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´╗┐Title: Clara A. Swain, M.D.
Author: Hoskins, Robert, Mrs., 1837-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Clara A. Swain, M.D." ***

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First Medical Missionary to the Women of the Orient




"The frail little mother of a frail little daughter" did not live
long enough to see the fullest answer to her prayer that her
youngest born might "grow up to be a good and useful woman," for
she passed away before her daughter began her medical career, but
the prayer was not forgotten by Him who ever hears the cry of
those who call upon Him in faith.

Clara was the youngest of the ten children of John and Clarissa
Seavey Swain. She was born in Elmira, N.Y., but when she was two
years old her parents returned to their old home in Castile and
here she spent her early life.


She was not a strong child, and being the youngest of a large
family naturally received much attention, which in after years she
concluded was not good for her. She once described herself as a
puny little thing who wanted everything she saw and thought she
ought to have it. "I had a will of my own," she said, "and my
mother found it necessary to be very firm with me at times. Once I
was very rude to her when she did not give me what I wanted, and I
shall never forget how grieved she was, how lovingly she explained
to me the necessity for controlling myself if I would be loved by
those around me." She was six years old when this naughtiness
occurred. "I promised my mother then," she said, "that I would be
a good girl, and that I would ask God not to let me be naughty

She and her sister Hattie, not quite two years her elder, loved
out of doors a great deal. They were very fond of flowers and
animals, and, hand in hand, would wander up and down the street to
stop and admire the flowers in the neighboring gardens, always
mindful of their mother's injunction never to take a flower
without permission. Happy indeed were they when they could bring
home a handful of wild flowers to their mother. "God's flowers"
they called them, because they did not grow in anyone's garden.

Clara's love for animals led her to pat every dog she met, and
more than once she caught a stray cat and took it home to pet it.
A story is told that seeing a lame chicken she wrapped it in her
apron and took it home and bandaged its leg neatly, tending it
with such devotion that she soon had the happiness of seeing it
able to run about to seek its own food. The cousin who told this
story laughingly said, "She probably used splints, but of this I
am not sure."

Mrs. Swain's sister Elizabeth lived a mile out of the village,
while the home of the Swain family was within the boundary line,
and as the little red school-house was between them the children
of both families attended this school.

Clara was very fond of her Aunt Post and often went home with her
cousins, staying with them days at a time. One of these cousins,
now eighty-eight years of age, writes: "When Clara was seven years
of age she was a very pleasant child, always eager to help
someone. She lived with us, off and on, until she was twelve years
old, when we moved to Michigan. She was as much at home with us as
in her own home and we were sorry to part with her."


When Clara was eight years old her sister Ann, six years her
senior, joined the Methodist Church, and this made a great
impression on her youthful mind. The consistent life of this
sister and the sweet and simple religious life of her mother gave
her many thoughtful hours, and she asked one day, "Why am I not a
Christian? I want to be good, too." Just before she was ten years
old, under the influence of a powerful sermon, she felt that she
must give herself to the Lord to be his child forever. There were
hours of darkness when she felt that she was too great a sinner to
be forgiven, but light came at last and she was happy in the
consciousness that she was an accepted child of God.

From her father's family she inherited a fund of Irish humor,
while her mother, of good old New England blood, inclined to
quietness of spirit with earnestness of purpose; and this blending
of fun and sobriety caused the young Christian much perturbation
of spirit. Conscientious in the extreme, she had many an hour of
self-questioning when she feared that, in the exuberance of
youthful merriment, she had cast a shadow on her Christian
profession and caused sorrow to the heart of her loving Master.
Then it was that the wise and tender mother helped her to see that
it was the duty of a Christian, though only a child, to be
cheerful and joyous, and that it was possible to please God in her
play hours as well as in attendance at church or Sunday school or
prayer meeting,--just to be the happy child that he meant her to
be, and to ask his help to keep her good and true.

Her school books did not satisfy her mind, and one who knew her
at that time says she frequently visited the neighbors and
borrowed books, some of which she read over and over again.

