Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 2, 1853

White, Anna

Plymouth, Michigan

May 26, 1853

Portions of this letter are published in 1Bio 274. See also Annotations.

Dear Sister Anna:

I now sit down to fulfill my promise to you and write a few lines, knowing you will feel anxious to hear how we bear our journey. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 1

At Mill Grove James and self were in a very poor state of health. Tuesday we were undecided whether to return to Rochester or continue our journey. James was hardly able to sit up, his throat troubled him much, and his food distressed him. I was afraid some, how it would turn with him, but we prayed for him and the Lord gave us to feel that we must start and trust in Him. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 2

We took the cars about four o’clock P.M. for Buffalo. The boat did not start until half past nine in the evening from Buffalo. We waited in the boat from five till half past nine. It was a very nice boat, the air was sweet and there was every convenience on the boat. We took a stateroom where instead of finding narrow berths we found a nice large bed for both of us, made up clean, and a neat looking glass in the room, a large Testament like Sarah’s with the Psalms in the back. There was a washbowl, soap, towel, and by turning a faucet we could bring water in the bowl. We felt almost at home. We prayed together before retiring and committed ourselves to the watchful care of Him who never slumbers or sleeps, and we felt assured that He would keep us from all accident and harm. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 3

Some through fear sat up through the night. We paid nothing extra for our meals which we took on board the boat, or for our stateroom. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 4

We slept sweetly through the night. James felt much better than he expected to. He began to feel better directly after leaving Mill Grove, and he has been growing better ever since. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 5

Wednesday morn it was pleasant but the wind blew and the boat rocked considerable; some were seasick but we went into our room and lay down. We slept sweetly for one hour and a half; we did not get up until about noon. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 6

They had plenty on the table that we could eat and not hurt us, which was quite fortunate for us; we thanked the Lord in our heart for the food although we did not do it vocally. There were a great number of crying children on the boat; they were cross and ill-tempered. I thought of my little Edson and felt thankful he was not like them. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 7

We tried to keep our hearts uplifted to God for strength, especially that James might be strengthened. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 8

The boat landed us at Detroit about half past three o’clock P.M. There were six hundred on board. We were obliged to wait in Detroit until six P.M. We then took the cars for Wayne—distance 18 miles. We arrived at Wayne about seven, and found Brother Lyon waiting for us at the depot with a good team. We had been some troubled about the distance we were to ride in the night air, but Brother Lyon came prepared with nice buffalo robes and we did not feel chilly at all. We rode 12 miles and arrived at Brother Lyon’s about ten o’clock. Brother and Sister Cornell are here, they are solid and good. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 9

This is a most beautiful place surrounded with fruit trees. I should love to have you here today, but should not know what to do with you tomorrow. We shall have to ride thirty miles and part of the way it is a very rough road. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 10

I am of good courage but not very well in body. We believe the Lord will give us strength. The enemy made a powerful effort to keep us from Michigan, but he has not succeeded as yet. O that God would give us strength from the sanctuary. We shall plead for it until it comes, it must come, we cannot labor without it. It will come from God, we believe, and [we] mean to walk out by faith. The promise will not fail us, it will be verified. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 11

You must pray for us. I never saw the necessity of living near to God as now. We must keep our mind stayed upon Him and feel our entire dependence, and watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. We must exercise faith continually and act it out. We can have full and free salvation. You know what it is, dear Anna; don’t settle down short of this. The storehouse is full and free, don’t let us go hungry here, when there is enough and to spare. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 12

Anna have faith, have faith in God. It seems to me that the faith of the family is rather weak; they must come up. Remember us to each member of the family. I shall write them before long. How are Sarah and Clara? Is their health good for them? We want to hear from you all. James sends much love to Anna and the rest of the family. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 13

In much love. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1853, par. 14