HARRIET WINSLOW (1796-1833)
Harriet Winslow, of Norwich, Connecticut, came from a devout family of Christians; three of her sisters eventually followed her into missionary work. She publicly joined her church at the young age of thirteen. Ten years later, she married the recently ordained Rev. Miron Winslow, a graduate of Middlebury College and the Andover Theological Seminary, and a member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The two were commissioned to Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon), where Mrs. Winslow worked for thirteen years, helping to found the Missionary Seminary and Female Central School.
The Rev. Winslow wrote his wife’s memoir and published it two years after her death. In one journal entry, written shortly after the founding of the Female Central School, Mrs. Winslow writes of a conversation she overheard among several native girls who had become influenced by Christian teachings. She is particularly pleased with the girls’ conversation because previously she had noted that the Hindu belief in transmigration of the soul to a new body after death “almost destroys their sense of accountability and fear of the consequences of sin”: