A Physical Description of Narcissa Prentiss Whitman
With the possible exception of an untitled sketch by artist Paul Kane, there are no known images of Narcissa herself. She was, though, described by many contemporaries. Artists have used descriptions to help create paintings of Narcissa. Artist Drury Haight created a painting of Narcissa based on the Paul Kane sketch. A discussion of the discovery of the Paul Kane sketch and the evidence supporting the theory that it is of Narcissa Whitman can be found in "Are These the Whitmans?" by Ross Woodbridge.
The following descriptions of Narcissa Whitman are excerpted from Clifford Drury's Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon.
Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. 1994. Northwest Interpretive Association: Seattle, Washington.
Woodbridge, Ross. "Are These the Whitmans?" in The Whitman Alumnus: Whitman College Bulletin. 1970 Feb; Volume 73 (Number 5):2-6.
Did You Know?
On her 29th birthday Narcissa gave birth to a daughter, Alice Clarissa. The Cayuse called her “Cayuse Te-mi” (Cayuse girl) because she was born on Cayuse land. Some historians see her as a potential bridge between the two cultures. Unfortunately Alice Clarissa drowned when she was 2 years old.