Her love for children led her, when she was about twelve years
old, to accept the proposal of the wife of the village merchant
that she assist her in the care of her baby, and the money thus
earned was used to help her with her studies.

In 1848, Clara's sister Ann went to Michigan to teach, making her
home with the Aunt Post who had been so dear to the children of
the Swain family. After two years of teaching she was married from
her aunt's home to a worthy man who still survives her. Before
Ann's marriage Clara had gone to visit this aunt and was persuaded
to stay, and eventually she took a small school near the farm and
taught for a year. "While she was teaching," wrote one of her
cousins, "my mother broke her ankle and Clara cared for her almost
a year. She was a grand nurse, even at that age, and was a great
comfort to us all; she was so bright and cheerful that we were
unwilling to have her leave us."

Her talent for nursing was called into requisition soon after her
return to Castile when the children of the Presbyterian minister,
the Rev. Mr. Hurlburt, became ill with typhoid fever and she was
called to assist in caring for them. It was an anxious time for
the nurse as well as the parents, as one child after another fell
ill. Two of the children died, and later the father succumbed to
the fatal illness. The faithful nurse remained with the distracted
widow and the remaining children can cared for them tenderly as
long as they needed her services. In an old and well-worn Bible is
this inscription in her handwriting: "This is the first Bible I
ever owned. It was presented to me by Rev. and Mrs. Hurlburt."

The sumer of 1855 found Miss Swain, then twenty-one years of age,
teaching a few private pupils in the village. One of her scholars
of that summer recently spoke of her loving interest in her pupils
and her care for their welfare. The following year she went to
live with some cousins in Pike and attend the school there.

Mr. Swain had a sister living in Canandaigua, who, knowing of
Clara's strong desire for self-improvement, invited her to come
there for a year of study in the seminary, an invitation which she
gladly accepted; and after a year of close study she obtained a
position as teacher in the primary department of one of the public
schools. "Clara was determined to get an education and make use of
it if she could," wrote one of her cousins.


In the spring of 1859 began an acquaintance with one who was ever
after one of Miss Swain's dearest friends. Miss Martha McFarland
of Albany accepted the position of teacher in the intermediate
department of the school in which Miss Swain was teaching and they
at once became friends. As Miss Swain's aunt was soon to leave
Canandaigua, the two friends secured a pleasant boarding-place,
and for three years they walked to school together in the morning
and home again in the afternoon. Bothe were nature-lovers and many
a delightful hour they spent on their holidays and Saturday
afternoons and whenever they could find leisure for one of their
picnic outings. They were both members of the Methodist Church and
were constant in their attendance at the Sunday services and at
Sunday school as well as at the midweek prayer and class-meetings,
and were ever ready to help in all forms of church work.

Through her years of teaching Miss Swain showed the same
conscientious spirit that was evidenced in her child and school
life. "Have I done all I ought? Have I been as helpful to my
pupils as I might be?" she often asked herself. For a time she
taught a class in Sunday school, and her boys were impressed by
her consistent life. Later, one of them said, "We noticed that you
always went to prayer meeting so we thought we would go and see
what was in it." This class was a joy to her and her pleasure was
great when one and another gave himself to the Lord for service.

"Miss Swain was ready _in season and out of season_," said one of
her friends. "One Sunday evening when a company of us were
together having a sing, she turned to a young man near her and
bluntly asked, 'Why are you not a Christian?' Taken by surprise,
the young man had no answer ready and they both went on singing."
The Rev. Mr. Hibbard was pastor of the Methodist Church in
Canandaigua and Miss Swain and her friend very much enjoyed an
occasional visit to the parsonage, where they were always warmly


Notwithstanding her love for children, Miss Swain did not find
teaching altogether a delight. The inattention of the children and
the daily routine made her feel irritable, she said, but she kept
steadily on, hoping in time to carry out a purpose which she had
in mind of some day becoming a doctor. When an opportunity offered
for her to take a position in the Castile Sanitarium under Dr.
Cordelia A. Greene, she gladly gave up teaching and entered upon a
course of training which, though sometimes irksome, proved more
congenial than her former occupation.

