Daughters of God


Letters (Written May 10, 12, 16, and 17, 1876)

In 1973 a collection of approximately 2,000 letters, written between 1860 and 1899, was acquired by the Ellen G. White Estate. Originally addressed to Lucinda Hall, one of Ellen White's closest friends, the letters were written by such well-known Adventists as James and Ellen White, Kellogg, Loughborough, Amadon, and Haskell. The story of how the collection came to the White Estate was told by Elder Arthur White in the Review and Herald, August 16, 1973. DG 263.1

Among the collection were 48 previously unknown Ellen White letters. Most are the newsy-type letters that one friend would write to another. But Ellen considered Lucinda more than just a casual friend. On July 14, 1875, she wrote: DG 263.2

“I wish I could see you, Lucinda.... How I have missed you on this journey. Not but that I have friends, but you are nearest and dearest, next to my own family, and I feel no differences than that you belonged to me and my blood flowed in your veins.”—Letter 48, 1875 (Manuscript Releases 10:33). DG 263.3

Because of her special closeness to Lucinda, Ellen White poured out her heart to her friend about some family matters in a series of four letters written between May 10 and 17, 1876. Considering the circumstances she was trying to cope with at the time, that was a very human thing for Ellen White to do. But only a day after writing the third letter, she had second thoughts about what she had done. In the last of the series, dated May 17, 1876, Ellen White began by saying: DG 263.4

“I am sorry I wrote you the letters I have. Whatever may have been my feelings, I need not have troubled you with them. Burn all my letters, and I will relate no matters that perplex me to you.... I will not be guilty of uttering a word again, whatever may be the circumstances. Silence in all things of a disagreeable or perplexing character has ever been a blessing to me. When I have departed from this, I have regretted it so much.”—Letter 67, 1876. DG 264.1

But Lucinda did not destroy the letters as requested. Thus they came into the possession of the White Estate in 1973. The Estate, being uncertain as to how to deal with these four letters, laid them aside, and did not place them in the regular file. Since then, some have suggested that the White Estate should have burned the letters, in harmony with Ellen White's original request. But others have felt that the letters should be preserved, for two reasons: 1. The situation confronting the White Estate is different from that which faced Lucinda Hall. Lucinda was the one who was asked to burn the letters. Since she did not, the White Estate board must consider the request in the light of its own situation. Critics might accuse the Estate of destroying not merely these letters, but other correspondence and manuscripts; (2) the account of how Ellen White related to an extremely difficult time in her life could be of help to individuals facing similar circumstances today. DG 264.2

Because many are aware of the situation in the White family that Ellen White was wrestling with at the time, and with the hope that others facing similar circumstances today may find encouragement from them, the letters, with adequate background to help understand them, are herewith being made available. DG 264.3