 26 June 1849.  Elsewhere, McClatchie noted some peculiar methods by which Roman Catholic missionaries baptised Chinese infants, then claimed them among their 'converts'. He preferred that Protestant missionaries should have no converts, than convert all China by such methods: T. McClatchie (1848) Excerpt from letter dated 25 Jun 1846. Spirit of Missions, XIII: 91. (However, the Rev. McClatchie, in his studies of Chinese culture, was also a cause of controversy through a peculiarity in his translation in 1876, of the 'Yi jing').

[68]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum for the Blind, p. 139.

[69]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum.

[70]   William C. Milne (1847) Notice of seven month's residence in the city of Ningpo, Article III. Chinese Recorder XVI: 14-30, on p. 25. It is interesting to compare the place of 'performance' and embarrassment practised by beggars either having or simulating severe wounds or impairments in modern Shenyang, as studied by Eric Henry (2009) The beggar's play: poverty, coercion, and performance in Shenyang, China. Anthropological Quarterly 82 (1) 7-35.

[71]   P.D. Spalding (1848) Report. Spirit of Missions XIII: 413-418, on p. 415.  Carl Gutzlaff expressed the "general poor law everywhere acknowledged" in China, as being "if you cannot live, die, and we will bury your body". Oddly, in view of his 'rescue' of blind girls, he suggested that "The provisions for the blind are made with great care, and a due consideration of their wants, evincing much national interest in these unfortunate beings". This is hard to reconcile with other reports, but Gutzlaff was inclined to rhetorical excesses, and possibly some ironies. C. Gutzlaff (1850) Replies to queries in relation to China, proposed by Sir G.T. Staunton, Bart., M.P., in the year 1846. J. Royal Asiatic Society XII: 386-400, on p. 395.

[72]   In the 16th century, Mendoza, Historie of the Great and Mightie Kingdome, p. 68, reported on the blind woman in China that "when she cometh unto age, she doth use the office of women of love, of which sorte there are a great number in publik places". The 19th century missionary sources were less explicit. Twentieth century writers, such as Hoe, The Private Life of Old Hong Kong pp. 173-176;  D. MacGillivray (ed.) The China Mission Year Book, 1914, Shanghai, p. 589;  and Ching, One of the Lucky Ones, pp. 19-21, 47, 50, 274-275, note the sexual exploitation of blind females more frankly, the latter because it was still commonly assumed to be her own destiny in the 1940s.

[73]   Syle (1850) Journal, 23 Dec 1849. Spirit of Missions, XV: 357-360, on p. 357. Blind fortune-tellers are also described by Justus Doolittle (1868) Social Life of the Chinese, edited by  P. Hood. London: Sampson Low, Son & Marston, pp. 574-575 (see also pp. 527-529, 548); and by F. Boden (1893) Work for the blind in China. Work & Workers in the Mission Field II: 471-475. More recent details are given by Mackenzie & Flowers, Blindness in China, pp. 21, 28, 32.

[74]   Syle (1849) Journal, 4 Mar 1848. Spirit of Missions, XIV: 343-346, on p. 344.  Charitable institutions at Soochow, especially for elderly or disabled widows and for foundlings, were later described in: Mrs Parker (1882) Chinese charities. Women's Work in China V: 119-122.

[75]   Syle (1852) [journal] 24 Dec 1851. Spirit of Missions, XVII: 201-205, on p. 204.

[76]   Syle (1852) 24 Mar 1852. Spirit of Missions, XVII: 304-307, on p. 305.

[77]   Syle (1852) p. 306.

[78]   Syle (1857) Journal, 1 Aug 1856. Spirit of Missions, XXII: 26-37, on p. 35.

[79]   Thomas McClatchie, [Excerpts under Church Missionary Society, China], Missionary Register, Mar 1852, p. 120. McClatchie's interest in work with blind people may have been stimulated by his wife Isabella Sarah, one of the two Misses Parkes, cousins of Mrs Gutzlaff who helped her run the school with blind girls. Yung Wing, My Life in China and America, p. 8. [Yung Wing recalls them as being 'nieces' of Mrs Gutzlaff, but more reliable sources have Harry Parkes and his sisters as 'cousins' of Mary Wanstall (who married Gutzlaff). See e.g. John Wells (2004) Parkes, Sir Harry Smith (1825-1885). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press; online edition, May 2010.]  Mrs Gutzlaff reportedly was in the habit of referring to the cousins as 'nieces': S. Lane-Poole (1894) The Life of Sir Harry Parkes, London: MacMillan, I: p. 13. The other Miss Parkes, Catherine, became Mrs Lockhart (wife of Dr William Lockhart of the London Missionary Society, who opened a hospital for Chinese people at Shanghai in 1843). F.L. Hawks Pott (1928) A Short History of Shanghai. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, pp. 89, 91.

[80]   Church Missionary Society Archives, University of Birmingham, ref. C CH/O 27/19. Letter from William H. Collins, 8 Apr 1863. In fact, there had been as many as 16 blind people under instruction: T. McClatchie (1877) Brief sketch of the history of the Shanghae station of the Church Missionary Society, London. Chinese Recorder VIII: 308-310, on p. 309.

[81]   F.F. Gough, [Excerpts under Church Missionary Society, China]. Missionary Register, Mar 1852, p. 119.  Extracts from McClatchie's Journal. Missionary Register, Jan 1851, p. 48.  T. McClatchie (1852) Instruction of the blind. Missionary Register, Mar 1852, p. 155.  McClatchie (1853) [Journal extract]. Missionary Register, Mar 1853, p. 118.  Returning to China, McClatchie brought some of William Moon's publications that were available in a few Chinese languages: Eighth Report of the Society for Supplying Home Teachers and Books in Moon's Type to Enable the Blind to Read the Scriptures, 1864, p. 9.

[82]   M.W. Fish (1856) Letter dated 5 Nov 1855. Spirit of Missions, XXI: 156-158, on pp. 157-8.  Dr Fish left the mission in 1858, and became U.S. Vice Consul.  [No author shown] Statistics of the American Protestant Episcopal Mission. Chinese Recorder, 1877, VIII: pp. 310-312, on p. 311.

[83]   C.M. Williams (1857) Journal, 6 Jul 1856. Spirit of Missions, XXII: 43-46, on p. 45. Rev. Williams arrived in 1856, but left for Japan in 1859: Statistics, (see note 82), p. 311.

[84]   Journal of C. [Miss J.R. Conover or Miss Catherine E. Jones?], 6 Jul 1856. Spirit of Missions, 1857, XXII: 198-205, on p. 201. An archetypal image of dispensary clients, from the 1830s, was of "old, blind, decrepit men, 'with staff in hand,' led thither by their little grand-children": Canton Dispensary, Chinese Repository II: 276-277.

[85]   W.J. Boone (1856) Report to the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Spirit of Missions XXI: 653-658, on p. 655.

[86]   Journal of C. Spirit of Missions, 1856, XXI: 379-382, on p. 382.  See also: Journal of C., 14 Aug 1856. Spirit of Missions, 1857, XXII: 148-151, on p. 150.

[87]   Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, held at Shanghai, May 10-24, 1877. Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1878, p. 156.

[88]   [No author shown] (1883) Ophthalmic hospital at Macao. Chinese Repository, II: 270-273, on p. 272.

[89]   William Lockhart (1861) The Medical Missionary in China: a narrative of twenty years' experience. London: Hurst & Blackett, p. 250. Lockhart also described cases of self-mutilation by beggars, and noted that children were sometimes blinded "by means of lime, and by puncturing their eyes with a coarse needle", pp. 251-253. Much later, specific studies were made of injuries to the eyes by quacks:  Arnold Pillat (1929) Injuries of the eye caused by the operative treatment of Chinese quacks. National Medical J. China XV: 525-535. A. Pillat (1929) Some injuries of the eye caused by non-operative and operative treatment of Chinese quacks, National Medical J. China XV: 536-554. See an equivalent for India: H.E. Drake-Brockman (1910) The Indian oculist, his equipment and methods. Indian Medical Gazette 45: 207-210.

[90]   C.J. [Catherine Jones] (1856) The Girls' school at Shanghai. Spirit of Missions XXI: 85-89, on p. 86.

[91]   C.J., pp. 87-88.

[92]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum for the Blind, p. 139.

[93]   Syle, Shanghai.

[94]   Syle, Shanghai, p. 140.

[95]   Syle (1857) Journal, 4 Nov 1856. Spirit of Missions, XXII: 275-279, on p. 278.

[96]   Syle. (1857) Journal.

[97]   Syle (1857) Journal, 11 Dec 1856. Spirit of Missions, pp. 385-390, on p. 386.  Syle, Shanghai Asylum for the Blind, p. 140.

[98]   Syle (1857) Journal, 18 Dec 1856. Spirit of Missions, p. 387.

[99]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum, p. 140.

[100]   Syle (1858) Journal, 19 Nov 1857. Spirit of Missions, XXIII: pp. 194-197, on p. 196. This person may have been the merchant mentioned by Syle, Shanghai Asylum, p. 140, Post Script. He had refused point-blank an invitation to join the Literary and Scientific Society, which Syle and others had started and which later became the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society; but the merchant volunteered instead to do something for the blind.

[101]   Syle (1858) Journal, 7 Apr 1858. Spirit of Missions, XXIII: 483-485, on p. 484.

[102]   Letter from Rev. E.W. Syle, Shanghai, 6 Mar 1857. Spirit of Missions, 1857, XXII: 439-443, on pp. 440-441.  Syle in fact arranged for a schoolboy to go to the workshop every afternoon and read to the workers from the Bible.  Syle (1858) Journal, 2 Feb 1858. Spirit of Missions, XXIII: 335-339, on p. 338.

[103]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum for the Blind, p. 140.

[104]   A. Wylie (1867) Memorials of Protestant Missionaries to the Chinese. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, p. 154.

[105]   Syle, Shanghai Asylum, p. 140.

[106]   Syle, Shanghai.

[107]   Minutes of a Meeting of the Committee of the Blind Asylum, - held at Chaou-fong Hong, January 20, 1869. North China Herald, 6 Feb 1869, p. 72.

[108]   Minutes (see previous).  Some materials in Moon's script had been available as early as 1852 in the Pekin dialect, and 1853 in Ningpo:  Forty-Ninth Annual Report of Moon's Society, 1897, Brighton, p. 13. Rutherfurd, however, suggested that the 'Ningpo colloquial' was the second language (after Irish) to which Moon adapted his script, after a friend introduced him to a Chinese person, Mr Ho Chee. John Rutherfurd (1898) William Moon ... and his work for the blind, London: Hodder & Stoughton, pp. 42-44.   Miss Lydia Fay, a notable missionary teacher, wrote of a blind girl named A Ne, who at first she thought was "merely a little idiot" but who flourished after Syle had received her "into his boarding school for Chinese girls, where she is learning to read books with raised letters made for the blind": Letter from Miss Fay, 18 Jul 1869, Spirit of Missions, 1869, XXXIV: 604-608.

[109]   E.W. Syle (1870, 9 Jun). Report of the Trustees of the Institution for the Blind, for the year 1869. North China Herald, pp. 428-429.

[110]   Syle (see previous) p. 428.

[111]   E.H. Thomson (1873, 6 Feb) Report of Institution for Blind Poor. North China Herald, p. 118.

[112]   Fryer, 1914, Work among the blind in China, p. 318.

[113]   F.L. Hawks Pott (1928) A Short History of Shanghai. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, p. 194.

[114]   George Fryer (1931) The blind in Asiatic countries. In: H. Lende, E.C. McKay & S.C. Swift (eds) Proceedings of the World Conference on Work for the Blind. New York, p. 266. The school had, however, been accorded recognition by H.O. Dwight, H.A. Tupper & E. Munsell (1904) The Encyclopedia of Missions. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, p. 93.