All the way along, her strong will had availed to overcome
obstacles, and here, during many weary hours, she comforted
herself with the thought that she was nearing the goal of her
ambition. She could not have had a more satisfactory opportunity
for the training that she needed; for though Dr. Greene exacted
thoroughness in every line of work, she was so sympathetic and so
ready to give a word of commendation and encouragement, that her
pupil could not do otherwise than accede to all the requirements
of her position. It was not long before doctor and pupil became
fast friends and the congenial companionship was a life-long
pleasure to both. "I owe much to Dr. Cordelia," she said many
times in after life.


After three years of study and practice in the Sanitarium she
applied for admission to the Woman's Medical College in
Philadelphia, from which she was graduated in the spring of 1869.
She often spoke of the pleasure she had in lingering in the park
after class hours, on her way to her boarding-place, and of
the occasional free and intimate talks with certain of her

She enjoyed the Sabbath services and had many opportunities of
hearing some of the celebrated preachers of the day. The Rev. Dana
Boardman seems to have been a favorite with her and she took notes
of several of his sermons. "Bishop Simpson's Christmas sermon
(1868) on Luke 2:13, 14, filled my heart with peace and good-will
to (all) men," she notes. A sermon by Dr. Willett in November,
1868, on "What do ye more than others?"--Matt. 5:47, and one by
Dr. McGowan on Mark 10:21, "One thing thou lackest," led to much
heart-searching. A short time before leaving Philadelphia she
heard Phillips Brooks preach from Malachi 4:2. "A wonderful
sermon," she termed it, and she greatly enjoyed a talk by him on
tithing, which she determined to act upon.

We have no special record of Dr. Swain's years of study in the
Woman's Medical College, but we may be sure that she improved
every opportunity to perfect herself in her chosen calling. Her
instructors were her warm friends and she corresponded with some
of them after she went to India. Dean Bodley, in one of her
letters, gave the names of nine young women in the college who
were preparing for medical missionary work, and Dr. Swain made a
note of them, saying that she must write to them before their
graduation. Two of these ladies went to India as medical


The story of Dr. Swain's call to go to India has been told many
times. Mrs. D.W. Thomas, who, with her husband, had charge of the
girls' orphanage of the Methodist Mission, had long felt the need
of efficient medical aid for the women and children of India and
had been doing what she could to alleviate the sufferings of those
with whom she came in contact. She had even thought that she would
herself study medicine when she should go to America for change
and rest. In the meantime she was instructing a class of the older
girls in the orphanage in physiology and hygiene, both in English
and the vernacular, with the hope that some time they might have
regular medical training. She talked with native gentlemen and
with English officials of the great need for intelligent medical
treatment for the women and children of the country, especially
for those who live in seclusion, and of her hope that a lady
medical missionary might be sent to India. A native gentleman so
thoroughly approved of the idea that he offered to defray all the
expenses of a medical school or class if a lady physician could be
sent from America to take charge of it.

Mrs. Thomas's letter of appeal to Mrs. J.T. Gracey, a former
missionary, for her assistance in the matter, led Mrs. Gracey to
inquire at the Philadelphia Woman's Medical College if a suitable
person could be found among the graduates, who would accept a call
from the Woman's Union Missionary Society of America to go as a
medical missionary to India. Miss Clara A. Swain, M.D., was named
as one fitted by both professional acquirements and Christian
character for such a position. It required much thought and prayer
on Dr. Swain's part before she could signify her acceptance of the
call, and during the three months of delay in giving her answer
the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, of which she was a member, was organized. Naturally she
preferred to go under the auspices of her own denomination, and
the Union Missionary Society gracefully and generously accepted
her decision.

Confident that she was obeying the call of God, she set about her
preparations for the long journey before her in a cheerful spirit,
answering the demurs of her friends with, "It is God's call. I
must go." She was greatly cheered when she found that Miss
Isabella Thoburn, whose brother (now Bishop Thoburn) had been some
years in India, was to be her traveling companion. They sailed
from New York November 3, 1869, and arrived in Bareilly January
20, 1870, during the annual conference of the Methodist Mission.


