The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


FOSS, Louisa. See BRACKETT, Louisa.

FOSS, Mary Plummer (née HARMON) (1821-1912) and Samuel Hoyt (1817-1888)

The third-oldest sister of Ellen White, Mary married Samuel Foss, a farmer, in 1842. They settled in Poland, Maine, and later West Minot, Maine. Samuel's brother, Hazen Little Foss, on hearing Ellen relate her early visions in 1845, disclosed that he had received almost identical visions but had refused to relate them publicly, for which he felt condemned. 1EGWLM 828.5

Soon after Ellen received her first vision in December 1844, Mary invited Ellen to visit her in Poland, Maine. While there, as Ellen recalled it in 1890, Mary “asked me to go” to a Millerite meeting at Megquier’s Hill. This suggests that Mary, like several others in the Harmon family, was a part of the Millerite Adventist movement in the mid-1840s. For many years Ellen sent her Seventh-day Adventist papers and books. On a visit to Maine in 1875 Ellen and James attended a camp meeting together with Mary and Samuel. “We hope the truth which they … heard preached,” Ellen commented, “will result finally in their conversion to the truth.” Although there is no evidence that Samuel ever became a Sabbathkeeper, in letters written after his death Mary speaks of observing the Sabbath. The correspondence between Ellen and Mary during the 1890s and beyond indicates that Mary, while often discouraged because of her isolation, continued a practicing Seventh-day Adventist until her death, although there is no evidence of her having been formally entered into church books. 1EGWLM 828.6

See: George Thomas Little, The Descendants of George Little, Who Came to Newbury, Massachusetts in 1640 (Auburn, Maine: the author, 1882), p. 290; James R. Nix, “Ellen G. White's Family” (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 2005); Ellen G. White, Lt 82a, 1888 (Nov. 29); Lt 37, 1890 (Dec. 22); Lt 35, 1875 (Oct. 22); Lt 55, 1893 (Feb. 21); SDAE, s.v. “Hazen Foss”; search term “Foss” in Review and Herald online collection,; Mary Foss to Ellen White, Dec. 15, 1895; Sept. 15, 1891; June 19, 1892. 1EGWLM 829.1