42 results for author: ssquires


September 19th

Narcissa reported in her diary in September 19th that it had been decided that the women would stay at Fort Vancouver just until Marcus and Henry decided on locations for their missions and began building shelter. The initial intent of the missions board had been to have only one mission, but the decision to have two had been made somewhere along the trail. Marcus chafed at the thought of serving as a doctor on Rev. Henry Spalding’s mission and the two had argued repeatedly during the journey. In addition both the Nez Perce and Cayuse tribes were “anxious to have teachers among them.” Supplies, including building supplies, home and farming ...

September 30th

Still at Fort Vancouver, Narcissa wrote “We are invited to a ride as often as once a week for exercise and generally ride all the afternoon. Today Mrs. McLaughlin rode with us. She keeps her old habit of riding gentleman fashion. This is the universal custom of Indian women generally, they have saddles with high backs and fronts. We have been recommended to use these saddles as being a more easy way of riding, but have never seen the necessity of changing our fashion.” Of course, “our fashion” refers to riding sidesaddle which can't have been very comfortable. This was Narcissa’s last entry in September. She kept busy with the social ...

October 7th

Last week we reported that Narcissa could “scarcely find as much time” as she wanted for writing. Now we find that there are no more entries until October 18, so while she and Eliza wait for Marcus and Henry to return and take their wives to the missions, we’ll take a little break from the journey to Walla Walla. We’ve listed some of the books we are using for these posts below in case you’d like to read one yourself. The Narcissa Prentiss House had a very successful summer. The number of visitors was up significantly. Two classes of students came in June, then we had over 50 visitors during July and August. We’re hoping that these ...

October 18th

On October 18th, the Montreal Express arrived bringing “news from distant friends, both sad and pleasing.” (Googling ”Montreal Express” brings up a lacrosse team, a 21st century ship and an 1836 newspaper. Since it brought news from distant friends, it was probably an earlier ship.) Narcissa wrotes: “Mr. Spalding has come with it and brought a letter from my husband, filled with pleasing information. The Lord has been with them since they left us, and has prospered them beyond all expectations. They have each selected a location. My husband remains there to build, while Mr. Spalding comes after us. Cheering thought this, to be able to ...

October 22nd

On October 22, it rained, the first rain Narcissa had seen since July 22. She wrote” In all the journey have not suffered any inconvenience from rain, while last year in the early part of it there was rain almost continually.” Again, she writes of food: “I thought I would tell what kind of a dish we had set before us this morning. It is called black pudding. It is not a favorite dish with us Americans. It goes from the table untouched. It is made of blood and the fat of hogs, well spiced and filled into a gut.” However, they did have fruit. “There is a bunch [of grapes] now on the table before me, they are very fine. I save all the seeds ...

October 29th

On October 29th, in her diary, Eliza expressed her hopes for the future “we are now preparing to leave in a few days, to locate, we trust for life, in the Nez-Perces country….. Thus it seems we are about to go to our respective fields, ….. single-handed and alone. May the unerring hand of our covenant God be extended to guide, assist and protect us, and bless us…...” Narcissa took a last opportunity to write to her family until the spring and wrote a long letter about the preparations for traveling to the missions. She wrote “we are greatly blessed in finding conveniences for building housekeeping etc. far, very far from our expecta...

November 11th

Although it rained for 3 days while they traveled up the Columbia River, Narcissa kept dry by staying under oilcloth. She described the evening stops “At night, when a great fire was made, our tents pitched and the cloth spread for tea, all was pleasant and comfortable. I rolled my bed and blankets in my India-rubber cloak, which preserved them quite well from the rain, so that nights I kept warm and comfortably as ever. My featherbed was of essential service to me in keeping my health this rainy voyage.” This trip required them to repeat the portages at the Cascades, the Dalles, and the Chutes that they had made in September, this time ...

Sunday, November 13

Narcissa, Henry and Eliza and their escorts arrived at Fort Walla Walla on Sunday, November 13. It had rained almost every day of the trip from Fort Vancouver. Marcus came to the fort on Friday, November 18 and they were all together for the Sunday service on the 20th - the first time since September 18. A group of Nez Perce Indians came to Fort Walla Walla to travel with Henry and Eliza to their mission at Lapwai (now part of Idaho). They left the fort on Tuesday, November 22. Although they weren’t close, Eliza and Narcissa must have realized that it would be a long time before they saw each other or any white woman again. Pierre Pambrun, ...

Presentation on the Life of Narcissa Prentiss Whitman

The talk, with Power Point slides, is available in two lengths – 30 minutes and 45 minutes. It encompasses Narcissa’s life from her beginnings in rural Prattsburgh in the early 1800s to her untimely death in 1847. Her journey to old Oregon Country is a significant part of the presentation Emphasis on the achievement of both Narcissa and Eliza Hart Spalding as the first non-Indian women to cross the Continental Divide. Find out how this opened the west for families to emigrate and affected the eventual division of Oregon Country between Great Britain and the United States. If your organization is ...

Hard at Work…

  The Narcissa Prentiss House Committee is busy at work this year bringing back some old history. We found old photos that showed a stone path leading to the front door. With a lot of work they were all revealed and look amazing.   Old photos also showed the steps to the lower lever of the grounds to be wide open so we have opened those up with hopes of adding grass and smaller scrubs.