To Revs. Eells and Walker: November 25, 1845

Waiilatpu Nov 25th 1845

Messrs Walker + Eells

Dear Brethren

I write you as this time to inform you that I have given the Indians from now to next Spring to consider whether I shall leave them or not My reasons for doing so arise out of a talk I had yesterday with the young Chief (Tauatui) and a Nezperces by the name of One sid croped (Croped hair) I spoke to the young chief about Sending to school when I was met by a long list of events wherin he brought up the authority of Such as he though their [intence?] friends to show that his Nephew was killed at the Red River He also brought up the fact that Elijah was sent by them to be educated and was regarded by them as a proper person to introduce them to the whites but that he was killed by Americans; inasmuch as Capt Suture was the only person at the place who was not an American or a Frenchman

That he could not be expected to send more of his connexions to be educated while the death of Elijah was unrequited and he was unremunerated for his property left in California He spoke of the Americans as having a design to obtain their country + property and He spoke also of their being prepared with with pioson and infection to accomplish their purpose At this I alluded to his remark last spring about my having poison to kill the people with He went on to State what he knew about poison + that for himself he always eat with the whites with the desparation that he felt he was liable to be poisoned with the food they gave him He spoke of Doct whites saying to Baptist [?] as he went up the Utilla this fall This is good land Here the Americans will dwell He also alluded to the death of a friend of his last year who died of Dysentry with two of his children as the result of disseas which Americans placed among them + that the Americans had expressed themselves with great astonishment that it was So difficult to spread dissease among them and that it should only have killed on family As he advanced in his remarks he made me resposible either for or conniving at these things or as having all these agents at my disposal; not perhaps to be used as an attack upon their lives + liberty but to be held in reserve by me as a means of revenging for any act of theirs for which I might wish to retaliate. I told them I was ignorant of any Such causes in operation and that I was not aware that I myself was either accountable for such base thing as they might have been told or that I was thuss prepared to avenge myself upon them or that I felt myself able (that is capable) to perpetrate such deeds They both consoled themselves most calmly by saying It is not to be expected that you would confess it even were it true. I have only given a faint view of the matter as it occurred and by no means a full account. I have written with such interruptions + while I am So nervous that I cannot govern my hand So that you will excuse me I told them I did not think they themselves would cause me to to be killed but that I was aware if they hold Such language to me it would remove all restraint from the reckless and that I would have no assurance but that I might be killed on the most slight or sudden occasion

I do not intend to alter my arrangements at all but on the other hand try to have all the property in the best repair possible in case I might have to leave it It is not best for us to say much to any body in the case be swift to hear but slow to speak The young Chief Said he was aware that I had called on the people to Send me off if they did not want me to Stay but he Said he did not like to have me put them to that test But if I wanted to go away it was his wish I should go away if I did go upon my own account He Said he had had advise to that effect That is perhaps he must not let the Indians have the resposibility of Sending us off but only aggitate enough to get us to go as it were of ourselves

Ellis was here + he Said he felt assured the Indians had a design to drive us off by these measures both at Lapwai + here He thought they began to feel that they were wise enough + had enough in their hands So that they might spare us well enough

Ellis brought in Tom Hill last evening for a talk when he and all his friends were most effectually better in all their positions and confounded Tom Said he had been much deceived by reports of the Indians from this quarter which he was Surprised to find were all false

Their main position was that religion was too sacred a thing for failable beings to practice and in as much as they could not so keep its holy requirements as not to come short and Sin it was better to have nothing to do with it. Another position was that those who proffessed to follow the practices of religion came so far short that it led them to think it was better for them not to have any thing to do with it or with the Bible but to take their own judgment in the matter In giving their creed they drew so largely from Bible revelation that I took notice of it before the Indians with great effect I have no more to Say at present but hope Mungo may bring Cyrus and if consistent Sarah for School

With esteem Yours Truely
Marcus Whitman

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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