By Allyson Long (Dartmouth ’17)
Agnes F. Satchell is the author of Miscellaneous Poems, privately printed in Antigua, Caribbean Islands, in 1844, and Reminiscences of Missionary Life in the Caribbean Islands, published in Loughborough, England in 1858. Sadly, neither of these works exist in eBook form, and Satchell is not listed in Orlando, ODNB, or VIAF. Nonetheless I was able to find reference to Satchell in a a 2004 review by Evelyn O’Callaghan titled Women Writing The West Indies, 1804-1939: “A Hot Place, Belonging to Us” in which Reminiscences of Missionary Life in the Caribbean Islands is used briefly as a primary source.
According to O’Callaghan, Satchell, who was in Antigua with the Wesleyan-Methodist mission, fondly recalls missionary life and the freedom that it allowed her to explore the Caribbean (99). I was unable to find any reference to an Agnes Satchell in any Wesleyan-Methodist documentation, which is not particularly surprising, as O’Callaghan describes Satchell’s main role as a missionary as being in the context of her nuclear family and her Methodist “brothers and sisters” (99), which implies that Satchell was traveling with some sort of patriarchal figure, and would likely be listed as a familial unit. This, of course, is difficult to confirm without having access the the primary source itself.
The only direct excerpt from Satchell’s work found in O’Callaghan’s review provides us with Satchell’s description of a hurricane in Antigua:
“‘The lurid lightning flashed in quick succession; the loud thunder rolled in terrific grandeur over our heads; the wind, veering to every part of the compass, blew with maddened fury; and the rain descended in torrents, finding its way through the minutest crevice, insomuch that the chamber in which our dear children slept was flooded …'” (77)
O’Callaghan, Women Writing The West Indies, 1804-1939: “A Hot Place, Belonging to spacespace Us.” New York: Routledge, 2004.