Marcus Whitman October 1844

Waiilatpu, Oct 25th. 1844.

Rev David Greene

Sect A. B. C. F. M. Boston

My Dear Sir: –

Your letter of April 12th. by way of Westport reached me the last day of Sept. I am happy to say that the health of the Mission is now better than for the most of the time the past year. Messrs. Spalding &Eells, have each respectively been here not long since and cheered us by their presance council and prayers, as also with inteligence of things in general at their Station. Since Mr. Spalding's return we have had a letter from him breathing the best feeling from himself and family towards Mrs. W. and myself. I trust your last letter will have soothed and cheered them as would be useful after so much trial of their feelings in relation to the action of the Committe in their case. Not so much the action in particular as that indication of your wish for them to return home across the mountains, when they thought you had full evidence of their dread of that journey. And also the perplexity growing out of the fact that the Committee did not reverse their action in their case upon the reception of the Committe letter of the Mission, representing the difficulties of the mission as settled. And last that your letter only gave consent for him to stay & make another trial.

It is now a moment of much importance at this station.The Immigrants are passing and must be for some weeks yet, as the season is now so far advanced, and many desire to winter with us. I have given no one any encouragement for staying farther than I will do all I can for them after I have supplied the needy [?] passers. A Blacksmith & hatter are to stay, and I have given rooms to two Methodist ministers who will be likely to winter with us with their families. Mr. Cave [Cove?] only got into the room the evening before his wife gave birth to a son.

I have hired Mr. Hinman a young man from the state of New York to teach school for us this winter. It will be an English school for the members of our family. Probably Mr. Spalding may send his & by the aid of the families who will winter with us I have no doubt but we shall have a considerable number of scholars. I am considering the policy of teaching the English to some of the Indian children.

Since planting my foot has allowed me to work with little interruption and by the aid of Mr. Littlejohn we have been very successful with our crops. Since harvest I have made with the aid of Mr. East a run of fine granite Mill Stones forty inches across the face & I have got them into good operation so that I shall be able to supply flour & meal which I do at five dollars for unbolted & six for bolted flour per hundred & four for unsifted & five for sifted meal. I have also from fifteen to seventeen beeves that I can sell which I do at six cents per pound. Out of this I hope to be able very much to reduce my draft upon the Board, although my expences have been increased by extra labour in raising the crop & building the mill.

I must do good to all as far as I have opportunity, and besides it is a measure of self preservation to which I am compelled to prepare myself to supply Imigrants –for in my situation I have no choice left but to supply even although it might leave me in want as last year. And if I devote my time to this in a great measure, I do not feel authorized then [?] to draw upon the funds of the Board but will use my best exertions to defray my expencies, especially as I have so many facilities of the Board with which to do so. If I can do more than to support myself I shall expend it for the benefit of the station to sustain schools both for Indians & whites also.This is a place most advantagious for the commencement of what may soon be an Acadamy & College, both on account of its fine & healthy climate & of its eligable situation.

We very much hope your expectations will not be disappointed in sending a reinforcement of two ministers if possible, for one should be placed at the station Mr. Smith formerly occupied. The prospect now seems to be that all the tribes in the interior of the Continent will fall under the influence of Romanism as they are now so strong as to take probably the entire rear [?] of our Missions.

Mr. Littlejohn left us early in the fall to settle on the Willamette which had become necessary as he appeared to be in haste to get property. Mr. East has left also. I can now hire as much as I desire and I have no doubt but after the [fable?] of Doct. McLoughlin's claim at the falls of the Willamette and of the credit and paper obligation currency shall have found its level, wages will become reasonable.

I cannot speak of the Methodist Mission farther than I think its relations are changed from the mixed relations to [of] Indians &settlers to settlers only with the exception of the station at the Dalls.

Mr. McKinlay paid the Mission one hundred dollars last spring on account of the books which were expected & I hope no further delay has occurred.

I desire you to send me a bolting cloth suited to make coarse & fine flour. And a corn thresher if good ones can be obtained. An approved threshing mill without geering as I would run it by water, and also the corn thresher would be most useful if it could be taken apart for the convenience of the river transportation. In the absence of which I should have to send a waggon to the Dalls for it.

As we want to employ Indians more & more we need cotton goods suitable to pay them with & ready made cheap clothing. If you send us some we may be able to get it up the river in future even if the company do not find it convenient to bring it for us, but I have no doubt they will continue to favour us with small amounts in this way.

You will excuse me for want of particulars about the Indians and things in general, for my time is so occupied between attending to the Mill, the sowing of my wheat, attention to the wants of my family and the supply of the Imigrants that little time is left for writing.

In haste Yours Truly,

Marcus Whitman.

Last updated: October 2, 2016

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