Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


The Oregon Trip

Two camp meetings were planned for late spring in the North Pacific Conference, which comprised the State of Oregon and the Washington Territory. The first was to be east of the Cascade Mountains at Milton, May 20 to 31; the second, west of the mountains, June 9 to 15, in the vicinity of Salem. “Mrs. E. G. White will be present at both our camp meetings” read the notice in the April 22 issue of the Signs of the Times. “It will be a most favorable opportunity for all our brethren and sisters to become acquainted with her, and receive the valuable instruction she is able to give.” After wrestling with the matter of the proposed trip for some days, she wrote to James: 3BIO 139.5

If the Lord places the burden on me I must go, however unpleasant I may regard the matter. I do not want to move one step farther than the Lord shall direct by His Holy Spirit. I fear sometimes it is a cowardly dread of the water that makes me not decide at once to go to Oregon. But I mean not to study my will but the will of God.... Oh, I tremble for myself, lest after I have preached to others, “I myself should be a castaway.”—Letter 22, 1880. 3BIO 140.1

The Lord did place the burden on her. Three days later she wrote: “I shall go to Oregon the sixth of May—shall remain two months unless I see more clear light.”—Letter 24, 1880. She made the trip, accompanied by Mary White and S. N. Haskell. They sailed from San Francisco on the steamer California, Thursday, May 6; they arrived at Portland Sunday morning, May 9 (The Signs of the Times, May 13, 1880), then hastened on up the Columbia River to eastern Oregon and Walla Walla. For a few days she and Haskell held meetings there, speaking Sabbath and Sunday, May 15 and 16. She also spoke in Walla Walla on three nights. This gave her a few days for her writing. 3BIO 140.2