Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 142, 1895

White, W. C.

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W., Australia

February 19, 1895

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie:

May Lacey has just sent to remind me that letters can go to New Zealand today, and now it is ten o’clock, but I will write you a few lines. My health is very good for me, for which I am very thankful. Monday night I slept until twelve o’clock; no more sleep for me. I dressed and wrote fifteen pages, before breakfast, upon the parable of the supper, Luke fourteen. Rode out with Brother Caldwell as May and Sister Rousseau went to Sydney. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 1

May was to sit for her picture, as the first sitting was not at all acceptable. She came home not well. Maude gave her a thorough bath, and she slept through the night. I told her to keep in bed part of the day today, at least. She is better, but her head is dizzy. This has come on Maude, Edith, and Annie. I had something of the same character, a very singular experience for me, but it passeth away in a couple of days with vigorous treatment. Brother Rousseau’s attack was very severe, and he had heroic treatment. He left for the school grounds Sunday, as I have written to you. I think you need have no anxiety for May. We will guard your treasure carefully and diligently. The Lord will bless her and lift up on her the light of His countenance. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 2

We are a little perplexed to understand how to manage the care of Stephen Belden. This almost makes Byron sick. You remember the things he sent for from the island. I think everything amounted to about four pounds. But now comes another order from Brother Cole for things for meetinghouse windows, etc. I believe the conference has made provision for this and it will be sent. But in his letter to Byron he sends for barbed wire to enclose his land, and also for some other things. Did you tell Stephen he could have the wheels to my platform wagon? He took them with him and did not say a word to me about it. We cannot ask you about this matter. I wish I had known more particularly in reference to this matter, as to the limit of the calls that are made from Stephen that the conference will accept. The barbed wire for fence will cost two pounds beside the freight bill. The money I am advancing for school bills, that which I pay to Byron to get fruit and the money laid out for the conference at the call of those on the island, and the money laid out for goods to clothe the naked and food to feed the hungry, will soon melt away my bank investment. Please tell me what I shall do. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 3

Brother Kellogg is waiting in anxious expectation your decision whether he shall go to work on the school grounds. If you cannot be here yourself at this important period, will you be sure and not delay writing? 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 4

We must know something about this matter. Brother Kellogg is on the ground, also McKenzie, and yet all seem to need advice and scarcely know what to do. Brother Rousseau, I think, scarcely knows what end to take hold of. Is there a need for you to be away from this important beginning of school enterprise? I fear it is not wisdom. If Brother Rousseau is not well, and his head has been the principal trouble, I fear that so much care will work deleteriously for him. Can you say something? What should be done on the school grounds? 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 5

I think Brother Kellogg would undertake to build my house as cheaply as I could possibly get it built; but the location I have presented to you, will it please you? And shall I move ahead in the matter and say to Dr. Kellogg, “Build me a cheap, plain, rural residence just as cheap as it can be built, but roomy”? Say something, DO, on these matters, else come yourself and direct. I would as soon Dr. Kellogg would build my humble residence as anyone I know of. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 6

But I do not understand what the agreement is for Brother Belden on the island. Does he have pay for building the church, and is this why he sends at every mail for something? Shall we send all he asks for? These are questions that cannot be settled by us. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 7

Brother McCullagh came to see me Monday, when every nerve had been strained to the highest tension, but I could but see him and counsel him the best I can. He feels anxious to have all done [that is] possible in the effort with the tent at Petersham. He has to stay by the tent. He cannot leave it. It is not safe. There is a brother, he says, with Brother Semmens who is trustworthy, who could care for the tent and let Brother Collins go out visiting. He does a great deal of good in this way. Sister Walker has gone to Queensland; not a woman worker here. Why did they let her go? The work done and to be done in families is increasing, and calls, urgent calls, are made for Bible readings; and this is doing a precious work. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 8

Brother Pallant is supposed to be laboring in connection with the tent effort, but he is made tract society secretary. Books come in, and he has to open the boxes on the wharf or in storehouse and separate them and send them to their destination. This is absorbing all, or nearly all, his time. What is to be done in this emergency? What can we do? Interest is increasing both in Ashfield and in the effort, and yet of the workers supposed to be engaged in that work, one is tent master, watching the tent in the place of watching for souls. Another is working in the line I have mentioned. Every jot of ability in these men, Collins and Pallant, should be called into the one line, to do his uttermost with the tent effort. We cannot feel at rest in the way things are now going. The Lord is giving Brother McCullagh and Brother Hare special favor with the people, and they are working under God, I believe, and they should have all the help that they should command. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 9

