Guide to the Marcus and Narcissa Whitman Papers 1823-1961
Cage 142

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Whitman, Marcus and Narcissa
Title
Marcus and Narcissa Whitman Papers
ID
Cage 142
Date [inclusive]
1823-1961
Extent
1 box.
General Physical Description note
.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence, journals, church records, clippings, photographs and other papers related to the Whitmans. Includes the papers of Jonathan Pratt, 1823-1830; the papers (1898-1909) and collection (1832-1905) of S.W. Pratt; a letter to Maria Pambrun (1842), a tin-type of Perrin Whitman and Chief Timothy; and typewritten transcripts and photographs from scattered sources. Most of this material was secured by Dr. C.M. Drury for his biographies of the Pacific Northwest Missionaries.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 142, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman Papers . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Marcus Whitman was born on September 4, 1802 in Rushville, New York. His father's early death necessitated his living with relatives from 1810 to 1820. During this time he was educated and received religious instruction. He received his medical degree in 1824 and practiced medicine for several years in Canada, was ordained for the ministry in 1834, and married in early 1836. Narcissa Prentiss Whitman was born March 14, 1808 in Prattsburgh, New York. She attended Franklin Academy and Collegiate Institute and later a female seminary in Troy, New York that specialized in the training of teachers. Following the completion of her studies she taught in several places. The Whitmans arrived in the Oregon Territory in 1836 and settled near Fort Walla Walla, where Whitman cultivated land and practiced medicine and Mrs. Whitman started an Indian school. In 1842, he travelled to the east to argue against the closing of the Oregon Missions. On his return, he led the first major emigrant wagon train to Oregon, the forerunner of the American settlement. On November 29, 1847, Whitman, his wife, and twelve others were killed by Indians.

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Scope and Contents note

The Marcus and Narcissa Whitman Papers range in date from 1823 to 1961 (the bulk of them being from 1835 to 1846--approximately the time of their missionary work in the Oregon Territory). The collection includes materials by and about the Whitmans. Most of the papers are transcribed or reproduced from the originals, although a few very early originals are included in the collection. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, church records and deeds, newspaper clippings and other papers. Those papers of Jonathan Pratt relating to Marcus Whitman have been included here; additional Pratt papers may be found in Cage 4004. The arrangement of the collection was not altered when this new register was prepared in 1983.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in a single series, presumed to be Clifford Drury's original order.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1972

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The Marcus and Narcissa Whitman papers were secured by Dr. Clifford M. Drury for his biographies of Pacific Northwest missionaries. He placed them in the Washington State University Libraries between 1940 and 1961 (MS 1983-42).

Processing Information note

This inventory, prepared by Paul Green in December 1983, replaces a 1972 register now lost.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Additional Jonathan Pratt papers may be found in Cage 4004.

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Controlled Access Headings

Occupation(s)

  • Missionaries--United States--Correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Barday, Marie Pamburn
  • Pratt, Jonathan, 1801-1880
  • Pratt, Samuel Wheeler, 1838-1910
  • Timothy, Nez Perce Chief, 1800-1891
  • Whitman, Marcus, 1802-1847. --Archives
  • Whitman, Narcissa Prentiss, 1808-1847
  • Whitman, Perrin Beza, 1830-1899

Subject(s)

  • Missionaries
  • Missions -- Oregon--History--Sources
  • Native Americans
  • Pacific Northwest History
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Box-folder

Marcus Whitman letter to Jonathan Pratt 1827   1.0 item.

1 / 1

Provenance statement by Clifford M. Drury 1936   1.0 item.

1 / 1

Narcissa Whitman letter to Maria Pambrun 1842   1.0 item.

1 / 2

Diary of Jonathan Pratt of Rushville 1824-1828   2.0 items.

1 / 3

Letter of Mary J. Peabody to Jonathan Pratt 1827   1.0 item.

1 / 4

Letter of Mary J. (Peabody) Whitman to Jonathan Pratt 1830   3.0 items.

1 / 5

Attestation of Character and Training for Jonathan Pratt 1823   1.0 item.

1 / 6

Ira Bryant Letter Recommending Jonathan Pratt 1826   2.0 items.

1 / 7

Rules and Other Directions for the Band Society of Rushville 1825   1.0 item.

1 / 8

Butterworth Poem and Letters by and about Whitman 1834-1909   23 items.

1 / 9

Whitman's Early Life, Plus Letters 1834-1898   1.0 item.

1 / 10

Whitman's Mission Life 1905   3.0 items.

1 / 11

Whitman's Early Life (Incidents) undated   1.0 item.

1 / 12

Church Deeds and Documents 1832-1936   6.0 items.

1 / 13

Photos undated   8.0 items.

1 / 14

Documentation and Correspondence 1832-1936   41 items.

1 / 15

Clippings about Marcus Whitman collected by Ellen Bates 

1 / 16

Clippings collected by James A. Miller 

1 / 17

Newspaper Clipping File 1842-1961   31 items.

1 / 18

Photo File 1936   15 items.

1 / 19

Photocopied Whitman Letters 1828-1846   22 items.

1 / 20

Murder Trial Documents 1850   26 items.

1 / 21

Newspaper Clipping File 1882-1913   8.0 items.

1 / 22

Whitman Mission Correspondence 1839-1842   6.0 items.

1 / 23

Whitman Mission Correspondence 1838-1846   20 items.

1 / 24

Whitman Journal 1835   1.0 item.

1 / 25

Narcissa Whitman Journal (typed transcription) 1836   1.0 item.

1 / 26

Container List 1963   1.0 item.

1 / 27