James White's Funeral

13 August 1881

On Sabbath afternoon, August 13, some 2,500 Seventh-day Adventists and Battle Creek townspeople assembled in the tabernacle for the funeral of James White. Even though very ill, Ellen attended.

In his funeral address Uriah Smith eulogized the deceased and spoke of his activities in connection with the origin and rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He enumerated in some detail, giving illustrations, predominating traits, and characteristics of the man with whom he had worked intimately for so many years.

As Smith concluded his remarks, Ellen quite unexpectedly arose from her couch to speak to the large audience. She longed to say something to let all know that the Christian's hope was hers and sustained her in that hour of bereavement.

Ninety-five carriages joined in the funeral procession to Oak Hill Cemetery; in addition, nearly 100 people went on foot. James White was laid to rest in the family plot where his two sons and his father and mother, John and Elizabeth White, were buried.

After the funeral Ellen was taken back to the sanitarium for the night. On Sunday she was taken on a bed out to their home, where she was joined by the members of the family who had attended the funeral.

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