• bible sitting next to a teapot

    Whitman Mission

    National Historic Site Washington

Who's Who - Organizations

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (aka: ABCFM or American Board)
The Whitmans and their co-workers were supported by this organization.The American Board was established in 1810. It was supported by Presbyterian and Congregational churches. It sent missionaries all over the world, including India, Turkey, China, Africa, and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and to various North American Indian tribes.

Columbia Maternal Association
On September 3, 1839, the six missionary wives organized the Columbia Maternal Association. This was the first women's club organized by American women west of the Rocky Mountains. This type of organization was quite common at that time in the East. The association's constitution begins with the following statement:

Sensible of the evils that beset the young mind especially in a Heathen land, & confident that no arm but Gods can secure our children or those committed to our care, from the dangers that surround them, to bring them early into the fold of Christ & fit them for usefulness here & glory hereafter, we the subscribers agree to form ourselves into an Association for the purpose of adopting such [methods] as are best calculated to assist us in the right performance of our Maternal duties.

The association eventually had thirteen members: the original six, the wives of the five independent missionaries, and Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. McKinlay (native wives of Hudson's Bay Company officials).

Prudential Committee
A committee of the American Board, similar to a modern executive committee.

 

Sources

Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. 1994. Northwest Interpretive Association: Seattle, Washington.

Did You Know?

Brass compass which belonged to Dr. Whitman

In the fall of 1842 Dr. Whitman decided to travel from Waiilatpu to Boston. He wanted to convince the board members to keep his mission station open. Dr. Whitman was in such a hurry when he left that he forgot his compass.