Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)


Lt 133, 1900

Kellogg, J. H.

Oakland, California

[October 6,] 1900

Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 23. +Note

Dear Brother:

Early this morning, before dawn, I am sitting up in bed, propped up with pillows, writing you a few lines. I received your letter, and was pleased with your kindly invitation asking me to make the Sanitarium my home when I go to Battle Creek. I reply that I will do this, if the Lord wills for me to go to Battle Creek. In the past you have often been able to understand the situation, and have hidden me away where I could not see many callers. At my age I crave quietude. If possible I must avoid stir and bustle. I had thought that if I went to Battle Creek, a refuge in the Sanitarium would be the most safe and agreeable for me, and your letter has opened the way for me. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 1

During my voyage I was wonderfully sustained by the power of God. I was not seasick once. Sara was quite unable to care for me. She was able to sit up but little, and had to call on some of our party in the second cabin to give me treatment. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 2

The trip across the ocean should have been pleasant and enjoyable, for we had beautiful weather and a smooth sea. But through the day professed Christian ministers, doctors, and statesmen were constantly smoking and drinking. This led them to act like men who had refused their full physician stature, but who brought a childish spirit and an ungovernable appetite into their lives. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 3

The last week of the journey was most trying to all of us, and especially to me. Over my stateroom was an upper deck, and here a most terrible racket was kept up, like a cart tipping out its load of stones. This was caused by quoit playing. Then at night; when all should have been in their berths, there was dancing on the deck over my head till after midnight. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 4

This noise kept me awake for three nights. It affected my heart and brain so severely that the nerves at the base of the brain seem as though they were tied in a knot. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 5

The men passengers smoked incessantly. There was not a place of refuge on the steamer for non-smokers. From time to time I spoke to them, telling them the way in which tobacco affected me. I entreated them to remember that my heart would not bear tobacco smoke, and begged them to spare me. For days I was unable to eat, and lay in my berth or on my steamer chair, prostrated with the pain in my head because men chose to amuse themselves by throwing quoits and smoking. I asked them to spare me the suffering caused by this, but they said, “Let Mrs. White go somewhere else.” I spoke to one of the officers in regard to the smoking, but he said that they could not control it. Nearly all the men smoked. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 6

I decided not to cast my pearls before swine, but to ask the Lord to save me from becoming too sick to eat or sleep. I tried to go “somewhere else,” and went to the other side of the deck. But there the smell from the cooking came directly to me, and the smoking was just as bad. I went at last to the second class deck, and our party united in a season of song. This was the “somewhere else,” but here there were no less than six or eight smokers close to us. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 7

I talked with one of the passengers, a doctor on his way to Denver. I told him I had been through the room prepared for smokers. It was elegantly furnished. Everything that could be done was done to make it attractive; but scarcely a men patronized it. Instead, they smoked on the deck. I told him I thought that the women should get up a petition, asking that some room be prepared as a refuge for those who were injured by tobacco smoke. I had no sympathy with men who though they had a splendid room in which to offer up their incense to Moloch, would spread themselves all over the deck to smoke, irrespective of appeals and entreaties, and then try to make me believe that the tobacco would do me no harm. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 8

The doctor’s response was, “Keep up good courage. Our voyage will soon be over.” Said he, “Did you ever know a tobacco user who could be reasoned with?” 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 9

Liquor was freely indulged in by the passengers. The chief steward told us that the sum spent on the voyage for liquor was enormous. One man, with Reverend attached to his name, who during the voyage, Bible in hand, had given expositions of the Word in the social hall, was on several occasions so drunk that he had to be carried to his stateroom. We pitied his wife, for she was full of anxiety and sorrow on his account. She said that just before coming on the steamer, her husband had entered into possession of a large sum of money, and now, drinking freely, he did not have reason sufficient to know or care how it went. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 10

We entered San Francisco Harbor at ten o’clock Thursday night. The steamer anchored in the harbor till the morning, and then a tug boat took the Sydney passengers to the quarantine station. We went through the farce, for such it was, of having the things in our trunks fumigated. But the first class passengers were not so strictly dealt with as those of the second-class, and I belonged to the first-class. The clergyman I have referred to was helplessly drunk when we reached the quarantine station, and two men carried him to a room in the restaurant. There he lay on a settee, while his wife bathed his head. 15LtMs, Lt 133, 1900, par. 11