Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Ms 12, 1868

Diary, January 1868


January 1-31, 1868

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 148-150; 7MR 218-219.

Wednesday, January 1, 1868

We arose at Brother White’s living at Fairfield near Enosburg, [Vt.] at three o’clock a.m. Rode upon a rough road through pastures and over a body of water on our way to take the cars at St. Albans. I was much worn and indisposed in consequence of taking a severe cold. We were in season for the cars that were due at six a.m. In the cars we suffered extremely with heat. Arrived at Brother Hilliard’s at one o’clock p.m. We were very weary, yet consented to meet with the few believers in this place. Sister Castle, who has been insane, came to the meeting. We tried to talk for her benefit. We could not dwell upon those things we thought the church needed, because it might excite Sister Castle. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 1

Thursday, January 2, 1868

I feel thankful to God this morning for refreshing sleep during the past night. Had the privilege of a thorough bath. I endeavored to give instruction to a feeble invalid, hoping she might yet be benefitted, although her case looks quite hopeless. Brethren Andrews and Whitney came in with the information that Brother Castle, with his insane wife, left home at four o’clock a.m. for Adams Center. Oh consistency, thou art a jewel! He asked no advice of anyone. We stepped in the sleigh and Brother Hilliard took us to Canton Depot. Waited there nearly one hour. We arranged our simple food of bread, apples, gems, etc., and enjoyed our dinner with Brother Hilliard, who shared it with us. At Adams Center found team waiting to take us to Brother Taylor’s. We there met Sister Andrews and Brother Collis, from Maine, who goes west with us. We have a pleasant evening visit. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 2

Friday, January 3, 1868

[Adams Center, N. Y.,]

We were troubled some the first part of the night with restlessness, because we were so weary and nervous. Rose at half past five o’clock. Built a fire and wrote to Brother Ball. The brethren are coming in to the meeting. We feel the need of entire rest from labor, but see no opportunity to cease the work. Sister Mary Maxson Fish is dying with consumption. Brother Andrews and Brother Taylor visit her. We are not able. We rode out a few miles, and then lay down to rest. I fear we can do but little through the meeting. Brethren Andrews and Taylor return with the report that Mary is very low, yet cheerful in the prospect of death. Meeting Friday evening; not able to attend. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 3

Sabbath, January 4, 1868

[Adams Center, N. Y.,]

Arose somewhat rested at half past four. I attended the morning meeting. Found a large company of brethren assembled. My husband is suffering with severe cold, yet attended the meeting and spoke from (Luke 15): “What man of you, having an hundred sheep,” etc. [Verse 4.] After he had spoken one hour, we returned to Brother Taylor’s. I gave my husband a fomentation which relieved his lungs. I rested a few minutes. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 4

In the forenoon Brother Andrews preached an excellent discourse from Hebrews 10:35-39. Had ten minutes intermission and I spoke to the people one hour and twenty minutes from (Luke 10:27-29); and from these words, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,” etc. [Romans 12:1.] I was blest with special freedom. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 5

I addressed Brother Salisbury, Brother H. Kellogg, and Brother William Green’s three sons. Oh, may God help them to choose the good and the right way. We returned to Brother C after the close of meeting. Took dinner and conversed with Brother Asa Green and wife. He has not yet made any advance. His wife is anxious to come out decided. We went to the meeting in the evening. My husband talked about one hour. I spoke a short time twice, seeking to impress the people with a sense of the importance of the work. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 6

Sunday, January 5, 1868

[Adams Center,]

Arose at four o’clock. Wrote special testimony of several pages for the Brethren Green. Brother Castle came, soliciting prayers for his wife. Brethren Andrews and Taylor rode one mile to see her and pray for her. My husband and self attended morning conference meeting. There is an evident lack of the Spirit of God in the testimony borne by brethren. Discourse by my husband showed the relation the law sustains to the gospel. He made the Sabbath question so plain and clear that none who wished to see need be in blindness. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 7

I returned home before the close of the discourse. Took footbath, and rested thirty minutes. I spoke about one hour from Luke 10:25-28. I had special liberty in speaking to the people of the necessity of an unreserved surrender to God, entire consecration. The words of this text allow no separation of the affections from God. I endeavored to present clearly the positive duty of all to render to God that service. He requires the entire being—the whole wealth of affection, talents, possessions and all, laid at His feet. I sought to impress upon the people the necessity of their appreciating the atonement and turning away from the glitter of the world to the attractions of heaven. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 8

