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    13 WITH THE WHITES AGAIN

    We arrived in Woodland May 21, secured lodging with Judge Johnson, and the next day erected our tent opposite the courthouse and announced a meeting for that evening. Our coming so suddenly into town caused quite an excitement and crowded our tent to overflowing.MML 85.1

    We did not know that William Saunders, editor of a county paper, had attended a full series of lectures at Charlotte, Mich., in 1862, and almost accepted the message. He advised the people both privately and through the Yolo County paper to attend the meetings. Leading men of the city came,-the deputy sheriff, the county treasurer, the bank cashier, the court crier, and others. On the third Sunday a special train came from Knight’s Landing with a load to attend the meeting. Since the pastors of the two main churches were both away on business, we had no opposition until the people had an opportunity to study for themselves.MML 85.2

    Not only were books taken freely by the people, but on the ninth evening the court crier arose and said, “These men are talking about things in which we are deeply interested. They have made no call for help but we wish to do something. I am going to take a collection, and I want you to dig deep into your pockets.” Then he passed around his tall, white beaver hat and collected $51.55. After the presentation of the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast, nearly forty people took their stand for the Sabbath. The court crier arose again. “I am not satisfied with our collection last Sunday. Although these ministers shake their heads, I’m going to take another.” Around went the beaver hat for an additional $41.10.MML 85.3

    One afternoon the heavens became black, distant thunder rumbled, and rain began about the time of the evening meeting. But so great was the interest, 300 came out. No uneasiness was manifested because of the heavy rain upon the canvas, or anxiety about how they would get home through the darkness, mud, and rain.MML 85.4

    When we learned that Elder and Mrs. White were coming in September, and that they suggested a camp meeting, we closed our meetings at Woodland on Sept. 15. The camp meeting was held in a grove at Windsor Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Surrounding the main tent were 36 camping tents, and what a variety they were! Although some were regular tents, others were hastily erected frames with sheets or rugs thrown over them, and some were rough board shanties. A man who did not hear of the meeting until the night before, piled fence rails between stakes driven close together, then used a shawl for a door. Since the weather was fair and dry, no one suffered. Of the 16 messages given at this meeting, 13 were delivered by Elder or Mrs. White. Those attending from Woodland wished that the tent be pitched there again and the Whites speak to them, so we held a second series Oct. 15 to Nov. 4.MML 85.5

    At the close of our San Francisco effort in November, Elder Cornell returned to Woodland to take charge of erecting a house of worship and to follow up the interest. While the church was under construction, we were given free use of the courthouse. From Dec. 5, 1872, until Feb. 20, 1873, the Whites made their home at my house in Santa Rosa, holding meetings with the different companies in Sonoma County. On Feb. 16, 1873, they assisted in the organization of the California State Conference at our meeting hall in Bloomfield. Seven churches were voted into the conference, and the number of Sabbath-keepers reported as 238.MML 86.1

    It was here that three professed Sabbath-keepers publicly objected to the chairman of the meeting appointing the committees on nominations, credentials, and resolutions,-a plan which had been followed for many years. One of the men said, “I think we ought to conduct business on the floor, just like a caucus or a political meeting. Let everyone ballot to see who gets the highest number of votes.” Another said, “If you are going to have a committee, I don’t believe in that because it is a one-man power.” Then a testimony came from Sister White that this was not the way to proceed, but that when we select committees, we should carefully and prayerfully consider what is needed, and the qualifications of persons, then after seeking the counsel of the brethren, begin to suggest the names.MML 86.2

    But these men in a turbulent manner pressed their views, hardly giving opportunity for Elder or Mrs. White to say anything. In their remarks these men often said that they did not believe in “one-man power.” Finally, Elder White obtained the floor and calmly said to the leader of the trio, “I see you do not believe in one-man power unless you can be that one man.”MML 87.1

