February 18th and 19th

On February 18, 1836, Narcissa Prentiss and Marcus Whitman were married. Within days of their marriage they would begin the journey that took them west to a new home and a new life.Her wedding dress was her best dress, a black bombazine in black. In those days black was a suitable color for weddings.

On the morning of Friday, February 19, Narcissa and Marcus left Angelica, NY for Ithaca. She was embarking on a new adventure with a husband she barely knew. How would you have felt? Leaving your family on a journey that many said was impossible for a woman, perhaps never to see any of them again.

The distance from Angelica to Ithaca is about one hundred miles. They made the trip in 2 days, probably by horse-drawn sleigh. Imagine making that journey! An open sleigh, winter cold, no springs, feeling every bump, for hours and hours. Mostly silent except for the whoosh of the runners and the crunch of the hooves in the snow. Perhaps an overnight stay at an inn along the way. Then more of the same on Saturday.

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