Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 14, 1868

Diary, March 1868


March 1-31, 1868

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 152-154; 2Bio 224.

Sunday, March 1, 1868

[Tuscola, Mich.,]

Attended meeting at Tuscola. My husband spoke upon the law and the gospel. The house was full. The people seemed charmed by the subject. As meeting was closing a request was made for a few moments’ delay. An invitation was brought for me to speak in the Methodist house in the afternoon. We had one hour’s intermission. We went to Brother Palmer’s to eat lunch, but their only room was full. We sat down outdoors for Brother Griggs to get the team ready to take us to Sister Bliss’. I ate my morsel—an apple and piece of plain cake—sitting by the stove. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 1

Spoke in the afternoon: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” etc. [Matthew 22:37.] The house was full. There was no ventilation. The stove smoked. I had strength amid it all to speak for one hour and a half. The best attention was given. We were afterwards told I spoke from the same text the minister spoke from in the morning, but handled it very differently. My husband spoke about ten minutes. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 2

We had interviews with sisters and brethren who followed us to Brother Spooners’. Had a prayer season. Mattie Harrison commended her baby to God. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 3

Monday, March 2, 1868

We arose between four and five o’clock. Ate breakfast before six and were on our way before seven to St. Charles. The wind increased, blowing the snow into the road until we could see no track. We knew we were in danger of freezing, and after we had gone five miles we turned back. In doing so we faced the wind and must have frozen if we had not used blankets to cover us and taken our seats in the bottom of the sleigh, our backs to the wind. It seemed a long time before we were again under the shelter of Brother Spooners’ comfortable roof. I lay down exhausted. Rested all the forenoon. In the afternoon wrote ten pages and related some of my experiences. Retired to rest about ten o’clock. This has been as unpleasant a day as we have had this winter. There is a cold, keen wind, with drifting snows. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 4

Tuesday, March 3, 1868

Arose about five o’clock. We shall leave Brother Spooners’ today for St. Charles. It is bitterly cold. Water froze solid in our bedrooms. We expect to suffer, wrap up as best we may. We feel bad about the baby. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 5

We journeyed to St. Charles with less difficulty than we expected. Baby was quiet nearly all the way. It was severely cold in the morning, but became quite pleasant in a few hours. Arrived about ten at Brother Griggs’. His sister, Julia, was at his house. Dinner was nearly ready. We were very hungry. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 6

Met Brother [J. N.] Andrews. He had a profitable season at Alma. The people there sent a special request for us to return. The people at St. Charles expected us to hold meetings with them and were waiting to circulate appointments. Here was the question—What is duty? We feel so anxious to do all the good we can. We are worn, yet are willing to continue to labor on if God will give strength. My husband is decided to return home for me to get rest. Brother Andrews goes directly home until conference. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 7

We rode nine miles that night to Chesaning, to Brother Miller’s. They received us heartily, but urged us strongly for meetings. This is the most severe of all—people begging for meetings and we turn away from them. But we do this because duty to ourselves demands it. One week in each month I ought to have had to myself for over a year back, but have not had it. Nature demands it, and I am violating the laws of nature when I disregard her claims. The last night we spend with Brother [J. N.] Andrews. Our interview together has been very pleasant. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 8

Wednesday, March 4, 1868

Arose early and prepared to take leave of Brother [J. N.] Andrews. We felt sad at parting. It was a very cold morning. We left Brother Milks’ for Greenbush. The day was very fine. We had only twenty-eight miles to go. About one o’clock we drove up to Brother Sevy’s door. Went in and found them preparing to ride to the village. We passed on to Sister McClure’s. She prepared us dinner. We proposed to take her daughter home with us. She felt glad to have her go with us, for she sees that the salvation of her daughter is in danger. Her brother is a strange lad, and tyrannizes over the sister. The proposition was made to the daughter. She would not consent to go at first, but became more yielding. Osee Sevy and wife and daughter came to his father’s to meet us. I was led out to talk to the youth about the danger of singing schools and spelling schools. I presented before them how difficult it is for the youth to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Christ. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 9

Thursday, March 5, 1868

Arose early at Brother Sevy’s. Prepared for the journey homeward. Sister McClure’s daughter accompanied us. The weather is mild. It commenced snowing about ten o’clock and continued to snow for two or three hours—the heaviest snowstorm I was ever out in. About twelve it grew lighter and rained some. We came across a tree in the path and in trying to go over it broke the reach of the sleigh. Fortunately a man came along and helped us to unload the sleigh. We stood in the cold nearly three-quarters of an hour while they toggled the sleigh together. We then loaded in and again started, but were quite cold. Rode four miles to Palo. Stopped at a house with sign which said, “Entertainment.” The people did not look pleasant and were not social. We ate our lunch, warmed ourselves, and again started. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 10

