Whitman Massacre

The story of the Whitman massacre, next to the story of the Donner Party, was probably the most widely-circulated on the frontier. When Marcus Whitman treated children for measles, white children (more resistant to the disease) tended to recover while Indian children often died. Indians were convinced Whitman had poisoned their children. Troubled relations between Catholic and Protestant missionaries, with Indian tribes pulled by each group, exacerbated contacts with the Indians until the massacre itself erupted.