To Rev. Greene: May 18, 1844

Waiilatpu May 18th 1844

Rev David Greene

My Dear Sir

I have not any thing new to write since I wrote by the Companies express. But I do not want to let the opportunity pass without letting you know how we are situated The health of Mrs Whitman as also the lameness of my foot are better than when I wrote before Mr Walker + Family were all here a short time since + are in health as also Mr Eells family. At the last dates Mr Spaldings family were also well

One hundred dollars was deducted from our bill which was sent out this spring on account of the books I desired you to send Mr McKinlay. They have not yet arrived but may have come in one of the three vessels lately in the mouth of the River.

In my last I wrote you about land claims + the importance of securing the use of the lands occupied by the stations for the benefit + use of the Mission The only way the Mission can hold land will be for the use of the Mission which is worth comparatively nothing at all. For as soon as the Mission becomes in the way of settlers they will get rid of it

I have no hope that the interests of the Mission can so be reconciled as to Stand long after Settlers come into this part of the Country. I was anxious to so manage as to cause the Indians + the Mission to so far supply the wants of the Imigration in transit as not to force the early occupancy of this part, Nothing however can long delay such a result It can do no good to the Indians for us to endeavour to alter the tendency. The Indians want settlers among them in hope to get property from them. If we interfere directly or indirectly with their wishes in these matters we shall be brought into collision with settlers + the government. I do not want to abandon the Indians but I am well assured when the Mission ceases as hithertoo to be beneficial to settlers it cannot remain in peace. The only way we can stay will be to take the relation of settlers also. Men and things that stand in the way of the interest of such men as are settling this country will + must be got out of the way. As the Board can hold no claim to lands + in view of the probability of such changes as soon to alter the situation of the Missionary I think it may become his duty to embrace the opportunity of locating lands even if he has to withdraw from the Board in order to make a legal claim. This could be done in such a way as still to continue the operations of the Mission either by being allowed a salary or in some way least objectionable We could dissolve our presant relations and after having changed our residence which might be done with the consent of the Board without moving away from the Station either by making an addition to our houses on our own private account which would be considered our private Residence if we located the Stations or even if we located the immediate adjoining lot to the Station the same could be done. By being disconnected with the Board + having a private house + farm under cultivation we could at the same time be employed by the Board as their Servants or Agents in Such a maner as might be advisable. Although the Indians are doing much by obtaining Stock + cultivating as well as advancing in knowledge, still it cannot be hoped that a settlement will be so delayed as to give time for the advance to be made so that they can stand before a white Settlement For when has it been known that an ignorant, indolent man has stood against Money, inteligence + enterprise And besides is not the Providence of God in this matter in one respect if no more For the command is multiply + replenish the earth neither of which the Indians obey Their indolence, violence + blood shed prevent the first + indolence + improvidence the second. How then can they stand in the way of others who will do both And most especially who will counteract the desire for Settlers among them + the influence of money in affecting it? And why should we desire either? For first if Protestants are not among them the Papists would be and if an American colony were not to settle this country an English would. This is only one of the onward movements of the world and it is quite in vain for us to wish it to Stand Still.

Rather let us fall in and guide + aid with proper institutions. Why should we not have a share of eastern men to aid us with institutions of learning + Religion as also in Commerce + Manufactories Why should not the sheep grower be induced to come here where he could keep from two to four times as many sheep even without the labour of preparing the barns + filling them as he could feed in New England or N York out of the best of barns after all was secured + filled. And even more may be said of cattle. For there is not a month in the year but we can kill better beef out of the plains than is ever killed from the fattening stall. The fattening is equal + the feed, air, exercise + water are better With such advantages in addition to a mild congenial climate, abundant arable soil, timber, water power + the finest Ocean coast who can limit the growth of the country One great advantage of this country is its being a western coast + in consequence the westerly, South westerly + South winds which are the predominant ones are ocean breeses The easterly winds are only local and unimportant It is most important to the Missionary cause in the Islands of the Pacific + even in Asia that the institutions of Religion + commerce of the country be of the proper character

There is no danger but there will be western men enough to settle this country

The example of last year shows the way it will be done. A farmer startes with Such team Stock +c as he has + brings all to Oregon. Mr Daniel Waldo left 24 hundred acres of land in Missori + three hundred acres under improvement. He had more than 90 head of cattle besides his tiam. A brother of his who married Mr Vail's (late a Missionary of the Board) daughter is to come this year

If a person is once on the border + has the means of a team of cows + oxen with a wagon he can come without farther expense if he takes nothing but provisions as loading avoiding evry thing else except a very limited supply of things to be used on the road Cows are the best part of a team for they perform well on the road and are worth more here than in Missori. Proper information on these points + I have no doubt we should have many good people from New England + N York. I have been trying to get Rev David Malin to become interested in our case + to undertake to be the founder of our institutions of learning + Religion. Our relation of Foreign Missionaries Shuts us out from a participation in all these but I do not think they should make us indiferent to them. At no time can these things be done so well as now; by inducing men to come who will be interested for the objects. And by securing the expected bounty of the government By such men a vast amount of aid will also be secured. I know the Board wil not divert from its object But by its Agents + in various ways a great amount of [influence] could be given which in this case could not be wrong for it would interfere with the rights of no one. I have been thus particular trusting you might be able in Some way to use the information to advantage Only one letter from Mr Chamberlin has reached us by the late Vessel More may be expected

With much esteem Yours Truely
Marcus Whitman

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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