The two ladies, whose previous slight acquaintance had ripened
into warmest friendship during their weeks of journeying together,
had hoped that they might be associated together in mission work,
but it was not so to be. Miss Thoburn was appointed to educational
work in Lucknow, and Dr. Swain found that she was to remain in
Bareilly. This appointment gave her the opportunity to begin her
medical work at once, for there were not only the girls'
orphanage, for which Mrs. Thomas had so long desired efficient
medical help, but scores of Christian women who could not go to
the city hospital. In addition to these, there was the class of
fourteen intelligent Christian girls that had for two years been
receiving excellent preparatory training from Mrs. Thomas, who had
fully believed that her prayer for a lady doctor would be answered
and that these girls would yet have the opportunity for the study
of medicine. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were well acquainted with several
of the wealthy and influential natives of the city, and Mrs.
Thomas welcomed the opportunity to introduce her doctor friend to
these homes.

There was no lack of patients for the new doctor; for in addition
to her work in the orphanage and her medical class, calls to
native homes in the city became more and more frequent. At the end
of the first six weeks after her arrival in Bareilly, Dr. Swain's
note book recorded one hundred and eight patients. Her report to
the conference, after a year of such service as she had never
dreamed of, gave the number of patients prescribed for at the
mission house as twelve hundred and twenty-five, and of visits to
patients in their homes, two hundred and fifty.

The young women of the medical class were gaining practice and
experience by caring for the sick in the orphanage and the
Christian village, and sometimes accompanying Dr. Swain to visit
her city patients, and they were also becoming proficient in
compounding and dispensing medicines. This class, begun March 1,
1870, was graduated April 10, 1873, having passed an excellent
examination before two civil surgeons and an American physician,
from whom they received certificates entitling them to practice in
all ordinary diseases.


The need for a dispensary and hospital became daily more
imperative, and it was opportunely met in the munificent gift of
the Nawab of Rampore, who owned an estate adjoining the mission
premises in Bareilly. The Hon. Mr. Drummond, the commissioner of
the Northwest Provinces, was interested in mission work,
especially in the effort to help the women of the city and
neighboring villages through medical aid, and he agreed with the
missionaries that the Nawab's estate was just what was needed to
carry out their plans. He therefore arranged that Mr. Thomas
should go to Rampore and in a personal interview represent to the
Nawab his desire to procure a portion of his estate in Bareilly
which adjoined the mission property, for the purpose of
establishing a hospital for women.

Accordingly, on receiving an intimation that the Nawab would
receive them, on October 8, 1871, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Dr.
Swain set out for this momentous interview. An interesting
description of this visit is given in Mrs. Gracey's book, "Woman's
Medical Work in Foreign Lands," and in Dr. Swain's book, "A
Glimpse of India." Mr. Thomas's carefully prepared Hindustani
speech was not finished before the Nawab replied graciously, "Take
it! It is yours! I give it to you with great pleasure for such a

Mrs. Thomas naively wrote: "We were so amazed at the readiness and
graciousness of the gift that we nearly forgot to make our salaams
and express our thanks and gratitude. The Nawab replied that there
were two great merits in this gift--one for himself and one for
Mr. Thomas, for taking so great interest in the charitable work.
Mr. Thomas then asked permission to found the first hospital for
women in India in His Highness's name, to which he replied, 'As
you think proper, so do.' So His Highness Mahomed Kallub Ali Khan,
Bahadur, Nawab of Rampore, has the honor of making the first
generous contribution toward founding the _first woman's hospital
in India_. His Highness again expressed the satisfaction he felt
in bestowing this gift, and said he would send his general to
Bareilly on Monday to make out the papers and put us in formal
possession of the property."

