June 24 - 29, 1875

Blue Earth Co., Eagle Lake, 1/8 mile from train station    Map

Find it today: Editor's best guess is that the camp ground was probably between the tracks and Leray Avenue

MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING. The general camp-meeting of the Seventh-day Adventists of Minnesota will be held at Eagle Lake Station, Blue Earth Co., Minn., commencing Thursday, June 24, 1875. Eagle Lake is on the Winona & St. Peter R. R., about 34 miles west of Owatonna, 6 miles east of Mankato, and 10 miles south of St. Peter. The camp ground is about 40 rods from the depot. Ample provisions will be made for the accommodation of all who come. Hay and grain will be furnished on the ground, at reasonable rates. Bro. and Sr. White are requested, and confidently expected, to be present at this meeting.

Review and Herald, June 3, 1875

NEAR EAGLE LAKE, MINN., 1875 – I send you [W. C. White] manuscript for paper, written mostly while the cars were in motion, in depots, and in almost every inconvenient position. We are now in the midst of camp meeting. Everything is wet in consequence of two days of rain. {11MR 134.1}

We were hindered on the road. At Wyoming we were told there was a washout and the cars would not pass over the road until next day. We tarried at Jewel Hotel, hired a room, and engaged in writing. Next day we took the cars, rode about sixteen miles, then came to a sudden standstill. The freight cars had, in passing over the break in the road, broken through; so we waited in the cars from two o'clock until eight before the break could be repaired. I improved this time in writing. We did not reach Eagle Lake [Minnesota] until three o'clock in the morning. While waiting on the track for breakage to be repaired, the heavens gathered blackness. We had a severe storm of thunder and lightning, rain and blow. We learned this storm had spent its force before it reached us. – Letter 21a, 1875, p. 1. (To W. C. White, June 27, 1875.) {11MR 134.2}

E. G. WHITE, Manuscripts at E. G. White Estate

GRASSHOPPERS BY MEASURE. As we write these lines from the Minnesota camp-ground, in Eagle Lake, Blue Earth Co., June 27, 1875, the advance guard of the grasshopper army in this State is within five miles of us; and we learn some facts concerning them which are worthy of record. With true northern enterprise this county took measures to rid itself of this scourge by placing a bounty upon the slaughtered remains of these pests. It was first fixed at 5 cents a quart, or $1.60 a bushel. Under this offer, they were brought in in such quantities that the bounty was reduced to $1 per bushel, and the next day was taken off entirely, the treasury becoming exhausted by the demands upon it.

The results of this short war upon the insects shows more forcibly than any mere words could do it, the extent of the calamity now threatening this part of the country. The amount paid out in bounties reaches the enormous sum of $28,000.00, and the amount of grasshoppers killed falls but little short of eighteen thousand bushels!

The Mankato paper, from which we gather these facts, concludes its account as follows: “The amount of grasshoppers killed in this county for which a bounty has been paid cannot fall much short of 18,000 bushels. The number of hoppers in a bushel at different stages of growth have been variously estimated at from 160,000 to 320,000. Striking an average at 200,000 per bushel, the number killed in our ten days' war would amount to 3,600,000,000 – an army large enough, when fully grown, to ravage whole counties. The living still outnumber the dead, and they are doing great damage to the wheat in Judson, Cambria, part of Butternut Valley, Lincoln, Garden City, and other small localities."

This, be it remembered, is in one county alone. Bro. Grant, the President of this Conference, states that on his journey to this place, he passed through twenty-five or thirty miles of territory where the grasshoppers were so numerous that it would be impossible to step without crushing a greater or less number of them, and in all the higher and dryer portions of which, they had collected three or four deep, devouring every green thing. And if a small portion of territory can present such facts and figures, what would be the result if all the other portions of this State were taken into the account, and all other States where this scourge is now felt? Is it not time for the people to begin to cry unto the Lord to stay in mercy the progress of this evil?

U. S. (Uriah Smith) – Review and Herald, July 8, 1875

THE MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING. We left the place of the Wisconsin meeting in season to reach the Minnesota camp-ground Thursday evening. But when we reached Winona, Minn., we learned that a severe storm the night before had washed out the road ahead of us in two places, eight miles apart, rendering transfer impracticable, and suspending travel upon that road till the following day. Our patience having endured the severe strain of twenty-four hours’ delay in Winona, we started out on time Friday at 12:50, the break in the road having been repaired. After we had run out about 15 miles, our train suddenly came to a prolonged halt, and the not very entertaining information came to our ears that a freight had broken through the mended place in the road, and we must wait again for repairs. We stood there upon the track till toward nine that evening and reached the camp-ground at 3 o'clock Sabbath morning.

We found we had not been the only ones laboring under unfavorable circumstances. A very heavy rain storm had visited the encampment the day and night before. This was a new experience for Minnesota, the weather in all their six previous camp-meetings having uniformly been pleasant; hence it took some in a measure unprepared. However favorable the prospect may be in advance, a heavy, close tent, and a sheet-iron stove that can be used inside, in case of cold and wet, will be found a wise precaution.

