Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 42, 1877


“Donahue Boat,” Healdsburg, California

December 19, 1877

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 79.

Dear children:

I have been very busy packing up for moving. We have all our goods for housekeeping on this boat. We leave Oakland for the present to test the retirement of rural life, hoping it will prove a decided advantage to Father. His mind is exercised upon writing, and he will divide his time between writing and physical exercise. We have just such a place as will please Father, and it gives him something to do. He has rested very well since he came to Oakland. We shall build us a humble house, convenient with three fireplaces, one in the parlor, one in the sitting room, and one in the bedroom. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 1

I believe that our influence will be greater to visit our brethren in Oakland and San Francisco occasionally than to be in their midst all the time. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 2

We had a most excellent meeting last Sabbath. There were seventy present in all. Father spoke with great clearness for about forty minutes. I followed, having much freedom in speaking. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 3

Brother Bond came to our place last Monday for to urge us to come up to Vacaville. There is a church there of forty. Stephens has labored there with good success. There is to be a discussion between Brother Healey and a Disciple minister. This minister is one of the shrewdest men. There is to be quite a time made over this matter. Brethren are to come from the churches all around there and remain through the discussion which is to be in the morning and afternoon. The Disciples appointed meeting for the evening. Brother Bond thought they would not be behind the Christian church (so called); therefore, they also appointed meetings for preaching every evening. The discussion is to be suspended Sabbath and Sunday. Here will be a young camp meeting. Brother Bond and several brethren will [be] up to Vacaville into spare houses and remain through the meetings, entertaining all who come. They intend to make the most of this occasion. Edson and Emma will be present to sing. They have an organ in the hall. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 4

Several have embraced the truth in Vacaville who have means to help the cause. We shall go and get things started on our place, and then we shall leave next Monday for St. Helena. Tuesday, journey to Napa; Wednesday be on the ground at Vacaville ready to do our part on evenings or as the way may open. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 5

We have a very good man going to work for us. He is part Indian and part Spanish. We are astonished quite often to see how much he knows. I think he was body servant to General Lee. Our boxes he lettered so nicely, equal to a genuine artist. He can cook, farm, or do almost anything. But he has recently come from Oregon. He has embraced the Sabbath and is a devoted Christian. When he speaks in meetings, it comes from a heart that feels. With choked utterances he relates his conversion and expresses his gratitude for the truth. When I am writing, he is sitting on the boat reading his Bible. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 6

Sister Clemmens will keep our home and board the workmen. It will take time and labor to get settled, but we shall not regret this move if Father improves. Edson and Emma are doing excellently well. They both work in the office and fill a good position. Lucinda and Dell are doing well at their post of duty. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 7

I have been unable to sleep, but I am now improving in this respect. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 8

We are very glad to hear from you. Write often. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 9

In much love, 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 10


I wrote the above on the boat, Dec. 14. We are at Brother Cook’s at Healdsburg. We shall go into our new house today. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 11

Shall get us a stove and commence housekeeping at once. We learn that we can get twenty-five acres of land, woodland, joining ours for two hundred and fifty dollars. This includes a good spring of coldest, soft water which we can bring down to the house and barn. It is about one hundred feet above the position of the house. But the most attractive features of our mountain home are the beautiful places for prayer. We long for this and shall enjoy this precious retreat. We hope that all our hopes will be realized in this to us precious retreat. I wish you could see it and we enjoy a visit from you. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 12

Father is intending to write and travel and work. He continues quite weak as far as physical strength is concerned. We received an excellent [letter] from Sister Haskell, Brother Haskell, and Dr. Kellogg. We are in good spirits and quite good laboring order. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 13

We will write you again soon. 3LtMs, Lt 42, 1877, par. 14