Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 11, 1872

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Denver, Colorado

July 23, 1872

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

We received your letters sent us at this place. Last Friday we received the pictures. We are pleased with them. We are now stopping with your cousin Louisa Clough Walling. She is glad to entertain us. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 1

We received the account of your improvements in your house. We fear, Edson, that this is not good policy. We think you had plenty of room without expending means to fit up your woodshed. Edson and Emma, you both need to study economy and have but few wants. Save your money. Do not live up to every dollar like William Gage. If you desire to find a place to invest means, you may both see this and that improvement to make and use up every dollar as fast as you earn. I advise you not to expend one dollar on the house unless it is positively necessary. I hope Emma will help you to keep your means. You should not do as William Gage—live up every cent of his wages and then when sick become a church pauper because he had nothing in reserve. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 2

Emma, let your wants be few. Do not make suggestions to Edson to improve here or there, which will require means. You two could get along with the house even if it were much smaller. Neither of you know what inconvenience is. Your cousin Louisa has five children. There are generally eight in the family, and there are but two small rooms and two bedrooms—no chambers at all. Only two beds can be set up in the house and the children and Willie sleep on the floor, with a comfort under them. If you both should have some experience in how little you could get along with, it would help you. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 3

Children, it would be well for you to take up at the office about half of your wages and reserve the other half back to your credit untouched. If you use up your half of the money drawn, don’t run into debt, but just do without some things you think you must have. In this way you can have means at your command to get your education at Trall’s Medical College. You can work your way through if you will. Emma can help you in this matter. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 4

I write to you thus because I have an interest for you, and I hope you will heed your mother’s counsel. Again I say, don’t spend as fast as you go. Economy should be the battle with you both. How much means did it cost you to make the improvements on your house? Assell Smith lived there years and got along very well. He earned greater wages, Edson, than you are earning. You could have done very well with the room you had without fitting up the woodshed for store room. If you remember, Father promised to double all the means you could show you had earned above your expenditures. If you work upon the poor policy of using up as you go in improvements, you will make a loss. Edson, your great fault has been to spend for tools and for this, that, and the other thing—things which you made yourself believe you must have. You might now have had quite a sum to be doubled by your father if you had used your time and means wisely. You are both young and have much experience to gain. We do not want you to gain this experience in the hardest way. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 5

Let your wants be few; economize, economize. You two can save means if you will. You have not, like William Gage, house rent to pay, neither have you three children and one or two girls to feed. You have your two selves only. William Gage could have laid up something. You can lay by half of your wages. If you have a will and determination in the matter, you can save means. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 6

I do not write because I feel hard or tried, but because I want you to help yourself and have the satisfaction of knowing you can fully and abundantly sustain yourselves and have a reserve fund for any purpose to advantage yourself. 2LtMs, Lt 11, 1872, par. 7