Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 13, 1870

White, W. C.

Clyde, Ohio [Campground]

September 23, 1870

Portions of this letter are published in 2Bio 293-294.

My very dear Son Willie:

We received your second letter yesterday, stating you had not been quite as well. As soon as we arrived at the campground at Charlotte, I was unable to sit up. Was very sick. Father prayed for me and I remained upon the ground. At first decided to go to Battle Creek for treatment, not at the Institute, but at my own home; but I did not leave the ground. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 1

Friday I felt anxious about you. It seemed to me that all was not well with you. I felt that you were not doing as well. I spoke to Father. Said I, “I think that they will not be cautious in regard to Willie’s diet. I have no fears if they will only be particular in regard to his eating. But here is my greatest fear—that they will allow a boy with a voracious appetite to judge for himself how much to eat and the quality of the food.” I wrote Tuesday morning, for I felt I could forbear no longer. My dear boy, sickness is prevailing and we need to be very cautious in regard to diet. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 2

Poor Brother Aldrich is dead. His fever came on less violently than yours and progressed about as yours, but they did not grapple with the fever as persistently as we did in your case. We feel very anxious for you. Your future health will be determined upon how you come up while you are recovering from the debilitating effects of the fever. Now is your battle. Now is the most critical period with you of your life. An invalid confined in bed, suffering under disease, is more easily managed than an invalid recovering with returning appetite, yet his system not strong enough to bear taxation. We will pray for you. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 3

I left my bed to come on the cars to this place. I have been very sick since we left you. The morning we left was very raw and chilly. We left you on Sunday morning. I was very cold nearly all the way. My having a cold made me more susceptible to the cold. I then tried to arouse to speak to Oneida twice. Spent one night at home. No rest. Then away the next morning to camp meeting, sick all day, the next day a high fever. Friday commenced to labor. Spoke once at the stand, and one hour under the large tent on health and dress reform. Spoke twice Sabbath, and three times, Sunday. Was especially helped of God. All this time my head and jaws were so sore I could scarcely endure it. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 4

Monday a sore broke in my head. Wednesday, another broke which is still discharging thick blood and corrupt matter. This is a new experience for me. I feel that the Lord will help me. I was not dressed Wednesday and but a short time Thursday in the morning, until I dressed to start on the cars. When we entered the cars at Battle Creek, the atmosphere was thick and polluted. I could not bear it. I was so weak I fainted. When we arrived at Jackson, it was a State Fair and such a crowd I never saw before. They were determined to crowd upon the platform. Your father rushed up with me on his arm. He put his shoulder against men and women, crying out, “Make way for a sick woman. Clear the track for a sick woman.” He rushed through the crowd, took me [to] one side, found me a seat. Adelia Van Horn by my side, he went for Brother Palmers team, but we could not leave for one hour. The crowd was so dense and trains loaded, on the platform, on the steps, on the wood train, on the top, and the cars numbered about sixteen at a train. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 5

I will say, Mother fails, but is a great deal of care. Her mind fails also. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 6

I would say to you all, much love. We hope you will have wisdom and strength and courage in the Lord. Do not leave Rosetta when you come west. Have her come along. We think, Lucinda, we shall employ Brother and Sister Graves to take care of our parents and we go into the twin cottages with our family. What do you think of this, Lucinda? We want to see you. We miss you very much indeed and often suffer for your presence and care. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 7

Much love to you, my Willie. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 8

Your Mother. 2LtMs, Lt 13, 1870, par. 9