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Removal Of The Prisoners To Oung-pen-la Mrs Judson Follows Them








"Notwithstanding the order the governor had given for my admittance into
prison, it was with the greatest difficulty that I could persuade the
under jailer to open the gate. I used to carry Mr. J's. food myself, for
the sake of getting in, and would then remain an hour or two, unless
driven out. We had been in this comfortable situation but two or three
days, when one morning, having carried in Mr. Judson's breakfast, which,
in consequence of fever, he was unable to take, I remained longer than
usual, when the governor in great haste sent for me. I promised him to
return as soon as I had ascertained the governor's will, he being much
alarmed at this unusual message. I was very agreeably disappointed, when
the governor informed, that he only wished to consult me about his
watch, and seemed unusually pleasant and conversable. I found
afterwards, that his only object was, to detain me until the dreadful
scene, about to take place in the prison, was over. For when I left him
to go to my room, one of the servants came running, and with a ghastly
countenance informed me, that all the white prisoners were carried away.
I would not believe the report, but instantly went back to the governor,
who said he had just heard of it, but did not wish to tell me. I hastily
ran into the street, hoping to get a glimpse of them before they were
out of sight, but in this was disappointed. I ran first into one street,
then another, inquiring of all I met, but none would answer me. At
length an old woman told me the white prisoners had gone towards the
little river; for they were to be carried to Amarapora. I then ran to
the banks of the little river, about half a mile, but saw them not, and
concluded the old woman had deceived me. Some of the friends of the
foreigners went to the place of execution, but found them not. I then
returned to the governor to try to discover the cause of their removal,
and the probability of their future fate. The old man assured me that he
was ignorant of the intention of government to remove the foreigners
till that morning. That since I went out, he had learned that the
prisoners were to be sent to Amarapora; but for what purpose, he knew
not. 'I will send off a man immediately,' said he, 'to see what is to be
done with them. You can do nothing more for your husband,' continued he,
'take care of yourself.' With a heavy heart I went to my room, and
having no hope to excite me to exertion, I sunk down almost in despair.
For several days previous, I had been actively engaged in building my
own little room, and making our hovel comfortable. My thoughts had been
almost entirely occupied in contriving means to get into prison. But now
I looked towards the gate with a kind of melancholy feeling, but no wish
to enter. All was the stillness of death; no preparation of your
brother's food, no expectation of meeting him at the usual dinner hour,
all my employment, all my occupations seemed to have ceased, and I had
nothing left but the dreadful recollection that Mr. Judson was carried
off, I knew not whither. It was one of the most insupportable days I
ever passed. Towards night, however, I came to the determination to set
off the next morning for Amarapora; and for this purpose was obliged to
go to our house out of town.

"Never before had I suffered so much from fear in traversing the streets
of Ava. The last words of the governor, 'Take care of yourself,' made me
suspect there was some design with which I was unacquainted. I saw,
also, he was afraid to have me go into the streets, and advised me to
wait till dark, when he would send me in a cart, and a man to open the
gates. I took two or three trunks of the most valuable articles,
together with the medicine chest, to deposit in the house of the
governor; and after committing the house and premises to our faithful
Moung Ing and a Bengalee servant, who continued with us, (though we were
unable to pay his wages,) I took leave, as I then thought probable, of
our house in Ava forever.

"On my return to the governor's, I found a servant of Mr. Gouges, who
happened to be near the prison when the foreigners were led out, and
followed on to see the end, who informed me, that the prisoners had been
carried before the Lamine Woon, at Amarapora, and were to be sent the
next day to a village he knew not how far distant. My distress was a
little relieved by the intelligence that our friend was yet alive, but
still I knew not what was to become of him. The next morning I obtained
a pass from government, and with my little Maria, who was then only
three months old, Mary and Abby Hasseltine, (two of the Burman children)
and our Bengalee cook, who was the only one of the party who could
afford me any assistance, I set off for Amarapora. The day was
dreadfully hot; but we obtained a covered boat, in which we were
tolerably comfortable, till within two miles of the government house. I
then procured a cart; but the violent motion, together with the dreadful
heat and dust; made me almost distracted. But what was my disappointment
on my arriving at the court house, to find that the prisoners had been
sent on two hours before, and that I must go in that uncomfortable mode
four miles further with little Maria in my arms, whom I held all the way
from Ava. The cart man refused to go any further; and after waiting an
hour in the burning sun, I procured another, and set off for that never
to be forgotten place, Oung-pen-la. I obtained a guide from the governor
and was conducted directly to the prison-yard. But what a scene of
wretchedness was presented to my view! The prison was an old shattered
building, without a roof; the fence was entirely destroyed; eight or ten
Burmese were on the top of the building, trying to make something like a
shelter with the leaves; while under a little low projection outside of
the prison sat the foreigners, chained together two and two, almost dead
with suffering and fatigue. The first words of your brother were, 'Why
have you come? I hoped you would not follow, for you cannot live here.'
It was now dark. I had no refreshment for the suffering prisoners, or
for myself, as I had expected to procure all that was necessary at the
market of Amarapora, and I had no shelter for the night. I asked one of
the jailers if I might put up a little bamboo house near the prisoners;
he said no, it was not customary. I then begged he would procure me a
shelter for the night, when on the morrow I could find some place to
live in. He took me to his house, in which there were only two small
rooms--one in which he and his family lived--the other, which was then
half full of grain, he offered to me; and in that little filthy place, I
spent the next six months of wretchedness. I procured some half boiled
water, instead of my tea, and, worn out with fatigue, laid myself down
on a mat spread over the paddy, and endeavoured to obtain a little
refreshment from sleep. The next morning your brother gave me the
following account of the brutal treatment he had received on being taken
out of prison.

