LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
©litpJU-?.- Sup^risl^ lxi*-il-
Shelf .3.^-11 2
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
DR. ANANDABAI JOSHEE,
A KINSWOMAN OF THE PUNDITA RAMABAI.
MRS. CAROLINE HEALEY BALL,
AUTHOR OF "the COLLEGE, MARKET, AND COURT;
FROM COLORADO, UTAH, AND CALIFORNIA ; "
REALLY KNOW ABOUT SHAKESPEARE ; ETC.
*' We will not say her life was brief
For noble death is length of days ;
The sun that ripens autumn's sheaf
Poured on her summer's wealth of rays.' '
By Roberts Brothers.
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.
The most difficult task of my life lay before me
when I undertook to write the Life of Anandabai
Joshee. In copying letters or using material fur-
nished by those who loved her, I have been
obliged to moderate the terms of affection and
admiration which would have seemed extravagant
to those who never saw her, or saw her only after
her star "drooped toward its setting."
" I have never seen any one who gave me so
distinct an impression of being ' high-born/ " said
a lady who knew her slightly. It was however
not the record which stretched over two thousand
years, which gave dignity to Anandabai's mien,
but the high-born consciousness, never absent,
that in spirit she was the "child of God."
Without the generous aid of Mrs. Carpenter of
Koselle, New Jersey, and of Dr. Bodley, Dean of
the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, the
two friends who made it possible for Anandabai
to seek an education in this country, this book
could not have been written. Its rapid sale will
reward them in the best way for all the self-
sacrifice, hard labor, and bitter grief which their
devotion has involved, for we hope through that,
to aid the projects of her friend and cousin, the
Pundita Eamabai Sarasvati.
Our climate is not friendly to the Hindu. Al-
ready the cheek of Eamabai has grown pale and
her voice weak. If we love her and would aid
her, we must speed her on her way.
I have been obliged to allude to the conduct
and published writings of Gopal Yinayak Josliee
because they were involved in the history of his
wife. I have done it as lightly and as briefly as
possible, and I wish to say, that I hardly hold
him responsible for the letters to the " Index "
and "The Open Court," so great appears to have
been the excitement under which they were writ-
ten. The last of these letters is full of mistakes
'apart from such statements as might be mere mat-
ters of opinion. For instance, he states that he
and Dr. Joshee sailed from New York Sept. 9th,
1886. But on this day Dr. Joshee was in the Hos-
pital at Philadelphia and she did not sail until
October. Still farther he speaks of receiving
" eighty or ninety " pounds, for his homeward
journey from Mr. Pattison in London ; hut as
eighteen was all that was required to make up
the passage money, " eighteen or nineteen " would
seem the more likely sum.
He alludes also in this letter to "prejudices"
against the " Christians " and meditations upon
the "low character" of the English, as if these
were shared by Dr. Joshee ; hut this we all know
was not possible.
One day, soon after her arrival in America,
Anandabai amused herself at Eoselle by writing
her own " mental photograph " in one of the
Albums commonly sold for that purpose. The
student of psychology will be interested in com-
paring this suggestive sketch with the "psycho-
metric impression" elsewhere alluded to.
In a letter written since his wife's death Mr.
Joshee thus alludes to the contents of the eleven
trunks which Anandabai carried back to India.
" I have given the contents of Dr. Joshee's boxes to
an English school, the founder of which Dr. Joshee
greatly admired. They are arranged in a nice glass
case and I hope they will be better cared for than
they could be by me. It was a painful thing to see
them all again."
This school is probably at Poonah, and here
I suppose Mr. Joshee deposited all the North
American pottery, which Anandabai was so anx-
ious to obtain.
It was not until I had nearly finished my work
that I learned that the acquaintance between
Eamabai and her cousin began through the cor-
dial entreaty of the Joshees that she would come
and live with them at Serampore at a time when
she was bitterly persecuted.
The following letter will explain itself.
553 South 16th St., Philadelphia,
Jan. 16th, 1888.
My dear Mrs. Dall, — Dear Doctor Joshee was
staying in Serampore when she invited me to come
to her after my husband's sudden death.
I did not know her personally at that time, but had
some correspondence with her.
My husband being of low caste, my marrying him
was altogether against the country's custom, and we
were despised and shunned by our most intimate
friends and relatives.
So much was this the case, that my husband's own
brother would not write to him for fear of losing
Under such circumstances, we had no intercourse
with many, and were too proud to ask any favors. I
therefore resolved to do what I could to take care of
my baby and myself independently of all relatives or
friends. I made this promise to my dear husband
before he left me. Therefore I did not accept Mrs.
Joshee's kind invitation to go to her in my distress.
I was very grateful to her all the same, for she was
the only person in the whole country who cared for
me, such an outcast had I become in the eyes of my
people. Nor shall I ever cease to be grateful to her
for this kindness.
With all good wishes for the New Year,
I am, sincerely yours,
It gives me great pleasure to print this letter,
for Gopal must have united with Anandabai in
giving this invitation, and the action proves him
to have been at this time what his wife always
believed him to be, — a liberal and tender-hearted
It must be obvious to all my readers, that in a
Memoir prepared as this has been, there must be
more than the usual liability to error in detail. I
have done all that I could to prevent such errors,
and as the greater part of the book consists of
Anandabai's own letters, I hope that no serious
error is likely to appear.
Since the Memoir went to press, I have heard
from Mrs. Carpenter and tlie Pundita Eamabai,
that there is every reason to suppose that Anan-
dabai was betrothed to Gopal, by a ceremony con-
sidered as irrevocable as marriage, when she went
away with him from Kalyan in the company of
her ' grandmother.
Mrs. Carpenter thinks that Anandabai told her
this, and the Pundita, who knew nothing of her
cousin at that time, is sure that her departure
would not have been permitted if she had not
All this may have been so, but if it were it
was never even hinted in my conversations with
Dr. Joshee. At that time she expected to send
me on her return to India some significant ex-
tracts from her family history, and a brief outline
of her own life. I was not very anxious about
details, but tried to understand fully the character
of her mind, and her individual emancipation from
tradition and custom.
She said nothing about betrothal. If betrothed,
it is usual for a Hindu woman to pass into the
care of her husband's family. Nothing was said
about this, only the bitter cry, many times re-
peated, " I thought I should never learn anything
more, and I would rather have died." She never
said, nor did I ever ask, whether she and her
grandmother lived in the same house with Gopal
previous to her marriage, and as it is now too late
to consult Mr. Joshee, I must content myself with
stating the opinion of Mrs. Carpenter and the
Pundita Eamabai, and leave the text for the
In his memoranda of the last hours of his wife,
Mr. Joshee mentions that the funeral services ex-
tended over thirteen days. It is customary after
cremation in Hindustan to scatter the ashes of
the deceased to the "four winds."
With some difficulty and against the wishes of
his people, but doubtless with a strong desire to
bear witness to Anandabai's devotion to this coun-
try, Gopal gathered the ashes of his wife together
and they are now on their way to America. The
box which contains them will be buried in the
Eighmie lot in the Cemetery at Poughkeepsie,
where a suitable stone will tell the short story of
In copying the letters in which Mrs. Joshee
relates her dreams, or alludes to her early expe-
riences, I have felt obliged to confine myself
strictly to her own words, without attempting
comment or explanation. May this little book —
however weak and imperfect the picture which
it presents — stimulate all hearts to noble charity,
and convince whoever has hitherto doubted, that
God never leaves any heart, whether heathen or
civilized, without a possible witness to his Being
and his Nature.
CAEOLINE HEALEY BALL.
1603 "0" St., Washington, D. C,
A "MENTAL PHOTOGRAPH."
Written in Mrs. Carpenter's Album at Roselhf Sept. Bd, 1883,
by Anandabai Joshee.
What is your favorite
1. Color? White.
2. Rower ? The Rose.
3. Tree ? The Mango.
4. Object in Nature ? Mountains.
5. Hour ? Sunrise and set.
6. Season ? Spring.
7. Perfume ? Jasmine.
8. Gem 1 Diamond.
9. Style of beauty ? Perfection of form and manner.
10. Name, — male and female ? Rama, Tara, Annie,
Gopal, Vishnu, and Chrishna.
11. Painter? Hove all.
12. Musician ? Those who play on the violin and lyre.
13. Piece of architecture ? The Taj Mahal.
14. Poet ? Pope, Manu, and Kalidasa.
15. Poetess? Muktabai and Janabai.
16. Prose author? Goldsmith, Macaulay, Addison, Shas-
17. Character in History ? Richard Coeur de Lion.
18. Book to take up for an hour ? The Bhagavat-Gita.
19.* What book, not a Bible, would you part with last ?
The History of the World.
20. What epoch would you prefer to live in ? The
Xll A "MENTAL PHOTOGKAPH.
21. Where would you prefer to live ? In Eoselle now,
hereafter in Heaven.
22. "What is your favorite amusement ? Heading.
23.* What is your favorite occupation ? Whatever is
necessary to the common comfort.
24. What is your favorite trait of character ? Sincerity.
25. What trait do you most detest ? Dishonesty and
26.* If not yourself, whom would you like to be ? No
27.* What is your idea of happiness ? Faith in God.
28.* What is your idea of misery? To follow one's own
29. What is your hete noir ? Slavery and Dependence.
30. What is your ideal pleasure 1 To be rewarded for
what I do.
31.* What is your distinguishing characteristic? I have
not yet found out.
32. That of your husband ? Benevolence.
33. What is the sublimest passion ? Love.
34. What are the sweetest words ? Love, charity, truth
35. What are the saddest ? Lost, forsaken.
36. What is your aim ? To be useful.
37. What is your motto ? The Lord will provide.
* I have preserved this photograph in these pages mainly
for the sake of directing attention to the remarkable answers to
questions 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, and 31. These taken by them-
selves draw the picture plainly enough. Kalidasa mentioned
in the answer to the 14th is the most famous of Indian drama-
tists — the author of Sacontala. I have not been able to find
any account of Muktabai, Janabai, or Shastree Chiptoonka.
ANANDABAI JOSHEE, M. D.
DaugMer of Gunputrao Amritaswar Joshee and Gungabai
Joshee his wife.
Born in Poonali, India, March. 31st, 1865. Child name,
Yumna, popularly Jumna, or " Daughter of the Sun."
Married Gopal Vinayak Joshee, March 31st, 1874. Wife
name Anandabai, or " Joy of my heart."
Sailed from Calcutta for New York, April 7th, 1883, being
the first unconverted high-caste Hindu woman to leave
Landed in New York, June 4th, 1883.
Graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsyl-
vania, March 11th, 1886, being the first Hindu woman
to receive the degree of medicine in any country.
Appointed June 1st, 1886,to thepost of Physician-in-charge
of the Female Wards of the Albert Edward Hospital,
Sailed from New York, Oct. 9th, 1886.
Died in Poonah, India, Feb. 26th, 1887.
Pbeface , iii
"Mental Photograph" of Dr. Joshee written
BY herself in 1883 xi
Synopsis of her Life xiii
Full-length Portrait of Dr. Joshee in her
Mahratta Dress Frontispiece
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE,
The country which we call India, better known
by the more familiar name of Hindustan, stretches
from the Himmaleh Mountains to the Indian
Ocean, and from the empire of Burmah to Af-
ghanistan. It is eighteen hundred miles long, and
fifteen hundred wide.
In the last half of the seventeenth century,
under its great Mogul emperor Aurung-Zebe,
Hindustan was divided into thirty-three provinces,
which very nearly correspond to the thirty-three
States recognized under the present British su-
premacy. To this great country, so divided, thirty-
three different languages are popularly ascribed.
These have a common foundation in the Sanscrit,
but differ in their construction to such an extent
that those who are native to the country are
unwilling to call them dialects. Hindustanee,
which is everywhere spoken, originated at the time
of the Mahometan conquest, and was called by
the Moguls Urdu Zab^n, or " camp language."
16 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
It is a sort of lingua franca, and is used in
all the provinces in addition to the local speech.
In that part of the country called the Deccan, and
in the south of Hindustan, six or eight languages
are spoken, such as the Tamil and the Teling^,
which are not supposed by Colebrooke or Campbell
to have any foundation in the Sanscrit.
If the Hindus originally moved southward from
central Asia bringing the Sanscrit with them, they
found a native population south of the Ganges,
and it is probable that the language of south-
ern India represents that then spoken by the
In the northwest of India, just south of the
Punjaub and between Delhi and Scinde, is a coun-
try called Kajpootana. This country originally
consisted of eight principalities, stretching over
wide deserts and through mountain passes, nur-
turing a sturdy population able to endure cold
and hunger, and standing in such a relation to the
rest of Hindustan as the townsmen of Galilee once
stood toward the people of Palestine. Until the
British took possession of the country they were
called " robbers and murderers." Yet in the town
now called Kajapore, at the close of the fifteenth
century, the great religious sect called the Sikhs
was founded by Nanac Shah. The Sikhs worship
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 17
one pure invisible God ; they have a sacred scrip-
ture, which they keep in a small temple sur-
rounded by the v^aters of the Golden Lotus.
Their creed was intended by l^anac as a compro-
mise between that of the Brahmins and that of
Mahomet, and it is very singular that it should
have taken root among the Eajpoots, because they,
of all the peoples of the country, remained uncon-
quered by the Moguls. The name " Sikhs" had been
once confined to the Eajpoots, it means "lions,'*
and had been given to them as the first military
order among the Hindus. When religious perse-
cution gave the followers of Nanac an opportu-
nity to show their mettle, the name of " lions," or
Sikhs, was transferred from their oppressors to
themselves, and is still retained.
To speak properly of the history of the peo-
ples or languages of Hindustan requires a pro-
found scholarship, which I am far from claiming ;
but a few words concerning it were necessary
before we could enter on the life of Anandabai
Joshee. It must be understood clearly in advance
that the Hindus are not one people, do not speak
one language, and that the customs and history of
one province are not the customs and history of
any other. The Sikhs and the Eajpoots are well
known by name to the students of the history of
18 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
British India, but their doings have been eclipsed
during the last two centuries by the prowess of the
Mahrattas. The origin of this people is wholly
obscure to Europeans ; but Anandabai asserted that
they themselves possessed the records of two thou-
sand years of independent existence. They are
supposed to be an offshoot of the mountaineers of
Eajpootan, driven south by stress of famine and
war. They first became known to Europeans a
little after the year 1300, but they were w^ell es-
tablished in the possession of the great city of
Poonah at that time, and were carrying on de-
structive wars with other native States. The Mah-
rattas assert that they were never conquered by
There is nothing in the original Hindu scrip-
tures to require the seclusion or subjection of
women. The Hindus assert that this originated
after the Mahometan conquest, in consequence
of the licentious boldness of the Moslem sol-
diery; but there is evidence that it began to be
practised as early as the eighth century. If this
were so, the zenana probably originated in the
brutalities of the early internecine contests, and
was confirmed not more by the violence than
the habits of the Mahometan conquerors. It
would have been necessary to secure respect for
LIFE OF ANAXDABAI JOSHEE. 19
women among the new-comers by secluding them,
as they themselves secluded their own women.
The name of Mahrattas was given to this people
because, when they broke away from the original
home of the Eajpoots, driven by war or famine or
the Cossack's love of adventure, they settled in
a district of Dowlatabad, to the south of Bombay,
which was called Mharat.
In the early period of its history, the Mahratta
people seem to have been governed in a feudal
fashion. It was the custom of the reigning Eajah
to reward his favorites for any service rendered,
by large grants of land, or delegated sovereign
powers. By degrees there grew up a nobility
bearing the state of princes, sometimes indepen-
dent of the Government, sometimes tributary to it,
but for the most part true to its supremacy.
It was not until 1818, when the successive
Eajahs of the Mahrattas had been in turn the
prisoners of the successive ministers of State for
more than a century, that, worn out by intestine
divisions, the people asked the protection of the
British Government, and surrendered a large part
of the district of Poonah. Tive hundred years
ago the reigning Eajah, in a hot contest with
a neighboring province, trusted the conduct of
his forces to a young general of the Joshee family
20 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
not yet twenty-one years of age. Success fol-
lowed success, until his sovereign finally recalled
him, to endow him with a palace in Poonah and a
principality of sixty villages. He came back from
the field to be received with flaming torches and
gorgeous processions, and was allowed an hour's
stay with his young wife. He knelt, kissed his
sovereign's hand, departed, and lost his life in
the next fray. He died before he was twenty-
one, and left an only child, from whom Anandabai
was descended. Her father was Gunputrao Amri-
taswar Joshee, her mother was Gungabai Durbagai
Joshee ; and as women do not take the names of
their husbands in India, it is evident that the father
and mother were descended from the same stem.
If I understand properly the record I took
down from her lips, Anandabai was the sixth of
ten children. Of her four brothers, two died
before her. Of the five sisters, the first and
fourth are dead.
There are still living her brothers,
Damodhar Ganesh-Joshee and
Vinayak Ganesh Joshee, as w^ell as the three
Kasheebai Ganesh Joshee,
Waranusheebai Oomabai Onkar, and
Sundrabai Ganesh Joshee.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 21
The steady insertion of the name of Ganesh
doubtless bears some relation to the mother's
family ; and Waranusheebai, a sister older than
the subject of our story, was married, and is a
widow in easy circumstances.
At Poonah, in the Bombay Presidency, in the
very palace that had been given by the Eajah to
her victorious ancestor, there was born on the
31st of March, 1865, a little brown baby, whose
future no one suspected. On the eleventh day
she was called Yamuna, or Yumna, Daughter of
the Sun, after the sacred river popularly called
Jumna, — a name which she bore until her mar-
riage. The little that we know of her childhood
only piques our desire to know more. Her father
is described by her cousin Eamabai as "a rich
landholder of Kalyan, a town a little to the north
of Bombay, where he was warmly regarded by the
high caste people." The palace at Poonah was
still in the possession of her grandparents and an
uncle of her mother's, who was a distinguished
It was to avail herself of this physician's ser-
vices that Gungabai had gone to Poonah a short
time before her daughter's birth. Yamuna grew
up between Poonah and Kalyan. She was from
the first a great pet of her father, and her hap-
22 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
piest hours were passed upon Ms knee, under a
great plane-tree in the Kalyan garden, where he
went to rest every day after dinner. He owned
many villages, and for the benefit of his servants
and peasantry and after the manner of European
landholders, he kept a chaplain. It was the
duty of the priest who held this office to offer
prayer and sacrifice, to instruct the people, and
also to cleanse the shrines and images of the gods.
Yamuna had never thought of the priest in a seri-
ous way, and was only four years old when she
sat one day playing with her dolls and watching
him as he washed the little images of jade,
bitumen, or metal, and oiled them carefully be-
fore setting them back on their shrines. Suddenly
it flashed into her mind that there was no differ-
ence between these images and her dolls. They
did not move; they lay passive in the hand of
the priest. They did not cry like children when
he rubbed them hard, nor rejoice when he left
them to themselves. Very eagerly she waited for
her father to finish his dinner, and then seizing
his hand ran away to the bench under the plane-
" Papa," she exclaimed, hardly waiting to get
her breath, " how can a god bear to have his face
washed by a man ? " And then, not waiting for
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 23
any answer from the astonished Gunputrao, she
went on to tell him what she had seen, and how
the images lay in the priest's hand as if they had
been her dolls.
"Those images are not gods/' replied her father;
" they are made to hold the thoughts of men to
God while they pray. Some of them represent
the love, and some the justice of God, and some
only his creative power. My little daughter, can
you pray to God without looking at any of those
images ? "
" Yes, indeed ! " replied the child.
"Then you need never think of them again,"
was the reply ; " they will be of no use to you."
"And I never did," continued his daughter, very
simply, when she told the story.
The only other incident relating to this period
of her life which is known to me has a truly Ori-
ental flavor. Anandabai was neither a spiritualist
nor a theosophist ; but from her earliest childhood
she dwelt apart, believed in a spiritual world which
was even nearer to her than the world she touched,
and held herself always ready to listen to " occult"
voices and accept " occult " experiences.
There was in her home an immense genealogi-
cal record of the Joshees. It stretched over two
thousand years, had been kept by the head of
24 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
the family in each generation, and was illustrated
by painted pictures of the costumes worn by its
heroes, and the events briefly described on it. I
imagine it was a roll. It was written on a sacred
paper kept expressly for such uses, from loJiich
no word could ever he effaced, emulating in this
respect the tablets of the recording angel. As it
was always kept under lock and key, Anandabai
thought that she had never seen it, and knew noth-
ing about it, when she had the following dream.
She had gone to bed as usual, at some time be-
fore she was five years old, when there suddenly
appeared to her the figure of a young and hand-
some man, dressed in a manner, and carrying
weapons, that she had never seen.
" Who are you ? " she said, like any frightened
child, when he fixed his eyes upon her.
" Do you not know who I am ? " he said
" Go then to your father," resumed the soldier,
" and tell him to make you acquainted with my
life ; for it is you who are to tread in my foosteps."
At this she waked, bathed in perspiration and
trembling. In the morning she went to her
father and earnestly entreated him to tell her
about the " god " whom she had seen. Gunputrao
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 25
was unable to identify the figure from Yamuna's
description, but in the midst of many words, which
I have forgotten, the soldier had said, — '
"It is ungrateful to be ignorant of him whose
blood flows in your veins."
Prom these words Gunputrao felt certain that
it was one of his own ancestors who had appeared
to his daughter, and he reverently opened his
family roll. At last they came to a figure that
Yamuna recognized at once as that of the man
who had appeared to her. It was that of the
young general who had founded the fortunes of
her family, and in whose palace she had been
born. From that time Gunputrao was even more
tender toward his daughter; he not only gave her
whatever she desired, but he paid special atten-
tion to her education.
f. The Mahrattas have never secluded their women ;
they walk the streets as securely and openly as
those of Europe or America. Anandabai thought
this was because they had never been exposed to
the insolence of a Mogul conqueror; but perhaps
it was also because the tribe began its existence
in rough mountain passes, away from the " busy
haunts of men."
It was when she was living a free life like that
of a little country child in America, but with the
26 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
character and intellectual development only pos-
sible to an American cHld of twice lier age, that
her first opportunity came to her. Gopal Vinyak
Joshee was appointed a clerk in the Postal De-
partment of Bombay in 1870, when Yamuna was
only five years old. As he was a stranger in those
parts, he eagerly sought the acquaintance of the
head of his own family in that neighborhood.
Gunputrao was an educated man. He had organ-
ized a school in one of the large rooms of the
house in which he lived, and saw at once that
Gopal's knowledge of Sanscrit would be of great
advantage to Yamuna.
I never learned at what hours, or in what man-
ner, Gopal taught; but Yamuna remained under
his care for nearly three years, when Gopal was
promoted to be post-master at Alibag, with an
increase of salary, and at once prepared to leave
the neighborhood. Yamuna's grief could not be
repressed. "I thought I should never learn any
more," she said ; " and I would rather have died."
Forgetting her love for father and mother, indif-
ferent to brothers and sisters, she begged permis-
sion to go away with Gopal. Her father was
sorely puzzled. Although only eight years of age,
Yamuna was now marriageable.
It is not likely, from what followed, that her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 27
mother approved of her studies, or her removal
from her father's house; but the subservient po-
sition of a Hindu wife prevented her expressing
any opinion. In this emergency, the grandmother
from Poonah — the mother's mother — came to
Yamuna's aid. "I will go with her," she said,
"and I will shield her as if she were my own."
She did go, and as long as she lived her grand-
child was reverently grateful for the service.
I have not been able to ascertain the exact
locality of Alibag ; I suppose it was in the Bom-
bay Presidency, and it must have been a small
native town, as the salary Gopal received as post-
master was but little more than that given him
as a clerk in Bombay. It was probably a Mah-
ratta village not far from Kalyan, or the mother
of Gungabai would hardly have been willing to
go to it. At all events, when a third removal was
made to Bhooj, the capital of Cutch, the grand-
mother returned home. From Alibag, Gopal had
been transferred to Kolhapur, and it was probably
there that the grandmother parted with the child,
who was soon to be married to Gopal.
