Tag Archives: Christian Literature Society

Pages from History: Fire engulfs missionary William Carey’s print shop in Serampore (1812)

11 March, 1812: Fire engulfs missionary William Carey’s print shop in Serampore, India, destroying his massive polyglot dictionary, two grammar books, sets of type for 14 eastern languages, and whole versions of the Bible.

Undaunted, Carey said, “The loss is heavy, but as traveling a road the second time is usually done with greater ease and certainty than the first time, so I trust the work will lose nothing of real value . . . We are cast down but not in despair.” News of the fire also catapulted Carey to fame, bringing in abundant funds and volunteer labour.

William Carey: The Shoemaker Who Became the Founder of Modern Missions; John Brown Myers; London 1887

William Carey: The Shoemaker Who Became the Founder of Modern Missions; John Brown Myers; London 1887

Pages from History: George Muller Passes away (1898)

10 March. 1898: George Muller dies at the age of 93. George Muller (born on 27th Sep, 1805) was an ordinary man. His father was a tax collector. He was a man of faith. His life continues to be an inspiration and witness to all who commit their lives to God. By faith and prayer he opened many orphanages in England and he could support and take care of more than 18,000 orphan children during his lifetime. His work still continues through George Muller Foundation.

George Muller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson; New York; The Baker and Taylor Company; 1899

George Muller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson; New York; The Baker and Taylor Company; 1899

Pages from History: 8 March 1835, Freedom for slaves. (Munro Island- Travancore)

Slavery was a social evil which prevailed all over the world including what is now the state of Kerala in India. According to the 1836 census there were 164,864 slaves in Travancore vis-à-vis a total civilian population of 12,80,668.

Slaves were treated like animals and the cost of one slave was that of an ox, cost of an ox was 5 (big para) measures of Paddy or Rs. 10/- only. Slaves were chained and sold like animals in markets.

Kottayam, Changanasserry, Thirunakkara, Alleppey, Kayamkulam, Kollam, Attingal, Chirayinkizh, Kaniyapuram, Pettah and Kovalam were the notorious slave trade markets of the time. Churches in Cochin were used as godowns for the slaves except for Sundays. Slaves were exported out of the kingdom. There was no one to speak on behalf of these unfortunate people.

With the arrival and the teachings of the CMS (Church Missionary Society) missionaries, people became aware of this social evil. In 1819, Munro Island was given to the missionaries, by the then Travancore Government along with the slaves residing there on the Island. Munro Island is located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, in Kollam district, Kerala, India.

In 1833, England passed the Slavery Abolition Law. CMS missionaries, Benjamin Bailey and Joseph Peet made a historic declaration on 8th March 1835, giving freedom to the slaves in Munro Island.

The declaration read as follows:

“We the undersigned, acting as trustees of Munro Island, do hereby declare that… who has hitherto been a slave of the soil, is from this time liberated by us and made a free man and that his wife and offspring are wholly and forever free and are regarded by us only as hired servants and that no one has any right to bring them into servitude again. At the same time we declare that we do not consider ourselves as released from any claim which he or his wife or offspring may have upon us according to custom, privilege or law in consequence of their having been slaves.”

8 March 5.                                                    Sd/-  Benj Bailey           Sd/- Josh Peet,

In 1847, Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma became the King of Travancore. The same year CMS missionaries submitted a memorandum to the King requesting him to stop the slavery in Travancore. In 1853, by royal declaration slavery was abolished in Travancore forever. In 1864, the Kingdom of Cochin also made a similar declaration abolishing slavery.




Pages from History: CSS (Christava Sahitya Samithy) Tiruvalla (1925)

March, 1925: Establishment of the Malayalam wing of the Christian Literature Society. The Malayalam Language wing of the Christian Literature Society (CLS) was established in March, 1925.

Rev. V. P. Mammen, Mr. K. K. Kuruvilla and Mr. T. K. Kuruvilla were Mar Thoma Church members who co-operated with the Anglican Church leaders for the establishment of the Malayalam wing. After many years the name was changed from CLS to CSS (Christava Sahitya Samithy).

Christava Sahitya Samithy

Christava Sahitya Samithy