Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionary - Africa 1882 - 1892
Memories of a Missionary Tour of Duty in Africa:
1882 - 1892
by Laura Boardman Houchens Eubank
Wife of Rev. Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionaries To Nigeria 1882
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, VA.
Toothache & African Fever (Malaria)
Soon the inevitable happened. We had been there long enough for the deadly malarial fever to begin its work. Often it begins much sooner. But sooner or later, it always begins. It never fails. This was not stranger perhaps living as we did, in such a house, with poor food and always with bad water. Also surrounded as we were with the filth and dirt of a large city where there was not even a thought of sanitation regulations - not even an outside toilet. If people had an errand of this kind to do, it was done just anywhere with no reference to privacy.
So the dreadful African fever began and we were not ever to see the end of it. My hushed had the first attack. But first, I remember, he had an awful attack of toothache from which he suffered intensely and could get no relief. Having no dentist available, he at last went to some native man - I think he was a blacksmith, and had, I suppose, some kind of pliers with which he made several attempts to extract the tooth, all to no avail except to increase his agony. Then the fever began. We used all our known remedies. Daring those years we almost lived on quinine. Capsules were not then known not any method of disquieting the awful taste. Well, (Page 16) we tried this and all other remedies at hand, but all to no avail. Knowing the dangerous nature of this fever and that it was so often fatal and not being able to get any relief, it was decided that the only thing to do was to take him back to Lagos where we were able to get medical aid. There vas a fairly good English doctor there who later died of the same fever. (Poor Doctor Grant. so often I think of him! He did not care much for missionary ideals which vas true of most business men out there, but he did his best.) By that time, I had the fever too and we were glad enough to be back in the care of Brother David and his wile for we were absolutely unfit to take oars of ourselves..
In Lagos, we had a really good brick building for the Mission house in which we lived. This was the only decent building of any kind in the whole mission. Here with good friends, and a good doctor, we were as well cared for as possible. But we did not yield to treatment, and for many weeks, we both lingered with little evidence of improvement. In fact; friends began to think that we would not be able to stand the rigors of the climate and they would have to send us home. But missionaries were too few and too hard to get to give up what they did have. Too long Brother David and his wife had been there alone, and they well knew that missionaries to Africa of all places, were hard to get. And so, they waited. And so, after long delay, like two shadows of our former selves, we began to creep forth and drag ourselves about with neither strength nor ambition to do more. We gradually gained strength and began to plan for the future, though we well knew that this was only the beginning.
I really do not remember the time, but think we returned to Lagos about Christmas. It was perhaps in May that we were thought able to return to Abbeokuta.
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