"As soon as I had gone out at the call of the governor, one of the
jailers rushed into Mr. J's little room--roughly seized him by the
arm--pulled him out--stripped him of all his clothes, excepting shirt
and pantaloons--took his shoes, hat, and all his bedding--tore off his
chains--tied a rope round his waist, and dragged him to the court house,
where the other prisoners had previously been taken. They were then tied
two and two, and delivered into the hands of the Lamine Woon, who went
on before them on horseback, while his slaves drove the prisoners, one
of the slaves holding the rope which connected two of them together. It
was in May, one of the hottest months in the year, and eleven o'clock in
the day, so that the sun was intolerable indeed. They had proceeded only
half a mile, when your brother's feet became blistered, and so great was
his agony, even at this early period, that as they were crossing the
little river, he longed to throw himself into the water to be free from
misery. But the sin attached to such an act alone prevented. They had
then eight miles to walk. The sand and gravel were like burning coals to
the feet of the prisoners, which soon became perfectly destitute of
skin; and in this wretched state they were goaded on by their unfeeling
drivers. Mr. J.'s debilitated state, in consequence of fever, and having
taken no food that morning, rendered him less capable of bearing such
hardships than the other prisoners. When about half way on their
journey, as they stopped for water, your brother begged the Lamine Woon
to allow him to ride his horse a mile or two, as he could proceed no
farther in that dreadful state. But a scornful, malignant look, was all
the reply that was made. He then requested captain Laird, who was tied
with him, and who was a strong, healthy man, to allow him to take hold
of his shoulder, as he was fast sinking. This the kind-hearted man
granted for a mile or two, but then found the additional burden
insupportable. Just at that period, Mr. Gouger's Bengalee servant came
up to them, and seeing the distresses of your brother, took off his head
dress, which was made of cloth, tore it in two, gave half to his master,
and half to Mr. Judson, which he instantly wrapt round his wounded feet,
as they were not allowed to rest even for a moment. The servant then
offered his shoulder to Mr. J. and was almost carried by him the
remainder of the way. Had it not been for the support and assistance of
this man, your brother thinks he should have shared the fate of the poor
Greek, who was one of their number, and when taken out of prison that
morning was in perfect health. But he was a corpulent man, and the sun
affected him so much that he fell down on the way. His inhuman drivers
beat and dragged him until they themselves were wearied, when they
procured a cart, in which he was carried the remaining two miles. But
the poor creature expired in an hour or two after their arrival at the
court house. The Lamine Woon seeing the distressing state of the
prisoners, and that one of their number was dead, concluded they should
go no farther that night, otherwise they would have been driven on until
they reached Oung-pen-la the same day. An old shed was appointed for
their abode during the night, but without even a mat or pillow, or any
thing to cover them. The curiosity of the Lamine Woon's wife, induced
her to make a visit to the prisoners, whose wretchedness considerably
excited her compassion, and she ordered some fruit, sugar, and
tamarinds, for their refreshment; and the next morning rice was prepared
for them, and as poor as it was, it was refreshing to the prisoners, who
had been almost destitute of food the day before. Carts were also
provided for their conveyance, as none of them were able to walk. All
this time the foreigners were entirely ignorant of what was to become of
them; and when they arrived at Oung-pen-la, and saw the dilapidated
state of the prison, they immediately, all as one, concluded that they
were there to be burnt, agreeably to the report which had previously
been in circulation at Ava. They all endeavoured to prepare themselves
for the awful scene anticipated, and it was not until they saw
preparations making for repairing the prison, that they had the least
doubt that a cruel lingering death awaited them. My arrival was in an
hour or two after this.

