1840 letter

Whitman Report

July 6th 1840

At the close of the last meeting Mr + Mrs Hall accompanyed us to our station remained untill the first of march, than left on their return to the Isl –When we arrived at Walla Walla,

We found Mr Munger + his wife much in want of a place to winter + I engaged him at eight dollars per month together with family supplies. This bargain continued untill the first of March. At that time he hired again for six months at three pounds sterling + provisions furnished except tea + sugar.

He has been employed mostly in finishing the house + in preparing for making furniture – The house is in a good degree finished in a neat + substantial manner. Most of the wood work is painted. Blinds for the windows are nearly finished

Mr Shortess was employed for the winter months at six dollars per month.

Iosapa hahi + wife natives of the Sand Isd – + members of Mr Bingham's native church, have been with us for the year past. It is due to the cause of benevolence + to our missionary + native brethren of the Sand. Isl to say, that the whole deportment of hahi + wife has been emenently Christian amiable + devoted to the good of the Indians + the cause of missions Their patient + undeviating care for every trust would do honor in the performance of every duty

The crops of last year were divided between Mr Smith + myself except the potatoes. The present prospect of the crops are good especially the wheat The number of cattle attached to the station are five cows, two one year old heifers + three heifer calves. One pair of oxen two pair of steers two yearling bulls + two bull calves. twenty in all.

The number of horses seventeen.

I have been absent from the station, first on a call to Lapwai, second A visit to Lapwai to attend to the printing of the book assigned me to write, but written at my request by Messrs Smith + Rogers, + also a visit to Kamiah Third – Accompanyed Mr + Mrs Hall as far as Walla Walla.Fourth a second time to W. W. to sign the draft for the Mission. Fifth – Call to Tshimakain + visit to Colvile. Mrs Whitman accompanyed me.

The Indians have shown an increasing interest in cultivation. Many more cultivate this year than any former one. The use of the plough is a great desideratum with them + a strong desire to own them is manifested. A great value is now attached to all the cultivated lands + much care will be required, to prevent difficulty among themselves.I have been in the habit of giving seed to all the Indians who wished to plant, in the first instance, teaching them to preserve their own seed – which they are generally prompt to do. Our school was kept with some interruptions for two months in the fall + the same in the spring, averagine from 35 to 40. The winter term of three months averaged 10. The whole number including adults was 170.

In accordance with the general habits of the Indians they were at the Station in considerable numbers, from some time in August untill Nov. During the winter not more than fifty of all ages were near us. The months of Feb. + March as usual brought nearly all the people back again, who remained for instruction + to prepare for planting untill the last week in April, when all left for harvesting roots. A few of those at the nearest encampments came on the Sab – for religious worship.

They have been unusually afflicted with sickness for some months past. During the winter + spring there were ten deaths near the Station + since they left I have heard of five more. They have shown how very strongly they are attached to their superstition of Mysterious charm or Jugling – by untireing application to + abundant bestowment of property for such service .Of late, they show a wish to receive medicine, + say they will abandon the Tiwat. But this cannot be relied on, any longer than they are in health, for fear revives all their former prejudices.

Morning + evening worship during the fall and spring was regularly held besides the two regular services of the Sabbath.

The apparent reception of the truth has been of four kinds – One to excite opposition of heart + complaint that it was personal when any particular illustration of sin or practical application was made. Another to call very apparent assent to truth + interest to hear A third – a desire to hear in order to be wise to worship in the sight of others. + fourth great stupidity + indifferance.

One of the greatest obstacles to the full power + effect of truth is the impiety of the Chiefs, holding as they so, the conscience of the people far more evidently than the arm of civil power.

Last updated: October 4, 2016

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