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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/387

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379
Marshall's Acquisition of Oregon

until he should lead to Oregon the large pioneer train of 1843. It pictures Whitman making speeches and publishing pamphlets on Oregon, endeavoring in every way to electrify the country and to induce immigrants to Oregon in 1843. It details him as a Moses leading the party of pioneers to Oregon that year, and as being its indispensable overseer. It tells of the officers of the British Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Hall barring the way to the pioneer train, and trying to stop its wagons, and of Whitman's resolution in taking the party by the British, wagons and all, to the Columbia River. It represents the success of the wagon immigration and the opening of the mission; none in the archives of the missionary board in Boswagon route as achievements of Whitman. It avers that this wagon road thus opened was the means of saving Oregon by American pioneers.

Wonder grows, in analyzing this romance, that in these days of enlightenment, of writing and printing, this story could grow to such absurd proportions and to so many fiction details; that it could gain such wide credence.


Corroboration Is Lacking.

No corroboration of any of these foregoing details of the myth can be found in contemporaneous writings, none in letters of Whitman or of Mrs. Whitman or of any member of his ton that sent Whitman to Oregon in 1836; none in the archives of the Government or in the letters of Tyler or Webster; none in religious publications of newspapers of the time; none in letters and diaries of leaders of the 1843 immigration, among them P. H. Burnett, Jesse and Lindsay Applegate, J. M. Shively, J. W. Nesmith, Almoran Hill—well known Oregon pioneers, all of whom have denied the Whitman myth.

All this disproof is fully detailed by Professor Marshall in manner completely convincing. And every person to whom Professor Marshall submitted his manuscript was convinced by what he says, except Dr. W. A. Mowry, one of the Whitman myth authors.