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Marcus Whitman
Marcus Whitman.jpg
Born September 4, 1802 in Federal Hollow, New York
Died November 30, 1847(1847-11-30) (aged 45) in Waiilatpu, Oregon Country
Church Presbyterian
Education Fairfield Medical College
Congregations served Whitman Mission
Title Missionary
Spouse Narcissa Prentiss

Marcus Whitman (September 4, 1802 – November 29, 1847) was an American physician and missionary.

In 1836, Marcus Whitman led an overland party by wagon to the West. He and his wife, Narcissa, along with Reverend Henry Spalding and his wife, Eliza, and William Gray, founded a mission at present day Walla Walla, Washington in an effort to convert local Indians to Christianity. In the winter of 1842 Whitman returned east, returning the following summer with the first large wagon train across the Oregon Trail. The new settlers encroached on the Cayuse Indians living near the Whitman Mission and were unsuccessful in their efforts to Christianize the Tribe.

Following the deaths of many nearby Cayuse from an outbreak of measles, some remaining Cayuse accused Whitman of murder, suggesting that he had administered poison and was a failed shaman. In retaliation, a group of Cayuse killed the Whitmans and twelve other settlers on November 30, 1847, an event that came to be known as the Whitman Massacre. This led to continuing warfare between settlers and Indians which reduced the Cayuse numbers further.

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