Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 15, 1871

White, J. E.; White, Emma

South Boston, Massachusetts

November 15, 1871

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 397.

Dear children, Edson and Emma:

Here we are at Brother Stratton’s good home. We were heartily welcomed here by all in Lancaster and Boston. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 1

Your father is now at New York, at Dr. Trall’s, on business. He returns tomorrow. When we returned home from Brother Sawyer’s we found that Brother Stratton had come from Boston to visit us and if we had not in the providence of God returned home, he would probably not have stayed in Battle Creek, but returned to his home or passed on to Chicago. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 2

Your father’s mind was worn. He did not know how much. I could see and feel it more than anyone else. I knew that unless a change came soon he would be broken down in brain, in courage, and then his physical strength would feel the effect. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 3

I had labored for months to get Father away from his business cares, but he thought that it was impossible. Brother Abbey had fearful dreams in reference to Father. He had dreams in regard to himself to arouse his fears, yet he could see no opportunity to leave the care, for there was no one to take it. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 4

Brother Stratton urged your father to go to Boston. I wanted very much to visit you first and so did Father. He urged this as an excuse for not going with Brother Stratton to Boston, but I did not dare to have him wait and Brother Stratton return to Boston, for I feared that Father would make no change and would keep right on till his brain would be used up. Even after Brother Stratton had waited for him several days and Father had consented to be gone two weeks, and the appointments were out, he thought he should give up going, but Brother Stratton held him to it, and would not consent to have him give it up. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 5

After we got here Father seemed so happy and free I persuaded him to extend his visit longer and go to Maine and give me a chance to see my sisters. Your Uncle Samuel [McCann] is very low. If he lives till spring it will be beyond the expectations of all his friends. Sister Harriet has taken care of him till she is nearly helpless herself. Their house is a sad, sick house. If I do not see Samuel now I never shall. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 6

I promised your and Emma’s pictures to Harriet and Lizzie. Will you send the ones you spoke of to their addresses: Mrs. Harriet McCann, Saco, Maine; Mrs. E. N. Bangs, West Gorham, Maine. Don’t fail to attend to this immediately if you have the pictures. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 7

We have had excellent meetings in Lancaster and Boston. Our next appointments are in New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island. Let us hear from you at Norridgewock, Maine. Write just how you get along. We do not forget to pray for you every day. 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 8

We visited Dr. Lewis and found him as bad, yes, worse off, very much worse off, than Father. We think him near insanity. He has a house in which he has put two hundred and thirty thousand dollars and he is yet making improvements. We stepped into apparently a little bedroom, four by six, sat upon a nice sofa, and were hoisted by an elevator up four stories to Dr. Lewis’ room; and yet there w[ere] four stories above the doctor’s room. We could look all over Boston. The doctor has been engaged in business so long that he had a diseased brain. He told us frankly all about his condition. I think this statement of his case helped Father. It certainly explained things to me I had not before understood. I see that we must all be more careful of our words and actions when Father is overwhelmed with care. [Remainder missing.] 2LtMs, Lt 15, 1871, par. 9