Woman of the Century/Mildred A. Bonham

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MILDRED A. BONHAM.jpgMILDRED A. BONHAM. BONHAM, Mrs. Mildred A., traveler and journalist, born in Magnolia. III., in August, 1840. She is of southern blood from Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee ancestry. Her parents removed to Oregon in 1847, settling in the Willamette valley. In 1858 she became the wife of Judge B. F. Bonham, of Salem, Ore. In 1885 Judge Bonham was appointed Consul-General to British India, and removed his family to Calcutta the same year. Mrs Bonham had always a liking for literary work, but the cares of a large family and social duties gave her scant leisure, and it was not until her residence abroad the opportunity came. During five years her letters over the name "Mizpah" attracted much attention and were widely copied by the Oregon and California press. Mrs. Bonham has a gift of observing closely, and her descriptions of foreign scenes make a valuable addition to our knowledge of Anglo-Indian life and customs. Her letters from the Himalayas, the island of Ceylon and other notable places are the best. Her deepest sympathy was aroused by the miserable condition and soul-starvation of the women of India, and she set about relieving, so far as lay in her power, their cheerless lot. By her personal appeal a Hindoo girl was educated by a number of young ladies of Salem. The child became a home missionary. Through Mrs. Bonham's further efforts a fund of one-thousand dollars was raised to found a perpetual scholarship. Since her return to the United States she has given several lectures embodying her experiences in the far East, life among the Zenanas, and kindred subjects.