Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dr. Pearl Smith Chute (Mrs. Chute)

I would be interested in hearing when the first women medical missionary went out and whether Pearl Smith Chute, who left Canada in 1895, was the first for her small part of Eastern Canada, or whether she was, in fact, the first women medical missionary.

This is from The Enterprise, my recently acquired treasure with many entrancing pages on Teluga and Oriya literacy. But enough of that, and back to the women missionary.
    A brother and sister Everett and Pearl Smith, of Saint Catherines were getting ready to give themselves to the work in India. God's call had reached them, and they were coming. Think of it. Two young people...

    In 1893, the brother, Dr. Everett Smith, came out as our pioneer doctor, and with him his wife, Mary Chamberlain Smith, who had prepared herself for the work by taking a nurse's training. In 1895 his sister, Dr. Pearl Smith, had graduated, and came out to marry Rev. Jesse Chute and go off pioneering with him on the great Akidu field, of which he had been put in charge, to relieve the Craigs, who were going on furlough.

    It was a grand field for medical pioneering, as there was no other hospital nearer than fourty miles, and from the first the people living in between kept her extremely busy. She had nowhere to put a patient, but all the same that first year she treated 1,642 people. We would earnestly commend these figures to the honest consideration of many otherwise perfectly good young medical graduates - doctors in our Canadian cities who after a long and expensive training have to sit in rented offices anxiously waiting for some patients to come their way.. Why not come to India or some other foreign field where they are waiting for you?
    Quite frequently Mrs. Chute had to go by night to distant villages, in answer to S.O.S. calls, and was often put to it to properly care for a patient without hospital or equipment. But in 1898 that want was partly supplied. A small hospital, "The Star of Hope", was built and forthwith occupied.
The Enterprise. by M.L. Orchard and K.S. McLaurin, 1925. pages 247 - 250

That was Christian womanhood in Canada in the 1890's. This book does not record that her husband went with her on those night excursions. He likely had other work to do. If any ask if the daughter may be given the same kind of Christian upbringing as her brother, the answer is yes.

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