Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 101, 1890

White, W. C.

Petoskey, Michigan

August 15, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie:

I was anxious that you come with Burley Salisbury, because he could get you here and return for a member of his family in his cottage. I hoped you would come, as important decisions are to be made. It seemed to me, recently, that I must be at the camp meeting in California and, if so, I ought to attend camp meeting in Colorado. Sara objects to my crossing the plains to California until later in the season. We could remain here some weeks, then go to California. But again, I feel that it would not be just the right arrangement to wait until all these important meetings close and then go to California. I should feel like a day after the fair. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 1

I think I shall have to leave here the last of this month, and if that is your mind, I cannot urge you to come next week, although it would be a great satisfaction to us to have you do so. But you must judge of that yourself. This week for consultation was what I wanted and then I could make my decisions. Next week will be too late to do this. Certainly this is the best climate for me and this hillside the very spot for me. Close, yes, joining the property of Burley Salisbury is a ravine. There are small underbrush and small maples and very pretty scenery, but that which I esteem of the greatest value is dropping my writings and picking fruit. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 2

It has seemed that the guardianship of the heavenly angels has been over me. I purchased a pair of heavy new rubbers and these I put on over my shoes and being rough on the bottom they hold my feet from sliding. I am sure wherever I stand. I climb up hills and down; the ground is very uneven but I have not even tired my ankles, although I scrabble round walking big logs and picking berries. The ravine is dry and sandy. Marian and I and sometimes Sister Whitney go berrying. Yesterday I gathered above two quarts of berries, after writing fifteen pages, and the raspberries are now nearly gone and a raft of children are scouring the ravine. Sister Whitney was out in the afternoon and gathered one quart. Marian runs out whenever she feels like it. She gathered one quart. It seems to interest and please us all. And if we do not solidify our muscles it will be a failure for us to ever think of doing it. I know of no place where I could be as favorably situated. The location and scenery are the best. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 3

You say, “I hear you have purchased.” I told Burley I would take two lots offered me for one hundred dollars, fifty dollars each. I have no thought of building until next summer. I can sell them back to Burley for just what I give if I choose to do so. He let me have them because he desired me to have a home in summer near his house. There is a spring on my place to which, another year, I could find the channel and open a spring near where I should build. I have a nice little grove of maple trees on one lot, which I did not want to cut a tree to build, therefore took [an] adjoining lot where I could build and let the grove of sugar maple stand. No one living here in Petoskey can appreciate trees—maple trees—as I do. They are common growth here, the brown maplewood prepared for the stove [sells] at one dollar and half per cord. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 4

The ravine is abounding in blackberries and they are just beginning to ripen. Our folks seem to have been getting ready all the time to live, and the girls, Sara and Edna, are our carpenters. They work like beavers laying floor to tent and they made a floor yesterday for a little kitchen for the stove. They saw wood and split wood and lug water from the spring and they forget they are civilized. They dress up in their woolen bathing suits and as we are out of town where the road ends, they are retired and are not seen. I tell them they will forget how to behave themselves when they get back to the city. We are all doing well. I am certainly improving. Slept the best, last night, I have for months. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 5

Now tell me at once what you will do. If you come, you could see and counsel with Dr. Lay just as I wanted you should do, to know what can be done for Petoskey and surrounding towns. I think it would be well to come. The work is just as essential as any missionary work to be done. I hope this will be attended to, to set in operation some plan to do that work which ought to have been done years ago. Here is a missionary field right within the reach of the arm of Battle Creek and nothing has been done. This is the reason I wanted you to come, purely for the advancement of the work and cause of God here in this northern part of the state which has been so long neglected. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 6

I must hurry this letter to go on [the] nine o’clock mail, reaching you evening after the Sabbath. Now let me know by first mail what you think I had better do. If it is your judgment I go to California, should I not go so as to be at the Colorado and Oakland camp meetings? This will shorten my stay here some weeks, but Sara presses hard against me. She thinks it will be hot to cross the plains. I do not think I shall suffer with heat, do you? Speak freely. In regard to the Osborn cottage, I think you will, as a house to live in, have far more conveniences as far as room is concerned, than at the Hunt cottage. My mind was pleased with the Castle place, but I think your decision is right. It will be a good home place, comfortable for winter, plenty of room. I must close. [The] trunk that Burley brought sits by my side this morning. All right. Please write at once; make no delay. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 7


I hoped to have you here over Sabbath. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 8

Brother Salisbury says you can get a half fare ticket so you had better come, Willie, if you possibly can, as early as possible. 6LtMs, Lt 101, 1890, par. 9