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Sarah [Hall] Boardman Judson, 1803-1845

Mrs. Judson was the eldest child of Ralph and Abiah Hall, of Alstead, New Hampshire, [United States], where she was born, November 4, 1803. Her parents were in humble circumstances, and subsequently removed to Danvers, Massachusetts, and thence to Salem, Massachusetts. They had many children, and much domestic care was consequently devolved on Sarah. Yet she found time for mental improvement and obtained an education much beyond her station. Both in prose and poetry, she took frequent opportunity of exercising her power of literary composition, and excelled in both. In her seventeenth year, she became a member of the First Baptist Church of Salem, Massachusetts, and entered upon a career of exemplary piety and Christian activity as a Sunday-School Teacher and Tract Distributor.

She was married, July 4, 1825, to the Rev. George Dana Boardman, of Livermore, Maine, and embarked with him, on the 16th of the same month, at Philadelphia, for Calcutta, on their way to Burmah as missionaries. On account of the Burmese war, they were compelled to remain at Calcutta nearly eighteen months. Mrs. Boardman was regarded by the English residents, "as the most finished and faultless specimen of an American woman that they had ever known." She was of medium stature, and had a fine form, a soft blue eye, and a lovely face.

They resided successively, after their arrival (April, 1827) in Burmah, at Amherst, Maulmain, and Tavoy. Three children were born to them, of whom the second only (George Dana) survived the perils of infancy. Mr. Boardman himself became a victim to the climate, and died, February 11, 1831. She remained at her post, continuing her missionary work at Tavoy.

In April, 1834, she became the second wife of the Rev. Adoniram Judson, D.D. She now entered on a career of eminent usefulness as the fitting companion of her distinguished husband; aiding him in his translations of the Scriptures, the Pilgrim's Progress, religious tracts, and devotional poetry. She prepared a hymn-book, and several volumes of Scripture Questions for Sunday-Schools, and a series of Sunday Cards. Eight children were the fruit of her second marriage. Early in 1845 she began to exhibit symptoms of alarming disorder, and Dr. Judson embarked with her and some of their children for the United States. On the way, her health declined rapidly, and she breathed her last at the island of St. Helena, September 1, 1845.

From The Poets of the Church: A Series of Biographical Sketches of Hymn-Writers... New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, ©1884.

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