Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 27a, 1880

White, James

Walla Walla, Washington Territory

May 16, 1880

Previously unpublished.

Dear Husband:

We are making our home at Brother Wood’s. This is made a home indeed for us. They are kind and attentive and hospitable. Elder [S. N.] Haskell has remained in Walla Walla visiting around. Brother Wood is three miles from Walla Walla City. I spoke for the first time last night. Had great freedom and a good congregation. I am now satisfied it was my duty to come to this place. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 1

I deeply regret to say Elder [I. D.] Van Horn has done scarcely nothing the past year. Things in Walla Walla are in a most scattered, backslidden state. Elder Van Horn has not visited them in one year. Elder Jones has come within a short time and has been doing a little something. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 2

Elder [I. D.] Van Horn has been building him a house in Beaverton, close by the church that has been there the past year. He says he has now fixed his family that he can now leave them. But he can do nothing to bring them up from their present condition of dissension and backsliding because he has kept up nothing and seems like a man insensible to the condition of things. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 3

The only hope for Oregon is for him to leave, for, as long as he is here, he will stand directly in the way of any other minister doing anything for all think [I. D.] Van Horn the most acceptable preacher in the world and while they see that he does scarcely nothing, yet he is their man. All are dissatisfied with his lack of doing visiting [with] them and laboring for them, and yet they all love him. With the influence he has here, if he would do his duty, and if he did feel and sense the condition of the people and would be a faithful shepherd he could be a power for good. But while he has so shamefully neglected things, he feels all unconscious of it. But I have been shown the condition of things and have been writing earnestly to him. Everything is going steadily downward for the want of an energetic man to keep it up. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 4

I have thought we would try to get [I. D.] Van Horn to San Francisco—somewhere to work where he can be stimulated by others’ course of actions. As he is the highest power here, no one ventures to say, “Why do ye so?” 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 5

Adelia [Van Horn] has her third baby and these children absorb all her mind and she holds her husband from laboring in the field. No one has anything particular to say about it, but I know how the case stands. I hope [I. D.] Van Horn is not entirely past being aroused and coming to his senses, but as yet there is nothing encouraging. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 6

I have felt so bad sometimes I could not sleep—seems as though my heart would burst with its burden to look at the state of the people—poor sheep without a shepherd. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 7

I have another hard cold on my lungs—the left lung is quite troublesome but I do not cough as constantly as I did when in Michigan. I am trusting in the Lord. I have most precious seasons of communion with my Saviour. I trust His love and He gives me great consolation and comfort of His grace. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 8

I learn Brother Colcord is in Portland. We will meet him next Tuesday. I am so glad he has come for he is needed so much. Our meeting commences next Thursday. We have here a room to ourselves and are not interrupted. Mary and I have been writing all the time. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 9

I would be glad to see you riding in your nice carriage. Take all the happiness you can. Let your mind, [your] poor tired mind, rest. Travel if you can. It will do you any amount of good. When we shall meet again, I cannot say. May the Lord direct my course is my constant earnest prayer. I will not choose my own way. I came very near doing so when I came here, for I did not want to come at all, but I see that I was needed; but few have confidence here in my mission or work and, of course, this is the place where I am needed. I go straight ahead bearing the testimony the Lord gives me, and He will work. We shall see of His salvation. Be of good courage. Cling to the Mighty One and He will be your constant help. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 10

Yours. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 11

[P. S.] As you do not want any letters I did not write any particulars of my journey for I would not weary myself and reflect that weariness on you. I hope to hear from you before long. 3LtMs, Lt 27a, 1880, par. 12