Yamuna was now older than most Hindu girls
are when they marry, but she had never thought
of marriage. Pursuing her studies with an eager-
ness that few women in any country could under-
28 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
stand, all that she cared for was to remain with
her teacher and continue her work. When there-
fore the marriage was proposed, no objection was
made to it. Gopal was a widower, and he would
have been scarcely human if he had not been
touched by the devotion of his young pupil. He
was an educated man, respected by his own people,
and twenty years older than Yamuna. It is not
likely that any charge had ever been brought
against his character ; for Gunputrao, who entered
cheerfully into the arrangements for the wedding,
was not a man to overlook that. Yamuna was
married on the 31st of March, 1874, the day on
which she completed her ninth year.
A Hindu woman can make no claim upon her
father's estate. When she mames, the father
agrees to give to her husband a certain sum, if
he is rich and able, and he endows his daughter
with such clothing, jewels, and utensils as he
chooses. Yamuna was her father's favorite, and
he had a trembling sense of the remarkable life
she was to lead, based upon the dream which they
had interpreted together. He gave her abun-
dantly of his great wealth, — superb cashmeres,
Dacca muslins bordered with gold, delicate jewels,
bangles and anklets of solid gold, and ornaments
that were heirlooms and would ordinarily have
LIFE OF AXANDABAI JOSHEE. 29
gone to a son. Still another thing showed liis
high trust in her : she was allowed to cany away
from her home some of the most valued and sacred
of the household gods, and the relics connected
In an o£fi.cial statement made lately at Poonah,
Gopal gives me the dates for this portion of my
story but he does not give the exact date of his
removal to Bhooj, the capital of the province of
Cutch. I am constrained to tliink it occurred in
the spring of 187-4, from the circumstances. Ya-
muna must have gone home to be married ; and
although her grandmother might well hesitate to
go with her several hundred miles to the north-
west, to an unknown and undesirable location
like that of Catch, there was no apparent reason
why she should not remain at Kolhapur. As
Cutch was within the Bombay Presidency, Gopal
■was undoubtedly obliged to report at Bombav, in
remo\dng from Kolhapur to Cutch, and either
Poonah or Kalyan could be taken in the direct
route to his new home.
Four days after her marriage, in conformity to
the custom of the !Mahrattas, and the more com-
pletely to affiliate her to her husband's family,
Yamuna dropped the name by which her father's
loving lips had called her, and assumed that of
30 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
Anandabai, or " Joy of my Heart," by wbicb sbe
was afterward known. Up to this time she had
suffered no peculiar hardships. Her husband was
poor, but his salary was equal to their modest
wants. The proposal of marriage, according to
the custom of the country, came from the wife's
family; and the father of Anandabai could not have
been ignorant of the character of the province to
which his child was now going. He believed that
this young daughter was to follow in the footsteps
of her great ancestor so far as to shed a fresh
lustre on the name of her family. The sacredness
attached to her vision spurred him to aid her in
every way that he could. At this moment he
could hardly be expected to see how her removal
to a distant and demoralized province could de-
velop her destiny.
The "island" of Cutch must be nearly four
hundred miles to the northwest of Kalyan or
Bombay. Surrounded on three sides by water,
and bounded on the other by an immense salt-
marsh produced by the earthquake of 1819,
Cutch is an island only during the rainy sea-
son. This marsh, or "runn," one hundred and
fifty miles long by sixty wide, furnishes a hiding-
place for criminals and bandits. The country
produces cotton, gum, and nuts, which are sent
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 31
in native vessels to Africa, three thousand miles
away, where they are exchanged for ivory and
hides, and to Guzerat, where the mariners ex-
change cotton for grain. Twenty years before
Gopal and Anandabai went to Bhooj, the town is
described as consisting of low, mean dwellings,
so crowned by white mosques and temples, shaded
by date-trees, as to present a picturesque appear-
ance at a distance. It is a fortified town, stand-
ing half-way up a hill. The people are of Eajpoot
descent, but more than half the population pro-
fess a sort of spurious Mahometanism, adhering
to many Hindu observances. This is especially
true of the Jharejah tribe, to which the reigning
prince belongs. Neither its morals nor its man-
ners bear out the boast of virtuous simplicity
Gopal was so fond of making. It had a popula-
tion of twelve thousand adults at the time of
which I speak, and the universal practice of fe-
male infanticide had reduced the number of native
women to thirty ! The people were then ignorant,
indolent, and drunken, and obliged, of course, to
procure their wives from other tribes. The Ee-
ports to the House of Commons show a terrible
Anandabai did not like her neighbors ; and I
think it must have been here, in her tenth year,
32 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
that she began to do her own cooking, cleaning
her brass vessels, and tossing up her pastry in
hands like those of a Greek model. Hard work
she had never known. It began here with the
necessity of repression, some regard to the pro-
prieties of womanhood, and a desire to escape
from the influences around her. She never com-
plained either then or afterward of anything in
her lot ; but she said, " I was never at home
there." It was a religious ceremony, making mar-
riage irrevocable, which she had entered into in
the spring of 1874.
When the second ceremony, consummating the
marriage, took place, I do not know; but Anan-
dabai's only child was born in her fourteenth year,
probably at Kolhapur, some time early in 1878,
as Gopal wrote from that town in 1878 and 1879.
It lived about ten days, and died, as Anandabai
thought, because it did not have a competent
physician. It was this that first led her to think
of studying medicine. " A child's death does no
harm to its father," she once said, " but its mother
does not want it to die."
In all the thoughts and schemes that grew out
of her bereavement her husband seems to have
shared; and those who heard him speak in this
country will hardly understand the letter ad-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 33
dressed to one of the Presbyterian missionaries
from Kolhapur on the 4th of September, 1878.
It is probable that he had come into contact with
the missionaries in every town in which he had
lived. He kept a steady eye to the advantages
to be gained by Anandabai's thorough education,
and perhaps he was not perfectly frank when he
wished to gain their co-operation. When his
wife's proud heart took fire at certain indignities,
it was he who urged her to go back to the school
in Bombay. At all events, his learning and in-
telligence won a certain hearing for this letter.
It was forwarded to the " Missionary Eeview "
published at Princeton, and printed in January,
1879. Gopal expresses a warm interest in female
education, and says that he should be glad to live
in America if his wife could study there. The
letter was supported by one of the local mission-
aries in terms which showed that he based this
support on what he thought a rational expectation
of Gopal's conversion.
Dr. Wilder, the editor of the "Eeview," seems
to have published these letters chiefly for the pur-
pose of printing his own reply, written Oct. 14,
1878. In this letter he thoroughly discourages
Gopal's project. He evidently does not wish
any unconverted Hindu to come to America ; he
34 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
believes that his intelligent correspondent will be
led to " confess Christ," and trusts to the mission
schools to educate Mrs. Joshee sufficiently. Little
did he think that this very letter would be the
means of bringing her to this country. At various
times it has aroused the indignation of Ananda-
bai's friends; but from a somewhat wide experi-
ence of male Hindus, I cannot consider their visits
to the West profitable to others or themselves.
With the single exception of the author of " The
Oriental Christ," I have seen no Hindu who
seemed to me prepared intellectually and morally
for the freedom he would find in American soci-
ety; nor are Americans prepared for the air of
innocence and exaltation worn by very undeserv-
ing Orientals. I have no doubt that Dr. Wilder
honestly shrank from the possibilities ; and I
differ from him only in this : I do not think any
"conversion" works a miracle in a man's intel-
lectual status; and I do not think Gopal, if he
had " confessed Christ," would have been one bit
better able to understand his environment in
America than he proved himself while walking
in the shadows of the old Vedas. It is not learn-
ing, intellect, subtlety, or imagination that is want-
ing in the average Hindu ; it is purity, faith, and
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 35
So felt I before I had seen this Hindu woman,
and now I pity every one who was not privileged
to see and know her.
Let us see what became of Dr. Wilder's letter.
Early in the spring of 1880 a lady almost as
remarkable in philanthropy and spirituality as
Anandabai herself, went from the little town of
Eoselle, in N"ew Jersey, to see her dentist in Eliza-
beth. Upon the dentist's table, among other
interesting things, lay the old number of the
"Missionary Eeview," and she took it up to
wile away the moments of waiting. She knew
nothing of Hindustan or its people. Gopal's letter
seemed to her a genuine cry for help, and her whole
soul was roused to indignation by the brutal man-
ner in which she thought this cry was repulsed.
In the tumult of her mind she copied the address,
and then as she went slowly home she remem-
bered that she knew nothing of British India,
nothing of possible ways or means, and she put
the whole subject out of her mind. The next
morning it returned ; she could not get rid of the
impression that it belonged to her to answer that
Early in March, 1880, Mrs. Carpenter wrote
to Gopal, using the Kolhapur address; but after
the migratory fashion of the British office, the
6 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
postmaster had meanwhile left that town for
Bombay, and was now among the dreary hills of
Bhooj. In this letter she offered the shelter of
her own home to the young wife in whom she
had already begun to feel a tender interest. It
was some mouths before she received a reply,
which led directly to the freest correspondence
with Anandabai. The strength and sweetness of
Mrs. Carpenter's letters seem to have won Anan-
dabai's confidence at once. In a very little while
she had adopted Mrs. Carpenter into her family,
called her her aunt, and wrote of the children at
Eoselle as her cousins.
" Then began for me," writes Mrs. Carpenter, " a
regular course of education in Hindu manners, cus-
toms, religious rites, and everything of interest which
her ready pen and remarkable mastery of English
could set forth, while I in return answered all her
queries. Newspapers, magazines, pictures, flowers,
and seeds were exchanged. The exchange of pho-
tographs was most interesting to me, because of the
peculiar style of dress. How strange seemed the
bare arms with many bracelets, the bare space un-
der one arm, the bare feet with their anklets and
toe -rings, and the mark on the forehead ! That I
should be corresponding with a young woman dressed
like this who could write elegant English seemed
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 37
past belief. I was puzzled by a blemish on the upper
lip ; and in response to my inquiries, Anandabai wrote :
* It is the nose-ring that you see in my photograph,
between my nose and my lip. It consists of one gold
wire, upon which are fastened pearls, some pendent and
others fixed and star-shaped. We are fond of many
ornaments. Our hands, feet, necks, and waists are
all adorned " to the teeth." Even our noses and ears
are bored in many places to hold them. Holes are
bored through the lower part of the left nostril for
the nose-ring, and all around the edge of the ear for
jewels. This may appear barbarous to the foreign
eye ; to us it is a beauty ! Everything changes with
the clime. The Mahratta dresses and ornaments are
quite different from those in use in other parts of
India.' We exchanged locks of hair, although Anan-
dabai said it was not the custom of her people ; only
widows were allowed to cut their hair."
In writing of widows at another time, she said
to Mrs. Carpenter: —
"To tell you the truth, I shudder at the very
sound of the word. Your American widows may
have difficulties and inconveniences to struggle with,
but weighed in the scale against ours, all of them put
together are but as a particle against a mountain.
When we began to write, I cared little for letters ;
but I now see how the daily occurrences of life, which
I thought so trifling, may yield instruction."
38 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
Later she continued : —
*'I wish to preserve my manners and customs,
unless they are detrimental to my health. Can I
live in your country as if I were in my own, and
what will it cost mel When I think over the suf-
ferings of women in India in all ages, I am impatient
to see the "Western light dawn as the harbinger of
emancipation. I am not able to say what I think,
but no man or woman should depend upon another
for maintenance and necessaries. Family discord and
social degradation will never end till each depends
At this time, not being very well, Anandabai
went to Kalyan. From this town she sent some
silver filigree from Cutch to her friends ; and later
she continues : —
"We reached Calcutta on the 4th of April, 1881.
The flowers I sent you from Cutch were wild flowers.
I had made a garden in my compound there, but
I had no liking for the care of it, and I owe you a
great debt for urging me to undertake it."
And she goes on to tell how flowers are used in
the Hindu religious services, how each god is
supposed to have his favorite flowers, trees, and
plants, and speaks of their specific virtues.
In May she wrote very despondently of her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 39
own health, and of coming to America, and goes
on : —
" We have met with so many misfortunes that I
do not think my husband will continue long in the
service. We have no friends here. Our diet, man-
ners, and customs are different from those of the
Bengalis ; nor can we ask sympathy from the English.
We Hve in the house of a German milliner. When
I came, all the servants gathered round to have a
look at me, and the lady peeped through her window
and laughed. If we read to each other, she begs us
to stop because her children cannot go to sleep. She
told some people that we quarrelled all night, and
asserted that I was not a married woman. For a
fortnight we could not get enough to eat, although
our pockets were full. Our ' kit,' containing baggage,
bedding, and clothing, remained behind, and we had
to sleep on mats. The ground was damp. Such a
thing had never happened to us before. You see how
hard it is to travel where we have no friends. What
would happen to us in your country ]
" Our great Raja Harischandra was persecuted like
the Job of your Bible. He was deprived of his all,
of his wife and child, but he did not break his vow.
When he stood the test, God restored all to him."
Hope still cheered Anandabai, although her hus-
band seems wholly to have lost courage. In June,
1881, she writes : —
40 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
" Calcutta is trying to the utmost. Physically we
are reduced in health and strength. The climate is
very warm. It has begun to rain, and yet the heat
is not less. We go out for a walk, and the Europeans
talk and laugh when they see us. The natives stand
still, and order their carriages to stop, while they
stare at us. They can never be persuaded that we
are married. There is so much of the zenana system
here that a woman can scarcely stand in the presence
of her relatives, — much less before her husband. Her
face is always veiled. She is not allowed to speak to
any man, — much less to laugh with him. Even the
Baboos, who have spent years in England, will not
drive here, with their wives, in open carriages. If it
is so with the educated people, how much more preju-
diced must be the illiterate ! One Sepoy insulted us
when we were walking on the Esplanade. He asked
my husband who the woman was that he had with
him. My husband was angry, and asked his name, to
report him to the commissioner. This brought him
to his senses, and he went away courteously."
The first entire letter which I select from her
correspondence is dated —
Calcutta, Aug. 27th, 1881.
My dear Aunt, — In my last I acknowledged your
letter of July 3d. I beg to answer it now. I have no
more of your letters to answer, and hope not to be in
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 41
arrears in future. Your letter, that I am about to
reply to, is so consoling and heart-soothing that it is
most welcome. We are not yet free from troubles.
During the last five months anxieties have arisen
without and within. We were about to forget them,
when another serious mishap occurred.
A special despatch from the Viceroy to the Governor
of Bengal was due here on Sunday, the 14th. It was
watched by special officers from Simla. It was re-
ceived by my husband on passing a receipt. It was
to be immediately sent to the Governor*s camp. My
husband was therefore going to the railway with one
of his assistants, into whose hand the important letter
was given. As they were running fast, to get into a
hackneyed carriage that could be met on the road, the
letter dropped down. A searching inquiry was made
all along, but in vain. The letter disappeared in the
twinkling of an eye. The consternation and stir it
must have given rise to throughout the town will be
better conceived than described. All the high officials
held councils. The police were sent in all directions.
The persons of the men on the road were examined.
Not a stone was left unturned. My husband and his
assistants were in custody ; depositions were made, —
in short, it was a day which will never be forgotten.
My husband was suspended, pending orders from
You may imagine what state of mind I was in,
and how engrossed must have been my heart by grief !
42 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
We gave up all hopes of service, and were preparing
to start for any place. We first determined to go to
Rangoon, in Birmah, and stay there for a time. It was
my intention to make an address before the English-
speaking people there, and thus obtain pecuniary as-
sistance to leave for another place. From there we
were thinking of going to Hong-Kong, and thence to
Japan, and from Japan to America. This project may
appear very wild to an outsider, but it was a necessity.
We could not retrace our steps to Bombay, nor was it
easy to travel in Bengal or the Punjaub, where the
zenana is rampant. But, thanks to Providence, my
husband has been reinstated ! My husband never lost
anything before but in Calcutta ; he had never seen
police court before but in Calcutta; we had never
had scandals in our neighborhood but in Calcutta ;
we had never seen double-tongued men before but in
Calcutta. I do not know how much misery is still in
store for us. I have been telling him to sever his
connection with Government to avoid any future ca-
lamities; but he is wavering. He thinks it very
difficult to earn a livelihood ; but I think otherwise.
Whether he is more experienced, and knows the world
better, and therefore cannot do anything hastily, or
whether the more a man is advanced in position, and
the more he gets beyond what is actually necessary to
sustain life, the more susceptible of imaginary diffi-
culties he becomes, I do not know ; but in my opin-
ion man must fear nothing but God. As God is over
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 43
US and supplies our wants, I do not know why we
should have a thought for the morrow. Man wants
but little, and for that little he bears a world of care,
which I do not understand. Let me be here, or in
any part of the globe, I will get my bread.
But to return to your letter. Had there been no
difficulties and no thorns in the way, the man would
have been in his primitive state and no progress made
in civilisation and mental culture. Your letter is a
sermon which we needed. Each line is full of mean-
ing and world wide knowledge. I do not know how
many times I should thank you.
We have our food cooked by ourselves. "We do not
get these things ready in the Bazaar. As we had no
pots in which to cook, we could not do otherwise
than go without, tiU. we had our own furniture
brought home. We never employ low caste people
to attend to household affairs, and as we were but
two, in a place where servants and other things
available were of no use to us we could but remain
fasting. Imagine, you go to a place where there are
no shops and yoii have plenty of money in your
pocket. There is nobody to give you food, what will
you do with your money? I have told you before,
that as the people of India are not a travelling class,
there are no hotels for us at each halting place.
When we go on a travel we generally take with us
articles of food, prepared in milk and sugar, without
a drop of water.
44 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
Any thing prepared in water is not carried and
eaten. If eaten it must be prepared then and there
and eaten on the spot. So money is not always a
useful article in India. I know a gentleman who
was travelling in *' Kandesh." He was not admitted
to house or temple so he had to pass the night under
a tree, l^ext morning he went from door to door,
but could get no one to cook for him, though he was
willing to pay for it enormously. At night he got
hold of an old lady, who agreed to serve him, provided
he would tell nobody.
I have dreams about my departed friends, but
never feel their presence when I am awakened. I
often dream of going to America and holding long
conversations. What does it portend 1
1 enclose a letter for Eighmee. I hope she will
write to me again. Her hand is after your fashion,
Several things are remarkable in this letter.
Those who saw Anandabai and her husband to-
gether in this country cannot fail to recognize in
her description of the trouble at the Post Office
the restless excitable nature of the n3.an and the
sweet serenity of the woman. Those projects of
hurried travel were all his, but she does not disown
them. We smile tenderly over the expressive
epithet of "hackneyed" as applied to a public
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 45
carriage, but Anandabai could not know that it was
the abuse of the public coach which had caused
this word to stand for all common-place and tire-
some things. Its history is a curious example
of the growth of language. Originally applied, as
Eichardson shows, to an active noisy horse or ney,
which vented its activity in frequent neighs, and
as such horses were most frequently found at-
tached to public carriages, the word hack-ney was
soon transferred to the carriage itself, and when
the dusty vehicle began to have a fixed character
in the public mind, the substantive soon came
to do duty as an adjective for all manner of
In this letter Anandabai expresses the great
annoyance she felt, at the observation she attracted
in Bengal. "The zenana is rampant" she says.
Once when I was trying to protect her from un-
pleasant observation in the City of Philadelphia,
she thanked me by saying, " I am more at home
here than I was in Calcutta." She is only six-
teen, yet she wonders at the world of care people
are willing to carry to acquire goods that are by no
means necessary ! Do we not find a touch of the
" Oriental Christ " in the words " As God is over
us, and supplies our wants, I do not know why
we should have a thought for the morrow ? " She
46 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
could not speak English at this time, although
she wrote it so easily. The letter closes with an
allusion to the impulse which had prompted Mrs.
Carpenter to write to her. Her father Gunpiitrao
Joshee, had now been dead for some time, and
she fancied from something that Mrs. Carpenter
had written, that her new friend had been under
his influence. If he had lived the family oppo-
sition which made her life and duty so very hard
would have been averted.
She now began to study Sanscrit in earnest that
she might be able to show English scholars " the
sublimity of the Shasters."
In a letter written about this time, she says,
" Any thing which cannot be enjoyed by the whole
world is bad for me ! " Was there ever a more
pronounced socialism ? Her life in Calcutta had
brought her new and varied trials, which she felt
more sharply than any in the morasses of *' Cutch."
We know from this letter that she was very
poorly fed. Her landlady did nothing to help her
out of her trouble. When she went into the
street or to the Bazaar she was followed and
pelted. "This country is not a good one for us
for we are living in a manner not warranted by
its customs," she wrote. Feeling the dejection
consequent on starvation she says, "I think I
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 47
shall not live long. To live and be useful is of
the grace of God, but to die is the direct proof of
his grace ; still to die before the call of nature is
the desertion of duty." Wonderful thoughts these
to be stirring in that young brain. To one who
knows anything of the sanitary condition of the
smaller towns of India, it is impossible to contem-
plate with patience the several changes in her
career. Daintily fresh always was everything
about her that she could control, but at Barrack-
pore, from which she writes in December, she
attain alludes to fever and headache. She had not
been well for more than a year. From Nov. 1880,
to March, 1881, she had been constantly ailing.
In Sept. and October, 1881, she was so unwell as
to be carried to a friend's house to be nursed. It
was after hearing of this illness, that a friend of
Mrs. Carpenter's, a lady who had no special interest
in Anandabai, received a prescription in her sleep
which was sent to her. I give it exactly as it
1 ounce of black Cohosh,
I an ounce of Juniper berries,
1 ounce of Virginia snakeroot,
^ ounce of Buchu leaves.
Put this in four quarts of water and boil it down to one
quart. Add one pint of tbe best Holland gin, and take
48 LIFE OF AKANDABAI JOSHEE.
half a wine glass after breakfast and just before going to bed.
Begin with a little smaller dose, and repeat the prescription
This would not be worth relating if it were
not for the consequences. Anandabai took the
medicine in December of 1881, and it is not till
October, 1883, that we find again in her letters
the pitiful words, "I am not very well," words
which had been written in every letter previously
received and which we came to understand later
as having very serious meaning.
This is what she herself says about it, writing
Barrackpore, Bengal, Dec. 26th, 1881.
My dear Friend, Your favor of Oct. 10th. came
too late for a reply in last month. I am much better
now, at least, free from fever. I am however thinking
of taking the medicine, which you so kindly sent as
prescribed for me by your good Doctor. I am now
more independent and able to have things to my sat-
isfaction. To tell you the truth, I always labor under
inward impressions. I solve many difficult things
while sleeping. I was not able to cut different kinds
of native dresses for men and women, but I have
learnt how in dreams. While sleeping, I dreamed
that I had cut such and such shapes and sewed
them. Next morning I when awakened actually did
the same and according to memory and found every-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 49
thing fit and complete. Whenever I have to learn
anything by heart, I do it when asleep. In the day, I
read the passage to be committed to memory but once,
and in sleep I read it over and over and repeat it
next morning, without a mistake. Whenever I find
any difficult passage in poetry I pass it over in the
day, but in sleep I paraphrase it correctly and the
next morning I am all right in translating it. I do
not know who teaches me, but I learn in this way.
I am therefore strongly inclined to believe that this
medicine, prescribed in sleep will help me.-^
As I am not familiar with the English or American
houses, I do not know how to satisfy your curiosity
about the city house. We were living in a house,
like those in which Europeans live in India.
I shall however try to give you a description of a
native dwelling in Bengal, in my next letter, as I once
described to you our dwelling in Bombay.
The death of your good President has been mourned
all over India. Every native paper had a leading ar-
ticle as if the loss was our own. This is an example
^ " I have myself not infrequently got out of bed at night
to write a thought or sentiment that had occurred to me in
a semi dozing condition. A dream has some times served
to solve an intricate mathematical problem, one that could
not be solved in the waking state by the most powerful
efforts of the mind." Autobiography of Dr. S. D. Gross,
Vol. I. p. 178.
50 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
of how good men live and die. They live for the pub-
lic good and die in service. Thanks for the pamphlets
of Shaker. They are Christian in principle.
As you are not born and brought up in Hindu re-
ligion you will not, I am afraid, appreciate its true
merits. No religion is bad, but its followers and self-
ish interpreters. Our priests are prejudiced and cor-
rupt as are those of other religions. I dislike them
as a class. I would rather be ignorant and illiterate
than to have partial knowledge of every thing. As you
value sickness as a means for the enjoyment of hap-
piness, so I regard irreligious people as pioneers. If
there had been no priesthood this world would have
advanced ten thousand times better than it has now.