When within four miles of home we got into a road that was blocked up. The horses were up to their backs in snow. After going about a mile we learned we must go back. We got out and walked through the drifts while my husband drove the horses. It rained very hard. The roads were bad. We got home a little after dark, having traveled about sixty miles. Brother Barnes was here waiting for us. We found our family all well, disappointed to think we did not come. They had ceased to look for us. As we knelt in prayer we felt very thankful to God that He had preserved us to meet again and that we could bow with our own family once more. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 11

Friday, March 6, 1868


At home. It has rained all night. The snow is fast disappearing. How thankful I feel that we are not now in Alma or St. Charles. If there, it would be impossible to get home. Rained all day Friday steadily. We had a severe headache. Took a bath and dripper. Felt relieved. Lay down till dinner time. After dinner read the letters which we found here. Some needed immediate answer. One family are going to extremes in feeding their child only three times a day. It is becoming emaciated, and it is feared it may not live. I wrote three pages directly to its parents, and one page to Brother Wood with instruction according to the best light I have. Our labor is made very hard by those who cannot keep a medium. I wrote five pages to Sister Harriet Everts, who sent us five dollars. She is afflicted. Has had a shock of paralysis. I have been better than I expected today. Had a good season of prayer. Every one prayed and the peace of God seemed to be with us. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 12

Sabbath, March 7, 1868


At home. Arose almost sick with cold. It continues to rain. Has rained all through the night. It will be impossible for people to attend meetings today. This is the first Sabbath we have had without laboring, speaking to the people in eight months. We appreciate this privilege of rest and retirement. The snow is fast disappearing. Water stands in the road. There is a large, deep pond where it was never known to be before. Teams come up to the water, look dubious, and finally cross. A road is made through our dooryard to avoid the body of water. It continues to rain, rain. I wrote eighteen pages of important testimony for Brother Barnes and Richmond. It is so dark we can see with difficulty. We attended prayers. Read several pages in a pocket Bible. I took sitz bath and dripping sheet about eleven o’clock. We feel very grateful we are not in Alma or St. Charles. Home is the place for us during this storm. Wind is rising. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 13

Sunday, March 8, 1868


Wind violent during the night. Arose with headache. Unable to write. People are passing on their way to meeting. The washing machine was put in operation. Gave good satisfaction. I read over my husband’s manuscript which he is preparing for publication. Brother and Sister Maynard called on us. Had a pleasant interview. Decided in regard to painting the house. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 14

Monday, March 9, 1868


Arose feeling some better. We feel thankful to God for the health we have, after laboring so excessively. We are somewhat exhausted and cannot expect to be otherwise. I was unable to sit up much. Brother and Sister Merrill called on me. Sister Maynard and her mother called upon me. Sister Wilson remained while Sister Maynard went with her husband to Greenville. The water is very high. Our fences are taken down for the people to pass through our yard to avoid the deep water. The snow is fast going. Wrote twenty pages. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 15

Tuesday, March 10, 1868

Arose feeling rather poorly, yet accompanied my husband to Orleans. A part of the road was good, but a few miles very much drifted. The horses were in danger. Men working on road held them. Removed them from the sleigh after shoveling a place for them; then drove the sleigh into a field and again we started, dragging over the bare ground. Called at Brother Olmstead’s. Then rode up to Brother King’s. Water very deep. The fields and roads look like a large lake. Got a bag of apples at Brother King’s. Met Brother Strong at his house on our way back to Brother Olmstead’s. Met Brethren King and William Wilson. Talked with them. Brother King promises to come up to visit us on the morrow. We lay down to rest. Took dinner. I have a severe headache. Got a few apples. Turned our course homeward. Found very bad going, dragging through fields to avoid deep water. Brother and Sister Strong came home with us. Sister Strong is to help write copy for us both, and we enjoy their society much. Brother Strong is about to go to Blenden to hold meetings. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 16

Wednesday, March 11, 1868

Arose at half past four. Wrote eight pages, but have severe headache. Lay down to rest about eleven o’clock. Something woke me. My husband said, “I have bad news. Brother King has been thrown from his carriage and hurt badly.” Dinner was ready. Brother Strong ran to the woods for our horses. A man brought us the news on his way for doctor. We had no appetite to eat. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 17

