Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 28, 1903

The Southern Work


April 19, 1903 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

We must work up the fields in the South. The people from the cold climates must not confine their labors long at a time in the most malarious districts. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 1

In Nashville there should be established as soon as possible a printing plant and a sanitarium and a school out of the city. These will have to be small at the start, and facilities added as means shall be received from donations, but in no case run into debt. Do your work on a sure basis. There must be small books published at little cost and larger as the needs of the field may demand. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 2

In the publishing work in the South it will be well not to depend on the Tract Societies in the circulation and sale of books. Every time others come into the handling of books it cuts away the profits that you need to use in making more books. Handle the books yourselves and obtain your canvassers yourselves. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 3

I understand that you intend that the colored work in the South will be your first interest. Well, work away. But you must get out a class of books with many object lessons, for the colored people must see a thing before they understand it. Small books must be distributed freely. Many must be given away, but sell all you can at a small price, and then create a fund from those who will give to help the work. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 4

When once started, the Lord will open many methods for securing means that are now unseen. You must move by faith, and work by faith, and plan by faith. The Lord will increase the talents of those who are disposed to work. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 5

The publishing at Nashville will have to be done in a way to meet the needs of the very ones for whom you are laboring. Everything must be plain, simple, and illustrated. Inexpensive illustrations are as good for this field as the more expensive work. Cheap, simple books must be issued, and a fund must be raised by donations so that small books may be given away where needed. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 6

The South is a world of its own, and publishing should be done in the field. Without proper books to put into the hands of the people, talking and preaching will lose the hold on the mind. But if proper reading matter can be placed in their hands, so that they can read the truth and see the pictures accompanying the reading matter, it will stay in the mind and have convincing power. Then other and larger books should be issued to meet the needs of the better-educated classes. Our people should take hold to raise a fund to establish and equip this office at Nashville, just as they did for the office at Oakland, California, and as they have done for so many of the other institutions in the North. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 7

There is a vast amount of work to be done in Nashville and vicinity. Workers can go into the suburbs and do excellent work. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 8

There must be sanitariums in Nashville, one for the whites and one for the colored people. This will make the work more expensive, but its importance cannot be estimated. 18LtMs, Ms 28, 1903, par. 9