DAY, SAMUEL STEARNS, Baptist clergyman and missionary; b. in 1808 on a farm in Leeds County, U.C., near the village of Delta, son of Captain Jeremiah Day; d. at Homer, N.Y., in 1871.
In his early twenties Samuel Stearns Day decided to study for the ministry and entered the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution in Hamilton, New York (later Colgate University). Before graduating he volunteered for foreign mission work, and after his ordination at Cortland, N.Y., on 3 Aug. 1835, the American Baptist Missionary Union sent him and his wife to India. They arrived in February 1836 and went first to Chicacole to study the Telugu language. In 1837 Day became the pastor of a small mixed English-speaking congregation in Madras. He moved from Madras to Vellore in February 1840, to minister solely to the Telugu people. Illness forced the Days to return to their home at Homer, N.Y., in 1845. After recovery, Day went back to Vellore, arriving in April 1849, but this time he left his wife and small family in the United States. In 1853 sickness required him to leave India again.
The growth of the mission in Vellore was painfully slow, and the American board had considered abandoning it. However, it was kept alive until the first Canadian-supported missionaries, the Reverend A. V. Timpany and his wife, were sent to the Telugu mission in 1867.
In his later years, Day travelled among churches in the United States and Canada as an advocate for foreign missions. His influence played an important role in inspiring Canadian Baptists to support the work in India, which evolved into the principal foreign mission endeavour of Canadian Baptist churches.
S. S. Day was the author of “Extracts from a letter of Mr. Day . . . ,” and “Another letter from Mr. Day . . . ,” in Baptist Missionary Magazine (Boston), XXI (1841), 297–99 and 299–301 respectively. It also published an obituary of Day in LII (1872), 22–24. A. V. Timpany, “The Gospel to the outcasts,” Canadian Baptist (Toronto), 15 Feb. 1872. The Baptist encyclopædia . . . , ed. William Cathcart (Philadelphia, 1881), 319. G. W. Hervey, The story of Baptist missions in foreign lands, from the time of Carey to the present date (St Louis, Mo., 1892). Stuart Ivison and F. T. Rosser, The Baptists in Upper and Lower Canada before 1820 (Toronto, 1956).