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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)

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    New Responsibilities

    From this point on, James and Ellen White must take into account the fact that they were a family. The Howlands soon invited the couple to set up housekeeping in the upstairs rooms of their home in Topsham. Of this Ellen White wrote:1BIO 134.2

    In October, Brother and Sister Howland kindly offered us a part of their dwelling, which we gladly accepted, and commenced housekeeping with borrowed furniture. We were poor and saw close times.—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 241, 242.1BIO 134.3

    Many incidents might be cited illustrating their poverty. The young people were determined to be independent financially, so James engaged in daily labor. He secured work in hauling stone as a railroad cut was thrust through close to Brunswick. He wore the skin on his hands to the bleeding point in many places, and then had difficulty in collecting his wages. Freely the Howlands divided what they had with the young couple in the economically depressed times. James then cut cordwood in a nearby forest, working from early till late, and earned 50 cents a day. Severe pain in his side made for sleepless nights. But the young couple resolved to live within their means—and to suffer want rather than to run into debt. On their very limited budget Ellen could afford only one pint of milk a day for her child and herself. Then came a day when she had to cut out the nine-cent allowance for the milk supply for three days to have enough money to buy a bit of cloth for a simple garment for the baby. “I gave up the milk,” she wrote, “and purchased the cloth for an apron to cover the bare arms of my child.”—Ibid., 243.1BIO 134.4

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