So you need not expect to learn anything from our
priests, who are no doubt groping in darkness. Spir-
itual truths which lighten all burdens, and call for no
sacrifices, are our teachers. Our forefathers used to
commune with the All pervading Force, and derived
knowledge therefrom. They disregarded external du-
ties and put too much stress on the acquirement of
self knowledge for the emancipation of the soul.
I am sorry I forgot all about the wedding of the
Bengali Babu though I promised to give you some ac-
count of it. The services of the occasion were for-
malities like the Christian. The parties were united
by mutual promises made before a magistrate. The
marriage was registered before the ceremonies were
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 51
formally performed by a Bengali minister. This is
copying English fashion. I do not understand why
this is given precedence to the old customs which
were more established.
I am glad to inform you, that if I have at all
received any schooling, it was for a year only, when
we were in Bombay. The lady superintendent was
Miss Robson, who was very much interested in my
education. She belongs to the Mission established
by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
I love these Mission ladies for their enthusiasm and
energy, but I dislike blindness to the feelings of
others. This lady compelled me to read the Bible
on pain of expulsion from the school. I told her I
would not, and came home. I informed my husband,
and said I did not want to go to that school again.
But he expostulated with my rashness. He said that
we would not lose anything by reading the Bible,
and brought me round, to going to School, where
I then abided by the rules. As a whole, I have
nothing to say against the Bible, which is a code of
moral rules, except the assertion, " He that believeth
shall be saved," and "he who believeth not shall be
damned." I have all along found the Missionaries
very headstrong, and contemptuous of the faiths of
others. How arbitrary would it be if I were to say
that all you believed was nonsense, and all I believed
was just and proper ! My dear friend, I have nothing
52 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
to despise. The whole universe is a lesson to me. I
am required by duty to respect every creed and sect,
and value its religion. I therefore read the Bible
with as much interest as I read my own religious
books. I sincerely thank you for your undivided
sympathies with me and my husband in the sudden
fall into the depth of anxiety and distress brought
about by that sad event.
If I had been called to share the storms with my
husband, I would have done nothing but my duty
which I owe him as his deserving wife. There would
have been nothing commendable or heroic in it. Let
there be any amount of difficulties or distresses, and
I think I shall be more than equal to face them. My
hearty love to Eighmee and Helena.
In spite of a certain crudeness of expression
there is a wonderful maturity of thought in this
letter. I think no one can read without emotion
the paragraph beginning, "I have nothing to
despise, the whole universe is a lesson to me."
The next letter is written from Serampore.
Barrackpore and Serampore are two small towns
about ten miles north of Calcutta on the two
opposite banks of the Hooghly. Each is reported
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 53
to contain from twelve to fifteen thousand inhabi-
tants but they are very different in character.
Barrackpore has been the country seat of the
Governor Generals for more than forty years. It
has fine residences, a beautiful park and a large
military cantonment. Serampore is now a Hindu
village. It is neatly built, in European fashion,
stretching along the banks of the river for a mile.
It was long the headquarters of the Protestant
Missions and was ceded by Denmark to Great
Britain in 1845. That Mr. Joshee should have
been successively removed from an important
position in Calcutta to the offices in these small
towns would seem to indicate some dissatisfaction
on the part of the government, occasioned perhaps
by the lost letter, but there were no more changes.
At Serampore, Anandabai remained until she
started for America. From her copious letters to
Mrs. Carpenter I select the following.
Serampore, April 18th, 1882.
As intimated in my last, we left Barrackpore on
the first, and arrived here the same evening. The
river is only a mile wide, and we crossed in boats.
Serampore is an old town of historical note. The
first Missionary College in India was established here.
It is still flourishing. There are many rich land-
holders, whose houses are princely. But the inhabi-
64 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
tants are as barbarous and superstitious as they were
hundreds of years ago. If the men are friendly they
will not allow their women to associate with their
own sex, if they are foreigners like me. I can form
no acquaintance with them, unless I were to become
a Missionary and force my way into the Zenana.
You must not suppose they would not like to see the
world, and yet some of the Bengali women who have
been educated follow very barbarous customs. It is
customary among us to eat " Vida " compounded of
thirteen ingredients, namely betel leaves, betel nut,
chunam, almond, camphor, saffron, cloves, cardamon,
and so on. This "Vida" stains the teeth, tongue
and mouth a red color. Some of these Bengalis stain
the outside of their lips and so expose themselves
I rely on God, and do not seek to know who are
his individual messengers to me. Take any religion
you like and you will find that its founder was a
holy man. Go to his followers and you will find
holy men the exception. I am glad to inform you
that Miss Robson's school has been closed owing to
her obstinacy. Soon after I left, she required all her
scholars to read the Bible, and the result was that
her pupils, ninety in number, left her, and she went
home never to return.
In January, 1882, Anandabai sent out her gift
of the Tila seed comfits, the making of which
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE, 55
she describes in the following letter. She asked
that they might be distributed among her friends
according to the Hindu custom at the New Year,
with the words
" Accept these Tila seeds, and be friendly with me
throughout the year."
The Tila seeds are of three kinds, the white,
red and black. I think it was the black which
Anandabai used for her comfits. An oil is ex-
tracted from all of them, and is now exported to
France, where it serves to adulterate olive oil.
Serampore, Bengal, May 16th, 1882.
My dear friend, — Your favors of March and
April are with me for reply. At the head of each
letter are beautiful pictures which are really worth
looking at. I am glad to hear that the Tila seeds have
at last reached you. I have requested you to eat them
up, as they are intended for that. The way they
are prepared is not difficult to learn, but I do not
know enough to describe it. Take one pound of sugar
and as much water and boil it till it becomes a little
thick, so that if dropped on the ground it will look
like a pearl and will run if you blow it, yet will not
be hardened or dried into a pill. This sugar juice
should be kept in a pot. Then the seeds should be
wet, their skins removed, and again dried : put a
56 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
brass pan over a light fire, and shake the seeds in it
till they are swollen. Then move them to and fro
with your fingers, and put five drops of the sugar on
them at a time, shaking them till all are coated. Then
you will have Tilas like mine. I am very much inter-
ested in the work you do from morning till evening.
You will find the women of this country, both rich
and poor, employing their time as usefully as you do.
I am glad our household business perfectly resembles
yours, but alas ! how few there are among the Euro-
pean residents of India who follow in the footsteps
of their forefathers.
My time is not so usefully employed as yours, but
I will give you an account of the life which the gen-
erality of our women lead. We get up at five o'clock.
We first answer the calls of nature, which is the pri-
mary duty, without which no person is clean to do
any business, much less to worship God and prepare
food. We sweep the ground, and wash all the copper
and brass pots used for drinking purposes and wor-
ship. Then we oil and comb and dress our hair with
several kinds of ornaments. Then, if there be chil-
dren in the house, rice is prepared for them at about
half past seven. Children eat it with salt and ghee.
Ghee is boiled butter. Milk is sometimes used with
rice. Children use pickles and " Papad " made of kid-
ney beans, pounded with seasoning, such as cummin,
pepper, chili, salt, and sometimes fennel. We begin
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 57
to give rice to children when they are one year old.
Hand-made breads of wheat flour are sometimes made
for children's breakfast. After this is done we are
engaged in putting all articles to rights before we sit
down to cook them. As soon as vegetables are brought
from the market, we wash them and then cut them
into small pieces. So are rice, pulse and wheat flour
cleaned and kept ready for cooking. We usually pre-
pare five or six vegetables, and an equal number of
other sour, hot, and sweet articles called "Koshim-
biris." Plantains, guavas, and other fruits are cut
,and filled with spices.
Our stove is earthen, by the side of which we sit to
cook after bathing and changing our night clothes and
putting on sacred garments, which have been washed,
and dried in a room where no one could go to touch
First we put an iron pan or a brass pot on the
stove and put a little oil in that. When it is hot, rye
seeds and cummin are thrown into it. When they
are properly fried and broken, we put the vegetables
in and cook them without water. We take our meals
twice a day. The first meal about noon, the second
from seven to eight in the evening. As a rule men
take their meals before the women who serve them.
A married woman does not eat until she has served
her husband. After dinner, the men go to bed, and
women are engaged in removing and washing the
58 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
dishes, and cow-dunging the earthen floors, after
which we change our clothes, and sit down, preparing
for next day's cooking, cleaning rice and so on. We
cut and sew our clothes till half-past five. We then
go to the temple and return home after six o'clock,
when we are again employed in preparing articles for
Slipper. This occupies us until nine, when we pre-
pare our beds and sleep. This is what women in
India generally do. They have no letters to write,
or books to read. They do not receive or make calls,
except among their own female relatives. They do
not speak with men, even with their own husbands,
in presence of somebody.
I hope Helena has begun to attend school. It is
getting very warm here, and much sickness prevails.
My husband has been unwell. He has applied for
one year's furlough. If he gets it, we shall start for
America. It was our intention to secure a passage
for Japan, and thence to America, but it is a circuitous
route and expensive, so we intend going through Eng-
land. Can you tell me how many days it will take,
and what is the fare? I suppose Eoselle is not far
from New York.
I have much pleasure to inform you that I had
some Bengali ladies invited to my house one evening
and I was very much astonished to see them bow
down before me, as if I were God ! They were pecu-
liarly interested in my dress and ornaments. They
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE, 59
said the Maharastras had a respectable dress of their
own, while Bengalis are half naked. I began this let-
ter on the 16th, but was abruptly invited to Calcutta
by my kind lady for a party which she gave in honor
of her son's thread ceremony.
Your affectionate niece,
This quaint account of the manufacture of the
comfits sent by Anandabai, as a new Year's greet-
ing, lets us into some of the secrets of Hindu
cooking. From the time that she first began to
write to Mrs. Carpenter, to that of her own arri-
val in this country, the little Hindu girl sent by
mail or ship all sorts of curious things to illus-
trate the dress, food and customs of her country.
Hers was no bric-a-brac collection. Scarce an
article in it had any claim to prettiness, but the
thoroughness with which she managed to exhibit
Oriental life would have done credit to a Cen-
tennial Commissioner. Samples of all sorts, mil-
let, buckwheat, pease and beans, were brought in
small phials. All herbs, roots, seeds, and gums
used in medicine were put up in the same fashion.
Then followed the cooking utensils made of brass
or pottery, the furnaces or chafing-dishes of coarse
earthenware, the family idols and their shrines.
60 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
and last of all, the letters which carefully de-
This "Tila" is the Sesamum orientale, always
connected in the Oriental mind with the occult
forces, and carrying a hidden meaning as it is sent
from one friend to another. The " Open Sesame "
of the Arabian Nights is an invocation to the
secret creative forces hidden in this tiny germ
and permitted to work elsewhere.
" Ghee," she tells us, is " boiled butter," but why
should butter be boiled ? . Because, otherwise, it
could not be used at all, in many parts of India.
Butter must there be made from milk, often by
simply shaking it in a bottle, for it is impossible
to let the milk stand until the cream rises. After
the butter is made, it is scalded, clarified and so
carried to market, otherwise it would be rancid in
twenty-four hours. This is " Ghee," and in it all
Hindu vegetables are cooked.
Many vegetables are used in India, which seem
to us as innutritions as the "fried grass" of which
Daniel Webster once partook at a rural neighbor's.
Buckwheat is roasted, and eaten in the grain and
tender buckwheat leaves are stewed in "ghee" like
beans or pulse.
The practice of " cow-dimging " the floors of
apartments does not seem very pleasant, it is
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 61
therefore necessary to explain it. When Mr. Dall
first went to Calcutta, he found the Hindus every-
where sweeping their houses and compounds with
brooms made of twigs. Of course, it could not be
thoroughly done, and one of the first articles man-
ufactured in the Useful Arts School was the
European broom, the handles, the broom corn,
and the finished articles being several times sent
out from Boston. After the earthen floor of a
native house is swept, it is sprinkled with water
in which cow-dung has been dissolved.
This water stands until it is clear, and is really
a solution of ammonia. The effect of it upon the
earthen floors is to purify and harden them. It
must be remembered that the Hindus consider
everything relating to the cow as sacred, and prim-
itive experience probably pointed out the use-
fulness of this application.
- The allusion to the " bowing down " of the Ben-
gali ladies may puzzle those who are unacquainted
with Hindu life.
The Mahrattas, among whom Anandabai had
been bred, greet each other with dignity much
like Europeans. The Bengalis prostrate them-
selves, and this astonished Anandabai as much
as it would one of us.
The next letter from Serampore contains a touch-
62 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
ing Hindu story, and an interesting account of
the " imposition of the thread," which may be
considered as the consecration of the adult Brah-
min according to the Shasters.
Those who read between the lines can easily
see what the story of Savitri had become to
Serampore, Bengal, June 17th, 1881.
My dear Friend, I now pick up my pen to
write as I promised. To-day is the day of maihng,
and I suspect I shall not be able to post in time.
I am sorry to inform you, that our starting for Amer-
ica has been postponed for about six months, as a
furlough cannot be had before.
I will send the price of the three books you so
kindly sent me two years ago, through the money
order system which will begin on the first of July.
I now turn to your question, " What is the thread
ceremony '? " I will try to quench your thirst of curi-
osity. There are sixteen such ceremonies among us,
from birth to death. " Thread ceremony " is the eighth
in order. It is initiating a Brahmin boy of eight years
in spiritual knowledge. After this, the boy must live
at his preceptor's house, and study Vedas and many
other things till he is twenty years of age. And if
during twelve years he is very well educated, he is
then allowed to come to his father's house, but if not,
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 63
he is uot allowed till he finishes his study. He must
pass this time, which is devoted to knowledge, in celi-
bacy and then his marriage takes place. He should
pass twenty or twenty-five years in the company of his
family, until he is forty or forty-five years of age. The
remainder of his life should pass in solitude until
death put a stop to it. In this ceremony Brahmins
are fed, money is given to the poor, and a triple
thread, prepared at home, is taken in hand and made
holy by repeating Vedic verses. This is afterward
worn by the boy round his neck and under his right
hand as a garland. I will send you an Almanac from
which you may see how it is worn. Then the boy
becomes a holy Brahmin. Before this ceremony he is
allowed to dine with his parents, that is to say, they
can eat from one dish, but when he has passed it
and becomes what is called a "Munjah," he must eat
alone by himself. This ceremony is performed by
three castes, the Brahmin, the Kshatriya. and the
Vaishya. Among Brahmins in the eighth year, among
Kshatriyas in the eleventh, and among Yaishyas
in the twelfth. After the ceremony, the boy must
perform certain religious austerities twice a day.
This ceremony corresponds to baptism among Chris-
tians. It was good in principle, but now-a-days it is a
mere ceremonial. Parents now spend thousands of ru-
pees to gratify their vanity and do no good to the
boy, who is fed at home, instead of being allowed to
64 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
stay with his preceptor and live by begging, which
is the principal injunction of our Shastras. A Mun-
jah has no right to eat at his father's. I am afraid I
have not done justice to the subject, but will try to
write more fully before long.
We had a holiday on the first, which is called " Wala-
savitri." Wala means a banyan tree, and Savitri was
the obedient wife of a man named Satyavan. Sa-
vitri was the only child of her father, who was called
" Ashvapati." She was exceedingly beautiful and wise.
She was growing more and more wise as the moon
grows in the first fortnight.. When she was about
eighteen years of age, her father sought for a bride-
groom, but did not find any one fit to be her husband.
Ashvapati was a king, so he searched for a princely
bridegroom. He afterwards told his daughter to travel
and choose for herself. She went with many attend-
ants and saw many kingdoms on the earth, but did
not find any good-natured prince. There was a de-
throned king called " Dinmatsen " who had an obedient
son named Satyavan. Dinmatsen and his wife were
both blind. This family of three dwelt in a cottage
in a forest. Savitri chose Satyavan for her husband,
and immediately returned home to inform her father,
who consented to it.
In the mean time Narada descended from Heaven,
and went to the King's Palace. Ashvapati was very
glad to welcome him. While they were engaged in
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 65
philosophic conversation Savitri came in and Narada
asked where she had been. Ashvapati informed him
and Narada then begged her not to marry Satyav^n.
She replied that her determination would never alter.
Narada and her father tried their best to influence her
by telling her that he was dethroned and in reduced
circumstances. She refused to heed them. At last
Narada explained that Satyavan would die in a year,
and if that would happen, what would she do ?
Notwithstanding this Savitri stood firm. She said no-
body should be defeated at heart, but bear with
whatever comes, whether pleasant or painful. " If
God has written widowhood on my forehead," she
said, "no one is able to wipe it away. God's will
shall be done, who will gainsay if? All persons on
the Earth except Satyavan are to me like my father's
brothers and sons. Then how could I marry them 1 "
Narada was pleased with what she said, and as-
cended to Heaven. Ashvapati made preparations, and
started for the forest with his daughter and all her
relations. He went to the cottage and explained
Dinmatsen explained that he was poor, blind and
dethroned, but finally consented.
So Savitri became the wife of Satyavan. The King
gave them wealth — but they declined it, saying that
as they might not enjoy their own riches, they would
take nothing from others. The Princess took off her
66 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
jewels and fine clothes and gave them to her father,
and the King returned to his people. Savitri knew
the day of her husband's death, which Narada had
predicted. She was an obedient wife and when at
last only three days were left to him, she could
neither sleep nor eat. Sorrow preyed upon her. Her
husband and his relations begged her not to fast for
she was very delicate. When the last day came, Saty-
avan was going as usual to the forest for fuel. Savitri
begged him to take her with him. " You are tender
and will not be able to walk. You must be very hun-
gry. Eat something and then come if you must." But
she urged him, till he sent her to ask the consent of his
father and mother. At first they too refused her.
They started for the forest. Her husband said that
she had better be at home, for the way was long
and difficult. " Should I not be with my dear hus-
band so much as once 1 " she said. As he was cutting
trees with his axe, he was tired, and a venomous snake
bit him. He then slept under a great banyan tree,
taking his wife's lap under his head instead of a
pillow. " Yama," the God of Death, came to her, and
asked her to lay her husband aside, that he might
take away his soul. "Who are you, and why do
you come hither T' said she. He answered her,
and she begged him not to separate them, but he
■would not heed. At last he seized the soul and went
away, and she followed him weeping. He looked back
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 67
and told her to go away and burn the corpse of her
husband. " What should I do without my husband,"
she cried; " wherever my husband's soul is carried I
will follow." '' You will be tired," he said ; " go back
and burn the body." "I am your adopted daugh-
ter, take me to my mother," she retorted. He desired
her to ask anything of him except her husband's soul.
She asked that her husband's parents might have their
si-ht. Yama gave it and walked on. He again looked
blck and told her to return. She said, " How is it that
you like to see your daughter a widow V' "Ask for
anything," he answered, "except this soul." She de-
sired that Dinmatsen should be restored to his lost
kingdom. Yama gave that too, but she did not cease
from following. " Go and burn your dead," he cried.
*^0h, this is a spot on your world-wide fame!
Death is said to be friendly," she cried.
"Ask me yet a third thing," he entreated.
" I have no brother," she replied. " Oh, bless my
father with a son." This also Yama granted, and told
her not to follow, but she went on. "Ask me a
fourth gift," he said, " and go back to the body."
"Venerable father," she said, "I must not be called
barren, give me some sons." "They are yours," he
said, and went forth, but she followed. He looked back
and gTew very angry. "Why do you not return f' he
said. " How am I to return without the soul of my
husband," she said patiently, "you have promised me
68 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
that I shall not be called barren." Then he remem-
bered that she was not pregnant and repented of his
fary. "Go back," he said, "the soul is released."
She hurried back to the banyan, in whose shad-
ows she had laid the body before she followed Yama.
Again she laid her husband's head upon her laj). In
a moment or two he roused and saw the sun shining.
She asked her husband why he slept so long, for he
knew that his parents would be waiting. He re2:)lied
that he had been dreaming. Then they hurried home,
and found to his great surprise, that his parents had
received their sight and that both father and mother
were weeping. How glad they were to see their
daughter-in-law for the first time with their own eyes !
The King who had dethroned them gave everything
back, so their last days were full of happiness.
Savitri's father had sons and reigned happily. We
therefore observe this day, and worship the banyan as
the emblem of eternal marriage.
I shall not be restored to a paaceful mind until I
hear that you are recovered from your illness. These
two years, since our correspondence commenced, I
have never had the misfortune of your letter being
put off on account of illness, although I have failed
more than once. I sincerely hope and pray to God
that my Aunt may soon be able to comfort her
niece in her distress.
Your affectionate niece,
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 69
The story of Savitri whicli Anandabai here tells
in her own way is one of the most beautiful of
the old Hindu epics. ISTarada or Narad', as the
name is pronounced, was a deity who sprang from
the hip of Brahma, and who with functions some-
times resembling those of Orpheus, at other times
those of Hermes, seems to have interfered con-
stantly in human affairs.
The last letter written from India that I shall
offer to my readers is full of character. It shows
a girl of seventeen absolutely fearless, because her
trust is in God. It gives us some idea of the
trials that had already beset her. It hints at the
disapprobation of her mother, which was the bit-
terest drop in her cup, but shows no suspicion of
the thousand drawbacks which were to delav her
start. In August, 1882, Mrs. Carpenter wrote her
a long and careful letter, detailing the manner and
expense of coming to America. For the first time
the way seemed easy and practicable to Anandabai,
and she pours forth her delight as follows.
Serampore, August 12th, 1882.
My dear Aunt, — I proceed to write an answer to
your letter dated July 1st, as promised in my last, in
which I have acknowledged it. I imparted my joy to
70 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
you in a few words. As I was reading it, I was in
ecstasy, when it fell from my hand. For a while I
knew not what to do. I wished I had feathers, to
flit at once. On that day I did not eat my food as
usual, for my head and heart were full with joy and I
thanked the Almighty for the approaching pleasure.
You know at first our intention was that we should
both start for America. I remember that you too, a
year ago, expressed your wish that we both should go,
but now it is altered. After serious deliberation we
perceive that it will be very expensive. You can im-
agine how difficult it is for a small purse to pay for
two passengers from India to America. Beside, my
husband has an old mother, and younger brothers to
care for. I have neither a jealous nature to be hurt
by this separation nor any one to care for except my
husband. I have had here two dear things above all
one of which I have lost (through her disapproba-
tion), and that is my mother. The other is my hus-
band. I have two sisters and one brother. Oh poor
mortals ! They are under a kinsman's care quite
ignorant of this world. So I am untyed. I am not
sorry for this, but think myself happy. I am there-
fore prepared to go alone to America, in company of
any respectable family. My husband will be here.
Considering the future prospects of my life as a physi-
cian I must make up my mind to be separated from
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 71
You have reason to think that very distant voyage
will be hazardous for a girl of eighteen because the
world is full of frauds and dangers, but dear Aunt,
wherever I cast my glance, I see nothing but a
straight and smooth way. I fear no miseries. I
shrink not at the recollection of dangers, nor do I
fear them. Wherever I will be, there will be Heaven
for me. I am sure God has created many high souls,
like you, who will not neglect me.
Besides, we are never sure that we shall live un-
separated for ever. We know not when we shall be
condemned to separation. Is it not always possible
that one of us will be lost 1 I give an instance for
your satisfaction. One family consisting of four mem-
bers came to Benares on a pilgrimage two months
ago. Unfortunately three of them died of cholera and
a helpless girl of eighteen was left behind. What
could she do then 1 She has lost her husband, brother-
in-law, mother-in-law. If this life is so transitory
like a rose in bloom, why should one depend upon
Every one must not ride on another's shoulders but
walk on his own feet. Perhaps my husband will fol-
low me, some time after, but I must not wait for him,
as time is so precious.
Thousands are too violently attached to the con-
trary opinions. Hundreds show their own scruples,
by urging that I am liable to go astray, and lead an
72 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
unchaste life when unprotected by any nearest relative.
My design meets the approbation of a few, say one or
two to a thousand, and they are probably, youths,
reformers and patriots. You will easily believe that
I, fearing the disapprobation of the many, will desist
from my determinate proposal, but it is not so. Though
I cannot teach courage, I must not learn cowardice,
nor at last leave undone what I so long since de-
termined to do. I am not discouraged. I only won-
der at their scruples and their timidity. I am not
sorry for their unfavorable opinions. Their opposition
strengthens me the more. I promise myself that
if my efforts will be successful, I will return to my
native country ; otherwise I will not see India again.
