To Rev. Greene: July 16, 1836

Encampment of Messrs McCloud

+ McCroy near green River,

West of the Rocky Mountains,

ten Miles from Rendezvous

of Messrs Fitz Patrick + Drips.

July 16th 1836

Rev D Greene,

Sec. +c A. B. C. F. M.

Dear Sir

It gives me great pleasure to address you at this time. We have been brought forward thus far under very peculiar circumstances. From the time the Steam Boat left us at Liberty to the presant, we can truely say we have been favoured with the smiles of Providence. For although at times our way seemed difficult if not impracticable yet as we have gone forward we have had reason to acknowledge the wisdom + goodness of God, even in our most trying circumstances, for evidently, they have worked for our good. On arriving near the Platte at the Ottoe Agency we met a messenger who desired me to go with all expidition to visit Maj Dougherty's Brother, who was very sick + it being Sabbath, I left the company + went forward intending to return or Send for them the next day. The next day I went to visit Mr Fitz Patrick who was to command the Carrivan this year whome I found encamped 25 miles from the Agency ready to start the next day. On my return on Tuesday I found the man whome I had sent had not returned + did not arrive with our party untill wednesday. From that time till Saturday noon we were occupied in crossing the Platte + repairs to our wagons so that we were 4 1/2 days behind the Company [Blurred spot] Mr Dunbar consented to accompany us as Pilott to the Pawnee Villages, unless we should obtain one before. Accordingly we pressed on and had crossed the Horses on monday morning when a pilot we had sent for came up + Brother Dunbar returned. We continued our travel at a forsed rate + overtook Mr Fiz Patrick on wednesday night near the Pawnee Tappage Village. During this whole journey from Liberty we had but one shower that gave us any inconvenience + that was the evening after I left them encamped near the Otto Agency. From information I am satisfied no one had any agency in our being left by the Boat but the Capt who had just taken the command of her for the first time + was ambitious only to make a quick trip. After we joined the company our journey was prosperous. Mrs Spaulding has suffered considerably from change of diet, but in the end I am confident her health will be greatly improved by the journey. From Fort William on Laremys Fork of Platte our journey was the most difficult as I had intimated to you, but although it was somewhat fatiguing to Mrs Spaulding Mrs Whitman endured it well. Our greatest difficulty was to bring our cattle up to the Forced march [Cut-off text] the Company, + with our waggon (one of which we have brought to this place + expect to take it through the whole journey Most of the difficulty with the waggon originated from the forced maner of traveling; the company having one cart only + the rest pack animals (from Fort Willim to Rendezvous) The Indians being apprised of our approach by express (sent forward) came to meet us on the 4th of July and [Blurred spot] 6th we arrived at Rendezvous.

