Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

73/345

Lt 141, 1904

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Washington, D. C.

April 27, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in LDE 106; 1MR 325; 3MR 44-45; 8MR 165.

Dear children Edson and Emma,—

Here we are in Washington. A week ago last Monday, the eighteenth of April, Sara, Maggie, and I left St. Helena for Mountain View, where we spent the day. Sister Gotzian and Brother James accompanied us as far as Mountain View. Brother and Sister C. H. Jones met us at Sixteenth St. Station and went with us to Mountain View. At San Francisco we were met by several other friends, among them Brother Chittendon’s eldest daughter and her husband, Mr. Lawrence. They were married ten months ago. They called on us at our home just before we left. Mr. Lawrence is a musician and appears to be an intelligent, refined man. Mrs. Lawrence is the same impulsive, ardent, outspoken girl that she has always been. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 1

It was rather unfortunate that the day was cold and rainy. Heavy rains fell during the greater part of the day. But we found covered carriages waiting for us at the station, and in these we drove to see the land that has been chosen as a site for the Pacific Press. We are much pleased with the location that has been selected. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 2

We then drove to Brother C. H. Jones’s house, and here we ate our lunch. Brother Jones has not yet moved out to Mountain View, and the house is in the hands of a caretaker. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 3

We saw that if we went to look at the land which may be purchased for school purposes, we must go in the rain. Brother Jones asked me if I dare attempt this. I told him that I was ready and waiting. So the carriage was brought, and we drove off. Brother M. E. Cady, from the Healdsburg school, was with us. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 4

There is some thought of moving the Healdsburg school to a rural district, where the students will have more opportunity to engage in agriculture, carpentering, and other lines of manual work; and Brother Cady is on the lookout for a suitable place. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 5

Mountain View is a town which has many advantages. It is surrounded by beautiful orchards. The climate is mild, and fruit and vegetables of all kinds can be grown. The town is not large, yet it has electric lights, mail carriers, and many other advantages usually seen only in cities. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 6

The people of Mountain View have been very liberal with us. When they were told that our brethren were thinking of establishing the Press there, they gave them the lot on which the buildings are to be erected. The railroad officials have promised to put in a side-track so that supplies can be brought on the cars to the door of the office and goods taken from there to the various depositaries. Mountain View is on the main lines between San Francisco and Los Angeles. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 7

One feels surprised that a place with so many advantages should not have been found before. This can be explained only by the false idea that our people have held, that our institutions should be in the cities. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 8

At five that evening we went by train to San Jose, where we took the overland train for Washington. W. C. White and Clarence Crisler had gone to Los Angeles several days before. Clarence joined us at Los Angeles and Willie at Redlands two hours farther on. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 9

We took berths in the tourist sleeper and found these berths quite as comfortable as those of a Pullman sleeper. I had a whole section, and the upper berth was kept closed so that I might have good ventilation. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 10

I was very weary when I took the cars and was thankful to have so favorable an opportunity to rest. For a day or two I was quite sick; preparing for my journey had been a heavy strain upon me. I kept in my berth all the way over, sitting up in the other seats only for half an hour once or twice. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 11

In the car, we all seemed very much like one family. Although at times there were between thirty and forty people in the car, there was no noise, no loud talking, no card-playing. All seemed like acquaintances, each interested in the other. The passengers seemed to be much interested in my welfare and showed me much kindness. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 12

The conductor of our car was a quiet, nice-looking man of about fifty years. He seemed to understand his business well. At one station a man bought some beer at a saloon and put it in a cupboard at the end of the car. The conductor heard of this and promptly ordered the beer taken out, saying that he would allow no such thing on the car. During all the time we were on the train, I did not get one whiff of tobacco, excepting once or twice, when some one passed through the car with a lighted cigar in his hand. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 13

Sabbath, about twelve o’clock, we reached Atlanta. I think that you must have told our people there of our coming. I was much surprised to meet between twenty or thirty of them at the station. While the train was standing still, they came on board for a few minutes. Fathers, mothers, and children gathered round my berth to shake hands with me. All united in giving me an earnest invitation to stop over and speak in the church. It was a touching scene and reminded me of former days. This scene will ever be a bright spot in my experience. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 14