Can Byron do anything in these lines? Brother Rousseau leans on him very much, as Brother Lawrence was left without any definite plans and definite arrangements. I shall write to Rousseau and find out what Byron is expected to do. He went to Kellyville last Sabbath, and they had an excellent meeting there, he reports. I do have great objections to leaving matters at loose ends, all in uncertainty, as Brother Lawrence’s case was left. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 10

I think the barbed wire should be sent. The more I think of it, it is the best thing to be done now for the land Stephen has planted. He is at work on the meetinghouse and cannot watch the grounds, so there must be something to secure the crops, and this will have to be done. The meetinghouse goods must be sent to push the house. This is my judgment. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 11

Other things I would be glad to write to you, but I cannot do this now. I think Emily will have to come home. She thought she might go to Tasmania, but I cannot see it best. If May and I leave here, then Maude and Annie are the officiating maidens in the house, and I have no reason but to think matters will go at loose ends. I gave a serious talk this morning at the table to Willie McCann and to all present, not to blame, but to set the matter of individual responsibility before them. But I should not feel free to leave my house unless Emily is here. I really do not feel it is best for me to leave at all. Is it not best for me, while I am as well as I am, to keep diligently on the life of Christ? 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 12

I do not feel the least inclination to build before you shall come and look the land over and make your decisions. There are two good houses: the large house on the same range with the one now occupied by Brother Lawrence, a house of eleven rooms, for six shillings per week. Another, directly back of the hotel, on the parallel street that turns behind the convent, a better house on higher ground, for eight shillings per week and about the same number of rooms, nine or eleven. The school or we can rent one of these. I have told them to investigate both houses and see which would suit me and my work the best, if I choose to go, for we shall need to be in tents or houses if we build; and if I can rent a house, it will be much cheaper. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 13

I will follow your suggestions [and] have some land cleared to plant trees and for vegetables. Corn can be planted now. The crop is going to be put in at once on school grounds. Brother Lawrence has several bushels of seed corn. I shall not make the least movement in purchasing land until it is candidly considered whether it is best to purchase any land at all. I am not positively sure in reference to the matter. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 14

I am pleased to say Brother Rousseau is delighted with the climate and the land and the advantages. He continues to keep his boils, and these are troublesome pets. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 15

Sister Rousseau is with us still. May is getting nicely prepared for clothing. I appreciate her. She said to me, as she was giving me my bath last night, “I wish you would tell Willie not to write as he does, in so high praise of me, for I fear he will be disappointed in me. I am not of that value he thinks. I should wish he would not write in the way he does.” So I will caution you as she prompts me to do. I see nothing to lessen my esteem of May. I have just received a letter from Mary Mortenson, which I will send you. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 16

Brother Rousseau was anxious to receive from me fifty pounds to pay on the Brown forty-acre place. I furnished it to him. I shall be very glad to receive the account of how my money matters stand now in America. A portion, a very few small enveloped letters came to me, all from strangers with the exception of a few lines from Harper and a letter from Sister Ings, May Walling, and Mary Mortenson. More will come from America, I am sure. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 17

Wednesday morning

I could not sleep past one o’clock. You speak of the mails being large. I had copied some matters I had written in reference to building in Battle Creek, written while I was in Europe. I thought these things should go to them. That written upon royalty I also had copied. In it was much in reference to one man being mind and judgment and the whole conference. Some of these things, I was confident, had never come to the eyes of Elder Daniells, Elder Olsen, and other responsible men. Thus I felt it was my duty to send. I told you of this before you left. There is no one for me to counsel with. But one thing I shall do. I shall act out the best I can the will of God, and then leave the result with Him. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 18

Brother Caldwell is anxious to go on the school grounds and for me to go and look with him, but I do not care to go. Fannie is now at Cooranbong. It may be he desires to go there and help Fannie in getting out that school matter. If he does have this in mind he does not say so, and she has not let me know. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 19

My plans are to have Maggie Hare to copy for Fannie. It would be altogether more appropriate and may prevent observation and remarks. It is not the best for him to be so confined without exercise. Tell me what you think. 10LtMs, Lt 142, 1895, par. 20