I must not fear but try my best and show all, what
we Indian ladies are like. Our antient Indian ladies
were very wise, brave, courageous and benevolent,
and endurance was their badge. Let it be my badge
also. I am sure nothing will harm me, or if it does,
it will be for my good. I know that whenever any
misfortune has befallen me, it has been profitable for
me. As we are all children of one father, none will
attempt to deceive or betray me, wheresoever I may
be. No one has power to disturb and harm, except
He gives it. "We have neither the power of devolving
misfortunes upon ourselves, nor the power of avoiding
them. These must come according to His will. I
must launch my fortune like a ship on the ocean of
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 73
life. To what shore shall it go, to a fertile bank
or a barren beach'? or will it go to pieces'? Let
me try to do my duty, whether I be victor or victim.
So I have determined, and will start some time in
December or January next. Please be so kind as to
be there at the time. I am sure you will not seek to
deter me from my purpose.
I am impatient to see you and to begin to learn
what my country needs. I feel that the movement
of my mind is due to the counsels of my husband.
What he has taught me, he has so impressed that it
will never be effaced.
Mrs. Joshee now began to prepare in earnest
for her removal to America. This last letter
shows that she had attentively considered all the
obstacles in her path, and that while Hindu rela-
tives opposed, her American friends affectionately
warned her. In the early part of October she
looked forward to travelling with friends of a
Mr. and Mrs. Thorburn, probably Missionaries,
as she states that Mrs. Thorburn had been a
graduate of the Woman's Medical College in
Philadelphia and would give her letters to friends
On the 17th she writes as if there had been
74 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
" I am ready, but the company is still to find."
"Letters have been sent to all the four quarters."
" Missionaries and English people advise me to go di-
rectly to New York, to delay in England will be very
expensive." " All this waste of time fatigues me."
'Nov. 28th, 1882, she continues : —
" Everything is going on through Dr. and Mrs.
Thorburn. I do not know how to repay their kind-
ness. I can only thank Him who gives them to me.
She has already written to the College in Philadelphia,
but I must wait to consult with you.
" I shall go with two English ladies of her acquaint-
ance who will start in February. I am sorry to say
that the Mahratta family who were so kind to me in
Calcutta are wholly changed since they know I am
going. My husband wrote them, when we could no
longer keep it secret. They have only one child, a
boy of eight, so they had adopted me as a daughter.
They did a great deal for me. I still think them kind
and good. Their opposition is due to tender hearts,
fearful minds, and foolish superstition. They are do-
ing all they can to prevent my going to America, but
I cannot blame them. I have been like a child to
them, dutiful, and I wish to continue so.
" God has given me two precious things, my hus-
band and my aunt. You will see how I have hardened
my heart, when I tell you that I will be happy with
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 75
you, though I am separated from him. I have given
all my cares and anxieties to Him who is the only
Soul. He who separates us will bring us together
Jan'y 16th, 1883, she writes : —
" You must be expecting to hear that I have found
my escort and know when I shall start, but nothing
is settled. I have been to Mrs. Thorburn on the first
and twelfth of this month. The last time I was ad-
vised to join a medical class which is shortly to be
opened in Calcutta under the supervision of Dr. Thor-
burn. This was unexpected, and I could not reconcile
myself to it. I told them I could not change my
plans. Mrs. Thorburn said she would do her best
for me, but knew of no escort. I found her wholly
changed, and wrote to my husband.
*' * I saw Mrs. Thorburn at the appointed hour. She
has disappointed me. Never mind, the opposition of
friends brings God to my side. I am not discouraged.*
Before he received this, he had called on Dr. Thorburn,
and shared my disappointment. Instead of losing
courage he went off to plan some other way, so I am
glad to tell you. that I will start early in February.
My husband will go as far as Madras or Aden, till he
can leave me with a trusty friend. Dear Aunt, every-
day I learn something new. What I thought to be
true yesterday I find to be false to-day, and something
76 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
else to-morrow. God's ways are not known to man.
Do not think I have anything to say against Dr. and
Mrs. Thorburn. They have been very kind and took
a lively interest in my plans. They may have re-
ceived bitter letters from my relatives, or they may
not find me fit for encouragement. Be that as it may,
I will see America, the dream of my life, and I will
stand or fall as I deserve.
" On the 12 th was a holiday, on which I had gone
uninvited to Calcutta to distribute sesamum-seed and
earthen pots. The Mahrattas treated me so unkindly
that I could not stay. He showed such a temper that
I bitterly repented going. I do not blame them, for
they had treated me like their own daughter. They
think it is my rashness or thoughtlessness, which
prompts a thing so hap-hazardous ! I have so many
difficulties and disappointments that I have not an-
swered your last two letters."
Jan. 23d, 1883, she writes, "I am glad to say,
that I shall start on the steamer ' Quetta,' leaving
Calcutta via England on February 17th."
On the 30th she says again, "Nothing is
changed." On the 13th of February she writes
from Serampore : —
" I am afraid you will not think me truthful. Last
time I spoke of one thing, this time of another, and
who knows 1 it may be something else next time ! It
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 77
would be madness to expect you to believe me, when I
cannot believe myself. Since I wrote Dr. Thorburn
sent a letter saying, " At last, we have made a very
good arrangement to send Mrs. Joshee with a party
of ladies by the ' City of Calcutta,' " etc. My husband
thanked him, but did not accept the offer. He soon
called on Dr. Thorburn and told him of my plans.
The Doctor said the Steamers of the Line my hus-
band intended me to take were not good. Many rough
people travelled on them and he thought I was too
young to go that way. He added that the ' City of
Calcutta' would carry a student of the Philadelphia
College much interested in my plans. My husband
thought that it would be too expensive to send me
first class, but the Doctor assured him that if I went
with a party of Missionaries, the difference would be
very small. So my husband came home, and the
next day sent the Doctor a letter; in which he said,
" If this lady takes my wife as a companion to please
herself we shall be very much obliged, but if it is
only to please you, and there is any grudge, we would
rather depend upon Him who has created us all.'
"So we have postponed starting for America. I was
confounded, but what would people say of me if I
despised this offered help *? How will it end ? Some-
times our measures bring about the very evils they
are intended to prevent. I am ashamed to speak of
starting. If God pleases, I will start by the * City of
78 LIFE OF ANANDA.BAT JOSHEE.
Calcutta' about the first of April. I am not sure
of anything. I am not a performer of anything. I
am only His instrument. The whole day and night
I dream only of seeing you."
Such extracts as these might be multiplied
many times. It seemed as if Anandabai's difiB.-
culties would never come to an end, but "with
what sweetness and serenity she encountered
them ! A rare union of qualities, for many who
do not fail in sweetness can hardly be called
serene. How touching is the humility with which
she defends the Thorburns and the Mahratta
family to whom she was so closely bound ! They
are not to blame, they have received bitter letters
from her family, they do not find her fit for en-
couragement ! all she undertakes must seem to
them " hap-hazardous ! " However it seemed, it
came truly of the "counsels of God."
And now she had come to the crisis of her life.
Let us consider what manner of woman she really
was and what experience she had had.
Of all the adventurous tribes who travelled
southwards she came of those who from their
hardihood, endurance and enterprise had consti-
tuted the first military order in the country. In
this military order of Eajpoots a still more in-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 79
telligent and adventurous gens originated, and
from this her ancestors were born. The record she
believed her family to have kept for two thousand
years was the record of exceptionally brave, stal-
wart and loyal men. The mantle of one of these
men, distinguished by royal gifts and the founder
of her family, had fallen upon her, young and
tender as she seemed. Her experience of life
had been varied. Her childhood had been passed
between Kalyan and Poonah. At Kalyan, she
was the daughter of a large landholder every-
where respected and beloved, who was himself
highly intelligent and quite as distinct a mono-
theist as if he had publicly enrolled himself
among the "Lions."
At Poonah she lived in a princely house in a
city of refinement and resources. In neither place
could she ever have encountered a bold glance or
a disrespectful word.
Out of this serene atmosphere her marriage
snatched her. Bombay was too large a city to
treat her as she deserved, when her mountain
habits attracted attention.
The Island of Cutch had introduced her to
everything that was repellent. When she fixed
her affections upon a family of her own people
in Calcutta she found them wholly wanting in the
80 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
sincere and simple piety whicli had characterized
At Serampore, where her husband was post-
master, her position was prominent enough to
draw the attention of the whole native popula-
tion, Ko one was inclined to aid her. It was at
Serampore that Henry Martyn lived, and the
Baptist College seemed still to glow with the
fire of his saintly life. The Christians, European
and native, did not wish her to go abroad un-
less she would submit to baptism before she
went. The Brahmins reviled her for even en-
tertaining the intention, and rejoiced over every
fresh obstacle. As the rumors of repeated dis-
appointment and repeated fresh endeavors rose
or fell the excitement increased. The Joshees
lived in the Post-Office building. At last, the
disturbance seriously interfered with the public
business. At all hours the building was thronged
and surrounded by groups of Bengalis of all
castes, whose noisy declamation and angry gestures
seemed likely to reflect discredit upon the office
itself In this condition of things, Gopal proposed
to get permission to make a public statement of
their intentions in the College Hall. He was very
much surprised to find that Anandabai preferred to
make the statement herself, but he yielded.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 81
The "courage of her convictions," which car-
ried her to the platform on the 24th of February,
1883, has not yet been properly estimated in this
country. It is not likely that any woman, either
native or European, had ever addressed a public
audience in that place. For a Brahmin woman
to appear in public at all was, as we have seen
from Anandabai's Calcutta experience, a grave
misdemeanor. For her to appear in order to
justify her own departure from the ways of her
fathers was doubtless a graver still, and if it had
not been for the general excitement, it is doubt-
ful whether the use of the hall would have been
Be that as it might, when the hour came the
hall was crowded. A large number of natives
had assembled, and with them a few Europeans.
Among the latter was a certain Col. Hans Mat-
tison, American Consul General in India, who
was stationed at Calcutta and had from the very
first felt a deep interest in her. The Eev. Mr.
Summers, of the Baptist College, presided at the
meeting. Anandabai made no preparation and had
no notes. If it had not been for the affection-
ate care of Col. Mattison, we should have lost
this remarkable address. Some months after her
arrival in this country Anandabai received half
82 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
a dozen printed copies of it from Bombay, without
having the slightest idea from whom it came.
Omitting her Sanscrit quotations from Manu,
and dropping a few paragraphs consisting of repe-
titions, I copy here the little pamphlet issued by
the "Native Opinion Press," of Bombay. Cer-
tainly if it was ever read in the palace at Poonah
it must have touched her mother's heart.
Ladies and Gentlemen, — I stand here to fail, as
I am not likely to succeed. I am however exceed-
ingly thankful to you for the trouble you have taken
to attend this meeting. You may have gathered here
anxiously to hear of some interesting subject, but I
am afraid you will be disappointed to hear me talk-
ing of an uninteresting one. But what should I do ]
There is no remedy. Had it been in my power to
give you a pleasing address, I would have done so.
The only attempt I have ever made to speak in pub-
lic is this. I have studied but a little while and
the language which I intend to speak in, is not only
foreign but thoroughly out of command, and entirely
unused. I am therefore liable to make thousands
of blunders even in grammar. Many of those who are
present here, are mere school-boys who will rejoice
to find that I am not equal to themselves : the young
will laugh and the old will pity my ignorance.
I wish I had better knowledge of the language to
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 83
attract the attention of you all. Pardon me for the
disappointment you will have to suffer. I do not
wish to tire you by a long preface, and as I want
your unfatigued attention to a long narration, I beg
to discontinue it.
I wish to thank the College authorities for allowing
me to stand here, more especially the Eev. Mr.
Summers for presiding.
Our subject to-day is, *' My future visit to America,
and public inquiries regarding it."
I am asked hundreds of questions about my going
to America. I take this opportunity to answer some
1. Why do I go to America?
2. Are there no means to study in India 1
3. Why do I go alone ?
4. Shall I not be excommunicated on my return ?
5. What shall I do if misfortune befall me 1
6. Why should I do what is not done by any of my
1. I go to America because I wish to study medi-
cine. I now address the ladies present here, who
will be the better judges of the importance of female
medical assistance in India. I never consider this
subject without being surprised that none of those
societies so laudably established in India for the pro-
motion of sciences and female education have ever
84 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
thought of sending one of their female members into
the most civilized parts of the world to procure thor-
ough medical knowledge, in order to open here a
College for the instruction of women in medicine.
There is probably no country so barbarous as India
that would not disclose all her wants and try to
st^nd on her own feet. The want of female physi-
cians in India is keenly felt in every quarter. Ladies
both European and Native are naturally averse to
expose themselves in cases of emergency to treatment
by doctors of the other sex. There are some female
doctors in India from Europe and America, who being
foreigners and different in manners, customs and
language, have not been of such use to our women
as they might. As it is very natural that Hindu
ladies who love their own country and people should
not feel at home with the natives of other countries,
we Indian women absolutely derive no benefit from
these foreign ladies.
They indeed have the appearance of supplying our
need, but the appearance is delusive. In my hum-
ble opinion there is a growing need for Hindu lady
doctors in India, and I volunteer to qualify myself
2. Are there no means to study in India 1
No. I do not mean to say there are no means, but
the difficulties are many and great. There is one Col-
lege at Madras, and midwifery classes are opened in
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE, 85
all the Presidencies; but the education imparted is
defective and not sufficient, as the instructors who
teach the classes are conservative, and to some extent
jealous. I do not find fault with them. That is the
characteristic of the male sex. We must put up with
this inconvenience until we have a class of educated
ladies to relieve these men.
I am neither a Christian nor a Erahmo. To con-
tinue to live as a Hindu and go to school in any part
of India is very difficult. A convert who wears an
English dress is not so much stared at. Native Chris-
tian ladies are free from the opposition or public scan-
dal which Hindu ladies like myself have to meet
within and without the zenana. If I go alone by train
or in the street some people come near to stare and
ask impertinent questions to annoy me. Example is
better than precept. Some few years ago, when I was
in Bombay, I used to go to school. When people saw
me going with my books in my hands, they had the
goodness to put their heads out of the window just to
have a look at me. Some stopped their carriages for
the purpose. Others walking in the streets stood
laughing, and crying out so that I could hear: —
" What is this % Who is this lady who is going to
school with boots and stockings on % "
" Does not this show that the Kali Uga has stamped
its character on the minds of the people % "
Ladies and gentlemen, you can easily imagine what
86 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
effect questions like these would have on your minds if
you had been in my place !
Once it happened that I was obliged to stay in
school for some time, and go twice a day for my meals
to the house of a relation.
Passers-by, whenever they saw me going, gathered
round me. Some of them made fun, and were con-
vulsed with laughter. Others, sitting respectably in
their verandahs, made ridiculous remarks, and did
not feel ashamed to throw pebbles at me. The shop-
keepers and venders spit at the sight of me, and
made gestures too indecent to describe. I leave it
to you to imagine what was my condition at such a
time, and how I could gladly have burst through the
crowd to make my home nearer !
Yet the boldness of my Bengali brethren cannot be
exceeded, and is still more serious to contemplate
than the instances I have given from Bombay.
Surely it deserves pity ! If I go to take a walk on
the strand. Englishmen are not so bold as to look
at me. Even the soldiers are never troublesome ; but
the Babus lay bare their levity by raaking fun of
everything. *' Who are you 1" " What caste do you
belong to?" *' Whence do you come?" "Where do
you go?" are, in my opinion, questions that should
not be asked by strangers. There are some educated
native Christians here in Serampore who are suspi-
cious; they are still wondering whether I am mar-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 87
ried or a widow j a woman of bad character or ex-
communicated ! Dear audience, does it become my
native and Christian brethren to be so uncharitable 1
Certainly not. I place these unpleasant things before
you, that those whom they concern most may rectify
them, and those who have never thought of the diffi-
culties may see that I am not going to America
through any whim or caprice.
3. Why do I go alone] It was at first the in-
tention of my husband and myself to go together, but
we were forced to abandon this thought. We have
not sufficient funds ; but that is not the only reason.
There are others still more important and convincing.
My husband has his aged parent and younger broth-
ers and sisters to support. You will see that his de-
parture would throw those dependent upon him into
the arena of life, penniless and alone. How cruel
and inhuman it would be for him to take care of one
soul and reduce so many to starvation ! Therefore
I go alone.
4. Shall I not be excommunicated when I return
to India"? Do you think I should be filled with con-
sternation at this threat? I do not fear it in the
least. Why should I be cast out, when I have de-
termined to live there exactly as I do here 1 I
propose to myself to make no change in my customs
and manners, food or dress. I will go as a Hindu,
and come back here to live as a Hindu. I will not
88 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
increase my wants, but be as plain and simple as my
forefathers, and as I am now. If my countrymen
wish to excommunicate me, why do they not do
it now '? They are at liberty to do so. I have come
to Bengal and to a place where there is not a single
Maharastra. Nobody here knows whether I behave
according to my customs and manners, or not. Let us
therefore cease to consider what may never happen,
and what, when it may happen, will defy human
5. What will I do if misfortune befall me 1 Some
persons fall into the error of exaggerated declamation,
by producing in their talk examples of national ca-
lamities and scenes of extensive misery which are
found in books rather than in the world, and which,
as they are horrid, are ordained to be rare. A man or
a woman who wishes to act does not look at that dark
side which others easily foresee. On necessary and
inevitable evils which crush him or her to dust, all
dispute is vain. When they happen they must be
endured, but it is evident they are oftener dreaded
than experienced. Whether perpetual happiness can
be obtained in any way, this world will never give us
an opportunity to decide. But this we may say, we
do not always find visible happiness in proportion to
visible means. It is not a thing which may be di-
vided among a certain number of men. It depends
upon feeling. If Death be only miserable, why should
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 89
some rejoice at it, while others lament 1 On the
other hand, Death and Misery come alike to good and
bad, virtuous and vicious, rich and poor, travellers
and housekeepers ; all are confounded in the misery
of famine, and not greatly distinguished in the fury
of faction. No man is able to prevent any catas-
trophe. Misery and Death are always near, and
should be expected. When the result of any hazard-
ous work is good, we praise the enterprise which
undertook it; when it is evil, we blame the impru-
dence. The world is always ready to call enterprise
imprudence when fortune changes.
Some say that those who stay at home are happy,
but where does their happiness lie 1 Happiness is not
a ready-made thing to be enjoyed because one desires
it. Some minds are so fond of variety that pleasure
if permanent would be insupportable, and they solicit
happiness by courting distress. To go to foreign
countries is not bad, but in some respects better than
to stay in one place. The study of people and places
is not to be neglected. Ignorance when voluntary is
criminal. In going to foreign countries, we may en-
large our comprehension, perfect our knowledge, or
recover lost arts. Every one must do what he thinks
right. Every man has owed much to others. His
effort ought to be to repay what he has received.
Let us follow the advice of Goldsmith who says :
" Learn to pursue virtue of a man who is blind, who
90 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
never takes a step without first examining the ground
with his staff." I take my Almighty Father for my
staff, who will examine the path before He leads me
further. I can find no better staff than He.
And last you ask me, why I should do what is not
done by any of my sex 1 To this I can only say, that
society has a right to our work as individuals.
It is very difficult to decide the duties of individuals.
It is enough that the good of one must be the good of
all. If anything seems best for all mankind, each one
of us must try to bring it about. According to Manu,
-ne desertion of duty is an unpardonable sin. So I
am surprised to hear that I should not do this, be-
cause it has not been done by others. Our ancestors
whose names have become immortal had no such
notions in their heads. I ask my Christian friends,
*' Do you think you would have been saved from your
sins, if Jesus Christ, according to your notions, had
not sacrificed his life for you all 1 " Did he shrink at
the extreme penalty that he bore while doing good 1
No, I am sure you will never admit that he shrank !
Neither did our ancient kings "Skibi" and " Maj/u-
radhwaj." To desist from duty because we fear failure
or suffering is not just. We must try, Never mind
whether we are victors or victims. Manu has divided
people into three classes. The meanest are those who
never attempt anything for fear of failure. Those who
begin, and are disheartened by the first obstacles, come
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 91
next; but those who begin, and persevere through
failure and obstacle, are those who win.
The greater the difficulty, the greater our courage.
Never let us desist from what we once begin.
I have done. I am afraid I have exhausted your
patience for which I beg to be excused.
Thus she pleaded. Let us imagine a young
American girl in her situation ! Is there any-
thing in the spirit of the discourse that we should
wish to change ? The expression could not have
been the same, for expression is born of experi-
ence, of our own experience, and that of gener-
ations that have gone before ; but in all that is
"pure womanly," all that shows loyalty to convic-
tion and courage to endure, no American mother
need ask more from her child than Anandabai
Joshee was able to give.
She writes again from Serampore, Feb. 27th,
"I gave a lecture on the 24th instant at the
Serampore College, concerning my journey, and the
public inquiries regarding it. There was a large
gathering of natives, and a few Europeans."
On March 6th she adds : —
" After hearing of my lecture Mr. H. E. M. James,
the Director General of the Post Offices of India, wrote
92 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
to my husband : * I was very glad to hear that Mrs.
Joshee has made her d^but, and has succeeded. Pray
give her my congratulations. I wish her every suc-
cess. In recognition of her courage and public spirit,
permit me to offer the enclosed check for one hundred
Eupees, which may be useful to her.' "
The money sent by Mr. James was more neces-
sary than many of Anandabai's friends would sus-
pect. She never asked for aid, and it is only
since her death that we have learned with sor-
row that the massive bracelets and bangles given
to her by her father when she married were
quietly sold to provide her passage money to
"I was sorry," wrote Mrs. Summers, "not to have
been present at your lecture on Saturday afternoon.
I had to conduct a Woman's Bible Class just at that
time, but my husband told me that it was a great
success, so accept my congratulations."
" 1 have received a good many letters from
other friends," she writes. "Mrs. Thorburn has
written me a letter of congratulation. One month
is still to pass." The sailing of the steamship
was, however, deferred from the 30th of March to
the 7th of April. The poor child's courage was
almost spent. On the 3d she continues : —
LIFE OF ANNADABAI JOSHEE. 93
" Overjoyed • with the approach of the happy time
to which I have looked forward so long, I sit down
to write what may be my last letter. Everything is
settled. I feel better since I know that there is
nothing to do but embark. I have come to Calcutta
with my husband. We are with a Mahratta friend,
who is young and kind. I have just come from the
Consul-General of the United States, who has given
me two letters of introduction. I shall go on board
on the evening of the 6th, and we shall start the
next morning. The time draws near in which we
shall be in one country and one place. Every mo-
ment shortens the time."
On the 8th of April, 1883, Gopal wrote to Mr.
Carpenter : —
" My wife sailed yesterday morning, by the * City
of Calcutta,' in the company of many ladies who were
strangers to her. She was to have sailed on Monday,
the 9th j but early in the morning of Friday I re-
ceived word that she must be ready to start on Satur-
day. We had invitations for the next three days, but
could only decline them and hasten to get ready. She
was not introduced to the ladies with whom she was
to travel until she reached the ship, and even then
her reception was cold indeed. Although at the elev-
enth hour, I advised my wife to expect nothing from
them, but to trust to Him who has made us both.
94 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
My dear sir, I took good care of her until her depart-
ure, and now I hand over this precious charge to you
and your worthy wife."
In the letters that I have quoted, three dis-
tinct things are evident. First, Anandabai's own
originality and nobleness of mind and conduct;
second, a sort of Fatalism, common to Oriental
people ; and third, the use of certain phrases, or
proverbs, evidently taken from the more cynical
lips of her husband. This last trait will not be
so evident to my readers as to myself, for I
dropped the phrases out of my text wherever the
repetition threatened to be tiresome.
Of Anandabai's journey to America we know
very little. She sailed on the 7th of April, 1883,
and arrived in New York on the 4th of June. On
account of the engagements of the party with
which she travelled she remained a week in Lon-
don, and eight days at Queenstown on account of
some matter connected with the steamer. The
circumstances of her journey must have been
evident to those who had charge of her; and to
us who know her it seems incredible that she
could have passed some sixty days in the society
of any number of people without awakening in
some one a profound interest. In speaking of
her journey she said, briefly, that she was always
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 95
Tinder restraint, as those she travelled with conld
never be convinced that she would remain a
Hindu in her faith, and felt it their duty to press
the claims of the Christian religion. She did not
feel at home in London, where she was asked to
add the attractions of her finest saree and best
jewels to those of any social gathering in which
the missionaries naturally desired to rouse deeper
interest. At New York she was met bv her near-
est friends, Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter, of Eoselle, !N"ew
Jersey. She had already adopted them into her
heart, and never from the first seems to have had
a doubt or reserve in regard to them. She re-
mained at Eoselle from June 4th to Oct. 1st, 1883,
and in these four months stole into the hearts of
those who met her. Before leaving India she had
expressed a fear that she might become tedious, or
seem vulgar, from her ignorance of our manners.