Before the party left the Nawab's dominions, the ladies were asked
to see a sick woman in the Tahsildar's house, and they found her
very ill indeed. Dr. Swain prescribed for her and for several
others who asked for medicines; then they returned to the Rest
House to get their breakfast and talk over the interview, and to
thank God for his great bounty to the mission work.

Mrs. Thomas wrote: "We were bewildered and overwhelmed to think
that the possessions which we had longed and prayed for these many
years were ours. The gift came to us so freely and in such a way
that we could take no credit to ourselves for having obtained it.
Like all God's free gifts it was given before asked for; no
persuasions or arguments of ours would have made any difference.
God saw our need and supplied it."

The estate consisted of forty acres of land, a fine old kothi or
mansion, and an extensive garden. The house needed repairs which
were soon completed and Dr. Swain and Miss Sparkes, who had been
appointed to take charge of the orphanage, moved into their new
home January 1, 1872. A part of the house was used for a
dispensary until other arrangements could be made, and then
followed busy and often weary days, borne with patience, however,
for the work was for the Master.

The much-needed and well-planned dispensary building was completed
in May, 1873, and the hospital buildings connected with it
received the first indoor patients January 1, 1874. From that time
on there was no lack of occupants for the rooms. In the published
collection of her letters, entitled "A Glimpse of India," Dr.
Swain gives a graphic picture of the buildings, their occupants
and their mode of life.

Visits to homes in the city were continued, and Dr. Swain and her
assistants were fully occupied every day. Three of the graduates
of the medical class were employed by Dr. Swain as Bible women and
gave much assistance in the religious work connected with the


The anxiety and the responsibility of the rapidly increasing work
brought weariness of mind and body, and in March, 1876, Dr. Swain
returned to America for a much needed rest. This was extended to
the autumn of 1879 when, on September 25, she again sailed for
India, arriving in Bombay November 6. At the conference held in
Cawnpore in January, 1880, Dr. Swain received her appointment to
Bareilly and with gladness of heart took up her old work.


In March, 1885, Dr. Swain received a call to a native state to
attend the wife of the Rajah, and after two weeks of successful
treatment she was formally requested to remain as physician to the
Rani and the ladies of the palace. After much thought and prayer
it seemed to her that it was the Lord's will that she should
remain and do what she could for him in this place where there
were no Christian influences; so she consented to the proposal on
condition that she and her companion be allowed to carry on the
work as Christians should. To this the Rajah agreed, and Dr. Swain
signed a contract to remain two years.

In the Blue Book, or Administration Report, of the Khetri State,
1886, the Rajah wrote: "I cannot look back with greater pleasure
or satisfaction on anything I have done than on the facilities
introduced by me for rendering medical aid to the female portion
of my subjects. It is a patent fact that the Indian woman,
secluded as she is within the four walls of the zenana, cannot
fully benefit by any system of medicine; and it was not till the
generous efforts of Lady Dufferin were turned in this direction
that the wives and daughters of the richest and most enlightened
Indians enjoyed a better position than the lowest and meanest of
their fellows. It therefore gives me genuine pleasure to bring
prominently to your notice the existence of a regular institution
in this benighted portion of India, for the treatment of females
of all classes. I have employed a very competent European lady
doctor, Miss Swain, M.D., to attend on Her Highness, the Rani
Sahiba, and, feeling it my duty to place her advice and assistance
within the reach of all my subjects, have established a regular
dispensary for women. It was opened June 1, 1885, at the expense
of the state, and a room in the palace building appropriated to it
until a more convenient and suitable one could be provided. An
allowance of Rs. 100 per mensem is fixed for medicines, and is
found for the present to be sufficient. The average daily
attendance at the dispensary is five."

