Dr. Whitman Selected Letters - 1838

Notes to reader:

The following transcriptions have tried to maintain the original spelling,capitalization and punctuation of the original letters. In his letters Dr. Whitman often used "+" for "and" and "+c" for "etc." Comments by the transcriber are enclosed in square brackets, [].

"Islands" refers to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), where the American Board had established missions.

Any mention of Fort Walla Walla or the place "Walla Walla" refers to the Hudson's Bay Company post at the confluence of the Walla Walla and Columbia rivers. The US Army's Fort Walla Walla did not exist until after the deaths of the Whitmans.


List of Selected 1838 Correspondence

March 12, 1838: Dr. Whitman to Reverend David Greene

Dr. Whitman discusses Dr. John McLoughlin's travel plans; describes his family's visit to the Spaldings; notes that Mrs. Spalding had given birth to a daughter; describes the Snake River and rock formations along its banks; describes the flooding of his house; discusses plans to get lumber from the Blue Mountains; describes the school for the Natives; explains evolving local agricultural patterns; describes religious services; describes the traditional Native religion; notes death of a Cayuse youth; provides a list of individuals currently at Waiilatpu; discusses the time consuming nature of secular tasks and his hopes for reenforcements; provides a list of possible locations for additional missions; and explains his attempts to keep expenses down.

May 8, 1838: Dr. Whitman to Reverend David Greene

Dr. Whitman describes arrangements for obtaining various supplies; explains the importance of obtaining farming equipment for the Natives and describes his efforts to procure such items; notes the success of the Natives in farming; mentions a visit from Reverend Jason Lee; presents a plea for additional missionaries and other helpers; discusses fears concerning alcohol; describes the strong relationship between farming and missionary activity; provides statistics for his crops.

October 30, 1838: Dr. Whitman to Reverend David Greene

Dr. Whitman states that books and slates have arrived; announces the safe arrival of the Reenforcement (the Grays, Walkers, Eells, and Mr. Rogers) and discusses how best to distribute them; describes a plan to obtain a printing press from Hawaii; mentions his desire to build a grist mill; discusses financial issues; and provides updates on the Waiilatpu mission.

Last updated: September 27, 2016

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