Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Walla Walla, Washington

328 Whitman Mission Rd

Marcus and Narcissa Whitman established a Presbyterian mission in Cayuse territory in 1836. Relations between the Cayuse and missionaries slowly warmed over time, but Cayuse concerns grew over cultural differences and an increasing number of whites arriving at the mission, which had become an important stop along the Oregon Trail. An 1847 measles outbreak killed half the local Cayuse population but a far fewer portion of the missionaries, which the Cayuse blamed on the missionaries. On November 29, 1847, the Cayuse killed the Whitmans and 11 others. Another 47 mission residents were taken hostage.

The killings led to Congress creating the Oregon Territory and then to the Cayuse War, one of a number of conflicts between Native Americans, the US Army and a growing number of white settlers that led to most tribes of the Columbia Plateau region losing most of their territory.

The park recalls the events at the site and the role of the mission in establishing the Oregon Trail.

whitman mission marker

Whitman Mission Marker (I07A0359)
A memorial obelisk recalls the victims of the massacre.

covered wagon

Covered Wagon (I07A0369)
The covered wagon sits on what was the old Oregon Trail.

barn view

Whitman Mission View (I07A0364)

reflection of autumn leaves on pond

Autumn Leaves and Ripples (I07A0375)
A pond on the grounds of Whitman Mission captured a reflection of the changing autumn leaves, ripples on the surface giving the picture the feel of abstract art.

Nearby Sights

While you're in the area, check out these sights:

decorative image copyright notice