Tuesday morning the deep impression came to her distinctly, "Go to Iowa; I have work for you to do." The Iowa camp meeting would open on Thursday."I should as soon have thought of going to Europe," she commented, "but I told your father my convictions, that I should go with him or alone. He seemed surprised and said, ëWe will go' " (letter 5a, 1881).
The camp meeting was to be held at Des Moines, opening Thursday, June
9. James and Ellen arrived about noon on Friday. A heavy rainstorm came up,calling for extra effort on her part to make the people hear. Following the meeting she went to her tent and retired early for the night. But "in one hour, a message came for me to repair to the tent and speak to some points introduced in their business meetings, upon the right of voting in favor of prohibition. I dressed and spoke to them about twenty minutes, and then returned to the tent" (letter 5a, 1881).
She related a dream in which she seemed to be in a large gathering where the temperance movement was being discussed. A fine-looking man with pen in hand was circulating a temperance pledge, but no one would sign. As the visitor was leaving, he turned and said:
God designs to help the people in a great movement on this subject. He also designed that you, as a people, should be the head and not the tail in the movement; but now the position you have taken will place you at the tail (in DF 274, "The Des Moines, Iowa, Temperance Experience").
When Ellen was asked, "Should we vote on prohibition?" she answered, "Yes, to a man, everywhere, and perhaps I shall shock some of you if I say, ëIf necessary, vote on the Sabbath day for prohibition if you cannot at any other time' " (ibid.).