Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 12, 1881

White, W. C.

Healdsburg, California

November 9, 1881

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie:

Yesterday we saw Michel. Brother [Fred] Harmon found where he was at work, and we drove into the field where he was. He promised he would pay. Said he had no means now, but would pay as soon as he could earn means. Brother Harmon takes me today to see a family who can inform me all about his liabilities, and the probability of getting my pay. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 1

Mrs. Brown seemed highly pleased with the place, but the more I think of it, the less I think of accepting her place. We find such property as ours is now becoming salable. We find we might have disposed of our place if Michel had not been in the house. He told all that we did not design to sell. We find all parties talk of the place as being a most beautiful location. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 2

Mrs. Brown talked very freely about Alameda. She said men of property who had sold and moved from Alameda state they would not live there again if property of thirty thousand dollars were given them with the conditions they should live there upon it. She said that it was easy to put your money in Alameda property, but you could never get it out again. She went on in such a strain as this for quite a while. I thought she was not making the inducements very enticing to us. I am afraid of their property. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 3

When we returned from the place after showing her all over the farm, we dropped her at the hotel and invited Mrs. Gray to ride up with us to Brother Harmon’s and have a little visit. We thus had an opportunity of seeing and conversing with her for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, she stated that she had not yet heard from Oakland and was ready to sell the place for five thousand. I told her that was more than the parties would feel authorized to pay for it. She seemed to be fixed there. I told her that we had not yet visited Berkeley, that in some respects that would be preferable to Healdsburg because the influence of the church in Oakland would be favorable to the school, and students might have opportunity to labor in connection with [the] printing office. She held up the superior advantages of Healdsburg, and the long and short of the matter is, here the matter hangs. I think we will let it hang a while. I did not manifest the least anxiety to her. I told her that we were not in so very great hurry. We would let matters take their course. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 4

We committed it all to the Lord. We might make mistakes in our decision. We had faith the Lord would lead and guide and control the matter. We would not run ahead of the providence of God. The Lord might direct us to some location where we could have more land and workshops for our students. He might qualify men and women to lay the foundation of a school upon the right basis. Healdsburg might not be the place of God’s choice. Sodom looked very desirable to Lot because of its attractive loveliness, but it proved to be a most dangerous place. We had a real social visit. She returns to Vallejo tomorrow. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 5

Now, Willie, if it is best, considering all things, for us to return to Oakland, we will come. If it were not for your going East so soon, would prefer to stay a while longer as we have called on no one yet but Brother Harmon. Should you think best for us to come, telegraph Brother Young, who will get the message to me without sending the messenger to Fred Harmon’s at expense. I shall expect to hear from you today. Hope I shall not be disappointed. Marian [Davis] is improving slowly. Do you hear anything from our friends [in the] East? Let us know at once. In haste, 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 6


Last night I slept but little. I thought I would make an offer to Mrs. Gray of thirty-five hundred. Then I felt it might not be best at present, so the matter hangs in doubt. I do not think I would take the Alameda property. Brother Harmon thinks he would rather risk the sale of Healdsburg than the property at Alameda. If the place is salable, why have they not sold it? Fred said he would take the place at three thousand and sell his place, but I ought to have more. I tell you property is high here. 3LtMs, Lt 12, 1881, par. 7