Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 13a, 1873

White, W. C.

Black Hawk, Colorado

October 22, 1873

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie:

We are usually well. We received yours from Washington day before yesterday and were glad for we were anxious in regard to Nathan. We are glad that he is recovering. We received your letter from Battle Creek. Were glad to learn that you had arrived in safety. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 1

I am glad that Emma is not going to Ann Arbor. We would willingly pay her fare on to California to spend the winter if she could come willingly and freely and Edson would feel that we were doing them both a favor with the good of Emma in view. Her health is a consideration not small with us. But as all our efforts have worked in the end to our injury, we feel delicate about making a proposition. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 2

You can talk with Emma and see how she feels about the matter. If she is really desirous to take the journey and live with us in a warm climate this winter, inform us immediately. We have an interest for Edson and Emma, but he is so easily tempted; efforts that we might make for the benefit of both, although at great expense to us, he might, when tempted, feel that we were working against him and be jealous of us. He places himself where it is next to an impossibility to help him. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 3

My dear Willie, this state of things is a great grief to us, but we are put to our wits’ end to know what to say or do for Edson that will not prove an injury to him in the end. May the Lord give us wisdom, and may we know the course to pursue in wisdom, that will work for his good and he feel that we are not his enemy. He is no comfort to us but a grievous burden. I do not speak in point of means. This we could cheerfully do, but he is so ready to get irritated and stirred up against his own father that his case seems about hopeless to me. He thinks only selfishly of his own interest, caring for himself, planning for himself. To relieve and plan to make us happy, and relieve us of burdens, he has no thought. I have written him several letters, but he has not answered a word. In one of my letters I wrote to him that if he would not write without complaining and jealous insinuations I did not want him to trouble his father with his letters. This I say still. Unless Edson is an entirely changed boy, unless he sees that he is selfishly shut up to his own interest, to think and care only for himself, he will never reform. He has a work to do for himself which we nor you or any other one can do for him. He is our son, but he is a thankless son, a selfish boy, and he can never be happy till he sees his error and corrects it. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 4

Yesterday was as cold as January. We, your father and I, went to Black Hawk. We suffered with cold when we returned. It snowed thick and fast. Last night was a tediously cold night. This morning there are six inches of snow upon the level. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 5

Well, Willie, my dear son, do not trust to your own strength. Look to God. Your hope and trust are in Him. Make Him the Guide of your youth. Keep humble and lowly. Let your conversation be discreet. Be an example to others rather than to be swerved from the right one jot. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 6

We want to get off for California, out of this cold climate. Colorado is not the place for us to winter in. Father is very cheerful and happy. I am glad of this. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 7

Write us often. If you wish to attend the medical college, do so. It may be the best thing you can do. Write us what things you took East from Washington. In haste, 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 8

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 13a, 1873, par. 9