Returning from Charlotte to their comfortable Battle Creek home on Wednesday, July 27, 1881, they picked up their tasks there. One of the first things Ellen did was to write to the children in California of the experience of the past two weeks and of the meeting she and James had with Dr. Kellogg."I have been alarmed at the state of things," she wrote, but was glad to add:
I think Father views matter in a different light. In some things I think he is striving hard for the Spirit of God. He seems more humble, more guarded in words and actions. He has a hard battle before him. I shall help him all I can. . . .
As the new week dawned they were looking forward to more labor in the field. The Review of August 2 carried the following back-page note signed by both James and Ellen:
The Eastern Camp Meetings: We have been urged to attend the camp meetings to be holden at Magog, P. Q. [Province of Quebec], Morrisville, Vermont, and Waterville, Maine. We shall attend these meetings, and others, as the providence of God opens the way for us, and we have health and strength to labor.
But James and Ellen were not at these meetings. Instead, the next issue of the Review carried the notice of James White's death.