Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years: 1905-1915 (vol. 6)


Trying to Find Money for the Work

While the General Conference gave Ellen White a salary equivalent to that paid a General Conference executive—which by the time of her death had risen to $22 per week—and for many years she was given $2.50 for each article furnished the Review, the Signs, or the Youth's Instructor, and also received a modest royalty on the sale of her books, the expenses to her in book preparation, typesetting, illustrating, and platemaking far outstripped her current income. 6BIO 174.7

Knowing well that her years were running out, she felt she must press on, and in due time after her death the income from the continuing sale of her books would provide funds to care for all obligations incurred because present expense exceeded the income. She reached out to some Seventh-day Adventists of means, inviting them to make an investment in the production of her books with money they would loan her at a reasonable rate of interest. A number of people responded to her appeal for help. In a letter to an old acquaintance, Marian Stowell Crawford, she on November 4 made an explanation: 6BIO 175.1

My business is not running behind. There is a little gain every year. I have been instructed that it is best for me to own the plates of my books and this is why so much money is required in bringing out new publications. If the printing houses owned the plates of my books there might be times when some of them were slighted; but while I own the plates I can transfer the work from one house to another in case of necessity. 6BIO 175.2

There is an understanding between me and the officers of the General Conference that when I die, my book work passes into the hands of trustees appointed by the General Conference so that the earnings from my books after paying all debts shall go to the production of new books in many foreign languages.—Letter 328, 1908. (Italics supplied.) 6BIO 175.3

Before her death, she appointed the trustees. All debts at the time of her death were, in time, liquidated, with interest, as she had planned from incomes yielded by the sale of her property and book royalties. 6BIO 175.4