Took comfortables and blankets and rode as fast as we could to the place of the accident. We found Brother King in a terrible condition, covered with blood, his head terribly mangled. Could not determine the extent of the injuries until he was more thoroughly examined. He had just become conscious. We proposed taking him to our house. We wished to move him before reaction took place. We bundled him up, put him in the sleigh, and Brother Strong supported him. We came as fast as we could. The physician had not yet arrived. Brother Strong started carefully washing his wounds and cutting away the hair. There was a bad gash over the eye, but the most terrible wound was on the forepart of his head above the left eye. There the first skull was broken through. The wound was four inches long. Physician Martin worked over him some time. Feared to touch the worse wound. Sent for an older doctor. His partner did not come till dark. Then a severe process of probing and picking out small pieces of broken bone commenced. Brother King frequently exclaimed, “It seems as though you would take my life.” This over, he was put to bed and seemed more comfortable. The doctor charged us to give him entire rest; to avoid all excitement. He is far from being out of danger. With care, he may recover from all this. His system is in a good condition to rally if the skull is not in a condition to depress the brain. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 18

Thursday, March 12, 1868


Arose with headache, yet commenced to write. Brother King rested well through the night. We feel thankful he is as well as he is. Brother Strong went in the rain for Sister King. One of our horses has a shoe off. They were used hard yesterday, going in the mud; were on the go all day. So we asked for Brother Maynard’s horses. He granted us the wagon, but did not, he said, make it a practice of driving his horses in the rain. Our team must go—no other way, rain or no rain. Help us to help each other, Lord, and divest us of all selfishness. We have more selfishness often than we are aware of ourselves. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 19

Sister Maynard came to request us to go five miles to Brother Thomas Wilson’s. He is very sick. I was not well; had nervous headache. Knew not what to do. Took bath. Lay down to rest. Could not sleep. When I got up found room full of Brother King’s relatives. They rushed in upon him and talked with him, contrary to the express directions of the doctor. We cannot have it so. We started for Brother Wilson’s. Brother and Sister Strong accompanied us. The roads are bad; water up to wagon hubs. Had a season of prayer for the sick. The Lord blessed us while calling upon His name. We all felt refreshed. The entire company wept freely. The Lord seemed near. On our return we met Brother Fargo and wife. They tarried all night. Brother Fargo watched with Brother King. We are convinced Brother King has had too many visitors. It is dangerous for him. We cannot have it thus. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 20

Friday, March 13, 1868


Arose with headache. Learned Brother King has rested well through the night. We had a sweet season of prayer in commending the case of our dear afflicted brother to the Lord. Took breakfast. Rode with my husband to Greenville. Got letters and Review, hammer and nails, files, screwdriver. Found Brother and Sister Merrill here on our return. Brother and Sister Fargo left, also Brother and Sister Merrill. We learn that Brother Thomas Wilson rested well during the last of the night. Brother and Sister Maynard remained with him. Elbridge Rust called. He is just from Battle Creek. The church there is rising. Wrote five pages. Examined letters. Filled orders for patterns, acknowledged receipts, etc. We were not disturbed by callers. Brother King is doing well. He is now testing the benefits of the health reform. We feel grateful to God that the prospects are favorable for his recovery to health again. He sleeps well and eats his food with a good relish. We had a sweet season of prayer in which all the family united. Brother King sat up through it all. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 21

Sabbath, March 14, 1868


Arose with a nervous headache. Brother King rested well during the night. We joined in family prayer. Took breakfast. Brother King sat up while he ate his breakfast. We started to visit Brother Thomas Wilson. Brother and Sister Strong accompanied us. It is a bad road. There is much water in the road. We found Brother Thomas a little more comfortable. James and Brother Strong assisted in giving him a bath. We had a season of prayer and left him in the hands of our kind, heavenly Physician. Brother King sat up in a rocking chair. We sang, and then all the family took part in the exercise of prayer. I felt a special spirit of prayer for Brother King and for ourselves that we might draw nearer to God and be more imbued with His Holy Spirit. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 22

Sunday, March 15, 1868


At home. We had a sweet season of prayer. Brother and Sister Maynard called and urged us to ride up to visit Thomas Wilson. We did not feel [at] liberty to go, for we had much work to do in writing and other home duties. Several called during the day. Brother and Sister Merrill called. We had a familiar talk with them. I think they were some relieved. Brother King is somewhat feverish today, yet is very cheerful. He is doing as well as could be expected. If we could only keep out visitors! They will come. Brother and Sister Banks spent a little time. They saw Brother King only a moment or two. I have assisted Sister Burgess in arranging the chamber. Was quite weary. Wrote four pages to Brother Wilbur Salisbury. Had a refreshing season of prayer. Brother King sat in his rocking chair, appearing very comfortable. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 23

