The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 1, 1856

July 15, 1856, Battle Creek, Michigan 1EGWLM 490.7

Letter to
Stockbridge and Louisa M. Howland.1
1EGWLM 490.8

Portions of this letter are published in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Years, pp. 341, 342.

Letter from Battle Creek, Michigan, to close friends, Stockbridge and Louisa Howland, of Topsham, Maine, containing news of travel, preaching and family. Letter ends with an appeal to the Howlands to move to Battle Creek. 1EGWLM 490.9

Dear Bro. and Sister Howland:

No doubt you are wondering why Sister White does not write you, but cares, sickness, and journeying have hindered me. We returned last week from a journey of two weeks. We had a weary journey, but the Lord strengthened us. We started for our journey intending to remain four days at Hastings [Michigan]2 and then return home, but Sunday as we were going to the Court House, my husband to preach Sister Hutchinson's [Amanda Hutchinson]3 funeral sermon, two Brn. met us and said they had come for us 16 miles [25 kilometers] on foot to get us to go to Bowne [Michigan], that some were anxious to be baptized, and as they had only heard one (Bro. Frisbie [Joseph Birchard Frisbie])4 they wanted a new gift. They went to the Court House and the Lord gave my husband strength and liberty to talk the truth. After [the] meeting closed these two brethren then walked home from that afternoon meeting 16 miles. All their errand was to get us to go to that people. We sent an appointment for that place, then went on our way to Grand Rapids, from Grand Rapids to Bowne. Our meeting on the Sabbath was well filled, although it was in the midst of the hay harvest. We both had liberty. 1EGWLM 491.1

Perhaps you will have an interest to hear about these Brn. more particularly. They are only a few months in the message, they numbered 17, two strong in the faith. A physician and wife, very smart people, moved away, but before we left there were two more embraced the truth, making their number good. These brethren never heard but one man talk the truth, and they had read our publications, been convinced, and within three months 17 Sabbathkeepers were raised up. 1EGWLM 491.2

They are substantial souls; some of them, or all, used tobacco. One Bro. had just bought two pounds [.9 kilograms]; he read the piece in the Review,5 he laid aside his tobacco, and has tasted none since. This ought to shame those who profess the third angel's message, and have professed it for years, yet need to be often exhorted about their tobacco. A number of these Brn. have left off the use of tobacco, and another [also] that has just been converted out from the world from being a profane man to the third angel's message. 1EGWLM 491.3

Sabbath noon four were led down into the water and baptized. One sister came to be baptized, a beautiful woman, intelligent, [who] had been a school teacher for years. But for three years [she] has been a cripple, has wheels to her chair and goes round the room on these wheels and does her work in this way. James and her husband carried her into the water and there she was baptized. Not one went in so calm, and was so sweetly blest as that sister. 1EGWLM 492.1

Sunday two decided for the truth, and three more are thoroughly convinced. Their heart is with us, and we think they will start from that meeting to take a stand for the whole truth, notwithstanding husbands and fathers [who] stand in the way. The two that decided while we were there slept not all night. They were counting the cost and decided, come life or death, to sell all to buy the field. They were hungry souls for the truth and it was good to try to encourage them. But I must write upon something else. 1EGWLM 492.2

When we returned home found my little Willie [William Clarence White, age 22 months] sick with sore mouth and canker; he is better now but the summer complaint troubles him some. Henry [Henry Nichols White, age 8] is quite a large boy, does a great many errands, is a smart boy. Edson [James Edson White, age 6] is a smart boy making good progress in reading. Henry says he sent you a letter. I would like to have seen it and corrected it some. Poor Clara [Clarissa M. Bonfoey],6 yet not poor, sleeps in the cold grave; her loss we deeply feel; it can never be made up; it was so sudden, too. That tumor broke within and she mortified immediately. My children need her care. How can I go at all? It seems to me I must be confined at home constantly. Oh, do move out here and then I will leave my baby with you; the best little fellow you ever saw, and when I go [I] can feel easy about him.7 Why don't you come? Can't you come? There is work enough here and it is nearly one half higher than in Topsham [Maine]. It does seem that I must have you here.8 My health is better than it has been. My husband enjoys better health. Do write me. Why keep silent so long? 1EGWLM 492.3

Love to all. 1EGWLM 493.1

Picture: Ellen White's article “Salvation Through Christ” in The Youth's Instructor, August 1856. Original dimensions: 9.75 x 6.5 in. (25 x 16 cm.).