Winslow, Harriet Wadsworth Lathrop (1796-1833)

American missionary to Ceylon (Sri Lanka)


Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Harriet Lathrop married Miron Winslow in January 1819 and in June embarked with him to Ceylon under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABFCM). They were stationed at Uduvil, where they worked among the Jaffna Tamils. Harriet gave particular attention to the education of girls, first taking them into her own family. When a central boarding school for girls was established in January 1824, the Winslows took charge of what became the well-known Uduvil School. Harriet wrote out the lessons in arithmetic and geography and supervised instruction in sewing and the household arts. Deeply concerned for the spiritual life of the school, she remembered one girl each day in her prayers, just as she did her own children. Every girl who graduated in the first 50 years became a Christian. Winslow also served as her husband�s secretary. In January 1833 she died suddenly in childbirth. Her sister, Elizabeth Coit Lathrop Hutchings, sailed to join the Ceylon mission in July before word of the death had reached the United States. Harriet was buried beside two other sisters, both missionaries, Charlotte H. Cherry and Harriet Joanna Perry. Miron Winslow was widowed three more times before his last marriage in 1856.

David M. Stowe. “Harriet Wadsworth Lathrop Winslow,” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 744.

This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.


Digital Text

Winslow, Miron. Memoir of Mrs. Harriet L. Winslow, Thirteen Years a Member of the American Mision in Ceylon: Combining a Sketch of the Ceylon Mission. New York: American Tract Society, 1835.


Brief biographical sketch and excerpt from Memoir.


“Harriet Winslow.” Frontispiece in Winslow, Miron. Memoir of Mrs. Harriet L. Winslow. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1987.