Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 5, 1872

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Washington, Washington County, Iowa

June 19, 1872

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 340.

My dear children, Edson and Emma:

I have been sick for several days, unable to sit up for two days, and my hand trembles and my head is tired, yet I must write you. I have had much writing pressing me, and could not write if I would to all those I love, but I have left my bed while Father is sleeping to write you. I am still very weak, being unable to bear anything but a little graham cracker upon my stomach for three days. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 1

Brother Littlejohn has been with us since Knoxville camp meeting closed. Brother Butler and wife and daughter Annie and Nettie Curtis came Sunday from Mount Pleasant. They all remained till yesterday. Sister Butler and Nettie Curtis and Annie Butler left yesterday afternoon for home. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 2

Brethren Butler and Littlejohn left this morning for Minnesota at four o’clock. We have had a houseful of company for several days. Had I been well, I should have enjoyed it. This is a very beautiful place and I prize it highly because it is so retired. There is but little passing-by with teams. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 3

We are in the midst of flowers of almost every description, but the most beautiful of all is to be surrounded with roses on every hand, of every color and so fragrant. The prairie queen is just opening, also the Baltimore bell. Peonies have been very lovely and fragrant but now they are fast going to decay. We have had strawberries for several days. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 4

Asenath [Smith Kilgore] came here yesterday with her sewing machine and her baby to help us prepare for our journey. Her babe is one of the sweetest and best-natured children I ever saw. It seems like a sunbeam wherever it is. I have fallen in love with the little darling. Asenath acts a noble, self-denying part. She lives alone, some distance from any house, and takes care of her two prairie flowers and gives up Robert, [her husband], a noble fellow, to go out and labor for the salvation of souls. These companions who deny self for the truth and the sake of Christ will not lose their reward. God will tenderly care for them, and when the chief Shepherd shall reward the under-shepherds for their unselfish labor, these self-sacrificing women who yield up their husbands to labor in the vineyard of the Lord will be rewarded with the crown of glory and the blessed commendation, Well done, good and faithful servants, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 5

How encouraging to know that every good work will be rewarded. Our kind heavenly Father faithfully cherishes every kind act prompted by pure, unselfish motives. Not one deed of goodness and self-denial is forgotten. All is written in the book and will receive its just recompense. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 6

But I am not telling you anything about Father. He is very cheerful and like his own self again. I am free indeed and happy when he seems to be improving. God is blessing your dear Father. At Aledo and Knoxville he seemed full of testimony for the people. He talked to the point. He had nothing discouraging to say, and although he labored very hard, yet the Lord sustained him. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 7

We came to Washington by private conveyance. We were two days and a half on the way. There were about sixty in our company the first afternoon. At night we pitched two good-sized tents and camped for the night. The people seemed quite curious to see such a cavalcade passing through the country. Wednesday we left a part of our company at Sigourny. About thirty-five were still in our company until within about five miles of Washington. About thirty-five were tented on the road Wednesday night. In the morning some arose early and cooked warm potato soup for us, which went well with our dry bread. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 8

Willie likes this place very much indeed. No one could help but like it. Very many visitors come to see the premises and look at the flowers and obtain a bouquet. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 9

We have received very urgent letters to go to California and our minds are there. Shall get off next week, if possible, so you will not see us, perhaps, in a year. We urge you both to take good care of your health, for you will have no mother, Edson, to look after you and administer to you when sick. We wish you, Edson and Emma, to get your pictures taken and send us half a dozen and we will pay for the cost of them. I liked the ones you had both sitting together. I would like to have this done immediately, if convenient, so that we can take them with us; if not convenient, you can send them hereafter to California. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 10

Father felt more free to go to California after he saw he could do something in the cause of God. We have been very happy here. After Father wrote these pieces for the Reformer, he seemed worse than before; but he has, I think, now recovered from that and is again improving and rests well nights. He cannot endure mental taxation. He must not have trouble of mind, for this he cannot endure. He does not know how to save himself in camp meetings and I fear to have him go to them all, where he will have to see work to be done. We decided the very best thing we could do would be to go at once to California. Lucinda and Willie accompany us. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 11

We hope you will prosper in right doing and be blessed with physical, moral, and spiritual health. May the Lord bless you and strengthen you with His grace that you may overcome and be among that number which John saw around the great white throne, who had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, is the daily prayer of your father and mother. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 12

Yours in much love, 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 13

Your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 14

We would be pleased to hear from you both. Please write freely to us, Edson and Emma. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 15

Edson, I wish you would write me all about the prospect of school this winter. I want to consider if Willie would be the gainer in not going to California, and attending school in place of accompanying us. You will have to write immediately all about the matter in order to decide the matter at once. Write everything you know about the matter. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 16

If you do not use the melodeon much, you had better return it to the house. I told Lillian Abbey it should be brought back. If you use it much and it is really an object to have it a while longer, you can retain it. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 17

Your mother. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 18

I should dislike to have Willie lose the advantages of school in Battle Creek, and yet we should much rather he would go to California. 2LtMs, Lt 5, 1872, par. 19