Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 152, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma; White, W. C.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 6, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 83-84; 9MR 357-358; 4Bio 294-298.

Dear Children, Edson, Emma and Willie:

I must embrace you all in this communication. There are new things developing in religious as well as in temporal matters. By the letters enclosed you will learn that Brethren Hawkins and McCullagh, who were laboring in Adelaide, have given up their position on the truth and are going in for holiness altogether. They have come out against the testimonies of the Spirit of the Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 1

Elder Daniells telegraphed this to us, and we at once made arrangements for Brother Starr and wife to go to Adelaide, and for Brother Pallant to carry on the work in Queensland in Brother Starr’s absence. On receipt of the resignation of these men, Brother Daniells, in company with Brother Colcord, went to Adelaide. There they found a determined apostasy. These men had united to accept some other light than the third angel’s message. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 2

I believe our brethren arrived in Adelaide on Friday evening, but these men refused to converse with them. They gave out an appointment for a meeting Sunday evening, and asked Brother Daniells to preach in the tent that same evening. This he refused to do, going to hear them instead. They had said repeatedly that they would have nothing to say against Adventists. On Sabbath Brother Daniells preached from the third chapter of Malachi. But you will learn all in the copies of letters sent. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 3

Brother Haskell has left us for a week or two to visit Adelaide. We deemed it advisable for him to go. His wife has remained to prepare matters for the opening of the school. We thought as Brother Haskell had ordained both Brethren McCullagh and Hawkins, that he might possibly save these poor deluded men. He left us last Wednesday. At this time Brother Hare was in Sydney, procuring doors and necessary articles for the second building. He came back on Thursday, and was very much discouraged when he found that Brother Haskell had gone. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 4

We have appreciated Elder Haskell here at this time very much. He is a great help and strength to us all, especially to Brother Hare. The men working on the second building, some of whom are working out their pledges, are doing very indifferent work. The work has moved slowly in the preparation of a cistern. This, however, is now prepared for the bricklayers who have come from Sydney, sent by Brother Robert Shannon. They commence their work in the cistern today. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 5

On Friday we received a telegram from Brother Starr, saying that he would come to Dora Creek by the ten o’clock train. We met him <and his wife,> and took him to our house. He spoke to the church on Sabbath, as I was not able to attend. He and his wife left Cooranbong evening after the Sabbath. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 6

I sent word to Brother Hare to appoint a meeting for all who would attend on Sunday morning at six o’clock, as I had something to say to them, and also for him to meet Sister Haskell, Sara and myself evening after the Sabbath. On Saturday evening we had our interview. Our means were gone, and the school building could not be finished to open school at the appointed time. Sister Haskell asked just how many hands could be put on to the building, how many on outside work, how many on the cistern, and how many inside. She wrote these down on paper, and after everything had been stated, she and I said, “We will have every position filled.” Brother Hare argued that it was impossible. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 7

We opened the morning meeting with singing and prayer, and then we laid the situation before them all. I told them that I would let them have Brethren Connell, James, and Worsnop, and pay them their hire. Brother Connell said that he had a two week’s pledge to work out. Brother James said he would give one weeks’ work in any line or place where they might put him. Brother Anderson also had pledged two weeks, and so one and another volunteered until men women, and children were accepted. I told them that I would give Sara to work in union with Sister Haskell, and they agreed to lay the floor with the help of Brother James to place the boards and press them into position, while Sister Haskell and Sara should drive the nails. Our meeting lasted from six until eight o’clock. After meeting the brother from Queensland made some depreciatory remarks about “lady carpenters,” but no one to whom these words were addressed responded. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 8

Every soul was put to work. There were over thirty in number. The women and children worked in the first building, cleaning windows and floors. Sister Worsnop came with her baby and children, and while she worked on the inside of a window, her eldest girl of ten years worked on the outside. Thus the work in the first building was nearly completed in the first day. Sister Haskell and Sara completed nearly one half of the dining room floor. Brother Hare says everyone was enthusiastic. The women who engaged in the various branches of the work did well. Brother Richardson was putting the brick in the floor of the cellar. Some of the girls passed the brick in from outside, while others inside passed them to Brother Richardson. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 9

