Ellen G. White Writings

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Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525], Page 276

MR No. 483—The Spirit of 1876

A Presentation on Ellen White Geared to the Bicentennial By R. W. Olson

1—The Setting

One hundred years ago, in 1876, James and Ellen White were building a new home on the corner of 11th and Castro Streets in Oakland, California. They had moved to California from Battle Creek, Michigan, two years earlier in order to found a new publishing house and begin publication of the Signs of the Times magazine. In 1876 America turned 100, James White had his fifty-fifth birthday, and Ellen White her forty-ninth. Although their two living sons were both married, Elder and Mrs. White still had a large family. The younger son, Willie, (age 21) and his bride, Mary Kelsey White (age 19), were living with them. Mrs. White's two little grand-nieces, Addie and May Walling (about 9 and 6), were permanent members of the household. Mary Clough, auntie of the two little girls, was Mrs. White's editorial assistant. John Shew, a Chinese boy, did all the cooking and much of the other work. Finally, there was Mrs. Rice, the seamstress, who often doubled as a full-time baby-sitter for the two little girls. Nearby, in their own home, lived Elder and Mrs. White's older son, Edson (age 26) with his wife, Emma.

On March 22, James White left Oakland for a special session of the General Conference at Battle Creek. He and his wife were separated for 66 days, until they met again on May 27 at the Kansas campmeeting. During this 66-day period, Mrs. White, in particular, really kept the postman busy. She

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