After the meeting closed we visited Mary Maxson Fisk. We found her very near her end. Oh, how precious seemed the dear Saviour in the trying hour of death! When the hold of poor mortals is broken off from every earthly support, where shall they fasten their trembling grasp? The faithful Christians have a staff upon which they can lean with perfect security. We told her that when we again met we expected to see the emaciated countenance filled, the lusterless eyes brightened, the crown of immortality upon the brow. She asked me to pray. I had great freedom in so doing. She wished she had strength to praise God aloud. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 9

Monday, January 6, 1868

[Adams Center,]

Arose early. Wrote until called to breakfast. Attended meeting through the day and entreated some to give their hearts to God and commence now to serve God. Brother Delos Green did not commit himself to God and we dared not close, pleading with him two hours. Brother Andrews and myself entreated him. He at length yielded and said he would serve the Lord. The victory was gained. His brother Asa had already spoken. Burleigh Salisbury then gave his testimony to be a Christian henceforth. His brother, Wilbur, who had backslidden, decided to start again. Thank God for the good work wrought in this place. Brother Henry Kellogg, who has been backslidden, renewed his consecration to God, expressing his gratitude that there was hope for him. Meeting held several hours without refreshment. We closed it with great satisfaction as to its results. Parted with the dear people, who returned to their several homes. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 10

Tuesday, January 7, 1868

[Rochester, N. Y.,]

Arose early and made preparation to take the cars at nine o’clock. Was sick and weary. Took footbath previous to taking breakfast. On cars I felt unable to sit up. A bed was prepared for me and I lay down. My stomach seemed inactive. Vomited considerable. My head pained me severely. At Rochester we met Brother B. Lampson, prepared to take us to his house. I could not sit up after we arrived there. I lay down and grew so sick again. Had a severe vomiting time. All was done for our comfort that could be done. I felt thankful for a home among good friends, in my affliction. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 11

Wednesday, January 8, 1868


Arose still weak and with a continuance of nervous headache. Ate a very few mouthfuls at eleven o’clock. Took sitz bath and foot bath. Lay down until noon. Found Sister Orton had come while I was lying down. She looks the picture of grief. Oh, why does she set her will up against the Lord’s providence? She is yet unreconciled to her husband’s death. I could not tax my mind to converse with her. Left her and rode to Rochester. The air revived me. I purchased eight dollars’ worth of books at the repository. Called at Brother Andrews’. He was in the city. Met him there. Returned to Brother Lampson’s feeling better than before our ride. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 12

Thursday, January 9, 1868


Rested better during the night, yet my head is weary. Rode into Rochester. Purchased yarn for scarfs. It was a cold, blustering day. In the evening I was present at the wedding of Brother Willie Gonter [?] and Jenny Roberts. Brother Andrews performed the ceremony. Alva Orton and wife were present. My husband said a few words by request of Brother Andrews, previous to the ceremony, then prayed after the marriage rite was performed. By request I talked about forty minutes. God gave me a testimony for the two just united in marriage, but more especially were my remarks directed to Alva Orton and wife. I entreated them to live for self no longer, but consecrate themselves to God. Went on board the cars to rest in the sleeping car. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 13

Friday, January 10, 1868

Awoke in the morning on board the sleeping car. Found the train behind time about two hours. It had been a keen, cold night and the train had to move very slowly for safety of passengers. Took our breakfast about eight o’clock. Changed from sleeping car to one ahead. The sleeping car was pronounced unsafe. We were delayed two hours on the track by a broken-down car ahead. Missed connection at Detroit. Waited there two hours. Had a weary ride until midnight. Tarried at Brother Lockwood’s that night. Found a friend with team waiting for us. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 14

Sabbath, January 11, 1868

[Battle Creek, Mich.,]

Attended meeting. My husband spoke in the morning, giving account of our journey east. I spoke in afternoon. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” etc. Luke 10:27. I was very weary, yet God gave me strength to speak. No meeting in evening. Moved to Brother Amadon’s. Our meetings were good through the day, and had an excellent influence. I felt called upon to address several by name. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 15

Sunday, January 12, 1868

[Battle Creek,]

