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1 Burnside Pacific Northwest- Oregon Territory
1 Burnside AMERC- FRONTIER LIFE

Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman

by

Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Narcissa Whitman and her husband, Marcus, were pioneer missionaries to the Cayuse Indians in Oregon Territory.and#160; Narcissa grew up in western New York State, her values and attitudes carefully shaped by her mother. Very much a child of the Second Great Awakening, she eagerly embraced the burgeoning evangelical missionary movement. Following her marriage to Marcus Whitman, she spent most of 1836 traveling overland with him to Oregon. Narcissa enthusiastically began service as a missionary there, hoping to see many and#147;benightedand#8221; Indians adopt her message of salvation through Christ.

But not one Indian ever did. Cultural barriers that Narcissa never grasped effectively kept her at armand#8217;s length from the Cayuse. Gradually abandoning her efforts with the Indians, Narcissa developed a more satisfying ministry. She taught and counseled whites on the mission compound, much as she had done in her own church circles in New York. Meanwhile, the growing number of eastern emigrants streaming into the territory posed an increasing threat to the Indians. The Cayuse ultimately took murderous action against the Whitmans, the most visible whites, thus ending dramatically Narcissaand#8217;s eleven-year effort to be a faithful Christian missionary as well as a devoted wife and loving mother.

In this moving biography, Julie Roy Jeffrey brings the controversial Narcissa Whitman to life, revealing not only white assumptions and imperatives but the perspective of the Cayuse tribe as well. Jeffrey draws on a rich assortment of primary and secondary materials, blending narration and interpretation in her account. She clearly traces the motivations and relationships, the opportunities and constraints that structured Narcissa Whitmanand#8217;s life as a nineteenth-century American evangelical woman.

About the Author

Julie Roy Jeffrey is Elizabeth Connelly Todd Professor History in Goucher College. She is the author of Education for Children of the Poor: The Elementary Education Act of 1965 and Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1880 and coauthor of The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780806126234
Author:
Jeffrey, Julie Roy
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Government and political science
Subject:
Minority Studies
Subject:
Oklahoma
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Oklahoma Western Biographies
Series Volume:
3
Publication Date:
19940331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 bandw illus., 3 maps
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5 x 0.78 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Americana » Frontier Life
History and Social Science » Americana » Frontier Women
History and Social Science » Americana » Western States
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Oregon » Oregon Territory

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Product details 256 pages University of Oklahoma Press - English 9780806126234 Reviews:
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