Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 89b, 1894

Walling, Addie

Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 27, 1894

Previously unpublished.

My Dear Niece Addie:

We are sending May to America on the Monowai. We learn that Mr. Walling is pressing his suit and that it cannot be held off much longer. Our lawyer has written as though it has been intimated that we did not want those in America to know where we are. I suppose Walling has trumped up some kind of falsehood to make out [to] his lawyer that we are afraid of him. We have written to say that it will be impossible just now for me to cross the ocean, but that we will send May Walling, so that yourself and May may be at the trial. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 1

Lawyer Boals wrote Willie that you had written to him intimating that you did not wish to appear in court against your father. No one supposes for a moment that it is your choice to appear against him; but if he chooses to press his unjust suit against me, there will be no other way for you to do, but to appear against him, however disagreeable it may be, and to bear testimony that his charges are false. Sister Hall will have to appear as a witness, also Elder Loughborough and wife, and Brother and Sister Ings. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 2

It seems an impossibility to leave the work here at this stage. The school board has purchased lands for the school and for a settlement. Brother Eastman was appointed to come from America to apportion the land to sell it off to families who should desire to make a home for themselves and their children; but circumstances arose in reference to his own property which made it necessary for him to stop at home, for to leave at present would involve him in great loss. The burden of looking after the land will therefore rest heavily upon Willie. I much regret that this will be the case, for he already carries a heavy load in counseling, in devising plans and methods, and in carrying them into execution. We have feared greatly for his health. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 3

We have all stood under a tremendous burden of responsibility, and should we leave the work in its present stage, I know not what would be the result. We feel very sorry for you and May and would gladly shield you from the sad position in which you will be placed on account of this suit. But if your father still urges his suit, there will be no other way for you to do than to appear in court and bear under oath testimony to the untruthfulness of his charges. There are some points that you must stand firmly against. One is that I have ever sought to conceal you in any way from your father. We heard nothing from him for ten years and knew not whether he was alive or dead. He knew that we did business with the publishing house at Battle Creek, and with the publishing house at Oakland, California. He knew that he could reach us by sending a letter to either of these offices. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 4

Before the death of my husband, I wrote to him saying that we wished to send his children to him by Sister McDearmon, for we were so situated that we could not well take care of them. We had written many letters to him which had never been answered, and we desired that he should certainly receive this, and therefore we sent it to one of our brethren and urged him if possible to get it to Mr. Walling. He then wrote to me begging me to not send the children to him, but to place them under the guardianship of suitable persons and that he would pay for their board and schooling. This was his proposition, but we received no money from him by which to carry it out. He further stated that he had no settled place or home to which he could bring his children to care for them. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 5

Another point is, that he tries to make out that I wanted his children and urged him to let me have them. The fact of the case is that we heard him making a lament, on account of our leaving Colorado for California, and asking what he would do with his children. He declared that his children should never go back to their mother, and I felt sorry for the little ones. He said, “If you could only remain here and take care of them, I should feel perfectly satisfied, knowing that they would be treated right.” He then said, “What shall I do with them? I have no home to which to take them.” I said, “I suppose I could take them with me to California.” He said, “I had not thought of that; but if you could do so, I should feel relieved.” 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 6

It was decided that we should take them to California one year. I supposed that by that time all difficulties would be settled between him and his wife, and that the children could return to their home. But at the end of the time letters came saying that the children must not come to Colorado, because matters had come to such a crisis that the children should never live with their mother again, and that she should never have them except over his dead body. Mr. Walling made no proposition in regard to the children at the time when we first took them, for we all supposed that they were simply going to remain with us one year on a visit, and then return to their father as we returned from California to Battle Creek. You can see from this that the statements he has made carrying the idea that he made propositions for his children to attend school and learn music, etc. are all without foundation, for such propositions were not thought of, much less mentioned. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 7

Well, Addie, I wish this could all be averted. I have expended one thousand dollars to employ lawyers to defend us in this wicked raid upon us, and through our lawyer have tried to come to a settlement with your father in order to save his poor children from the painful ordeal through which they must pass on account of this suit. I was willing to expend one or two thousand dollars more in order to have the trial given up; but I stipulated that the money should not go to Mr. Walling but to his two children, Addie and May, for I would not pursue any course that would justify the least supposition that his charges were true, and that I was afraid to meet him in court. Now, Addie, you see how the matter stands. I cannot pursue any course that will bear an appearance that his charges are just, when it is all untrue and has not a semblance of truth in [it]. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 8

I leave this matter with God, for He knows how to bring the devices of the wicked to nought. If the trial takes place, you must appear and May must appear. I am sorry she has to leave us and go alone on the next boat. Now, as you both love and fear the Lord, put your trust in Him, and He will sustain you in bearing testimony to the truth. We have brought you up, fed, clothed, and educated you, and we have received no remuneration. We have expended three thousand dollars in your behalf, and you know how much we have been benefited by your labors. If judgment is passed against me, we shall appeal to the supreme court and have a second trial. The Lord has all these matters in hand. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 9

May does not want to go to America; but Mr. Walling may think that she is so far off that she will not come to appear against him, so on account of this trial, it is necessary that she should cross the broad waters. I hope the dear child will be able to find some steady employment in which she can retain her strength. It is well that she has learned to give treatment, for she could not endure the taxation that necessarily falls upon a nurse. She could succeed as a cook if someone could be associated with her to relieve her of the hard part of the work. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 10

I am more reconciled to her going to America now than I would have been if we were not urged to go to Africa. If we do go to Africa and Europe, then my workers probably will all go to America; but everything is in such uncertainty, I know not which way we may go. I hope the blessing of the Lord will attend May on her long journey. If you seek wisdom from God He will give it to you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He will not leave nor forsake you. All I ask of you is to speak the truth, and nothing but the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 11

May is with me at this place. We came here one week ago today. Willie and Brother Rousseau and the surveyor of the land preceded us one day. Willie left for Sydney last Friday. We have tried to give May all the pleasure possible on this trip. She has been in a rowboat upon the water, and has accompanied Emily and myself as we went in the carriage in search of orange orchards. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 12

On Sabbath Brother and Sister Lawrence, Brother Collins, canvassing agent, Jimmie Gregory, who has been helping Sister Lawrence in the house, Emily, May, and I went to the school ground, and there I read some articles which I had been writing, and we had a little meeting. We had a season of prayer among the trees, and the Lord seemed precious indeed to us. We then returned to the hotel for dinner. On Sunday we drove over the best portion of the school ground. It was rather rough riding, but we enjoyed it. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 13

Monday forenoon we went about three miles for a case of fine oranges which sell for six cents per dozen. I shall send some to Granville when May goes back tomorrow. It is not thought best for me to return just yet. I am having a chance to rough it in a two-wheeled cart. I sail down the river and look at the school lands. In this way I am called from my writing. I was very much exhausted before I came here, but I am feeling better. Willie will come up on Wednesday with the surveyor of the school land. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 14

Much love to all friends. 9LtMs, Lt 89b, 1894, par. 15