The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


MC CANN, Harriet (née Harmon) (1813-1876) and Samuel (c. 1812-c. 1874)

Sister of Ellen G. White. About 14 years older than Ellen, Harriet Harmon had left home and married while Ellen was still a young child and many years before the Harmon family became Millerite Adventists. According to Maine census records, Harriet and Samuel McCann lived in Poland (1840, 1850), Sanford (1860), and Saco, Maine (1870). The 1860 census lists Samuel as a “clergyman,” and another account notes that a “Samuel McCann” served as minister of the Christian Church in Sanford and Lebanon in the early 1860s. 1EGWLM 868.4

Harriet McCann experienced much personal tragedy. In 1874 Ellen White wrote of Harriet's “life of trial in watching over one child after another who has died with consumption—three in number—then the many years she watched over her husband until he died.” Harriet herself succumbed to the disease in 1876. Ellen paid at least three visits to the McCann family during the early 1870s. 1EGWLM 868.5

Harriet McCann never became a Seventh-day Adventist. A year or so before Harriet's death, Ellen White worried that there was no “religious influence in the [McCann] family. No family prayer, and no blessing asked at the table. A godless, prayerless house!” Nevertheless, during Ellen's last visit to her sister in September 1875, she wrote, “I felt such strong desire to gather my sister in my arms and shield her from the anguish of physical prostration she endures daily; but Jesus loves her better than I can. I leave her in His tender arms of love.” 1EGWLM 869.1

See: 1850 U.S. Federal Census, “Samuel McCann,” Maine, Cumberland County, Poland, p. 34; 1860 U.S. Federal Census, “Samuel McCan [sic],” Maine, York County, Sanford, p. 19; 1870 U.S. Federal Census, “McCann, Samuel,” Maine, York County, Saco, p. 114; Edwin Emery, The History of Sanford, Maine, 1661-1900 (Fall River, Mass.: William Morrell Emery, 1901), p. 140; Artemas C. Harmon, ed., The Harmon Genealogy, p. 41; City of Saco, Maine., Deaths, 1868-1891, p. 14, (Sept. 13, 2012). Ellen G. White, Lt 50, 1874 (Sept. 2); Lt 31, 1875 (Sept. 3). 1EGWLM 869.2