"The next morning I arose and endeavoured to find something like food.
But there was no market, and nothing to be procured. One of Dr. Price's
friends, however, brought some cold rice and vegetable curry, from
Amarapora, which, together with a cup of tea from Mr. Lansago, answered
for the breakfast of the prisoners; and for dinner, we made a curry of
dried salt fish, which a servant of Mr. Gouger had brought. All the
money I could command in the world, I had brought with me, secreted
about my person; so you may judge what our prospects were, in case the
war should continue long. But our heavenly Father was better to us than
our fears; for notwithstanding the constant extortions of the jailers,
during the whole six months we were at Oung-pen-la, and the frequent
straits to which we were brought, we never really suffered for the want
of money, though frequently for want of provisions, which were not
procurable. Here at this place my personal bodily sufferings commenced.
While your brother was confined in the city prison, I had been allowed
to remain in our house, in which I had many conveniences left, and my
health continued good beyond all expectations. But now I had not a
single article of convenience--not even a chair or seat of any kind,
excepting a bamboo floor. The very morning after my arrival, Mary
Hasseltine was taken with the small pox, the natural way. She, though
very young, was the only assistant I had in taking care of little Maria.
But she now required all the time I could spare from Mr. Judson, whose
fever still continued in prison, and whose feet were so dreadfully
mangled, that for several days he was unable to move. I knew not what to
do, for I could procure no assistance from the neighbourhood, or
medicine for the sufferers, but was all day long going backwards and
forwards from the house to the prison, with little Maria in my arms.
Sometimes I was greatly relieved by leaving her, for an hour, when
asleep, by the side of her father, while I returned to the house to look
after Mary, whose fever ran so high as to produce delirium. She was so
completely covered with the small pox, that there was no distinction in
the pustules. As she was in the same little room with myself, I knew
Maria would take it; I therefore inoculated her from another child,
before Mary's had arrived at such a state as to be infectious. At the
same time, I inoculated Abby, and the jailer's children, who all had it
so lightly as hardly to interrupt their play. But the inoculation in the
arm of my poor little Maria did not take--she caught it of Mary, and had
it the natural way. She was then only three months and a half old, and
had been a most healthy child; but it was above three months before she
perfectly recovered from the effects of this dreadful disorder.

"You will recollect I never had the small pox, but was vaccinated
previously to leaving America. In consequence of being for so long a
time constantly exposed, I had nearly a hundred pustules formed, though
no previous symptoms of fever, &c. The jailer's children having had the
small pox so lightly, in consequence of inoculation, my fame was spread
all over the village, and every child, young and old, who had not
previously had it, was brought for inoculation. And although I knew
nothing about the disorder, or the mode of treating it, I inoculated
them all with a needle, and told them to take care of their diet,--all
the instructions I could give them. Mr. Judson's health was gradually
restored, and he found himself much more comfortably situated, than when
in the city prison.

"The prisoners were at first chained two and two; but as soon as the
jailers could obtain chains sufficient, they were separated, and each
prisoner had but one pair. The prison was repaired, a new fence made,
and a large airy shed erected in front of the prison, where the
prisoners were allowed to remain during the day, though locked up in the
little close prison at night. All the children recovered from the small
pox; but my watchings and fatigue, together with my miserable food, and
more miserable lodgings, brought on one of the diseases of the country,
which is almost always fatal to foreigners. My constitution seemed
destroyed, and in a few days I became so weak as to be hardly able to
walk to Mr. Judson's prison. In this debilitated state, I set off in a
cart for Ava, to procure medicines, and some suitable food, leaving the
cook to supply my place. I reached the house in safety, and for two or
three days the disorder seemed at a stand; after which it attacked me so
violently, that I had no hopes of recovery left--and my only anxiety now
was, to return to Oung-pen-la to die near the prison. It was with the
greatest difficulty that I obtained the medicine chest from the
governor, and then had no one to administer medicine. I however got at
the laudanum, and by taking two drops at a time for several hours, it so
far checked the disorder, as to enable me to get on board a boat, though
so weak that I could not stand, and again set off for Oung-pen-la. The
last four miles was in that painful conveyance, the cart, and in the
midst of the rainy season, when the mud almost buries the oxen. You may
form some idea of a Burmese cart, when I tell you their wheels are not
constructed like ours; but are simply round thick planks with a hole in
the middle, through which a pole that supports the body is thrust.

