Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 118, 1895

White, J. E.; White, Emma

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

January 23, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 408-409; FBS 38.

Dear Children:

I am home again and I feel very thankful to our heavenly Father for His protecting care over us. The rain had been coming down very softly, with some more bountiful outpours, since one week ago last Monday night. Sabbath the rain was gentle and some of the time little more than mist and drizzle. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 1

Monday noon Elder Corliss came, and we had some profitable conversation in regard to the present and the future of the work in New South Wales. Sunday noon the rain increased to a steady pourdown. The postman said to Elder Corliss, “If the rain continues thus this week there will be a flood, the bridge between the station and Cooranbong will be overflowed, and there will be no way to communicate with the station.” We felt that there might be a possibility of our being hemmed in, and this would not agree with my work at all. I told my girls—Maude Camp and May Lacey—the sooner we packed up and were on our way home the better. They soon were of the same mind, and that evening the job was completed, working to a late hour. That night I felt a little anxious, for every time I was awake the rain was pouring down. I really feared that I could not succeed in reaching home. I had some experience with this while visiting at Sister Brown’s, fifteen miles from Melbourne. The wash-outs below, toward Palmerston, detained the trains. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 2

In the morning I found out Brother Lawrence had neglected to make any arrangements to obtain extra teams to get us to the depot and nothing could be obtained. He settled down, contented to give up the matter. Elder Corliss said, “Brother Lawrence, when Sister White makes up her mind to do a thing, she will accomplish it.” Corliss started off in the rain and said he could ride down with the postman, and he could secure still another chance for me in a single buggy. A neighbor said he would take me down. We then said we would go, and the luggage was placed in the two-wheeled trap, and the main luggage, Sister Rousseau, Sister Maude Camp, and May Lacey, piled in amid the baggage—three trunks, baskets, and a telescope trunk, satchels, and bundles. Brother Lawrence was seated on a trunk and the women on the trunks behind, all wrapped up in shawls and blankets, and with three umbrellas. It was quite a picture. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 3

I had an easy carriage, but the toggling of it was after the backwoods style—ropes for lines, wire for traces, and all things in the same order. But the carriage was easy. We made the journey to the depot and learned something that was quite satisfactory. The steady one week’s rain did not spoil the road from the school grounds to the station. We had a good solid metallic road all the way. This will be of great value to the school land. Heavy loads of timber are drawn over these roads daily by bullock teams, six and eight spans, making quite a procession. Our team came right along, and I had just got under the shelter of the depot piazza when the rain came down much heavier. I then tried to take off my rigging, which was a gentleman’s rubber coat held together by the buttonholes with strings. In this way I was protected. I had on no hat, but a little black shawl on my head. The hat was in safety with Sister Rousseau and Maude in a tin hat box. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 4

I scarcely knew myself, I was so togged up, but I felt grateful to my heavenly Father that we had progressed thus far toward home. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 5

We were soon on the cars and came on to Granville safely. We felt that we were under the protecting care of our heavenly Father. We saw swollen streams, the rivers rising nearly to the bridges on the carriage roads, but we were all safe and comfortable. This morning we are in our own pleasant home. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 6

We found our beautiful peaches had ripened in our absence, and a large portion of them canned. We have still another tree of the large red-centered clingstone peaches. These are excellent. We enjoy them so much. Plenty of grapes at one penny per pound—two cents American money. We have two or three peach trees yet to gather, not yet ripe, but I enjoy the peaches for they agree with me. We have had a large abundance, paying one dollar per box, holding one bushel. We have canned no less than three hundred quarts, and no less than one hundred more will be canned. If I continue to keep open, free hotel, I must make provision for the same. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 7

We found Fannie was, in our absence, making her home with our friends. She was sweating over the stove, cooking us a nice dinner. She has thought [that] could she do some housework, it would be good for her, and Emily has had her class in teaching shorthand to Julia McKenzie, while we were away. She is doing good work in this line. Brother McKenzie has been taking lessons with his daughter. We are seeking to educate these, that I may have typists. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 8

Whether I am at home or abroad, my home is filled to the uttermost limit. Every room has a bed in it, but W. C. White’s office, dining-room, and kitchen. Brother McKenzie works in the office doing some business for Willie. The parlor has a lounge, like yours in Oakland. Sister Rousseau occupies that and uses the parlor for her sewing room. She is educating a class in my home for dressmaking, and Maude Camp has an education in tailoring, so [it] will not be difficult [for her] to learn. She is a very nice seamstress, and when you come in connection with us, Emma or Edson, you can be benefitted with her knowledge. I have had no one in my family to do any sewing, whatever, for me since I came to this country. 10LtMs, Lt 118, 1895, par. 9