Mrs. Sarah Boardman Judson, the second wife of Dr. Judson, was born in Alstead, N. H., [United States], Nov. 4, 1803, and was the daughter of Ralph and Abiah Hall.
At an early age she became a member of the First Baptist church in Salem, Mass., then under the pastoral charge of Rev. Dr. Bolles. Her thoughts began, soon after her conversion, to be turned towards the condition of the perishing heathen, and she longed to go forth and tell the story of a Saviour's love to those who were "sitting in darkness." While cherishing such desires as these she was introduced to George Dana Boardman, and found in him one whose tastes and wishes were like her own.
Shortly before their departure from this country they were united in marriage, and took passage in the ship "Asia" for Calcutta, reaching the place of their destination Dec. 13, 1825, where they remained until March, 1827, and then proceeded to Amherst, at which they stayed for a few weeks, and then went to Maulmain to enter upon their missionary work in that place. Here, among some things to try their faith and others to encourage them, she continued a faithful helper to her devoted husband. Under date of Jan. 1, 1828, he writes, "Mrs. Boardman is now surrounded by a group of Burman girls, and is delighted with her employment."
When it was decided to commence a station at Tavoy, in order that Mr. Boardman might be brought into closer contact with the Karens, she entered into the plan with all her heart. Again her husband writes under date of Aug. 17, 1828, describing the manner in which the Sabbath was observed, "After family worship and breakfast Mrs. Boardman and myself, with the Chinese Christians, have worship, and a printed sermon is read. Mrs. Boardman is engaged in the afternoon in giving religious instruction to the scholars and domestics."
A year from this date came the revolt of Tavoy, and Mrs. Boardman, with George, hastened away, amid many perils, to a place of safety at Maulmain, her husband joining her in a few days. They returned early the next October to the scene of their labors in Tavoy. An alarming illness of Mrs. Boardman, early in 1830, awakened the fears of her friends that she might soon be taken away. She rallied at length, and was able to resume her work for a time, but the state of her health was such that it was thought best that she should make a temporary home in Maulmain. After some months she returned again to Tavoy, and accompanied her husband on his last journey to the villages of the Karens, and was with him to close his eyes in death on the 11th of February, 1831.
Mrs. Boardman, after the death of her husband. continued to prosecute her missionary work as her health and strength permitted. On the 10th of June, 1834, she became the wife of Dr. Judson, and proved a most worthy successor of her who had so deservedly won his respect and love. For a little more than eleven years they shared each other's confidence and affection. After the birth of her last child, in December, 1844, she became the victim of a chronic disease, and the physicians decided that nothing would save her life but a long voyage. She embarked with her husband and three children April 26, 1845. Some encouraging symptoms were apparent in the early part of the voyage, but they proved deceptive, and she died on shipboard, in the port of St. Helena, Sept. 1, 1845.
Mrs. Judson's knowledge of the Burmese language was singularly accurate. She translated the New Testament into the Peguan language, and the "Pilgrim's Progress" into Burmese. Dr. Judson, in the warmest terms, gave his testimony to her great worth. No one can read those charming lines of his commencing
"We part on this green islet, love,"
without feeling that hers was a character of singular grace and beauty. She was the mother of Dr. Boardman, the honored pastor of the First Baptist church of Philadelphia.
From The Baptist Encyclopedia... edited by William Cathcart. Rev. ed. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883.
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