By Julie Roy Jeffrey
Narcissa Whitman and her husband, Marcus, have been pioneer missionaries to the Cayuse Indians in Oregon Territory. Narcissa grew up in western big apple nation, her values and attitudes conscientiously formed by means of her mom. greatly a baby of the second one nice Awakening, she eagerly embraced the burgeoning evangelical missionary stream. Following her marriage to Marcus Whitman, she spent so much of 1836 touring overland with him to Oregon. Narcissa enthusiastically all started carrier as a missionary there, hoping to work out many “benighted” Indians undertake her message of salvation via Christ.But no longer one Indian ever did. Cultural boundaries that Narcissa by no means grasped successfully stored her at arm’s size from the Cayuse. progressively forsaking her efforts with the Indians, Narcissa constructed a extra pleasurable ministry. She taught and recommended whites at the project compound, a lot as she had performed in her personal church circles in big apple. in the meantime, the growing to be variety of japanese emigrants streaming into the territory posed an expanding danger to the Indians. The Cayuse eventually took murderous motion opposed to the Whitmans, the main obvious whites, hence finishing dramatically Narcissa’s eleven-year attempt to be a devoted Christian missionary in addition to a faithful spouse and loving mother.In this relocating biography, Julie Roy Jeffrey brings the debatable Narcissa Whitman to existence, revealing not just white assumptions and imperatives however the standpoint of the Cayuse tribe besides. Jeffrey attracts on a wealthy collection of fundamental and secondary fabrics, mixing narration and interpretation in her account. She essentially lines the motivations and relationships, the possibilities and constraints that dependent Narcissa Whitman’s lifestyles as a nineteenth-century American evangelical girl.
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Extra info for Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman
But she was among the fifty-nine believers to profess their faith in early June. This day in June was a community celebration and more. " Because the meetinghouse could not accommodate the expected crowd, "preparation was made to hold the meeting for that day in a neighboring grove. The day was fine, the sky clear, and no wind to rustle the leaves. God seemed to be present with his aid. 11. " Given its emotional power, this rite of passage remained vivid for Narcissa for years, and she traced her "particular [if intermittent] interest for the salvation of the heathen'' to this event.
In addition to the missionary societies for mothers and for their children, the Prattsburg church held monthly meetings called concerts, devoted to praying for the missions, hearing mission news, and raising money to support them. Some young people resented all the pressure. As one Prattsburg resident recalled critically, "The boy who would not give up a promised sled or book or knife to aid in sending the Gospel to ... " For Narcissa, however, the missionary cause was something she dreamed about off and on since her conversion.
Her West Hill neighbors the Aaron Cooks also attended the services and likewise became serious about their spiritual condition. As Clarissa struggled with her sense of sin, she strove to reach out to a forgiving Christ, believing that "all who exercise repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus" will be "immediately pardoned and justified ... " For Page 13 some hopeful Christians, the period of seeking and waiting stretched on and on. There is no evidence revealing how long Clarissa lingered in the anxious state of anticipation.
Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman by Julie Roy Jeffrey