Killed, Escaped, Captive
Many people were staying with the Whitmans when the mission was attacked on November 29, 1847. Most were emigrants who were just spending the winter before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.
Below are lists of who was killed, who escaped, and who was held hostage. The hostages were held at the mission site for one month.
Ages of children are given in parentheses.
Killed (listed in alphabetical order)
Mr. W. D. Canfield
Mr. Peter D. Hall – made it to Fort Walla Walla, but never seen after that, presumed drowned
The Whitmans’ adopted children and other children staying with them:
Lorinda Bewley (brother Crocket Bewley- killed)
Mrs. Saunders (husband Judge L. W. Saunders - killed)
Mrs. Rebecca Hays
Mrs. Peter D. Hall (husband - escaped, but presumed drowned)
Mrs. Nathan Kimball (husband - killed)
Marsh Family: (Walter Marsh - killed)
Mrs. W. D. Canfield (husband - escaped)
Mr. and Mrs. Elam Young
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith
Drury, Clifford M. Chapter 21 (pdf 2.7 mb) and Chapter 22 (pdf 2.1 mb) of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. 1994. Northwest Interpretive Association: Seattle, Washington.
Did You Know?
The Whitmans’ mission was important to early Oregon Trail travelers. Those who were sick, tired, or hungry or who needed a wagon fixed would make the side trip to the mission. Some would spend the winter with the Whitmans before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.