An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Thomson, Elizabeth Mars Johnson

(Nov. 1807-Apr. 26, 1864). One of the first Episcopal foreign missionaries. She was born in Connecticut to former slave parents. She was a member of the Charitable Society in the African Sunday School at Hartford. In 1830 Mars volunteered to serve as a teacher in Liberia. Though church authorities initially refused her support, she and her new husband, William Johnson, entered Liberia in 1834. He died soon after their arrival. Elizabeth married James Madison Thomson, who had migrated to Liberia in 1832. They established a Sunday School in Monrovia. In 1835 they were appointed teachers in the Cape Palmas School by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. James Thomson died in 1838, but Elizabeth continued teaching at the Cape Palmas School until 1845. After a U.S. furlough, she returned to Liberia where she served until her death. She died in Cape Palmas, Liberia.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.