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

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    The Tour East

    Soon after the Whites had settled in Rochester, a letter from Ellen's mother informed them that her brother Robert was dying of tuberculosis at the family home in Gorham, Maine. James had trained the staff quite well while at Saratoga Springs, and Lumen Masten was on hand to manage the office. So with faithful Charlie at hand to convey them by carriage, he and Ellen planned a trip east that would take two months. The Review of June 24 set his plans before the companies of believers:1BIO 231.3

    We now design making a tour east, and spending several weeks, holding conferences where they are most needed. On our way east, we could hold meetings at Caughdenoy, Lorain, at some central place in St. Lawrence County, Panton, Vermont; Washington, New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; and Bangor. Returning, hold meetings at Boston, Leverett, and Ashfield.1BIO 231.4

    Will those who wish us to hold conferences with them write in season, to give notice of such conferences in the Review and Herald. We shall not be confined to the places named. Have mentioned them to give some idea of the intended tour. We shall probably be able to leave Rochester by the first of August.—Ibid., June 24, 18521BIO 232.1

    In mid-June, while visiting a nearby company of believers over the weekend, they were pleasantly surprised. James White wrote about this:1BIO 232.2

    Brother Drew being informed of our intended Eastern tour, and seeing that our carriage was about falling to pieces, purchased and gave us a suitable carriage for which he paid $85. For this we thank God, also our brother, His steward.—Ibid., July 8, 18521BIO 232.3

    The couple planned to take 3-year-old Edson with them. As the summer wore on, cholera struck Rochester with heavy mortality. Ellen White described the scourge:1BIO 232.4

    All night long the carriages bearing the dead were heard rumbling through the streets to Mount Hope Cemetery. This disease did not cut down merely the low, but it took from every class of society.... As we passed through the streets of Rochester, at almost every corner we would meet wagons with plain pine coffins in which to put the dead.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 143.1BIO 232.5

    Just as they were to start on their carriage tour east the dread disease invaded the White home. Little Edson was stricken. Of course, their first resort was to pray for his healing. “I took him in my arms,” wrote Ellen White, “and in the name of Jesus rebuked the disease.” He felt relief at once; as a sister commenced praying for the Lord to heal him, Edson looked up and said, “They need not pray any more, for the Lord has healed me.”—Ibid., 144. But James did not dare start on their journey until Edson had improved sufficiently to call for food. He did that afternoon, Wednesday, July 21, and they started, for they had nearly one hundred miles to cover in the next two days to fill their first appointment at Oswego.1BIO 232.6

    James had charted the itinerary, allowing time to drive from one appointment to the next and giving word in advance through the Review. The issue of August 19 carried a concentration of such appointments:1BIO 233.1

    Providence permitting, we will hold meetings at the following places: Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, at the house of Brother John Byington, Thursday, August 26, at 2:00 P.M.1BIO 233.2

    Norfolk, at the house of Brother Haskell, to commence Friday, August 27 at 6:00 P.M., and hold over Sabbath and First-day. Chateaugay, Tuesday, August 21, at 4:00 P.M., where the brethren may appoint.1BIO 233.3

    Wolcott, Vermont, to commence Friday, September 3, at 6:00 P.M., and hold Sabbath and First-day.1BIO 233.4

    Washington, New Hampshire, to commence Friday, September 10, at 6:00 P.M., and hold Sabbath and First-day.1BIO 233.5

    Boston, Massachusetts, Tuesday, September 14, at 2:00 P.M.1BIO 233.6

    Portland, Maine, Friday, September 17, at 6:00 P.M., and hold over Sabbath and First-day.1BIO 233.7

    Bangor, Maine, Friday, September 24, at 6:00 P.M., and hold over Sabbath and First-day.—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1852.1BIO 233.8

    The journey by carriage rested both James and Ellen White.1BIO 233.9

    Charlie was very fond of apples. As they drove where apple orchards lined the roads and big red apples lay in the path of the travelers, James would loosen the checkrein. Charlie would gently slow down from a seven-mile pace, select a good apple within easy reach, pick it up, and then throw his head high and dash on at full speed, chewing the apple as he journeyed (WCW, “Sketches and Memories,” Ibid., April 25, 1935).1BIO 233.10

    Ellen White described their travel experience:1BIO 233.11

    The Lord greatly blessed us on our journey to Vermont. My husband had much care and labor. At the different conferences he did most of the preaching, sold books, and took pay for the papers. And when one conference was over, we would hasten to the next.

    At noon we would feed the horse by the roadside and eat our lunch. Then my husband, with paper and pencil upon the cover of our dinner box, or the top of his hat, would write articles for the Review and Instructor.—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 292.1BIO 234.1

    The Youth's Instructor was a monthly journal James White had recently started to reach the youth of the emerging church. Each copy contained Sabbath school lessons, the first prepared for children and young people. James, as he later recalled, thought out the lessons while the “carriage was in motion“: while the horse was eating he wrote them out.1BIO 234.2

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