Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 26, 1883

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Montpelier, Vermont

September 3, 1883

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children, Willie and Mary:

We left the Worcester, [Massachusetts,] campground on Tuesday and spent two days in South Lancaster. I met with the board and talked with them two hours. I think it was an important season. I had Sister Cummings present for I thought there were matters I wished to say which concerned her. I had been sick that day. Slept but little through the night. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 1

Next day we took the cars at Clinton Junction. Took a drawing-room car and had the advantage of a good sofa and slept much of the time until half past eleven. Then changed cars at Plymouth and stopped one hour. We had a nice time to take our dinner, but I had no appetite. We changed again at Wells River. Lawyer Upton and his wife stepped into the car, and as soon as he saw me he came and greeted me heartily. We had a long chat. He has been journeying for his health. Was going to Montpelier. Had been to the White Mountains. We journeyed through a most beautiful part of the country. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 2

We stepped from the train at the campground. A tent was nicely prepared for us, but the camp meeting was in an open field. There was not one shade tree and the heat beat down upon the tent, affecting my head. There was a small house unfinished within, containing two rooms. They moved us there and we have a real nice place. Now, when the sun is hot, we are sheltered; when it is cold, we have a good stove and plenty of wood. Last night we had a high wind but we were protected from it. Several tents were laid flat. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 3

I have spoken five times on the ground. I have had freedom in speaking. It seemed pleasant, but solemn, to meet a few of the old standard-bearers whom we were associated with in our experience thirty years ago. They are growing old; and then to see this entire state with no laborers except feeble Brethren Hutchens and Owens! Should they have the labors of one stirring man who was devoted to the work here, who had tact and discernment, there would be developed here good talent for labor; but there is no one to help in this matter here now. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 4

Sabbath a large number came forward. Several confessed they had once kept the Sabbath but had given it up, but from this meeting they would take their position. They would not break another Sabbath. We have had some excellent meetings. Sunday I spoke to a large crowd, and while there were many of us the roughs—young men who did not come to hear—there were many who could find no seats, who stood and listened with deep interest. These meetings will help the cause generally but cannot do that work that is essential to be done in the different churches. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 5

My heart aches as I see the work needed to be done and no one to do it. We ought to fast and pray that the Lord will raise up laborers to go into the harvest field. What shall we do for workers? Elder Bourdeau says Toronto is an excellent field to labor. There are some choice souls cut upon the truth. Someone should be sent into this field. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 6

Elder Bourdeau and family left the ground Saturday at midnight on the way to New York to take the steamer for Europe. He is looking well for him—the best I have seen him for years. His daughter is as tall as her mother—a precious child. I have been in conversation with him for hours after talking to the people in the tent. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 7

There are fifty tents on the ground, and many families are accommodated in the long agricultural hall and buildings connected with the ground. I was surprised to meet so many Sabbathkeepers under the tent, for but very little labor has been given to Vermont for years. But these meetings, so short, cannot do the work essential to be done. They will do something, but much more is needed. Well, we can only do what we can. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 8

Augustin Bourdeau came on the ground Sabbath and urged me to go where he lived to see the little company there, of about forty. They have built a new meeting house and want it dedicated. He says Grant and Litch and the Marion papers have been sent in there, and if the people could hear me it would be a wonderful help. I would go there if Elder [G. I.] Butler would consent. He holds on to me to go to Maine and New York. I should have to drop out New York if I went. Sister Augustin Bourdeau is lying at the point of death. She is cheerful, calm, [and] trusting in Jesus, knowing her work on earth is done. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 9

Is it not possible for you and Elder [S. N.] Haskell to leave California a day or two before the meetings close to get to [the] Nebraska meeting? Will you bring the letters you copied in a book? We may want to refer to them. 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 10

[Continues with matter headed, “To be read to those assembled in camp meeting, by Mary K. White.” See Ms 9, 1883.] 4LtMs, Lt 26, 1883, par. 11