At the end of the caravan experience Ellen reported to their children:
I have just read your letters and cried like a child. . . . I suppose I wasbabyish, but I have been sick the entire journey. Lost twelve pounds (six kilograms). No rest, not a bit of it, for poor Marian and me. We have worked like slaves. We cooked repeatedly half the night. Marian, the entire night. . . .
I have spoken every Sabbath to our camp because no one else seemed to feel the burden, and every Sabbath evening or Sunday in towns and villages. I am worn and feel as though I was about 100 years old. . . . Myambition is gone; my strength is gone, but this will not last. . . .
I hope that by the cheering light of the countenance of my Saviour, I shall have the springback power. . . . I have not had even time to keepa diary or write a letter. Unpack and pack, hurry, cook, set table, has been the order of the day. . . . Marian astonishes us all. She is really forgetting herself and is efficient help. What I could have done unless she had taken the burden is more than I can tell (letter 20, 1879).
Writing to the children on the same day, James White reported that his health was the best it had been in four years (JW to WCW, May 20, 1879).