American Missionary in India, Samuel Stearns Day (1808–1871) - a Telugu Scholar!!

American Missionary in India Samuel
Above image:  Samuel S. day - Death10 Sep 1871 (aged 63)
Homer, Cortland County, New York, USA
Burial: Glenwood Cemetery, Homer, Cortland County, New York, USA
Memorial Id: 11318080 ·.................................
During the early colonial days innumerable missionaries belonging to various missions came to India with a view to converting the Indian natives to Christianity. The crux of the problem they faced was, they had to communicate with them in their native tongue which varied from region to region. This resulted in their learning the native Indian languages and some became real experts to the point of simplifying the grammar and syntax. As the Hindu as well as Muslim population had obsession with their own religious thoughts and spiritual commitments, converting the Indian natives became a tough task. However, the missionaries, undaunted as they were, opened educational institutions not only for boys, but also for the girls and in this regard they became pioneers in the area of education.  

Samuel Stearns Day (1808–1871) has the unique distinction of being the the first Canadian-born American Baptist missionary to Telugu speaking provinces, then part of  Madras presidency.  Visakhapatnam, and Nellore town were his area of operations, particularly in the latter, he founded a Telugu Baptist mission.

Born in  a small Township in  Ontario, Canada on 13 May 180, Day's parents were   Jeremiah and Submit Day. He went to Sunday school in 1818 and at an early stage he developed writing skill. It was in 1825, he was baptized at  a local church which was later  renamed to "Leeds Church"and he became a teacher  at Stone School House between 1827 to 1828. For unknown reason, he was rebaptized in April 1828 and continued to concentrate on the teaching career at Brick School House and then at Stone School House.
As he was interested in theology and services to fellow human beings, in  1831 he attended seminary in Hamilton, New York, and also underwent ministerial training to equip himself to become a missionary. He was keen to serve the Native Indians of Canada. During that time many foreign   missionary operations in some parts of the world opened up opportunities to serve the needy people. In 1833, his home church  in his native town in Ontario  granted him a license to preach. Later he was sent as a missionary to India in August 1835. The Indian subcontinent was under the control of the East India company that was  running the government for the British Crown.

Before embarking on a trip to India, he married Ms. Roenna Clark in 1825, and was ordained to the Baptist ministry at Cortland, New York.  Samuel Day along with E.L. Abbot and their wives sailed to India on 23 September 1835 for missionary work under the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society(ABFMS). Upon arrival in Calcutta on 5 February 1836, E.L. Abbot left for  Burma, while Samuel family proceeded to Vizagapatam - also known as Vizag.

After reaching a strange hot land in southern India where the main language spoken is Telugu, Rev. Samuel Day decided to learn the language so that he could communicate with natives well and would make them feel comfortable with him. Telugu is a well developed advanced language derived from Tamil language (one of the oldest classical languages in the world) and also consisted of countless Sanskrit words. It is also  in literature in particular related to religion. Upon arrival in Vizag, he began learning local Telugu language and went on trips with London Missionary Society(LMS) missionaries who had been already active in Vizag from 1805; Rev Samuel Day, at last chose Chicacole (present Srikakulam) as his right place to run  the "American Baptist Mission." On 6 June 1836, Roenna Clark gave birth to their  first of their seven children - and the kid was named   after the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board agent in India, Howard Malcom. Upon confirmation by the higher Missionaries' council, Samuel Day with his family moved over to Chicacole and opened a school for its native people - they also performed the first converted[native] Christian marriage at Chicacole.

In March 1837, on Rev. Malcom's advice Samuel day worked among the English people at Madras (Chennai)  and with a branch of "Maulmein Church" located over there. While at Madras, he frequently visited  Bellary (now in Kanataka) and baptized non-Telugu speaking locals over there in Bellary and also in Madras. Besides, he was also associated with with "Madras Auxiliary Bible Society" and "American Baptist Tract Society" as part of his missionary duties. 

He had served on the subcommittee for revising Gospel of Matthew into Telugu language since April 1837. As I already mentioned  he had already  gained considerable proficiency to read and speak Telugu,  and in course of time, in 1840 he moved over to Nellore town, 110 miles north of Madras . Here, he had to deal with Telugu- peaking people. This gave him a chance to work with  Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Van Husen, American missionaries who arrived  Nellore in March 1840, and  began his association with "Bible Society"[LMS]. The purpose was to pay more attention on the accurate translation of the  New Testament into Telugu language—LMS  established the first "Protestant mission" among Telugu speakers in 1805 and had begun publishing  Telugu version of New Testament by 1818 and also did rough translation of the Old Testament. In 1836 the first Protestant Chapel among the Telugus was built.
 In December 1845, Rev. Samuel Day left for the US, as his wife fell sick. Again, to continue his missionary work in Nellore, he returned without  to this place, in Feb.1949  this time along with  Mr. & Mrs. Lyman Jewett, American missionaries for a five-year term. Here, Rev. Day worked among the Muslims and  Mrs. Jewett started a girls' "Boarding school" to uplift women's education in this region.

Because of health problem, further aggravated by the  tropical heat, Rev. Day went back to the US in May 1853 for rest. He, however,  worked as missionary an  agent for the American Baptist Missionary Union (ABMU) between 1855 and 1859 and  frequently travelled over the northern US and Canada to raise funds to get the missions  in India going without facing any financial crunch.  On 17 September 1871,he reached the heavenly abode at Homer, New York due to heart complications.  His Telugu translation of the Bible is being used  today in the Church services in Telugu in Andhra  and Telengana states.