Instead of that, she was everywhere a " well-spring
of delight ! " On her first arrival her perfect dig-
nity was never sacrificed to the indulgence in
curious questions, or rude stares, which were so
freely bestowed upon herself, yet she seemed to
After a little she pursued her Sanscrit studies,
regardless of the presence of visitors. She was
often called off to sing her lovely little Hindu
96 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
songs, or to recite verses in some of the strange
tongues she knew. She was always gracefully
courteous, but the words of approbation or admi-
ration with which her efforts were greeted never
seemed to touch her. Quick to note every fact
presented to her, grateful for every bit of infor-
mation, — flattering words never seemed to be
understood. "I do not care for words," she some-
times said ; " I know how my friends feel without
them." Mrs. Carpenter was at first surprised that
Anandabai never addressed her by name ; but she
soon found that, from the Hindu point of view,
such an address would have been disrespectful.
A visit to Tiffany's gave Anandabai great pleas-
ure; and she showed such knowledge and appre-
ciation of everything Oriental, that the finest
goods were exhibited as if to a favored customer,
and she was urged to prolong and repeat her
Anandabai always said that this summer was
the happiest of her life. I think she spoke the
simple truth ; but she would have been very much
surprised if any one had pointed out the true
sources of that happiness. Yet she was far too
truthful not to have recognized them, had the
attempt been made. She was with those who
really loved her, and who asked no greater privi-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 97
lege than to aid her in her plans. "No more re-
straints foreign to her experience, like the customs
of Bengal ; no more bitter letters from envious or
dissatisfied kinsfolk, — nay, still farther, none of the
thousand observances and deferences required of
the married woman by the customs of her country.
Every morning she religiously applied the scarlet
paste in a little round patch to her forehead,
which proclaimed that she was a wife. Every
day she added some loving or witty words to the
letter sent by every mail to her husband in Ser-
ampore, but there all ended ; for the rest she was
as free as a child, and like a child she glided
about the house humming her Hindu songs. She
was never weary of talking about her dear native
land, and this summer she gave a great treat to
her Eoselle friends by improvising for their benefit
a Hindu feast. Mrs. Carpenter was at this time
living in a large house. All the furniture was
removed from the dining-room, and the smooth in-
laid floor was ornamented and divided by delicate
stripes of red and white about four inches wide.
Including Anandabai, there were eighteen guests,
and eighteen squares were drawn in red and white,
one for each guest, surrounding a central square.
The powders had been brought from India. The
red was first applied in a broad band, and then
98 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
the white was sifted over it from a brass cylinder,
perforated with small holes in a pretty pattern.
The effect was like that produced on ladies*
dresses by a band of white lace applied over crim-
son silk. Within the four corners of the central
square were drawn intricate geometrical figures
in the two colors, and scroll-like lines on the
outer corners of the individual squares formed a
pretty recess for the fresh green leaves of the
buttonwood. These had been sewed together to
do service as plates, instead of the long banana
leaf which would have been used in India. Trav-
ellers in India have not unfrequently seen a sim-
ilar delicate tracery in colored sand on the open
road as they have approached sacred buildings,
but it has seldom fallen to their lot to participate
in a native feast. Smooth pieces of board were
placed near the walls within each square to take
the place of chairs. Small plates were set near
the leaves in the corner to hold rice and curry.
Sweetmeats were also served in small dishes. The
guests half reclined upon the boards.
The ladies were all dressed by Anandabai in
bright-bordered Indian sarees, which she took
from her own wardrobe. The food, consisting only
of fruit and vegetables, had been first prepared
and then served by her own delicate hands. A
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 99
Sanscrit prayer was reverently offered, and then
eighteen dishes of the peculiar Hindu cookery
were followed by coffee. As soon as each guest
was supplied and the surplus carried away from
the dining-room, Anandabai entered the square
reserved for her, and prepared to teach her guests
how to eat like a Hindu.
None of them had dared to begin till she took
her seat, for neither knife, fork, nor spoon was on
the board. Anandabai would pick up a morsel,
bring it a few inches from her plate, and then
with a dexterous twist of her fingers toss it into
her mouth. It seemed to fly magically to the
right spot. " To miss," she said, " would be vulgar."
After dinner, the guests repaired to the parlor,
where a large mat had been spread, and huge
white cushions had been provided for the ladies
to lean upon. Against these the rich colors of
the Indian sarees made a pretty show. Every
married lady had the scarlet mark on her fore-
head, and such bangles, necklaces, and other orna-
ments as Anandabai had been able to procure.
To the ladies, half reclining on the mat, and to
the gentlemen standing or squatting Hindu fash-
ion on the floor, Anandabai distributed bouquets
of flowers, and on the back of each right hand
she left with her dainty finger a trace of attar of
100 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
roses, which she took from a phial of green and
The company were then sprinkled with, rose-
water from a silver vessel, and Anandabai sat
down, evidently considering that her work was
done. Not so her guests; they had heard that
Oriental dinners were wont to conclude with song,
and at their earnest entreaty one tender ditty or
one birdlike caprice followed another, until all
were tired. It was a little singular that on this
occasion all the guests seemed to approve of the
ISTot once did Anandabai show any signs of home-
sickness. Little did she know what she promised
when she told her people that in America she
"would eat and drink, live or die as a Hindu."
Did she begin to see how hard it would be ?
When the letters from India came, her dear
little face would light up like a child's, and for
days after she would go humming her sweet tunes
about the house, until loneliness began to make
itself felt, and then she was silent till the next
mail day. Anandabai could talk to the old, amuse
the middle-aged, and play gently with the children,
as no one else could. The children thought they
were going to teach her to play jack-stones. The
skill of her very beautiful hands was always some-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 101
thing wonderful to Western eyes. In botanical
analysis, or delicate surgery, they served her well.
With the jack-stones she had been at home from
childhood, and turning her palm inside out she
would catch the whole six or eight in the hollow.
Very few persons thought Anandabai beautiful at
first sight. Almost every one found her complexion
darker than had been expected, and her form less
graceful ; but to every one, sometime during the
years that followed, there came a sudden revela-
tion, a day when the soul seemed to flash through
the flesh, to burn in the dark eyes, to inform
the very finger-tips, and sway every fold of the
That summer she had the offer of a scholarship
in the Homoeopathic College in New York, but
on the whole she and her friends thought it best
that she should begin with a four years' course
in the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania,
and it was gratefully declined. At this CoUege
Anandabai was matriculated Oct. 3d, 1883. She
had reached Philadelphia on Friday, September
28th. On Saturday, Dr. Bodley held a reception
for her. The good Dean's heart had been won at
first sight. There was naturally a great deal of
curiosity concerning Anandabai as soon as she
appeared in the streets of Philadelphia. There
102 LIFE OF ANANBABAI JOSHEE.
had been Turkish and Syrian and Chinese pupils
at the College, but Anandabai was the first pupil
who had come from a foreign land wearing its
native dress and preserving her native habits.
It is greatly to the credit of our people, that
she was never once seriously annoyed by their
curiosity. In her own country she had worn a
"divided" saree. The shawl passing between
the legs produced the effect of Turkish trousers.
As this would not have been suitable to our cli-
mate, she consulted her Pundits, and an ancient
form of the Mahratta dress was found, that could
be worn over warm underclothing.
As soon as she left Calcutta, Anandabai assumed
a " union suit " of flannel, over that a union suit
of cotton, then a skirt of flannel, one or two white
skirts, and a dress made with a plain round waist,
coat sleeves, and full skirt.
This latter article was for protection ; the waist
of it took the place of the queer little jacket which
covered the chest, and sustained her breasts, in her
native country. Her saree, which draped her en-
tire figure, concealed the skirt.
The saree is best described as a long shawl;
its material varies according to work and weather,
and ranges in value from the finest camel's hair,
or Dacca muslin wrought with solid gold thread.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 103
to thin bordered cottons that scarcely cost a rupee.
This shawl is never Isss than forty inches wide
and four yards long, and according to its thickness,
varies from four to eight yards in length. One end
of Anandabai's saree was brought round the full
skirt I have described, and tied by both corners at
the waist line on the right side, in a small hard
knot. The other was then passed under the left
arm, to the back and over the right shoulder, across
the bosom obliquely. The upper border was then
snugly tucked in at the left side under the border
which had been first tied round the w^aist. This
allowed a good part of the length of the long
shawl to fall diagonally over the right arm, and
down before her person, displaying the broad bands
of the border. The yards of material yet to be dis-
posed of were gathered by the dexterous use of her
hand into regular plaits, and tucked into the girdle
under the falling drapery in front. This caused
the handsome broad fringed end of the saree to
bang in graceful folds just above the instep.
When finally arranged, no part of the under
dress was visible, except that which covered the
left arm and shoulder and a portion of the left
side of the bust. The right arm, which sustained
most of the drapery, came slightly into view, and
in ordinary weather the shawl, where it crossed the
104 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
right shoulder, was lifted so as to cover the head,
and was the only protection worn in the street.
Anandabai's sarees were made of cotton, cotton
and silk, cotton and gold, silk, silk and gold, and
camel's hair decorated with silk and with silk and
gold, and, in her most superb dress, with gold only.
In this country, of course, she relinquished the
padded and divided sandal of her native hills, and
wore warm woollen or cotton stockings with but-
toned boots. This dress was not complete till ear-
rings, a nose-ring, and several necklaces, many
bangles, anklets, and finger-rings were added. The
longer Anandabai lived in America the less she
liked to wear her ornaments, or rather those orna-
ments which, like the ear-rings and the nose-ring,
recalled a savage condition of society. When she
wore them they did not offend me. The spray of
pearl flowers, with hearts of rubies and emeralds,
which lay across her upper lip was called a " nose-
ring," but it was not a "ring" at all. It was made
of whole pearls lightly strung upon wire, and was
hooked into the left nostril so near the cheek that
the insertion was not visible, and the ornament
seemed to harmonize with her modest, childlike
bearing. It was rather like a spray of blossoms
playfully caught and held between her lips. Her
most valuable anklets and bangles, the gift of her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 105
father at the time of her marriage, had been sold
in India, as we know, to furnish the money for
her voyage to America, but she preserved some
heirlooms, which were very curious, and greatly
resembled old Aztec work. The description I
have given of her draperies applies to her ordinary
wear, and will be readily understood by reference
to her photographs ; but the arrangement varied
somewhat according to the weather and the weight
and length of the material employed. I questioned
her carefully once as to the healthfulness of the
native dress. She thought the saree very incon-
venient for a working woman : it must be thrown
back when the wearer was busy, and then the per-
son was not protected ; but she never experienced
the slightest inconvenience from wearing it as a
student until her lungs began to fail. Then she
found it very hard to carry the drapery upon her
right arm, and acknowledged that the left side
needed more covering.
About the time that Anandabai arrived in this
country an article was published in Frank Leslie's
Illustrated Newspaper drawing public attention to
her. It was written by her friend Hans Mattison,
the American Consul General at Calcutta.
*'We give on this page," he says, ''a portrait of
Mrs. Anandabai Joshee, a Brahmin of high social
106 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
standing, who has recently produced a sensation in
India by breaking away from Hindu thought and cus-
tom and announcing her determination to secure for
herself all the advantages which are enjoyed by women
in Christian lands. When it is remembered that the
Brahmins are forbidden to cross the ocean, to eat food
which has not been prepared by Brahmins, or to drink
water touched by European hands, and that the viola-
tion of these orders involves severe penalties, Mrs.
Joshee*s heroism becomes strikingly apparent.
" In her parting address she said : * We do not en-
deavor to modify the action of the elements, or to
fix the destiny of kingdoms. It is our business to
consider what human beings can do, each striving
to secure his own happiness by assuring the happi-
ness of others within his own circle, however narrow
that may be.'"
Dr. Bodley had done well to summon the best
women of Philadelphia to meet her new pupil at
the outset. In this way a solid foundation of per-
sonal interest was secured. Her friend, Mrs. Car-
penter, came with Anandabai, and remained a day
or two to settle her in her own home. At first
the little room, with its warm stove, and cooking
utensils brought from India, seemed to promise a
certain cosey comfort for the winter, and to sustain
Anandabai's resolution to live in all things like a
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 107
Hindu. But the stove smoked, — it was one thing
to kindle the responsive charcoal on the little pot-
tery brazier in Hindustan, and another to deal
with the tiresome anthracite in America : the fire
went out. If the brass vessels had to be cleaned
and the various kinds of ''dal" cooked, there
could not be time for necessary study.
Dr. Bodley saw how it was ; and long before
her one line of complaint, " I feel very lonesome,"
had time to settle into serious homesickness, she
was removed to the Dean's house, where she was
granted all the privileges of a dear daughter.
" How kind the Americans are ! " she wrote ; and
as Christmas approached, and she prepared to
spend it at Eoselle, she added, " perhaps you
would not know, dear Aunt, how delightful it is
to get ready to go home ! "
A female physician who had been very kind
to Anandabai died about this time at Elizabeth
in New Jersey.
" Is she taken away from those who love her dearly
and need her so badly?" our little Hindu wrote.
*' What a mystery this world is ! Happy to-day, mis-
erable to-morrow ! How true that our deepest sorrows
flow from our deepest affections. What an instru-
ment of torture one's own heart is ! "
108 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
She often spoke of " seeing " this friend as
simply, and with as little thought of possible con-
tradiction, as if the Doctor had walked in from
the street in the flesh to call upon her.
She returned to the College, Jan. 2nd, 1884, in
deep distress of mind, occasioned by a letter re-
ceived from a most bitter enemy in India. She
could not listen to her lectures, and writes as fol-
lows a day or two after : —
"My face was clouded by my indignation. My
friends said my color changed from red to blue, and
thought I was sick. All at once a beautiful young
lady with a sweet voice came and sat down by me,
and pressing my hand with her own, said, —
" * Dear child, do not despond. Providence is just
and merciful, and means you no harm. Have courage
to endure many more such things. Do you not re-
member how I was persecuted in the presence of my
husband the king ] Be true and faithful.' Then she
seemed to disappear. I felt her presence though I
could no longer see her, and was comforted."
In February, 1884, Mrs. Joshee was so ill of
diphtheria, that for a short time her life was de-
spaired of. The best medical attendance, a trained
nurse, and the loving care of Dean Bodley and
Dr. Schultze saved her. It was during this spring
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 109
that Anandabai gave an address before a Ladies'
Missionary Society upon the subject of "Early
Marriages." I think it tried the patience of those
who were interested in her very severely. I
have never seen any abstract of her remarks, but
if she favored early marriages was it strange ?
She had been married at nine years. All the hap-
piness of her life had flowed from the instruction
of her husband, and from that liberal sympathy
which she supposed to move him in assisting her
to come to this country. When she arrived, she
found our papers full of conjugal quarrels, and
applications for divorce. Not in one year nor
twenty could she be expected to solve the prob-
lems whose very existence filled her with disgust.
At this time she was taken frequently to schools,
asylums, and public institutions, and wherever she
could learn anything, she was delighted to go. A
visit to Barnum's Circus gave her no pleasure
At this time she had a narrow escape from death
at the Morristown Insane Asylum, where she had
gone to witness a post-mortem dissection. She
lingered in the operating-room for some reason,
when an insane woman who had escaped unob-
served from her attendants to watch the operation,
seized one of the sharpest instruments, and ap-
110 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
proacliing Mrs. Joshee announced her intention of
operating upon her. The woman stood between
Anandabai and the door, and only those who knew
the latter well, can guess at the cool smile and
wise speech which disarmed and held the maniac,
until an attendant appeared. I remember hearing
with some interest, soon after she began her studies,
that she was the only one of her class who re-
mained through a lecture accompanied by a post-
mortem dissection of an infant. When I spoke to
her about it, she only said, —
" It would have been better if it had not been
During the summer vacation of 1884, Anan-
dabai went with some relatives of Mrs. Carpenter
to Saratoga. Every step of the journey was full
of meaning to the silent little traveller. Her
rippling laugh frequently told of her pleasure on
the way. Arrived, it pleased her very much to
see the ladies going about without bonnets ; the
younger going to the springs morning and evening
without even a veil over the beautiful hair. Here,
too, she made her first acquaintance with North
American Indians. In one young squaw she took
a great interest, talking with her about manners
and customs, and receiving from her several
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. Ill
" Ever since I left Roselle," she now writes to Mrs.
Carpenter, " I have not spent a day without my new
companion the headache. Every movement gives me
pain ; but you need not worry about it, for I do not
let it interfere with anybody's happiness, nor even with
my own. I enjoy the blissful quietude of all country
places. One day at Troy we had some cucumber
pickles ; the pickles looked unnaturally green. I sus-
pected copper in them. No one could tell me about
them, so I took a needle and ran it into one of the
cucumbers. In a few minutes I was satisfied, for the
needle had turned bright red."
In October she resumed her college work, and
writes as follows : —
Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 9th, 1884.
My dear Aunt, — Excuse me for not writing earlier.
The College opened on Thursday, October 2d ; the
opening address was by Professor Parish; it was a
charming lecture, useful and interesting to every in-
dividual, the subject being Practical Hygiene. It was
timely, and benefitted me as well as the general pub-
lic. He had a large audience. The day after, my
work began ; I have to attend all the lectures except
those on Materia Medica and Surgery, which I take
up next year. I work from fifteen to sixteen hours
daily. The day after College began, Mrs. Smith and
-I went to the Electrical Exhibition in the evening,
112 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
and enjoyed it very much. I enjoy my studies more
than ever. Professor White came only three daya
ago, so we had our first lecture on Physio yesterday.
I am grieved to tell you I am to lose an excellent
friend and teacher. The sickness of Dr. Emily Du Bois,
Demonstrator of Anatomy, was sudden to us all ; but
she knew it before. Faithful, prompt, and thorough,
she neglected her own self.
I have not taken the money on the checque just
received from the James fund. As I had enough
trouble in trying to have another cashed, on account
of the wrong spelling of my name, I did not try to
borrow any more trouble that day. I have so little
time to spare. I have not a cent with me, but owe
a little to Mrs. Smith, and cannot get to clinics for
the same reason. I have had a very severe cold for a
week, and am aching all over.
This remark about the James fund is the only
allusion to be found in her correspondence to a
matter which must have afforded her sincere
It will be remembered that Mr. James, the
Director General of the Post Offices in India, had
sent one hundred rupees to Anandabai, after her
address at Serampore, and expressed his pleas-
ure at her success ; he did not lose sight of her,
and some time after her arrival in this country
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 113
Mr. Joshee sent his wife the following circular,
which had heen published in the Calcutta papers,
and was written by Mr. James ; —
" A young Brahmin lady has recently gone to Amer-
ica to study medicine, and qualify herself as a medical
attendant for native ladies.
"In doing this, she and her husband have made
great pecuniary sacrifices, and her income barely suf-
fices for necessaries.
*' Going alone among strangers, though treated
kindly, she has had to encounter many obstacles which
she has bravely faced. In recognition of her courage
and public spirit, it is desired to raise a sum which
will pay her tuition fees, and relieve her from pecu-
niary anxiety during her absence.
" Mr. James, No. 2 Camoe Street, Calcutta, will be
happy to receive subscriptions.
His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General . 200
His Honor the Lieut.-Governor 100
The Honorable Chief-Justice Garth 50
The Hon. J. Gibbs, C. S. I., C. I. E 100
The Hon. C. I. Albert, CLE 50
The Hon. Mr. Justice Pigot 50
Mr. James , 200
114 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
It was this money, with whatever was sub-
sequently added to it, that Mrs. Joshee refers to
as the "James fund."
She often complains now of taking cold.
Mr. Sattay, a friend of Gopal's, came from India
in November, bringing with him bright sarees
and embroidered jackets for Anandabai. It was
delightful to her to hear the familiar rippling
cadences of the Mahratta tongue once more.
In December, 1884, she came to Washington
and made what we both intended should have
been the first of many visits to me. The final
decline of her health, and the circumstances of
her last year in this country, interfered. This
visit was the only one.
I had seen her for the first time shortly after
her arrival in Philadelphia, on the 6th of October,
1883. In my diary for that day I find the follow-
ing entry connected with various items of infor-
mation already communicated in these pages : —
**I had promised to pass the evening at Dr.
Bodley's, that I might meet the young Mahratta
woman, who has come here to study medicine. As I
had a high opinion of the intelligence of her tribe, I
was surprised to find that a * nose-ring ' formed part of
her costume although she wisely refrains from wearing
it. Certainly, I never heard it spoken of in connec-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 115
tion with Bengali women. She insists on wearing
her native dress, and although she wore three neck-
laces, three pairs of earrings, her nose-ring as a brooch,
six pairs of bangles, and a saree of crimson and gold,
at the reception held for her by Dr. Bodlej, she
was so plainly dressed to-night that she would have
attracted no attention in the street, provided she had
worn a bonnet. She was however so ill that I ought
not to judge her. She looks like a stout dumpy
mulatto girl not especially interesting until her yel-
low face lights up, and light up it did as soon as
she gathered from a helping word of mine, that I was
familiar with the customs of her people. I cannot
describe the effect. It was magical. She speaks seven
languages, of which English, Sanscrit and Mahratta
are three. Her English is exquisite. There is hardly
a flaw in pronunciation or construction. If I had not
known, I should have thought her born in this country.
She has not a single 'cockney' trick of speech.
" She has none of the delicate features which dis-
tinguish the Bengalis.
"Her feeling of caste is still uppermost. She re-
ceives her guests with impassive dignity like a true
Oriental, and was one of only two or three in her class
who chose to stay and see a painful operation for ne-
crosis performed on a young child this week. It was
not from indifference, for she spoke of it with painful
emotion. She has shown curiosity but once, however
116 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
much she may have felt it. Among those invited to
meet her was a mulatto lady, who took a medical de-
gree two or three years ago, and is highly esteemed
in Philadelphia. Anandabai looked her all over and
evidently did not make her out. There was nothing
to show her that the mulatto was not a Hindu except
the European dress.
"I was much interested in my conversation with
this woman, however disappointed I felt as to her
personal attractions. She had a blue tattooed mark
between her eyes, a little like an anchor. She told
me that this was inserted soon after birth, that she
might be recognized as a Hindu, not mistaken for a
Mahometan. Sometimes she thought family marks
were made in the same way. The scarlet spot of paste
which she wore on her forehead must be put on fresh
every morning, by every married woman, as a sign
that she is married, and the marriage vows must be
silently repeated when it is laid on. Certainly, there
are married women in this country who might well
follow the fashion !
" When we parted, she put out her hand. * I feel
as if I had found a friend,' she said. * It is the first
time anybody has known about me,* and then I saw
beauty in the lambent eyes."
As time went on, I grew familiar with what
had at first disappointed me, and saw the fascina-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 117
tions of movement and manner that others felt
so deeply. It was the Oriental charm, but I do
not think that in her own country she would ever
have been called handsome. Her motions were
sinuous, not serpentine like those of the Bengalis.
Her beautiful hands and feet, her elastic muscles
belonged to her race rather than herseE In one
respect from first to last, she was herself alone, in
the sweetest truthfulness, the most entire candor,
that ever belonged to a mortal, and I have good
reason to think that this is not a common Hindu
Mrs. Carpenter thought her very beautiful, but
not at first. The thought came upon her suddenly,
when Mrs. Joshee came down one morning dressed
for church, and radiant with her own holy thoughts.