[115]   "Eleven years instruction" is mentioned in the Eighteenth Report, LonBl, 18 Apr 1856, p. 7; while "fourteen years...education" appears in: [No author shown] Farewell Meeting, 2 Aug 1855, London. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1855, II: 110-119, on p. 111.

[116]   Farewell Meeting (see previous), p. 111.

[117]   Morrison, Archives of London Missionary Society (see note 29 above). Decades later, around 1900, there was a blind missionary named Cook, at Amoy: Mrs G. Wilkinson (1914) School for blind boys, Foochow, China. Report of the International Conference of the Blind... Church House, Westminster... 1914, Bradbury, Agnew, 445-449, on p. 445.  Centuries earlier, around 753 CE, a blind Buddhist missionary reportedly took medical knowledge from China to Japan; but he had lost his sight late in life. Chen Yaozhen (1980) The courageous and brilliant blind monk Jianzhen. Chinese Medical J. 93: 130-133.

[118]   A.J. Broomhall (1982) Hudson Taylor & China's Open Century. Book Two. Over the Treaty Wall. London: Hodder & Stoughton, p. 347.

[119]   Broomhall, pp. 346-347.

[120]   China Inland Mission/OMF Archives, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Ref. CIM/JHT 35-44, Bundle 2314, letter Q. From J.H. Taylor to his mother, 28 Jul 1856.

[121]   CIM/OMF (see previous).

[122]   CIM/OMF (see note 120).

[123]   A.J. Broomhall (1982) Hudson Taylor & China's Open Century. Book Three. If I Had a Thousand Lives. London: Hodder & Stoughton, pp. 38-40. Mary Dyer would later marry Hudson Taylor; but it is unclear whether he ever revised his views on Agnes. Miss Aldersey was reportedly much opposed to the marriage.

[124]   D. MacGillivray (1907) A Century of Protestant Missions in China (1807-1907). Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, pp. 457-458.  A colour facsimile of a painting of Miss Aldersey's school, by a Chinese artist, appears at the front of  Female Agency among the Heathen as recorded in the history and correspondence of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, founded in the year 1834, (1850) London: Edward Suter. It shows some 22 Chinese girls or young women seated at four long tables, with a Chinese male teacher at a desk at the front and Miss Aldersey's two Christian Javanese assistants (see notes, p. 254).

[125]   Miss Aldersey's Journal, 6 Jun 1856. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1857, (No. xliv), IV: 41. Maria Newell, who had been Aldersey's fellow-student and friend in London, and whose service with the London Missionary Society (from 1827 to her death in 1831) was facilitated by a gift from Aldersey, had been Gutzlaff's first wife. Presumably Aldersey had known something of the Gutzlaff menage since those days.

[126]   Miss Aldersey's Journal (see previous) p. 42.

[127]   See anecdotes in the popular account by J. Reason (1940) The Witch of Ningpo. London: Edinburgh House. For comparison, half a century had passed since Hannah More met similar opposition and wild rumours when opening schools in rural England: Mary G. Jones (1952) Hannah More. Cambridge University Press, pp. 151-183.

[128]   M.A. Aldersey (1857) A Chinese asylum, Ningpo, 15 Apr 1857. Female Missionary Intelligencer (No. xlix), IV: 102-103.

[129]   Miss Aldersey's Journal, 16 Jan 1858, Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1858, new series, I: 110-111.

[130]   Miss Aldersey's Journal, 18 Jan 1858, Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1858, new series, I: 125.

[131]   Couling, Blind in China, p. 51 (see note 27 above);  Fryer, 1931, The blind in Asiatic countries, p. 266 (see note 114 above).

[132]   Taylor, China Inland Mission/OMF Archives (see note 120).

[133]   Twenty Fourth Report, LonBl, 11 Apr 1862, pp. 14-15.

[134]   Recent Intelligence, Ningpo, From Miss Aldersey. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1859, new series, II: 64.

[135]   Recent Intelligence (see previous).

[136]   [Agnes Gutzlaff] (1859) Letter from Agnes Gutzlaff, Dec. 1858. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, II: 96. Here Agnes was teaching eleven adults and four girls. A later member of the Aldersey family suggested that "In Miss Aldersey's school she [Agnes] had a class of eleven blind girls". E. Aldersey White (1932) A Woman Pioneer in China. The life of Mary Ann Aldersey. London: Livingstone Press, p. 70.

[137]   Miss Aldersey's Journal, 20 May 1858. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1859, new series, II: 40.

[138]   Letter from Agnes Gutzlaff (see note 136).  The attraction of 'freak shows' seems to have been as strong in 19th century China as it was in Europe and North America. See W.H. Jefferys & J.L. Maxwell, The Diseases of China, 303-315; and D.J. MacGowan, The artificial making of wild men in China.

[139]   William Moon (1877) Light for the Blind, 3rd edn, London: Longmans, pp. 55-56.

[140]   Nineteenth Report, LonBl, 27 Apr 1857, p. 9;  Twentieth Report, LonBl, 13 Apr 1858, p. 8. Twenty-first Report, LonBl, 25 May 1859, p. 7.

[141]   CIM/OMF Archives (see note 120), Ref. CIM/JHT 74-81, Bundle 3214, letter from Dr William Moon to Mrs Sewell [? Jewell, Suvell, Servell ?] dated 19 Dec 1861. See also Bundle 3219b, typescript, 19 Jul 1863.

[142]   Third Report of the Society for Supplying Home Teachers and Books in Moon's Type, 1859, London, p. 20.  Fifth Report, Home Teaching for the Blind, 1861, London, pp. 13-14.

[143]   Mrs Russell had been Miss Mary Ann Leisk, practically an 'adopted daughter' of Miss Aldersey:  White, A Woman Pioneer, p. 68.  A.E. Moule (1879) The Story of the Cheh-Kiang Mission of the Church Missionary Society. London: Seeley, Jackson & Halliday, p. 33.

[144]   [No author shown] (1860) Notice [On Miss Aldersey]. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, III: pp. 211-212.

[145]   CMS Archives (see note 80), Ref. C CH/O 72/37B, Letter from Miss Aldersey to Rev. William A. Russell, 23 Jan 1861.

[146]   CMS Archives (see previous note).  At Hong Kong, a Foundling Hospital was run by German missionaries, originally inspired by Carl Gutzlaff, with some blind girls among the inmates. Doubtless it was a compassionate work; but Agnes had known some years of freedom and personal 'usefulness' with Miss Aldersey, after 13 years in the London Institution. The prospect of returning to a Foundling Hospital, in whatever capacity, must have seemed unpalatable. See Mrs Schroeder (1882) An account of the Berlin Foundling Hospital, Bethesda. Women's Work in China V (No.2): 138-146.

[147]   The Rev. Moule noted that "A blind Chinese girl, whom Gutzlaff had rescued and taught, was living still in our mission-house at Ningpo when we arrived in 1861, another link with the stormy days of the first half of the century." A.E. Moule [1911] Half a Century in China, London: Hodder & Stoughton, p. 207. Here, the 'blind Chinese girl' is presented as merely an inert relic from the days of Carl Gutzlaff - rather than a trained and experienced specialist teacher and evangelist, actively at work. Miss Aldersey had reason to fear that Agnes might be further disabled by this kind of dismissive note and attitude. She did not, however, foresee the 'retrospective disabling' of Agnes by later writers who, without examining primary sources, assumed that the blind young woman was linguistically incompetent and therefore could not have been much use in China.

[148]   Letter from Mr Russell. Church Missionary Record, November 1861, p. 348.  [The talents of Agnes at this period were also celebrated by an independent witness, Richard Henry Dana, who visited the Rev. Russell on 25 May 1860: "She read to us a passage fr. St. John's Gospel, with a justness of emphasis & delicacy of intonation I have rarely known equalled, & with no sign of foreign accent. She also played to us pieces from Handel, - on a very disagreeable melodeon, but well. // Mrs. Russell has a school of 7 blind Chinese girls, who plait straw, & are taught orally, chiefly by this girl, Agnes." R.H. Dana, The Journal, edited by R.F. Lucid (1968) Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, vol. III, p. 1056.]

[149]  [Mr Russell's letter] The Revival No. 167, Thursday, Oct. 2, 1862. [Found full text online, December 2010.] Russell had already communicated in January 1862 that "Agnes Gutzlaff (formerly Miss Aldersey's blind native teacher) is now at Shanghai": Rev. W.A. Russell. Female Missionary Intelligencer [1862] p. 133. A later item by Anita Silvani confirmed that it was a  "a blind industrial school" that Agnes was conducting, to be funded by local and overseas sources. "In the report of our Society, for 1864, we read that a special contribution for the support of Agnes Gutzlaff had been forwarded to her. She is now supported by local contributions, and is busily employed in her work teaching the blind."  A.F.S. (1866) Missions to the Women of China (in connexion with the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East). Written for Young Persons, edited by Miss [Elizabeth Jane] Whately. London: James Nisbet, pp. 139-140.

[150]   Wylie Memorials of Protestant Missionaries, pp. 154-155. The background of this 'intermission' is too complex to detail here. The Taiping rebellion or revolution (which initially may be viewed as an outgrowth or offshoot of certain kinds of Christian missionary work) was growing through the 1850s, holding the major city of Nanjing from 1852 to 1864, with attacks on many other locations, and final extinction in 1871. The briefer American Civil War (April 1861 to May 1865) impacted adversely on the American Presbyterians in China, through a financial crisis: "..the Foreign Committee requested that every possible retrenchment should be made", mission staff numbers were halved by illness, death, and other serious obstacles, and schools were closed. Annette Richmond (1907) The American Episcopal Church in China. New York, pp. 39-50 (quotation from pp. 40-41). [No author shown] (1864) "Taepings as they are [by] one of them." (With foreword by J.W. Worthington). London.

[151]   Extract from letter by Rev. W.H. Collins [quoting a letter from Miss Fay to Mrs Collins], 9 Jul 1866. Church Missionary Record, 1866, new series, Vol. XI: 392.]   R.A.W. (1867) The blind Chinese teacher. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, X: 33-34.

[152]   Fortieth Report, LonBl, 28 May 1878, pp. 15-16.  Carl Smith (1995) A Sense of History, p. 292, quotes from a letter (or article) in the Hong Kong Daily Press in 1888 (no precise date), giving a few notes on the blind Gutzlaff girls and suggesting that, "Sir Henry [sic] Parkes of the British Consular Service in China took a special interest in Agnes. He had married a niece [sic] of Mrs Gutzlaff and thus felt a special concern to perpetuate her pioneer efforts for the blind. He raised a fund to be used for the support of Agnes Gutzlaff. Agnes, who died at Shanghai, bequeathed her property for the relief and education of the blind." Though the Daily Press source is unverified (and includes some errors), the suggestion of Harry Parkes's interest in Agnes is plausible. A British newspaper reported in 1862 that "Mr. Consul Parkes" addressed a meeting of the London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read, praising the work of Agnes: "He had not been able to meet with her; but he felt a deep interest in her welfare, and had the pleasure to be acquainted with the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Russell, who had taken charge of her, and with Mrs. Collins." Parkes, a gifted diplomatic interpreter, remarked on the "difficulty in communicating the Chinese language in a way to be understood", yet endorsed the view that "Miss Gutzlaff had re-acquired her native language, which she accomplished in a very short time." [No author shown] London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read. The Standard [London] April 14, 1862, p.6, column 5. Parkes was already then appointed as Consul at Shanghai, and would be resident there from March 1864 to June 1865 (see note 79 above, J. Wells (2004) Parkes, Sir Harry Smith {1825-1885}, ODNB.) During that period he could quite credibly have met Agnes and ensured her adequate support through the disturbed period. Lane-Poole's detailed but uncritical biography of Parkes (note 79, above) remarked on the "many instances of his generosity to his kinsfolk" (I: 141). Parkes's sister Isabella married the Rev. Thomas McClatchie in 1846 (Lane-Poole, I: pp. 5, 14, 122), and McClatchie's practical work at Shanghai had focused on blind people, as seen above, a further reason for Parkes to interest himself in the affairs of Agnes.