    On March 13, I began meetings in the Red Banks schoolhouse six miles west of Red Bluff. Mr. Wilkins, a bookkeeper in a large mercantile establishment and an infidel, was afflicted with tuberculosis. A few weeks earlier his mother, Mrs. Horne who lived in Baltimore and was greatly concerned about his health, came to visit him. On the way from Chicago to Sacramento, she rode in the same car with the Whites. Sister White had given her copies of health papers and also some advice on how to care for her son. The son read the papers, put the principles into practice, and was receiving great benefit. When he saw the notice of my meetings in the courthouse he said, “Mother, I would not wonder if that man is one of Mrs. White’s people. I am going to this meeting to see, and if he is one of her faith, I am going to ask him home with me.” My visits with that family were frequent, and they attended all the meetings in the courthouse.MML 87.2

    On April 13, it was my privilege to baptize five candidates in the Sacramento River three miles south of Red Bluff. Among them were Mother Horne and her son, Mr. Wilkins. To some of our opponents who had accused us of dividing families, Mr. Wilkins replied, “Not much division here. My mother was a Methodist, my wife a Baptist, and I was an infidel. There was nothing I delighted in more than to get them into a religious argument. Before the meetings our family was three, but now we are one in the faith.”MML 87.3

    At the spring council of the California Conference, 1873, it was planned to hold tent meetings in the Napa Valley during the summer, the first to be held at Napa City, and the second in St. Helena. These were to be followed by a fall camp-meeting at Yountville, midway between Napa and St. Helena. With a new sixty-foot circular tent we began our effort in Napa, May 24, and continued until July 27. Forty decided to obey the truth, and the old schoolhouse was obtained for Sabbath services.MML 87.4

    On July 30, we began meetings in St. Helena and continued until Sept. 14. On the last two days there was a debate on the Sabbath question between Elder Cornell and Prof. Martin of Woodland. At its close Elder McCorkle, a local pastor, pled for a donation for Martin’s travel expenses. The audience wanted to take a collection and divide it between the debaters, but Elder McCorkle would not agree to this. He said, “Since no decision has been made upon the debate, I suggest we put a hat on each side of the table, and let the audience, as they pass out, put into the hat of either party their contribution of how they view the case.” Our tentmaster reported that the professor’s hat contained about $2.50, while in Elder Cornell’s hat was nearly $30.MML 88.1

    Our camp-meeting at Yountville opened Sept. 17. Besides our sixty-foot tent there were 53 other tents. Our grounds were laid out in city style with Present Truth Street, Law and Order Street, Santa Rosa Street, Healdsburg Street, Petaluma Avenue, etc. (The Yolo Democrat reported, “The most perfect order and harmony prevailed throughout. We never before saw such a large crowd of happy and devoted people. There was no excitement, but a great degree of earnest zeal was manifested throughout the meetings.” Sept. 26, 1873). During one social meeting 117 testimonies were given in 53 minutes. All right to the point.MML 88.2

    The Yountville camp-meeting exerted a powerful influence in giving stability to the work in California. It was here that M. J. Church of Fresno accepted the message and opened the way for its introduction into that part of the country. In one of the meetings he arose and said, “I am constructing an irrigation canal from King’s River. I have forty men in my employ, but from this time on that work shall all stop on the Lord’s Sabbath.” After camp meeting we moved to Woodland thinking a dryer climate would be better for my wife who was then afflicted with tuberculosis.MML 88.3

    In 1873, Sister Willis of Santa Rosa had moved to Oakland and was anxious for something to be done there. Brother Cronkite moved his shoe-shop to Oakland, and Brother Tay and family accepted the truth. These persons all requested meetings for Oakland, so I held the first meeting there Oct. 25, 26 in a hall at 1055 Broadway.MML 88.4

    On Nov. 12, Sister L. M. Hall, with two of the Walling girls from Colorado, who were to live in Elder White’s family, came to Santa Rosa and occupied my house. On Dec. 28, Elder and Mrs. White arrived from Colorado, and during that winter labored among the different companies in California. At Napa we were rapidly completing our church and preparing for its dedication on April 4. The sermon was given by Elder White, and in the afternoon his wife spoke with great freedom to a full audience.MML 89.1