Under Section 12, Schools, this report is given:--"I am glad to
say that the people of my state are beginning to evince greater
interest in the education of their children than they have done
before. The greatest desire of Her Highness, the Rani Sahiba, was
that I should make suitable provision for the education of girls.
I, accordingly, engaged a competent European lady, Miss P.E.
Pannell, as mistress, and the Khetri Girls' School was opened by
Her Highness in April, 1885, in the teeth of opposition from the
orthodox portion of the community. As was expected, at first every
effort to teach these girls was frowned upon and considered absurd
by their relatives and friends. This feeling, however, gradually
gave place to trust and confidence, and the school is now showing
some return for all the time and patience spent upon it. The
number of pupils on the roll is twenty, of which three have gone
to their _susval_ (husband's home) and three attend only
occasionally. The average attendance of fourteen girls has,
however, been regular. Great pains has been taken to teach
truthfulness, honesty and love for one another. Instruction is
also given in needlework of various kinds, and other things, the
knowledge of which is necessary for good housekeeping. The
improvement made by some of the girls in this direction may at
once be noticed by a change in the manner of doing nicely the
little things which go to make up their lives. The school owes its
existence to the care of Her Highness, who is much interested in

In addition to her school, Miss Pannell was engaged to teach the
Rani and some of the court ladies. Dr. Swain and Miss Pannell were
the only Christians in the state, but their little Sunday service
conducted for their servants gained attention, and others asked to
be allowed to attend, some becoming so much interested that they
procured Bibles and Testaments that they might read the "wonderful
words" themselves. A supply of tracts and portions of Scripture
was always on hand, to distribute whenever and wherever the ladies
felt they would be appreciated.


The serious illness of one of Dr. Swain's sisters decided her to
return to America, and she left Khetri in March, 1888, having
spent nearly three years in "seed sowing" as she called it. Her
own health, too, demanded a change, and in company with a most
congenial missionary friend she turned her face toward the
homeland. She returned to India in company with the same congenial
friend, in time to attend the North India Conference before going
to her Khetri home, Miss Pannell again accompanying her.


The isolation of their life in Khetri had been at times a great
trial to both Dr. Swain and Miss Pannell, but they felt that they
were where God wanted them to be and bore their privations
bravely. However, at this time Dr. Swain wrote: "After eighteen
months of the religious life of America and the many precious
privileges enjoyed there, it seems harder to settle down to the
life here. I miss the church services much more than I did when I
was here before." At another time she wrote: "I have sometimes
felt tempted to give up my work here, but then the thought comes
to me that I can do more by remaining here, and paying the salary
of a native preacher to do what I should never be able to do."

A second princess had been born during Dr. Swain's absence from
Khetri. This occasioned close attendance at the palace, as the
baby was delicate, and Dr. Swain had an opportunity for Bible
study with the Rani who enjoyed nothing more than an hour of daily
study of the Scriptures. The older princess, too, was ready with a
new Bible verse every day, and a Sunday service was held in the
Rani's apartments, at which the women of the court and their
attendants were present. The Sunday Bible class at the home was
not neglected; it increased in interest and numbers, some of the
more intelligent of the Rajah's staff occasionally joining the
company and listening with interest to the hymns and the reading
of the Scriptures.

The birth of the prince and heir in January, 1893, was a time of
great rejoicing and much ceremony. Offerings were made to the
deities day after day, the poor were fed and presents given to the
Brahmans. The Rani acknowledged her thankfulness to God by a
donation, in the name of her little son, to Christian work, asking
that the money be used to support an orphan in the mission to
which Dr. Swain belonged.


Dr. Swain's engagement with the Khetri state expired in October,
1895, and in March, 1896, she left India, as she supposed,
forever. "Mother Ninde" and her traveling companion, Miss Baucus,
from Japan, were among the missionary party of eleven, some of
whom were anticipating a trip to the Holy Land. In company with
Miss Baucus, Dr. Swain visited Jerusalem, where they were joined
by Miss Dickinson of Utica, N.Y., and the three traveled together
from April 1, 1896 to July 4, when they sailed for America. They
had visited the places of interest in and around Jerusalem,
Bethany, Bethlehem, on to Beirut, Damascus, Baalbek, Nazareth,
Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, a tour much enjoyed by them all.