[153]   The long history of music teaching, by blind musicians to blind apprentices, must not be forgotten (see references in note 3 above). Gutzlaff himself insisted that "In this ancient country we have been preceded in all our benevolent plans by some thousand years. There have been foundling hospitals and blind asylums since times immemorial. In the latter, the boys are taught by a blind teacher, who knows a good deal by heart, and the principal study is the art of divination." 11th ARMPI (1844) p. 21. Yet there could be no teaching of reading until some system of raised type had been adapted to Chinese languages. Prototype systems were invented and tried with a few individuals in Europe during at least three hundred years before Moon and Braille achieved widespread use; and in Egypt some twelve hundred years earlier (J. Lascaratos & S. Marketos, 1994, Didymus the blind: an unknown precursor of Louis Braille and Helen Keller. Documenta Ophthalmologica 86: 203-208). Probably the ingenuity to be found amongst the vast Chinese population also produced individual schemes for teaching blind people - but it is not apparent that any became established and more widely known.

[154]   Fortieth Report, LonBl, 28 May 1878, pp. 15-16. Agnes died on 12th June 1871. [This date has not been widely available. The sole source found, in the present study, is the North China Herald, Friday, 16th June, 1871, thus: "DEATH. At Shanghai, on the 12th instant, Agnes Gutzlaff, aged 29 years."  As noticed elsewhere, the value of Agnes's life and work has been diminished or dismissed by various writers having no personal acquaintance with her. It is ironic that, just four days after her death, several years were inadvertently cut from her age. In the main text above (section 5.7), Agnes was admitted to the London Blind School on the 3rd January 1842, with her age given as five and a half years. More than 29 years had passed from that enrolment to the publication of this Death notice. Subject to the accuracy of her stated age on enrolment in the London School, Agnes Gutzlaff would have been 34 or 35 when she died.]

[155]   [No author shown] The Chinese Hospital. North China Herald, 18 Apr 1874, pp. 331-334, on p. 333.  Egbert Iveson, a merchant with Bower, Hanbury & Co., had been part of the committee of the Blind Asylum at Shanghai, with Syle, (see note 107 above).

[156]   Alexander Jamieson (1873) Report on the health of Shanghai. Customs Gazette, Medical Reports, Shanghai No. 4, pp. 92-105, on p. 100, footnote.

[157]   Wong & Lien-Teh, History of Chinese Medicine, p. 380, thought the hospital was founded "early in the 'sixties", which is clearly mistaken. Fleeting mention is made of the Gutzlaff Hospital by K. MacPherson (1987) A Wilderness of Marshes; the origins of public health in Shanghai, 1843-1893, Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, pp. 65, 141, 297.  [Processing the necessary formalities following the death and property bequest of Agnes Gutzlaff, and for the opening of a new hospital, could no doubt have taken several years in most parts of 19th century China, or of many other countries with convoluted legal systems. The curious status of the 'British settlement' at Shanghai, as described by the Consul Parkes in 1864, offered comparative simplicity, which may explain the speed with which the Gutzlaff Hospital came into being. (Lane-Poole, Life of Sir Harry Parkes, I: 468-488).]

[158]   The compendium by Henry C. Burdett (1893) Hospitals and Asylums of the World, London, Churchill, Vol. III, p. 701, even stated that "The Gutylaff (sic) Hospital is for the blind" This was presumably a confusion with Agnes's blindness. In any case, by 1883 the Gutzlaff Hospital had been amalgamated with St. Luke's Hospital, formerly the Hongkew Hospital.

[159]   See Customs Gazette, Medical Reports, Shanghai, No. 4: pp. 100, 103;  7: 43-44;  8: 64-65;  11: 57-58;  12: 10-13;  14: 45-47;  15: 6-9;  17: 18, 28-31;  18: 82;  19: 19, 21-24;  21: 83-84, 92;  26: 18-19. During its short independent life, the most notable feature of the Gutzlaff Hospital may have been that on which Wong & Lien-Teh (History of Chinese Medicine, p. 420) would later comment. Jamieson's use at this hospital of the new 'antiseptic' methods was "the first record we possess of the application of Lister's discovery in China".  Jamieson was engagingly frank about his methods:  "In 1876, about a year after LISTER's method was perfected, all serious operations at the Gutzlaff Hospital, with which I was then connected, were, for about three months, performed under a douche of carbolic solution, and gauze dressings were subsequently applied. The great expense involved was, however, an obstacle..."  [There were some other problems, so Jamieson reverted to previous practice.]  "Thenceforward it was only in honour of visitors that the spray was employed and the Listerian method carried out in all its details."  Customs Gazette. Medical Reports No. 26 Dr Alexander Jamieson's Report on the health of Shanghai for the half year ended 30th Sept. 1883. pp. 18-19.

[160]   Edward Henderson (1876-77) Notes on surgical practice among the natives in Shanghai. Edinburgh Medical J. XXII: 405-414, 679-690, and on pp. 683-689; and Edinburgh Medical J. XXIII: 118-127, on p. 122.

[161]   Alexander Jamieson (1878) Report on the health of Shanghai. Customs Gazette, Medical Reports, Shanghai No. 15, pp. 1-10, on p. 6.

[162]   Notes and Items, [Bishop Boone's speech]. China Medical Missionary J., 1890, IV (No.3, Sept.) pp. 240-241.  [The location of the Gutzlaff Hospital is given a little more precisely as "in the Ningpo Road, close by the Lousa Police Station..." (elsewhere the spelling of the district is Lowza).  G. Lanning & S. Couling (1923) The History of Shanghai, vol. 2, p. 262, Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh.]

[163]   'Notes and Items', p. 241. See also note 154.

[164]   Wong & Lien-Teh, History of Chinese Medicine, pp. 290-291, 380, 420, 453.

[165]   Constance F. Gordon-Cumming (1899) The Inventor of the Numeral-Type for China. London: Downey & Co, pp. 11-14, 16-17, 21-29, 32. William H. Murray (1890) Teaching the Chinese blind. In: Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, held at Shanghai, May 7-20, 1890, pp. 302-306. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press.  Tanya C. Hart (1993) "Revelation for the Blind - William Hill Murray, Inventor of the First Braille System for Chinese", unpublished MA thesis, Eastern Michigan University.  [Ms. Hart usefully followed up correspondence concerning the mission and activities of Murray (who was her great-great grandfather) citing further articles that he wrote, material from the National Bible Society of Scotland annual reports and quarterly records (1863-1912), and other archival material available in Scotland.]  See also C.F. Gordon-Cumming (1904) Easy reading for illiterate Chinese. The East & The West II: 249-66. Miss Gordon-Cumming's polemical championing of Murray, and subsequent heated exchanges, possibly contributed to the disappearance of earlier work from the record. See also: William Campbell (1897) The Blind in China: a criticism of Miss Gordon-Cumming's Advocacy of the Murray Method. London: Sampson, Low, Marston. Some early integration of blind children in ordinary schools has also passed into oblivion, such as the efforts of Miss H.M. Van Doren at Amoy in the early 1870s with a girl called Lam-ah, described by M.E. Talmage (1878, Nov.) History of a blind girl. Women's Work in China II (1) 49-52.

[166]   Various mistaken dates were given by writers 20 or more years later, for the start of Murray's work, with the result that the Beijing school has for long dated its foundation back to 1874. Certainly, Murray was interested in blind people before he came to China in 1871, and apparently was thinking in 1873 that something should be done for blind people at Peking. But Murray spent his working days doing what he was paid to do and had committed himself to do, i.e. to sell Bibles and religious literature in public places, from bags that he and his assistants carried from place to place. Looking back later, Murray told a missionary conference in May 1890 that "It is more than twelve years since I was led to take up work for the Chinese blind." Thus he seems to have placed the start of his work in 1877 or early in 1878. Murray's concern for blind people had previously led him to suggest to other people that something should be done. He told the conference that "the interest which had been awakened in me continued to grow until the subject became the all-absorbing study of my quiet evenings. At last my Chinese helper said, 'You are always talking about it; why not start it yourself?  Take Chang, the blind man, who sometimes comes to your services; you draw out the plans and I will teach them to him.' This decided me to make a start."  Most other missionaries going from western to eastern countries had to learn to be patient, and many admired the patience of their Asian assistants. Fortunately this Chinese helper (probably Mr. Hu-Ku-Yu) finally lost patience with Murray, and told his boss that it was time for action!  Murray (1890) "Teaching the Chinese blind" (see note 165 above).  [The helper's name appears in a letter by Murray to Rev. Slowan in 1879, quoted in T.C. Hart's thesis, p.37, based on the National Bible Society of Scotland (NBSS) Quarterly Record, 1879, October, p.200.]

[167]   H.B. Rattenbury (1949) David Hill, Friend of China. London: Epworth, p. 90. W.H. Emberley (1896) School for the blind, Hankow. Work and Workers in the Mission Field V: 100-105.  According to James S. Dennis (1899) Christian Missions and Social Progress, Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, Vol. II, p. 379, the blind school at Hankow  "was founded in 1888 by Mr. Crossette, an American missionary".

 [168]  [No author shown] (1933) [Obituary] Mary W. Niles. Chinese Recorder, LXIV: 176-177.

[169]   W.W. Cadbury & M.H. Jones (1935) At the Point of a Lancet. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, pp. 149-150.

[170]   See e.g. Gracias, Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa (1510-1961);  A. Saulière (1917) A missionary tour in Bengal in 1598. Bengal: Past & Present 14 (2) 147-158.

[171]   Frank Penny (1904) The Church in Madras, London: Smith, Elder,  pp. 101, 215-216, 313-314, 385-389.

[172]   Indigenous eye surgery is described in detail, quite favorably, by the Superintendent of the Native Medical Institution, Calcutta: Peter Breton (1826) On the native mode of couching. Transactions of the Medical & Physical Society, Calcutta 2: 341-382. (But see the later, adverse verdict of Drake-Brockman, "The Indian oculist...", note 89 above). When Raja Kali Shanker Ghosal proposed an asylum for blind people at Benares, the alternative was suggested of an infirmary for eye treatment. This was "countered with the argument that the Native Hospital can perfectly well deal with all curable cases of blindness": India Office, Board's Collections, manuscript, volume F/4/955, 1827-1828, first group of correspondence. This Native Hospital had been founded in 1794, and by the 1820s was treating some 40,000 patients annually. Charles Lushington (1824) The History, Design, and Present State of the Religious, Benevolent and Charitable Institutions, Founded by the British in Calcutta and its Vicinity. Calcutta: Hindostanee Press, pp. 295, 299.

[173]   Kenneth Ingham (1956) Reformers in India 1793-1833. Cambridge University Press, pp. 115-116.

[174]   Immanuel David (1986) Reformed Church in America Missionaries in South India, 1839-1938. Bangalore: Asian Trading Corp., p. 160.

[175]   K.P. Sen Gupta (1971) The Christian Missionaries in Bengal 1793-1833, Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay, pp. 136-137, quoting correspondence with the Baptist Missionary Society in 1802 and a letter from Mrs A. Grant in 1803.  "British" charitable efforts are here mentioned, though the missionaries' names given below indicate that Germans played a significant part, as they did for much of the 19th century.

[176]   India Office, Board's Collections (see note 172 above). The first 25 years' history of Raja Kali Shanker Ghosal's Asylum was summarised in: E.A. Reade (1858) The Asylum for the Blind and Destitute - Benares. Contributions to the Benares Recorder, in 1852. Agra. (Reprinted), pp. 4-11.

