To Rev. Greene: April 1, 1847

Vancouver Aprile 1st 1847

Rev David Greene
Secretary of the A. B. C. F. M.

My Dear Sir

I have received your letters of 25th February and Aprile 6th 1846 one on my way and the other after I came here

I am in much haste to return home to day if possible so that I must be brief

I have written Mr Hill on the business of the Mission and conserning the goods Sent us

I hope to take up most of the things now in store for us here; at this time

I may not be able take them farther than the Dalls. From there they may be taken on pack horses or we can possibly send waggons for them

The health of the Mission has been quite good for the last year - The winter has been one of unusual severity throughout the whole country. Many cattle have died in all parts particularly in the lower Country. At our station we have had a heavy loss in sheep calves + some cattle (old cows) colts + horses. Cattle that were in good condition at the begining of the winter have done well. I think the loss of cattle + horses must have been entire with Mr Walker and Eells beyond what they were able to feed. The last only of the Immigration of last fall came to my house. No provisions were required by those who were able to pass on to the end of the journey. Of those who stoped four were very sick. Two or three must have died in all probability if they had not stoped + obtained Medical aid + rest. Three births have occured also among those that stoped; The expectation of that event caused them to stop with us for the winter. In all Six families besides eight young men wintered with us

The disaster was great again last year to those who left the track which I made for them in 1843 as it has been in every attempt to improve it Not that it can not be improved but it shows what it requires to complete a safe passage and may not fail to demonstrate what I did in making my way to the States in the winter of 42 and 43 after the third of October

It was to open a practical rout + safe passage and a favourable report of the journey from Immigrants which, in connexion with other objects caused me to leave my family + brave the toils + dangers of the journey; which carried me on not withstanding I was forced out of my direct track and notwithstanding the unusual severity of the winter + great depth of snow. In connexion with this let me say the other great object for which I went was to save the Mission from being broken up just then which it must have been as you will See by a refference to the doing of Committe which confirmed the recall of Mr Spalding only two weeks before my arrival in Boston. I often reflect upon the fact that you told me you were sorry I came. It did not at that time nor has it Since altered my views nor changed my opinion in the matter nor toward yourself

American interest acquired in the Country which the sucess of the Immigration of 43 alone have + could have secured; have become the foundation and cause of the late treaty with England + the U States in regard to Oregon. For it may be easily seen what would have become of the American interest in this Country so far as then acquired by her Citizens who were located and residing here would have been conserned had the sucess of that Immigration been as disasterous as the two attempts; the one in 1845 + the other in 1846; to alter the rout, have been. Any one may see that American interest as now acquired + existing in the Country on one part + British interest in the same way existing on the other hand have had more to do with bringing about and forming the treaty than origal rights belonging to either party. From the year 1835 to this time it has ever been apparent that there was to be a choise only of two things; one of the increase + continuation of British interest here to the easy exclussion of all other acquired rights in the Country: or the establishment of American interest by Citizens In connexion with the former Papacy was deep rooting + founding herself in security In thirty six Capt Wyeth left the Country + with him closed for a long time nearly all the American interest in the country but the Methodist, and our Missions. In the fall of 42 I pointed out to our Mission the arrangements of the Papist to settle in our vicinity and that it only required these measures to be completed for us to be obliged to close our Mission operations. This was urged as a reason for me to return home + try to bring those to carry on the affairs of the Mission Stations and to Settle in the Country who would Stand on the footing of Citizens + not as Missionaries. It may not be inappropriate to observe that at that moment the Methodist Mission as well as our own was on the point of dissolution It was owing to them that American interest had been fostered and with their discontinuance most of them must have failed

Here I leave the subject without farther detail or comment You will be pleased to receive it as an explanation of many of my measures + much of my policy

I have not felt that I was a Minister nor that I could observe passing events with indifference. The allusion you make in your letters to my situation + business tranactions are correct but they are not So easily change

In proff of this let me refer you to my inability to obtain a farmer when in the States + of your inability to send me a Minister as an associate. And farther witnes the statements as contained in this letter in regard to Immigrants. If we are not legally, religiously nor morally bound to relieve the passing Immigrant we are necessarily; for the sick + hungry cannot be sent away however penyless

The wants of those who have money are equally pressing for they are the the wants of hunger. That I might have obtained farmers to come + cultivate our farms I have no doubt could I have protracted my stay in the States

But that stay would have endangered the Emigrants to come without a safe pilot + myself with the possibility of another years Stay in the States

The shool under Mr Geigers care was continud five Months Mr Spaldings two oldest Children attended and Six or seven from the families who wintered with us Mr Rogers contius the School a Month while I am down here. While I am employed in holding meetings with the Indians Mr Rogers + Mrs Whitman are engaged in sabbath school for the family + other white Children. Last winter they were assisted by Mr Geiger Will you Send us Suitable Sermons to read on the afternoon of the Sabbath as Barns have been twis read

A good degree of seriousness was manifest in our family + by Some around us during the winter We hope a Saving change has been wrought by the Holy Spirit in the case a Young man formerly a Sabbath + common day Schollar of mine in the State of N York as also among some of our children + Mr Spaldings oldest daughter

The Indians continue to give about the same degree of attention to religious instruction as formerly I have made large preparations to aid them in cultivating by getting near 20 thousand rails split for them + I hope to plough additional Prairie for them as much as they can fence

I have the Saw Mill in good operation + very safe in its construction

With this I may make any improvements required by the Indians or the Mission in building Mr Spalding has written you very freely as he says upon the condition of his Station + the discouragements. I am free to say I would like to be discharged could I fell as sure I was as wright in leaving as I was in coming among the Indians

As we live at all times in a most precarious state not knowing whether to stay or go nor at what time nor how soon Whether it may be demanded by the Indians or the Board. I think in the course of the ensuing Summer I shall locate a claim for land in this lower Country to be ready in case of retirement

With best esteem + regards I am
Very Truly Yours
Marcus Whitman

April 2d

I was delayed from starting yesterday + this is good Friday a holiday here

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