"I just reached Oung-pen-la when my strength seemed entirely exhausted.
The good native cook came out to help me into the house but so altered
and emaciated was my appearance, that the poor fellow burst into tears
at the first sight. I crawled on to the mat in the little room, to which
I was confined for more than two months, and never perfectly recovered,
until I came to the English camp. At this period, when I was unable to
take care of myself, or look after Mr. Judson, we must both have died,
had it not been for the faithful and affectionate care of our Bengalee
cook. A common Bengalee cook will do nothing but the simple business of
cooking: But he seemed to forget his cast, and almost his own wants, in
his efforts to serve us. He would provide, cook, and carry your
brother's food, and then return and take care of me. I have frequently
known him not to taste of food till near night, in consequence of having
to go so far for wood and water, and in order to have Mr. Judson's
dinner ready at the usual hour. He never complained, never asked for his
wages, and never for a moment hesitated to go any where, or to perform
any act we required. I take great pleasure in speaking of the faithful
conduct of this servant, who is still with us, and I trust has been well
rewarded for his services.

"Our dear little Maria was the greatest sufferer at this time, my
illness depriving her of her usual nourishment, and neither a nurse nor
a drop of milk could be procured in the village. By making presents to
the jailers, I obtained leave for Mr. Judson to come out of prison, and
take the emaciated creature around the village, to beg a little
nourishment from those mothers who had young children. Her cries in the
night were heart-rending, when it was impossible to supply her wants. I
now began to think the very afflictions of Job had come upon me. When in
health, I could bear the various trials and vicissitudes through which I
was called to pass. But to be confined with sickness, and unable to
assist those who were so dear to me, when in distress, was almost too
much for me to bear; and had it not been for the consolations of
religion, and an assured conviction that every additional trial was
ordered by infinite love and mercy, I must have sunk under my
accumulated sufferings. Sometimes our jailers seemed a little softened
at our distress, and for several days together allowed Mr. Judson to
come to the house, which was to me an unspeakable consolation. Then
again they would be as iron-hearted in their demands, as though we were
free from sufferings, and in affluent circumstances. The annoyance, the
extortions, and oppressions, to which we were subject, during our six
months residence in Oung-pen-la, are beyond enumeration or description.

"It was some time after our arrival at Oung-pen-la, that we heard of the
execution of the Pakan Woon, in consequence of which our lives were
still preserved. For we afterwards ascertained, that the white
foreigners had been sent to Oung-pen-la, for the express purpose of
sacrificing them, and that he himself intended witnessing the horrid
scene. We had frequently heard of his intended arrival at Oung-pen-la;
but we had no idea of his diabolical purposes. He had raised an army of
fifty thousand men, (a tenth part of whose advanced pay was found in his
house,) and expected to march against the English army in a short time,
when he was suspected of high treason, and instantly executed without
the least examination. Perhaps no death in Ava ever produced such
universal rejoicings, as that of the Pakan Woon. We never, to this day,
hear his name mentioned, but with an epithet of reproach or hatred.
Another brother of the king was appointed to the command of the army now
in readiness, but with no very sanguine expectations of success. Some
weeks after the departure of these troops, two of the Woongyees were
sent down for the purpose of negotiating. But not being successful, the
queen's brother, the acting king of the country, was prevailed on to
go. Great expectations were raised in consequence; but his cowardice
induced him to encamp his detachment of the army at a great distance
from the English, and even at a distance from the main body of the
Burmese army, whose head-quarters were then at Maloun. Thus he effected
nothing, though reports were continually reaching us, that peace was
nearly concluded.

"The time at length arrived for our release from that detested place,
the Oung-pen-la prison. A messenger from our friend, the governor of the
north gate of the palace, who was formerly Koung-tone, Myoo-tsa,
informed us that an order had been given, the evening before, in the
palace, for Mr. Judson's release. On the same evening an official order
arrived; and with a joyful heart I set about preparing for our departure
early the following morning. But an unexpected obstacle occurred, which
made us fear that I should still be retained as a prisoner. The
avaricious jailers, unwilling to lose their prey, insisted, that as my
name was not included in the order, I should not go. In vain I urged
that I was not sent there as a prisoner, and that they had no authority
over me--they still determined I should not go, and forbade the
villagers from letting me a cart. Mr. Judson was then taken out of
prison, and brought to the jailer's house, where, by promises and
threatenings, he finally gained their consent, on condition that we
would leave the remaining part of our provisions we had recently
received from Ava. It was noon before we were allowed to depart. When we
reached Amarapora, Mr. Judson was obliged to follow the guidance of the
jailer, who conducted him to the governor of the city. Having made all
necessary inquiries, the governor appointed another guard, which
conveyed Mr. Judson to the court-house in Ava, to which place he arrived
some time in the night. I took my own course, procured a boat, and
reached our house before dark.

