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Charles K. Marshall 3, Kate in the heathen land

Webmaster's notes:
The article was written by Rev. James William Lambuth in a narrative style as if his daughter, Nora Kate made all these observation. Estimated date of the writing was in the year 1872. In fact, Kate was born in 1863, and the events described covered roughly from 1857 to 1864.
Rev. and Mrs. J.W. Lambuth were American Missionary to China. They brought Charles K. Marshall from China to the U.S.
This is an unpublished article passed on from J.W. Lambuth to his great grand daughter, Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith, who graciously and generously shared it with the webmaster
in 2007. 
Webmaster's note on the article:
Sier Whoa is Charles K. Marshall's Chinese first and middle name. His Chinese last Family name is Dsau. Thus his full Chinese name is Dsau Sier Whoa. The pronunciation is, I believe, Shanghaiese dialect. His Chinese name, when pronunciated in Mandarin, will take another form of spelling. And there are variation in the spelling appeared in different documents, but the names all refer to him.  
Charles K. Marshall (1847-1902)
aka Dsau Sier Whoa
aka Dzau Tsz-zeh
aka Cao Zishi
aka Marshall-Tsao
aka Dzau Tse Zeh
aka Tsao Tsz-zeh
"Kate in a Heathan Land"       (Abridged version)

I have been told I was born in a time of trouble, a time when our beloved homes were disturbed by an invading army and the land which once bloomed as the rose, was being laid waste by fire and sword.

Not only that, bit the hearts of my dear parents and my brother Walter were filled with deep sorrow, for only a few months before, they had been called upon to give up my dear sister Jenette. I have heard so much about her and how sweetly she sang, so that I feel I really knew and loved her though I never saw her, as her spitir went to Heaven the 2nd day of March, 1863 and I was born in July of the same year.

My Brother Walter was then eight years of age and when he came to look upon the once lovely face of his sister, now cold in death, it seemed as if his heart would break. It was a sad time at my dear Grandfather's. when she left them and her body was placed in the old grave yard close by Pearl River Church where my parents had given their hearts to God.

It was in the beautiful state of Mississippi, not far from the banks of the river called Pearl, that my life began.

I am told that the booming of cannon could constantly be heard and bands of armed men were seen passing to and fro through the country.

It must indeed have been a time of trouble to all, for
(page 2 is missing)


In "Grandma Denman's" home I was born on July 29th, 1863. When I was four months old my parents began to make preparations for their long journey back to China. We were then at my Grand Father Lambuth's home which went by the name of Artesian Grove. The night before we were supposed to start, it was arranged that I should be baptized by my dear Grand Father who was a Methodist preacher and at that time was quite sixty years of age, with a head covered with white hair, giving him a most venerable appearance. He was a good man and his heart was full of love for God and man. --------------------------

The day after my baptism, December 3, 1863, we were to start. No one seemed willing to retire that night for early the next day we were to leave dearly loved ones, perhaps never again to meet on earth, but at last weary nature sought rest until the morrow. --------------------------------

There were two boys with us from that strange land to which we were going. One was named Sier Whoa and the other Nie Pau. They were of great assistance to my parents, especially the one called Sier Whoa, for he took entire charge of the wagon and was a great help with the cooking.

----About night, we came to a small log house-----there were two old ladies, both widows. ----One of the old ladies asked how many of us there were and when Father mentioned Sier Whoa and Nie Pau who had come from that strange land, she said,"I want to know and have you tamed them?" They gave their consent for us to stay all night ------They watched too with intense interest every movement of Sier Whoa and Nie Fau and often asked my mother many questions aboutthe people in their country. ------We continued our journey through this wild country often passing deserted houses.

-----We passed on until we reached the house of the good Baptist preacher whose wife had so kindly taken us into her home -----He told us the news of the approach of the enemy and that a battle had been fought that day at the little town of Salem only five miles ahead of us. They insisted in our hiding the waggon and carriage under the hill and covered from the view by a number of bushes.----Night closed in upon us, but no enemy came------

The day before the Southern and Northern soldiers had met in deadly strife and the Northern troops had been defeated and were pursued by the victorious band of Southerners. ------

