At the General Conference session in May 1863 actions had been taken calling for the production of a new prophetic chart and a chart of the Ten Commandments. The development and production of the charts called for him to spend two or three months in the vicinity of Boston, Massachusetts. And since his position as president of the SDA Publishing Association would not hold him continuously in Battle Creek, why not take the family and stay, say, a year in the East, possibly living at the Howland home in Topsham, Maine, just a few hours by train from Boston?
Learning that they would be welcome in the commodious and comfortable Howland home, James and Ellen White decided that the whole family would go east. They would take with them Adelia Patten, the young woman who lived with them and cared for the children when the parents were traveling. She also was beginning to give some assistance in copying the testimonies and other writings.