"My first object the next morning, was to go in search of your brother,
and I had the mortification to meet him again in prison, though not the
death prison. I went immediately to my old friend the governor of the
city, who now was raised to the rank of a Woongyee. He informed me that
Mr. Judson was to be sent to the Burmese camp, to act as translator and
interpreter; and that he was put in confinement for a short time only,
till his affairs were settled. Early the following morning I went to
this officer again, who told me that Mr. Judson had that moment received
twenty tickals from government, with orders to go immediately on board a
boat for Maloun, and that he had given him permission to stop a few
moments at the house, it being on his way. I hastened back to the house,
where Mr. Judson soon arrived; but was allowed to remain only a short
time, while I could prepare food and clothing for future use. He was
crowded into a little boat, where he had not room sufficient to lie
down, and where his exposure to the cold damp nights threw him into a
violent fever, which had nearly ended all his sufferings. He arrived at
Maloun on the third day, where, ill as he was, he was obliged to enter
immediately on the work of translating. He remained at Maloun six weeks,
suffering as much as he had at any time in prison, excepting he was not
in irons, nor exposed to the insults of those cruel jailers.

"For the first fortnight after his departure, my anxiety was less than
it had been at any time previous, since the commencement of our
difficulties. I knew the Burmese officers at the camp would feel the
value of Mr. Judson's services too much to allow their using any
measures threatening his life. I thought his situation, also, would be
much more comfortable than it really was--hence my anxiety was less. But
my health, which had never been restored, since that violent attack at
Oung-pen-la, now daily declined, till I was seized with the spotted
fever, with all its attendant horrors. I knew the nature of the fever
from its commencement; and from the shattered state of my constitution,
together with the want of medical attendants, I concluded it must be
fatal. The day I was taken, a Burmese nurse came and offered her
services for Maria. This circumstance filled me with gratitude and
confidence in God; for though I had so long and so constantly made
efforts to obtain a person of this description, I had never been able;
when at the very time I most needed one, and with out any exertion, a
voluntary offer was made. My fever raged violently and without any
intermission. I began to think of settling my worldly affairs, and of
committing my dear little Maria to the care of a Portuguese woman, when
I lost my reason, and was insensible to all around me. At this dreadful
period, Dr. Price was released from prison; and hearing of my illness,
obtained permission to come and see me. He has since told me that my
situation was the most distressing he had ever witnessed, and that he
did not then think I should survive many hours. My hair was shaved, my
head and feet covered with blisters, and Dr. Price ordered the Bengalee
servant who took care of me, to endeavour to persuade me to take a
little nourishment, which I had obstinately refused for several days.
One of the first things I recollect was, seeing this faithful servant
standing by me, trying to induce me to take a little wine and water. I
was in fact so far gone, that the Burmese neighbours who had come in to
see me expire, said, 'She is dead; and if the king of angels should come
in, he could not recover her.'

"The fever, I afterwards understood, had run seventeen days when the
blisters were applied. I now began to recover slowly; but it was more
than a month after this before I had strength to stand. While in this
weak, debilitated state, the servant who had followed your brother to
the Burmese camp, came in, and informed me that his master had arrived,
and was conducted to the court-house in town. I sent off a Burman to
watch the movements of government, and to ascertain, if possible, in
what way Mr. Judson was to be disposed of. He soon returned with the sad
intelligence, that he saw Mr. Judson go out of the palace yard,
accompanied by two or three Burmans, who conducted him to one of the
prisons; and that it was reported in town, that he was to be sent back
to the Oung-pen-la prison. I was too weak to bear ill tidings of any
kind; but a shock so dreadful as this, almost annihilated me. For some
time, I could hardly breathe; but at last gained sufficient composure to
dispatch Moung Ing to our friend, the governor of the north gate, and
begged him to make one more effort for the release of Mr. Judson, and
prevent his being sent back to the country prison, where I knew he must
suffer much, as I could not follow. Moung Ing then went in search of Mr.
Judson; and it was nearly dark when he found him in the interior of an
obscure prison. I had sent food early in the afternoon, but being unable
to find him, the bearer had returned with it, which added another pang
to my distresses, as I feared he was already sent to Oung-pen-la.

"If I ever felt the value and efficacy of prayer, I did at this time. I
could not rise from my couch; I could make no efforts to secure my
husband; I could only plead with that great and powerful Being who has
said, 'Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear, and thou
shalt glorify me;'" and who made me at this time feel so powerfully this
promise, that I became quite composed, feeling assured that my prayers
would be answered.

