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."