Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 67, 1874

White, W. C.

San Francisco, California

April 20, 1874

Portionss of this letter are published in 2Bio 409; 11MR 129-130.

Dear Willie:

We have been spending Sabbath and first day here in San Francisco. We think the church here are now willing to be helped. They have got enough of Grant. He has killed his influence here in San Francisco. We had a very excellent meeting Friday night, two Sabbath day, and two Sunday. Burton and Stipp have acted as mean a part as they well could, but they are being seen even by those who have been foolish enough to be deceived by such spirits. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 1

Your father is much encouraged, and with the present prospects we dare not leave California just yet. We want to see the people taking a firm stand on the right side. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 2

Cloverdale, California. On the freight train to Santa Rosa.

We had a pleasant passage from San Francisco to Petaluma. We invited Sister Hall of San Francisco to accompany us to our home to remain a couple of weeks. She has been deceived by Stipp and Burton, but she has become disgusted with their course. We had left our horses and carriage with Brother Chapman. We tarried with them overnight and continued our course homeward, leaving Sister Hall to visit a few days at Petaluma and meet us at Bloomfield, at their quarterly meeting. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 3

Your father met Elder Canright and wife in the city. We came in on the boat at seven o’clock. Elder Canright’s family left on the boat at half past two o’clock. Your father made his arrangements to meet him at Healdsburg, Tuesday evening. We would take dinner at Santa Rosa, then go on to Healdsburg. Our horses were barefooted, but we could not stop to get them shod. Our carriage spring had broken. We could not stop to get it repaired. Important moves were being made. Brethren Cornell and Canright had decided to commence a course of lectures under the tent at Cloverdale, the terminus of the railroad, eighteen miles from Healdsburg. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 4

Your father and I left suddenly, distrustful of this move. Cloverdale has but about two hundred inhabitants. There was not a good farming community surrounding Cloverdale. The class of people at Cloverdale were rough, and there was a great deal of drinking beer and liquor. Our people in Oakland were very earnest for the tent to come there, and this seemed to us to be altogether a better place than Cloverdale. We wished to meet Brethren Cornell and Canright and tell them our feelings, but imagine our disappointment to learn on arriving at Healdsburg that Brethren Cornell and Canright had left for Cloverdale, and that their goods were loaded to be taken to them by Brother Bond in the morning. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 5

We thought best to push ahead, although it was already seven o’clock at night, and go on eight miles to see Brother Bond. We rode on until we came to Russian River. Your cautious father dared not drive the team into the water until he thought it was perfectly safe. You may imagine our situation upon a road we were unacquainted with, and a deep, rapidly running river to ford. Your father had no thought of backing out. He unhitched the horses from the wagon, separated them, and rode Kitty through the river while I held Bill upon the shore. We had heard (and this was, we found, correct), that this river had deep holes, over the horses’ back. We thought we could cross safely, hitched the horses to the carriage, drove over the stream, and were just feeling very much gratified that we were over when lo, stretching to the right and left before us was still a rapid running, deep, broad river. We were in a quandary what to do. Your father and I unhitched the horses again. He mounted Kit’s back while I had all that I could do to keep restless Bill from breaking away from me and following his mate. Your father crossed and recrossed the river twice to make sure the way of safety for the carriage. The water came above his boots. We marked the course he took by a mountain on the opposite side. We hitched our horses to the wagon the second time, at nine o’clock at night, and passed over to the other side. The water came up to the body of the wagon. We felt to thank God and to take courage. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 6

We missed the road leading to Brother Bond's new house and drive one mile beyond the road leading to his place. We came to McPherson's house where now stands a large new house in the place of the old house and rubbish when we passed last year. Your father halloed and was answered. He inquired the road to Mr. Bond's and was agreeably surprised to hear, “Is this Brother White?” We answered it was. “Who lives here?” We were answered, “Brother Harmon.” We complied with their earnest invitation to tarry overnight with them. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 7

Next morning before breakfast we found Brother Bond. There was a load of goods to be taken to Cloverdale by Brother Harmon in the place of Brother Bond. We decided not to have the goods removed until we should go on ourselves to Cloverdale and talk with Brethren Cornell and Canright. Brother Bond put his well-shod, rested horses before our carriage and he and Brother Harmon accompanied us to Cloverdale. We talked freely with the brethren in regard to the tent’s going to Cloverdale, that it was certainly a mistake, that larger places should be entered and our ideas should be more elevated. We thought Oakland a far better place than Cloverdale. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 8

We got in [to] Cloverdale about eleven o’clock, found Brother Cornell, and learned that both Cornell and Canright had similar feelings as your father and myself, that Cloverdale was not the place. Brother Canright was in too great haste in rushing on to Cloverdale and not waiting for us to meet him at Healdsburg. He took the cars and hurried back to Santa Rosa. We talked with Brother Cornell and with united judgment decided to reship the tent to some other place and not commence labor at Cloverdale. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 9

We decided to leave our team with Brother Cornell to drive from Brother Bond’s, and we take the cars to be in season to meet Brother Canright if he can hold still long enough for us to find him. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 10

*****

Santa Rosa. We are now at home. Brother Canright is here. He is certain that Cloverdale is the wrong place for the tent. Cloverdale is a most romantic place, surrounded by mountains, but the inhabitants are a drinking class. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 11

It is the terminus of the railroad. It is not surrounded by a farming community. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 12

I am satisfied our duty is upon this coast this summer. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 13

We will write you again soon. We received an humble letter from Edson confessing his mistakes in the past. If he will only shun them in the future we can forgive the past. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 14

In much love, my dear Willie. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 15

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 67, 1874, par. 16