Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2

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Lt 29, 1875

White, W. C.

Battle Creek, Michigan

August 8, 1875

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie:

I arise this morning before others are up to write you a few lines. I have not been able to write for one week, I might say two weeks past. My head suddenly refused to serve me. Power to think or read or write seemed to leave me. I was very bad, could not sleep. Was without sleep except about one or perhaps two hours sleep each night. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 1

About this time your father left for New York. He remained away until Friday night. He returned in the night. He was alarmed for me, to find me in such a condition, and the investigation coming off on Wednesday. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 2

This is the first letter I have put my hand to write since my sickness. In addition to all this I took a violent cold, and inflammation and catarrh set in. I have been having palpitation for two weeks, unable to bear any exertion. Thus the investigation commenced. I could not be present only when called for a special purpose to answer for myself. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 3

Thursday I was called in and did answer to the charges of contradiction in Testimonies. At first I could not speak connectedly, but I became more clear and gave a most clear and forceable statement. In this I related what use Elder Littlejohn had made of my words spoken to him in confidence, in saying before that houseful, If Sister White would unloose his tongue, he could relate things that would settle this matter forever beyond controversy. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 4

I related what impression was received that your father must have been guilty of crime and I had been obliged to explain to several that your father was [not] guilty of immoral conduct in any way. Now, said I, Elder Littlejohn said to me, I could, if I deemed him worthy, entrust to him matters of confidence and these things should be sacredly kept and should be never used against me. I have put confidence in Elder Littlejohn for the last time. He has betrayed my confidence. Now Elder Littlejohn, I unseal your lips, you may tell all I have ever spoken to you. Had you told the very thing that night, you could not have produced half the effect you did. Now Littlejohn had nothing to tell, although I gave him all the liberty he could ask. He thought that night when he asked to have his lips unsealed to intimidate me to take my position with him. He found that I was not to be driven by a threat even from Littlejohn. I showed distinctly that I had not changed my position or contradicted myself in a single particular. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 5

There was a question asked by Littlejohn which Charles Jones can recollect, when I had said, I cannot see why the principles of leadership does not harmonize with my views the last twenty years. Elder Littlejohn spoke up, “Do I understand you, Sister White, to endorse unequivocally the leadership question?” 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 6

Said I, “I am not prepared to say this tonight. I wish to examine the matter more thoroughly and clearly, see where I am to step and not move hastily that I will be obliged to retrace my steps.” 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 7

“Well,” said Brother Littlejohn, “Sister White is not settled herself. When she goes home and she and her husband can come to an understanding on this question, then there may be an adjustment of the matter.” 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 8

Elder Littlejohn has not admitted this yet, but Brethren Carman, Root, Jerry, Rummery, [and] Baker have distinct recollection of it, and when requested to arise if I had stated the matter correctly, did so. After Elder Littlejohn had tried his best to place me in a false light, I again spoke. My voice was about gone through hoarseness, but I went away from the meeting feeling free. Next day, I went again, heard letters read which had been exchanged between us and then took up Charles Russel’s case. He had said when I received Brother Littlejohn’s letter requesting a confession from me to the Allegan and Monterey churches, This reminds me of the words [of] the devil to Christ, All this will I give thee, if you will only worship me. Only come to Elder Littlejohn’s terms and the controversy ends. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 9

I wrote two letters but feared that every word might not be just right and penned a third. Called Brother Russel and Day together. Read these letters to them. Brother Russel said it was just the thing. If that did not help Elder Littlejohn, nothing would. The next I heard from Brother Russel was a letter stating that Elder Littlejohn had withdrawn from the church of Seventh-day Adventists, and [was] charging this upon me, that my letter to him and my unfortunate visit to Monterey and Allegan had brought around this terrible event. He thought a confession was due me to the Monterey and Allegan churches. I made no answer to said letter. I heard that Russel had stated to make of none effect my letter, that Brother Day held that I had written two before it, and did not send them; then the latter was dictated by Brother White. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 10

Brother Day arose and said just one word my husband suggested should be changed, in the place of “all” put “some” as “all” might be misconstrued. This shows Charlie in a poor light. This is the man you nursed and at the expense of your health. This is the one we had welcomed to our home and board. He wants a conversation with me. I have refused him. I will not trust any words spoken to him only in the presence of witnesses. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 11

Elder Littlejohn made a speech to me such as a judge makes to a criminal convicted of crime. He reined me up to the judgment and affirmed that I had contradicted myself and a confession was due the churches in Monterey and Allegan. I then arose. I spoke with power repelling his charges although I was so weak I could scarcely stand upon my feet. I had not slept the night before, not one minute. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 12

A vote was taken if we had an investigation showing that we were entirely clear from all blame and the charges made against us, to arise and all arose but Littlejohn, Warren, and Charlie Russel. Contrary requested to arise, no one arose. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 13

Your Father preached yesterday with great freedom. He also spoke in the afternoon with freedom. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 14

Sabbath drawing on. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 15

Willie, I wrote this much and could not write any since because of my head. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 16

M. V. Hull came today, seems cheerful and cordial. We took them to our tent. I was sick, yet God gave me freedom in speaking to the people today. I am not discouraged. Your father is very free and happy. I am glad I have spoken Thursday and today; shall speak once a day. I could say much but cannot just now. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 17

Love to all. Received Annie’s letter today. Glad to hear from her. Will write when I can. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 18

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 29, 1875, par. 19