[177]   India Office (see note 172).  There were official censuses in British India from 1868 onwards, and data was collected on "infirmities", including blindness. Much earlier, however, the indefatigable surveyor Buchanan reported details of beggars in Purnea District c.1809, many of whom were disabled:  Francis Buchanan (1928) An Account of the District of Purnea in 1809-10, edited by V.H. Jackson. Patna: Bihar and Orissa Research Society, p. 165.

[178]   George Smith (1892) Henry Martyn, Saint and Scholar. London: Religious Tract Society, p. 281, and pp. 283-284 (quoting from the memoirs of Mrs. M.M. Sherwood).

[179]   E. Daniel Potts (1967) British Baptist Missionaries in India 1793 -1837. Cambridge University Press, p. 69, (citing a letter from Mr. Mackintosh).

[180]   James Kennedy (1884) Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon 1839 -1877. London: Fisher Unwin, p. 16.

[181]   E. de Crespigny (1857/58) Topography of Rutnagherry. Transactions of the Medical & Physical Society, Bombay IV: 72-99, on p. 79.

[182]   Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress, Vol. 2, p. 387 (note 167 above). Kennedy, Life and Work in Benares..., p. 17 (note 180).

[183]   Buchanan, Account of the District of Purnea, p. 165 (note 177, above) mentioned "many lame, blind or other infirm persons belonging to poor families, that cannot give them food but who give them accommodation and such assistance as is within their power, especially in sickness."

[184]   Adam White (1832) Memoir of the late David Scott, Esq. [annotation by Archibald Watson], Calcutta, p. 139, note.  Also from the north east, the old Bengali ballads are a source of information on rural blindness. See the translations by Dinesh Chandra Sen (1926-1932) Eastern Bengal Ballads, University of Calcutta, e.g. Vol. I (I) p. 73; Vol. II (I) pp. 81-116 (Kanchanmala, the Bride of a Blind Baby), pp. 200, 228, 383-386, 403, 424;  Vol. IV (I) p. 50, pp. 211-237 (The Blind Lover), p. 389.

[185]   H.W. Bellew (1864) A General Report on the Yousafzais. Lahore: Government Press, p. 208.

[186]   Rajat Sanyal (1977) Indian participation in organized charity in early Calcutta, 1818-1866: a response to the poverty question. Bengal Past and Present 96: 97-113, on pp. 105-106.

[187]   Rajat Sanyal (see previous note) pp. 97, 109.  Kennedy, Life and Work in Benares, p. 156, noted the "different motives, for love of name - nam ke liye, as the natives say, a motive for which their countrymen continually give them credit - for the acquisition of religious merit, and from benevolent feeling."  Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress, Vol. 2, p. 384, is less disparaging. The need of social workers to have suitably deserving, disabled and starving clients was treated ironically in an early Tamil classic:  A. Daniélou (transl.) (1993) Manimekhalaï (The dancer with the magic bowl), London: Penguin, pp. 55-56, 149.

[188]   Charles B. Leupolt (1841) Report on Benares. Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society... Forty-First Year 1840-1841, London, p. 67. By 1833 the King's Poorhouse, Lucknow, was assisting many blind people. An asylum would soon be opened by Bombay Parsis (1845). F.M. Newbery, Magistrate, Lucknow, 1875; quoted in: C.W. Bailey [1888] A Glimpse at the Indian Mission-Field and Leper Asylums in 1886-87, London: John Shaw, p. 104. E.B. Eastwick (1881) Handbook of the Bombay Presidency, 2nd edition. London: Murray, p. 143.

[189]   Henry S. Newman [1882] Days of Grace in India. London: Partridge, p. 263.

[190]   R. Chambers, quoted in:  Agra and its Orphan Institutions. Church Missionary Intelligencer 1 (No.9), Jan 1850, 205-211, on p. 208.

[191]   John James Erhardt (1876) The Story of Secundra. Church Missionary Gleaner 3: 75-76.

[192]   Rev. C.T. Hoernle (1847) Seventh Report of the Agra Church Missionary Society & Orphan Institution Committee 1847. CMS Archives (note 80), Ref. CI 1/0 6/1/2.

[193]   T.  [Only initial shown] (1879) The blind schoolmaster of Palamcotta. Church Missionary Gleaner 6: 65 & 76-77, on p. 65.

[194]   T., (see previous note) p. 76.

[195]   During this period Cruickshanks produced a short volume of poetry, The World Before The Flood, a Sacred Poem, in Eleven Parts, published at Madras in 1843 (and now accessible online), specifically designed as "easy verse, for the instruction and amusement" of children in India. His own education had taken wing when one day he asked another boy, Müller, to read something to him, and the only book at hand was a bible. Müller opened it at random and read the story of David and Goliath, "without showing the smallest interest in the contents"; yet the blind lad's imagination was caught by the scene, and he told it back to the reader with such fire and drama that Müller thought it worth hearing more.  "That day the boys entered into an agreement that Müller should read the Bible to Cruickshanks on condition of being told the stories out of it afterwards." (T., see note 193, p. 65) That seems also to have been the birth of Cruickshanks' career as a teacher, and no doubt the reason for his later device of turning Biblical stories into simple verse.

[196]   T., (see note 193), p. 76.

[197]   T., (note 193) p. 77.

[198]   T., (note 193) p. 77. See also Rajaiah D. Paul (1961) Chosen Vessels: Lives of Ten Indian Christian Pastors of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Madras: Christian Literature Society, pp. 195-201.

[199]   Priscilla Chapman (1839) Hindoo Female Education. London: Seeley & Burnside, p. 91. A "deaf and dumb" girl was also mentioned, who received several years integrated schooling in a Calcutta orphanage (p. 137).

[200]   First Report, LonBl, 19 Apr 1839, p. 11.

[201]   Third Report, LonBl, 28 Apr 1841, p. 11.

[202]   Seventh Report, LonBl, 22 Apr 1845 [year misprinted as 1844], p. 12.

[203]   Archives of SPFE, University of Birmingham. ref. FES AM1. Minutes 56, 67, 96, 104, 120, 126, 127, 151, 305, 562, 609 & 632, concern Miss Jones's appointment and service as an SPFE agent, until her marriage in 1839 [1838?]. Glimpses can be traced of Jane Jones and her life and work before Benares. From the 'Neech Family Tree' (google), it appears that Jane Chambers Jones was the second of seven children, three others of whom reached adulthood (Eliza, Samuel and Deliana). Her parents were John Jones (1784-1850) and Hannah Simpson (1784-1847), John being a boat builder at Lowestoft on the East Anglian coast, then at the nearby town of Beccles. During Jane's girlhood she saw five siblings added to the family; and as the oldest girl, presumably helped her mother care for them. One brother died when Jane was 10, another when she was 14. (The Neech site suggests that Jane's sister, Eliza Delia Jones, accompanied her to Benares, and then married John Smail in India. However, Jane actually went to Burdwan and worked there for nearly three years, before moving to Benares. That Eliza did marry Smail is confirmed by a report in July 1869, of the death in India of John Smail, "son-in-law of the late John Jones of Beccles". - East Suffolk Gazette and Beccles and Bungay Weekly News, July 1869, page 5, column 5 - online transcription).
An item from the 'Chinese-and-India-Female-Education Society', Missionary Register, Sept. 1835, p. 408, noted that "In June [1835], three other Ladies sailed for Bengal; under the care of the Rev. Michael Wilkinson and his Wife, and in company with the Bishop of Madras: of these ... Miss Jane Jones [will be stationed] at Burdwan, as assistant to Mrs. Weitbrecht, in the charge of a promising Orphan Establishment. Local resources will be made available for their permanent support, to which this Society is not pledged."  The published Memoir of the Rev. John James Weitbrecht, by Mrs Weitbrecht (1854), concerning her husband and the Burdwan Mission (North India), offers further insights. Jane belonged to a congregation pastored by the Rev. Francis Cunningham [Rector of Pakefield (next to Lowestoft) 1814-1856, and Vicar of St Margaret's, Lowestoft, 1830-1856.] Cunningham happened to meet Rev. Weitbrecht in Switzerland in 1827 or 1828 (p.16) Since that meeting, Jane had grown up and received some training as a teacher of infants. She arrived at Burdwan bringing "encouraging letters from the Rev. F. Cunningham" (p.144). Meanwhile, another CMS missionary and friend of the Weitbrechts, Charles Leupolt, at Sigra, Benares, was earnestly seeking the right person to become his wife... (pp. 144-45, 186). Jane appeared as "a pious young person ... who assists Mrs Weitbrecht in her orphan school" (p. 153), and was one of two "most faithful nurses" when the Weitbrechts' little daughter was dying (p.162). On a happier occasion, Bishop Daniel Wilson came from Calcutta (in August 1837 ?) "to examine the orphan girls' and infant schools; he seemed exceedingly gratified by the pleasing progress of the children, and applauded and encouraged Miss Jones very warmly. Two of the boys in the infants school answered all his questions in English very readily..." (p.182)  In January 1838, "dear brother Leupolt" again visited Burdwan, still "in the hope of finding a suitable helpmate, as his work increases so much at Benares" (p.186). In April 1838, "Mr Leupolt sought the hand of Miss Jones, the truly excellent teacher in the Burdwan girls' school, who was united with him a few months after" (pp. 188-189, 191).
A more independent observer was William Adam, who passed through Burdwan in March and April 1836 during his minutely detailed educational survey. "The only other institution in this district to be noticed is an infants' school situated on the Church Mission premises in the neighbourhood of Burdwan. The children are about 15 in number of both sexes, partly native christian children, and partly orphans. They are under the care of Miss Jones, lately arrived from England and well acquainted with the modes of infant instruction in use there. The ear is chiefly taught and the exercises are pronounced in recitative."   W. Adam (1838) Third Report on the State of Education in Bengal, (edited by J. DiBona) Calcutta, pp. 188, 268.  (Adam also considered that Burdwan had the highest level of public instruction in Bengal, p. 306; but even that level was a very modest one).

[204]   C.B. Leupolt (1884) Further Recollections of an Indian Missionary. London: Nisbet, pp. 243-247.

[205]  Leupolt (see previous note) p. 351.

[206]  Leupolt (see note 204), p. 198.

[207]  [William Moon] Fifth Report, Home Teaching for the Blind, 1861, London, pp. 12-13. The Benares Mission in fact had some of Moon's materials in 1856, or earlier: Mrs. W. Fison (ed.) (1859) Darkness and Light; or brief memorials of two blind deaf mutes: with facts relating to the origin of Moon's system  etc. London: Wertheim, Macintosh & Hunt, p. 19.  Moon's system was reportedly being used in 1853 by an unnamed Indian army officer  "in preparing a Gospel in Hindustani for the multitudes of blind in India". [William Moon] (1853) Fifth Annual Report of the Fund for Embossing Books for the Blind, by Wm. Moon, on his Improved System of Reading. Brighton. p.9.

[208]   Leupolt, Further Recollections, p. 245: "For a considerable time Mrs. Leupolt paid the teacher, supplied the books, and rewarded the boys. At last the Commissioner and Director of Public Instruction visited the boys to ascertain their progress. After this visit of inspection Mrs. Leupolt had no longer to defray the teacher's expenses; moreover, his Honour, the Lieut.-Governor, had the thanks of Government conveyed to her for what she had effected for the blind. From this time the system was successfully introduced in several stations."  The Commissioner was probably Edward Anderton Reade, who was a keen supporter of Christians engaged in welfare work.  See also:  Mrs Fuchs (1864) A letter from Banares. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, VII: 24-26: "The authorities themselves pay a Christian teacher to instruct the children, boys and girls, about twenty in number, belonging to the asylum."  She mentioned in passing that "About twenty of my blind women were carried off by cholera".  (Mrs Fuchs had been Amalie Schöber, before marrying John Fuchs in 1847. Her husband was an associate of Charles Leupolt and William Smith at Benares, and served as a missionary from 1847 to 1878).

