The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


MEAD, Thomas B. (1827-1861) and Mary Jane (1834-1890)

According to James White, Thomas Mead, born in Washington, New Hampshire, “was among the first who embraced the third message in New Hampshire.” It is possible that Mead became a Sabbathkeeper as early as 1844 or 1845 together with William Farnsworth, his brother-in-law, and other Adventists in Washington. 1EGWLM 870.3

At some point before March 1857 Thomas Mead worked at the Review and Herald press, but he contracted tuberculosis and could not continue. Ellen White noted in her diary on March 4, 1859, that “we assembled at Brother T. Meade's [in Battle Creek] to pray for him . … He is fast going down, and unless God in mercy raises him, he will go down into the grave.” James and Ellen White assisted the Mead family financially and helped raise funds for them through appeals in the Review and The Good Samaritan. The Meads moved to Waukon, Iowa in 1859 where Thomas died two years later, aged 33. 1EGWLM 870.4

Before her marriage to Thomas Mead, Mary Jane (nee Patten) became a Sabbathkeeper (1851) and worked at the Review office in Rochester, New York during the winter of 1852-1853. After the death of Thomas Mead she married Robert Sawyer. At various time Mary served as matron of the Battle Creek sanitarium and matron of the Pacific Press boarding house in California. 1EGWLM 870.5

See: History of Washington, New Hampshire, from 1768 to 1886: A Facsimile of the 1886 Edition with a New Foreword by Ronald Jager and Grace Jager, 1886 (Claremont, N.H.: Claremont Manufacturing Co., 1886; reprint, Washington, N.H.: Washington History Committee, 1976), 534, 535; Obituary: “Mary Jane Sawyer,” Review, May 27, 1890, 335; Obituary: “Thomas B. Mead,” Review, Aug. 27, 1861, 103; SDAE, s.v. “William Farnsworth,” “Washington, New Hampshire, Church”; John Nevins Andrews, Defense of Elder James White and Wife (Battle Creek, Mich.: Steam Press, 1870), 19; Ellen G. White, Ms 5, 1859 (Mar. 4 entry); search term “Mead” in Words of the Pioneers; J. W. [James White], “The Poor,” The Good Samaritan, Dec. 1859, 7. 1EGWLM 870.6