From the recording Qualchan

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The tribal people in the Pacific Northwest first learned about Christianity from the fur traders. Between 1835 and 1845 several Protestant and Catholic missions were established in the Pacific Northwest. Some natives were fascinated by this religion that came from a book. Some were very skeptical. Others thought it would poison the minds of native people. The first major conflict between Northwest Indians and Euro-Americans occurred on November 29, 1847 when a group of Cayuse Indians attacked the Whitman Mission, killing 14 settlers, including Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, the founders of the mission. Tensions between some of the Cayuse chieftains and Marcus Whitman had been developing for several years. Some thought Whitman spent too much of his time helping the settlers who came by the wagon loads over the Oregon Trail to steal their lands. It all came to a climax when a measles epidemic swept through several Indian villages. Some of the Cayuse leaders blamed Dr. Whitman for the deaths of many tribal people. They believed the attack on his Mission was justified. The settlers called it murder and wanted revenge.

by Robert Singletary