The tenth annual session of the General Conference opened in Battle Creek, Friday morning, December 29, 1871. It was a meeting that to a degree would see the fruition of James White's determination to strengthen the base of the work to ensure its future and give him needed relief. It was a meeting of encouraging reports and the laying of long-range plans. The Publishing Association was prospering, having increased its assets by nearly $11,000 during the previous 10 months and erected a new building that was to be dedicated in a few days. The health institute was doing well; it was managed by Ira Abbey, the first of the "picked men" to join the business forces in Battle Creek. But James and Ellen White were spent; it was clear that they must get away from the burdens that inevitably rolled upon them when they were in Battle Creek.