Sunday, July 12, 2009


In recent years, Amazon and eBay have often listed a book called Deaconess of the Everglades, by Elizabeth Scott Ames (Cortland, NY, 1995), about the life of an Episcopalian deaconess named Harriet Bedell (1875-1969). Deaconess Harriet's story is an interesting one. Her diaconal ministry took her to Oklahoma to work with the Cheyenne; to a remote Alaskan village to help the local ice-bound peoples; and finally to the Floridian Everglades area (and Marco Island) where she served as missionary to the Seminole Indians.

Sometime during the current Episcopal Convention in California (July 8-17, 2009) Harriet Bedell's name will be added to that denomination's "List of Lesser Feasts and Fasts." Since she died on January 8, that date will be designated as her "feast day" in the Episcopal Church.

Another new book about Deaconess Harriet, titled Angel of the Swamp, features quotations from her acquaintances in Florida, along with many photographs. Copies of this new book are available at the Museum of the Everglades in Everglades City or at

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