Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 68, 1874

White, J. S.

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 8, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 421-422.

Dear Husband:

We are as well as could be expected, considering the intense heat. We have not had a drop of rain here for two weeks and over, I think. The thermometer stands 100 in the shade. It is difficult to engage in any labor with ambition because of the great heat. Willie thought of going out to work in the harvest field, but I did not dare to have him go, and the brethren discouraged him, telling him it was positively dangerous. He has been writing and studying some. I am trying to revise Sufferings of Christ. It is called for everywhere. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 1

Woolsey’s death has created a great excitement in Battle Creek. While worldlings were in the house, Sister Smith and another sister tried to comfort her. She would not let them come near her. She told them the leading men had been the means of her husband’s death. She and her sister Freddie have talked very hard in regard to the course the church has pursued. Woolsey himself talked ridiculously, when he was alive, in regard to some of the most responsible men. We shall have some trouble in this matter. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 2

Last night I attended a temperance meeting and was called on by Mr. Peavey to speak. I gave a very brief statement of the temperance movement in California. Twice there was great cheering. I was then thanked for what I had said. The chairman lingered in speech, some, over the facts I had given them. I thought the speakers did not have much enthusiasm. After meeting I was introduced to the Methodist minister, chairman, the lady president and several leading ones in the movement. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 3

I was urged to attend meeting next Tuesday night. The chairman said he had tried, and several had done what they could, to get our people to lend their influence but in vain. Said they had changed their meeting, which was held Friday evenings, to Thursday evenings to accommodate our people so as not to interfere with our Sabbath; but notwithstanding, could not get them to cooperate in the movement. Many in the meeting referred to what I had said and what a work was being done in California. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 4

I think our people are in danger of being too narrow and not broad and generous and courteous as they must be if they would do good. I intend to speak upon temperance soon. Some of the people in the city are quite urgent that I should. I thought just at this time, while there is danger of prejudice being raised on account of Woolsey’s disgraceful end, we had better show ourselves friendly and courteous and remove prejudice if possible. Every kind of rumor is afloat. Quite a number of our people attended the temperance meeting Tuesday evening. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 5

Today I have received the first news of anything special from home since I left. Lucinda ventured to write me a letter. You know your letters have contained scarcely any news or particulars of anything. I have been so hungry for some cheering news from home. I hope Edson and Emma will not forget that there are some who would be glad to hear from them this side of the plains. I hope they will take time to write useful and cheering letters. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 6

I hope you will take much pleasure in your anticipated pleasure trip. I believe it will do you good, and you should have a little change. Throw off care. Be just as cheerful and happy as the birds. May God abundantly bless you, my husband, and may you be cheerful in God is my prayer. 2LtMs, Lt 68, 1874, par. 7

Your Ellen.