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


On to Emporia

By the third Sabbath on their trek, the Whites had reached southeastern Kansas, and Ellen White spoke Sabbath afternoon and evening in a schoolhouse close to where they camped. The meetings were well attended, and she pressed home the subject of temperance and the necessity of self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to preserve physical, mental, and moral health. “I had special freedom in speaking to the people,” she noted in her diary. “The Lord indeed gave me His Spirit and power in speaking the truth and all seemed interested.”—Manuscript 4, 1879. 3BIO 115.5

Sunday night there was a downpour, but their tent was “staked and thoroughly ditched.” The next morning the women in the party washed their clothes in the trenches about the tents. In her diary she wrote: 3BIO 116.1

It is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining and all in camp are astir for breakfast, while some are packing the wagons for another move. 3BIO 116.2

We are on the way again, slowly making our way over the broad prairies of Kansas. At nine o'clock we turned out to let the horses feed on grass. At noon we all drew up upon the broad prairie to take our dinner.... Teams are now being prepared for another move, while Marian and I, Adelia and Etta, are gathering up, washing the dishes, and putting the food in baskets. The order comes, “Move on.” In one hour and a half we shall be at Brother Glover's.—Ibid. 3BIO 116.3

James White had called for the postponement of the Kansas camp meeting for a week beyond the time first announced in the Review, but they found the Glovers had left for Emporia, for they had not received the word. This led to a rapid change in plans. With less than an hour's time, the Whites took their two trunks and, without changing from their camping attire, caught the train for Emporia, leaving the rest of the party to continue the journey with the wagons. Ellen White records in her diary the story of arriving in Emporia and driving onto the campground Tuesday morning “in style” (Letter 20, 1879): 3BIO 116.4

We arrived at Emporia about seven o'clock [in the morning]. We engaged an omnibus to take us to the campground, about two miles. Four powerful horses were put before the bus and we were carried speedily to camp. All seemed glad to meet us. We pitched our tent and one and another brought us a piece of bedding, so we had a passably comfortable bed.—Manuscript 4, 1879. 3BIO 116.5

They found mail awaiting them there. One letter was from Mary White, to whom the next day her mother-in-law bared her soul: 3BIO 116.6

I have just read your letters and cried like a child.... I suppose I was babyish, but I have been sick the entire journey. Lost twelve pounds. No rest, not a bit of it, for poor Marian and me. We have worked like slaves. We cooked repeatedly half the night. Marian, the entire night.... 3BIO 116.7

I have spoken every Sabbath to our camp because no one else seemed to feel the burden, and every Sabbath evening or Sunday in towns and villages. I am worn and feel as though I was about 100 years old.... My ambition is gone; my strength is gone, but this will not last.... 3BIO 117.1

I hope that by the cheering light of the countenance of my Saviour, I shall have the springback power.... I have not had even time to keep a diary or write a letter. Unpack and pack, hurry, cook, set table, has been the order of the day.... Marian astonishes us all. She is really forgetting herself and is efficient help. What I could have done unless she had taken the burden is more than I can tell.—Letter 20, 1879. 3BIO 117.2

Writing to the children on the same day, James White reported that his health was the best it had been in four years (JW to WCW, May 20, 1879). 3BIO 117.3