Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 176, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 19, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I am anxiously expecting the American mail this day and shall expect to hear from you, and perhaps something from your brother Willie. I know not whether he has left San Francisco. We have missed him very much and we desire his return, and we could wish yourself and Emma would return with him. We should be more pleased than I can express. Willie, I understand, is preparing to enter the ministry more fully and do less sedentary labor. This is better for him. He has used the brain but not the physical proportionately. May will move into her new house the last of this week or the first of next week. We think they are living so near their home that they will move gradually, fitting up one room at a time, cleaning, putting down carpets, and then arranging furniture. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 1

July 22

This morning Brother Coulston came from Dora Creek, running, I think, nearly all the three miles. He is a fisherman and has quite an experience. He gives evidence of being as truly converted as any person we have seen. He was an inveterate tobacco user, but he said he prayed the Lord to take away his appetite for the tobacco and he had no tasted it since. He told Sara that there was a man taken very sick with inflammation of the lungs. This man’s name was Wilds. He would not allow a person of the belief of Seventh-day Adventists to cross his premises; but when he thought he was going to die he sent for a Seventh-day Adventist, and he was, they said, taking on at a great rate. He sent also for another brother, a fisherman, so he has two men, both Seventh-day Adventists. Sara and May White have both gone to see the case. Inflammation of the lungs in this country is not very common, but quite severe when it once gets hold firmly. Coulston is very anxious that everything can be done to relieve and save the man and remove his prejudice. May the Lord work this case to His own name’s glory is my earnest prayer. Poor, ignorant people, they are inspired by their ministers to hatred of the truth, but we will let God work. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 2

May feels very sorry that Willie cannot come home at once, but she will not be unreasonable. I have stood in his place. If you had been here, Edson, I need not have had so many responsibilities to bear, but we have—Sara and I—planned and devised, and we are well pleased with the work and the whole building. We have had to turn and twist every way to keep May and her boys any way comfortable. I gave them the only room I had in the house, which was my parlor, for them to occupy. There is a good fireplace, and in this cold winter weather it was not safe for them to be at home. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 3

Wherever Sara and I go we take the twins; tuck them down on a cushion at the front of us and we go five and six miles and back. This gives May relief, for both Ella and Mabel attend school from nine o’clock until half past one o’clock. I have two children. One, Edith Ward, has been with me three years. Her brother was boarded by a widow woman in Sydney. The boy Ernest was left motherless when a few weeks old. The lady has taken good care of him; but she became overworked, had spasms, and had to live with her daughter. We took the brother, only thirteen years old, only about three months ago, and we find him a treasure. Both Edith and Ernest are good workers. Their father is a canvasser and works in New Zealand. He pays the tuition of the children and I board them and clothe them, and they appreciate what is done for them. The boy is like a little man, pleasant, obedient, and cheerful, discerning everything that needs to be done and doing it. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 4

The two White boys are trotting all over, outdoors and in, and yet up to the present time they do not talk. But they are as sharp and bright little fellows as we could wish to see. As soon as the horses are hitched up they run to me with arms stretched out saying, “Gee, gee, gee, gee.” They must have hold of the lines. If they have hold of the end of them they are not satisfied until they reach and get their hands before Sara’s. Then they suppose they are driving. They will slap the lines up and down and cluck to the horses as nicely as any of us, but words they do not speak. May has her hands full, I assure you, and the girls away all the forenoon. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 5

My editors Minnie Hawkins and Maggie Hare love to get hold of the children at the noon hour. May’s father married Minnie Hawkins’s mother. That brought two families together. There were four girls in the Hawkins family and two boys; in the Lacey family, one boy and three girls—May, Margaret, and Nora. Herbert Lacey has spent five years at the Battle Creek school. But I must not write more now. The dinner bell rings and I must go. Much love to you both. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 6


I have a little time yet. Brother Martin from Kellyville left us yesterday. He has been with us from last Sunday until Thursday setting trees—navel orange trees and mandarins and lemon trees. We had the land all prepared for him by my farmer. The great monarchs of gum trees, one hundred feet high with large bodies, came tumbling down with a crash, smashing their branches into many pieces. These trees have to be cut out by the roots and the roots are as large as trees themselves. They take all the moisture and richness from the ground. We had them all dug out and then had the land plowed three times, and rolled after the plowing. Then dressing was brought and the preparation made for the trees. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 7

We shall have a beautiful orchard in our very dooryard. This year they will not bear, but the next year after we shall have some fruit. Navel oranges are the choicest kind of oranges in the world. Brother Martin returns the interest I am taking to send his children to school. In this way he can help me and I can help him. He has planted for me a fine orchard, which he wants should be a sample of what can be done. I am much better pleased with the oranges in front of my home than with native trees that take up all the moisture of the ground and bring me no returns. We have now quite a large number of trees, and we wish you could see them. There are no such orchards in Cooranbong as the school orchard and this orchard at Sunnyside. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 8

Our babies are having a great time just now with Maggie and Minnie, my editors. They are rolling oranges for them to catch. They are very interesting boys and everyone who sees them takes great notice of them. They are saying now “Papa” and “Mama.” They are very smart and so good we all love them. 12LtMs, Lt 176, 1897, par. 9