Arose weary. Attended meeting at the church at Battle Creek. Spoke to the people about one hour with freedom, in regard to the fall of Adam bringing misery and death, Christ bringing life and immortality to light through His humiliation and death. Felt to urge upon the people the necessity of entire consecration to God—the sanctification of the entire being, soul, body, and spirit. Spoke upon the death of Moses and the view he had of the promised land of Canaan. There was a depth of feeling in the congregation. Brother Andrews spoke, also Brother Rhodes, in regard to baptism; examined candidates for baptism. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 16

Had an interview with Benjamin Howe. Sought to help his mind, which was much perplexed. He lacked confidence. While conversing with him Alvin Leighton came in and I plead with him to give his heart to the Lord. After he left, we had a praying season with Benjamin Howe. We prayed several times, trying to encourage him to pray with us. At length he opened his mouth in prayer. Thank the Lord! In meeting that evening we called those forward who had a desire to be Christians. Thirteen came forward. All bore testimony for the Lord. It was a good work. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 17

Monday, January 13, 1868

[Battle Creek,]

I arose much exhausted. Rode down to the city, purchased caps for Johnny and Willie. Returned wearied. Lay down most of the forenoon, sick. Picked up the remaining part of our goods to be taken to Greenville. Sister Chamberlain visited us a short time. Had an interview with Edson. Felt distressed beyond measure, feeling that it was not conducted wisely. Meeting Monday evening. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 18

Tuesday, January 14, 1868

[Battle Creek,]

Arose sick—too sick to engage in anything properly, yet we visited our aged parents. Had a pleasant interview. Found them feeble. They were very glad to meet with us again. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 19

Wednesday, January 15, 1868

[Battle Creek,]

It is a suffering day with me all day. Sister E. L. H. Chamberlain and Sister Austin from Vermont called upon me. I did not eat any meals; was too sick. My heart is heavy and sad. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 20

Thursday, January 16, 1868

Arose feeling a little better. Started for Greenville. At noon stopped at Vermontville. We called for a fire in a room by ourselves, spread our dinner upon a table, and ate our simple, hygienic fare—bread and apples. I engaged in conversation with the landlady. Found she is acquainted with our people at Roosevelt, where she came from. She has known us by reputation. Has attended our meetings. I had a pleasant interview with her. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 21

Again we were on our way. Became cold. Went three-quarters of a mile out of our way. Called upon Brother Sindlinger. He was very glad to see us. He gave me several cakes of maple sugar. Arrived at Brother Howe’s about eight o’clock, weary and cold. Met a large family—Brother and Sister Howe, Clorinda and her husband; Elsa and her husband and children. Met Brother Sawyer and wife, and Willie and Johnny. We were heartily welcomed. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 22

Friday, January 17, 1868

We left Brother Howe’s for Greenville. Took dinner at Brother Olmstead’s. We were heartily welcomed by these dear friends. We were at our own home at about half past three. Glad to be at home again. In about one hour brethren came in from Wright and other places. Had considerable stirring about to get ready for Sabbath. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 23

Sabbath, January 18, 1868

[Greenville, Mich.,]

Arose much exhausted. Was unable to attend meeting in the forenoon. My husband and self both spoke in the afternoon. Had good meetings. Brother Andrews spoke in morning. Private meeting at our house in evening. A difficult case to handle. Brother Holiday was not right. He and his wife had felt wrong towards Father Howe. Both these, their children, broke all to pieces. They made humble confessions and the result was union of feeling with them, where there had been estrangement. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 24

Sunday, January 19, 1868


Arose sick. We did not, either of us, attend meeting in forenoon. Brother Andrews spoke both forenoon and afternoon. I followed him in afternoon, then addressed backsliders, children, and youth. There was considerable feeling. Thirteen came forward for prayers. All spoke feelingly and well. It was an interesting meeting. There was deep feeling manifested. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 25

Monday, January 20, 1868


Arose feeling a sense of great feebleness. I was unable to engage in any labor through the day. Rode to Greenville. Felt some refreshed. Brother and Sister Sawyer accompanied us. They are pleased with the country and with the society. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 26

Tuesday, January 21, 1868


Feel some refreshed by sleep. Brother and Sister Fargo called. Gave James fomentations, followed by general bath. We visited at Brother Maynard’s. Feel as though we had got again at our old home. Returned in evening. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 27

