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Charlotte White (b. July 13, 1782, d. ?) was the first unmarried American woman missionary sent to a foreign country. She was sponsored by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and arrived in British India in 1816.

Early life[edit]

Charlotte "Susanna" Hazen Atlee was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Judge William Augustus Atlee and Esther Bowes Sayre. She married Nathaniel Hazen White in 1803. He died in 1804 and the couple's one child died in 1805. Charlotte White joined the First Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1807.[1]

Missionary to India[edit]

Charlotte White's application to become a missionary with the newly founded Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was controversial as many members of the Board believed that only ordained males should be appointed missionaries. Charlotte was accepted as a missionary in a restricted appointment as a helper and companion for the wife of George Henry Hough, a missionary printer being sent to India, and with her assurance that she would be sustained by her own resources.[2]

Charlotte remained only briefly with the Houghs on arrival in Calcutta, India, marrying a widower with three sons, Joshua Rowe, a missionary with the English Baptist Missionary Society,(BMS) shortly after her arrival in 1816. She transferred to the BMS and the couple managed missionary schools in Digah, near Patna, India and Charlotte wrote a Hindustani language spelling book for children. In 1823, a letter from Charlotte was published, without her permission, accusing four prominent missionaries at Serampore College of expropriating property belonging to the Baptist Missionary Society.[3]

Joshua and Charlotte Rowe had three children. Rowe died in 1823. Charlotte remained in India until 1826 before returning to the United States with her three children.[4]

Later life[edit]

White taught English, music, and drawing in an academy at Lowndesboro, Alabama in the 1830s.[5]


  1. ^ Barber, Edwin Atlee Genealogical Record of the Atlee Family Philadelphia: Wm. F. Fell & Co, 1884, pp. 80-81
  2. ^ Anderson, Gerald H. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1991, p. 727; Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes, Philadelphia, 1814, pp. 65, 112
  3. ^ The Reformer, Vol. 4, April 2, 1823, pp. 73-79
  4. ^ Brackney, William H The A to Z of Baptists Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009, p. 605; Missionary Herald, 1827, p. 293
  5. ^ Anderson, p. 727

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86 news items

Akron Beacon Journal
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:13:13 -0700

Charlotte White, who won the national contest to name the newest airship, and her husband Eugene, wave to the friends on the blimp after they took the first ride on Wingfoot One at the Goodyear Airship base on Thursday in Suffield Township.

West Sussex County Times

West Sussex County Times
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 05:33:45 -0700

A Charlotte White goal in the first half ensured they took a point although captain Hannah Simpson felt they could have gone on to win the game. Ipswich took the lead through a penalty stroke, before Horsham fought back quickly as White scored a ...

Press Herald

Press Herald
Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:03:45 -0700

Deering's goalie Lillian Frager makes a save Saturday while under pressure from Biddeford's Charlotte White. Biddeford won the Western Class A field hockey prelim, 1-0. Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer. Mia Thurston, left, of Deering and ...
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:09:51 -0700

WESTPORT — An accidental fire to a home at 96 Charlotte White Road caused about $150,000 in damages early Monday afternoon, fire officials said. A passerby noticed smoke from the two-story, wood-frame house about noontime and alerted the owner, ...

New Pittsburgh Courier

New Pittsburgh Courier
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:07:30 -0700

... saxophonist Mindi Abair who sings vocals, trumpeter Rick Braun, soprano saxophonist Euge Groove, keyboardist Phillipe Saisse, bassist Nate Phillips, violinist—and Peter's daughter—Charlotte White, bongo player Ramon Yslas, and vocalist Stevo Theard.


Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:48:17 -0700

The flight lasting about an hour was Charlotte White's prize for coming up with the name “Wingfoot One,” the Akron Beacon Journal reported. “It was quiet,” White, 76, of Akron, said. “It really was like riding in a boat.” White's proposal was among ...

Biddeford Journal Tribune

Biddeford Journal Tribune
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:04:20 -0700

With higher stakes this time around, and Biddeford playing without any subs or senior forward Charlotte White, Scarborough jumped on top early. Maddy Dobecki – a finalist for Miss Maine Field Hockey – scored on the Red Storm's first penalty corner 1:51 ...
Press Herald
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:48:45 -0700

BIDDEFORD 1, SANFORD 0: Taylor Turgeon scored from Charlotte White in the 22nd minute and the Tigers (5-3) beat the Spartans (6-3) at Biddeford. Read or Post Comments. Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form.

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