Livingstone's medicine chest was not principally designed as the foundation of a new missionary strategy. Treatment of local people was an incidental expression of Christian benevolence, and along with some of his contemporaries Livingstone was equally keen to learn of efficacious African remedies. Missionaries with medical skills were welcome, but medical missionaries were only systematically recruited from the late 1870s, and even then in small numbers. The slow expansion of roles for women in medical practice at home, and the foundation of bodies such as the Delhi Female Medical Mission (1867) and the London School of Medicine for Women (1874), prompted more and more women to combine missionary roles and medical qualifications. By 1909 one tenth of the American women's missionary movement - 147 doctors and 91 trained nurses - was engaged in medical missions and training. Medical missions perhaps held a vital key above all to the Christianisation of Asia. By 1900, of 258 women on the British Medical Register, 72 were serving as medical missionaries; in India 'the total number ofqualified medical missionaries, from Britain and elsewhere . . . stood at 169: 88 women and 81 men'.26 There were many more with lesser degrees of expertise elsewhere.
Recruitment of women overlapped with that other burgeoning constituency for recruits provided by the universities, theological training colleges and seminaries. The enormous late-century increase in missionary volunteers came overwhelmingly from these institutions. Women and university students, attracted in large numbers to conferences such as Keswick and Mildmay and, in the United States, Northfield and Niagara, not only fuelled each other's enthusiasm but constituted the bedrock of the expanding international student movement. The Student Volunteer Movement and the British Student Volunteer Missionary Union, together with the World Student Christian Federation and the YMCA/YWCA, recruited internationally. While not missionary societies as such, from Sapporo to San Francisco they publicised the global need for Christian missionaries in pursuit of the SVM's own slogan, 'the evangelisation of the world in this generation'. At a time when colonial powers, especially the Germans, French and Belgians, were demonstrating strong preferences for missionaries of their own nationality, the SVM powerfully reinforced the ecumenical and international character of the missionary movement. International conferences culminating in the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh (1910), regional gatherings such as the all-India decennial meetings, and those devoted to the Muslim world at Cairo (1906) and Lucknow (1911), strengthened both the missionary
26 Ibid., p. 162; Fitzgerald, 'A "peculiar and exceptional measure"', p. 195.
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