Ellen Improves and the Company Continues the Journey

September 1872

James White picks up the story: "We soon became satisfied that bones were not broken. Neither could we discover external injuries of any kind; but as breathing and speaking were so very difficult, we feared internal injuries." With towels that Mrs. Hall brought, and water, hydrotherapy was applied. James reported:

Patient improved, and was soon able to take the writer's arm, and walk a few rods from the company, where we asked the following questions: 1. Shall we pitch our tents here, and go into camp, let Mr. Walling return to his business, and we remain till we see how your case shall turn?

2. Or shall we apply to the Great Physician, and, by faith in the efficacy of prayer, move on our journey?

Mrs. White decided, as she frequently has done under circumstances alike trying, to go forward. As we bowed in prayer, evidences of Divine Presence caused us to weep for joy. And in a few moments we were in our saddles, moving joyfully, and yet solemnly, along, resolving that we would not leave camp another morning without first thanking God for mercies past, and imploring His care and protection for time to come (HR, January 1873).

Ellen's injuries were more extensive than at first fully sensed, and she suffered for many years. In 1907 she made reference to her left leg, which had troubled her long after the accident: "The ligaments were torn from the ankle." When she sought medical help, some time after the accident, the word was "You will never be able to use your foot, for it has been so long without close investigation that nothing can relieve the difficulty and unite the ligaments torn from the ankle bone" (MS 156, 1907).

With the decision to continue the trip, the party was soon faced with a very steep climb, the steepest of the journey. The wagon was lightened of its supplies and equipment, and with difficulty the horses pulled it up the ascent, leaving tents, equipment, and supplies to be taken up piecemeal by James and Willie with their horses. At noontime they stopped by an old log shanty in a forest of pines. Here Ellen White took a warm bath and seemed to be improving. Just before reaching the timberline, they found a good camping spot for the night.