Kingdom Missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman: The Founding of the Oregon Territory


Marcus Whitman, a medical missionary and Christian patriot, was the man who saved the Oregon Territory and assured it would be a part of the United States. Called to the Northwest by a desire to see the Indians taught the liberating principles of the Bible, the daring action of this “man of destiny” paved the way for the establishment of the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The tragic and sad end of the story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman reminds us that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Their story clearly reveals the providence of God in the march of history — that nations do not, in the words of historian George Bancroft, “float darkling down the stream of the ages without hope or consolation, swaying with every wind and ignorant whither they are drifting” but that “there is a superior intelligence and love, which is moved by justice and shapes their courses.” The Whitman’s story will also inspire us to practice “heroic, patriotic, and Christian virtues.”

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