James and Ellen remained at Dansville for about three months. Here they had opportunity to observe methods of treatment and the wholesome diet.
In time the Whites were able to secure a ground-floor apartment. There were good days for James, and there were bad days. When disturbed with the extreme nervousness that accompanied his illness, he seemed to lose courage. But the good days outnumbered the bad. On October 23 Dr. Lay sent to the Review a report of the progress he was making:
Though he has made marked progress toward recovery since coming to this place, yet he is far from being well; and in order for him to fully recover, it seems indispensably necessary that he should devote at least several months to that special object; and in order to do this successfully, he needs rest, simple diet, judicious bathing, a certain amount of exercise in the open air, with the most pleasant social surroundings; consequently his family should be here with him. He should also have a team at his command, that he may ride every day when the weather will permit (ibid., Oct. 31, 1865).