Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 42, 1884

White, W. C.

Healdsburg, California

March 16, 1884

Previously unpublished.

Dear son Willie:

I received your letter in reference to Battle Creek. I have been in the carriage all day today. I have been trying to secure money; have the loan of $1,500.00 (fifteen hundred) from Bro. Condivent at 6 1/2% interest. Will send you a draft with this. Tell me how much more I shall raise. All this brother required was my simple note. I tried Bro. Mills. All borrowed by boarding house. Tried Bro. Cook. Bro. Harmon borrowed all he could spare to stock a ranch, and I began to think I should utterly fail, but I was glad to get this sum. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 1

The farm is in great need of several pairs of hands just now. We left Crystal Springs Friday morning. We came through without stopping for dinner. Arrived at home at one o’clock, [at] Dr. [E. J.] Waggoner’s at half past one. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 2

It rained hard in the morning, but nevertheless we started. We were all afraid of a long storm. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 3

My head troubles me much; last night [I] did not sleep until morning. I received a letter from Dr. Young, which I send with this. If you and I promised to see her through, I do not know when it was. The only thing I told her was that if I could secure her a little room in my house, I would do so, and it should cost her nothing. Out of pity to her, I gave her freely two dresses and told you to make her comfortable at my expense for the value of two hundred dollars. This I thought was considerable for me, pressed for means as I have been. But when she lays her whole weight on me, I will not carry it. I never promised to pay her bills in her medical course. If she has told others that I did, she has at least misstated me. I told her before going east just how I stood, that I could not obtain means for her. I wrote her to that effect, and now as she comes into a straight place, she writes this letter, making no acknowledgment that I had helped her. I do not accept her letter at all. It robbed me of a night’s rest and cut off one day of my writing. I cannot bear these things as I once could. They disturb my thoughts and I ponder over them and become almost distracted. I rode over to Sister Butchers’. She said she would write to her husband to hire three hundred dollars for her. She had not the means, but he could hire it if he felt it was right to do this. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 4

Benton is now in the little house on the farm; moved today. I went all over [the farm] on the side where the house is. The trees seem to be doing well. But I think Benton is another Hemstreet—slack and shiftless. If he earns two dollars even a day, he will have to put on more energy than I give him credit for now. I am sorry that we have anything to do with them, for such ones never know themselves. They are thinking [that] that which they do [is] of much greater value than it is. I have had my share of such ones’ labors. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 5

Willie, I think of all the dirty houses I ever looked upon, this house of mine is the worst. It is really the paint plastered with dirt. I understand he is somewhat dissatisfied now, because I did not pay him what I am paying Burges to do my work. He says he shall take the manure from the farm-that is all the farm has yielded. I shall have Wallace ask him what he asks for the dressing and pay him, but I fear I have another just such in Benton. Brother Ings wrote to Bro. Leininger yesterday to learn what his purpose is in regard to the farm. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 6

I received a letter from Dr. Lay yesterday. What shall I say to him? If he cannot come soon, will it be any use for him to come at all? I send you the letter and Dr. Young’s letter. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 7

I will not say what I think of her statements. She is certainly arrogant and gives evidence of her manner of working. I cannot know what to make of such a production, after writing her as I did in my last [letter]. I do not know what to write her. I shall take no more responsibility in her case than I have done. The least I am mixed up with her, the better. I never shouldered her and never shall, and fear I have done more than I ought to have done. I never could see that it would pay for her to take this medical course, and I see less in it now than I ever have before. Her throwing herself on me is unreasonable and ridiculous. I shall take no further burden in her case; shall not answer her letter. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 8

I have just been talking with Wallace. He says he went down last night and talked with Hemstreet. He has a different spirit. Says that there is something my due. He has not, as far as the rent is concerned, put in full time, and will make it right. I told Henry that I would make no claims upon him if he would only feel that he had had things his own way and [that] I had done all that I ought to have done by him. He says he will not remove the dressing, but I tell Henry to pay him, that there shall be no cause to feel that I would take the least advantage of a poor man. I may have to pay for the horse yet. He does not come right, yet he may. We are keeping it, seeing how the matter turns with him—if bad, I must pay for the horse, for he shall not lose a dollar. The horse was in my hands and that makes me responsible for it. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 9

Send me Michael’s papers at once, and I will see him myself. If I can get anything, I will do so. Now please do not forget this. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 10


P.S. You spoke of getting sugar peas, rice, and some staple articles. What will you do about it? In regard to that carpet, I hope you will not neglect to look it up, for I do not want it lost. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 11

Please look after these things for me. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 12


Willie, I think I shall sell both places. If I can, I will. I must break up housekeeping. I cannot any longer bear the care and burdens. I will sell everything in Oakland and in Healdsburg, keep the place in St. Helena, board at the institute. I ought not to keep house. Let the girls go—Addie to learn some trade—May to do something, I cannot tell what. Sister [Jenny] Ings has too much care and burden and ought not to be situated as she is. She thinks she does too much work. I think so too. Sister McOmber can go to Crystal Springs. I shall put both my places in the market, [but] not to furnish means for Sister Young. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1884, par. 13