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George D. Cummins. Life of Mrs. Virginia Hale Hoffman (Philadelphia, 1859), frontispiece.


Virginia Hale Hoffman was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and following her marriage to the Rev. Cadwalader Colden Hoffman in 1850, sailed with him to Liberia, where he was a member of the Episcopal mission. In Cavalla, Liberia, she learned the local language Grebo and supported the mission by teaching and performing other duties.

Mrs. Hoffman’s busy life, often complicated by illness, is noted in her memoir by the Rev. George D. Cummins:

“The new year dawned brightly upon her. Health had been restored, and she was about to enter upon the more active duties of the mission. ‘At the beginning of this new year,’ she writes, ‘I am able to fully enter upon my duties, and trust that I shall not be interrupted in them by ill-health. God’s will, not mine, however, be done, I would still say; for He sees how we best can glorify Him. I intend to spend most of the morning in the boys’ school, recite Grebo in the afternoon, and spend the evening in other duties; and I wish to give two afternoons in each week to the people in town.’” (p. 99)



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