    The few believers at Walla Walla, Washington had pled with the General Conference for a worker. At the Yountville camp-meeting our people voted to pay the expense of a minister to Walla Walla if they would permit him to labor two or three months in California on his way. In response, Elder I. D. VanHorn and his wife came to Colorado to accompany the Whites to California. On Jan. 2, 1874, Elder VanHorn went with me to Napa where we held meetings over the weekend, then on to St. Helena and Woodland. Here I received word of deep interest in Canright’s meetings at Watsonville, but that difficulty with his throat demanded he have rest and help. He wished me to come to help him immediately. I was in Watsonville Jan. 22 to Feb. 2, when I received a telegram calling me to return at once to Woodland as my wife’s lung trouble was worse. As Elder Canright had recovered enough to continue, I left immediately for home. At Watsonville I met Brother Healey and his sister who had embraced the truth in Minnesota, and had just come to California.MML 89.2

    Elder VanHorn took the steamer for Portland, Oregon, en route to Walla Walla, arriving there April 23, 1874. He pitched his new sixty-foot tent in the southeastern part of town on land owned by Charlie Cabot. Although Cabot was a Catholic, he donated the lot upon which the tent had been pitched for the erection of a church. He did all he could to advance the cause, accepted the message, and willed to the church $60,000.MML 89.3

    Within sight of the tent stood a fort and a garrison of soldiers, among whom was Alonzo T. Jones, an Ohio boy. While the other soldiers spent their free time playing cards and other useless habits, Jones studied history books. As the tent was being erected, Jones and others became curious and stopped by. “What is this?-a show?” they asked. “Yes,” replied Elder VanHorn. “Come in and I will tell you what we are going to show.” He unrolled a prophetic chart and began to go over the symbols of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, etc., referring to historical facts. To VanHorn’s exposition Jones would give additional facts, showing his familiarity with those ancient kingdoms. Jones came to the meetings, listened intently, and then joined the Seventh-day Adventists.MML 89.4

    In the Review of April 21, 1874, Elder White proposed that a paper (Signs of the Times) be published on the Pacific Coast. At that time we had planned to hold meetings in Cloverdale, Medocino County, and had already shipped the sixty-foot tent. When Elder and Mrs. White came to visit the families of Sister Willis and Brother Tay, Sister White said to her husband, “This is just the place I saw we should locate the paper.” That being the case, it seemed of greatest importance to present the truth in Oakland. Elder White immediately decided to move his household effects here from Santa Rosa. As they prayed over the matter, they were so impressed that the tent meetings should be held here, they could not sleep. Elder White started for Alexander Valley near Healdsburg, fording the Russian River to intercept the team that was to take the tent to Cloverdale. He was just in time, and the tent was put on the train for Oakland. The tent was erected on a beautiful lot in April, and meetings conducted by Elders Canright and Cornell.MML 90.1

    The erecting of the tent in Oakland proved to be the order of the Lord, for soon after the meetings opened, the great temperance “local option” movement came on. For ten day’s use of our tent they gave us $100 in gold. On May 29, we erected a new sixty-foot tent in East Oakland where there was another week of temperance meetings, and the society paid us $50 for the use of the tent. The giving of our influence and votes to the “local option” movement brought about a strong bond of sympathy for us by those who opposed the sale of liquor. During the temperance rally in Oakland, the people had well learned the way to our tents, and our efforts in the meetings that followed were a success in both tents which were two miles apart.MML 90.2

    Sunday, June 14, was a delightful day for a baptism at the water’s edge of beautiful Lake Merritt. Upon a bluff 30 feet above the shore were gathered from 1,500 to 2,000 people, while many little boats rode upon the water. Before the baptism, Elder White gave a short, earnest and convincing sermon upon the law and baptism. All listened with the greatest respect, after which 23 were baptized.MML 91.1

    How well I remember the day in Oakland when we met in Elder Canright’s room, and Signs, Vol. 1, Number 1 was brought in sheets from the press and laid upon the floor. Elder and Mrs. White, Elder and Mrs. Canright, and myself bowed in prayer and asked God’s blessing upon the “new paper.” It was with trembling, anxiety, and yet with faith in God that Elder White moved out in this enterprise. Time has shown that it was just what was needed. Great is the good already accomplished by this instrumentality.MML 91.2

    Although we wanted to present the message in San Jose, we had not seen the way clear. But now the temperance people asked for one of our tents to hold meetings there, gave us $100, and paid all expenses for moving and erecting it. When their meetings closed June 27, we secured the use of the same ground, and on July 2 opened with a message by Elder Canright. He and Elder Cornell continued there, and over 30 were baptized.MML 91.3

