Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 20, 1879

White, Mary

Emporia, Kansas

May 20, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 116-117.

Dear Mary:

Last night Father and I took the train for the camp ground. Arrived here about half-past six. The omnibus drove to the ground with two span of splendid horses. We came on the ground in style. Here we found about thirty who came two hundred miles in their wagons and did not receive the change of appointment. With the exception of two, all remain over another week. 3LtMs, Lt 20, 1879, par. 1

I am fearfully worn. We arrived in camp in season to have our tent pitched, but as usual no one felt the necessity of spending one-half hour’s time in finishing their work in staking the curtain of our tent. At two o’clock in the morning the storm struck us and our tent, as in Indiana, was as though going up like a balloon. The rain commenced to pour. Father called for a dozen men to come to the rescue. While they were preparing to get out of bed, Father and one or two who came upon the scene earlier were holding on to the curtains with both hands, crying for more help. In half an hour the tent was fastened down and all things secured for the rain to pour down, as it did until after daylight. 3LtMs, Lt 20, 1879, par. 2

Father then used the time of the thunderstorm to read letters received. I have just read your letters and cried like a child. I would rather have you, Mary, my daughter, than any one else. I suppose I was babyish, but I have been sick the entire journey. Lost twelve pounds. No rest, not a bit of it for poor Marian, and we have worked like slaves. We cooked repeatedly half the night. Marian, the entire night. We never should have consented to start on this journey. 3LtMs, Lt 20, 1879, par. 3

I have spoken every Sabbath to our camp, because no one else seemed to feel the burden, and every Sabbath evening or Sunday in towns and villages. I am worn and feel as though I were about one hundred years old. But enough of this. I cannot write much till I get rested. Will see how to send the things to our children. May come and bring them. I have shoes, gingham for aprons and dresses. Would have made them, but have been sick for some time and have not been well for some time. I am worn out with anxiety, and this journey has nearly killed me. My ambition is gone; my strength is gone, but this will not last if we can have a fair chance. 3LtMs, Lt 20, 1879, par. 4

I hope that by the cheering light of the countenance of my Savior I shall have the spring-back power. I went to Texas against my will. I have stayed against my judgment and wishes. I have consented to take this long journey, flattered that no care of perplexity should come upon me, but it could not be avoided. I have not had even time to keep a diary or write a letter. Unpack, and pack, hurry, cook, set table, have been the order of the day. I have two twelve-year-old girls who do what they can, but no experience in care-taking. Marian astonishes us all. She is really forgetting herself and is efficient help. What I could have done unless she had taken the burden is more than I can tell. Poor child, she is tired, so tired. God bless dear Marian; but then I feel so utterly prostrated. I will stop. I might say, friendless and forsaken, but this is not the case. Send me all my linen dresses, Father’s linen clothes, my calico dresses. 3LtMs, Lt 20, 1879, par. 5