At Rendezvous on Green River the same as last year we found a large number of Nez perce + Flathead Indians even more than Mr Parker + myself saw last year, who had come according to their agreement last year + at the request of Mr Parker, to take us to their country. They expressed great satisfaction at seeing us, + that we had not disappointed them but had spoken truth. On asking them what they would do for us on the journey one chief said he remembered the talk we had with them last year that he had kept it ever cinse that he then told us we should not want for food and he was now ready to fullfill his promise. They were greatly interested with our Females cattle + waggon. When we first met the Indians we did not know of any other company with whome we could go and intended to accomodat ourselves to their route although we might have to go out of our way to accommodate them for Buffalo + should be detained for them to kill + dry their winters supply of meat. But by the arrival of Messrs McCloud + McCroy we are furnished with a safe + direct escort to Walla Walla + have availed oursilves of their company + protection. Mr Parker wrote me by the Indian who accompanyed him + also by Mr McCloud in which he gives satisfactory reasons for not meeting us at Rendezvous as expected. We removed from Rendezvous to Messrs McCloud + Mcroys camp on the 14th + expect to move camp on the 18th toward Walla Walla at which place we expect to arrive in 35 days. We receive the most flatering encouragement from these gentlemen (one of which Mr McCloud is a partner of the Northwest Fur company) that we shall have evry facility on our journey + all necessary supplies of gods provisions +c at Walla Walla. On leaving the Camp of Messrs Fitzpatrick + Drips I asked them for our acount for favours, goods, horse shoeing, + supplies of meat + in return was asked for my bill for Medickal attendance + when told I had none they said then they had no demand aganst us. We have received nothing but favour + kindness from this company while with them. Our Animals have sufered much for want of grass + from forced traveling but we are told we shall have god grass + travel slow the rest of the way We left one horse by the way from fatigue + have lost one at Rendezvous either stolen or strayed have purchased three from the Indians + two have been given us by the Chiefs + the boys have each of them one given by their friends so that we have a full suply for the rest of the journey. One Chief said he was glad we were coming to settle in his country that he would give us a horse and that he did not want presants for it. We shall arrive at Walla Walla in time to send letters to Vancouver to Mr Parker before his return if we do not see him We may be able to write more particularly of our future wants We should like Mr Wild as formerly mentioned as our associate From Mr McClouds assureance there can be no risk in sending him to Oahu + that from thence to Vancouver in a short time he can go in the Northwest Furr Co. Ship. Letters +c can be sent to us in the same way directed near Walla Walla via. Oahu + Fort Vancouver, Columbia River I see no reason to regret our choice of a journey by land I think many of the most important results will be accomplished by it such as knowledge of Country, Indians, + their localities, acquaintance with Traders + the habits of trade +c. I have Seen nothing to change my opinion that it is one of the best trips can be made for invalids as dispepticks liver spleen or scroffulous affections all of which I confidently believe will be greatly relieved if not premanently cured. The case of Brother Dunbar is one that I have never seen equaled in medickal practice. Last year when we arrived at Bellviue he was lame in one of his limbs from two scroffulous absesses (induced by walked + crossing the rivers [when?] there was snow + ice in them) + extensive indurations. These absesses were laid open and in this State he went on the summer hunt with the Indians [when?] he was confined to fresh Buffalo meat mostly without salt. On my return in Oct. last I found his general health good, his limb sound and all the indurations removed which I attribute entire to diet + exercise It is in accordance with the opinions + long expierence of the traders trapers + voyagers of the mountains that in all incipient lung affection permanent relief can be obtained in the same way + I have conversed with many who have been relieved in this way Our cattle will be invalaluable to us + the Indians when located For safety I would as soon risque a land as sea voyage. The only thing I regret is that we brought any supplies except such as we we wanted for our immed use on the journey. We can get supplies of Medicine goods +c in short I believe every thing we want except books + perhaps some tools, at Vancouver or Walla Walla. In my own case + Mrs Whitman's we are more than compensated for the journey by the improvement of health. Mr McCloud speaks of Mr Parker as enjoying the best health From all we can learn we are satisfied it will not be difficult to fix on a location which will in every way accomodate us and the Indians. All agree that our cattl + horsess can winter well in the part we design to locate without being fed. Some valleys are said to be free from snow + in others only a few inches from 2 to 4. They say we may locate where the climate is mild grass soil + timber good The valleys free from timber. Plenty of Elk Deer + fish. About three days ride from Walla Walla. One reason why it would be desireable for associates to be sent soon is that it will be necessary for som to learn the Nez perce + others the Flathead languages It would be very easy for a young or single man to come up with the Furr Co + then join either some company, traping party or band of Nez perce + Flathead Indians, Some one of which he could not fail to find + so come through by land Mr Gray is anxious that a young man (Single) should be sent + that both of them should go with the Indians on their hunts the one to learn the Flathead + the other the Nez perce languages The Nez perce + Flathead villages are with us, a few only are expected to go with us, the rest will go to make meat for winter. Mr Parker has sent letters to yourself + his family by capt Wyeth of Boston who is on his way from the Columbia by land to Boston. I understand Maj Pilcher who came up with us has Bought out the Company with whome we traveled, in behalf of the American Furr Co if he should conduct their business as probably [Blurred spot] will it would be a favourable change for Sending either men or letters as he would do all in his power to aid the object. He is Agent for Government for the Yancton Sioux + would do very much to favour a mission among them. He says families could live in safety with them that they should have the use of the Government Agency buildings + that cattle could be raised to any amount. Maj Dougherty spoke equally encourageing of a Mission to the Omahaws Unless the diminution of Buffalo between this + last year or any former year shall be satisfactoryly accounted for in some way by migration the Indians that do not cultivate will soon be reduced to absolute starvation. The Araparho, Crow + Grosvont Indians speak one language

Yours in bonds of Christian affection
Marcus Whitman

Last updated: March 1, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

328 Whitman Mission Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362


(509) 522-6360

Contact Us