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Whitman, Marcus (1802–1847), and Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (1808–1847)

  1. Dietrich Gotthilf Buss

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1465

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Buss, D. G. 2011. Whitman, Marcus (1802–1847), and Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (1808–1847). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


The Whitmans were pioneer Protestant missionaries to the Cayuse in Oregon Country from 1836 to 1847. By their example, corres-pondence, and labors, they encouraged emigration to the far west. Both Marcus Whitman and Narcissa Prentiss were born in New York state, Whitman in Rushville on September 4, 1802, and Prentiss in Prattsburg on March 14, 1808. Both had Puritan English ancestors who landed in Massachusetts before 1640, and both were converted during the Second Great Awakening, became members of Presbyterian churches, and committed their lives to missionary service. Prentiss enrolled in Franklin Academy in Prattsburg, attended the Female Seminary in Troy, and became a teacher. In 1825 Whitman enrolled in the College of Physicians at Fairfield, New York and received his M.D. Thereafter, he practiced medicine in Canada and New York.


  • Whitman, Marcus (1802–1847), Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (1808–1847);
  • pioneer protestant missionaries, to the cayuse;
  • missionary service with the ABCFM