Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 40, 1877

White, W. C.; White, Mary

St. Helena, California

December 5, 1877

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 78-79.

Dear Children, Willie and Mary:

We have been in great perplexity to know what to do. Father has improved in many respects, but he is failing in flesh. He is quite poor, although he eats more liberally than he did; yet if he has any discomfortable, unfavorable symptoms, he appears more like an insane man or like a monomaniac over the matter. He will talk of it and make a mountain of it. But he has some very disagreeable sensations. If he gets weary, his hand is disagreeably hot and he is sleepless. I fear we do not pray enough over his case. Will you make his case a subject of prayer? There is no soul I can go to for counsel or for help, but Jesus. L. M. Hall is so thoroughly engaged she can do nothing to help me in sharing my burdens. My trouble with Mary and her mother has told upon me severely. I am unable to write because of my hand and heart troubles. And Father is the last person in the world to whom I should go with any expectancy that he could get beyond himself sufficiently to appreciate my feelings. I must think and act all for myself. I so much long to have an interested God-fearing friend that I can talk and counsel with. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 1

We have been to Healdsburg and looked around for a home there. We found a very nice location two miles from Healdsburg in the mountains. There are fifteen acres of land which give us the scenery of Colorado and the advantages of the Greenville farm Father thought so much of. I never was on a place I was so much pleased with. Madrona and manzanita and beautiful evergreens. Living springs—several of them are on the place. The price is $1,400. We should buy ten acres more which would carry it up to $1,600. There is only a poor little shanty on the place, but it has a good fireplace which is all the redeeming feature of the house. We must build a plain, simple house costing about six hundred dollars, barn, etc. This may look like a wild project to you, but if Father can be called away and out of thinking of himself and can enjoy work out of doors, it will be the best thing he can do and be the best investment of means we can make. We must have a place of retirement where we can step out of doors without being seen by our neighbors. We want chance to pray in the groves and mountains. We shall have no wood to buy, plenty on the place. We think for health this location above any that we can find in St. Helena. Willie, I am satisfied Father should not write much. He must have something to engage his mind besides what he has had. There must be a change. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 2

Sunday, December 9, 1877

Yesterday we had a good day. Father spoke about one hour and a half with calmness and clearness. I see a marked change in him for the better every effort he makes. He has confidence in his ability to do. We held meeting in the Baptist church. The house was filled. Brethren from Napa and Lake Country came to the meeting. One woman came forty miles from Lake County. I had great freedom in speaking to the people. “But who may abide the day of His coming?” [Malachi 3:2.] 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 3

We took dinner at Brother Creamer’s. I speak in the Baptist church at two o’clock this afternoon on the subject of temperance. Last Sunday afternoon I spoke in the theatre, large hall, upon the subject of temperance to a good audience. We are making it our home at Brother Pratt’s. They have a beautiful residence. We sit by the good fireplace and enjoy their hospitality of the liberal home. They are two miles from St. Helena in the mountains. I have very much I would like to say to you, but not now for I have not time. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 4

This is a grape-raising country—large vineyards meet the eye in every direction; immense buildings for wineries. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 5

I spoke yesterday in their Baptist church to a crowded house. This must go today. Finish when we get to Healdsburg. 3LtMs, Lt 40, 1877, par. 6