The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


RHODES, Samuel W. (c. 1810-1883) and (first wife) Betsey E. (?-1867) and (second wife) Sophronia L. (1825-1887)

Samuel Rhodes was an effective Millerite lecturer in upstate New York in the early 1840s but retired in confusion and discouragement after the disappointment of 1844. Encouraged by a vision of Ellen White's in 1849, Hiram Edson and Richard Ralph, under dramatic circumstances, sought Rhodes out from his isolation. Rhodes accepted the Sabbatarian message and immediately began to travel and preach. 1EGWLM 882.2

During his first year Rhodes traveled to Illinois and Wisconsin, becoming the first Sabbatarian Adventist to preach in those states, also speaking in Michigan, Indiana, Canada East, and New England. Throughout the early 1850s he kept up a punishing schedule of travel and preaching appointments, but from 1852 onward there were continuing reports in the Review that Rhodes's health was suffering. Complaints started surfacing in the mid-1850s of Rhodes's severity and harshness, a result, perhaps, of his deteriorating health. Ellen White sent him several letters of admonition and reproof, but the problems persisted, and in 1860 Rhodes resigned as minister. He continued, however, to be a supportive member of the church till the end of his life, as evidenced by the many subscriptions and donations recorded in the Review. Samuel Rhodes's second wife, Sophronia, was the widow of Job B. Peckham. 1EGWLM 882.3

See: Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Footprints of the Pioneers (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1947), pp. 148-156; 1870 U.S. Federal Census, “Saml. W. Rhodes,” Michigan, Allegan County, Allegan, p. 59; Samuel W. Rhodes, “A Cheering Revival,” The Midnight Cry, Oct. 5, 1843, p. 51; search term “S. W. Rhodes” in Review and Herald online collection,; obituary: “Betsey E. Rhodes,” Review, Nov. 19, 1867, p. 358; obituary: “Sophronia L. Rhodes,” Review, Jan. 17, 1888, p. 46; Ellen G. White, Ms 1, 1853 (June 2); Ms 6, 1854 (Feb. 19); Lt 16, 1859 (Oct. 28); Lt 5a, 1861 (Apr. 5). 1EGWLM 882.4