"When Mr. Judson was sent from Maloun to Ava, it was within five
minutes' notice, and without his knowledge of the cause. On his way up
the river, he accidently saw the communication made to government
respecting him, which was simply this: 'We have no further use for
Yoodathan, we therefore return him to the golden city.' On arriving at
the court-house, there happened to be no one present who was acquainted
with Mr. J. The presiding officer inquired from what place he had been
sent to Maloun. He was answered from Oung-pen-la. Let him then, said the
officer, be returned thither--when he was delivered to a guard and
conducted to the place above-mentioned, there to remain until he could
be conveyed to Oung-pen-la. In the mean time the governor of the north
gate presented a petition to this high court of the empire, offered
himself as Mr. Judson's security, obtained his release, and took him to
his house, where he treated him with every possible kindness, and to
which I was removed as soon as returning health would allow.

"The rapid strides of the English army towards the capital at this time,
threw the whole town into the greatest state of alarm, and convinced the
government that some speedy measures must be taken to save the golden
city. They had hitherto rejected all the overtures of Sir Archibald
Campbell, imagining, until this late period, that they could in some way
or other, drive the English from the country. Mr. Judson and Dr. Price
were daily called to the court-house and consulted; in fact, nothing was
done without their approbation. Two English officers, also, who had
lately been brought to Ava as prisoners, were continually consulted, and
their good offices requested in endeavouring to persuade the British
General to make peace on easier terms. It was finally concluded that Mr.
Judson and one of the officers above-mentioned, should be sent
immediately to the English camp, in order to negotiate. The danger
attached to a situation so responsible, under a government so fickle as
the Burmese, induced your brother to use every means possible to prevent
his being sent. Dr. Price was not only willing, but desirous of going;
this circumstance Mr. Judson represented to the members of government,
and begged he might not be compelled to go, as Dr. Price could transact
this business equally as well as himself. After some hesitation and
deliberation, Dr. Price was appointed to accompany Dr. Sandford, one of
the English officers, on condition that Mr. Judson would stand security
for his return; while the other English officer, then in irons, should
be security for Dr. Sandford. The king gave them a hundred tickals each,
to bear their expenses, (twenty-five of which Dr. Sandford generously
sent to Mr. Gouger, still a prisoner at Oung-pen-la,) boats, men, and a
Burmese officer, to accompany them, though he ventured no farther than
the Burman camp. With the most anxious solicitude the court waited the
arrival of the messengers, but did not in the least relax in their
exertions to fortify the city. Men and beasts were at work night and
day, making new stockades and strengthening old ones, and whatever
buildings were in their way were immediately torn down. Our house, with
all that surrounded it, was levelled to the ground, and our beautiful
little compound turned into a road and a place for the erection of
cannon. All articles of value were conveyed out of town and safely
deposited in some other place.

"At length the boat in which the ambassadors had been sent was seen
approaching a day earlier than was expected. As it advanced towards the
city, the banks were lined by thousands, anxiously inquiring their
success. But no answer was given--the government must first hear the
news. The palace gates were crowded, the officers at the Tlowtdau were
seated, when Dr. Price made the following communication: 'The general
and commissioners will make no alteration in their terms, except the
hundred lacks (a lack is a hundred thousand) of rupees, may be paid at
four different times. The first twenty-five lacks to be paid within
twelve days, or the army will continue their march.' In addition to
this, the prisoners were to be given up immediately. The general had
commissioned Dr. Price to demand Mr. Judson and myself and little Maria.
This was communicated to the king, who replied, 'They are not English,
they are my people, and shall not go.' At this time, I had no idea that
we should ever be released from Ava. The government had learned the
value of your brother's services, having employed him the last three
months; and we both concluded they would never consent to our departure.
The foreigners were again called to a consultation, to see what could be
done. Dr. Price and Mr. Judson told them plainly that the English would
never make peace on any other terms than those offered, and that it was
in vain to go down again without the money. It was then proposed that a
third part of the first sum demanded should he sent down immediately.
Mr. Judson objected, and still said it would be useless. Some of the
members of government then intimated that it was probable the teachers
were on the side of the English, and did not try to make them take a
smaller sum; and also threatened if they did not make the English
comply, they and their families should suffer.

