Retribution or Revenge?

The 1847 attack on the Whitmans horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. Was killing the Whitmans justified legal retribution, an act of revenge, or some combination of both? The circumstances that surround this tragic event resonate with modern issues of cultural interaction and differing perspectives.


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Stay connected with Whitman Mission National Historic Site on Facebook.

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Watch Our Videos

View our park movie "A Prophecy Fulfilled: The Cayuse and the Whitmans at Waiilatpu" plus park video shorts.

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Sketch of Marcus and Narcissa gazing into the distance.

1,000 Pages About the Whitmans

All of historian Clifford Drury's classic book, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon, is available to read on this site.

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painting of Marcus Whitman

Read Their Letters

Read some of the many letters Marcus and Narcissa wrote to friends, family, colleagues, and the missionary board that supported them.

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Red-winged Blackbird in tree

Restoring a Creek

Whitman Mission, along with many other groups, is working to restore Doan Creek, which will provide important habitat for fish and other animals.

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