Dr. Whitman Operates on Jim Bridger

In the summer of 1832, mountain man Jim Bridger was wounded in a skirmish with the Blackfeet. The fight left him with a three-inch arrowhead embedded in his back. There it remained until 1835, when Dr. Whitman removed it while he and Rev. Parker were at the Rendezvous.

Rev. Parker described the operation: "It was a difficult operation, because the arrow was hooked at the point by striking a large bone and a cartilaginous substance had grown around it. The Doctor pursued the operation with great self-possession and perseverance; and his patient manifested equal firmness."

According to Rev. Parker: "the Doctor also extracted another arrow from the shoulder of one of the hunters, which had been there two years and a half. His reputation becoming favorably established, calls for medical and surgical aid were almost incessant."



Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. 1994. Northwest Interpretive Association: Seattle, Washington.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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