----It was then some time in March, 1864----Sier Whoa and Nie Pau attracted much attention every where and were called Mexicans.----- The city of Memsphie? (Mensfile) is a beautiful place and every one seemed to be hurrying to and fro.-----Changing steamers we passed up the Cumberland river and were soon in sight of Fort Donelson where sometime before, a hard battle had been fought. You will be surprised when I tell you that Sier Whoa was there when the battle was fought. He happened to be in Tennessee at the time and went not as a soldier but as assistant to one of the Officers, Dr. D.C. Kelley. He says while in the fort he was nearly worn out sick with continual watching. Often heavy canon balls wound come whizzing by him and sometimes tremendous shells would explode near him. This was often the case at night and the whole heavens would be a blaze of light and constant thunder of heavy guns would shake the very ground under him. He said he had never expected anything like this and was greatly frightened for in his country there was nothing that would compare with it.
One night some time before day he heard it whispered around that Fort and the army would be surrendered the next morning into the hands of the enemy. There was a small part of this noble army which refused to acceed to this and determined to retire under cover of night which they did. Sier Whoa was with this part of the army. It was dark and stormy and the cold wind blew fiercely from the north and many poor soldiers suffered. He too suffered, for they had to rush through swollen streams and were wet through. He said it seemed like a bad dream until the suffering awoke him to a reality of the scene. When daylight dawned they were far out of reach of the enemy and traveled more leisurely. Sier Whoa said he had been before this time near the enemy with the same force, but he had never seen any action between contending forces and he was determined to go back to his studies and make preparation for returning to his native land.

As we were passing this fort he pointed out the place where he suffered such anxiety of mind when the shells were bursting all around him and carrying away the limbs and trees from over his head. He showed us the point where he thinks they made their escape. Sier Whoa never wanted to go near an army again.

We landed in the town of C. and were soon on our way to the house of a friend in Kentucky some miles away where we remained some two months. -------On we went at a rapid rate until we reached the banks of the beautiful Hudson river, where we were to spend a few weeks at my mother's own home. We had left Sier Whoa behind in Tennessee, for he thought he could better his condition and prepare himself for returning to his native land. He had hired himself to work for a farmer with a promise that he could attend school a part of the time. (Sier Whoa and Nie Pau had both learned to love the Lord Jesus ----------) Nie Pau said he wished to go with us. My parents consented to take him along and they found him of great service to them, for many and many were the hours he watched over and nursed me. When we reached my Mother's home, her aged father, mother, brothers and sisters all received us kindly and made us all feel at home.
This is the home of my Mother's youth. She has often told me of her early days. Her Father had once much of earth's goods and was a merchant prosperous in business ------------

My Mother never knew her own Mother for she was very young when her Mother was taken away by death. She and her sister Jeanette were alone without their dear Mother to love them. At a very early age, my Mother learned to read and was devoted to her studies. When she was only sixteen she left the home of her youth and went far South. (There she met my Father and it was there they gave their hearts to God and pledged their love and faith to each other. Then my Father felt called to go to China. My Mother desired to go with him as she once said,"even to the ends of the earth." And from that day to this they have been laboring for the salvation of these people. They have given up all that was once dear to them in their own native land and count all as loss, that they might win the heathen to Christ. For more than eighteen years they have placed all on the altar for the sake of this dear Saviour and now they do not feel one regret at the sacrifice made, and they can rejoice that God has made them the honored instruments in his hand in turning many from sinand the worship of dumb idols, to believe in the true God and in his Son as their Saviour.)

After my parents had been at my Grandpa McClellan's home in Cambridge, New York for some weeks, they had invitations to visit some friends in Boston and Springfield Massachusetts. These friends had once been in China and were as long as they lived thinking of and praying for my Father and Mother. I went with my parents, but my brother Walter and Nie Pau were left behind. (On our return we visited some other friends who had started from the neighborhood of Artesian Grove just a few days before us. We were to have traveled together, but from some cause we were not permitted to do so. It was probably for the best, for our friends met with some rough treatment at the hands of some soldiers who called themselves lovers of freedom. We remained with these good people a few days and then returned to my Grandfather's.

When we reached my Mother's home again preparations were begun for our long journey --------

All this time I was well cared for by my Grand Mother and my two Aunts who were my Mother's half sisters -------

My Mother continued to look from the window at the beautiful village of Cambridge and her Father's house upon the hill side and beside the beautiful stream of clear water which ran by the house and past the old mill which stood so near. Memories of the past crowded one upon the other in rapid succession, now that she was again leaving her home to go to the second time to that heathen land so far away.