Wednesday, March 18, 1868


At home. Brother King has rested better through the night, yet is very feeble. His head discharges considerable. Brother Strong and wife went to Brother Maynard’s to advise him to go to Ionia and telegraph for Dr. Lay. He went to see Thomas. Sister Strong also went. We anxiously waited Sister Strong’s return. I went with my husband to Greenville. It was a pleasant day. Roads bad. In the afternoon we walked the length of our land through the woods and back, one mile and a half. Felt rather weary. Wrote six pages. Brother Strong went to Brother Maynard’s. Found Libby there. He felt grieved that he had suffered so much anxiety on her account, and she only at Brother Maynard’s, and had sent no word how the sick was. Brother Maynard went to Ionia and telegraphed for the doctor. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 24

Thursday, March 19, 1868


At home. Arose in the morning after having a good night’s sleep. We walked up to Brother Maynard’s to learn if they had received any news from Thomas. They had not. It commenced storming hard. We turned our feet homeward to get breakfast. It stormed severely till noon. James, accompanied by Brother Corliss, went to Greenville. Brother Strong also went. Brother King is seeming very well for him. Brother Strong dressed his head. I attempted to write upon the subject of health. Brother Corliss went to town on horseback to say to Brother Merrill to watch for the arrival of doctor and take him to his house. We arranged curtains to our room above so that we may not be exposed to the passers on their way to the finished chambers. Had a good season of prayer. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 25

Friday, March 20, 1868


At home. Arose with headache. Saw Brother King. He looks well for him. Feels cheerful and happy. He got up and dressed and took his breakfast in the parlor. Brother Merrill rode up with Dr. Lay. We were real glad to meet the doctor. He went to Brother Thomas Wilson’s. Brother and Sister Strong have gone to Greenville. Dr. Lay took dinner with us. Seems to enjoy himself very much. We had a good visit with the doctor. He tells us Thomas has seen his worst time. Will now continue to improve. I have written a few pages. We went to Greenville. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 26

Sabbath, March 21, 1868


At home. Attended meeting, after writing some. The doctor visited Brother Wilson. Our gathering was small, yet the Lord met with us and we had a good conference meeting. Testimonies borne came from hearts that felt. There was a feeling of gratitude all through the meeting that the Lord had graciously spared the lives of Brother King and Thomas [Wilson], and that we had not to mourn the death of either. I felt to speak quite at length upon selfishness and having an interest merely for ourselves and our own families, and that we must meet the people where they are, not expect them to meet us. We then appointed a little meeting at our house to converse upon some points with some. Brother and Sister Merrill took dinner with us. We had quite a family—thirteen. Then talked in regard to some things. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 27

Sunday, March 22, 1868


At home. Arose with headache, yet walked out. Wrote some. Dr. Lay leaves today. I had a dream that Brother Thomas [Wilson] needed wine and egg. Dr. Lay visited him for the last time before his leaving. I had a long social chat with doctor. Wrote some. Went to Greenville. Doctor rode down with us. Had pleasant interview on the way. He left in the afternoon to go to Orleans. Brother Maynard took him down. Selah King came to see his father and brought him a cube of sugar he had made. Sister King left with Selah. We parted with good feelings all around. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 28

Monday, March 23, 1868


At home. Arose and walked out before breakfast. Wrote some. Brother Strong made me a woodbox. He went to Greenville. After dinner Sister Strong, James, and self took a long walk through the woods. It was pleasant, although I became very weary. After we returned I lay down a short time, then wrote quite a number of pages upon talking of others’ faults. Had some freedom in writing. Brother King is doing well. Seems to be improving fast. We feel very thankful for this. We see such an amount of writing before us. We shall be inclined to write too much. Read letters to Brother King. Made remarks upon making wills. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 29

Tuesday, March 24, 1868


At home. It is colder this morning. Before breakfast wrote three and half pages to Brother Uriah Smith; two pages to my twin sister. Ate a light breakfast. Wrote a little. Prepared to go to Greenville. The roads are improving. Received three letters—one from Sister Amadon, containing the news of Sister Hannah More’s obituary. Oh dear, what sadness this gives me! She has died a martyr to the selfishness of God’s professed people. She was exiled to a cold, disagreeable climate because no hearts were open to receive her. May God pity us, for we need His pity. Wrote four pages to Wilbur Salisbury. Lay down and rested a short time. Took dinner, then walked to where John is clearing land. Brother and Sister Strong accompanied us through the woods, around by Brother Maynard’s. We called upon them. Sister Good [?] was there. She accompanied us home to buy books. I wrote eleven pages after I returned. A man sent by Brother Brink [?] to finish the house walked nine miles. Retired after nine o’clock. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 30

