JORHAT, Jan 17 - Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Rhode Island, US, and renowned writer Dr Dilip Datta today handed over to Asom Jatiya Prakash six microfilms of 7,000 pages of invaluable letters and drafts, which were either received or written by American missionary Miles Bronson, during and after his service period of missionary tasks in Assam, since his arrival in the State in 1837.
Dr Datta said that the documents are expected to be an authentic source for further investigation and research on the Assamese language, culture and society of the pre-independence period till the end of 1881.
All these documents were collected by him from the Andover Newton Theological School Library of the US, after the great grandson of Bronson donated all the beautifully preserved letters to the library authority.
�Most of these documents are the letters that Miles Bronson had received. Several of them are the drafts of the letters that he had sent to his friends, missionaries and other people who had acquaintance with him,� said Dr Datta at a meeting held in the Jatiya Bhavan today.
According to him, the documents have clear mention of several important political happenings, geographical conditions, linguistic and literary findings, description of society and self-esteemed common people, the State�s contribution to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, and many other important issues that prevailed in 19th century across the length and breadth of Assam.
As a Christian missionary, Miles Bronson even got some secret information about their official measures for eradicating the roots of anti-British protest in the State, which he shared with his friends through letters.
�We hope these invaluable letters and documents will help researchers immensely to find out the truth behind the significant happenings of the 19th-century Assam. Miles Bronson�s invaluable contributions to the development of the Assamese language is known to every citizen of the State, as he compiled the first Assamese dictionary in 1867,� said Dr Devabrata Sharma, chief editor of Asomia Jatiya Abhidhan.
Well-known linguist Dr Upen Rabha Hakasam of the Gauhati University, Prof Madan Sarma of the Tezpur Central University, and many other dignitaries attended the meeting, which was organised for the purpose of receiving the documents formally from Dr Datta.