[209]   Leupolt, Further Recollections.  Some of the materials devised by Jane Leupolt, namely "Six copies of the First Book for the Blind in Hindi. Seven pages of the Second Book for the Blind, in Hindi"  were also sent to Paris. See James Long (1867) Descriptive catalogue of vernacular books and pamphlets forwarded by the Government of India to the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867. Calcutta; (and in Bengali, Bamla granthera talika, 1867).

[210]   A. Shakespear, President, and Members of the Committee of Raja Kalee Shunkur's Asylum, Benares ... Annual report and accounts of the Asylum for the year 1869. Printed in Annual Report of the Dispensaries of the North-Western Provinces for the Year 1869, Allahabad, 1870, Appendix II, pp. 26A-27A.  [There are grounds to think that this sort of work actually started much earlier. Further, it is likely that some vocational work had already been undertaken with and by blind young people at the Military Orphan establishments in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.]

[211]   Shakespear, Annual Report (see previous note).

[212]   Leupolt, Further Recollections, p. 245.  In fact, a significant number of Indian Muslim teachers were blind men who had memorised the Holy Qur'an and who taught this, or other books, orally to classes of boys. On the negative side, a report on indigenous schools in the Punjab noted that more than 4000 teachers could not read or write, and that "A larger number are blind or otherwise disabled." [Government of India] (1883) Report on the State of Education in the Punjab and its Dependencies for the Year 1882-83, Lahore, p. 8.  More positively, the integrated education of blind students was reported from the famous training institute for Mullahs at Deoband in the 1870s. See: G.W. Leitner (1882) History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab since Annexation and in 1882, Lahore: Republican Books, Part I, p. 79. Leitner named seven blind men who were noteworthy schoolteachers in the Punjab (Leitner, Part II, pp. 1, 17, 21, 35-36, 148, 161).  Blind teachers would have a place of honour at private and public Muslim functions, which commenced with a recitation from the Holy Qur'an, given by the teacher.

[213]   Mrs Dauble [Daeuble] (1866) Our Orphans at Secundra. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, IX: 24-27, 37-40.  (The author's married name, and that of her husband, appear variously as Dauble, Daeuble, Däuble and Daüble. She was born Mary Elsässer, and married the Rev. Carl Gustav Daüble in 1857).

[214]  Mrs Dauble, Our Orphans.  [There were merits in this 'integrated' setting. Yet it may have caused an obstacle, for some of the blind girls who were thus scattered among many able-bodied children in an orphanage. Most likely there were many willing hands in every corner, with the result that it would have been difficult to set up a learning situation in which a blind girl such as Gertrude could have specific teaching to extend her repertoire of skills, ending up capable of all the kitchen tasks, rather than being just 'able to help' in baking chapattis.]

[215]   C.G. Daeuble (1865) Our orphans at Secundra, Agra, North India (continued). Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, VIII: 149-151.

[216]   Mrs Maria Erhardt (1971) Girls' Orphanage, Secundra, Agra, Letter from Mrs. Erhardt. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, XIV: 164-165.  (Maria Sophia Deerr became Mrs. Erhardt in 1856).
[It is not clear how far the proposed extension of work at Secundra actually took place, or how far its results extended. In the 1880s, missionary women at Amritsar were looking for resources for their blind pupils, which were scarce. However, the problem might have been one of finding material with an embossed representation of the Arabic or Persian script for Urdu, rather than the Devanagari script, representing Hindi. Charles Leupolt (Further Recollections, 1884, pp. 243-247) mentioned the reverse problem from two decades earlier: William Moon's earlier printing efforts produced the Gospel of St John in embossed script representing Urdu, but at Benares, the blind readers "required Hindi; so Mrs. Leupolt set to work to form an alphabet adapted to the Hindi, which is also the Sanscrit alphabet. After repeated efforts and failures she at last succeeded in forming a very simple alphabet, which yet strictly followed the systematic arrangement of the Hindi alphabet."
The British and Foreign Bible Society (Sixty-First Report, 1865, pp. 161-162) mentioning "Scriptures for the blind" in the context of its Calcutta branch, noted that "The problem of forming an alphabet for the native tongues of India is one of great interest; and Mrs Leupolt, of Benares, has devoted herself to it with considerable success. She has prepared an alphabet and set of types for the Bengali; and with patient care, it will now be possible to print in that language portions of scripture which, read by fingers, may.." {..give enlightenment to the reader.}  As Charles Leupolt would point out later, the alphabet devised by his wife had the advantage that "it is suited to all the languages of India which are based on the Sanscrit alphabet." Further Recollections, p. 246. Thus it would serve both those at Benares who wished to read Hindi, and those at Calcutta who were more likely to read Bengali.]

[217]   Mrs Erhardt (1880) Schools in Secundra, Agra. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, XXII: 24-26. (This should have been Vol. XXIII.  Volumes for 1876 and 1877 were both numbered XIX. The mistake was not corrected).

[218]   [No author shown] (1870) India. The Friend, Oct 1870, new series, 10: 232.  Newman, Days of Grace in India, pp. 278-279.  [The usefulness of the protected flat roof in the education of blind children was underlined by Sarah Hewlett, writing of the Amritsar school: "Play has its very real place in these young lives, as any friend would realize who could see our top roof after chapel any morning. Safely railed around, it affords, forty feet above the city street, a large, healthy play-ground, and there is no doubt in the mind of any one in the house as to the zest and vigour with which exercise is taken." Sarah S. Hewlett (1898) "They Shall See His Face." Stories of God's Grace in work among the blind and others in India, Oxford: Alden, pp. 126-127. This book, with 13 full page photographs (including one of Miss Asho), is perhaps unique in telling many stories of the lives of blind Indians in North India, both children and adults, during the later 19th century, along with impassioned pleas to its readership (in imperial Britain) to assist in bringing light to the blind, whether physically or spiritually.]

[219]   Leupolt, Further Recollections.

[220]   [Charles Benjamin Leupolt], Church Missionary Gleaner, 1874, 1: 50-51.

[221]   J. Richter (1908) A History of Missions in India, transl. S.H. Moore. Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, p. 332.

[222]   Hyppolite van Landeghem [1863] Charity Misapplied. When Restored to Society, After Having Been Immured for Several Years in Exile Schools (Where They are Supposed to be Educated), the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb are Found to be Incapable of Self-Support; Hence They Often Become Street Mendicants or Inmates of Workhouses. Why? The Question Considered and Answered, 2nd edition, London.  Apart from (self)-publishing this book with its polemical sub-title, Hyppolite van Landeghem (born c. 1837 in Belgium, died 1910, London) had married a sighted woman, Maria Dunham, and had four daughters, born in Peckham, Slough, and Folkestone. (P. Harper, personal communication.]

[223]   Van Landeghem, pp. 32-33.  In work by G.A. Philips (2004) The Blind in British Society: Charity, State and Community c. 1780-1930, Aldershot: Ashgate, Van Landeghem has a minor role, mainly in pp. 148-152, where Philips discusses a "mordant coterie" of social critics, several of whom were capable and educated blind men in London. Their unofficial leader or rallying point was John Bird, a former surgeon who "lost his sight some time between 1846 and 1851", and thereafter studied and wrote about blindness and blind people.

[224]   [William Moon] (1864) Eighth Report & Speeches at the Annual Meeting. Society for Supplying Home Teachers and Books in Moon's Type etc. London, pp. 9-10. Robert Clark (1904) The Missions of the Church Missionary Society and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society in the Punjab and Sindh, edited and revised by Robert Maconachie, London: Church Missionary Society, pp. 73-74, 218.  [Mrs Fitzpatrick (née Anna Longridge Gooch) married the Rev. Thomas Henry Fitzpatrick in April 1852, and died in 1863. Mrs Strawbridge seems to have been Matilda Victoria (maiden surname not found), who married Alfred Strawbridge and had three children in the Punjab, born in 1855, 1856, 1861. Their son, William Alfred Strawbridge, would later become a clergyman in England.]

[225]  [William Moon] (1864) Eighth Report & Speeches... (note 224), pp. 9-10.  The report further mentions that in 1862, "Sarah married a native Christian, and removed to a village about twenty miles from Amritzar, where, attracted by the sight of a Blind girl reading, many of the women of the village came to see and hear..." (p. 10). [This is one of rather few glimpses of active blind women in the rural Punjab.]

[226]   Infanticide of blind girl babies and infants was reported from South India, on the basis of 25 years' experience, by Mrs Albrecht (1914) Discussion, Report of the International Conference of the Blind... Church House, Westminster... 1914, Bradbury, Agnew, p. 440. She considered that "blind boys may be allowed to live".

[227]   Hewlett "They Shall See His Face.", p. 48. The name 'Asho' (sometimes also given as 'Asu'), in the context of a Muslim family, probably derives from Aisha or Ayesha, the name of the prophet Muhammad's youngest wife, and Asho would later be known by this name and spelling, with an honorific 'Bibi' before it (see Ethel Mark in note 250, below, who writes of 'Bibi Ayesha'). Asho's story occupies pp. 44-54 in Hewlett's book, and includes (opposite p. 48) a fine, clear photograph of Asho sitting in a cane armchair with an open book, her right hand reading the Moon or Braille script. (In pp. 111-114, Hewlett gives the story of another "Aishan Bibi" at St Catherine's around 1898, also a blind woman from a Muslim family; however, that one took the name "Martha" at her baptism in the Christian faith, and further reference to her has not been found.)

[228]   Archives of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, University of Birmingham. ref. CEZ/G/EA2/2C  Reminiscences of Miss Mary Fuller, 20th and 24th June, 1913.   C.G. (1885) In Memoriam, Emma Fuller. Indian Female Evangelist VIII (No. 55): 103-9, on pp. 103-104.

[229]   Hewlett, "They Shall See His Face." p. 50.

[230]   Hewlett, p. 52.  Miss Fuller (1880) Lahore, Report. Indian Female Evangelist V: 1212-1215. Miss Fuller (1882) Lahore Zenana Report, October 31, 1880 to October 31, 1881. Indian Female Evangelist VI (No.41): 221-225.  Missionary activists such as Miss Hewlett (They Shall See, pp. 51-53) were well aware of the criticisms that would be heaped upon them from various sides for giving shelter to young 'converts', against the wishes of their family. Leaving aside the religious issues, Hewlett suggested that any woman reader might try to imagine herself, "blind, under fourteen years of age, and about to be forced to marry a grown-up blind Mohammedan (probably 'very much married' before!)" - and this would be in an Indian situation with the orphan girl having no legal defence or recourse against the wishes and control of her husband. Not waiting for the 'critical school' of post-colonial analysis, Hewlett lashed her critics a hundred years earlier, "who have not the slightest knowledge of the country, its peoples, its religions" and who, despite the ready availability of information, remain "content to be absolutely ignorant concerning them." (p. 52)

[231]   Charlotte M. Tucker (1881) The Converts' Industrial Home. India's Women 1: 89-90.  Margaret Smith (1881) Report from Amritsar. India's Women 1: 169-173.  [The unnamed Christian teacher mentioned here was apparently another well-instructed blind Indian woman of the Punjab, who may have been a role model for Miss Asho.]

[232]   Hewlett, "They Shall See His Face.", pp. 52-53. [No author shown] (1886) An appeal for Ferozepore. Indian Female Evangelist, VIII (No. 57), pp. 212-214.

[233]   M.E. Hume Griffith (1927) Dust of Gold. London: Church of England Zenana Mission Society, p. 30.