In her conversation with me, Anandabai talked
about the Theosophists and the Brahmos, and if
she had not distinctly said in her address at Ser-
ampore, that she was not a Brahmo, I should have
supposed her to be one, so much sympathy did
she show with their movement. I saw her once
more and wrote to her and heard from her sev-
eral times before, on the 26th of Dec. 1884, I
went to the cars to bring her to my Georgetown
house. Everything about her arrival was unfor-
tunate. The cars were so late that the carriage
118 LIPE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
I had engaged was gone, and the demand on their
arrival so great, that having no escort it was im-
possible for me to secure another. We were
obliged to go out in a horse-car, and this was not
desirable on account of the attention she could not
fail to attract. Beside this, she had some heavy
hand baggage which she would not let me carry
up the hill. I remarked with surprise the calmness
with which she endured the curious gaze of our
companions, and the courage with which she bore
her burden and encountered the necessary fatigues.
She was a striking contrast to the English ladies
who came over to Philadelphia with the British
Association that same year. During her stay with
me I took her to all the public buildings, to a
service at the Unitarian church, to several private
luncheS; to dine with Commodore Walker's family
and two other friends, and to several receptions,
Nowhere did any peculiar awkwardness draw any
attention to her foreign education. •
It pleased her to steal quietly about my house,
taking up and touching the various articles that
had been sent from India.
On the 29th of December, I wrote in my
Journal : —
" A very unpleasant day, but we had fifty-two callers,
and in the evening gave a light supper to thirty.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 119
Last evening Mrs. Joshee talked well, about the an-
tiquity of her nation, and of her family record, which
she asserts is two thousand years old. She promises
to write me details about it, and to send me some of
the peculiar paper upon which it is written, when she
returns home. To-night, before quite a large company,
she talked in an earnest and excited way about the
religions of the world, showing a profound intelligence
as well as scholarship. Then for a while in a very
entertaining way about jewels and costumes. Her
best talk was with the Eev. Theodore Wynkoop, after
most of our friends had gone.
" To-night she wore a close satin vest embroidered
with gold, and a white camel's hair shawl or saree
deeply bordered with gold ; also her collars and neck-
laces of jewels, and for the first time, at my request,
her 'nose-ring.' This is a spray of flowers two or
three inches long, and made of fine old pearls. The
pearls were some of those given by the king to her
warlike ancestor in Poonah. The centres of the star-
like flowers are of ruby and emerald. A fine wire
attaches it to the left nostril close to the cheek. It
is very effective, much prettier than ear-rings, and
looks as if she were holding a spray of flowers between
We went some days after to see Major Powell,
and arranged for some specimens of North Ameri-
can pottery which Anandabai wanted to carry to
120 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
India and promised to replace by specimens from
Poonah. After a visit to the White House, I
spent one evening in taking notes of her conver-
sation. Very much longer should I have written
had I guessed for a moment that it would be my
Previous to Anandabai's arrival in this country,
a letter of her writing was sent to a psychome-
trist in New York. The following " impression "
derived from this letter, and dated January 20th,
1881, nearly a year and a half before any Ameri-
can had seen her, has been copied into a Calcutta
paper, and sent to me since I began to write these
pages. It seems to me so just an estimate of her
character, that I value it exactly as I 'mlue the
" impressions " of John Quincy Adams and Daniel
Webster, written out by my friend Anna Parsons
more than thirty years ago.
"This is an intellectual well-balanced mind, cul-
tivated with great care," the paper begins. "The
writer is a lady of more than ordinary brain power,
very independent, but neither egotistical nor intoler-
ant. She is not afraid to investigate any subject how-
ever unpopular. She is analytical and very frank in
speaking her mind. She converses fluently and meets
strangers with a cordial, graceful ease that wins confi-
dence and esteem. She has talent as an instructor, a
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 121
clear style of expression easy to be understood. She
has great equanimity, enjoys the attention of refined
people, and naturally drifts into the society of the best,
but never shrinks from those less fortunate if she can
do them good. She has a taste for missionary work,
and an executiveness and systematic way of managing
that are quite original. She has great delicacy of
character, is womanly in every respect, has an ardent
love of nature and clings to old friends and associa-
tions and to family ties. Her radicalism springs from
a holy desire to do her duty. She has a religious cast
of mind, is very spiritual but seems to know nothing
of spiritualism. Her penetrative mind is constantly
reaching for more light. She perceives the character
of others readily and is seldom deceived, has a fine
memory and good descriptive powers. In travelling
nothing escapes her.
" I see her in the future as one who has no superior ;
living for truth, justice, and honor. She will always
defend the weak. She has great forbearance, is sel-
dom off-ended, and when she is, it passes and leaves no
cloud upon her brow. She has a large hope which will
sustain her as long as she lives."
Since I began to write this Life, I have met a
gentleman who listened to Anandabai's talk at my
house on the evening to which I have alluded. I
asked him if he had preserved any record of that
122 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
brilliant conversation. "No," he said thought-
fully, " I cannot report anything that she said, but
I remember wondering when I realized how soon
the foreigner and the lion I went to see, was lost
in the sweet and cultivated woman with whom it
was a pleasure to talk."
During that year Anandabai made a convert.
She was invited to tea one evening by a young
physician who seemed to think that she should
please her guest by a sort of agnostic conversation,
expressing utter scepticism as to the existence of
a Supreme Being, which was on the contrary very
painful. Anandabai sat quietly through the meal,
but when it was over, she asked her hostess to
withdraw with her. As soon as they reached a
chamber, she placed the astonished girl in a chair,
and kneeling down beside her, entreated God to
take pity on her and send her light.
The consequences of this interview were re-
markable. Some time after, Anandabai writes of
her: "She used to laugh at every one who believed
in God. There is no more satirical speech. She
invited me to tea. After supper I was surprised
to see her sit piously with folded hands and in-
vite me to do the same. What a change 1 "
How little had it ever entered into the head of
our dear friend, when she prepared for coming to
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 123
America, that she would ever be called to a duty
like this ! Yet she had, as the psychometrist said,
the heart of a missionary in her.
During this year she made several excursions
into different parts of Pennsylvania and delivered
an address to the students of the College at Bor-
dentown, ITew Jersey.
Mr. Joshee arrived from India during the sum-
mer of 1885. The first notice of his coming was
received through California newspapers which
were sent to his wife's dearest friends. How
strangely small this world appears when we reflect
that \vherever we travel, we cannot escape those
who are on the watch for our misdeeds ! In this
paper, Mr. Joshee was reported as having made
an address unfriendly to the higher education of
women. "This unfitted them," he asserted, "for
the domestic duties of wives and mothers." A
voice from the crowd shouted, "I thought your
own wife was studying medicine in Philadel-
phia ? " " Oh, yes ! " said Mr. Joshee, and then he
shrugged his shoulders and spread out his hands,
as if he would say, "How could I help that?"
When I received this paper I sent it at once
to Philadelphia, with the inquiries it suggested.
All our friends were troubled. "No one seemed
to know whether Anandabai had received the
124 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
news, but the moment we met in the autumn I
knew that she had seen the paper. A change
had passed over her as subtle as that the hoar-
frost breathes over the summer grass. She met
her husband at Eoselle and in that summer —
the summer of 1885 — she went with him to
Greenwood, and to hear Talmage and Ward
Beecher in Brooklyn. Mr. Joshee went alone
to Washington. Of course, he did not find me
there, but he went to my house, and there en-
countered the lady who had charge of it in my
absence. More ignorant than the rest of us of
various embarrassing complications, this lady, who
had been greatly attracted to his wife, looked at
him sharply and said, "Was it you, then, who
made that speech in San Francisco ? " " Yes," re-
plied Gopal. " And what did you do it for ? " she
persisted. " Just for a little fun," was the answer.
" I thought I would stir them up a little."
Mr. Joshee could have had a very inadequate
idea of the interest Anandabai had aroused in this
country, and he could have understood very little
the character of his wife, if he expected her to be
pleased by fun of that sort. I have recorded his
reply, because I never gratified him by any in-
quiries concerning the matter, nor am I aware
that any of his wife's friends ever did so. Anan-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 125
dabai spent her Christmas vacation at Eoselle, and
as she was to graduate in March, she devoted
much of this time to the preparation of her grad-
uation "Thesis" on "Hindu Obstetrics."
After the fifty pages were finished and sub-
mitted, she wrote as follows to Mrs. Carpenter:
Philadelphia, Jan. 31st, 1886.
My dear Aunt, — Your disappointment in my
change of plan is not greater than mine. I had
planned for four months ahead, from March. I had
forty and one things to finish or accomplish before
my Hospital service began. But things rotated, no
doubt, for our best. I found I must enter the ]S"ew
England hospital next May. You know I have given
up Blockley entirely, but will try the competitive for
the Woman's Hospital for six months. The friends
and authorities of the l^ew England Hospital are very
kind to me. They have made special arrangement for
me to go there for six months, which is not generally
allowable at all. Beside, my application went too late,
all the places were filled, yet they are so anxious
to help me, that they are going to accept me as an
extra student or interne. Such students pay board,
but they make me their guest. Dr. Tyng is also
willing to take me for six months provided I pass the
competitive. Now everything depends on my gradu-
ating. If faithful attendance and diligent study with
126 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
some practical knowledge deserve any reward at all,
I have no reason to fear next March, but I have to
wait for it.
Do not buy me anything for my graduation. Your
presence will make me more happy than any gift. It
is not as if I had no memento ; but nothing can be
added. If you were troubled with wealth, I would
accept anything you might present me. Kow I hope
you will present yourselves, which is the richest of
I had the misfortune to fall on the ice and break
all the bangles on my right arm. My husband bought
me a gold bracelet, as I could not go without any-
thing. If every fall would bring as much gold, would
you consider it a misfortune 1 I called it so, because
the money might have bought me an instrument that
would have been useful or a book that would have
been instructive. I got another present as a gradu-
ating student, five weeks in advance. It is a beauti-
ful gold watch. It was given me by a wealthy lady,
whom you will probably see in March.
Our theses, ticket money, and application for de-
gree were sent in last week. I do not yet know
whether my "Thesis" is accepted. There were fifty
pages of it, just fitting, so that not another word could
have gone in ; the longest one they had.
It is quite evident that Anandabai was still so
completely a Hindu that she considered her ban-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 127
gles as necessary as her saree. I thouglit I saw
a great change in her, when we met this year
in October. Not only was she more delicate in
health, but she seemed to have lost courage. It
is certain that she did not take and could never
afterward resume the place she had easily held
for the last two years in the College Classes. If
her graduation had depended upon this last year,
she could not have taken her degree. Her con-
dition will perhaps explain the following letter,
written Feb. 8th, 1886 : ■—
*' Love and duty are sacred and my own. I can
always love, although I cannot always expect to be
loved. So I can always perform my own duty, al-
though I may not persuade others to theirs. I do
not do this for the promise of any earthly pleasure
nor even for those termed Heavenly, but for simple
duty's sake. Heaven, if it be only a place of indul-
gence and banqueting, would have no charm for me,
for these might disappear and leave me paralyzed and
idle. It is always well to look into the future just far
enough to guide our steps and prepare for any imme-
diate obstruction, but I think it is foolish, if not worse,
to mourn over the possible future when the present
needs all our watchfulness and strength. My physical
self is like the days of September, and my brain and
nerves seem * dissected up ' like the warp on the loom,
distinct and bare, but sensitive."
128 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
She was very unwell, dreading a fresh attack
of diphtheria, which was however averted. A few
days later she writes to Mrs. Carpenter : —
Philadelphia, March 7th, 1886.
Dear Aunt, — After all I am able to sit down at
my ease and write to my dtear ones. I am through
the studies so far as college life is concerned, but,
oh dear ! there is more that comes after than goes
Results received yesterday and I am passed. I am
thankful, for my patience was almost worn out. On
the last question of the last paper I broke down, and
could not even see whether I finished my sentence.
I pinned the papers together and left the room with-
out even bowing to the Professor. Our Japanese
friend did very well. The Syrian student, after most
wonderful and formidable attacks of diseases and
rewarding her benefactors and well-wishers with her
ingratitude, was made to leave us. Her condition is
sadder than death, if death is at all sad. She brought
tears of pity to my eyes, — eyes that had so far had
no occasion to shed tears of such pity or disgust. We
were all miserable on her account.
Pundita Ramabai arrived safely. The storm and
low water detained her in the river. I spent two
full days on the wharf waiting for her. Her child is
here, a little darling. She is as bright as sunshine
and as sweet as a fresh rosebud. She must give a
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 129
great deal of comfort to her mother, who has passed
through too many sorrows for one woman. She was
brought up and petted by sensitive and loving hearts.
She is a woman, tender with feeling, as tender as a
flower, timid as can be and impatient of pain, but her
courage has outweighed that of the sternest and brav-
est warrior. She has filled my heart with a real joy.
I hope you will like her when you see her. I began
to write this letter yesterday, but so much else came
in the way ! I went to my Examination at the Col-
lege at 7.45 this morning, and came home at 2.40 p. m.
The examination was very long and tedious, though
it could not be considered hard, I did not have
much sleep last night and I was very tired ; am so
tired I can hardly keep my eyes open or my hand
under control. I am so glad you are going to stay
a day longer for the lecture of Rama Bai.
This letter shows how evenly balanced were all
my dear friend's faculties and powers. Her brain
acted only in the service of her heart.
Mrs. Carpenter thinks that the few days covered
by this letter were the most trying to body and
brain that Anandabai passed in this country.
The exposure on the wharf was a very serious
thing for one as exhausted as she was by the
College work; but her heart was so warm that
she thought far less of the result for which she
130 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
had toiled so earnestly for three whole years, than
of welcoming the devoted and lovely kinswoman
whom she had never seen.
She had never seen her, but this was by no
means the first time Anandabai had shown her
gifted cousin a warm sympathy and regard. When
Bamabai was left a widow, and the Joshees knew
that her independent and vigorous career had cre-
ated an opposition likely to molest her, a warm
invitation was sent by Anandabai offering a home
in her own house to the desolate widow. Eamabai
was not able to accept the invitation, but from
that time the strength of a common purpose — the
determination to elevate the women of their native
land — sustained the correspondence which had
On the 10th of March, 1886, 1 went to Phila-
delphia to remain a day or two with Anandabai,
to make the acquaintance of the Pundita, and to
be present at the varied exercises of the week. I
wrote in my Journal that night : —
"I have seen Anandabai, Ramabai and her child.
Ramabai is strikingly beautiful. Her face is a clean-
cut oval ; her eyes, dark and large, glow with feeling.
She is a brunette, but her cheeks are full of color.
Her white widow's saree is drawn closely over her
head and fastened under her chin. There is nothing
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 131
else about her to suggest the Hindu. I cross-ques-
tioned Anandabai pretty closely about a possible mix-
ture of blood. She acknowledged that there is a
frequent crossing of the Mahratta blood by that of
At noon, on the 11th of March, I went to the
Green Koom of the Academy of Music, where the
Graduation Exercises were to be held. It was full
of bright young girls and flowers. When we went
out upon the stage we confronted an audience of
three thousand persons.
Anandabai, the Pundita and her pretty little
child were seated near enough to the front of the
stage to be distinctly visible to the audience. It
was a far more memorable day than any of that
Anandabai and her kinswoman had sailed from
India in the same month: Anandabai from Cal-
cutta to New York; Eamabai from Bombay to
the sisters at Wantage in England, where she
embraced Christianity in 1883.
On the day Anandabai left Liverpool for New
York, Eamabai landed in England. These two
women were cousins three times removed, but the
same courage, the same aspirations animated both.
Eamabai was the child of Ananta Shastri and his
second wife, Lakshmibai. Ananta had determined
132 LIFF OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
to educate his first wife, "but was prevented by the
bigotry and prejudice of his family and her own.
She died early, and, when the same obstacles to
education presented themselves to oppress his
second wife, Ananta withdrew from the world
and made his home in the wilderness. Eamabai
was the youngest of his children ; she grew up
unfettered in the outer world. It is touching to
hear her tell how her mother taught her Sanscrit
in the early morning of each day, waking her with
caresses and making her very lullabies a lesson
in language. Ananta spent his large property
before Eamabai was grown, and spent it chiefly
in efforts to stimulate the education of Hindu
women. After the death of her father, she and
her only surviving brother travelled through the
country, advocating their father's views. At Cal-
cutta the pundits received her. A Professor tested
her knowledge of Sanscrit and the honorary title
of " Sarasvati " was conferred upon her. Sarasvati
is the name of the Goddess of Arts and Learning.
Married and left a widow with one child, she
determined like Anandabai to devote her life to
the elevation of her own sex. In England, she be-
came a Christian. When I asked her why she had
allowed herself to be baptized she replied, "The
Shasters contain all the principles of a religious
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 133
life, but they offer us no example of it. In Jesus
I have the word made flesh. But I do not belong
to the church of England nor to any other church.
I told them it must be so, when they baptized me.
I believe in the Bible, but I will believe in it in
my own way."
Before her departure from India, Eamabai had
founded a society in Poonah to aid in the estab-
lishment of native schools for girls, and travelled
throughout the Bombay Presidency to form branch
societies. When the English Educational Commis-
sion visited Poonah in September, 1882, Eamabai
met them in the town hall, with more than three
hundred Mahratta women and children, and wel-
comed them with an address in English. So
impressed was Dr. Hunter, the President of that
Commission, with -the earnestness of these women,
that he had Eamabai' s testimony before it trans-
lated into English. Her plea for the medical edu-
cation of the native women gave a needed impetus
to the Countess of Dufferin's movement, — a move-
ment which owed much more, however, to the
excitement produced in India by Anandabai's
address at Serampore and subsequent departure
At Wantage, Eamabai perfected her knowledge
of the English language, and in 1884 she went to
134 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
the Ladies' College at Cheltenham as Professor of
Sanscrit. "We had heard much of these two women,
and now they sat modestly before the immense
audience that thronged the Academy. How differ-
ent they were ! One so strikingly beautiful that
she arrested every eye, the other self-absorbed, un-
conscious, with her gaze fixed upon the Highest.
One impulsive, practical, bent on carrying out cer-
tain plans for the benefit of her people ; the other
devout, self-controlled, thinking first of all of the
great mysteries of life and work.
I quote again from my Journal : —
"Mrs. Joshee wore a pure white saree richly bor-
dered with gold. Although not in the least beautiful,
she is the sweetest impersonation of pure womanliness
that I have ever seen. All eyes were on her. Ra-
mabai, who wears the plain white ' Chudda ' of the
Mahratta widow, has a really handsome face, a deli-
cate skin flushed with brilliant color. She and her
little girl look like Spaniards. Neither is graceful,
while every motion of Anandabai gives pleasure. An
immense quantity of flowers was distributed at the
close of Dr. Marshall's address, and Anandabai had
many valuable presents, books, instruments and
money, to help her carry out her purposes. She
could hardly be insensible to the fact that she was the
observed of all observers ; she must have heard the
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 135
frequent and honorable mention of her name, nor
could she have been deaf to the applause of that
immense audience when she went forward to take
her Diploma, but not even the quiver of her lips
There was not a vacant seat in the Academy
when the exercises began. People stood against
the walls and under the galleries, sat upon the
steps, and filled every aisle and doorway. The
students of the College filled the front seats in
the pit, and the Faculty with their invited guests
crowded the stage. *
A mass of flowers in baskets, bouquets and va-
ried designs, covered the footlights and completely
hid the piles of costly gifts, to be presented by
friends of the students to the graduates after the
Diplomas were given out.
The next evening Eamabai gave her first ad-
dress in America, on the subject which fills all her
thoughts. For an hour before this began, we re-
ceived in an ante-room about eighty ladies of the
highest social position, whom Dr. Bodley wished
to introduce to her Indian friends. The audience
in the Hall itself was estimated at from five to
six hundred. Eamabai spoke as Anandabai does,
as if English were her native tongue, but there
is a certain piquancy and originality in all that
136 LIFE OF ANANBABAI JOSHEE.
Anandabai says, not to be found elsewhere. The
audience was reverent, struck by the speaker's
beauty and awed by her enthusiasm and elo-
quence. [N'ever shall I forget the hush which fol-
lowed her appeal when, after clasping her hands
in silence for a few moments, she lifted her voice
to God in earnest entreaty for her countrj^women.
The whole city echoed the next day with won-
dering inquiry and explanation.
A day or two after, the Joshees and the Pundita
were received by the Century Club, and this en-
tertainment was followed by invitations of many
kinds to many places in and out of town.
I had never seen Gopal Joshee, until I went to
Philadelphia, on this memorable week, but I had
heard of his visit to my own house, and observed
the manner in which he bore himself toward his
wife's best friends. During this visit prolonged
for some days, after Anandabai had taken her
diploma, I saw less of her than I desired, I was
so anxious to possess myself of a fair and candid
opinion of this strange man. After the first cour-
tesies when we met, he was so absolutely silent
for some days in my presence, that my friends
thought I must have offended him. After this,
he talked very freely before me but not to me,
and I only knew that he was conscious of my
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. . 137
existence, by tlie readiness with wMcli he aided
me when I wanted copies of the leading papers
or any special information. It is with great pain
that I speak of him for Anandabai loved him,
but it is impossible to write her life truly, with-
out suggesting the "tangle" which his presence
brought into her daily life.
Anandabai had been most generously and deli-
cately aided by the ladies of Philadelphia, and
this aid it was easy for them to render because
she accepted it for her people and her work.
While awaiting her husband's coming, she had
no idea, that instead of asking for a few months'
leave, he would be obliged to throw up the work
by which they had hitherto lived. When I asked
her why he had done so, she said briefly and with
a deep sigh "He is tired," but would not pursue
the subject. After his coming, he shared the gen-
erous and provident kindness which had been
extended to her, but he received it differently
and she knew it.
In Dr. Bodley's Preface to the "High Caste
Hindu Woman," a book written by Kamabai, she
says of Dr. Joshee, —
" Ramabai's chapter on the married life of the Hindu
woman reveals to the Western Reader what it was for
this refined, intellectual person, whose faculties devel-
138 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
oped rapidly under Western opportunities, and whose
scientific acquirements placed her high in rank among
her peers in the college class, to accept again the posi-
tion awarded her by the Code of Manu. That she
did accept it, that 'until death she was patient of
hardships, self-controlled, and strove to fulfil that most
excellent duty prescribed for wives,' is undoubted.
Let those who recognize this herculean attempt find
in it a clue to the influences which dealt the final
In a letter written by Gopal to one of his
friends in this country, during the distracted days
that followed his wife's death in Poonah, he says,
" I wonder if she would not be living still, if I had
never gone to America ? "
Strange that he should have written this, and
stranger still would he have deemed it, had he
known that the one thought that rang through my
brain, as we sat together day after day in Phila-
delphia was this : " He will make life impossible
This year presented peculiar causes for anxiety,
and for Mr. Joshee's excitability, dissatisfaction
and restlessness there is some excuse to be found
in the condition of his wife's health, and the im-
possibility of tempting her appetite with suitable
food wherever she might be. Gopal had entered
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 139
the United States by the wrong gate. The rest-
less life of the West, the disorganizations of the
border, did not give him the key he needed to
understand the Eastern States. He saw very
little, but thought he saw everything. This how-
ever he did perceive, that Anandabai's health was
failing, and unable to aid her himself, half frantic
with affection and anxiety, he required of us all
what it was impossible to give. Little did he
know that it was chiefly owing to Dr. Bodley's
tender foresight, that his wife was still living. To
provide her with an abundance of nutritious vege-
table food was often impossible, and there was not
a physician anywhere who would not have said
she needed broth and delicate meats; but these
she could not take.
It was probably in one of the fits of irritation
produced by circumstances that he had not been
in the country long enough to understand, that
Gopal wrote a letter to " The Index," on the 14th
of March, 1886. This letter concerned "child
marriage," a subject brought into most unhappy
prominence by the discussion of the story of
Eukhmabai, a young Brahmin lady who, betrothed
to a worthless and aged husband in childhood,
refused to consummate the abominable contract,
and was sent to prison in consequence. Gopal's
140 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE
letter insanely denies the plain facts of this case,
with which all Europe was already familiar. In
it he makes assertions which he knew were not
true, and assumes a position in regard to the
American people which must have given sharp
pain to his gentle wife. While arrogance and
assumption breathe in every line of his letter, he
coolly demands that Americans shall "say no
word against his country 1 " All this was written
at a moment when he listened daily to the sad
exposition which Eamabai was offering to the
Any one who will turn to " The Index " for April
1st, 1886, will be astonished at the forbearance of
its Editor. In an article published by Max Miiller
in the London Times of Aug. 22nd, 1887, the in-
terested reader may prove to himself how utterly
unreliable were Mr. Joshee's statements.
