Letters From Addie
Chapter 9: Storm Clouds Gather, 1896-1898Preface and Table of Contents
Previous page: Chapter 8: Back Home in Saltillo
Next page: Chapter 10: Converting a School in Toluca
Even though the previous letter was the last known letter in Addie's personal correspondence to her family, her professional correspondence to the Corresponding Secretary of the then named Foreign Mission Board, as well as other sources, reveals additional information about the mission work of Mexico.
Between 1896 and 1898, at a time when the mission work was enjoying its greatest prosperity, friction between some of the missionaries broke out and spread until all missionaries were affected. The principal characters were strong men of outstanding gifts and qualities, but because of differences that could not be resolved, each of the principals resigned and went his separate way. Other missionaries also resigned or quietly withdrew. This incident, known as the "Exodus," led to the loss of eleven missionaries, closed the Madero Institute, divided the Saltillo church, and set mission work back by at least a decade.1
Addie did not resign, but since the Madero Institute was closed, she was granted an extended leave without salary. Addie left Saltillo bound for Texas August 15, 1898.2 True to her character, Addie spent her time in the States preparing herself to return to the mission field by attending the Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, where she took an in-depth Bible study course.
Finally, a year later, October 1899, Addie was called back to Saltillo, where plans were underway to reopen the Madero Institute as a day school for girls. Upon her return, Addie threw herself into her work in an effort to once again restore the Institute to its former distinction as an outstanding girls' school. Addie taught at the Institute until 1903. At that time, the Foreign Mission Board asked Addie to go to Toluca to assist in a newly established school in southern Mexico.
By Charlene Ochsner Carson
Page last updated: December 17, 2018
Footnotes:1Patterson, Frank W. A Century of Baptist Work in Mexico. El Paso: Baptist Spanish Publishing House, 1979, pp. 56-58.
2Barton, Addie. Letter to Dr. Willingham, August 15, 1898, Saltillo, Mexico.