Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)


A “School Days” Experience

An experience at school, as recounted to a group of educators in the summer of 1891, gives us a glimpse of young Ellen and her character and her relation to people and circumstances. 1BIO 21.3

In the days that she attended the school on Brackett Street, two or three students often sat together at one long desk. The girl sitting beside Ellen one day did something that provoked the teacher. In a rage he threw a ruler at the head of the offending pupil. His aim was poor and the ruler hit Ellen instead, gashing her forehead. Here is how she told about it years later at the Harbor Springs teachers’ convention: 1BIO 21.4

It hit me and gave me a wonderful wound. I rose from my seat and left the room. When I left the schoolhouse and was on the way home, he ran after me and said, “Ellen, I made a mistake; won't you forgive me?” 1BIO 21.5

Said I, “Certainly I will; but where is the mistake?” 1BIO 21.6

“I did not mean to hit you.” 1BIO 21.7

“But,” said I, “it is a mistake that you should hit anybody. I would just as soon have this gash in my forehead as to have another injured.”—Manuscript 8a, 1891. 1BIO 21.8

But now back to the times when Ellen Harmon was born. On that Monday, November 26, when the twins arrived in the second-floor bedroom of the Harmon home, John Quincy Adams was President of the United States. The next year, after a bitter election campaign, he would be replaced by Andrew Jackson. Experiments were being conducted in building the country's first railroad. In 1826, just one year before, the American Temperance Society was incorporated in Boston. 1BIO 22.1