The Mountains We Have Crossed: Diaries and Letters of the Oregon Mission, 1838

Overview

Four newlywed couples, along with one single man, were sent to Oregon in 1838 to reinforce the two-year-old mission established by Marcus Whitman and Henry Spalding. These reinforcements were to become legendary in the history of the Pacific Northwest for the incessant bickering and petty jealousies that eventually caused the deaths of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and forced the abandonment of the mission effort. Uncertainty and conflict as well as willpower and endurance mark the story of the Oregon Mission ...
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Overview

Four newlywed couples, along with one single man, were sent to Oregon in 1838 to reinforce the two-year-old mission established by Marcus Whitman and Henry Spalding. These reinforcements were to become legendary in the history of the Pacific Northwest for the incessant bickering and petty jealousies that eventually caused the deaths of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and forced the abandonment of the mission effort. Uncertainty and conflict as well as willpower and endurance mark the story of the Oregon Mission and its charismatic, though contentious, missionaries. Simply getting to Oregon in the 1830s was a feat. Once they arrived, their efforts were doomed by their inability to agree on strategies for converting the Nez Percé and Spokane Indians. This Bison Books edition contains the very personal diary of Sarah Smith, “the weeping one” as the Indians remembered her. When read in chronological sequence with the nearly one hundred letters written by her husband, Asa, a compelling picture of their journey to Oregon and subsequent life at the mission emerges. Other letters, documents, and biographical sketches enhance the volume.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803266216
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 332
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Clifford M. Drury, clergyman and historian, edited the letters and diaries of the Oregon missionaries in Where Wagons Could Go and On to Oregon (both available in Bison Books editions). Bonnie Sue Lewis writes of the timeless value of these documents in her introduction. She is an assistant professor of missiology at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.
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Table of Contents

Sources and Acknowledgments 13
Preface 17
The Smiths
Biographical Sketches to 1838
Diary of Sarah White Smith, March 1838 to September 1839 61
Home Letters of Asa Bowen Smith, 1838-1842 129
Hawaii and Home Again
William Henry Gray
With Whitman, 1836, and Return for Reenforcements 233
Report from the Rendezvous 237
Gray's Journal and Financial Report of 1838 240
Gray's "A History of Oregon" 247
Elkanah Walker
Introduction to the Diary, March to May 1838 253
The Diary - To the Rocky Mountains 254
Cornelius Rogers
Biographical Sketch 269
Letter of July 3, 1838 271
Rendezvous 274
Climate and Productions 275
Marcus Whitman
Introduction to Whitman's Letter 279
A New Whitman Letter to Smith, May 31, 1844 286
Cushing Eells
Reminiscences of Overland Travel, 1838 291
The Overland Trip for Women - Was it Wise?
Bibliography 320
Index 325
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