David A. Day
David A. Day was born February 17, 1851, near Bendersville, Pennsylvania, to an indentured farmer and his wife. As a young boy, David himself was sold and served as a stable boy. At fourteen he joined the Union Army. After only eight months of active duty he was honorably discharged.
In 1869, Day entered the Missionary Institute of the General Synod (later to become Susquehanna University) at Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1874. Day had received financial assistance to attend school from the Franckean Synod and was therefore ordained by that synod on April 26, 1874. With his wife, he sailed to Liberia, Africa.
Day’s service in Africa was at the General Synod’s Muhlenberg Mission, Monrovia, Liberia. He wrote hundreds of letters to lay people and clergy, describing the daily activities at the Mission, as well as his impressions of the people and their country. Because his letters were vivid, humorous, and adventuresome in nature, many were published as the “Life in Africa” series in two of the General Synod’s publications, The Lutheran Observer and The Lutheran Missionary Journal.
During his twenty-three years of service in Monrovia, he designed and constructed several steam engines which were used for hulling coffee and cocoa nuts, both of which were grown for the subsistence of the Mission. He also manufactured several steam boats for the use of the natives. His anthropological research into the language and customs of the people is also noteworthy. David Day received two honorary degrees: a Master of Arts from the Missionary Institute at Selinsgrove in 1889; and a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1892 from Pennsylvania college (later to become Gettysburg College), in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The collection consists of correspondence and a listing of David Day’s articles/letters that appeared as the "Life in Africa" series. It is also available on microfilm.