    As the summer heat at Woodland was too great for my wife’s feeble condition, we sold our house at Santa Rosa and moved to St. Helena. On Sept. 24, we pitched our two sixty-foot tents side by side with a connecting canvas, on the Yountville campground. We were favored in having Elder George I. Butler, a member of the General Conference committee, with us for the first time. Since my wife was anxious to enjoy the meetings and felt it might be her last opportunity, we arranged a tent for her and her sister just behind the meeting tent. Here she could lie upon her bed and still hear the preaching.MML 91.4

    On Oct. 11, we told the people that the General Conference wished us to raise $4,000 for sustaining the Signs of the Times. The presence of God came into the meeting, and in a few minutes time, with no urging, there was pledged $19,414. We had planned to call that afternoon for a camp-meeting fund of $500, but in the afternoon meeting we told them that they had pledged so liberally in the morning, we did not feel free to ask them to pledge any more. Brother T. M. Chapman said, “Try us on it, and see if we will not raise a tent and camp-meeting fund.” He started it off with $50, and in a short time there were pledges of $1,616. This was the third and largest camp-meeting ever held in California. On the last day, 49 were baptized in Napa Creek which ran by the side of the camp, among them Knud Brorsen who became a pioneer worker in Norway.MML 91.5

    Wesley Diggins of San Francisco made an earnest request that the double tent be erected in his city. We secured a lot on Golden Gate Ave., and opened meetings Oct. 16. Elder Butler took part until November 1, when he and Elder Cornell returned to Michigan. Attendance was between 800 and 1,200 nightly.MML 92.1

    My labors were associated more or less with the Whites until February, when the failing health of my companion called for my attention at home in St. Helena. I spoke to the company there on Sabbaths until she peacefully passed away on March 24. She sleeps quietly in the St. Helena cemetery.MML 92.2

    On April 14, the leading members of the San Francisco church met at the home of Sister J. L. James, and Sister White related to us what had been shown her in vision. She stated that San Francisco would always be a mission field, and urged upon us the importance of erecting a house of worship. It would look to that poor church like a move in the dark, but if they moved out as the providence of God opened the way, the cost would be entirely met. Knowing as I did the financial condition of these members, to build a church 35 x 80, where a lot alone cost $6,000, looked indeed like a “leap in the dark.”MML 92.3

    But we found a lot on Laguna Street for $4,000. Then one sister promised $1,000 if she could sell her place, and within two weeks she sold it for $1,000 above the price she had valued it. A brother who could not see how a church could be built said, “If the Lord says it must be done, He will open the way. Soon he received $20,000 from an estate settlement and gave $1,000. The church was erected for $14,000, including the price of the lot, over half of which was paid for before it was finished. Then the school district rented the lower rooms at $75 a month for the next two years.”MML 92.4

    At the Yountville camp-meeting in 1877, the songs of the birds at dawn in our beautiful grove led many of the people to report their awakening thoughts at the early morning meetings. This was the first camp-meeting in which we used an organ in our song service. J. Edson White secured the free use of a good organ from a San Francisco dealer by permitting the dealer to hang a printed card with his name and address in view of the audience. Since there were a few persons who objected to the use of instrumental music in public worship, I read the 150th Psalm in the first early meeting. “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the Psaltery and harp; praise Him with the timbrel and pipe; praise Him with stringed instruments and... ” as I came to the next word, I slowly spelled out “O-R-G-A-N-S,” then remarked, “Why that is just the word that is on the back of that box, and in our very next meeting today we are going to have the organ out and praise the Lord with it, just as He has told us to do.”MML 93.1

    As the meeting closed, our good Scotch Sister Rowland remarked, “I am like the Scotchman who said he believed in praising the Lord with all his might.” However, we began that day to use the organ, which made a decided improvement in the song service. In the next morning meeting, I related my thoughts on Sister Rowland’s “praising the Lord with all his might.” I said, “It takes just an organ to do that. The mind must be on the music; the eyes must be on the notes; the feet must work the pedals; the fingers must touch the keys; and the voice must sing the song of praise; so you have a person praising the Lord with all his might.”MML 93.2

