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Mary Slessor

Mary Slessor
(1848-1915)

Missionary

Mary Slessor was the most important Scots African missionary, but she had an unpromising start when her behaviour scandalised genteel missionary society: she mixed with the natives and she wore light, cool clothing appropriate to the hot climate. She remained in constant conflict with the missionary authorities. But the benefits she brought local society were immeasurable, outlawing ritualised rape, infanticide and human sacrifice. She saved many women and children from enslavement and terrible death, and adopted many children in the process. She died in 1915, having done invaluable work to alleviate suffering and raise the local people from the mire of savagery.