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H.G.O. Dwight. Memoir of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Dwight, Including an Account of the Plague of 1837 (New York, 1840), frontispiece.


Elizabeth Barker Dwight was raised in Andover, Massachusetts, where her husband Harrison Gray Otis Dwight graduated from the theological seminary. Shortly after they married the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent them to Malta. Two years later, they were moved to Constantinople, where Rev. Dwight helped found the Armenian Mission. Mrs. Dwight died at the age of 29, a victim of the bubonic plague.

A short entry on the life of Mrs. Dwight is included in Sarah J. Hale’s Women’s Record (New York, 1855). It contains a note on Mrs. Dwight’s character during her missionary work and her early death:

“Her correspondence at this period, and the testimony of her associates, show how earnestly her spirit entered into the work she had undertaken. Her pious and tender sympathy was most efficient help to her husband, in his arduous missionary duties; though her delicate health, and many household cares, prevented her from giving the active assistance in the teacher’s department she had intended, and was well qualified to have done. She had anticipated this work as her happiest privilege; to be able to imbue the minds of the children of unbelievers with the sweet and salutary truths of the gospel had been Mrs. Dwight’s most cherished desire …. She was only twenty-nine years of age, and had hardly become habituated to the missionary cross, when she was called to wear its crown.” (p. 292)

Other portraits appear in:

Rufus S. Griswold. “The Heroism of the Knights Errant and the Female Missionaries of America,” in Godey’s Lady’s Book 37 (August, 1848): 61-68, frontispiece containing five separate portraits.

Sarah J. Hale, ed. Woman’s Record (New York, 1853), p. 292; also 1855 ed.



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