In the afternoon I was sent for, to consult with Brother Hare in regard to making changes in the divisions of the dining room. He showed me a little room off from the preparation room for the kitchen, and the store room back of that. We decided that the milk room should be transferred to the cellar, and the room apportioned for that should have the studding removed, and the whole business be made a good-sized kitchen with a cooking stove in it, and that that compartment <designed for [a] kitchen> be used, for the present, as a dining room which would accommodate all the students. We thought it advisable that the dining room proper be used for a school room, for there is not one room large enough in the first building for such a purpose. We also decided that a compartment be prepared twelve by twelve <[at] one end of the store> for the one who carries the burden of the cooking, and there was <left> all the room necessary for a store room. This we considered a great advantage. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 10

Then Brother Hare conducted me over the immediate premises, and we decided on the trees that must come down, one of which went down yesterday. Little Robert Hare is very earnest and zealous in cutting up another big tree by the roots. He has cut off one large root with his hatchet, and has made quite a big hole in the ground about the roots. We left all the acacia trees, wattle trees they are called here. They are a very beautiful green, and bear a fragrant yellow blossom. I proposed that the immense stump just at the front of the building, should be burned out, letting the fire do the work rather than employing a man for it. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 11

Monday, April 6. The workers, men, women, and children, are all at work. This morning I went to the depot for May White and Master James Henry White. May went to Maitland last Wednesday to get fillings for her teeth, leaving Herbert at Grandpa Lacey’s, and remained there until Monday. Father Lacey also spent from Friday till Monday there. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 12

In the evening, accompanied by Maggie Hare, I took the carriage over for Sister Haskell and Sara. Maggie, Minnie, and Brother Tucker helped all day Sunday; but as the mail leaves next Monday, I could not spare them longer. I was so pleased to see the dining room floor laid with the exception of three strips. These last required a carpenter to place them in position. The sisters had put the first coat of paint on the window frames. Brother Hare said that the women’s diligent work had done more to inspire diligence in the men at work than any talk or ordering. The women’s silence and industry had exerted an influence that nothing else could do. These women have worked until their hands and fingers are blistered, but they let out the water by skilful pricking, and rub their hands with vaseline. They are determined to get at the work again, laying the floor in the dining room, which I have mentioned as the dining room. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 13

The two from Sydney who were at work in the cistern were smokers, and their breath was intolerable. Brother Richardson was in the cistern with them, helping to advance the work. As they were in need of more help, Sister Haskell and Sara left their floor to handle brick, in order that there should not be a moment’s delay. Ernest Ward was also in the cistern. The women brought the brick and passed it to James. Ernest took it from his hands, and passed it to the workers. But we suppose that there will be more youth at work this afternoon. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 14

Father Tucker has been putting the first coat on the glazed windows that have just come from Sydney. Every one is doing his best. Our “lady carpenters” are at work on the second floor designed for a kitchen. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 15

Brother Tucker, Sisters Haskell, Sara and Ernest have just come in, and are of the best courage. They have found others who can pass the brick, and so have been able to complete their floor. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 16

Yesterday all the furniture in the mill loft was washed and cleansed from vermin, and prepared for the new building. One more floor is to be laid this afternoon. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 17

We hope the cistern will be finished before it rains. It has been threatening for some days, and everything is crying for rain. But I hope the cistern will be prepared for its reception before it comes. The carpenters are siding up the building. Both ends are done, and quite a piece of the lower part of both sides. Brother Connell is carting the articles from the boat which came in yesterday afternoon. He has also been shoveling sand. Two teams are at work drawing with one or two workmen with him. So you see every hand is employed. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 18

Brother Hare is full of courage now. Brother Haskell will be back in a week or two at most from the time he left. But we know he is needed in Adelaide. His wife and Sara are heart and soul in the work. They make an excellent span just at this time. They will be in readiness to lay the upper floor after today I think. Everything that is needed has come from Sydney and is right at hand, so that there will be no delay. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 19

School will be opened April 28, 1897. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 20

I am so thankful that next Sabbath we shall be able to meet in the dining room of the second building. This will be a great blessing to us all. We cannot lathe and plaster the building this season. There is no money to do this. But the enclosed building will be sufficient to protect us <from> heat and from cold, and will be neat and sweet and wholesome, so we can finish the work with fresh courage. Thank the Lord for His goodness and His mercy and His love. I think this little crisis has been a great blessing. It has brought us all to a proper spirit of unity one with another. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 21

We hope to have something farther to write after the mail comes. We are looking for letters from America by the Vancouver boat. Maggie has just come from Cooranbong with only one letter for me, just a few lines. There ought to be an American mail in the Vancouver boat. I cannot understand why it is that nothing has come to me. 12LtMs, Lt 152, 1897, par. 22