Wednesday, March 25, 1868


At home. Arose at half past four and commenced writing. Had a good season of prayer. Rode to Greenville. It was rather cold and windy. Called at Brother Merrill’s. Had a very good interview with them. They are desirous to have Louisa McClure, the little girl now living with me, live with them as their daughter. We are considering the matter. Brother Merrill gave us a peck of apples. Wrote several pages after we returned from Greenville. Gathered a box of articles together for Sister Sarah’s family. They are needy, and we feel it a privilege to aid them. Wrote her a letter of four pages. I feel in poor health today. Wrote Sister Mary four pages. Sent three postage stamps. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 31

Thursday, March 26, 1868


At home. Rested well through the night. Had season of prayer. Took breakfast. Went to Greenville. Called on Sister Savage; gave her two pairs of stockings for herself and one pair nearly knit for her boy, a white skirt, and some thread. She seemed very grateful for them. Received several letters and the paper. Read them on the way. When we returned wrote six pages of testimony to Brother Thomas Mekees [?]. Lay down about thirty minutes. After dinner went up into the woods for a load of wood. Brother King has gone to Greenville with my husband. It is the first time he has been in a carriage since he was hurt. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 32

Friday, March 27, 1868


At home. Rested well through the night. Arose and earnestly entreated the Lord to give us heavenly wisdom and right judgment. James and self walk into the woods. He cut some brush. Returned and engaged in family prayer. Took breakfast. Brother King accompanied my husband to Greenville. Went into the woods and picked up wood and chips. Brother King walked up in the woods and back. Sister Maynard called. I conversed with her some time in regard to the case of David. I thought there was not enough of him to make a Christian. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 33

Saturday, March 28, 1868


At home. Attended meeting Sabbath. My husband spoke very plain by referring to the case of Sister More. I then arose and felt burdened and pressed to use great plainness of speech and point out to those present what duties rested upon us in regard to the needy and the homeless. I felt that but few had any true sense of the claims heaven has upon them in such cases. I felt so bad in regard to Sister More’s death. A grave is before me away in that cold north region. May God pity those who are responsible in this case. There is extreme selfishness exhibited almost everywhere. Oh, what will arouse the people of God? What will divest them of selfishness? 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 34

Sunday, March 29, 1868


At home. Arose, having passed a restless night. We wrote as long as we could, then prepared for meeting. I had forty-four pages of testimony to read. I read all but twelve pages. I think Sister Wilson and Brother and Sister Maynard were surprised that there should be a reproof for them. Sister Maynard cried aloud, appealed to her own sympathies and felt terribly hurt. I talked very plainly (after reading) to them all. It was a solemn time. All confessed quite heartily their wrongs. Meeting closed. I wished to go home immediately. Brother and Sister Fargo took dinner with us. Brother King left us to return to his home. We shall miss him. The burden I have borne today has nearly paralyzed my brain. It has been a terrible cross. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 35

Monday, March 30, 1868


At home. I arose feeling much exhausted, yet thought we would write and do what we could. Attended prayers. Ate breakfast and seated ourselves at our writing. Mr. Wakefield came in and chatted awhile. Soon Brother and Sister Maynard came in. I could read by her countenance [that] she was unreconciled to the testimony. She talked in an earnest manner, giving way to weeping. She had no control of herself. She could not see where she had erred; was completely blinded to self. She threw a heavy load on us. We entreated her to leave, for we wished to write. She did so at last. I was unable to write anything during the day; was much perplexed and burdened and nearly discouraged. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 36

Tuesday, March 31, 1868


At home. Arose in the morning sick and weary. I am much worn down. Discouragement presses me sore. I have not felt and spoken as I ought to James. The burden of writing and other extra labors borne for the church have told upon me seriously. I feel that the enemy is getting advantage of me. I acknowledged to my husband I had erred. I rode with him to find a scraper. We were successful. Received letters from Brother Andrews and several others. I wrote quite steadily; prepared matter for printer. I went out in the afternoon for a change and Sister Strong, Louisa, and myself picked up stones and helped fill up the old cellar. I am exceedingly weary at night. 1LtMs, Ms 14, 1868, par. 37