Wednesday, January 22, 1868


Arose rested some this morn. Sent some things to our parents: two flannel chemises; two pairs of new stockings, thick and warm, to mother, and three pairs to father; a thick, knit shirt to mother, and long, warm, flannel night dress; a second-hand dress of waterproof cloth; two pairs of knit drawers. Made arrangements for Sister Sawyer to provide our parents with several cans of fruit. I will replace them. Sent Edson a new pair of suspenders, three pairs of socks. Brother Sawyer left today for his home. I feel sick and much worn. Went to Greenville. Purchased underclothing for Brother A. Paid $6.75; spent 75 cents for myself. Returned home after dark. Cut out two undershirts and a pair of night dresses. Brother Groves brought wood, potatoes, and rutabagas. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 28

Thursday, January 23, 1868


Rested well through the night. Went to Greenville. Purchased six yards of all-wool flannel for Brother Andrews’ drawers; purchased rubber for net, 10 cents. Returned while it was snowing and blowing very hard. Cut out drawers. Gave James fomentations and general bath. Lay down a few minutes before dinner. Sister Fargo tarried here while her husband went to Greenville. Altered over Betsey Maynard’s cap. In the evening gathered together clothing for Brother Mead. Finished undershirt for James. Felt very weary. Brother William Wilson came for Amelia. Persuaded them to remain over night. Willie is not well. Has taken cold. Put wet bandage on his neck. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 29

Friday, January 24, 1868

Arose with headache. Prepared to go to Wright. We found it very unpleasant travelling. A cold wind was blowing directly in our faces. At noon stopped at Lappinville. Found ourselves in mean quarters; and there was a woman with a pipe in her mouth, and a young man smoking a cigar. He was just recovering from lung fever. We spoke of the pernicious influence of tobacco upon the constitution. He said he knew it, but he had learned and practiced the habit and could not now give it up, although he knew it was hurtful, thus acknowledging himself a slave to lustful appetite. We ate our plain, hygienic food with good relish, but were treated with incivility by the inmates of the house. They showed themselves strangers to true politeness. We found no good hay for the horses, no oats, no water. Brother Andrews was hostler himself. They charged us 50 cents for sitting before their fire and being annoyed with the scent of tobacco. I was glad to go out again in the air. Stopped about dark at Brother Buck’s to warm, then drove on to Brother Root’s. Found ourselves weary. I felt too weary to sit up. Lay down upon the carpet. United in season of prayer. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 30

Saturday, January 25, 1868

[Wright, Mich.,]

Rested well until nearly four o’clock. Arose and bathed. Feel much worn. Wrote seven pages of testimony to Brother Atkins of Westbrook, Maine. Attended meeting. Brother Andrews spoke to the people. In afternoon James spoke upon hunting up the lost sheep. I occupied a short time. There was a house full of people. “Calvary” was sung. It affected the people. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 31

I feel sad today. Am not as free as I desire to be. There is a meeting this evening. We had quite an interview with Brother Smith from Minden. He is an intelligent man. Has been waiting two years for baptism. Brother Andrews will baptize them tomorrow. A few brethren came in to Brother Root’s to talk over matters which were a trial to them. Brother Averil seems to know but little about religion or true conversion to God. He has everything to learn. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 32

We talked with Brother Wilson, relating testimony given us for him. He wished us to write it. Shall do so. Warren Root seemed to be indifferent to religious impressions. I talked with him but could not draw him out to say much. The pleasures of sin seem to have captivated the poor, inexperienced boy. He does not consider the wages he must receive, which are death. We tried to show him that Christ had claims upon him, that He had purchased him by His own blood, that he could not be released from the responsibility of these claims. I entreated him to pray, “Lord, reveal to me my sinfulness, and then, Jesus, reveal to me Thyself.” 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 33

Sunday, January 26, 1868


Arose refreshed by sleep. It snowed during the night. Wrote several pages of testimony for Brethren Atkins and Wilson. Attended meeting. My husband spoke to a crowded house one hour and a half. His discourse was upon “I and my Father are one” [John 10:30], showing the relation the law sustains to the gospel. The people gave the greatest attention. I followed, and spoke about one hour. I thought conviction rested upon many minds. Books were bought and many given away. Brother Andrews spoke in the afternoon with great freedom. These meetings were solemn. We can but think there should be meetings held in Wright. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 34

I had an interview with a young man who seemed to take pleasure in dwelling upon the power Satan had over him. Conversed about two hours with him. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 35

Attended meeting in evening. James spoke about half an hour, then Brother Andrews followed, speaking half an hour. I occupied about the same length of time. We made solemn appeals to the people. Several came forward. Among them was the husband of Sister Perkins, and Frost, the young man referred to. We prayed for these, and for the meetings just closed. I received a promise from the wife of James Sawyer that she would serve the Lord. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 36

Monday, January 27, 1868

Arose at four o’clock. Left the comfortable home of Brother Root about five o’clock. My head ached badly. Rode five miles to Brother Buck’s. Ate our breakfast with them. Brother Buck gave each of us a five-dollar bill. We thanked him for his liberal gift. Left Brother Buck’s at eight o’clock. Felt very poorly. Passed through Lappinville at about eleven. Made no further stop until we passed through Greenville. Received our mail and passed on to our home. Found no help. Prepared our own dinner. We felt glad to find Willie not sick. We left him with bad cold. Brother Corliss had taken good care of everything and we prize him much. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 37

Tuesday, January 28, 1868


Brother Corliss helped me prepare breakfast. Everything we touched was frozen. All things in our cellar were frozen. We prepared frozen turnips and potatoes. After prayers Brother Corliss went into the woods near Thomas Wilson’s to get wood. James, accompanied by Brother Andrews, went to Orleans, expecting to return to dinner. I baked eight pans of gems, swept rooms, washed dishes, helped Willie put snow in boiler, which requires many tubsful. We have no well water or cistern. Arranged my clothes press. Felt weary; rested a few minutes. Got dinner for Willie and me. Just as we got through, my husband and Brother Andrews drove up. Had had no dinner. I started cooking again. Soon got them something to eat. Nearly all day has thus been spent—not a line written. I feel sad about this. Am exceedingly weary. My head is tired. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 38

Wednesday, January 29, 1868


Arose with sick headache. After eating warm breakfast felt some better. Started to writing; completed testimony to Brother Atkins and Brother Sanborn. Wrote several pages for Brother Hawthorne. Brother Andrews copied most of it for me, relieving me of quite a task. Brethren came to move the old house. Sister Banks came with her husband. I was sorry I could not feel at liberty to leave my writing and visit her, for write I must. Sister Maynard and Betsey came to see if we need help. We do not, as Amelia came last evening to help me. The building is moved at last. Sister Banks designed to walk home, four miles. I would not permit this. The team was harnessed and we carried her home. I gave her two pairs of good woolen drawers for her husband. Gave Thomas Wilson cloth for pants. These are all poor, and stand in need of help. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 39

Thursday, January 30, 1868


Arose this morning feeling somewhat relieved in body and mind. May the Lord help me to consecrate myself to Him today and guard my tongue lest I shall offend in word. Wrote testimony for individuals until eleven o’clock. Completed three testimonies. Sent thirteen pages to Brother Hawthorne through Brother Canright. He takes it to Hawthorne and reads it to him and will make an effort to impress the same upon him. Sent ten pages of testimony for Brother Sanborn, and eight to Brother Atkins to Brother Aldrich, for him to employ a hand to copy and send the original to the individuals named. Wrote four pages to Edson, entreating him to greater carefulness in his plans and calculations. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 40

Went to Greenville. Took Sister Savage a basket of potatoes and turnips and calico for a dress. She is in close circumstances. She has two boys who are too young to be any special help to her. She obtains her living by her needle. Prices are very low, work scarce. I feel exercised to awaken an interest for this sister among the brethren. “Whoso ... seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17. God help us to keep open hands! 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 41

Sent eight pages of testimony to Brother Canright for Brother Merrill. Wish him to copy and then take it to him. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 42

Friday, January 31, 1868


Arose feeling quite sick. Could not write much. Gave James fomentations and general bath. A team drove up with Sister Burgess and her sister. Sister Burgess is the girl whose help I have wanted for some time. We prepared to go to Orleans to the meeting. Drove to Brother Olmstead’s to tarry overnight. 1LtMs, Ms 12, 1868, par. 43