It was not many minutes before we were out of sight of the beautiful village and only the hills could be seen in the distance. We took passage on one of the boats of the Hudson and passed down the streams through wonderful scenery until we reached the great busy city of New York, where we were to take our passage. We were there but a few days until all was ready. The whole city seemed to be in am uproar with carriages, drays and the noise of people walking and rushing on through the busy city, each intent on securing something------------

We were not in this great city long, only long, only long enough to get a few articles such as would be needed during the long voyage to that distant land. It was a beautiful day when we set sail and before the sun went down behind the hills we had lost sight of the shore. Nothing but the blue sky above and the deep blue sea below could be seen. This was to be our home for five long months. Fortunately for us we has a kind Captain and all the officers were kind and friendly. A good supply of food had been laid in and we did not suffer for the lack of anything. My parents were told of this before the vessel sailed and the Captain often reminded them that there was plenty on board the good ship Haversham for many days. We were many weeks out upon the broad ocean, now and then passing another ship. we passed very early one morning the hull of a ship which had been deserted by its crew. As we passed through the gulf stream, a storm came on and for one whole night we were in a blaze of lightning. One peal of thunder after another came in quick succession and we seemed to be at the mercy of the waves beneath us and the angry elements above. I believe all who pass through the gulf stream experience this. Nie Pau had nothing to do but amuse me and occasionally to read. Often we were tossed on the top of the waves until it seemed almost mountain high and then we would go down into the deep sea with swiftness of an arrow,when every timber in the good ship seemed to crack and shake as though it would give way.

About the beginning of the fourth month we drew near to some land which delighted all aboard. The birds began to fly around us as if to welcome us to their shores and the very air which we breathed seemed to be quite different from that which we had been accustomed to for so long. Many boats worked by the native of this land came near the ship and all around us. They were strange looking people, neither white nor black but rather between the two, and they had scarcely any clothing on their bodies. Their teeth were very black on account of the beetle nut and lime which they chew. Both men and women use this nut at all times which keeps the mouth quite open and give them a vacant and stupid stare. The people of this island have a strange custom of rubbing noses when they meet instead of shaking hands. They are a very warlike people and always go about armed so as to be prepared in case of an attack. Some of them were very much offended because one of the passengers would not allow them to rub noses with him. They are fond of drinking wine and nothing more to delight them so much as fine jewelry and precious stones. Those whi live in the interior of this island which is called Timor, are quite wild and are said to be canibals. Those who live at the open port occupied by the Dutch, seemed to be a very great exertion for them to do anything. Many kinds of fruit grow on this island all the year, so that it is unnecessary for the people to deny kind of work. It was very wars there and raining most of the time so that there was little pleasure in going ashore. -----------------------------

After the Captain had laid in a supply of water and other things necessary for all aboard ship, we set sail and having a fair wind, soon left the islands far behind us. At the end of five months we drew near our destination.

Many small boats were seen all around us with the natives of that land to which we were going. We often heard that there were many pirates on the coast and in these waters and that we would have to be very careful. The water was not very deep and there were many shoals and dangerous places at the entrance of the harbor. We were preserved and protected during our long journey and brought in safety to our adopted home among a strange people.

They did not carry abput with themany swords or guns and seemed to be a peaceable quiet and hard working people.

When we reached the place for landing it was at a place called by the natives Shanghai. It was a large city surrounded by a high wall with seven great strong gates guarded day and night by many soldiers.-------------------


Nie Pau was glad to place his feet once more on the shores of his native land and although he had been some years away and had adopted the manners and customs of another people yet he had not forgotten many of the habits and customs of his own people. At first he seemed quite ready to take up with their old customs, but he found it rather difficult.

He at last became disgusted and determined to return to the country of his adoption, for he thristed for knowledge.

There was a way provided by which he was able to return through England and see London, that great city of the world and its many wonders. He was there for some months during which time he made use of every opporyunity to improve himself by reading and observation. He has returned to the United States and since that time he's been devoting himself to study and worldly pleasure and my parents fear he has gone back to the world, for he had written them that he has not the least desire to come back to his own country and kindred to teach them the way of Salvation. Later we lost sight of him for he ceased to write and we do not know what became of him.---------------------------

(The end)
Copyright (C) Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith
All rights reserved
Webmaster: Gordon Kwok
August 1, 2007
Revised and uploaded on January 30, 2009