Of Sacramento. Was acting Pastor of First Baptist Church of Oakland, Feb-May 1875.
Newport Mercury from Newport, Rhode Island said on 19 January 1884:
The Baptist church of Olympia a few years ago had for its shepherd the Rev. James P. Ludlow, a truly pious and humble man who served the Lord well and faithfully until the political powers of the United States interfered and made him Clerk of the Washington Territory District court at a higher salary. Rev. Mr. Ludlow was the leading spirit of the Hume Mission Society in Alaska, and the greatest grief and trouble of his mundane existence was that Olympia was too small a town in which to exhaust his spirituality. He lay awake at night and sighed for a greater field for gospel work, until one night he had an apparition which told him he must do like the Pacific street old clothes dealer—go after custom if custom would not come to him. It was then that the reverend gentleman conceived the idea of building a gospel-ship, which should carry the good tidings to tbe inhabitants of all the inland waters of the great Northwest. Rev. Mr. Ludlow had not yet forsaken the service of the Lord for the more lucrative service of the goddess Justice in the courtroom, and he had comparatively little difficulty in securing funds with which to commence the work. The vessel was launched In the autumn of 1881 to the great joy of the Rev. Mr. Ludlow.
Washington, west of the Cascades; historical and descriptive; the explorers, the Indians, the pioneers, the modern: says:
When the steamship Evangel was launched from the Hammond shipyard, Seattle, on the afternoon of March 20, 1882, Puget Sound steamship men were almost unanimous in predicting for her a life of trouble and an end in calamity. Across her bows was lashed an open Bible and as she glided into the water, Clara Ludlow, daughter of Rev. J. P. Ludlow, took from another Bible a large number of leaves, scattered them over the bow of the vessel and christened her the
Evangel. The launching was an important event in the life of Rev. Mr. Ludlow. For years he had nursed the idea of building a steamboat for missionary service on the waters of Puget Sound and Alaska. Through the death of a rich kinsman Ludlow in 1881 inherited a sum of money. Plans of his own designing were followed in building the vessel and construction had not proceeded far before it became apparent that the minister's legacy would be consumed before the boat was ready for launching.
Ludlow issued an appeal for funds, stating the object of his boat building
is none other than to build and equip a steam launch which shall go up and down all these inland waters of the great Northwest, including Washington Territory, British Columbia and Alaska, bearing to all classes the precious gospel of Jesus, without money and without price. This mission field includes a shore line of over 2,500 miles, upward of fifty towns or villages with a population of over 9,000 souls, an accessible Indian population of over 25,000, an ebb and flow of 3,000 seafaring men annually, and a varying Chinese population of 3,500.
From all over the United States and Canada the contributions came pouring in and work was resumed. About this time the Pacific Coast Steamship Company offered Ludlow $25,000 for his unfinished boat. Before the offer could be considered John Leary presented another proposal. Leary had underbidden the Pacific Coast people on the Alaska mail contract and proposed that Ludlow cut his vessel in two, lengthen her out twenty feet and put her on the Alaska mail route. It was an attractive offer; the missionary plan was held in abeyance, the contributions were returned and arrangements made to complete the vessel for the Alaska trade.
A large crowd assembled for the launching. Rev. Mr. Ludlow, Rev. W. S. Harrington, Judge Roger S. Greene and other persons prominent in the Baptist Church were on board the vessel as she slipped down the ways. Gospel bells, mounted on deck, rang; the choir from one of the churches sang:
Dare to be a Daniel, and
Gospel Bells. Judge Greene offered a prayer, Clara Ludlow christened the boat
Evangel, the choir sang
Pull for the Shore, and
Hold the Fort. Her first crew was composed largely of Baptists. Rev. William Craines was mate. He had come to Seattle in 1876, bought considerable outlying real estate and returned East, where he remained several years, during which his property grew in value, and upon his return to Seattle provided him comfortably. At the first landing Craines placed the lines wrong and the pilot's profanity was so rich and continuous that the Rev. Mr. Craines there and then gave up a seafaring life and returned to Seattle. Several years later he became much interested in the regeneration of Ursula Juanita Unfung, the former paramour of Thomas Henderson Boyd, and furnished a part of the money used in obtaining her acquittal for the killing of Boyd December 2, 1892.
On her first trip the Evangel burned out her crown sheets near Victoria and limped back to Seattle for repairs. Before these could be made, Leary and the Pacific Coast Steamship Company made a compromise and Ludlow was on the verge of bankruptcy. The Evangel was placed on the new Westminster run in command of Capt. E. F. Bucklin, who a short time later was succeeded by Capt. Herbert F. Beecher, who put her on the Samiahmoo-Mctoria run. She proved unprofitable and in 1886 Capt. J. W. Tarte ran her on the Island route, Capt. W. R. Tarte being engineer. By 1888 Ludlow had all the steamboating experience he desired and sold the boat to Captain Morgan for $9,500. Two years later the Evangel collided wath the Skagit Chief off Five Mile Point, and on the night of October 15, 1894, while lying peacefully at the Sehome dock her boiler exploded, threw itself out of the bottom of the vessel, over the bows and sank in the bay. Three men, Julius Flint, fireman, William R. Biggs and Gus Carlson were so badly scalded that they died. Ludlow in the meantime had gone to Japan, where he became a missionary.
Faith in the great physician: suffering and divine healing in American … by Heather D. Curtis says:
The Reverend James P. Ludlow, a missionary who was forced to return from his post in Japan because of physical weakness, lobbied for moderation in even stronger terms.
Asceticism is not sanctity, Ludlow declared.
Robust Christianity requires a robust body. Be wise in your nightly vigils and in your fastings on the mountainside before the Lord. Take prayerful care of your body, since it is the Temple of God, and be not unwise in its mortification. Take care of your health for the master’s fullest use.
The Rev James P Ludlow is listed in the first telephone directory of Seattle as the United State [sic] Court Clerk (1883).