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


Chapter 29—(1887-1888) Back Home in America

Ellen White's arrival back in the United States had been eagerly awaited. For two years she had been overseas, and the hearts of Seventh-day Adventists were made glad when they read the notice in the Review and Herald that she was back in the United States. 3BIO 374.1

As early as July 12, the readers of the Review had been informed that Mrs. White might return to this country in time to attend some of the later camp meetings. The July 19 issue carried an announcement that the New England meeting had been advanced a week so they might be “favored with the presence and labors of Sister White, which can be secured at no other date.” 3BIO 374.2

As she entered on camp meeting work, she wrote to Mrs. Ings, still back in England, telling her that she was doing well, that her health was “never better,” and that she was doing much work. 3BIO 374.3

After the New England meeting in Massachusetts, she attended in rapid succession camp meetings in Ohio, Illinois, and New York. Then she had a week in Battle Creek before the opening of the workers’ meeting that preceded the camp meeting at Grand Rapids. As usual, the Sabbath intervening (September 17) was a busy day for her, with the Tabernacle service in the morning and an address to the college students in the afternoon. 3BIO 374.4

With Sara she went on to Grand Rapids to attend the Michigan camp meeting, which opened September 27. According to Uriah Smith's editorial report, two thousand people were camping on the grounds, in 350 family tents. The presence of Ellen White, W. C. White, and O. A. Olsen, just returned from Europe, added interest. 3BIO 374.5

The preaching was free, and well received by the people. Sister White spoke fifteen times. There were about six thousand out to hear her on Sunday afternoon.—The Review and Herald, October 11, 1887. 3BIO 375.1

Ellen White was eager to press on to California and her home, to bury herself in the final work on the enlargement of The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets. The camp meeting closed on Monday morning, October 3. Tuesday she spent in Battle Creek. In the evening, in response to the request of some of the prominent citizens of Battle Creek, she addressed a packed house in the Tabernacle on “Christian temperance as related to the home and to society.” The next day the Battle Creek Journal reported: 3BIO 375.2

There was a good attendance, including a large number of our most prominent people, at the lecture of Mrs. Ellen G. White at the Tabernacle last evening. 3BIO 375.3

This lady gave her audience a most eloquent discourse, which was listened to with marked interest and attention. Her talk was interspersed with instructive facts which she had gathered in her recent visit to foreign lands, and demonstrated that this gifted lady has, in addition to her many other rare qualifications, a great faculty for attentive, careful observation, and a remarkable memory of details. This, together with her fine delivery and her faculty of clothing her ideas in choice, beautiful, and appropriate language, made her lecture one of the best that has ever been delivered by any lady in our city. That she may soon favor our community with another address is the earnest wish of all who attended last evening; and should she do so, there will be a large attendance.—October 5, 1887 (in Ibid., October 11, 1887). 3BIO 375.4