Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


An Eastern Tour

Once that far east, James and Ellen would capitalize on the situation. After the Sabbath meeting at Kensington, Connecticut, near her sister's home, they began to fill weekend appointments announced through the Review, at Norridgewock and Portland, Maine, then Rhode Island, and South Lancaster, Massachusetts. 2BIO 252.2

Several weeks were spent in Maine, giving them an opportunity to do a good deal of visiting with Adventist families. As they journeyed from Norridgewock to Portland, they turned east to visit James White's birthplace and a number of points connected with his early ministry in 1843. Here and in Portland they visited for the first time in twenty-five years. Two of Ellen's sisters joined them in Portland for a few days. Here first-day Adventists opened their hall for her to speak to a large congregation (The Review and Herald, December 15, 1868). 2BIO 252.3

They spent one night at the Howland home in Topsham, and in Boston “spent some time” in “looking for and purchasing good books,” for James White wrote, “Our young people need good books.”—Ibid., December 22, 1868. The balance of the year was spent on this tour, closing with the four-day Ohio State meeting held at Bowling Green, December 25-28. This had been postponed until James and Ellen could attend (Ibid., December 15, 1868). 2BIO 252.4

In her letters to her children written on this trip, she several times mentioned the new home being constructed in Battle Creek. Their purpose, she wrote, was, after this tour, “to enter our new home at Battle Creek and get our dear children home, that our family again be united.”—Letter 28, 1868. As the tour neared its close, on December 16 she wrote to them: 2BIO 253.1

We are anxious to meet you again and enjoy the society of our children. We have not seen our new home but will be prepared to enjoy it with you when we shall return.—Letter 26, 1868. 2BIO 253.2

According to plan, they reached Battle Creek on Wednesday, December 30, and took up life in Battle Creek again. Of this, James wrote: 2BIO 253.3

We found a convenient and pleasant house built at Battle Creek for us, and partly furnished with goods moved from our [Greenville] home in Montcalm County. This place seems like home. Here we find rest in several senses of the word. We had become tired of meetings, tired of traveling, tired of speaking, tired of visiting, and tired of the business cares incident to an absence from home, living, as it were, in our trunks nearly one third of the year. Here we find quiet for the present.—The Review and Herald, January 12, 1869. 2BIO 253.4

There were sixty letters awaiting them—to be opened and attended to.—Ibid. 2BIO 253.5