Samuel Reynolds House Of Siam by George Haws Feltus
Pioneer Medical Missionary 1847-1876
Samuel Reynolds House of Siam, Pioneer Medical Missionary 1847-1876 gives us a record of life in the time of King Mongkut's rule and the beginning of King Chulalongkorn's reign. Dr. House travelled extensively and we see Siam through the eyes of a missionary who also practiced medicine.
He describes his encounters with other missionaries and the not so numerous other foreigners living in Siam at that time.His medical profession gave him access to many Thais he would otherwise not have met. During cholera Epidemic of 1849 he started vaccinating children, a novelty at that time in Thailand. He gives a vivid description of the situation in Bangkok with daily deaths. At the middle of the 19th century Chiang Mai was not yet fully colonized by Bangkok and still had some independence and was called Laos. The King of Lanna (or Laos) at that time was not in favor of missionaries and tried to suppress them. But at the instructions of King Mongkut he had to let them work, because he had to follow orders from Bangkok. But at least he decreed that they were not allowed to teach religion or to convert anyone to Christianity. The value of such books by missionaries is that they shed some light on otherwise ignored events. The essential material in this book has been drawn from the letters and journal of Dr. House and supplemented by correspondence with various individuals connected with the principal persons mentioned.