Whoever had walked the streets of Philadel-
phia in modest peace with Anandabai, could not
fail to find a difference when Gopal was added to
His excited manner, his loud and rapid talk
attracted the attention of the crowd, and this was
held by the floating blue wrap, the white scarf,
and dark turban which he always wore.
About this time the beautiful dress worn by
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 141
Anandabai on the day of her graduation became
the theme of public discussion, and as it was
necessary to correct various errors concerning
it, the following account was sent to the local
papers : —
" The friends of Dr. Anandabai Joshee who are
accustomed to associate a simple and childlike sin-
cerity with everything relating to her, were at first
amused and then a little pained, when several of the
daily papers spoke of her receiving, her degree in a
robe ' trimmed with tinsel ! '
" There was no more ' tinsel ' on her robe than
there is in her character. The snowy gold-bordered
dress she wore, was part of her wedding outfit, made
to her father's order. It was made in the old city of
Chunder, famous through many centuries for the pro-
duction of the finest hand-made India mull. This
long narrow garment is the usual saree or upper gar-
ment of the Mahratta women, but Anandabai does
not wear it in the usual way. The Pundits found the
fashion among the dresses worn by her ancestors when
they dwelt on snow-covered hills. This garment is
made of a kind of India muslin called 'chally.'
" This word, like our word * shawl,' is derived from
the name of King Shawliwan, in whose reign and at
whose desire shawls were first made eighteen hundred
" This muslin saree is four yards long and two and
142 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
a half wide. The gold border is four inches wide
round the bottom, and more than nine up and down
the front. Beside the wide stripe there are two nar-
row onesj and these borders are not even made of
gold thread, but of flat drawn gold so pure that it
washes like a gold ring. This border is so very heavy
that no machine-made goods would hold it. It is
equally perfect and beautiful on the two sides. No
one who has seen the saree daintily worn can fail to
be charmed with it, and I need hardly point out to
those who have seen the Tanagra statuettes, that in
many cases it is the saree which imparts the peculiar
charm to the Greek figurine."
Probably nothing in her life was so trying to
Dr. Joshee as the round of visits which now
began in her husband's company. She could not
escape from the group of friends who listened
while he poured out in his rapid impulsive way
his bitter complaint against the country and peo-
ple which she so dearly loved. Alone I had
known her more than once to interpose her gentle
word, but before others her duty as a Hindu
wife forbade her to speak. Her silence seemed
to strangers like sullenness. Gopal had been ac-
customed to this in her younger days, and it did
not affect him as it did those who had seen
her in her happy freedom before his arrival. It
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 143
had one serious result, however; those who saw
her for the first time after her husband reached
Philadelphia, especially those who met her first
in Massachusetts, never saw the delightful and
fascinating woman so beloved by her friends in
On the 16th of April Dr. Joshee left Eoselle
for Philadelphia, intending to be examined for
Blockley Hospital. She expected to pass the
summer at the " New England Hospital for Wo-
men and Children," and to enter Blockley for
practice the following winter.
But her plans were very suddenly changed.
Dr. Bodiey had been asked to supply a resident
physician to the female wards of the new Albert
Edward Hospital at Kolhapur, and about this
time the following letter was received : — -
To Dr. Rachel Bodley,
WomatCs Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa,
Kolhapur, March lOth, 1886.
Dear Madam, — I beg you will kindly excuse me
for not replying to your letter of Nov. 25th before.
After I wrote you my first letter, the fact that Dr.
Anandabai Joshee would appear for her final exami-
nation at your College in the current month, was
brought to my notice by the Hon. Eao Bahadur
144 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
M. Gr. Eanade. Thinking that nothing could be more
desirable than to have a native of India for our *' Lady
Doctor," I placed myself at once in communication
with my friend, that he might ascertain from Mrs.
Joshee whether she would accept the appointment
alluded to. I hear that she is willing.
I beg therefore that you will do me the favor to
offer the place to Mrs. Joshee on the following terms.
1. Mrs. Joshee's designation to be Lady Doctor of
2. Her salary per month to be Es. 300 at first, to
be increased to 400 after two years' service, and to
500 after five years'.
3. A house for habitation with ordinary furniture
to be provided, but this not to include service or
4. The expenses of a single passage from the United
States to India will be borne by the State of Kolhapur,
on condition that this be refunded in the event of
Mrs. Joshee's leaving the service in less than one
5. The engagement shall be for seven years, but
may be terminated by either party on giving six
6. Mrs. Joshee will be in charge of the Albert
Edward Hospital, subject to the general supervision
of the Durbar Doctor, and instruct a class of girls in
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 145
7. Private practice will be allowed to any extent
that will not interfere with public duties, but no fees
are to be charged for attending on the ladies of the
palace, or on the wives of contributors to the Hospital
I assure you that the supervision of the Durbar
Doctor will be friendly. I feel sure that Doctor Sin-
clair, our Durbar Surgeon, and Doctor Joshee will
pull well together.
Mrs. Joshee seems to think that we mean our pu-
pils to be nurses only. Our object is much higher,
to enable them to be general practitioners.
When the Bombay scheme for Female Medical
Education, which has been taken in hand by Lady
Eeay, the wife of our Governor, has been perfected,
it is our intention to have the Kolhapur Establishment
affiliated to the Central College. Close to Mrs. Joshee's
quarters will be provided quarters for the pupils, that
they may be under her constant supervision.
In conclusion, I have to request that you will com-
municate the wishes of Mrs. Joshee by the return
mail. If she accepts, I shall want a letter from her
to that effect, stating also whether she can be at the
Hospital by the first of June.
Thanking you heartily for your prompt reply to
my first letter and for your offer of assistance,
I remain yours sincerely,
The Dewan of Kolhapur.
146 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
I am sorry to say that I have no copy of Dr.
Joshee's reply to this letter, which was written on
the 18th of April, but one remarkable sentence
in it is impressed upon my memory.
After a cordial acceptance of the appointment
Anandabai went on to say: —
"There is nothing in the seven conditions which
you name, that causes me any uneasiness, but if any
question were likely to arise under it, I might object
to the seventh.
" Our Shasters require us to impart the gifts of
healing and of religious truth without pay, and to
this practice I shall adhere ; but if I ever meant to
take a fee from any one, it would assuredly be from
those who are rich and powerful, and never from those
who are poor and depressed."
On the 12th of June, 1886, the Dewan of Kol-
hapnr, an officer of the government correspond-
ing to our Secretary of State, acknowledged Dr.
Joshee's acceptance of the position in the Albert
Edward Hospital, and consented to allow her to
spend the summer in Eoxbury as she desired.
She intended to sail in January, 1887.
It was about this time that I began to feel very
anxious about Anandabai's health. The climate
of the United States at its best seems fatal to
the Asiatic. The Aleut fares no better than the
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 147
Hindu on these shores, and when disease attacks
either, it is astonishing how quickly the end
comes. The cKmate of Cutch and of Calcutta
had been very injurious to Dr. Joshee's health, and
she was depressed by unnatural lassitude when she
reached Philadelphia. The home of her dearest
friend, which speedily became her home also, was
in Eoselle, in a part of ISTew Jersey subject to
malarial and depressing influences. If we had
had an examination in 1883, the lesson of her life
would have been lost. The one thing that might
have saved her was a long and steady residence in
Colorado or New Mexico, with a light heart. It
was because she was so happy the first two years
that we were deceived as to her health. As soon
as she had accepted the position at Kolhapur, her
whole future weighed upon her. Assuming by
virtue of her larger earnings the duties of the head
of her family, she had to look forward, not only to
supporting herself and performing her duties at the
Hospital, but upon her would fall the care of her
husband's mother and younger brothers. Her first
duty on her return would be to go to Nassik,
where they resided, and complete arrangements for
their removal to Kolhapur. At this time she sup-
posed she should be well enough to go to India
alone, and it was thought that Mr. Joshee might
148 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
remain for some time in England and America. I
have said that she was to have the care of her hus-
band's family, but what sort of influence were they
to exert over her ? She had said, '' I will go to
America as a Hindu, and I will remain a Hindu.
I will be in all things his deserving wife." What
says the Shaster ?
"For the ancient sages declare that a bride is given
to the family of her husband and not to her husband
alone." (Apastamba, 2nd, 10th, 27th, 3d.)
And again in the IXth of Manu, 22nd, we read :
" Whatever be the qualities of the man with whom
a woman is united in lawful marriage, such qualities
she must assume, as a river mingles with the ocean."
Could she indeed remain his " deserving wife " ?
Was this any longer possible to her? No word
escaped her lips. Obediently she stooped to lift
her heavy burden ; but those who loved her, felt
her heart sinking, although her words were the
words of cheerful courage.
To the New England Hospital she went as an
invited guest on the 2nd of May. She would
have "ample opportunity," she was told, "to visit
other infirmaries and asylums not unfriendly
to women." Such an arrangement, it was said,
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 149
"would give no opportunity for the care and
responsibility devolving upon an interne, but
would give her the chance to see a great variety
What she actually encountered the following
letter will show. It was something wholly un-
suited to the delicate condition which her friends
hardly suspected, and of which the authorities at
the Hospital could not be aware.
KoxBURY, May 3d, 1886.
My dear Aunt, — I reached here last evening at
about 7 o'clock. Two of my college friends came
very kindly to meet me, so that made it pleasant all
through. I have already taken charge of the medical
ward here. I went to the Maternity to see a case, soon
after I arrived, before supper. This morning at seven
I visited the medical ward. At 8.30 I went with
another Interne to the Surgical. I paid another visit
at 12.30 with Dr. P. This is one of the regular
I have to visit my own ward again this evening, so
you see how busy I am ! I have to make three regular
visits beside that with Dr. P. to all the Hospital, after
which the consulting physician, resident physician
and the Internes meet in the office to discuss the
cases. My sleeping-room is on the third floor, dining-
room on the lowest, patients all over. I have to fill
150 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
up the papers that belong to my own patients. This
is the first time I have sat down. I am so tired !
The spot in which the Hospital stands is one of
the most delightful that I have seen. It is perfectly
charming. It was so cold in the house, that I came
out on the lawn to write. It is very sunny, but very
windy, so I don't think I shall stay long.
When I read those words, I thought I knew
when the final blow was struck. Was there no
one to warn her ? Exhausted, chilled, she needed
as much warmth as a tropical bird, and she went
out of doors to write on the 3d of May, in a
Boston east wind ! She goes on : —
Will you please give the Eoorhacks my address,
and tell them not to send me the knife for wood
carving or anything else. I have to be moving from
room to room and place to place, and have no time
for anything. After all, I have regular duty to per-
form. One of my college friends has left the Hospital
entirely, the other is miles off in the Dispensary.
You will be sorry to hear that I have such a cold
in my throat that I cannot talk, only whisper. There
is measles in the Annex, so one Interne must stay
there. Two others have left. Dr. Hall is here, but
Dr. Sterling has not yet come. With love, your
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 151
Tlie letters that followed recorded days equally
crowded with work, although occasionally varied
with pleasant change. She went to a tea at the
"Woman's Club, to the Woman's Industrial Union,
and took many drives with Dr. Keller to see
some of her most interesting surgical cases.
Writing of Boston, she says, " I am so impressed
with the beauty of Boston ! I am ready to say it
is the prettiest place I have seen in America."
No one seems to have seen how ill she was, and
oh, I know without asking, that through all this
time no one saw the real Anandabai ! It must
have been in the early part of her stay that she
received a visit from Mrs. Underwood. Mrs.
Underwood went to invite her to deliver an
address at the coming anniversary of the Free
Eeligious Association, in which she should explain
her own position and the needs of women in
India. "There entered," writes Mrs. Underwood,
"a graceful, childlike creature, the lustrous eyes
of whose dark grave face sought those of her
visitor in quiet scrutiny." Dr. Joshee declined
this invitation on the ground of her duties at
My mind had been a little withdrawn from her
at this time by changes in my own life. I did
not hear from my friend as I expected, till
152 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
on the first of June Mr. Joshee wrote to Mrs.
Carpenter that his wife had decided to give up
her studies at the Hospital, and see if perfect
rest would not prepare her for her duties at Kol-
hapur. I was hurrying North at the moment,
and reached the Hospital on the morning of
June 5th, only to be shocked at the announce-
ment that Mrs. Joshee was confined to her room.
I found her lying in bed, pale and quiet. As we
sat hand in hand looking into each other's eyes
for a long while, I thought with satisfaction how
lately she had said, "I have no need of words.
I know what my friends think without words."
There were many questions that I wished to ask,
but she was in no condition to talk. To my sur-
prise, she did not seem anxious about herself,
but was incommoded by some internal difficulty
brought on by the constant going up and down
stairs, which the Hospital Service required. What
little talk we had was about Eamabai and her
plans. Dr. Joshee was expecting to work with
her in India. She was grieved to give up her
Hospital Work, but intended to go that afternoon
to visit Dr. Keller, and from thence by short
stages, making visits at Providence and Hartford,
to Koselle. I think she was not able to move
till the 9th of June, and it was perhaps while she
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 153
was resting peacefully at Dr. Keller's that she
rallied enough to go to Mrs. Underwood for an
evening, and meet a few friends.
Of this meeting Mrs. Underwood wrote as
follows : —
" She wore no bonnet, but instead a fawn-colored
wrap enveloped her finely shaped head and gracefully
draped her shoulders j this was removed on entering.
Her robe of some fine dark wooUen material was
edged to the depth of several inches with gold-colored
embroidery, and in spite of its flowing drapery at one
arm, fitted nicely her plump petite form ; gold brace-
lets adorned her wrists. The dark face was round,
with full lips; she had a handsomely shaped brow,
broad and intellectual looking. Between the eyebrows
was a small tattooed mark, in shape somewhat like a
cross. The eyes were beautiful and expressive, large,
black, softly shining, as capable of smiles as of tears,
with a strangely pathetic look in them. The prevail-
ing expression of Dr. Joshee's face was grave, dignified,
almost sad, but the rare smile which marked her
appreciation of the ludicrous was charmingly bright
and girlish. The talk drifted during the evening into
channels which in spite of her modest diffidence drew
"The car of Juggernaut was discussed, and in speak-
ing of the mothers who distraught with poverty some-
times throw their babes into the Ganges, Dr. Joshee
154 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
said that during her medical experience in Philadel-
phia a large number of new-born infants, either mur-
dered or deserted, found their way into the dissecting-
room, and she might as well on her return to India
relate this fact, making it a custom of American moth-
ers to kill or desert their children, and adducing it
as a result of Christian belief, as to charge the Hindu
faith with the drowning so often reported.
"In discussing the right of men to kill and eat
animals, Dr. Joshee said that she had lived in America
for three years without feeling the need of any other
food than that she ate in India. In speaking of
Edwin Arnold's Poems, by which she meant the
* Song Celestial ' and * Indian Idylls ' she said he had
not, exaggerated but had sometimes failed to catch the
subtle spiritual meanings of the ancient writings."
Of the " Light of Asia," a Buddhist poem, her
judgment would probably have been different.
The King of Siam, in writing to the author to con-
fer upon him the " Order of the White Elephant,"
says, " I can see that some of your ideas are not
the same as ours ; " and when Mr. Arnold visited
Ceylon, the Chief Priest said to him, " The reason
that we wish to honour you is because you have
helped to make Buddhists know how much they
ought to do and be to rise to the level of their own
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 155
" She spoke sensibly of ' Christian Science/ said she
had taken several lessons in that art of healing, and
thought she saw a natural basis on which it could be
explained. She spoke of phrenology, and said that in
dissecting the brain she had found reason to dispute
the claims made by its enthusiastic advocates.
" Her acquaintance with American and English
scientists and persons of note was something phe-
nomenal. As she glanced over a large collection of
portrait photographs, a word or two would show that
she was familiar with the story of each man and his
The Mends of Anandabai are grateful for the
brief record here preserved. There is no adequate
representation of her varied and stimulating con-
versation. In reference to what she said of diet,
she was doubtless glad to reinforce her husband's
opinion ; but I think it certain that if she could
have taken animal food, or at least broths, her
chance of life in this climate would have been
It was only a few days before I saw Anandabai,
that at the meeting of the Free Eeligious Asso-
ciation in Boston, during the last week in May,
Gopal Vinyak Joshee had delivered an address
which must deeply have pained her. In this
address he asserted that " Christianity lacks every
156 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
noble attribute; that we are told we must be-
lieve as the Christians do, or be immediately
damned ; that this is not done by one sect but
by all, including the broad Unitarian." He
charged further that Christianity lacked justice,
righteousness, and humanity; that charity was ab-
sent through the length and breadth of Christen-
dom; that Moses and Jesus imposed upon the
credulity of their followers ; and he sustained these
statements by arguments as incoherent as they
were absurd. Had they been those of a bewil-
dered American, no one would have thought of
them twice, but as the first definite expression
known to the audience of Hindu thought, they
had a certain interest. Anandabai was of course
busied with her duties at the Hospital, but she
who had no "need of words" could not fail to
know in what mood her husband went to that
meeting, and to suffer for it. No one knew bet-
ter than he in his saner moods tliat to be true
his statements needed modifications that he did
not give, and that it was the same human frailty
that made his own country people worship idols,
and not Christianity, that should be made to an-
swer for the failures of the church. Now that
we know that Anandabai was never to devote a
life-time to medical work, it is impossible not to
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 157
wish that she had left the operating-room that
day, and carried her own message to that meeting.
How tenderly and with what true appreciation
would she have spoken of her own indebtedness
to Christian charity, justice, and sympathy. '' I
am not a Christian because I have no need to
be one," she would have said ; "but it is through
Jesus that God has spoken to you. If I do not
need your Bible, neither do you need my Shasters."
While she was in Philadelphia she had be-
come acquainted with the Rev. Charles G. Ames.
Between him and her there was no "need of
words." She entered into his spirit, and it was
her greatest delight to listen to his preaching in
Spring Garden Street.
« She was often at the church," writes Mr. Ames,
"and showed her interest by lingering long at the
close, and accepting with sweet and gracious silence,
and hand pressure, all the greetings of the people.
It was not customary for her to initiate conversation,
but once engaged, she talked remarkably well, and
generally on serious subjects. She was a guileless
and genuine person who knew her own mind and
saw clearly ' the path.' Her capacity for self-direction,
coupled with rare and generous justice, promised a
career of great usefulness in her native land, where,
alas ! her countrywomen will never know their loss."
158 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
It was one of the great disappointments of her
brief stay in Boston that she had no opportu-
nity to make the acquaintance of James Freeman
Clarke. She had read his books and liked them.
If she had been well, she would have gone to see
him. She did not like to return to India without
Her disappointment in connection with the
work at the Hospital was much greater than she
ever acknowledged. She had the highest opinion
of its administration.
I went from Boston to Concord early in July.
I heard there of the address delivered by Gopal
one day in June at Mr. Chamberlain's, regarding
missionary life in India. This address was writ-
ten out for the "Index" of July 22d, 1886. Can
any one who reads it believe it to be the pro-
duction of a sane man, provided that man be, as
Gopal Joshee undoubtedly was, both cultivated
and intelligent ?
Forgetting what he had said at the Free Ke-
ligious meeting in May, he said here, "I do not
speak against Christ and his teachings, but I find
his followers unworthy of the name ; " and goes
on: "I have been with missionaries for the last
twenty-two years. The more I look into their
characters, the darker is the dye that stains
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 159
them." "Christians have manufactured all the
vices, and exported them to countries where sim-
plicity and innocence reigned," — and to confirm
his charges against the missionaries, he would
have us believe that in travelling to this country
with his wife, some of them put meat into her
plate, to force her through hunger to break the
requirements of her caste !
If all the rest of the world had reason to com-
plain of the church, what right had Gopal Joshee
to make such complaint ? It was a missionary of
the Presbyterian Church who came to his aid and
forwarded his letters to Dr. Wilder, when he first
desired to send his wife to America. It was Mr.
and Mrs. Thorburn, missionaries at Calcutta, who
watched over her and protected her, when with
insane precipitation her husband would have sent
her to this country alone. It was the authorities
of the Baptist College, in the town consecrated to
Henry Martyn's memory, who granted their hall
to Anandabai, when the clamor of the natives at
Serampore interfered with the transaction of the
public business. It was under the convoy of
missionaries that she finally came to America;
and the friends who received and cherished her
in Eoselle and Philadelphia were Christians, and
others were clergy of the "broad Unitarian"
160 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
church. If there had been a spark of nobleness
in this Gopal's breast, would he not have known
how to tell his truth without repulsing his best
Some one, at the close of the lecture, asked Mr.
Joshee if what he had said of the Missionaries
applied to Mr. Dall. He hesitated a moment, and
then said " I do not know Mr. Dall." And yet,
when a month later the news of Mr. Ball's death
had come, he wrote to me that I could not im-
agine " how much he was beloved in India ! "
It happened about this time that Mr. Joshee
and Anandabai were invited to attend a mission-
ary meeting a few miles from New York. The
friends whom they were visiting accompanied
them with fear and trembling, having frequently
heard Gopal express himself as he did in his
letter to " The Index ; " but to their surprise, he
delivered a delightful address which pleased every-
body. He told pleasant stories, described the
missionary buildings and schools, and was loudly
" What does this mean, Mr. Joshee ? " said one
of his friends, iodignant at what she considered
his duplicity. " How does this agree with what
you were telling me last night ? " "I must tell
them what they want to hear," said he, as if it
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 161
were a point of manners; "this is what they
were expecting ! "
Such transparent manoeuvring would hardly
seem worth while, and this matter concerns us
only as it affected the health and spirits of Dr.
Joshee. Obediently she went with her husband
to Concord, sitting by him throughout his long
tirade, silent and suffering. " She does not look
very attractive," said a lady in the audience, " but
I wish she would tell us what she thinks."
On the first of July she reached Koselle. Her
friends there saw that something needed to be
done, but a thorough medical examination does
not seem to have been thought of.
Finally, Dr. Joshee started on the 10th of July
with Mrs. Carpenter's oldest daughter on a jour-
ney to Delaware County, New York. Here the
elevation was about fifteen hundred feet above the
sea-level. Whether her lungs were in a condition
to bear the sudden change from the lowlands of
New Jersey may be doubted. The first day she
complained of pain and nausea. The next she
was better and wrote : —
" We are having lovely times. I have not botanized,
but we roam about and work. Sometimes we find
nice little strawberry patches and we eat of the fruit
heartily. The day before yesterday Eighmie and I
162 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
went to Aunt Jenny's. I took my ' crazy ' work
with me, and made one block."
But this cheerful strain could not last. On
the 20th of July these words came to Mrs.
Carpenter : —
" How I wish you were here. I won't stay much
longer, for I have been ill ever since I came. I am
having chills three times a day, and fever. My whole
body is aching. If you do not come within a reason-
able time, I shall leave this place and go to you. I
am afraid I shall not see you much before I go to
In this letter she mentions having been for ten
hours in attendance on a difficult delivery. On
the 23d she continues : —
" I am now having two chills daily, and fever after
each one. My throat is so inflamed that it keeps me
coughing all the time. Last night I did not have five
It is evident that she had been for some time a
victim of malaria, but had not had enough vitality
to develop chills. As soon as the invigorating
quality of the mountain air made itself felt, they
were exhibited. Her husband now went to her,
and in a few days the Carpenters followed. It
had been all along intended that Dr. Bodley,
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 163
Dr. Josliee, and Eamabai should go from Eoch-
ester about this time to Magara, Cincinnati, and
Chicago, perhaps even to St. Louis. So little
did those who loved Anandabai best, realize her
condition, that it was thought this long and ex-
hausting journey might benefit her. When Mrs.
Carpenter reached her, in Delaware County, she
found her bright and cheerful, but with a trouble-
some cough. Anandabai was busy putting to-
gether a silli quilt, the various blocks of which
had been contributed by her American friends.
In spite of all that she and her friends could do it
could not be finished, and was laid aside till her
return to Eoselle. She knew that Hospital work
would leave her no time for it in India.
Dean Bodley, who never loses an opportunity
to advance the interests of women, had forwarded
an account of the graduation exercises in Phila-
delphia to her Majesty Queen Victoria, who has
been supposed, possibly with injustice, to disap-
prove of the medical education of women. Early
in August Dr. Bodley received in acknowledg-
ment of her communication the following letter
from Sir Henry Ponsonby, the Queen's Private
It was addressed to the British legation in this
164 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
From Windsor July 14th, 1886.