[234]   Hewlett, "They Shall See His Face.", p. 45. [Hewlett herself had been at risk of blindness from eye infection as a child, and seems to have learnt to read Moon script then, although her eyes did in fact recover. Apart from this point, little has been discovered about her childhood. The sixth of seven children, Sarah Secunda Hewlett (1837-1914) acquired her middle name because the first 'Sarah Emma Hewlett' (b. 1837) died in infancy.  Sarah became a remarkable woman missionary, who opened a two-room dispensary in the Muslim quarter of Amritsar city in 1880, and saw the work grow year by year into a hospital, maternity centre, training centre for nurses and pharmaceutical compounders, school and training workshop for blind children and adults, convalescent home for destitute women, and many other offshoots and further dispensaries, in addition to an uncompromising Christian evangelism among the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh population. Her descriptions of the local population and their beliefs might now be considered both negatively biased and exaggerated; yet it would be hard to fault Hewlett's commitment to practical care and health education that would eventually change the physical conditions in which girls and women had been obliged to live by centuries of tradition.]

[235]   Hewlett, They Shall See, p. 48.

[236]   Hewlett, They Shall See, p. 48.  A few biographical notes mentioning four Sharp sisters: Annie, Frances, Dr. Maria, and Emily, and an unnamed brother, were published in 1994 by R.S. Chauhan, Triumph of the Spirit, 19-22. Chauhan included a picture of Annie Sharp, and the fact that "their father was Samuel Sharp, who came from Chilworth, Surrey". With the added power of Google, the Chilworth clue now reveals more on this family. Samuel Sharp [1814-1886] was a successful businessman and landowner, who ran a gunpowder factory at Chilworth with some of his sons. When his widow, Ellen Sharp (b. 1818), died in 1902, the beneficiaries of her will were: the widow of Albert;  Sidney;  William;  Frederick;  John;  Charles;  Emily;  Frances;  Annie; and Maria. (By the time Ellen's estate was finally wound up in 1920, Annie, Frederick and Maria had all died). One Sharp sister spoke briefly at a conference on the blind in Britain in 1902, beginning by saying "I am not a speaker, nor am I a worker among the Blind, but my sister in India, Miss Annie Sharp, wished me to come to this conference." Most likely this was Emily, but possibly Maria. [Google search: "ESTATES Settled on Marriage of Samuel Sharp and Ellen Napper" : "Title Deeds, 1846-1920".]  Dr Maria Sharp went to work at a new hospital in Batala, Punjab, in 1897, as described, with a picture of her, in Barnes (1901) Between Life and Death, pp. 185-86.  An obituary notice reported that Frederick Sharp worked as a civil engineer in Mysore, India, and in Burma, from 1875 to 1895. He returned to England and ran a pottery company at Parkstone, Dorset (where Frances also lived when she returned from India). [No author shown] Obituary, Frederick Sharp 1854-1906. Minutes of Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, Vol. 168, issue 1907, p. 352.

[237]   Annie Sharp (1890) Letter, dated 7 Oct 1889, to G. Martin Tait, [reprint]. India's Women 10: 221-222, on p. 221.

[238]   Sharp (see previous note).

[239]   Hewlett, "They Shall See His Face.", pp. 52-53.  There were problems even with the mat work. Sharp remarked thriftily that one of the old women, who "elected to do this work instead of knitting with wool", produced such poor results that  "when she has done a certain amount it is undone, wound up and given to her again, and she goes on quite happily; and we thus prevent her spoiling any quantity of string". Annie Sharp (1889) Light for the blind. India's Women 9: 206-208, on p. 206. (However, the attitudes of the sighted staff may have been affected adversely by carrying out this deception on the elderly blind woman).

[240]   Hewlett, "They Shall See His Face.", p. 50.

[241]   Hewlett, p. 50.  Seven years later Hewlett's portrayal of the more mature teacher and her colleagues was quoted: "In the case of two women who confessed Christ in baptism this year, and in the case of two catechumens now under instruction, Asho's work has evidently been much blessed. They were all in-patients. Our blind Biblewomen teach Braille reading to any blind patients who come, and we are now training two blind Biblewomen who have been sent from our Blind Institute at Rajpur for the purpose. In this work of training, our three old blind Biblewomen take a very active part, having daily school in the afternoons in addition to their regular Dispensary work. They also spend their spare time in writing out Scriptures for others, often going on into the night, regardless of fatigue, with this extra and voluntary service." British and Foreign Bible Society [1905] Seed Corn for the World - a popular illustrated report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the year 1904-5..., p. 36. London: Bible House. (One benefit of moving on to Braille was that the blind teachers could themselves use a small Braille printer to copy out passages for their pupils. Portable printers were not available for the Moon system until the 1980s).

[242]   Sharp, Letter, dated 7 Oct 1889, p. 222 (see note 237).

[243]   Sharp, Letter, p. 221.

[244]  [Government of India.] Progress of Education in India, 1897-98 to 1901-02. Fourth Quinquennial Review, Vol. 1, London: HMSO, 1904, p. 396. Annie Sharp, in a letter of condolence to Miss Moon on the death of Dr Moon in October 1894, mentioned "our eight beautiful volumes of 'Pilgrim's Progress' in Urdu", [which the Moon Society had recently published and sent out to Amritsar, for the blind readers in North India.] (The letter was printed in the Forty-Seventh Annual Report of Moon's Society, Brighton, 1895, p. 10).  Missionaries coming in contact with blind orphans or neglected blind children were sending them to Amritsar from far distant places: Miss F. Sharp (1898) St. Catherine's Hospital. India's Women 18: 114-115.

[245]   Progress of Education, (note 244), p. 396.

[246]   CEZMS Archives (see note 228), CEZ/C/AM1 Vol. 1, Roll of  Missionaries Register, Pasted slip on inside cover of Register, and p. 61.

[247]   Chauhan, The Triumph of the Spirit, p. 21.

[248]   Hume Griffith, Dust of Gold, p. 30.  In Robert Clark's account of medical and blind work at Amritsar. The Missions of the Church Missionary Society, pp. 58-61, Asho is not even named.

[249]   Irene H. Barnes (1899) Behind the Pardah. The story of C.E.Z.M.S. work in India. London: Marshall Brothers, p. 126.

[250]  Ethel Mark (1930) in: Report of St. Catherine's Hospital (C.E.Z.M.S.) Amritsar April 1929 - April 1930, pp. 24-25.  Archives of CEZMS, CEZ/G EA/5.

[251]   Anne J. Askwith (1890) 'Sarah Tucker Institution' and Branch Schools; or, the Girls of Tinnevelly. India's Women 10: 307-310.  Nora Brockway (1949) A Larger Way for Women, Madras: Oxford University Press, mentions work by women missionaries teaching children with disabilities (pp. 103-106), one being Miss Askwith, who  "began by taking six or seven blind children into her bungalow and teaching them to weave and to help in the garden. She was soon devising means for helping a much larger number of blind boys and girls." (p. 104) (Photo of Miss Askwith, opposite p. 112). [Genealogical data via Google seems to suggest that Anne Jane Askwith was born in January 1851, probably at Ripon, Yorkshire, the third of 14 children. Ten of them were boys, of whom seven became clergymen (which was not their father's profession). One might infer from this that the children grew up in a family that encouraged active religious practice, commitment, and service.]

[252]   Anne J. Askwith (1884) Report from Sarah Tucker Institution. India's Women 4: 289-293.  In the following journal issue (vol. 5, p. 305), there is a note about a small girl acting as a sighted guide for Miss Marial.

[253]   Anne J. Askwith (1901) The blind children of Palamcotta. Church Missionary Gleaner 28: 124-125.

[254]  [Government of India] (1896) Report on Public Instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1895-96. Madras, p. 104.

[255]   Askwith, 'The blind children', p. 125.  From this work, a school for deaf children developed under Florence Swainson; and in 1907 the education of a deaf and blind child named Pyari was reported: "She has responded in a marked degree to the training bestowed on her, and bids fair to be another Helen Keller."  M. Saumarez Smith (1915) C.E.Z.M.S. Work among the Deaf in India & Ceylon. London: Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, p. 7.

[256]   Some may wish to argue that there was further 'disadvantage' in being part of a colonised people. In a general sense this may indeed count as a disadvantage; yet it is by no means apparent that active blind people fared better in China, which was hardly colonised, by comparison with India; or did worse in British India as compared with the Indian 'Native States'.  Even those who would conventionally be regarded as powerful, i.e. male, sighted, westerners, were present in the 'irregular' role of missionary. They felt obliged from time to time to dissent from 'official' policies, e.g. the opium trade with China, or the East India Company's reluctance to tackle gross social evils; and were thus partly distinguishable from the conventionally denounced 'forces of colonialism'.

[257]   Dev Raj Seth [c.1936?] "A History of Western Education in India" 1854-1920. A thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, p. 285. [No date or place shown. Typescript, library of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Latest reference cited is from 1933].

[258]   W.W. Taylor & I.W. Taylor (1970) Services for the Handicapped in India. New York: International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, pp. 155, 165-166.

[259]   For references to modern work in China, see M. Miles, Disability and Deafness in East Asia,  www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles200708.html  For India, there is a considerable literature, see e.g. B. Punani & N. Rawal (1987) Guidelines for Social and Economic Rehabilitation of the Rural Blind. Bombay: National Association for the Blind;  T.B. Singh (1990) Services for visually impaired people in India, J. Visual Impairment & Blindness 84: 286-93 (listing 98 references); Lakshman Prasad (1994) Rehabilitation of the Physically Handicapped. Delhi: Konark.

 

REFERENCES

NB  Some archives containing cited or quoted material are listed first (for which detailed references appear in the notes above). Subsequent material is in alphabetical order of first author, apart from a few "[No author shown]" items, which appear at the start. (The latter were not all necessarily 'Anonymous' in the sense that the author's identity was concealed. Some have been extracted by editors from an impersonal report).

 

Archives of the CIM/OMF  [China Inland Mission / Overseas Mission Fellowship], School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Archives of the CEZMS [Church of England Zenana Missionary Society], University of Birmingham.

Archives of the CMS [Church Missionary Society], University of Birmingham.

Archives of the London Missionary Society, Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Archives of the Royal London Society for the Blind, Female Register.

Archives of the SPFE [Society for Promoting Female Education in the East], University of Birmingham.

India Office, Board's Collections. The British Library.

 

*****

[No author shown] (1833) Ophthalmic hospital at Macao. Chinese Repository, II: 270-273.

[No author shown] (1842) The Missionary repository for youth, and Sunday school missionary magazine for 1842. London: John Snow.

[No author shown] (1855) Farewell Meeting, 2 Aug 1855, London. Female Missionary Intelligencer, II: 110-119.

[No author shown] [1859]  The Blind and their Books: with some account of Laura Gutzlaff, a native of China... London: Wertheim, Macintosh & Hunt.

[No author shown] (1860) Notice [On Miss Aldersey]. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, III: pp. 211-212.

[No author shown] London Society for Teaching the Blind to Read. The Standard [London] April 14, 1862, p.6, column 5, paragraph 7.

[No author shown] (1864) "Taepings as they are [by] one of them." With foreword by J.W. Worthington. London.

[No author shown] (1870, October) India. The Friend, new series, 10: 232.

[No author shown] (1874) The Chinese Hospital. North China Herald, 18 Apr 1874, pp. 331-334.

[No author shown] (1876, October) Deaf-Mutism in China. American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, XXI (No.4) 256-257.

[No author shown] (1877) Statistics of the American Protestant Episcopal Mission. Chinese Recorder, VIII: pp. 310-312, on p. 311.

[No author shown] (1886) An appeal for Ferozepore. Indian Female Evangelist, VIII (No. 57), pp. 212-214.

[No author shown] (1896) Our missionary corner. The Silent Messenger, July 1896, No. 9, II: 46-47.

[No author shown] (1907) Obituary, Frederick Sharp 1854-1906. Minutes of Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, Vol. 168, issue 1907, p. 352.

[No author shown] (1933) [Obituary] Mary W. Niles. Chinese Recorder, LXIV: 176-177.