At Jerusalem they met a company of Americans, and arranged to
accompany them to Constantinople. On the way they stopped at Smyrna
and made a hurried trip to Ephesus, arriving in Constantinople May
20. There they remained six days and then sailed for Athens. On
June 2 they began their European tour, sailing on an Italian
steamer to Brindisi, where they parted with their American
friends. The three then visited Venice, Munich, Dresden, Cologne
and Paris, reaching London June 27, and remaining there till July
4, when they sailed for New York.

"No more sea for me!" was Dr. Swain's reply when asked if she were
not tired of travel. "I took many rest days while the others were
sight-seeing, and now I hope to have a good long rest here at the
Castile Sanitarium."


But to the great surprise of many of her friends, and
notwithstanding the remonstrances of some who feared she would not
live to return to America, she determined to go to India to attend
the Jubilee of the Methodist Mission, founded by the Rev. William
Butler in 1856. In company with some missionaries under
appointment to India she sailed from New York, November 6, 1906,
just thirty-seven years from the time that she started out on her
untried career. She spent eighteen months among old friends and
old scenes in India, rejoicing in the great advance in numbers,
intelligence and spirituality of the native Christians, and had
the great pleasure of meeting again the young prince of Khetri and
his sisters--now orphans--and of hearing from them of their
mother's last days and of her continued love for the Bible, to
which she had given so much attention while Dr. Swain was with


Once more she turned toward the home land, arriving in Castile,
N.Y., in April, 1908, where she was joined by the friend of her
early missionary days in India.

Dr. Cordelia Greene, who established the Sanitarium, was succeeded
by her niece, Dr. Mary T. Greene, who arranged that the two
friends should occupy rooms in her lovely cottage, Brookside,
opposite the Sanitarium grounds, where for nearly three years they
enjoyed the comforts of a home and of congenial society. Though
living outside the institution they took their meals with the
Sanitarium family and took part in the daily morning prayer
service in the helpers' sitting-room and the after-supper service
for patients and guests in the large parlors, enjoying to the
full the spiritual atmosphere of the place.

There were quiet hours of delightful study in the Book which each
had made the guide of her life; social afternoons with friends
from different parts of the country and from over the seas who
were taking a rest-time in the lovely village; and pleasant
evenings before the cheerful grate fire in Dr. Swain's room. These
were made more heartsome one autumn because of the presence of a
much-esteemed missionary friend, Miss Knowles, from India, and of
Miss McFarland, Dr. Swain's dear friend of Canandaigua days, who
had come to spend a little time with the one whose companionship
had always been a pleasure, and whose correspondence during her
absence from America had been a delight.


Relatives and friends of Dr. Swain had carefully preserved many of
her letters; and Dr. Greene, who had long desired that these
letters should be published, conceived that the favorable time had
come and urged the immediate preparation of the work. The letters
were read, extracts made, compiled and edited; and in the summer
of 1909 "A Glimpse of India" was given to the public. This
furnished a most interesting record of the busy life of the first
medical missionary to the women of the orient. As long as Dr.
Swain was able, she attended the Sunday morning service and the
Thursday evening prayer meeting, as well as the meetings of the
missionary and the Ladies' Aid societies of the church. When she
was no longer equal to the walk to church, she and her friend had
regular Sunday morning service in their room with hymns, Scripture
reading, prayer and a sermon, and were often present in spirit at
the midweek prayer meeting, though their prayers and praises were
uttered in their room.


The last year of Dr. Swain's life was spent in much weakness at
times, occasioned by an attack of grippe which would not be
overcome, but it was not until the first week in December that she
felt that she could not hope to get stronger. When confined to her
bed she kept her Testament and Psalms near her, and though seldom
able to read more than a verse she enjoyed the daily morning Bible
reading and prayer with her friend.

Loving attendance and the best medical care were given her but
nought availed, and early Christmas morning, while sleeping, she
passed from earth to her Father's home above. She was laid to
rest in the beautiful cemetery at Castile, December 28, 1910.

The prayer of the "frail little mother of a frail little daughter"
was fully answered in this good and useful life.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Clara A. Swain, M.D." ***

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