"In this interval, the fears of the government were considerably
allayed, by the offers of a general, by name Layarthoo-yah, who desired
to make one more attempt to conquer the English, and disperse them. He
assured the king and government, that he could so fortify the ancient
city of Pagan, as to make it impregnable; and that he would there defeat
and destroy the English. His offers were heard, he marched to Pagan with
a very considerable force, and made strong the fortifications. But the
English took the city with perfect ease, and dispersed the Burmese army;
while the general fled to Ava, and had the presumption to appear in the
presence of the king, and demand new troops. The king being enraged that
he had ever listened to him for a moment, in consequence of which the
negotiation had been delayed, the English general provoked, and the
troops daily advancing, that he ordered the general to be immediately
executed! The poor fellow was soon hurled from the palace, and beat all
the way to the court-house--when he was stripped of his rich apparel,
bound with cords, and made to kneel and bow towards the palace. He was
then delivered into the hands of the executioners, who, by their cruel
treatment, put an end to his existence, before they reached the place of
execution.

"The king caused it to be reported, that this general was executed, in
consequence of disobeying his commands, 'not to fight the English.'

"Dr. Price was sent off the same night, with part of the prisoners, and
with instructions to persuade the general to take six lacks instead of
twenty-five. He returned in two or three days with the appalling
intelligence, that the English general was very angry, refused to have
any communication with him, and was now within a few days' march of the
capital. The queen was greatly alarmed, and said the money should be
raised immediately, if the English would only stop their march. The
whole palace was in motion, gold and silver vessels were melted up, the
king and queen superintended the weighing of a part of it, and were
determined, if possible, to save their city. The silver was ready in the
boats by the next evening; but they had so little confidence in the
English, that after all their alarm, they concluded to send down six
lacks only, with the assurance that if the English would stop where they
then were, the remainder should be forthcoming immediately.

"The government now did not even ask Mr. Judson the question whether he
would go or not; but some officers took him by the arm as he was walking
in the street, and told him he must go immediately on board the boat, to
accompany two Burmese officers, a Woongyee and Woondouk, who were going
down to make peace. Most of the English prisoners were sent at the same
time. The general and commissioners would not receive the six lacks,
neither would they stop their march; but promised, if the sum complete
reached them before they should arrive at Ava, they would make peace.
The general also commissioned Mr. Judson to collect the remaining
foreigners, of whatever country, and ask the question before the Burmese
government, whether they wished to go or stay. Those who expressed a
wish to go should be delivered up immediately, or peace would not be
made.

"Mr. Judson reached Ava at midnight; had all the foreigners called the
next morning, and the question asked. Some of the members of government
said to him, 'You will not leave us--you shall become a great man if you
will remain.' He then secured himself from the odium of saying that he
wished to leave the service of his majesty by recurring to the order of
Sir Archibald, that whoever wished to leave Ava should be given up, and
that I had expressed a wish to go, so that he of course must follow. The
remaining part of the twenty-five lacks was soon collected; the
prisoners at Oung-pen-la were all released, and either sent to their
houses, or down the river to the English; and in two days from the time
of Mr. Judson's return, we took an affectionate leave of the good
natured officer who had so long entertained us at his house, and who now
accompanied us to the water side, and we then left forever the banks of
Ava.

It was on a cool, moonlight evening, in the month of March, that with
hearts filled with gratitude to God, and overflowing with joy at our
prospects, we passed down the Irrawaddy, surrounded by six or eight
golden boats, and accompanied by all we had on earth. The thought that
we had still to pass the Burman camp, would sometimes occur to damp our
joy, for we feared that some obstacle might there arise to retard our
progress. Nor were we mistaken in our conjectures. We reached the camp
about midnight, where we were detained two hours; the Woongyee, and high
officers, insisting that we should wait at the camp, while Dr. Price,
(who did not return to Ava with your brother, but remained at the camp,)
should go on with the money and first ascertain whether peace would be
made. The Burmese government still entertained the idea, that as soon as
the English had received the money and prisoners, they would continue
their march, and yet destroy the capital. We knew not but that some
circumstance might occur to break off the negotiations; Mr. Judson,
therefore strenuously insisted that he would not remain, but go on
immediately. The officers were finally prevailed on to consent, hoping
much from Mr. Judson's assistance in making peace.

"We now, for the first time, for more than a year and a half, felt that
we were free, and no longer subject to the oppressive yoke of the
Burmese. And with what sensations of delight, on the next morning, did I
behold the masts of the steam-boat, the sure presage of being within the
bounds of civilized life. As soon as our boat reached the shore,
brigadier A. and another officer came on board, congratulated us on our
arrival, and invited us on board the steam-boat, where I passed the
remainder of the day; while your brother went on to meet the general,
who, with a detachment of the army, had encamped at Yandaboo, a few
miles further down the river. Mr. Judson returned in the evening, with
an invitation from Sir Archibald, to come immediately to his quarters,
where I was the next morning introduced, and received with the greatest
kindness by the general, who had a tent pitched for us near his
own--took us to his own table, and treated us with the kindness of a
father, rather than as strangers of another country.

