One of the major talking points in the Noyes collection is the various schedules and routines of the Noyes family. The letters in this gallery show a variety of schedules from Martha, Harriet, and Henry Varnum over the years of their ministry. Schedules varied based on the type of work each missionary was doing, as well as the organizations involved, and the day of the week described. For example, we see Martha describing Harriet's Sabbath day schedule of 1874:
"Hattie hears them repeat their lessons
twice a week on Wednesday[--s--] and
sabbath. This takes at least 1 1/2 hours
each time, sabbath morning at 10
she goes to sabbath school then follows
Chinese service until 12 We come home
and have lunch and then she has
thus far spent the time until half past
two visiting her day school hearing their
Bible lessons and having a prayer-
meeting with them and all the women
who will come in Then she comes
[--in--] back to the boarding school hears
their lessons and has a prayer meeting
with these also. Then follows dinner
and we afterwards go down to Dr Kerr's"
This differs quite significantly from Henry Varnum's schedule of 1866:
"Each day is spent very much
in the same way. In the morning we get up
usually about 6-o-clock.
About 1/2 past seven we have worship
& then breakfast with Dr Kerr & his wife. After
breakfast I study Chinese until dinner at
1/2 past one. Cynthia lies down, reads or writes
as she feels disposed. After dinner I some-
times go to studying, somestimes fall asleep
at 5-o-clock we get ready & go out for an
hour or two away from the town & along
the sea shore.
After our walk we have supper at 8-o-
clock PM & go to bed about 9. Eight-o-
clock seems late to you for supper but
it does'nt seem so here In fact the
real fashionable English people eat
[u] dinner [/u] at 8-o-clock PM. We have
worship after supper & soon go to bed."
Over the years, there were many changes, especially around the morning routine. These two passages differ based on the work Henry Varnum was doing, which was primarily evangelical but also involved work at Dr. Happer's hospital, and the work Harriet was doing, which primarily had to do with caring for the children at her school. What did not change between the schedules of Harriet and Henry Varnum was, as Martha puts it, the family's "noble work."
For more information, see the tag "routines."