Lt 4, 1869

Lt 4, 1869

White, J. E.

Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan

April 28, 1869

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Edson:

Your letter is received. We do not favor the idea of your going in with Brother Trip. Again, we don’t favor your hurry. This has been a fault with you. You have generally been in so great a hurry, as though life and death depended on immediate decision. Take time to think, to consider and remember in this thing, it is wise to let your moderation be known. This looks not the best in our judgment. We cannot at present give you all the reasons. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 1

I have written to Brother McDearmon to inquire if he would like to have you come and work for him this summer. I think it is the best thing you can do, to have some knowledge of farming. In the business you propose to engage in, there will be too much room for you [to] act out your natural disposition to make large calculations, expecting large profits. You would, for a slight pretext, jump on the cars, spend means in going hither and yon. You don’t figure close and I fear never will. Your tour to Wright is one instance. You could not have strength to deny yourself of this expenditure of time and means, although there was involved in the matter altogether more than you could afford to lose with the prospect before you of a family at some distant date. Edson, you have very much to learn and you learn very slowly for a boy of your age. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 2

With the advantages you have had, you should be now in possession of the snug sum of one thousand dollars. But you have not one hundred. Young men who have had not as favorable [a] chance as yourself have figured close. Fine boots were not put on just as they fancied, but were preserved choice for meeting occasions. You have a vanity of dress which is unbecoming a boy in your circumstances. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 3

Now, Edson, others know the favorable chance you have had and that you cannot bear your own weight. Then how does it look to think of a family. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 4

But, Edson, means or to acquire is a small matter in itself. The same spirit is carried into your religious experience. You will fail, we greatly fear, in obtaining the heavenly treasure. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 5

We are pleased with the spirit of your letter. We are willing to have you go from home to labor, but want you should engage in that kind of employment which will be of use to you hereafter, qualifying you to fill the duties of life. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 6

Again, we think more of your health than means or property. We want you to have active exercise on a farm this summer. We want you to become a devoted Christian; obtain an experience in the things of God. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 7

I will now speak of things here. We found terrible work has been made with our things. Our pictures, which were stored away in a box, they say you tipped out on the floor and stated they would never go to Battle Creek. From that, Sister Stickney thought them of no account and as they lay just where you recklessly threw them, she told others we did not value them, and they could have them. We find these pictures and frames all scattered over the church. Some had two a piece. Now, Edson, for you to be so reckless of our things we had carefully packed away, was all wrong, but it is just exactly like your extravagant, heedless ways. Your example has done more to influence the others in their opinion and views and trials with us than any other one. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 8

But I feel so sad over many things I will write no more. O, my son, you have been altogether too long in learning what you ought to learn. When will you do what you ought to do and when will you be an example worthy of the light you have had? 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 9

May the Lord help you to look deeper than you ever have into your heart. In love. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 10

P.S. Tuesday there will be early potatoes, strawberry plants brought by Brother Byington on the train. Probably he will not want to stop. Be there ready to take the check from his hands. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 11

Father says, immediately on our return, we want you to help plant corn, beans, potatoes and then if you want, you can work in office spare time. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 12

We are getting on finely with things here. Have sold only about eight dollars worth of plants. Yet land not ready for them. 2LtMs, Lt 4, 1869, par. 13