Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 43, 1874

White, J. S.

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 15, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 422-423, 441.

Dear Husband:

For some reason I was unable to sleep last night. I arise early to address a few lines to you. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 1

Our last night’s effort was a success. Thank the Lord, to His name alone shall be the glory. A nice stand was fitted up, an organ placed on it, and the citizens’ choir was from the city. They conducted this branch of the work; good singing. Mr. Hallowel opened the meeting by prayer. He made an excellent prayer. He prayed in a most fervent manner for the servant of the Lord who was to address them. I could say “Amen” to every word. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 2

There was singing again. Mr. Peavey, chairman of the meeting, then arose and made some very appropriate remarks; stated that he was pleased to see the interest manifested in our part of the town and for the general turnout of the citizens of Battle Creek. He then spoke in regard to Mrs. White, that the appointment was given out without her knowledge or obtaining her consent, that she had sent in a withdrawal of the appointment, but as the speakers were not easily obtained, had consented to speak, though suffering severely with cold. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 3

I then arose and thanked the chairman for his courteous remarks in regard to our people and for his kind and generous apology for me. I told them I would do the best I could under the circumstances. I had been so hoarse I could not speak well, and there had been a dryness in my throat and disposition to cough, but it was all gone in three minutes. They say my voice was clear and rang out all over the park clear as a bell. Hattie Golden told her mother she heard me distinctly part of the time away up to their house. The wind took the words to her. There were from five hundred to a thousand out. I had to speak slowly but distinctly, and with some earnestness. Peavey was as pleased as he possibly could be. He told Brother Gaskill it was a complete success, more than met his most sanguine expectations. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 4

Just before I arose to speak, Mr. Hallowel, who was in the desk, spoke to me and said he was happy to make my acquaintance. There were many out from the country. Some stated that they could have sat and listened all night. One man from the country said he should hear Mrs. White again and should attend the camp meeting. As near as I can learn, all were well satisfied. Bartlett and his family were there. Merchants, some could not get seats—sat in the aisles on the bare ground. Many stood through the discourse. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 5

I asked Willie the time. He said, “Nearly ten o’clock.” Two or three around him said, “What did you say that for? I wanted to hear her continue her remarks.” 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 6

Willie waited upon me up in the desk and took a seat there with me, and placed my fur around my shoulders after I ceased speaking. He seems to understand his part. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 7

An appointment was given out for another meeting in the park, to be addressed by Dr. Russell. Elder Smith and several others would take a part. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 8

I feel great relief that this dreaded meeting is over and that the people are not disappointed. I hope that it may do good and that the prejudice against our people will be broken down. Our people have, by their narrow ideas, kept alive this prejudice. After I attended the meeting in the Methodist church last Tuesday night, Mrs. Packard said that my remarks there removed a great amount of prejudice. She was highly elated over the result of last night. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 9

I think that we shall have a good attendance of citizens from Battle Creek at the camp meeting. I hope you will be here. You could speak with great clearness and acceptance in regard to temperance. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 10

There has been no rain for three weeks. Some of the apples are really baked on the tree. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 11

I received your good letter today, containing one to be handed to Brother Lindsay. I feel very thankful for your last, more cheerful letters. I pray earnestly that God will spare your life and give you strength to do the work He would have you do. I cannot write today, for headache. My head discharges fearfully and I am some fearful of gatherings in the head. My cheek bones and entire head are filled with pain and soreness. I took treatment today but the most decided treatment does not seem to cure me. But I shall, I think, be better tomorrow. I am glad you are feeling better. I so desire that you may have a clear and cheerful mind to do the will of God. A great work is before us that others cannot do. Our experience is of value to this cause. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 12

I must stop, for my head pains me. In much love, 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 13

Your Ellen.

I hope Addie and May are well. I often think of them and desire to see them. I hope they will be good children and try to do right. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 14

Love to Edson and Emma. 2LtMs, Lt 43, 1874, par. 15