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


Limited Evangelistic Plans

Some three weeks later, James and Ellen White were in San Francisco, where they met Canright. They learned that he and Cornell were planning to conduct an evangelistic effort in Cloverdale, a town of two hundred inhabitants fifteen miles north of Healdsburg. James and Ellen White had Oakland in mind as the place for the summer evangelistic meetings. “Our people in Oakland,” wrote Ellen White, “were very earnest for the tent to come there, and this seemed to be altogether a better place than Cloverdale.”—Letter 20, 1874. Arrangements were made for Canright and White to meet at Healdsburg to consider plans. 2BIO 408.9

When James and Ellen arrived at Healdsburg, they learned that Canright and Cornell had assembled their equipment at the Bond home near Healdsburg and had gone on to Cloverdale. Now it was up to James and Ellen White to head off the dispatching of the tent waiting at the Bond farm. Ellen described the next few hours: 2BIO 409.1

We thought best to push ahead, although it was already seven o'clock at night, and go on eight miles to see Brother Bond. We rode on until we came to the Russian River. Your cautious father dared not drive the team into the water until he thought it was perfectly safe. You can imagine our situation upon a road we were unacquainted with, and a deep, rapidly running river to ford. 2BIO 409.2

Your father had no thought of backing out. He unhitched the horses from the wagon, separated them, and rode Kitty through the river while I held Bill upon the shore. We had heard (and this was, we found, correct) that this river had deep holes, over the horses’ back. We thought we could cross safely, hitched the horses to the carriage, drove over the stream, and were just feeling very much gratified that we were over, then lo, stretching to the right and left before us was still a rapid running, deep, broad river. 2BIO 409.3

We were in a quandary what to do. Your father and I unhitched the horses again. He mounted Kit's back while I had all that I could do to keep restless Bill from breaking away from me and following his mate. Your father crossed and recrossed the river twice to make sure the way of safety for the carriage. The water came above his boots. We marked the course he took by a mountain on the opposite side. We hitched our horses to the wagon the second time at nine o'clock at night, and passed over to the other side. The water came up to the body of the wagon. We felt to thank God and to take courage.—Ibid. 2BIO 409.4

The next morning, Wednesday, April 22, at the Bond home they found the goods to be taken to Cloverdale, ordered that they be detained, and then with fresh horses went on to confer with the ministers who had gone ahead. When they reached Cloverdale, all could see that it was the wrong place for the tent. Then they went back to Santa Rosa to counsel together to determine what the next move should be. The next weekend the quarterly meeting was to be held at Bloomfield. Leading workers would be there, and this gave promise of settling some matters. 2BIO 410.1