Little Ellen Harmon

On July 11, 1810, Robert Harmon, a man from generations of inhabitants in the small state of Maine, in the top north-east corner of United States of America, married a young lady, Eunice Gould. They were a Methodist couple and lived godly lives. They were to increase their boundaries prolifically with their family. Mrs Harmon must have been a very busy wife and mother. The last of their family to be born were twin girls, Ellen and Elizabeth, on November 26, 1827. By this time Caroline, their first born was 15, Harriet was 13, John was 11, Mary was 6, Sarah was 5, Robert was nearly 2. The family lived in the town of Gorham, their home on the brow of the hill overlooking valleys and mountains beyond.

Those early years were wonderful carefree days on the little Harmon farm. They were not wealthy people, but humble and looked after their family well. This story focuses on one of the family in particular, that of little Ellen, one of the twins.

Right from her young years Ellen was a kind little girl. She loved nature and animals and would never harm them. In the autumn, after the hickory nuts had fallen, the squirrels would gather them up for their winter food, especially in Maine where the winters were hard, and food was scarce. Sometimes, Ellen would take little adventures with her brothers and sisters into the woodland area near their home to find and gather these treasured hickory nuts, treasured both by man and squirrels. Little Ellen felt so much for the squirrels, that she would take a little cloth bag full of corn. When she found a hoard of nuts in a hole in a hollow tree, she eagerly gathered the nuts, and then replaced the nuts with some of the corn in her bag, hoping that the squirrels would not be disappointed in the exchange when they came to their winter stash.

As with most families in those days, the milk supply came not in a bottle to the gate, but they had their house cow, as it was in the Harmon family. Ellen learned to milk the cow in her early years and she enjoyed going to fetch 'Bossy' the cow, bringing her to the cow bail and milk her.
One evening, as she went to the paddock to bring Bossy in for milking something was different. Bossy was always waiting at the gate for Ellen, but this afternoon, Bossy was nowhere to be seen. Ellen went through the paddock, and woods looking for the missing cow, calling for her all the way. It wasn't until she reached the valley by the little brook that she heard Bossy respond. To her dismay, Ellen found Bossy in mid stream with all four feet stuck in the mud. Immediately Ellen thought of a plan. She picked some lush green grass and reached out and was able to get close enough to offer Bossy this tasty morsel. Bossy was grateful for something to eat, as there was very little within her reach being stuck in one place, and eagerly took the grass. Ellen picked some more grass, but this time holding it just short of Bossy. Bossy, keen to have that food, strained to reach it, Ellen all the while keeping it just short of her reach. Ellen called, “Here Bossy.” The cow, fearful of losing the promised morsel of food, put forth a big effort to break loose of the mud and yes, soon Ellen and Bossy were trudging up the paddock home for the milking shed.

Ellen Harmon grew from that childhood, with many afflictions she had to live with, but she became a young lady, which God was able to use in a powerful way, delivering visions and messages through her and brought her from a quiet young Methodist women, through to one of the founding members of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. She married James White on Sunday August 30, 1846 and dedicated her whole adult life to the pen, writing out many of the messages and visions she received directly from God, onto paper that we can benefit from those messages down in our day – 100 odd years later.