Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 150, 1896

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 6, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 389.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma White:

I received no letter from you in the last mail from America. I think I have not failed once since coming to this country, but you will excuse me, my dear children. I have written early and late. I have commenced writing after a few hours sleep, as early as twelve p.m., often at one or two o’clock, but my left eye is now weak and painful. I have taken cold. I will not therefore write you much, but I have a large mail to send to America. I sent a large mail to Africa yesterday. I now send to London and Pacific Press. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 1

I am writing with my left eye closed, so if my writing is not very good, excuse it. My health generally is quite good, yes, good. I am careful of my diet and am particular to keep my feet warm, for it is essential to keep the circulation equalized as much as possible. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 2

I have felt it time to write to Battle Creek things I have been withholding for one year, and some two years. Elder Olsen is beginning, I think from his last letters to me, to see that his traveling long distances from place to place with his staff of men, who have no living connection with God, has been as a malicious atmosphere to his soul and to the souls of those with whom they come in contact. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 3

Now, my children, is the time to hide yourselves in Jesus Christ. There will be peculiar, trying times to all in Battle Creek, especially those who are connected with the office. I have, as you will see, come out most decidedly against consolidation, for it conveys much more to those who are trying to carry it than those who accept the proposition realize. It means that every instrumentality engaged in the work would come under the control of the Battle Creek institution, and it become a ruling monarch. This cannot, shall not, be. C. H. Jones has been, through fear of consequences, following altogether too much in the tread of Battle Creek, accepting their methods, for Brother Olsen has said that all they desired was that the institution at Battle Creek should have a paternal relation to the institutions on the Pacific Coast. But now he sees that it would assume control of all the publishing interests. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 4

I have decided to negotiate with Pacific Press to publish Life of Christ. We are now waiting for them to obtain cuts to go in the book. The first book is completed; the second is in process of completion. But every month I have to engage my workers wholly on the preparation of mail for America and different countries. This keeps us back, that we do not advance as we desire in bookmaking. But I am pleased to say Sister Burnham is working to advance the two I have brought into my family to fit them to prepare the articles for the papers. She thinks Maggie Hare will do good work. Minnie Hawkins is the daughter of Sister Hawkins who married Brother Lacey, father of May Lacey White. She has had years of experience in setting type in the office at Melbourne, and Sister Burnham says she is a quick worker and will make a good editor if she has some more teaching. I have great pleasure in writing you this, for they will save me the expense of transporting workers at a venture, who may do my work and may not. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 5

Maggie Hare has been in my employ for one year. She has a very modest opinion of herself, but she is an intelligent girl and constantly progressing. I have, of course, to let matters move slowly, give these girls plenty of time, and let them advance solidly and healthfully. Marian and Sister Burnham are first. They are my dependence. I then have May Israel as bookkeeper and typist. This composes my corps of workers. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 6

Sarah Belden is my cook. I have so feared she may leave me. Who then will take her place I am unable to say. I have had a sufficiency of colonial cooks. I do not wish to connect them with my family. I have Sister Lucas as a member of my family. She is a good seamstress. All the girls employ her to do their sewing, and she does the sewing for Willie’s family. She is a quiet, precious girl. I have taken a boy to board and pay him one shilling per week, and I find his clothing. He is thirteen years old. We number twelve, generally, but have numbered fourteen, for workers on my house have been boarding with us. I hire all washing done. Sarah Belden has nothing else to do but to cook, and has a strong girl, Edith Ward, fourteen years old, to help. I took her two years age from pity. She is a great help now. I could not do well without her. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 7

Willie’s twin boys are growing finely. They are just three months old. May has to feed them, partially, for they are two hungry little fellows. They have fine heads. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 8

Willie, I think, will help me as soon as he can get some one to take his place as general manager. I need him very much to help me now on book work, but I fear I cannot get him. If there was any man who could come in as manager, I should be so glad. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 9

Do you know of anyone you could recommend to look after the financial responsibilities? Willie should give himself to preaching the Word and helping me. He has been for weeks, yes months, very much like a clock run down. He must have time to rest if it is possible for such a thing to be. He has had so little sleep for so long [that] I have had serious fears he would have apoplexy, but we shall trust in the Lord and wait patiently on Him. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 10

Brother Olsen wants Willie and his mother to come to the next conference in Battle Creek, but Willie sees no light to go. Brother Olsen would have him take the presidency of the General Conference, but this plan is not to be entertained for a moment. Those hard-headed, hard-hearted men nearly killed him, when in Battle Creek, with their opposition and their jealousy and surmisings, and now how would it be improved when those same men have had full swing for years and been upheld and sustained in a good degree by Elder Olsen? No, I can accomplish tenfold more in Australia by my pen than I could accomplish by my presence in America. Is not this wise? The first thing would be, “Someone has told Sister White,” and in their committee meetings, Willie being present, it would be “He has informed his mother of everything done.” Things have now got into a fix, an entanglement. The conference has gone on and on until overwhelmed with debts, and an embargo is laid on everything that will promise to bring in anything, but this thing cannot go on. Edson, keep to your work. Let nothing divert you from it. 11LtMs, Lt 150, 1896, par. 11