Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Lydia Mary Fay 1804 ~ 1878


She is most affectionately remembered for her work in China.

Miss Fay was a native of Essex County, Virginia, but entered the missionary field from Albany, New York, sailing for China, November 8, 1850, the first single woman sent there by the missionary society. She was a remarkable woman, with a most sympathetic heart and well-trained mind, and had a peculiar fitness for the work in that country.

She established in her own house in 'Shanghai a boarding school for boys, and from this she educated teachers and preachers to carry on the work. She taught in the school, attended to all the domestic course, provided the clothing; managed the finances, and at the same time devoted much of her time to the study of the Chinese language.

At the close of her twenty-fifth year, she passed this school over to the Episcopal Board. Her efforts developed from this very small beginning into the Doane Hall and Theological School, with president; professors, ten Chinese teachers, and some of her pupils in the Christian ministry.

She was always known as "Lady Fay" to her pupils, who were impressed by the purity and simplicity of her Christian life and devotion to their interests. After twenty-eight years of hard work, her health failed, and she died October 5, 1878.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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