Whitman's ride through savage lands, with sketches of Indian life
Ride Through Savage Lands
Sketches of Indian Life
O. W. Nixon, M.D., LL.D.
Author of "How Marcus Whitman Saved Oregon," "The Mountain Meadows," Etc.
James G. K. McClure, D.D., LL.D.
The Winona Publishing Company
Copyright, 1905, by
THE WINONA PUBLISHING COMPANY
I RESPOND with pleasure to the invitation to write a series of sketches of pioneer missionary history of early Oregon for young people. Its romantic beginnings, of the Indian's demand for "the white man's book of heaven," and especially to mark the heroic act of one who, in obedience to a power higher than man, made the most perilous journey through savage lands recorded in history. The same leading facts of history I have before used in my larger work, "How Marcus Whitman Saved Oregon." In this I have simplified the story by omitting all discussions with critics and historians, stated only as much of historic conditions as would make clear the surroundings, and have interwoven with all, real incidents from wilderness and savage life. They are not only the experiences of the heroic characters, but some of my own when the West was wild more than a half a century ago.
O. W. N.
Biloxi, Miss., January 1905.
No character in Sir Walter Scott's tales appeals more directly to my heart than "Old Mortality." He had a high and noble mission, to make live again the old-time worthies, and to keep in remembrance the brave deeds of the past. Any man who follows in his footsteps, and makes the world see in vivid light the heroes of another day, is to me a public benefactor. When, then, Dr. Nixon writes of "Whitman's Ride Through Savage Lands," and shows the force, wisdom, and unselfishness of Dr. Marcus Whitman and his accomplished wife, I feel like doing everything within my power to express my gratitude and to secure the reading of his book.
The tale, as he tells it, is very interesting. It is a tale that has been often in the mind of the American public of late years, but it cannot be too often told nor too often pondered. It has in it the very elements that nurture bravery and patriotism. Dr. Nixon tells it well. In simple, straightforward language he gives us the whole story of Dr. Whitman's life-career, indicating the forces that inspired him and the results that attended his efforts. Dr. Nixon sees in the events of the story the guiding and determining hand of Providence. With a wisdom justified by the needs of the ordinary human mind he calls attention to the part God himself had in the career of his hero, and thus he gives to his story an uplifting significance which a thoughtless reader might fail to note.
It is the glory of our American life that every part of our land has its splendid heroes. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts are one in having been the scenes where courage and devotion have expressed themselves. The earlier years of our national history brought into recognition the deeds of greatness done in the East. These later years are being used to make manifest the endurance and manliness that marked so much of settlement and progress in the West. Plymouth deserves its monument to the Pilgrims. So does Walla Walla deserve its monument to Dr. Marcus Whitman. From boundary to boundary of our wide domain we have had heroes, the stories of whose lives tend to make devotion to duty and allegiance to God transcendently beautiful.
Among such stories this of Dr. Whitman has high place. The personality of the author of it comes often to the front in his pages, but none too often. His own experiences serve to heighten the effect of the story, and give deeper impression to the facts narrated.
I look forward to the influence of this book with pleasure. I see boys and girls rising from the reading of it with clearer views of self-sacrifice, and with a more determined purpose to make their lives daring for the good.
The book carries with it a conviction of the worth of the best things, that is most healthy. It teaches important lessons concerning missionary helpfulness, that the reader accepts without being aware of the author's purpose.
A nation to have the lion's heart must be fed on lion's food. The story of Dr. Whitman is such food as may well nourish the lion heart in all youth, and develop in our American homes the noblest and most attractive Christian virtues.
James G. K. McClure.
The Lewis and Clark Centenary Exposition in Portland—The Great Captains—Their Guides, Chabonneau and Sacajawea (The Bird-Woman)
The Visit of the Flathead Indian Chiefs to St. Louis—Is the Story Authentic?—Incidents—Death of Two Chiefs—The Banquet Speech—Sketches of Indian Life
The Effect of the Banquet Speech—How it Moved Christian People—The American Board Sends Drs. Parker and Whitman to Investigate—Whitman's Indian Boys—His Marriage and Second Journey
Old Click-Click-Clackety-Clackety, the Historic Wagon—Camping and Incidents, and the End of the Journey
The Home-coming—The Beginning of Missionary Life—Clarissa—The Little White Cayuse Queen—Her Death—Sketches of Daily Events
Brief Sketch of Discovery and History of the Oregon Country—Who Owned—By What Title—The Various Treaties—The Final Contest
Why the United States Dickered with England for Half a Century Before Asserting her Rights—American Statesmen had a Small Appreciation of the Value of Oregon, and were Opposed to Expansion
The Conditions of Oregon in 1842—The Arrival of American Immigrants at Whitman's Mission—The News They Brought—Whitman's Great Winter Ride to Washington—Incidents of the Journey—Reaches the Capital
Whitman in Washington—His Conference with President Tyler, Secretary Webster, and Secretary of War Porter—Visits Greeley in New York, and the American Board—Rests, and Returns to the Frontier
Whitman Joins the Great Emigrating Column—News of its Safe Arrival in Oregon Reaches Washington in 1844—Its Effect Upon the People, and Oregon's Importance Acknowledged—The Political Contest—The Massacre at Waiilatpuan
The Memorials to Whitman—Why Delayed—Why History was not Sooner Written—Whitman College the Grand Monument.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS