Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 17a, 1880

White, James

Oakland, California

April 1, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 70.

[Incomplete letter to James White.]

... Elder [S. N.] Haskell spoke Monday night. I rested. Tuesday, all assembled in the Methodist church while Elder Haskell gave them instruction in the various branches of the work and in regard to the best manner of working. At half past ten, I spoke to a good congregation. Many outsiders were in. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 1

All the time that was given to circulate the appointment was Monday. Several from Arbuckle hurried home from Woodland after hearing me speak Sunday forenoon, to give the notice to College City and Arbuckle. By chance they sent word twenty miles to Fresh Water where Brother Rice’s parents resided, and while I was speaking, they came in. I had great liberty and clearness in speaking and there seemed to be the deepest interest manifested. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 2

At noon I was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Manoah and their daughter. Mother and daughter are keeping the Sabbath. Sister Manoah is mother of Brother Rice and the daughter is his sister. This Mr. Manoah is second husband, not a believer, but they were very intelligent and excellent appearing people. They have only recently embraced the truth, but they are very much in earnest and have an intelligence that will do credit to our faith. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 3

I was invited to take dinner with Sister Lucas. She is an intelligent, thorough-going woman. Her children are with her in the faith. Her husband is a spiritualist and saloon-keeper. He is really a fine-looking man. He tried to draw me out, but he failed. I was enabled to meet him wisely and close his mouth. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 4

Elder Haskell talked in the afternoon and his labors were well received. I had in the evening, it was stated, the largest congregation that had ever assembled at Arbuckle. The house was full. Many came from five to ten and twelve miles. The Lord gave me special power in speaking. The congregation listened as if spell-bound. Not one left the house although I talked above one hour. Before I commenced talking, Elder Haskell had a bit of paper that was handed [him] quoting [a] certain text prohibiting women speaking in public. He took up the matter in a brief manner and very clearly expressed the meaning of the apostle’s words. I understand it was a Campbelite who wrote the objection, and it had been well-circulated before it reached the desk; but Elder Haskell made it all plain before the people. After I closed, he made some remarks in regard to their temperance organization. Not one left the house. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 5

I cannot express to you how grateful these new converts were to have this timely help. They meet the worst opposition from the Campbelites, but all are firm. One more joined the covenant that evening and several others are on the point of deciding. I had felt so deeply for these poor souls and had been so wrought up as I felt their danger [that] I could not sleep that night. I think I slept not more than two hours. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 6

Wednesday opened cloudy and cold with the breeze directly in our faces, but we had good covered carriages, and by pinning newspapers over the lungs and between the shoulders of the sisters, they became very comfortable. We came near having a fire in our moving. House bricks were warmed for the feet. Ella Sanders, Lucy Bush, and Brother Sanders occupied the front seat. They felt the heat of the bricks and their wrappings were about ready to burst into a flame. They did not discover it a minute too soon. They quickly threw out bricks and the coverings over them. Ella burned the ruffling of her dress quite badly as it was. We took dinner at Brother Saunders’ and then went to [the] depot to take [the] three o’clock train, but we were one minute too late. The cars moved off gradually, leaving us feeling rather queer. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 7

Brother Greyson’s team was still at Brother Saunders’, [so he] rode out with us. I was so tired I could not visit. Went to bed early and slept well. Brother Greyson took us two miles the next morning. It rained all night and has rained more or less through the day. We found when we got to the flag station [that] we had just one hour to wait, so we made a waiting room of the covered carriage and had an interesting visit with Brother Greyson for one hour. While the rain was softly falling, Brother Greyson signaled the cars, and [at a] quarter before eight we were moving on, [with] the overland cars behind us. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 8

We arrived here at Oakland at eleven o’clock. I spoke five times in four days. Elder Haskell spoke as often as he could get a congregation, filling in every moment profitably. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 9

Here we find letters from Battle Creek, letters from you, which I will answer this afternoon. I have a meeting to attend tonight. We are crowding in all the time we can, hastening from church to church. Elder Haskell visits one church while I visit another; then, when necessary, we unite our forces, always having some one or two with me. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 10

Brother Greyson is thousands of dollars worse than nothing. Two last years have had failure in crops. One year more, if unsuccessful, he will not have a dollar as his own. 3LtMs, Lt 17a, 1880, par. 11