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


In San Francisco

The Whites were again cordially received in the home of Mrs. Rowland. Spending the afternoon there, Ellen had an opportunity to write a report to Edson and Emma of her impressions of the camp meeting and of California: 2BIO 359.4

Our camp meeting was a success. We have not a doubt but that the Lord has directed our course to this coast, and we believe the cause of God will be advanced by our labors, which seem to be very necessary. Your father labored very hard during the meeting. He seemed to be full of matter and he could not restrain his labors. The people hung upon his words with intense interest. 2BIO 359.5

I think I never saw a company together all so intelligent, so sincere, so unexceptional in every way, as the company we met upon the campground. Twenty homes have been offered us already and such urgent, hearty invitations that we desire to gratify them all.—Letter 18, 1872. 2BIO 359.6

She wrote of a committee of five who had waited upon them at the camp meeting, urging them to make their headquarters in San Francisco; they also offered to hire a five-room house, furnish it, and turn it over to them for their home. Further, they would furnish all they needed to live on, and even provide domestic help. 2BIO 359.7

Ellen reported: “We declined. We should not be prescribed in our liberty at all. We should go among the brethren just when we choose and stay one, two, or three weeks.” A schoolteacher, one of three sisters in San Francisco, proposed: 2BIO 360.1

“If Sister White could be divided into ten pieces and they could each have a little piece of her, they would feel greatly blessed.” I remarked, Sisters, there is none too much of Sister White to keep her together, but I have wished I could be in several places at the same time. I see so great a work to be done.—Ibid. 2BIO 360.2

“God has truly blessed your father,” she wrote to the children in Michigan. “He had great freedom of speech and labored far beyond anything I expected. Brother Cornell had the ague [malaria] and could speak only twice. Brother Loughborough spoke only once. He had the care of the meeting on him. Besides the three discourses I have mentioned, your father and mother did all the preaching.... I have coughed very hard, yet when I have attempted to speak, have not coughed at all.”—Ibid. 2BIO 360.3

Continuing her report of the camp meeting, she wrote perceptively: 2BIO 360.4

Brother Loughborough has done nobly in bearing the burdens he has had to bear and in keeping things together. God has worked with him and sustained him. Brother [M. G.] Kellogg has done what he could.... He has an excellent spirit. No one has a word of fault to find with him. 2BIO 360.5

He is cautious, very timid, unselfish, conscientious, and devoted to the work, but becomes discouraged if the labors he puts forth do not seem to result in immediate good. He was ordained at the camp meeting and this will be a courage and strength to him. His wife is a thoroughly converted woman. She has upon her countenance an expression of contentment and peace.—Ibid. 2BIO 360.6

Turning to the immediate surroundings, she observed, as a newcomer, that San Francisco in late September was like June and July in Michigan: 2BIO 360.7

Flower gardens look very beautiful. Fuchsias are growing in open ground, trailed above trees and flowers in rich profusion. Roses are in bloom, of all varieties. There are the most beautiful evergreens I ever looked upon. 2BIO 361.1

We have fruit here of every kind. Pears as large as a pint bowl, very delicious to the taste; figs in their natural state; large white and pink grapes—one is all you wish to put in your mouth at once. Our friends brought us clusters of grapes at camp meeting weighing from one to two pounds. At Woodland we shall have free access to grape and fig gardens. All we have to do is simply dry them, then box them, and we have figs such as we see in market and buy. No sugar is required in the drying. There are apples in abundance, sweet potatoes in great plenty. We do not eat much but fruit.—Ibid. 2BIO 361.2

Catching herself, she declared, 2BIO 361.3

“We shall not neglect the work of God to view the wonderful things of nature, but we shall make these things all secondary. Let them come along in the course of events. We must make the work of God our first and primary business. The salvation of souls is of the highest importance. Everything else is inferior to this.”—Ibid.

Sabbath, October 12, James and Ellen White attended the morning worship service in San Francisco at eleven, and another in late afternoon, both speaking at each of the meetings. “We had good liberty,” wrote Ellen White, “and the people seemed much encouraged.”—Manuscript 5, 1872. At a meeting Sunday morning she preached from John 1. In the afternoon James spoke on the “reasons of our faith” and Ellen on “God in nature.” Thus their work began in San Francisco. 2BIO 361.4

Monday, October 14, was an interesting day to them, of which she wrote in her diary: 2BIO 361.5

We visited Sister Moore, who lives with her daughter. Her daughter married the ex-governor of California. We were received very cordially by the daughter. We had a very interesting visit with Sister Moore. Before we left, Mr. Holden came home and we had an interesting interview with His Honor.—Ibid. 2BIO 361.6

Making their home with Mrs. Rowland, they shopped some, did some writing, and from day to day visited the believers in the city—Diggins, Healey, and others. They had a glimpse into the situation of the Sabbathkeepers in San Francisco. 2BIO 362.1