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


Ellen White Shared in Carriage Accident

After W. C. White reached Petoskey he spent several days driving in different directions from the city in search of a location for the summer Bible school. It was while he was thus engaged that an accident occurred. George B. Starr and his wife, engaged in evangelism in that area, witnessed it at close range and felt it was an attempt on the part of the enemy to bring injury to Ellen White or to destroy her and those with her (Ibid.). She herself wrote of it to her close friend Dr. J. H. Kellogg, of the Battle Creek Sanitarium: 3BIO 490.6

Wednesday we had an accident that might have proved quite serious. We had just started for Harbor Springs; before we were out of town, we turned a corner at a moderate pace, when one wheel of the carriage broke down completely. Every spoke came out of the hub, the carriage was overturned, throwing some of us out, and one on top of the other. 3BIO 491.1

Willie was holding the reins. Our spirited horse had one thill [carriage shaft] on the top of her back; she trembled, but did not run a step. There was no screaming; we kept perfectly silent, but there was some surprised thinking. I crawled out over the back seat on hands and knees, and with heart and voice thanked the Lord for our escape. No bones were broken and none of us was seriously hurt. The girls [Sara McEnterfer and Marian Davis] who were with us received some bruises, [but] I not a scratch, though my dress was badly torn. 3BIO 491.2

The thill was taken from the horse's back, the tugs loosened, and the horse tied to the fence; we obtained another carriage from the livery stable and went on our way.—Letter 10, 1891. 3BIO 491.3

As they drove along, Ellen White had some thoughts about the wheel that had collapsed under stress, and about the Seventh-day Adventist workman who had made it: 3BIO 491.4

I felt sad to think who made our carriage, and that the article we had thought could be depended upon was so wrecked. At first we could not understand the cause of the breakage, but upon examining the wheel [we] found that the spokes were too small for the holes in the hub, and wooden wedges had been driven in to make the spokes fit, then all painted over. It was a complete fraud. I am sorry that even all our brethren cannot be trusted to deal honorably, without pretense or fraud. 3BIO 491.5

I believe that an angel of God stood by us to preserve our lives. When our horse was taken out of the stable she was so full of life that it was all a man could do to hold her. That in so short a time she could stand such a test so well was due to the guardianship of heavenly angels.—Ibid. 3BIO 492.1