I've been thinking about John Allen Chau, the twenty-seven-year-old American missionary who was killed when he tried to approach the residents of India's North Sentinel Island in 2018. I have found easy parallels between his ideas, ideals, and actions, and those of the missionaries who were trained at the seminary in Andover two hundred years earlier. In 1818, the ABCFM published The Conversion of the World. Or, the Claims of Six Hundred Millions and the Ability and Duty of the Churches Respecting Them by two members of the class of 1812, Gordon Hall and Samuel Newell. The book was printed in Andover by Flagg and Gould, widely distributed in America and England, and reprinted many times. The pair had considered publishing it anonymously. In the end, they identified themselves so that the book would be “received with a livelier interest, and to produce a greater and more extended effect.”  They were in essence missionary celebrities, because they were among America's first foreign missionaries ever. Newell was especially renowned, because his wife, Harriet Newell, had died at age nineteen within months of her arrival. The mother of a baby who died at five days, she was celebrated as the first American missionary "martyr." In the Christian press the same word has, likewise, been used to describe Chau. Of course, most segments of the secular press don't hesitate to use the word "fool."
Harriet Newell's posthumous celebrity was spurred by the publication of her memoir by Flagg and Gould in 1814. Historian Mary Kupiec Cayton, in “Canonizing Harriet Newell: Women, the Evangelical Press, and the Foreign Mission Movement in New England, 1800-1840,” found that between 1814 and 1840, the book was reprinted in at least twelve cities and in fifty editions.  She also discovered that slews of female babies were named "Harriet Newell" starting directly after their namesake became an inspiring personage in Christian households. 
Not that Harriet had converted a single "heathen" soul. Nor had she actually written her memoir herself. Andover's Reverend Leonard Woods introduced, compiled, and was ultimately, even officially, its author -- he, who gave one of his own daughters "Harriette Newell" when she was born in 1815. Cayton found further that Harriet had herself read inspiring books about missionaries, including a newly reprinted American volume by Melvill Horne -- perhaps the very one printed by Galen Ware in Andover in 1810. Harriet had grown up in nearby Haverhill and gone to Bradford Academy, a well-known evangelical Christian school at the time. In fact, it was the place where the decision to found the ABCFM was made. But there really was no comparison between the effectiveness of Horne's book and Harriet's. As Cayton points out, “[Stories of dead or dying] adolescent girls in particular spoke to the audience of young women who comprised the majority of the newly converted.” 
Regarding Harriet's death and subsequent memoir, Woods wrote: “‘The Life of Mrs. Newell,’ by a widely extended influence, has done more good than she would probably have effected in a long life of usefulness.”  Better dead and read, as it were? Witness that the ABCFM used her story for decades to publicize the efforts of foreign missions -- and to fundraise without compunction. Others exploited her memory, too. Just one example: a print of her Haverhill birthplace was printed and sold by A.B. Jacques of Boston in 1853, forty-one years after her death in Port Louis on the island of what was then known as British Mauritius.
1. Gordon Hall and Samuel Newell, The Conversion of the World. Or, the Claims of Six Hundred Millions and the Ability and Duty of the Churches Respecting Them(Andover, Printed for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, by Flagg & Gould, 1818), 3.
2. Mary Kupiec Cayton, “Canonizing Harriet Newell: Women, the Evangelical Press, and the Foreign Mission Movement in New England, 1800-1840,” in Competing Kingdoms: Women, Mission, Nation, and the American Protestant Empire, 1812-1960, edited by Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Kathryn Kish Sklar, and Connie A. Shemo (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 3. Not counting Harriet N.s or simply the increase in Harriets, Cayton found, the given name Harriet Newell does not appear in genealogies prior to 1814 but shows up suddenly in 1814 and continues to be a notable choice for daughters for some time thereafter.
4. Ibid., 78.
5. Harriette Newell Woods Baker, Reminiscences and Records of My Father, Rev. Leonard Woods, D.D., of Andover (Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, 1887), 50. She wrote under her own name; she also went by the pen names Mrs. Madeline Leslie and Aunt Hattie. Her most famous book was Mrs. Leslie's Tim, the Scissors Grinder: Or Loving Christ And Serving Him (1861), which first appeared as a serial in the Boston Recorder, subsequently sold half a million copies, and was translated into several languages. As Mrs. Leslie, she published about two hundred moral and religious tales in all.