To Rev. Greene: September 13, 1847

Waskopum Sept 13th 1847

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

My Dear Sir

I write you to let you know that our Mission has now taken this station Mr Wallers + Brewers Family left here on the 7th Istant when we came in possession according to previous arrangements I wrote you in may that Mr Gerry had made our Mission the offer to occupy this station

At the Meeting of our Mission in June arrangements were made for Mr Walker to occupy it + accordingly he + Myself were appointed by the Mission to visit this place + make the arrangements as proposed to us. We accordingly did So and Mr Gerry was most clear + cordial on his part in having us take the Station. I have no doubt you will receive his report through his Board to that effect But as Mr Waller was opposed to Mr Gerrys Measures + as Mr Walker has failed to comply with the action of our Mission as he says partly on account of the State of his wifes health; as in prospect + partly from his unwillingness to learn a new language and as on these accounts there have been measures to prevent our Mission taking the station originating with Mr Waller + Mr Walker I will quote from Mr Roberts letter to me in order to let you see the maner I have acted without going into detail

"Oregon City Aug-25th

Dear Brother.

I received your note, and reply I consider the matter final + fixed since I saw you on the River. And I wish you could fell So. There is no reason at all why you should hesitate to act and the more especially as you took the pains to come back and have the interview we had together. I will now say the families are all ready waiting your arrival and allmost fear for the delay which which they fear will result from your last letter"

In the letter here alluded to I had urged him to keep the station + take Mr Walker's + Eells letter as my own + the voise of our Mission. In this Mr Walker + Eells had urged him to keep it. The principal reason for this delicacy on the part of our Mission to take the Station was Mr Wallers unwillingness to have it given up by the Methodist as he Said he could not bear to have his denomination abandon the heathen of Oregon as it would do if they gave up this station Mr Roberts urges me to bring up a large boat to bring Mr Hinman who is to reside here with his family + take the charge of the secular affairs of the station so that in return they might have the use of the boat for the families to go down He Says

"I must depend upon you to do this and other matters because of the position in which I am placed by an unfortunate event which transpired on monday last. It is simply this A party of 6 or 7 Packers came in on Sunday at night"

This is not quite right they came on Sunday in the forenoon + stayed through the day They were the first of Immigrants + had one waggon.

"Somebody stole some of there property; to secure the return of which they took some of the Indians horses + other property. At this the Indians became exasperated and there was a fight which resulted in the death of Equator the Chief and an American named Shepherd and the wounding of of three others At last we got the affair quieted the bodies burried and I came down at the requist of all to get Gov Abernethy to go back with me. Thomas the Chief insisted that I should return but if I could See you you could go: + I could attend to my work here which greatly needs my attention -

The reason why I deem it necessary for (Governor) Abernethy to go and that immediately is because there is a body of Imigrants close at hand and if the business is settled at this juncture there never need be any further difficuly which now So far as the Indians are conserned is settled. There is no reason to fear in the least So far as the Mission is conserned Trusting in God I think a "great door and effectual" is opened to you there and I beg of you to go in and occupy it for the Lord"

On account of the above affair as related by Mr Roberts Mr Hinman + myself did not deem it wise to bring Mrs Hinman at that time. But as all is order + peace now I have sent for them. Two wagons of mine have left here with goods for Mr Spalding + myself + I must follow them tomorrow I want much to visit the Indians along the Columbia River who have all along been out of the reach of this station as also of ours but as we now have this place we shall be able to take in all the Indians along the River in our visits + Itenerary They have become very troublesome to the Imagrants by their pilfering habits + of late a few openly robed Some waggons - I hope however to awe them through the Chiefs at Waiilatpu which I am now anxious to take measures to do. The Religious instruction of this place will devolve on Perrin B Whitman my nephew who will only be eighteen years old in Aprile But in many respects he is promising + has had a good degree of experience with me

In my absence for more than a year he has held meetings with the people of that place + especially last spring much to their satisfaction We are encouraged with his apparent piety. Yesterday at the close of a prayermeeting I was much struck with the ease + appropriatness of of his prayer in native Neither Mr Spalding nor myself can at all compare with him in speaking or reading the Nez perces languge

Here he will soon use the Walla Walla Languge as he now has a good begining, + with the aid of the books, Gramer Dictionary and a paraphrase on the plan of Dodrige of some of the gospels by Mr Perkins who was formerly here he will be able to read + expound to them

Mr Spalding + Myself must aid him + iteneate here but in the mean time he must do what he can. The Mission approved of Mr Rogers wish to devote himself to the Nezperces language + made provision for his support + invited him to assist in the religeous instruction of the people. So you see we now look to him for help soon. He now in my absens which is likely to be prolonged to 7 sabbaths takes my place + also in the care of the Station + family

You See our strength We cannot look to Mr Wallker or Eells for help in this part of the Native instruction

We must have help from home or make it out of the means providence brings within our reach

This I think now is to be our best station. It will be here we must have two Schools. One for the children of the Mission. And a boarding school for the natives. The Jesuits are now preparing for a master onset among us; have a large reinforcement Priests + Nuns by sea + also look for one by land. They have a Bishop for the Indians exclusively called Bishop of Walla Walla. While we have this place they cannot greatly embarrass us in our intercourse with the lower Country nor in the reception of our supplies from home.

The cost of the station was simply those things which could have been taken away in case of abandonment.

The whole cost was $721,13 After paying the expences of their removal which is all that will appear in this years bill, there will be a balance to be paid next year of $651,38

Some expence will be made to move Mr Hinmans family and furnish supplies for the station

I have Sent to the lower country for a good Mechanick a tried man that wintered with me the year befor last He was an Elder in a Seceder Church in Illinois + is well pleased with the religous order of our station and a particular friend of Mr Rogers. I also expect a Black Smith who is a Methodist by proffession Both are to come with their families

I have not been able to work for the last six months from a weakness in my nee occasioned from the fall of a horse upon it. I fell as though I must employ more help + not work myself I now intend to devote my whole time + strength to instruct the people. Indeed I ought to Itenerate all the time if I would in any good degree meet the Jesuits Both Mr Rogers + Myself ought to be fully employed in this way I hope nothing will deter you from Sending us one at least ordained Minister at the earlies date Untill he could speak he could have my Nephew to interpret but it would not be long before he could speak for himself

I greatly fear interruption this fall from the passing Immigrants if as many are on the road as are reported There are no provisions here more than the station needs and at my place I have much poorer crops than usual. But we cannot move ourselves out of the way + must meet the trial the best we can. There is a road across the Cascade Mountain by which they are yet able to pass + all go on; but after a short time all the grass will be eaten in the Mountain and then they must break up here + go down by water The first passers never give us any trouble. The weak teams + needy persons come last as also generally the sick It cannot be that the people will be left to the care of the papist in the lower country Many are looking to the Home Missionary Society and Tract Society for aid. Or perhaps to the Christian League The supplies you sent me come well at this time for this Station as well as those above.

With esteem I am Yours
Verry Truly
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