Nevertheless the people were of good cheer. The meeting had started in well. There were thirty-one tents pitched, and nearly four hundred brethren and sisters present. Two of the forty-feet tents were joined together, forming a pavilion forty feet by eighty. This furnished a pleasant place for meeting when the open ground could not be used. This audience room was well filled by the brethren present. Yet in point of numbers this meeting cannot be taken as an index of the strength of the cause in Minnesota, as it is estimated that there would have been fully two hundred more present, but for the financial embarrassment in this State caused by the grasshopper scourge.

Sabbath morning at 9, a very precious season was enjoyed in social meeting. The testimonies borne were to the point, and well wet down with tears. Bro. and Sr. White spoke the word in the forenoon and afternoon with usual freedom. In the social meeting at 5 P. M., over one hundred came forward for prayers. Seventy-six of them spoke. Remarks from Bro. White fairly bore away the congregation on the wings of hope and courage. The season of prayer that followed was one of great freedom. The occasion could scarcely have been better.

At this meeting, as in the preceding, our hearts were made to rejoice over the work of the Lord among those of other tongues. We have spoken, in reports of the Illinois and Monroe, Wis., Camp-meetings, of the French, Danes and Norwegians. Here we met an intelligent company of Swedes. Sunday, at 9 A. M., a service was held more especially for their benefit. Sister White spoke to them, her remarks being interpreted into the Swedish tongue by Bro. Lee. Thus all were edified, and many hearts were moved by the things they heard. It was clearly shown that the angels of God are moving upon hearts, not in this country alone, but in Europe and in different parts of the world, to call their attention to the golden coins of truth which have so long been buried up with the rubbish of error and tradition, but which are to be brought out for the church in the last days, that, through obedience thereto, they may be sanctified and prepared for the coming and kingdom of our Lord. This message is going to the nations, tongues, and peoples of the world, and soon the whole earth will be lightened with the blaze of its closing glory.

In the night following the Sabbath, and during Sunday forenoon, a heavy rain-fall again came upon the encampment. But the brethren had been cheered by the meeting and blessed to that degree that they were raised above the influence of outward circumstances; and though the encampment might look to the outward observer like a dreary and uninviting place, it was nevertheless the happiest spot in all Minnesota; and there was more joy in those dripping tents than can be found in kings' palaces. Not many from without were present on Sunday forenoon, but the storm abating, some one thousand or twelve hundred were present in the afternoon, who listened with the deepest attention to a discourse from sister White, which was well deserving of the consideration they gave it.

Monday nature seemed vieing with herself to produce one of her loveliest days, as if to make amends somewhat for the previous "unpleasantness." The work of various committees and officers of the Conference, and business matters generally, with the preaching of the word, filled up the day. Three discourses were given at the usual hours. And as the first part of the meeting had been in a measure interrupted by the rain, it was voted to continue it one day longer till Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, at 9 A. M., Bro. White spoke on the subject of baptism. At 11, after a short discourse from sister White, backsliders and sinners again came forward for prayers, and the meeting reached a degree of interest, to which the brethren thanked God for having brought it.

In the afternoon, Brn. Wm. B. Hill, George M. Dimmick, and L. H. Ells, were set apart for the work of the ministry. The congregation then repaired to a stream about a mile distant, and eighteen were buried in baptism.

In the evening, interesting remarks were made by Bro. and sister A. C. Spicer, S. D. Baptists. Bro. S. fully committed himself to the views and work of S. D. Adventists; and at the parting meeting the following morning, the congregation by a rising vote responded to his remarks, receiving him as a member of the body. Credentials will be issued to him by the Minnesota Conference Committee.

Three new churches have been added to the Conference, and three other bodies are ready to join, when more fully organized. The membership has been increased some two hundred during the past year. Including the three ministers ordained at this meeting, they now have seven ordained ministers and eight licentiates, one minister and two licentiates being Swedes.

Through the counsel of Bro. White, and the liberal proposition he made to the Minn. T. & M. Society, touching their relation to the Publishing Association, they were greatly relieved from financial embarrassment, and much encouraged.

This meeting we believe will tell greatly for the advancement of the cause in Minnesota. All seemed exceedingly pleased with it, many regarding it as the best they ever enjoyed. For yourself, in addition to the general excellent character of the meeting, we acknowledge with gratitude the privilege of meeting many noble friends of the cause whom we never saw before. The memory of the happy acquaintance we have formed with them will be a lasting pleasure.

U. S. (Uriah Smith) – Review and Herald, July 8, 1875

CAUSE IN MINNESOTA. At an early date in the history of our cause there were Sabbath-keeping Adventists in the State of Minnesota. In those days there was but very little well-directed labor in that good State, in fact, most of the labor and means expended were worse than lost in consequence of the want of consecration and experience of the men who first entered the Minnesota fields. The few friends then liberally gave of their scanty means to advance the cause, and were disappointed in their hopes in seeing unworthy men use it in a manner to disgust the people, rather than to bring men and women to the Lord and his truth.