I am commanded by the Queen to request that
you will kindly thank Dr. Bodley for having sent to
her Majesty the account of Dr. Joshee's graduation at
the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and
to assure you that the Queen has read it with much
On the ninth of August, Anandabai went to
Eochester. Her husband had gone a few days in
advance, and two days after Mrs. Carpenter re-
ceived the following touching letter: —
Eochester, N. Y., Aug. 10th, 1886.
My dear Aunt, — I arrived at the station at 9.05
p. M. and at this place at 10.10 p. m. I had a very
pleasant and comfortable journey. I was not at all
sick, and did not cough more than six or seven times.
I was not at all hungry, and ate nothing until after
7 o'clock. Mr. Joshee did not come to meet me in
time, but it was not his fault. I wrote him that the
train arrived at 9.55, so he did not start till after I
had arrived. I inquired at the station and took the
tramway near it. I told the conductor where I wanted
to go. He told me where to change cars and where
to walk on the street. Every house was dark and I
could not tell where I was.
Finally I found some people sitting on a piazza,
and asked them what number their house bore.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 165
They said seventy, so I turned and went back. Mr.
Joshee came in forty minutes after I found the house.
I had a terrible coughing spell in the street car. I
found a white piece which I thought was five cents,
and dropped it in. The good driver looked in the
box and asked me if I had put in some money. I
said, Yes, when he showed me that I had put in 25
cents. He was very sorry, and so was I, but I did
not say anything. The honest driver could not open
the box, but he managed so nicely that I got twenty
cents back. A gentleman who stepped in was told by
the driver of my mistake and paid me his fare ; nor
did the driver let anybody put in another fare till I
had my twenty cents back. I could not help feeling
extremely grateful to the stranger for his kindness.
My impression is that the drivers are honest. This is
the way I have always found people. My experience
is better than Timon's.
I can't write any better and cough too.
On the 20tli of August the following letter
came to Mrs. Carpenter, but not in Anandabai's
handwriting. It was dictated to her companion,
and shows an utter self-forgetfulness, in the deadly
grasp of her disease. Dr. Bodley found herself
unable to take the journey, for which she prob-
ably considered Anandabai unfit. This settled,
166 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
Anandabai planned with cheerful courage for her-
self, and strove in this her last struggle against
fate to gratify the trivial but natural curiosity
of those she met.
EOCHESTER, Aug. 18tli, 1887.
My dear Aunt, — Yom* letters are at hand. Dr.
Bodley is not able to go with me, so I shall leave
Rochester for the Falls on the 20th. Mr. Joshee
will go with me as far as the Falls. He will put me
in the cars for Chicago, where my friend will meet
me. She will show me everything worth seeing in
that City. From Chicago I shall buy a ticket to
Warrensburg, Missouri, where Dr. Smith will meet
me. I shall leave Dr. Smith to go to Cincinnati,
where I shall meet Dr. Bodley. Will you be kind
enough to send my red silk saree which is in the
trunk, and either my shawl or my graduating dress ?
My friends are so disappointed that I have not any
pretty dresses with me ! and Dr. Smith wants me to
bring some pretty sarees. They will not get lost if
they are expressed. My cough is not any better.
Love to all.
In some way Dr. Bodley forced her own plans
to bend to Anandabai's need, for before Anandabai
could start she joined her with Eamabai at Eoch-
ester, and it was at once decided that the Western
journey must not be undertaken.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 167
They determined to go to the Falls and from
thence to Philadelphia, that Anandabai might
have rest and treatment at the Woman's Hospital.
At Carlisle, on the route to Philadelphia, there is
an Indian school superintended by my friend Capt.
Pratt, under the auspices of the United States
Government. Dr. Joshee felt the most intense
interest in everything relating to the colored races
in this country, and had long desired to visit this
especial school, where Indian youth of both sexes
are trained in such practical knowledge as will
fit them for civilized life.
In spite of such terrible suffering as her disease
now involved, her interest did not flag, and it
was to gratify her that it was decided to stop
at Carlisle on the way to Philadelphia. On
the 27th of August I received in Buffalo a line
or two dictated by Anandabai, and written by
Dr. Bodley in the Central Depot, where they were
obliged to wait more than an hour for a train that
would go direct to Carlisle. Why could I not
have met her and gone with her ? Had I done
so, I should have endeavored to prevent her im-
mediate departure, and the terrible suffering of
the journey to India might have been averted.
She greatly enjoyed her brief glimpse of the
Carlisle school. After remaining for ten days at
168 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
the Woman's Hospital in Philadelphia, Eamabai
carried her home to Eoselle.
Here her last month in America was to be
spent. She fuUy believed that there was a chance
of restoration in the sea-voyage and her native air ;
but a few words spoken at Eoxbury showed me
that if the end came, she was ready. To her the
thought of death was not —
" So much even as the lifting of a latch,
Only a step into the open air,
Out of a tent aheady luminous
With light that shone through its transparent walls."
These words, taken from Longfellow's " Golden Le-
gend," had their origin in the fervid imagination
of Father Taylor, but they would have dropped
naturally from Anandabai's lips. She had come
to see clearly through those "transparent walls,"
and the most bigoted missionary might have been
content to hear her say, " Write me as one who
loves her fellow-men." She expected if she reached
Bombay alive to go first to ISTassik, where her
husband's mother resided, and make arrangements
for the removal of the whole family to Kolhapur,
where she intended to provide for them. Fresh
anxieties would wait upon this step, for ISTassik
is the centre of Brahminism in the Bombay Presi-
dency. She put them steadily aside, determined
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 169
to cast no wilful shadow over the last days with
those she loved.
Of those days Mrs Carpenter shall tell the
" Her strength was so far reduced that during the
four weeks that she remained with us the greater
part of the time was spent in bed or on the lounge,
although she generally joined us at lunch or dinner.
With her husband, her cousin, and Mr. Sattay in the
house, there was everything to make her last days
here as comfortable as her condition would allow,
and in the merry social converse, in which she eagerly
joined, she would have forgotten that she was an
invalid, had it not been for the frequent and periodical
taking of medicine.
"At no time did any of the * gloom' of the sick-
room attend her. Everything was done to make those
precious days as bright and cheerful as possible. It
was too hard to believe that all the efforts of her
physicians would be in vain, and we tried to shut our
eyes to the heart-rending truth."
When the packing was all done, of the eleven
trunks, eight contained nothing but souvenirs, and
the remaining three held a goodly proportion of
the same. Into one of these had gone the silk
quilt which Anandabai's loving heart had made
a last effort to put together. Dr. Joshee's skill
170 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
in sewing was something unusual among her coun-
trywomen, and was perhaps due to the Mission
school in Bombay. The Hindu dress requires few
stitches, and embroidery and ornamental work are
usually done by men.
Dr. Joshee had dreaded this final packing, but
when the hour for it came, all she could do was to
lie still and look on.
"The moming of Oct. 9th, 1886, dawned bright
and clear. The carriage was ordered half an hour in
advance of the train," Mrs. Carpenter goes on to say,
**that Anandabai might see once more every home
that had been open to her, and take a last look at
that she had called her own. The bright sun and the
soft air were not too bright or soft for this parting
hour. The motion of the cars made her uncom-
fortable, and she leaned on my shoulder for support
until we reached the carriage in New York. This
took us to the 'Etruria.* She was very weak, but
sat firmly in her seat as we drove, looking almost
as bright as the flowers she carried. She was glad to
lie down as soon as we reached the steamer. Not
for a moment did she give way. A struggle between
her weak body and her strong soul had been going on
The party that accompanied Dr. Joshee to the
steamer consisted only of Mrs. Carpenter, her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 171
husband, and two children, the Pundita Rama-
bai, and Mr. Sattay, the Hindu friend who had
been with them all during the last weeks. To
the last moment these friends, forgetting their
grief, occupied themselves with the doctor, stew-
ardess, and others, in arrangements for the inva-
lid's comfort. The purser and steward had been
instructed by the agent of the line to show Dr.
Joshee special favor in regard to diet, and the
physician in charge promised watchful care.
During the month that preceded Anandabai's
departure, I heard from Gopal twice, but he wrote
about articles that were to be sent to her from
Washington, and not one serious word was writ-
ten about Anandabai's health. In July she had
written from Delaware County, "I am coughing
with each turn of my pen." In August she
adds : —
" I have not as much strength as when I left Dela-
ware County. I do not feel able to go to Chicago, and
after rest and care shall go home. Do not worry, for
there is no need at all."
From Philadelphia she once wrote : —
" Even the least breeze seems to abuse me. JN'o one
in the house realizes the trouble as my Doctor and I
do, and no one need.
172 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
"My headaclie, which is reflex, is perfectly intol-
erable. It is aggravated by every attempt to think."
When I connect the allusions to her health in
my own letters with the fuller extracts furnished
from Mrs. Carpenter's, I feel sure that Anandabai
was not deceived as to her own condition.
Tor the details of her journey we are obliged to
depend on her husband's letters.
He writes first from the steamer "Etruria/'
Oct. 11th, two days after they had set sail. The
weather had been rough, and Dr. Joshee had not
left her bed. The Doctor and all the officers were
very attentive. On the 13th she had a very bad
night, and required the constant attendance of her
husband and the physician. Gopal writes that he
*' prayed to God for mercy."
In the morning she was lifted from her bed
that it might be aired, but could not bear the
sofa even for a moment. An opiate was given.
A severe storm followed, and when they reached
Liverpool on the morning of the 17th Anandabai
was almost hopeless, and Gopal was much ex-
hausted by the unusual labors of a nurse, —
labors from which, oddly enough if we look at
it from a religious point of view, every high caste
male Hindu is taught to shrink.
Our next information comes through a very
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE, 173
painful letter published in " The Index " of Dec.
23d, 1886, and which must have been written,
one would hope, when Gopal's mind was sore
In this letter he writes : —
" We are as you know vegetarians. On board the
* Etruria ' especial attention was paid to our food. The
chief steward sent us any quantity of grapes, apples,
pears, and peaches, beside vegetable soups, baked
apples, and tomatoes, ice-creams and puddings. On
that steamer we were respected.
" We came from New York to Liverpool well cared
for and looked after. The Doctor on board called
twice a day. The steward and stewardess were always
in attendance whenever the bell rang.
" While Dr. Joshee was in America, and up to the
time of her landing in England, she never knew what
kind of animosity was fostered by the English between
the black and white races. She had lived among
white people for nearly four years respectfully treated
as a lady."
And yet how bitterly Gopal had upbraided her
friends in America for not showing sufficient con-
sideration for her race and habits !
They had sailed from New York Oct. 9th, and
reached London Oct. 18th, if I can trust Mr.
174 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
The temptation to quote the whole of this letter
is strong, for in no other way could I so fully
justify to my reader what I have felt it necessary
to indicate of Mr. Joshee's temper and excitable
nature ; but I forbear.
Thomas Cook & Son, who booked Mr. and Mrs.
Joshee from New York to Bombay, had secured
by telegraph a berth in the British Steamer
"Hergoda." On their arrival in London on the
18th, their baggage was immediately transferred
at a heavy expense to this steamer. Gopal then
went to the office of Cook & Co. to ascertain
exactly when the steamer would sail. He wished
to leave the country as soon as possible, being sure,
he says, that if he did not he should be " impris-
oned for life" or " committed to the gallows" ! ! !
Cook & Co. could not furnish the information
he wanted, and he was sent to the office of the
British India Steamship Co. Here he was refused
a ticket on the ground that the passage money
was not yet paid, and they would not grant it
now that they knew the passenger would be a
Hindu lady. " I was all wrath and indignation,"
Mr. Joshee goes on, " I burst, as is my wont, into
bitter exclamations. I abused the English right
and left, and said that their houses in India should
be blown up, and every insult retaliated by blood-
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 175
shed." Such words as these, and the far worse
words that followed, could hardly have availed to
secure the accommodation that he wanted. It is
impossible to understand this story as Gopal tells
it. Hindu passengers and European passengers
of every rank are constantly making the passage
from India to England and back in the same
vessel, and there is nothing in the public opinion
of England to sustain the outrage here described.
Mr. Joshee does not forget to tell us that in
this sharp trial Anandabai remained " firm as a
rock." When he returned to the hotel, he met
there two ladies, who, unable to believe the story,
went to the office of Cook & Co. The next day,
the 20th of October, Mr. Joshee called on the
husband of one of these ladies, and on finding
what was necessary to enable the travellers to take
the outgoing P. & 0. steamer which was to sail
on the 21st, Mr. Pattison handed Mr. Joshee " a
check for eighty or ninety pounds." Is it not
a little singular that Gopal does not remember
which? In speaking of Mrs. Pattison Mr. Joshee
says, " Her words at parting were more consoling
and redeeming than all the dollars Mrs. Joshee
received as presents from her American friends in
pomp." These words are printed and I cannot
pass them by. Not only did Dr. Joshee receive
176 LIFE OF ANANDA.BAI JOSHEE.
many gifts from the ladies of Philadelphia, but
many benefactions were offered to her husband
for her sake, and with a delicacy which hid from
every " left hand " what the " right hand " did.
From this moment, if we are to believe Mr.
Joshee, everything went ill with the travellers un-
til they reached Bombay. Dr. Joshee was rudely
treated by the steward and the subordinates on
board the "Peshawur." Mr. Joshee had made
one serious mistake at the outset, in booking him-
self as the servant of his wife. He gives no rea-
son for this, save lack of funds and "curiosity."
Why there should have been any " lack of funds "
it is diificult to understand. The Dewan of Kol-
hapur was to pay all the expenses of the new
superintendent of the Albert Edward wards, and
the large amount of money known to have passed
into Mr. Joshee's hands, makes it impossible to
understand why he could not pay his own pas-
sage. His wife was far too ill to be left alone at
night or to be without an attendant of her own
sex. If by " curiosity " is meant a desire to see
how much irritation and ill-will he could excite
by his own violence and perversity, we cannot
deny that his experiment succeeded. I take com-
fort in believing that this letter never met Anan-
dabai's eyes. I remember the sweet tones of her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEB. 177
voice as she said soon after her arrival in this
country, " I know there are many good husbands
in the United States. I see that they make their
wives happy. But among them all there is not
one so good as my husband." If this letter had
come into her hands, she would have seen in it
many statements that she would never have au-
thorized. I am glad that this pang was not added
to all the rest.
Indirectly we heard that Anandabai took cold
in a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay, and
reached Gibraltar in a very critical state. From
Gibraltar Mr. Joshee goes on : —
" The day we left London Dr. Joshee felt bright,
and was able to go on deck without assistance. I,
being only her native servant, had to stay away till
sent for. The second day she sat there reading. Now
she is again confined to her bed, as ill as she was
when she last reached Eoselle. Now I am with her
day and night, and she will soon be better. The sea is
calm ; it troubles us far less than the people."
In this letter came a few lines from Anandabai
to Mrs. Carpenter, the last she ever wrote.
" I am stronger," she says, " cough better, throat
worse. I shall improve when I am able to eat.
There has not been an hour since I left New York
178 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
when I have not missed your precious self. I am
writing in bed, and see my Doctor twice a day."
At Malta they paused a little while to take in
water, fruit, and vegetables.
Mr. Joshee complains of the diet on board this
-steamer; but neither ice nor fruit is sufficiently
cheap in London for the company to supply the
P. & 0. steamers as they do those of the Cu-
nard line, and for that reason travellers usually
supply their own delicacies. On the third of
November they entered the Suez Canal. Twelve
days ought to take them to Bombay. Anandabai
grew hopeful again, and mentioned, her husband
says, " a thousand and one things that she would
like to eat." The three days in the Eed Sea
were intensely hot, and at a great risk Anandabai's
warmest wraps were removed. Her cough was
severe, and she seems to have been wholly sus-
tained by stimulants.
Mr. Joshee alludes in a letter from Aden to
various annoyances arising from their color, and
adds that an unknown friend on board, who had
heard of their trouble in London, sent to offer
them money if they needed it. " Patient of hard-
ships," Anandabai reached Bombay. The letters
which detailed the landing never reached us, but
it could not have been later than the 17th of
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 179
November. She was received with distinction
and extraordinary marks of regard. Those who
expected to see her excommunicated and abused,
saw on the contrary the eyes of grave men filKng
with tears as they gazed upon her wasted form,
and heard the strong voices of priests and pundits
echoing her praises.
She lingered for some time in Bombay or that
neighborhood to take the advice of distinguished
It must always be remembered to Mr. Joshee's
honour, that during this long voyage, in the last
half of which Anandabai was certainly fatally ill,
he waited upon his wife with devoted tender-
ness, and she preferred his care to that of every
other. The prospect of a life at his side had faded,
and ceased to perplex her. She was glad to rest
in a love already tested. For many things she
must have suffered ; but against the customs of
his country-people and in spite of the injunctions
of his creed, he waited upon her steadily, perform-
ing the duties of a servant, and seeming to forget
the privileges of his " sex and caste."
It may be said that he did this from necessity,
and with an interested intention to save a valu-
able life, but I think he did it from pure affec-
tion. He had done it once before, to my knowl-
180 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
edge, when neither necessity nor hope of gain
could possibly have influenced him, and when
it exposed him, as it did now, to the harshest
contumely, to the most bitter scorn.
At Bombay everything was against our un-
happy traveller. Eor two days the pleasant
thought that she was at home roused her to a
Her mother, younger sister, brother, and grand-
mother came from various directions to meet her.
They could not tempt her with the food she had
longed for. The friends with whom they stayed
were devoted, but their habits were not those of
the Mahrattas. They removed from house to
house. Their first resting-place was too damp.
At the next they were received for a short time
only ; and when we remember with what prompt-
ness Dr. Joshee's practical sense would have con-
quered all these difficulties had she been well and
acting for any one else, we realize how ill she
must have been when she lay there quietly, " noth-
ing asking, nothing doubting."
She had not however given up all hope, for
she desired that subscriptions should be made to
several medical journals in America, the money
to be forwarded after she reached Kolhapur. She
was impatient to reach Poonah, but at first her
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 181
physicians would not allow it. This depressed
her, and her husband saw her wasting to a shad-
ow, and became more and more uncertain and
He says he has no time to write. The interest
in Dr. Joshee made her a national centre. " All
India is in travail for her."
Physicians were often changed. At last one
was found who probably saw the case to be hope-
less, and consented to her going to Poonah on the
9th of December.
On the 16th Gopal writes : —
" We are now in the place where Dr. Joshee was
born. As we came up into the hills, she brightened
up. At first her cough was better. We sent for
one native doctor in whom we have full confidence,
and whose remedies were very gentle, but collapse
The people of Poonah spent hours in praying
for her recovery, but they crowded the house and
made it difficult to take proper care of her.
''Some come from curiosity, some from sympathy
and affection," writes Gopal. " Those who scarcely ever
leave their houses come to see her, the good among
the orthodox and the superstitious, forgetting that
we have been to America. Dr. Joshee's illness is
the concern of all. Siva is our God of Death. To
182 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
appease him, water is gently trickled over his head
for hours daily. The people are doing it now. Every
day the Brahmins put ashes on Dr. Joshee's fore-
head, and she touches a bit with her mouth. Col-
umns are printed in the newspapers about her condi-
tion. / write to you but do you reply to her, that
she may feel as if the letter were her own. A word
from you is a tonic."
On February 10th he can only repeat the same
sad story. They moved once or twice in Poonah,
and finally went to the old house of Anandabai's
great-uncle, where she was born. He was now
very aged, and seems to have had a sort of super-
stitious feeling that the hand which brought her
into the world could hold her back from death.
It was about the middle of December that they
reached Poonah, where the grandmother who had
been her companion when she left Kalyan to
follow the fortunes of Gopal Vinayak, the mother
whose disapprobation of her career had perhaps
led her to send bitter letters to the Missionaries,
were ready to receive her. Here the daily papers
issued bulletins of her health ; here the Brahmo,
the Hindu, and the Christian came, regardless of
their superstitions, forgetful of their caste, to pray
for her who had laid down her life for their
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 183
Gopal was now able to leave her with her
mother while he went himself to offer sacrifices
to the " gods," and to her " guardian planets," to
avert their anger and her death. He performed
the penance and paid the fees necessary to rein-
state Anandabai in her caste, and all the while
life was failing.
On the 20th of February it was evident that
the end was near ; but whatever had befallen her
poor body, Anandabai's spirit was serene and
sweet. When she found it impossible to eat,
Gopal rebuked her mother as if she had not pre-
pared the food with sufficient care. " The food is
good," said the poor patient, " it is I who am
out of sorts ! " She seems to have had occasional
convulsions, and to have endured much.
Gopal says of her : —
" She suppressed her groans that others might not
suffer. When conscious she was grave, gentle, medi-
tative, and oh ! so brave and thoughtful. She never
showed the slightest irritability. She was very strict
in everything relating to our faith. Do you beheve
met It was so. Her maid-servant must not step
on the carpet at her bedside, and her water bottles
were removed if a European touched them. When
I remonstrated against this as a folly in one who had
spent years in America, she pleaded that her grand-
184 LIFE OF ANANBABAI JOSHEE.
mother, sister, and mother had such an abhorrence of
these things, that she must consider them. Properly-
speaking, we were outcasts, but no one reminded us
" A few days ago the * Pacification of the Waters '
was performed for her. Brahmins were seated at
dinner, and her old uncle sent for me that I might
sprinkle water on the banana leaves on which the
food was served. Did they consider me as an outcast
when they asked me to do this ^ Even the reformers
are astonished at the manner in which we have been
treated by the most orthodox Hindus. We have con-
quered every enemy but Death."
The Mahratta papers had warned the physicians
not to allow their professional jealousy to inter-
fere with " duty to a patient in whom all India
felt a national concern." I copy from the Dnyana
Chaksu of March 2nd, 1887, the following account,
translated by the Pundita Eamabai : —
*' Although Anandabai was so young, her persever-
ance, undaunted courage, and devotion to her husband
were unparalleled. It will be long before we again see
a woman like her. The education which she had
received had greatly heightened her nature and en-
nobled her mind. Although she suffered more than
words can express, from her mortal disease, which was
consumption, not a word of complaint or impatience
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 185
ever escaped her lips. After months of dreadful suf-
fering, she was so reduced that no one could look on
her without pain ; yet, wonderful to tell, Anandabai
thought it her present duty to suffer silently and
It was at midnight on the 26th of February,
1887, that the final call came. The previous night
had been one of great suffering ; the whole family
had been up all night.
Through it all Anandabai's face was bright and
she spoke cheerful words to those about her. At
ten o'clock, worn out by anxiety and fatigue, Gopal
administered some medicine and went to his own
bed. At midnight a strong convulsion came on.
Anandabai called loudly, but before her mother
could lift her to her bosom, the gentle, faithful
soul had fled.
Her last audible words were, " I have done all
that I could."
" The family then bathed the body and decked it
with bright garments and ornaments, according to our
Hindu custom," her husband goes on to say. " There
was no time to spread the sad news throughout the
city, but all who had heard of it, followed her remains
to the cremation ground, on the following Sunday, thus
showing their respectful affection. Some of us had
feared that the priests might object to cremating the
186 LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE.
body with the sacred fire, according to the Hindu
rites, but our fears were groundless. When I offered
sacrifices to avert her death, they had gladly officiated,
showing a generous liberality."
Anandabai needed neither vows nor sacrifices
nor crematory rites to bring her soul to the foot
of " The Great White Throne," but she had more
than once desired that everything should be done,
after her death, to gratify and appease those who
still recognized their force.
" It will do me no harm," she said once, when
speaking to me of such matters.
After the body was placed upon the funeral
pile, Mr. V. M. Eanade made an oration in
Dr. Joshee's honor, and the cremation was then
" But she is dead ! that sweet intellectual soul,
that large-brained self-forgetful womanly creature —
dead at the early age of twenty-one years and eleven
months — dead on the threshold of the work for which
she was so well equipped ! "
There are those of us who loving her tenderly
cannot think without pain of the weary journey,
undertaken without the needed nurse and com-
panion ; but turning our eyes to the country
which she loved, and which, because she loved it.
LIFE OF ANANDABAI JOSHEE. 187
she left, turning to the countrywomen whom she
died to save, we feel that her death, in sorrow,
disappointment, and bodily anguish, will in God's
own way accomplish still more than the life for
which we prayed.
0029 94S IBB