Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

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Lt 4a, 1881

Children

Battle Creek, Michigan

May 15, 1881

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 158; 6MR 306.

Dear Children:

Last Sabbath Father and I went to Ceresco. Father spoke in forenoon, I in afternoon. Today I have no strength. Every breath has been labored. I think now we will go to Colorado this summer. I dare not, in my present state of health, attend one camp meeting. I did hope Lucinda [Hall] would be some help to me, but notwithstanding my pitiable condition, she engaged herself to the sanitarium; does not come near me any more than if we had been merely casual acquaintances. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 1

About one week ago she and Lilly called upon me and began to talk in regard to Father as though Lucinda had not been paid enough for her services when with us. I know Father always paid her more than she asked, and urged upon her more than she would receive. He handed her five hundred dollars in consideration of her valuable services. Lilly belched out to me that Father told all around that he had made Lucinda a present of five hundred dollars, and then both, I saw, were of one spirit and one mind. They made several very glaring statements that Lucinda was paid only two dollars a week while he drew from the office a much larger sum for her services, making your father dishonest. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 2

I believe Lilly Carruth to be Lilly Abbey still, a falsifier. I have no confidence in her, and I sincerely hope you will never connect her with the office again. I shall never use my influence to have Samuel or Mary go to Oakland, should they ever want to go. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 3

Father was very anxious Lucinda should help me. Samuel Rhodes was at her parents’, a terrible burden upon Sister Abbey. Lucinda said she could not leave on this account. Father proposed to remove this objection by having Samuel Rhodes come to Battle Creek when Henry Kellogg should call for him when he returned from New York. But the parties got in so great a hurry to get rid of him, and were so very urgent, that they took him to the cars and placed him on board all alone. He says he had thirty dollars stolen from him. His wife refuses to live with him or have any further care of him, for he has used up her property and abused her cruelly all their married life. Here is Samuel Rhodes on the church at the expense of three dollars per week, and your father got him here hoping we might have help from Lucinda, but she has refused to help us and engaged herself at the sanitarium as assistant matron. Dr. Kellogg has given her a wonderful puff. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 4

Now Lucinda has linked with the bold-faced, impudent Lilly [and] is apparently of the same heart and of the same mind and judgment. I cannot explain these things. Nathan Wheeler and the Abbeys and Sister Hall and Rosette Perry get together and talk and talk until they misconstrue everything. I shall never ask Lucinda to unite with me again—never, never. A great gulf is between us. Whenever I have mentioned the matter she has said, “You ought to be with Willie and Mary. They are just the ones to help you.” 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 5

I have been keeping house, afflicted, and not one in my house companionable or that could give me anything of the help I needed. I have thought seriously of sending for Sister Ings from Europe. She writes that she would come if I sent for her, but there is her husband who needs her help and is entitled to it. How would it do for Mary to come to Colorado, if we go there in June, to remain until fall? Can she be spared at all? Can she leave the work there? Would it not be a change for her? We intend to write in the place of going to the camp meetings. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 6

If our place was free for us at Healdsburg, we might go there. Let us know what you think of this. I can bring a girl to do the work so Mary will not have to do housework and wash and take these burdens. Let us know. I want to do my writing if I can. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 7

We have the most beautiful situation in Michigan, but I have so many calls to go pray for the sick, to give counsel, to listen to troubles. I am exhausted continually and then am considered, I suppose, heartless because I do not go at every call. I must get out of this. We had decided to go to Spring Arbor camp meeting, then by most urgent request attend the Wisconsin camp meeting and then Minnesota. I had consented to do this, but I know now it would be presumptuous. I have suffered today very much. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 8

I want all that comes in from my place to be applied to the money Father paid to cancel the mortgage. Let me know just the amount Father paid and just how far the rent money will go to pay my indebtedness. Before this is off your mind, write me an answer that I may know my exact financial standing. I have written several times upon this subject, but no answer returns—forgotten, I suppose, in pressure of business. But don’t neglect this now; let me know in reference to this matter. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 9

I have made up that thick cloth, Mary, in your box. Made two shirts for Willie. Will send soon. I wish you would write oftener and let me hear from you upon things I want to know so much. Are my two houses, bought of Edson, rented? 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 10

I am fully convinced that I must have an easier time than I have had. The old hands are dropping off. Father [J. P.] Kellogg is gone, buried last Sabbath. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 11

Father has excellent health. He has worked hard on the place here; put in more than one acre of strawberries, some raspberries, more than an acre of potatoes, several acres of corn, fifty hard maples, many peach trees, pear trees, and two long rows of pie plant. I have been gathering up shrubs and flowers until we have quite a garden. Peonies, I have a large number of them; hope to get California pinks. I want to get some of that green bordering we get from Sister Rollin. How can I get it? I wish I had some seeds from California. Remember your mother and sister are now residents of California. Will you come? But my Willie needs you and I have not the heart to ask. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 12

Mother.

[P.S.] Why not send at once for Lucinda and then let her take Mary’s place? Lucinda is an exact fit in the office at Oakland. But don’t take Lilly, I beg of you. She is not truthful. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1881, par. 13

Mother.