 

A.F.S. [Anita Silvani] (1866) Missions to the Women of China (in connexion with the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East). Written for Young Persons, edited by Miss [Elizabeth Jane] Whately. London: James Nisbet.

ADAM, William (1838) Third Report on the State of Education in Bengal (Bengal Military Orphan Press, Calcutta), edited by  Joseph DiBona (1983) New Delhi: Biblia Impex.

AIRD, Andrew (1894) Glimpses of Old Glasgow. Glasgow: Aird & Coghill.

ALBRECHT, Mrs (1914) [In: Discussion.] Report of the International Conference of the Blind... Church House, Westminster... 1914. Bradbury, Agnew.

ALDERSEY, Mary Ann (1857) Miss Aldersey's Journal, 6 Jun 1856. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1857, (No. xliv), IV: 41.

ALDERSEY, M.A. (1857) A Chinese asylum, Ningpo, 15 Apr 1857. Female Missionary Intelligencer (No. xlix), IV: 102-103.

ALDERSEY, M.A. (1858) Miss Aldersey's Journal, 16 Jan 1858. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, I: 110-111.

ALDERSEY, M.A. (1859) Recent Intelligence, Ningpo, From Miss Aldersey. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1859, new series, II: 64.

ASKWITH, Anne Jane (1884) Report from Sarah Tucker Institution. India's Women 4: 289-293.

ASKWITH, A.J. (1890) 'Sarah Tucker Institution' and Branch Schools; or, the Girls of Tinnevelly'. India's Women 10: 307-310.

ASKWITH, A.J. (1901) The blind children of Palamcotta. Church Missionary Gleaner 28: 124-125.

BAILEY, C.W. [1888] A Glimpse at the Indian Mission-Field and Leper Asylums in 1886-87. London: John Shaw.

BARNES, Irene H. (1899) Behind the Pardah. The story of C.E.Z.M.S. work in India. London: Marshall Brothers.

BARNES, I.H. (1901) Between Life and Death; the Story of the C.E.Z.M.S. Medical Missions in India, China, and Ceylon. London: Marshall Bros.

BELLEW, H.W. (1864) A General Report on the Yousafzais. Lahore: Government Press.

BERG, Otto B. (1987) Religion, Protestant. In: J. Van Cleve, ed., Gallaudet Encyclopedia of Deaf People and Deafness, II: 433-440. New York: McGraw-Hill.

BLODGET, H. (1891) Mr. Murray's method of applying Braille's system for the instruction of the blind. Chinese Recorder XXII (6) 256-260.

BODEN, F. (1893) Work for the blind in China. Work & Workers in the Mission Field II: 471-475.

BOONE, W.J. (1856) Report to the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Spirit of Missions XXI: 653-658

BOONE, W.J. (1890) Notes and Items, [Bishop Boone's speech]. China Medical Missionary J., 1890, IV (No.3, Sept.) pp. 240-241.

BRETON, Peter (1826) On the native mode of couching. Transactions of the Medical & Physical Society, Calcutta 2: 341-382.

BRITISH and Foreign Bible Society (1865) Sixty-First Report. London.

BRITISH and Foreign Bible Society [1905] Seed Corn for the World - a popular illustrated report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the year 1904-5..., p. 36. London: Bible House.

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BROOMHALL, A.J. (1982) Hudson Taylor & China's Open Century. Book Three. If I Had a Thousand Lives. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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CHING, Lucy (1980) One of the Lucky Ones. Hong Kong: Gulliver. Reprint 1982, London: Souvenir.

 

CLARK, Robert (1904) The Missions of the Church Missionary Society and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society in the Punjab and Sindh, edited and revised by Robert Maconachie. London: Church Missionary Society.

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COULING, Samuel (1917) Blind in China, The. Encyclopedia Sinica. London: Oxford University Press, pp. 51-52.

DAEUBLE, Carl G. (1865) Our orphans at Secundra, Agra, North India (continued). Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, VIII: 149-151.

DAEUBLE, Mrs Mary (1866) Our Orphans at Secundra. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, IX: 24-27, 37-40.

DANA, R.H. The Journal of Richard Henry Dana, Jr., edited by R.F. Lucid (1968) Belknap Press, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass.

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DE CRESPIGNY, E. (1857/58) Topography of Rutnagherry. Transactions of the Medical & Physical Society, Bombay IV: 72-99.

DENNIS, Rev. James S. (1899) Christian Missions and Social Progress. A sociological study of foreign missions. Edinburgh & London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier.

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DWIGHT, H.O., Tupper, H.A., & Munsell, E. (1904) The Encyclopedia of Missions. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

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EASTWICK, Edward B. (1881) Handbook of the Bombay Presidency, 2nd edn. London: Murray.

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EMBERLEY, W.H. (1896) School for the blind, Hankow. Work and Workers in the Mission Field V: 100-105.

EPSTEIN, Irving (1988) Special educational provision in the People's Republic of China. Comparative Education 24: 365-375.

ERHARDT, John James (1876) The Story of Secundra. Church Missionary Gleaner 3: 75-76.

ERHARDT, Mrs [Maria] (1871) Girls' Orphanage, Secundra, Agra, Letter from Mrs. Erhardt. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, XIV: 164-165.

ERHARDT, Mrs M. (1880) Schools in Secundra, Agra. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, XXII: 24-26.  [NB This should have been Vol. XXIII.  Volumes for 1876 and 1877 were both numbered XIX. The mistake was not corrected in subsequent volumes.]

ESTATES Settled on Marriage of Samuel Sharp and Ellen Napper Including Mapledrakes and Gavel Wood Farm and Mascalls Farm, Ewhurst, and Other Lands in Cranleigh and Barking, Essex: Title Deeds, 1846-1920.  [Found online in November 2010.]

FAIRBANK, John K. (1994) China. A New History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

FAY, Lydia (1869) Letter from Miss Fay, 18 Jul 1869. Spirit of Missions, XXXIV: 604-608.

Female Agency among the Heathen as recorded in the history and correspondence of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, founded in the year 1834. (1850) London: Edward Suter.

FISH, M.W. (1856) Letter (dated 5 Nov 1855). Spirit of Missions, XXI: 156-158.

FISON, Mrs. W. (ed.) (1859) Darkness and Light; or brief memorials of two blind deaf mutes: with facts relating to the origin of Moon's system  etc. London: Wertheim, Macintosh & Hunt.

FRYER, George (1914) Work among the blind in China. In: D. MacGillivray (ed.) The China Mission Year Book, 1914, Shanghai: Christian Literature Society for China.

FRYER, G. (1931) The blind in Asiatic countries. In: H. Lende, E.C. McKay & S.C. Swift (eds) Proceedings of the World Conference on Work for the Blind. New York.

FUCHS, Mrs [Amalie] (1864) A letter from Banares. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, VII: 24-6.

FULLER, Miss [Emma] (1880) Lahore, Report. Indian Female Evangelist V: 1212-1215.

FULLER, Emma (1882) Lahore Zenana Report, October 31, 1880 to October 31, 1881. Indian Female Evangelist VI (No.41): 221-225.

FULLER, Mary (1913) Reminiscences of Miss Mary Fuller, 20th and 24th June, 1913. Archives of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, University of Birmingham. ref. CEZ/G/EA2/2C.

GAMBLE, Sidney D. & John S. Burgess (1921) Peking: A Social Survey. London: Humphrey Milford.

GAMEWELL, Mary N. (1916) The Gateway to China. Pictures of Shanghai. New York: Revell.

GANGULI, K.M. (transl.) (1883-1896, reprint 1993) The Mahabharata. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.

GORDON-CUMMING, Constance F. (1899) The Inventor of the Numeral-Type for China. London, Downey & Co.

GORDON-CUMMING, C.F. (1904) Easy reading for illiterate Chinese. The East & The West II: 249-66.

GOUGH, F.F. (1852, March) [Excerpts under Church Missionary Society, China]. Missionary Register, 1852, p. 119.

[GOVERNMENT OF INDIA] (1883) Report on the State of Education in the Punjab and its Dependencies for the Year 1882-83. Lahore.

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GRACIAS, Fatima da Silva (1994) Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa (1510-1961). New Delhi: Concept, pp. 136-137.

GRAHAM, A.C. (transl. 1981) Chuang-tzu. The Seven Inner Chapters and other writings. London: George Allen & Unwin.

GRIFFIS, William E. (1902) A Maker of the New Orient. Samuel Robbins Brown. New York: Revell.

GRIFFITH, M.E. Hume (1927) Dust of Gold. London: Church of England Zenana Mission Society.

GRIFFITH, Ralph T.H. (transl. 1926) The Hymns of the Rigveda, 3rd edition. Banares: E.J. Lazarus.

GU Ding Qian, Piao Yongxin & Liu Yanhong (eds) (2010) Zhongguo Teshu Jaioyushi Ziliaoxuan ("Selected Materials for the History of Chinese Special Education"). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Publishing Group.

GUTZLAFF, Agnes (1859) Letter from Agnes Gutzlaff, Dec 1858. Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1859, new series, II: 96.

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GUTZLAFF, Charles (1850) Replies to queries in relation to China, proposed by Sir G. T. Staunton, Bart., M.P., in the year 1846. J. Royal Asiatic Society XII: 386-400.

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HANDLIN SMITH, J.F. (1987) Benevolent societies: the reshaping of charity during the Late Ming and Early Ch'ing. J. Asian Studies 46: 309-337.

HANKS, L.W. (1872) Blindness and the Blind. A treatise on the science of typhlology. London: Chapman & Hall.

HART, Tanya C. (1993) Revelation for the Blind - William Hill Murray, Inventor of the First Braille System for Chinese.  MA thesis, Eastern Michigan University.

HENDERSON, Edward (1876-77) Notes on surgical practice among the natives in Shanghai. Edinburgh Medical J. XXII: 405-414; 679-690; and vol. XXIII: 118-127.

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HOE, Susanna (1991) The Private Life of Old Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

HOERNLE, Rev. C.T. (1847) Seventh Report of the Agra Church Missionary Society & Orphan Institution Committee 1847.  [CMS Archives (note 80), Ref. CI 1/0 6/1/2.]

INGHAM, Kenneth (1956) Reformers in India 1793-1833. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

JAMIESON, Alexander (1873) Report on the health of Shanghai. Customs Gazette, Medical Reports, Shanghai No. 4.

JAMIESON, A. (1878) Report on the health of Shanghai. Customs Gazette, Medical Reports, Shanghai, No. 15.

JAMIESON, A. (1883)  CUSTOMS Gazette. Medical Reports No. 26 Dr Alexander Jamieson's Report on the health of Shanghai for the half year ended 30th Sept. 1883.

JEFFERYS, W. Hamilton & James L. Maxwell (1910) The Diseases of China including Formosa and Korea. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson.

[JONES, Catherine] (1856) The Girls' school at Shanghai. Spirit of Missions XXI: 85-89.

JONES, Mary G. (1952) Hannah More. Cambridge University Press.

KENNEDY, James (1884) Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon 1839-1877. London, Fisher Unwin.

KWOK, Pui-lan (1992) Chinese Women and Christianity, 1860-1927. Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press.

LANNING, George & Couling, Samuel (1923) The History of Shanghai. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh.

LASCARATOS, J. & Marketos, S. (1994) Didymus the blind: an unknown precursor of Louis Braille and Helen Keller. Documenta Ophthalmologica 86: 203-208.

LEGGE, James (transl.) (1879) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, Part I, The Shih King. Oxford: Clarendon.

LEGGE,  J. (transl.) (1885, reprint 1926) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, part III, The Li Ki (Royal Regulations). London: Oxford University Press.

LEGGE, J. (transl.) (1885, reprint 1926) The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Confucianism, part IV, The Li Ki (Royal Regulations). London: Oxford University Press.