All this time, some valuable accessions were being made to the feeble, scattered numbers in Minnesota, mainly through the influence of our publications; and the old friends of the cause generally stood firm, and from time to time became very hopeful at indications of good. We have not a reflection to cast upon our brethren in Minnesota for the caution they have manifested in encouraging untried men into the field, after having been repeatedly disappointed in those on whom they expended their hard-earned money. On the other hand, as we look back upon the discouragements which have been cast upon the brethren, we are astonished that they have borne up so well, and have been so ready to sustain the cause in all its branches.

And it is because of the hopeful, cheerful faithfulness of the brethren that the Lord has so greatly blessed his cause in Minnesota, We were happy to meet a large and intelligent body of brethren and sisters upon the camp-meeting ground last week. Circumstances had kept a large proportion at their homes, and yet this meeting, for numbers, fully equaled any we have attended this season. Here is a people willing to do more than their duty in the line of raising means for the cause. We were pained to learn from responsible parties that scores of brethren remained away from the recent camp-meeting for want of means to pay pledges they made last year.

From what we know of the comparative ability of the brethren in the several States to donate to the general interests of the cause, and of Minnesota in particular, and we think we have had as good a chance to know as any one instead of Minnesota donating to the General Conference, or to anything else out of the State, the brethren in that State should have been helped to sustain the local cause at home. Year before this last just passed, that Conference put $500 into the General Conference treasury, and at the close of that year paid her ministers only five and six dollars per week besides traveling expenses. Had the General Conference paid the Minnesota Conference $500 during that year, the cause, which should be one in all parts of the wide field, would have been better served.

We found the brethren in Minnesota embarrassed; first, from too great demands upon them, and second, from too great promptness and willingness on their part to carry out that which they have been asked to do. We found on the Tract and Missionary Society a debt of more than $2,000. This debt was contracted to fill the suggested quota for Minnesota of The Voice of Truth and The Health Reformer, in consideration of changing the pledges for the Pacific Mission to pay for these periodicals, which pledges should never have been called out of that poor State at a time when the Conference was able to pay her active ministers only five and six dollars per week. And now but few are able to pay these pledges, therefore they cannot help pay this debt. The Conference Committee informed us that, judging from actual knowledge, from fifty to seventy-five brethren and sisters were absent from the camp-meeting, because they could not raise the money to pay their pledges. These facts fully justify the statements from the pen of E. G. W. against receiving pledges of poor brethren under the pressure of unqualified calls at camp-meetings.

Under these circumstances we requested the T. and M. workers of Minnesota to immediately re-canvass the field, and collect all the names of persons who are not worthy to receive these periodicals, and forward them to the Office of publication before the first day of August, 1875, and the sum to be paid for these periodicals for the entire year shall be taken from the amount due the Office. In this way the debt can be reduced several hundreds of dollars.

While some of our wealthy States have not filled their quota, poor Minnesota has more than filled hers. Here is a good illustration of the wrong of suffering the poor to do too much, while the rich do nearly nothing. Since our first connection with the cause, we have regarded it alike our duty to encourage the rich to give of their abundance, and to prevent the poor from being liberal beyond their ability. From the very first, we have called in question the apportionment of a certain quota to each State to be filled on a given time. Our fears are ripening into settled convictions. In the first place, it is a nice piece of work to divide a given number of periodicals among the several States, and take into the account the condition of things in each State, and the financial ability of each. And second, to set a certain number of weeks, or months, will inevitably result in a hasty and injudicious gathering of very many unworthy names.

We do not believe that our people are doing a tithe the missionary work they should do. To simply gather up hastily 20,000 names in a few months and forward them to the REVIEW Office is doing next to no missionary work at all. No person should be allowed to send in names on the Societie's account, unless they follow up such names with visits and correspondence, and if periodicals are not read with interest and profit, they should be changed to other persons. Here is work for the whole year round. And here is missionary work by which twenty times as much good can be accomplished with the same amount of means as we are now doing.

In order that the T. and M. cause be healthy and permanent, we must work to the point for a “strong pull, and a steady and a long pull, and all pull together.” Reactions will inevitably result from ill-timed and over action. Like the other duties of our holy religion, that branch of our missionary work which consists in the circulation of our periodicals demands our constant efforts the year round.

In the face of grasshopper raids and hard times generally, the brethren of the Minnesota Conference shoulder the burdens of the cause, some of them unreasonably laid upon them, with a readiness and spirit of good cheer which should put to blush the stingy murmuring of the wealthy of other States. And while they have a heart to come so nobly up to the work, we feel it our duty to assist them at this time in every way possible. God bless the dear brethren, in Minnesota..

J. W. (James White) – Review and Herald, July 8, 1875

Lessons of the past
Hope for the future