Skip to main content

Edling correspondence

Identifier: MS 0529

Scope and Contents

The Leila M. Childs Edling Correspondence consists of letters to relatives and friends, written between 1921-1924, describing her experiences as a teacher and nurse while at a mission station in Angola. Edling recounts the travels with her husband, Edie Emmanuel Edling to Lisbon before their departure to Angola. While in Lisbon, Edling writes of the sites in the Belem district. Upon departure for Africa, Edling describes the activities aboard the ship, including interactions with German travelers. In Angola, where Edling was stationed with her husband between 1921-1950, she describes her encounters with the "native" population and highlights many of the cultural differences between herself and the people of the surrounding community. Edling further attempts to dispel some of the myths of the "Dark Continent" by describing her personal interaction with the local people, while at the same time describes the "heathens" within the mission community. Edling's later correspondence describes the health conditions in Angola, particularly the bubonic plague and malaria, the growth of her clinic, and her struggles to raise her children.


  • Creation: 1918-1960
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1921 - 1924

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Leila M. Childs was born on November 27, 1895 in Northbridge Center, Massachusetts. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1917. In 1920 she became an R.N. after training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She married Eddie Emanuel Edling on October 22, 1920 and in 1921 they sailed to Africa to work as missionaries. They returned to the United States in 1950, after raising four children in Africa. Reverend Edling died on October 29, 1957. Leila M. Childs Edling died on October 9, 1976 in Hermitage, Tennessee.


1 boxes (1917 Childs)

Language of Materials



Edling, Leila Childs, 1895-1976; Nurse and missionary. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1917. Papers consist of correspondence, primarily documenting her travels to Africa and her subsequent work as a mother and medical missionary in Angola.

Edling correspondence, 1918-1960 (bulk 1921-1924)
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2003
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA