Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 11, 1868

White, J. E.

Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan

March 30, 1868

Portions of this letter are published in 2MR 154.

Dear Son Edson:

We received yours yesterday and hasten to answer. You have received ere this the reply to your former letter in which your father says he will pay your board but you must get the clothing you need. I will gather your clothes together and bring them at conference time. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 1

You must labor in the open air a portion of each day, and the money you earn for this will help you get clothes, all that you will need. Your hat is not here. Your Dansville cap you shall have when we come to conference. Will you want your checkered shirts this summer? I shall try to bring you a couple of white shirts. Meanwhile, carry out your purpose. Be prudent of means and you will not be sorry for it. It is going to take all the money we can get to publish your father’s books. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 2

Edson, never did I want means to use as now. I am determined to make my home an asylum for those who need a home, as Sister Moore has needed one, but will need one no longer. We now have taken a girl between twelve and thirteen years old. Took her to save her. George Barnes is a poor, helpless fellow, having been sadly neglected in his education and cultivation. We sent for him at Brother Merrill’s request; after he tried him a while, thought him not such a boy as he needed and let him go. He is an awkward boy, disagreeable, uncouth, but in order to help him we have taken him in and provided him with clothing and set him to work. We shall try to do something for him, but we see a great deal to be done for others. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 3

Edson, I came home to rest. I find no rest. It is worse for me, more wearing, than when I travel. For in riding all day I can think and rest some. Yesterday was the hardest day I have had. We had a church meeting to take up the cases of Brethren Gravel and Noyce and some things for Brethren Fargo and Maynard and Wilson—forty-two pages. I read the most of it to the church. It was a hard task for me. I think I came near having a shock of paralysis that night. My brain was so weary I could not keep my balance any better than a drunken person. We have been trying to help Johnny’s case. Withal Johnny has done well, but his efforts have not been appreciated. We have been having some labor all around. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 4

Your father is out helping Corliss plough. He is very active. He does not require mittens now, or anything to his feet. The painter is painting our house. George Barnes is helping Brother Noyce fix the cistern. Willie is doing a little of everything. My little girl is picking up chips and I am writing to you. Brother King left yesterday for his home. Is doing well. His head discharges considerable yet. We have dressed it every day. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 5

Edson, this is just the place for us exactly. We can write, then run out and work or walk. Father has something to call him away from his writing, which compels him to physical exercise. I fear I am breaking down. Tell George and Martha they must wait a little until I am better able to weigh matters. Battle Creek is not the place for us. When the Lord shows us we must again locate there, we will do so, but not till then. We are well satisfied where we are. Were we in Battle Creek, all the burdens would be thrown on us. No, no. Our duty is plain. We shall remain here. Nothing would be the least temptation for us to move again, I think. It would be the finishing of me, once more moving. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 6

Edson, my head is too tired to write. Excuse me, my son. Write often as you can. 1LtMs, Lt 11, 1868, par. 7