"We feel that our obligations to general Campbell can never be
cancelled. Our final release from Ava, and our recovering all the
property that had there been taken, was owing entirely to his efforts.
This subsequent hospitality and kind attention to the accommodations for
our passage to Rangoon, have left an indelible impression on our minds,
which can never be forgotten. We daily received the congratulation of
the British officers, whose conduct towards us formed a striking
contrast to that of the Burmese. I presume to say, that no persons on
earth were ever happier than we were, during the fortnight we passed at
the English camp. For several days, this single idea wholly occupied my
mind, that we were out of the power of the Burmese government, and once
more under the protection of the English. Our feelings continually
dictated expressions like these: What shall we render to the Lord for
all his benefits towards us?

"The treaty of peace was soon concluded, signed by both parties, and a
termination of hostilities publicly declared. We left Yandaboo, after a
fortnight's residence, and safely reached the mission house in Rangoon,
after an absence of two years and three months.

"A review of our trip to, and adventures in, Ava, often, excites the
inquiry, Why were we permitted to go? What good has been effected? Why
did I not listen to the advice of friends in Bengal, and remain there
till the war was concluded? But all that we can say is, It is not in
man that walketh to direct his steps. So far as my going round to
Rangoon, at the time I did, was instrumental in bringing those heavy
afflictions upon us, I can only say, that if I ever acted from a sense
of duty in my life, it was at that time; for my conscience would not
allow me any peace, when I thought of sending for your brother to come
to Calcutta, in prospect of the approaching war. Our society at home
have lost no property in consequence of our difficulties; but two years
of precious time have been lost to the mission, unless some future
advantage may be gained, in consequence of the severe discipline to
which we ourselves have been subject. We are sometimes induced to think,
that the lesson we found so very hard to learn, will have a beneficial
effect through our lives; and that the mission may, in the end, be
advanced rather than retarded.

"We should have had no hesitation about remaining in Ava, if no part of
the Burmese empire had been ceded to the British. But as it was, we felt
it would be an unnecessary exposure, besides the missionary field being
much more limited, in consequence of intoleration. We now consider our
future missionary prospects as bright indeed; and our only anxiety is,
to be once more in that situation where our time will be exclusively
devoted to the instruction of the heathen."

In a concluding paragraph, dated Amherst, July 27, she adds:

"From the date at the commencement of this long letter, you see, my dear
brother, that my patience has continued for two months. I have
frequently been induced to throw it aside altogether, but feeling
assured that you and my other friends are expecting something of this
kind I am induced to send it with all its imperfections. This letter,
dreadful as are the scenes herein described, gives you but a faint idea
of the awful reality. The anguish, the agony of mind, resulting from a
thousand little circumstances impossible to delineate on paper, can be
known by those only who have been in similar situations. Pray for us, my
dear brother and sister, that these heavy afflictions may not be in
vain, but may be blessed to our spiritual good, and the advancement of
Christ's church among the heathen."

At the close of this long and melancholy narrative, we may appropriately
introduce the following tribute to the benevolence and talents of Mrs.
Judson, written by one of the English prisoners, who were confined at
Ava with Mr. Judson. It was published in a Calcutta paper after the
conclusion of the war:

"Mrs. Judson was the author of those eloquent and forcible appeals to
the government, which prepared them by degrees for submission to terms
of peace, never expected by any, who knew the hauteur and inflexible
pride of the Burman court.

"And while on this subject, the overflowing of grateful feelings, on
behalf of myself and fellow-prisoners, compel me to add a tribute of
public thanks to that amiable and humane female, who, though living at a
distance of two miles from our prison, without any means of conveyance,
and very feeble in health, forgot her own comfort and infirmity, and
almost every day visited us, sought out and administered to our wants,
and contributed in every way to alleviate our misery.

"While we were left by the government destitute of food, she, with
unwearied perseverance, by some means or other, obtained for us a
constant supply.

"When the tattered state of our clothes evinced the extremity of our
distress, she was ever ready to replenish our scanty wardrobe.

"When the unfeeling avarice of our keepers confined us inside, or made
our feet fast in the stocks, she, like a ministering angel, never ceased
her applications to the government, until she was authorized to
communicate to us the grateful news of our enlargement, or of a respite
from our galling oppressions.

"Besides all this, it was unquestionably owing, in a chief degree, to
the repeated eloquence, and forcible appeals of Mrs. Judson, that the
untutored Burman was finally made willing to secure the welfare and
happiness of his country, by a sincere peace."





Next: Persecution Of The Wesleyan Missionaries In The West Indies

Previous: Account Of The Scenes At Ava During The War



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