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


The Tour in the West

As evangelists labored in Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, they held their meetings in courthouses, often in churches when not closed to them, and in private homes. While on this tour White observed: 1BIO 413.3

The great work seems to be west. There, broken fragments of society have crowded in, and not being fully organized and settled, are in a more favorable condition to hear the truth than in older portions of the country. And many have not realized their high expectations of the West, and in their disappointed state of mind are better prepared to hear of the “better country.” 1BIO 413.4

We believe that the message will yet be spread far and wide, but at present we think that great efforts should be made in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.—Ibid., April 19, 1860 1BIO 413.5

His first report of the tour was enlightening in its detail: 1BIO 413.6

We are now at Lisbon, Iowa, at the home of Brother and Sister Wilson. This is Brother and Sister Cornell's headquarters—a good resting place for pilgrims.

We left Battle Creek at 3:00 P.M., changed cars at midnight at Chicago, reached the Mississippi River at 7:00 A.M., crossed the ice on foot, walking behind the baggage drawn on a sleigh by four men, the ice being too weak to bear up horses; and felt relief when we stepped upon Iowa soil.—Ibid., March 6, 1860 1BIO 413.7

The first night they were cordially received by a family of believers living near Lisbon. Here Ellen was taken severely ill, vomiting and raising blood. But in twenty-four hours she seemed quite recovered, and they were able to go on into Lisbon. After weekend meetings in which Ellen White was able to participate, they made their way to Anamosa, sixteen miles distant, where Cornell was holding meetings. Sabbath and Sunday, March 3 and 4, James White spoke in the courthouse five times. 1BIO 414.1

In Iowa they found the mud deep and travel difficult, but the interest to hear the message was great. “Iowa seems,” wrote James White in his first report, “to be a very encouraging field of labor.”—Ibid. Ellen White stood at the side of her husband, often speaking for a few minutes following his addresses. 1BIO 414.2