Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 143, 1904

Diary, June 1904


June 8 - 29, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5Bio 342-344.

June 8, 1904

Nashville, Tennessee

This evening we left the pleasant rooms in office building of J. E. and Emma L. White. It has been a very rainy day. Clouds thick and heavy would gather, and then came the downpour. This was the order through the day. I do not bear in mind whether there was any sunshine through the day, although the rain and pouring-out showers were not continuous. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 1

We stepped on board the boat about dark. I was surprised to see two rooms—the most pleasant and convenient—that were assigned me by Edson and Emma. I tried to change this, but I was met with such decision that thus it should be that I held my peace. The Morning Star had been fitted up to be used to travel on the water, to be taken from place to place to investigate the best location for white and colored schools to be established. And it was a new experience for me to be moving along gently on the steamer. Since the boat had not been used for passage on the water, and a new power engine had been put in, careful moving was required; and some adjustment of the machinery had to be made in trifling matters. Edson is captain of the boat, and we had an excellent pilot, a gentleman in every respect; also a colored man to handle the coal, a man ever on hand for any emergencies. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 2

A little machine boat was taken along to be used in an emergency, and by some accident she filled with water and overturned. Professor Sutherland, Willie White, and my stenographer Clarence soon were in readiness to exchange pants and coat for their very becoming bathing suits; and there they tugged and bailed and pumped water from this little boat run by machinery. We were delayed about one hour. Aside from this there was no accident. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 3

Professor Magan is trying to keep cheerful, but he feels keenly the death of his wife. She was a precious wife and mother in every respect, but she sleeps in Jesus. Blessed sleep from which none ever wakes to weep. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 4

We left the office building for the boat June 8, 1904. On the steamer Morning Star, rooms are fitted up for me that I can be comfortable; and I think I shall enjoy the trip, for I have much to say to our party—especially to Brethren Sutherland and Magan—upon the school problem. This opportunity I must improve. Beside us there is a boat taking out parties for pleasure, but I was so weary I retired early to my bed. Our people, especially Edson, were much troubled, for there was much noise from one excursion steamer and still another, calculated to keep up for some time. He said, “Mother, I was afraid you could not sleep.” I said, “I am grateful to tell you I dropped quietly to sleep and slept quietly all night. I heard nothing of noise.” This was a relief to my children. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 5

We rededicated the boat, having a season of prayer and pleading with God that in all its service it should become an agency to be used in accomplishing much good in various ways to bring light to many places that otherwise could not be reached. This boat has been the agency to serve as meetinghouse and as dwelling house for J. E. White’s family to live in on the water and has been refitted to be employed in the interests of the work in the South. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 6

We did not travel in the night; but this morning everything was ready, and we moved out on the trial trip. We had pilot and machinist along this first trip, that everything should be thoroughly tested in regard to the machinery and new fitting up of the boat. Various talents are essential, and some few changes had to be made by these workmen, experienced in their line. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 7

I am so glad I could give satisfaction to my children in accompanying them on this tour of inspection of lands suitable for schools for both colored and white. May the Lord make this trip a blessing to all our friends who are with us. We have enjoyed the varied scenery of this first day. This is a narrow river. The tide is quite strong, but we do not care to go fast. There is a very gentle movement upon the boat—nothing that will be noticed after a day or two. We tied up one mile from where Brother W. O. Palmer and family live. They were all down to the boat with provisions. Brother W. O. Palmer went with us on this journey. We enjoyed the scenery very much. It is a grand outing for us all. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 8

Monday morning, June 12, 1904

On steamer Morning Star

I thank the Lord this morning that I have had a precious night’s rest. I was up at four a.m. Yesterday was the Sabbath. We tied up the boat in a very pretty place. Our party of men went from the boat and up on to mountain and had a precious season of consulting together and a season of prayer. The blessing of the Lord was with them. Edson reported to me that it was an excellent season together of unity and harmony in the Spirit. All enjoyed it much. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 9

I felt very thankful to our heavenly Father that mother and her children could be on the boat together. This is the first time I have had the privilege of riding on the steamer Morning Star. The scenery has been very beautiful. It is God’s nature’s own adorning—a wonderful formation of ledges of rock piled one above another. Some extend upward very high. In one crevice of the rocks seemed to be a chamber, and we saw a very pretty, young goat, delicate in color like the deer. We would have been pleased to have that little precious treasure in our home in California, but God has a care for these wild creatures in their own birthplace among the rocks. To try to tame them doubtless would prove a success, but let them remain where they are, under the care of the mother and God over them both. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 10

We have just passed a long strip of land, a cultivated island. We are today to investigate some lands where we fastened the boat last, to ascertain the value and to see if adapted to warrant schools and missionary work. Yesterday there was a very nice farm from which we purchased milk and buttermilk to serve us over the Sabbath. Friday we fastened the boat to the trees which grow in rich profusion on the river banks. As it was Sabbath, I do not think many questions were asked. This precious Sabbath was a day long to be remembered by the passengers on this boat. I believe that all are being benefited. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 11

We glide along without disagreeable motion. We go on about twenty or thirty miles to Carthage. We are looking for land. Have been instructed to make inquiry in this place. We are told land can be purchased cheaply. But I do not consider it wise to locate schools far off from Nashville, for one party of workers will be strengthened by another party of workers in or near Nashville. If these schools are to become strong and efficient, they must at times unite their wisdom and their forces and help one another. There will be little essential help received in this line from outside parties who will not work always with an eye single to the glory of God. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 12

June 29, 1904

Nashville, Tenn.

We have been visiting many places to ascertain if we could be so favored as to find a place that would have not only land, but a suitable house that would be made to serve as a sanitarium for a time. There is need of means coming in to the southern field and a work started in our cities. This work rests upon every state conference that exists in our world, to work where they are in creating what they can. It is not in the order of God to leave things in their present condition in the southern localities of America. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 13

We found on our visit to Graysville that they are able to carry their own business ably. There has been such an earnest, zealous work done in establishing the sanitarium up on the high hillside; and the appearance is a manifestation of zeal and earnestness that they will carry their present responsibilities manfully, but it was never supposed so large a building would be established. It has been stated that a small sanitarium should be in Graysville to supply the necessities of the school. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 14

There is a great deal that needs to be done in Huntsville. They have not had the donation of means or the proportionate talent of capability and determination to make things have a correct showing. There needs to be much repairing of old buildings, new buildings created, and a moderate-sized sanitarium erected to take care of the colored sick, enlarged if necessity requires. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 15

We see some good crops, and yet there should be much more upon the land, being produced for consuming. There is an evidence of neglect of buildings that need repairs. They present a forlorn appearance outside and inside. Everything that wears by use needs to be diligently cared for lest they will go to ruin. The Lord calls for the men who accept responsibilities to show an earnest, honest zeal, to make the very best of the land. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 16

There cannot be a place more appropriate for the colored school, the college for the intermediate class, if parents of good, sound minds will come in and act a disinterested part in the working out of the problem. We are not to go searching for other lands and purchasing other grounds for the colored people. I have been shown that the land in Huntsville will yield her treasures. 19LtMs, Ms 143, 1904, par. 17