Waiilatpu Oregon Territory Nov 3d 1846
Rev David Greene
Sect A B C F M My
I wrote you Sept 8th after the receipt of yours of July 26th 1845 and your printed sheet of May - 45. In that I mentioned that a part of the present Immigration were gone a new route. I have recently been informed by a Gentleman who passed that way that it bids fair to be a good route and that it passes through the country of Klamat and Umpqua and head waters of the Willamette all of which are the countries calling for speedy settlement. This route will doubtless greatly facilitate the settlement of the country and will at the same time take the Immigration away from our vicinity. This completes two distinct waggon routes to the Willamette Valley. After I wrote you a party came this way and as is usual with the last of the parties some among were in very needy circumstances, their teams being very much reduced and quite unfit to proceed. A number also were sick and stoped to winter with us. Six families and some young men remain. The families do not expect to go on untill they can pass the Cascade Mountains, in June. I shall try to employ them to the advantage of the Mission and the Indians so as to give them a living, but not to call for funds from the Board
I wish much to have the Indians aided in fencing and ploughing their land. In doing this I shall have to act the part of a Father to them. but still I shall be able to get horses enough of them to pay the men for their work. I also wish to get them store houses built as I think the habit of putting their grain under ground for the winter where it gets stale and mouldy is productive of desease. I hope by the help of the saw mill which we are about to start not only to supply myself with many useful conveniences - but to aid the Indians in building as hinted above - I do not see much advantage that would accrue to them to have permanent dwellings. nor do I think they have habits of neatness sufficient to warrant the effort of building houses for them. Besides the climate is so mild and there is so little snow or rain that their lodges answer very well. They are most convenient also for the business of herding to which this section is so well adapted and to which they are so rapidly tending. In one respect do I find their present dwellings unfited for human habitation, that is the injury done to the eyes by the smoke in winter.
Mr Eells was here in September and expressed a strong desire to have a meeting of the mission at Tshimakain. I gave encouragement that I would go past Mr Spaldings and that we would try and be at a meeting as desired, But I have been detained by the sickness of the Immigrants who came soon after Mr Eells left. I have now given up the idea of going for this fall, and shall send an express with letters to notify them to that effect. Our school is prospering under the care of Mr Geiger. Mr Spaldings two eldest children attend but none of Mr Walkers as yet.
Three of the families are at the sawmill where I have been obliged to attend some of the sick and on that account have been absent from home for the three last Sabbaths but my Nephew has read the scriptures to the Indians and by the aid of Mr Geiger kept up the meetings regularly. The Chiefs are now assembled at our house and all appear to be well disposed. Tauatui the Papist is among them. Some of the Indians say he alone of the Indians desires the Jesuits to come among them. Although it seems to be an object of the Priests and some of the Papists of the H B Co's people to obtain an invitation to obtain an invitation to locate among them, Still it is defered. No action seems to be desired at present by the Indians. One occasion of my writing so much about the danger of our stations being taken from us, by the system of land claims - was a secret effort of Mr Craig a neighbor of Mr Spaldings to get a claim recorded so as to include the mission premises. Lately a person was detected by Mr Douglas marking out the very spot on which Vancouver stands - upon which he was designing to make a claim Mr Douglas caused him to be arrested and kept in confinement for a time. This might have made a serious difficulty - but a British man of War and the American sloop of War - the Shark were both lying there at the time and all was kept quiet.
I feel as though you might think my mind was more occupied with the temporal and physical wants of ourselves and the people rather than care for their spiritual wants. I must confess that I am so much occupied with these that it leaves but little room for the more important and spiritual part of our duty. But I hope not to loose sight of this most important part of our duty and would be glad to know where the line of duty lies of diligence in business and fervency in spirit in the service of the Lord. It is true we now have much help for a short time - but it takes much care to provide them labor still I hope not to loose the opportunity of doing them good spiritually as also the natives.
I often feel desirous to give my whole time to the instruction of the people and resolve to do so more than heretofore - but then a call of sickness either from the people the Mission or some of our neighbors which as a Physician I must regard as superior to any other; the duties I owe to my family and necessary business either of my own or of the Indians. the friendly or business calls of friends or others take my time and leave the native to their own occupations and amusement The time of one man is more than required for all these calls and duties. Still we have a constant attention to religious instructions on the Sabbath, Having a meeting in the Native for the people, and sabbath school by Mrs Whitman aided by Mr Rodgers at the same time for the children - I have also maintained regularly a meeting in English for our own family and others. At this time Mr Rodgers is taking a part of this labor off my hands by reading us a discourse of his own composition in the form of a desertation in the regular Theological Course. Any books that would aid me in this duty such as sermons would be most useful to us. We have found the Barnes sermons very valuable in this way. As I have the duties of a Minister to perform I need more than a Ministers helps on sermons commentaries and other good books. I have never felt more contented in my work and that I was usefully employed than for the last year and at present.
With desire for the prayers of our Patrons and much esteem
I am my Dear Sir