LEHMANN, Fritz (1982) Akbar and Sur Das. Indica 19 (1, No.36) pp. 23-34.

LEITNER, Gottleib W. (1882) History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab since Annexation and in 1882, reprinted (1991) Lahore: Republican Books.

LEUPOLT, Charles B. (1841) Report on Benares. Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society... Forty-First Year 1840-1841. London.

[LEUPOLT, C.B.] (1874) Church Missionary Gleaner 1: 50-51.

LEUPOLT, C.B. (1884) Further Recollections of an Indian Missionary. London: Nisbet.

LEWIS, John, Stella Chong-Lau & Julianne Y.C. Lo (1997) Disability, curriculum and integration in China. European J. Special Needs Education 12: 95-106.

LITTLE, Alfred F. (1939) From Serfdom to Culture. The remarkable story of a blind Chinese girl who rose from a waif in Canton to the position of a proof reader in a large American institution. No named publisher.

LOCKHART, William (1861) The Medical Missionary in China: a narrative of twenty years' experience. London: Hurst & Blackett.

LONG, James (1867) Descriptive catalogue of vernacular books and pamphlets forwarded by the Government of India to the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867. Calcutta.

[LUKE, Mrs Chester ?] (1844) The History of Lucy Gutzlaff. London: John Snow.

LUSHINGTON, Charles (1824) The History, Design, and Present State of the Religious, Benevolent and Charitable Institutions, Founded by the British in Calcutta and its Vicinity. Calcutta: Hindostanee Press.

MACGILLIVRAY, D. (1907) A Century of Protestant Missions in China (1807-1907). Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press.

MACGILLIVRAY, D. (ed.) (1914) The China Mission Year Book 1914. Shanghai: Christian Literature Society for China.

MACGOWAN, D.J. (1893) The artificial making of wild men in China. China Medical Missionary J. VII (2) 79-81.

MACKENZIE, Sir Clutha & W.S. Flowers [1947] Blindness in China. Report to the Government of China. [Nanking?]: British Red Cross, for Ministry of Social Affairs.

MACPHERSON, Kerrie (1987) A Wilderness of Marshes; the origins of public health in Shanghai, 1843-1893. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

MARK, Ethel (1930) in: Report of St. Catherine's Hospital (C.E.Z.M.S.) Amritsar April 1929 - April 1930, pp. 24-25.  Archives of CEZMS, CEZ/G. EA/5.

MCCLATCHIE, Rev. Thomas (1848) Excerpt from letter dated 25 Jun 1846. Spirit of Missions, XIII: 91.

MCCLATCHIE, T. (1851, 1853) Extracts from McClatchie's Journal. Missionary Register, Jan 1851, p. 48;  Mar 1853, p. 118.

MCCLATCHIE, T. (1852) Instruction of the blind. Missionary Register, Mar 1852, p. 155.

MCCLATCHIE, T. (1852) [Excerpts under Church Missionary Society, China]. Missionary Register, March 1852, p. 120.

MCCLATCHIE, T. (1877) Brief sketch of the history of the Shanghae station of the Church Missionary Society, London. Chinese Recorder VIII: 308-310.

MENDOZA, Juan Gonzalez de, transl. R. Parke (1588) The Historie of the Great and Mightie Kingdome of China, reprinted London (1853) Hakluyt Society.

MILES, M. (1999a) Some historical responses to disability in South Asia and reflections on service provision; with focus on mental retardation in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and some consideration of blindness. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, UK.

MILES, M. (1999b) Blindness in South & East Asia: using history to inform development. In: B. Holzer, A. Vreede & G. Weigt (eds) Disability in Different Cultures. Reflections on local concepts, pp. 88-101. Bielefeld: transcript-Verlag.

MILES, M. (2001) Including disabled children in Indian schools, 1790s ‑ 1890s: innovations of educational approach and technique. Paedagogica Historica 37 (2) 291‑315.

MILES, M. (2007) Disability and Deafness in East Asia: Social and Educational Responses, From Antiquity to Recent Times. A bibliography of European‑language materials with introduction and some annotation, www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles200708.html

MILLS, P.V. (1965) Thomas Lucas and his embossed stenographic characters. British J. Ophthalmology 49: 485-489.

MILNE, William, manuscript report dated 1 Jan. 1840, "The State of the Protestant Mission to China Proper, in the beginning of the year 1840", pp. 3-5. CWN South China Correspondence.

MILNE, William C. (1847) Notice of seven month's residence in the city of Ningpo, Article III. Chinese Recorder XVI: 14-30.

MILNE, W.C. (1857) Life in China. London: Routledge.

Minutes of a Meeting of the Committee of the Blind Asylum, - held at Chaou-fong Hong, January 20, 1869. North China Herald, 6 Feb 1869, p. 72.

[MOON, William] (1853) Fifth Annual Report of the Fund for Embossing Books for the Blind, by Wm. Moon, on his Improved System of Reading. Brighton.

[MOON, W.] (1859) Third Report of the Society for Supplying Home Teachers and Books in Moon's Type. London.

[MOON, W.] (1861) Fifth Report, Home Teaching for the Blind. London.

[MOON, W.] (1864) Eighth Report & Speeches at the Annual Meeting. Society for Supplying Home Teachers and Books in Moon's Type etc. London.

MOON, W. (1877) Light for the Blind, 3rd edition. London: Longmans.

MOON's Society (1897) Forty-Ninth Annual Report of Moon's Society. Brighton.

MORA, A. Damas & J.C. Soares (1936) Leprosy in Macao. Chinese Medical J. 50: 721-725.

[MORRISON, J.R.]  In: Archives of London Missionary Society.

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MOULE, Arthur E. (1879) The Story of the Cheh-Kiang Mission of the Church Missionary Society. London: Seeley, Jackson & Halliday.

MOULE, A.E. [1911] Half a Century in China. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

MURRAY, William Hill (1890) Teaching the Chinese blind. In: Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, held at Shanghai, May 7-20, 1890, pp. 302-306. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press.

NEEDHAM, Joseph, Wang Ling, Lu Gwei-Djen & Ho Ping-Yü (1970) Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West. Cambridge University Press.

NEWMAN, Henry Stanley [1882] Days of Grace in India. A record of visits to Indian Missions. London: Partridge.

OHIO Institution for the Blind (1843) Seventh Annual Report.

PARKER, Mrs (1882) Chinese charities. Women's Work in China V: 119-122.

PAUL, Rajaiah D. (1961) Chosen Vessels: Lives of Ten Indian Christian Pastors of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Madras: Christian Literature Society.

PENNY, Frank (1904) The Church in Madras. London: Smith, Elder.

PHILIPS, Gordon A. (2004) The Blind in British Society: Charity, State and Community c. 1780-1930. Aldershot: Ashgate.

PILLAT, Arnold (1929) Injuries of the eye caused by the operative treatment of Chinese quacks. National Medical J. China XV: 525-535.

PILLAT, A. (1929) Some injuries of the eye caused by non-operative and operative treatment of Chinese quacks. National Medical J. China XV: 536-554.

POTT, F.L. Hawks (1928) A Short History of Shanghai. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh.

POTTS, E. Daniel (1967) British Baptist Missionaries in India 1793-1837. Cambridge University Press.

PRASAD, Lakshman (1994) Rehabilitation of the Physically Handicapped. Delhi: Konark.

PUNANI, Bushan & Rawal, Nandini (1987) Guidelines for Social and Economic Rehabilitation of the Rural Blind. Bombay: National Association for the Blind.

R.A.W. (1867) The blind Chinese teacher. Female Missionary Intelligencer, new series, X: 33-34.

R.N.I.B. (1985) Reading by touch with the Moon method. London: Royal National Institute for the Blind.

RATTENBURY, H.B. (1949) David Hill, Friend of China. London: Epworth.

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REASON, J. (1940) The Witch of Ningpo. London: Edinburgh House.

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RICHMOND, Annette B. (1907) The American Episcopal Church in China. New York. [Online]

RICHTER, Julius (1908) A History of Missions in India, transl. S.H. Moore. Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier.

ROY, S.C. (1960) Culture contact as a dynamic of social change. A study of the treatment of the blind in India. PhD thesis, School of Education, New York University.

RUSSELL [Rev. William] (1961) Letter from Mr Russell. Church Missionary Record, November 1861, p. 348.

[RUSSELL, Rev. W.] (1862)  [Mr Russell's letter] The Revival No. 167, Thursday, Oct. 2, 1862.

RUTHERFURD, John (1898) William Moon ... and his work for the blind. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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SCHLYTER, Herman (1946) Karl Gützlaff. Als missionar in China. Lund: Gleerup, and Copenhagen: Munksgaard.

SCHROEDER, Mrs (1882) An account of the Berlin Foundling Hospital, Bethesda. Women's Work in China V (No.2): 138-146.

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SETH, Dev Raj  [1936?] "A History of Western Education in India" 1854-1920. A thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. [Typescript, library of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.]

SHAKESPEAR, A., President, and Members of the Committee of Raja Kalee Shunkur's Asylum, Benares ... [1870] Annual report and accounts of the Asylum for the year 1869. Printed in: Annual Report of the Dispensaries of the North-Western Provinces for the Year 1869, Allahabad, 1870, Appendix II, pp. 26A-27A.

SHAMASASTRY, R. (transl. 1961) Kautilya's Arthasastra, 7th edition. Mysore: Mysore Printing and Publishing.

SHARP, Annie (1889) Light for the blind. India's Women 9: 206-208.

SHARP, A. (1890) Letter, dated 7 Oct 1889, to G. Martin Tait, [reprinted]. India's Women 10: 221-222.

SHARP, A. (1894) [Personal letter of condolence to Miss Moon, dated November 12th, 1894, Amritsar.] Printed in the Forty-Seventh Annual Report of Moon's Society, Brighton, 1895, p. 10.

SHARP, Frances (1898) St. Catherine's Hospital. India's Women 18: 114-115.

SINGH, T.B. (1990) Services for visually impaired people in India. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness 84: 286-293.

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SMITH, Carl (1995) A Sense of History: studies in the social and urban history of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Educational Pub. Co.

SMITH, M. Saumarez (1915) C.E.Z.M.S. Work among the Deaf in India & Ceylon. London: Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.

SMITH, Margaret (1881) Report from Amritsar. India's Women 1: 169-173.

SPALDING, Phineas D. (1848-1849) Journal. Spirit of Missions, XIII: 317-321;  XIV: 177-185;  XIV: 433-438.

SPALDING, P.D. (1848) Report. Spirit of Missions XIII: 413-418.

[SPFE]. See Archives of the Society for Promoting Female Education, University of Birmingham.

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SYLE, Edward W (1847-1858)  Extracts from the Journal of the Rev. E.W. Syle. Spirit of Missions, 12 (1847): 353;  13 (1848): 186;  14 (1849): 343-345;  15 (1850): 185-86, 357, 426-27;  16 (1851): 22-23, 75, 82, 134-35;  17 (1852): 57, 204, 305-306, 450-51;  18 (1853): 56, 82; 206;  22 (1857): 35, 278; 386-87, 440-41;  23 (1858) 196-97, 338-39, 484.

SYLE, E.W. (1868) Shanghai Asylum for the Blind. Chinese Recorder I: 138-140.

SYLE, E.W. (1870). Report of the Trustees of the Institution for the Blind, for the year 1869. North China Herald, 9 June 1870, pp. 428-429.

[SYLE, Henry Winter] (1859) Letter from the son of a missionary. Spirit of Missions, XXIV: 331-332.

T. [Only initial shown] (1879) The blind schoolmaster of Palamcotta. Church Missionary Gleaner 6: 65 & 76-77.

TALMAGE, M.E. (1878, Nov.) History of a blind girl. Women's Work in China II (1) 49-52.

TAYLOR, W.W. & TAYLOR, I.W. (1970) Services for the Handicapped in India. New York: International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled.

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