I kept very quiet all the way over and enjoyed the trip. I never traveled with less weariness, even when in a drawing-room compartment. I did not hear one coarse word during the entire journey. Nothing in any way offensive happened to leave a disagreeable remembrance. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 15

Many inquiries were made in regard to my health. When during the day I seemed to be sleeping, the colored porter would move about very gently and quietly. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 16

We had many pleasant interviews with the passengers. As I talked with them, I felt an earnest desire to meet them again sometime. There were several to whom I promised to send a copy of one of my books. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 17

Willie had with him a copy of Education and of Christ’s Object Lessons, and these he passed round among the passengers. When we reached our journey’s end, he gave the books to the conductor who was much pleased with them. I wish that we had [had] more of my books with us, so that we could have given them to others. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 18

When we were nearing Washington, and were preparing to leave the car, the conductor went round to every seat and with a kindly handclasp bade the passengers good-bye. This was something I had never before seen done. We shook hands with many of our fellow travelers as we parted. All expressed good wishes for one another. We seemed like old friends saying good-bye. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 19

We spent Sunday morning packing up our belongings and getting ready to leave the car. Our numerous bags and satchels were piled up in one seat, and when the train drew into the station, Clarence passed them through the open window to Willie, who put them on a truck. As they were doing this, Elder Daniells came up, and we went with him out through the station to the carriage, which has been bought for future use at the sanitarium here, and which the brethren have placed at my disposal while I remain in Washington. The turnout is a very nice one and looks well worth four hundred dollars. But the horse, carriage, and harness cost only two hundred and fifty dollars. They were bought secondhand at a sale of things belonging to one of the Legations. The carriage is an easy, two-seated surrey, with a canopy top. The horse is a large, noble-looking animal, very gentle, and perfectly safe. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 20

The carriage is the easiest one in which I have ever ridden, with the exception of the one which my husband purchased for me when I was in Oregon and he in Battle Creek. I feel greatly favored in having the use of this horse and carriage and am so thankful that the sanitarium will have so easy a carriage for their patients. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 21

We drove directly from the station to the house which has been rented for us in Takoma Park. This is a three-storey building standing in about ten acres of land and is built on the highest rise of ground near here. Five hundred feet below and six miles away is the city of Washington, reached either by the street car or the train. The house is very comfortable. I have a room nearly as large as my room at home. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 22

I have been all over the land which the brethren have bought here in Takoma Park. The location could not be bettered. That which is most valuable of all is the clear, beautiful stream which flows right through the land. From this creek the ground rises rather sharply, and on the top of the rise, which is quite level, there are two fine building spots, one for the sanitarium and one for the school. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 23

The Lord’s hand is in the purchase of this land. It is true that the Takoma Park sewer farm is near our land, but this is to be moved. The main pipe will run through our land to a place about a mile below. Our sanitarium can have pipes connecting with this pipe and will thus have perfect sewerage. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 24

The land is covered with many different kinds of trees, which make the place a very pretty one. Some thought that most of these trees ought to be taken out and all the land placed under cultivation, but this must not be done. The land, with the trees on it, resembles places which the Lord has shown me, and I cannot find words to express my gratitude to our heavenly Father for providing us with so favorable a location. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 25

For several weeks before leaving home, I could not write much. I suffered intense pain at the base of the brain, and my eyes ached. But I rested well on the cars; and since coming here it has done me good to ride out over our land. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 26

I am glad that we shall meet you at Berrien Springs. There are many things that I wish to talk with you about. I view the Huntsville school question very much as you do. I believe that this school will yet be a success. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 27

I hope that you will be careful not to overwork. I do not agree with your idea of giving up all your positions of influence, but I do think that you ought to give your brain more rest. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 28

I hope that my last letter did not discourage you. There was in it, I thought, much to encourage you, to show you that the Lord’s hand is over you for good, and that He is guarding your interests, so that you shall stand on vantage ground. I praise the Lord for showing me that He wants to work with you, and greatly bless you, giving you victories. He desires your life to be filled with His praise. He wants you, by faith, to see Him looking upon you with commendation. Do not make any premature movements. The Lord will let you know what His will is concerning you. Hold your confidence firm unto the end. God will set your feet in firm places if you will trust in Him. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 29

In much love. 19LtMs, Lt 141, 1904, par. 30