Notes for REV DR JOHN SCUDDER:
Son of Joseph and Marie Louise (Johnston) Scudder.
Born: September 3, 1793 in Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Died: January 13, 1855 in Winburg, Free State, Africa.
Married: Harriet Waterbury about 1816 in Unknown.
The Scudders in India devoted more than 1,100 combined years to Christian medical mission service in South India by 42 members of 4 generations of the family.
Rev. Dr. John Scudder, Sr., M.D., D.D., born in Freehold Township, New Jersey, September 3, 1793, was the first medical missionary in India. He graduated from Princeton University in 1811, and the New York college of Physicians and Surgeons in 1813. He practised successfully in New York city.
He became convinced that he was called to be a missionary. He then became thoroughly committed to serving God through medical missions of the American Board, later of the Dutch Reformed Board.
Scudder went to Ceylon (now Sri Lankae) in 1819 and founded the first Western Medical Mission in Asia at Panditeripo in Jaffna District. He served there for nineteen years in the dual capacity of clergyman and physician. He established a large hospital, of which he was physician in chief. He was especially successful in the treatment of cholera and yellow fever. He also founded several native schools and churches. He later became the first American medical missionary in India, beginning more than 1,100 combined years of missionary service there by 42 members of 4 generations of the family. He and his wife Harriet had six surviving sons and two daughters, all of whom became medical missionaries and worked in South India.
In 1836 John Scudder and Rev. Winslow started a mission at Madras to start a printing press to issue the Scriptures and tracts in the Tamil language. Scudder settled at Chintadrepettah (Chintadripet). He was in the United States in 1842-1846. In 1847, he returned to India, where he spent two years in Madura providing medical aid. In 1849 Scudder returned to his mission in Madras, where he laboured till his death on January 13, 1855.