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


The Visit of Dudley and Lucretia Canright

On Friday morning, July 18, Dudley and Lucretia Canright, with their 15-month-old daughter, Genevieve, were at the Black Hawk station waiting to be taken to the White home. Willie met them at the station with transportation. There was a carriage, drawn by Sandy, for the Canrights, and Walling's wagon, pulled by the two horses, Elephant and Bill, for the Canright trunks. “We were very happy to meet them,” wrote Ellen White. “They have a very interesting little girl.”—Ibid. The day was beautiful, and the Canrights were soon exploring the mountains and picking strawberries. Dudley was exhausted from diligent labor through a Minnesota winter, and he was suffering from difficulty with his throat. James White greatly admired Canright; it was a natural gesture to invite them to come to the mountains and join them in regaining their health. The two families enjoyed worshiping, hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking together. James and Ellen White and Canright were also busy in writing; all enjoyed reading, especially the denominational journals as they came fresh from the Review office. 2BIO 386.6

The evening after the Sabbath, August 9, James White fell ill, so ill he could not sleep till after midnight. The next day it rained, and too many people were in too small a space; one was a worn-out patriarch, and another a whining toddler. Tensions developed, and irritability soon manifested itself. Canright was not known for his patience; as he later referred to the experience, he recalled: 2BIO 387.1

I told the elder my mind freely. That brought us into an open rupture. Mrs. White heard it all, but said nothing.—Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 42. 2BIO 387.2

There were weaknesses in Canright's character, the knowledge of which had come to Ellen both by revelation and observation, but she had not found an opportunity to discuss the matter with him. Now seemed to be the time to talk some things over. In her diary for Sunday, August 10, she mentioned that they had some talk with Brother and Sister Canright, and Monday they had some further conversation. The diary states: 2BIO 387.3

We had still further conversation with Brother and Sister Canright. They both rose up and resisted everything we said. I feel so sorry.—Manuscript 10, 1873. 2BIO 387.4

The experience led to a setback for James White, and he suffered a night of illness. The next day there was a need to continue the interchange. Of this Ellen White noted: 2BIO 387.5

We felt it duty to have some conversation with Brother and Sister Canright. He was well stocked with unbelief, ready to pour out his complaints upon us and I think anyone who would give him an opportunity. We said some plain things to them.—Ibid. 2BIO 387.6

The Canrights moved out, going to the home of a Brother Tucker. During the next few days Ellen White wrote a lengthy communication to them, opening with the words: 2BIO 388.1

For some months I have felt that it was time to write to you some things which the Lord was pleased to show me in regard to you several years ago. Your cases were shown me in connection with those of others who had a work to do for themselves in order to be fitted for the work of presenting the truth.—Testimonies for the Church, 3:304. 2BIO 388.2

The entire communication may be read in Testimonies, volume 3, pages 304 to 329, under the title “To a Young Minister and His Wife.” Canright was described by Butler, who knew him well, as one who “never could bear reproof with patience, or feel composed when his way was crossed” (in Johnson, op. cit., p. 34). Shortly thereafter, the Canright family was in California, and within a few months, during which the two families carried on some correspondence, confessions were made, forgiveness requested and given, and difficulties ironed out. All were soon working together building up the cause of God. 2BIO 388.3