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Khrischak Muang Nua
Author's Note to Chapter 9

2004 Intro1984 IntroChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9AppendicesBibliographyEnd Notes

A Brief Note on the Union of the Two Missions

This final paragraph on the union of the North and South Siam Missions is historically inaccurate and requires correction. The actual process of unification is somewhat obscure even in the records of the Board of Foreign Missions itself. The immediate steps in that process apparently began with the unification of the treasuries of the two missions. According to a Board minute dated 21 April 1919, the South Siam Mission had approved the idea of a joint and treasury and a single treasurer, which was to be located in Bangkok and formally established on 1 April 1919. The North Siam Mission (i.e. the Laos Mission) had already approved the measure, and the two missions elected Clarence A. Steele as the joing treasurer. (1) A year later, the Board's minute for 4 August 1920 records that, while the union of the two missions had already been approved, the Board agreed to defer completing the union until a joint annual meeting could be held in October 1920. (2)

The proposed October meeting evidently did not take place; the Board's Annual Report to the P.C.U.S.A. General Assembly for 1922 states that the outstanding mission event in Siam in 1921 was the first meeting of the "consolidated" North and South Siam Missions, which was held in Bangkok in November 1921. The report cites two reasons for the merger: first, improved transportation made a trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok a matter of hours rather than weeks; and, second, the full political unification of the country encouraged the missions to engage in a similar merger. The report observes that the Board had actually approved the consolidation in 1920, but various circumstances prevented it from being carried out until the meeting in Bangkok. The meetings in Bangkok, it concludes, were conducted harmoniously and its participants shared a feeling of entering a new era. (3)

Assuming that the Board's report to General Assembly accurately recounted events in Siam—probably a safe assumption—the Laos Mission came to an official end in November 1921. It numbered, thus, 54 years and 10 months, counting from April 1867.

[1] Minutes of the Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church U. S. A., v. 37, 21 April 1919. See also the minute for 6 January 1919.

[2] Minutes of the Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church U. S. A., v. 38, 4 August 1920.

[3] "Reports of the Boards and Permanent Committees to the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth General Assembly," 3d series, vol. 1, Part III of the Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (Philadelphia: Office of the General Assembly, 1992).