    As the meeting closed, Sister Rowland said with a smile, “Well, I will come up with you yet.” In the next early meeting, she was the first one to speak. “Brethren and sisters, what do you suppose were my first thoughts when I awoke this morning? It was the scripture ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.’ My next thought was, ‘Why then don’t you praise the Lord with things that you can make breathe?’” We had no opposition to instrumental music after this.MML 93.3

    The camp-meeting was a decided success, and we witnessed an impressive baptism. Among the candidates were some who had come long distances of 300 miles from the north, and others the same distance from the south. The State Sabbath School Association was organized with J. E. White as president. It was about this time that we first began to use a blackboard to illustrate subjects for Sabbath schools, and Mary White, the wife of W. C. White, handled the matter with zeal and efficiency.MML 93.4

    In the North Pacific, Elders I. D. VanHorn and A. T. Jones spent the summer in tent meetings in East Portland. Soon after our California camp-meetings, the General Conference requested Elder VanHorn and me to spend a few weeks organizing the work in that field. Since there was no railroad from California to Oregon, I made the trip to Portland by steamer then, in company with VanHorn, on to Walla Walla.MML 94.1

    The trip was a real contrast to present-day travel. We left Portland by boat at 5 a.m. Monday, and sailed to the Cascades.MML 94.2

    Then all the freight was carried on men’s shoulders to a train that went three miles on the north side of the river around the Cascades to the old block fort of General Grant’s times. There we waited until 4 p.m. while the freight was carried to a second steamer. At 11 p.m. we reached the Dalles where we boarded another train which took us around the Dalles to Celio. At 4 a.m. all the freight was transferred to another steamer taking us to Walula where we spent the night. At 9 a.m. Wednesday, we took passage on Dr. Baker’s railroad reaching Walla Walla after 55 hours from Portland. Elder VanHorn and I spent November visiting believers in Upper Columbia and Northwest Oregon.MML 94.3

    In the summer of 1877, two families from Santa Rosa moved to St. Clair, Churchill County, Nevada, and later placed a call for me to come. I arrived at Wadsworth Station Feb. 1, 1878, and was met by Jackson Ferguson who took me 35 miles across the desert to St. Clair, passing only one residence on the way. St. Clair is on the Carson River about six miles above the sink, on the edge of the Great American Desert. It is 5 miles from “Rag Town,” were the immigrants stopped on Carson River for a few days to change their much-worn garments for better clothing before entering the settlements.MML 94.4

    During February we held meetings in the Churchill County Institute, the only school building in the county. The whole community turned out and listened with great interest. In addition to those who had moved here from California, eight covenanted to keep all the commandments. When the question arose about my travel expenses and four weeks of labor, a non-member arose and said, “The way to raise this is to go down into our pockets and hand out the money.” Then he laid a $20 gold piece on the desk. Others followed, and in two minutes the sum was more than made up.MML 94.5

    On June 10, Sister White, Miss Glover and I took passage from San Francisco on the steamer “Oregon” with a new fifty-foot tent, and an outfit of camping tents for the first Oregon camp-meeting to be held at Salem. It was a taxing, rough sea trip for Sister White, but Captain Conner and the stewardess did all they could for her comfort. On arriving at Portland, we took the train for Salem where we were met by Elder VanHorn.MML 95.1

    With a corps of workers, we set up camp in a nice grove of pines near the fairgrounds. The dining tent was so well patronized that it met all the expenses of the camp, including our steamer fare to and from California.MML 95.2

    On Sunday the 7th, Sister White spoke to a vast crowd from the music stand in the city park. Her subject, “Parable of the Barren Fig Tree,” moved many to tears by the earnest appeals she made. She spoke Tuesday evening in the Methodist Church at the request of the pastor. The choir from the Methodist college rendered excellent singing. On Wednesday, we took passage on the steamer “Idaho” for San Francisco.MML 95.3

    In November, 1877, Dr. M. G. Kellogg announced he had secured grounds on the side of Howell Mountain, two and a half miles northeast of St. Helena, for a Rural Health Retreat, located by the side of Crystal Springs. During the winter of 1877-78, a building was erected, and in early 1878 opened for patients.MML 95.4

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