Whitman Mission National Historic Site

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Whitman Mission National Historic Site's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Whitman Mission National Historic Site visitors receive. The brochure explores the complex history of the park and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 35 minutes which we have divided into seventeen sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 through 6 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the history of this place and a map of the Walla Walla Valley. Sections 7 through 17 cover the back of the brochure which consists of information relating to the mission-station to the Cayuse, and an orientation map for the park today. There are a number of words and names in the Cayuse-Nez Perce language. This language uses characters that are not present in the English language. Phonetic spellings and/or pronnucuiations have not been included in this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Whitman Mission National Historic Site, located in Washington state, is a unit of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 138 acre park is situated seven miles west of Walla Walla, Washington, at the foot of the Blue Mountains.  Each year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Whitman Mission NHS. We invite you to explore the park's important history and the lessons that still resonate today. As you explore the park trails, you can take in the peace and quiet of this present-day place and ponder the conflict that this land has seen in decades past. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, an interpretive self-guided audio tour and braille translations of the brochure can also be found at the park visitor center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure. Whitman Mission NHS was established in 1936. Other nearby National Park Service sites include: Nez Perce National Historical Park, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Manhattan Project National Historical Park (Hanford unit), and Big Hole National Battlefield.

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

The Whitman Mission National Historic Site brochure is a horizontally oriented brochure. It begins with the National Park Service arrowhead on the far left, and the content extends horizontally to the right from there. 

The front side of this brochure includes quotes, color photographs, a large, color map of the Walla Walla Valley, and an infographic. The text explains the historical context regarding the Cayuse Nation and the Whitman missionaries. 

At the far left is the National Park Service graphic identity with the name and location of the park: Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Washington. Moving horizontally to the right from the name is a large color photo and text section titled "Newcomers." To the right of this section is another section with color photographs, text and a large map titled "Moving with the Seasons." Moving to the right from there is another section with text, color photographs and part of the same map titled "Staying in One Place." At the far right is a section titled "A New Mission," which includes text and an infographic.  

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IMAGES and TEXT: Moving with the Seasons

IMAGE 1 and 2 of 10: Salmon and sunflower

DESCRIBING: Two colored photographs side by side, one of a fish and one of a bunch of flowers. 

SYNOPSIS: The photo on the left is a pink and gray mottled fish with dark spots along the top half, two small fins above and below, a large gray tail fin, an open mouth showing long upper and lower jaws with a slightly hooked upper jaw, gray head and gill area. The photo on the right is a clump of long green pointed leaves emanating out from a center point and dotted with multi-petaled golden flowers with orange centers. 

CAPTION: naco̓ˀx̣ - Chinook salmon. Pášx̣ - Balsamroot sunflower.

CREDIT: Salmon image: Flick Ford. Flower photo: Dave Powell / USDA Forest Service.

IMAGE 3, 4, and 5 of 10: Chokecherries, Huckleberries, and Basket

DESCRIBING: Three colored photographs side by side, one of chokecherries, one of huckleberries, and one of a berry basket. 

SYNOPSIS: The photo on the left is of a clump of reddish-purple, small, round berries (chokecherries) the shape of a grape on a brown stalk with one elliptical-shaped red leaf with smooth edges and pointed end. The photograph in the middle is of a clump of purple, tiny, round berries smaller than a blueberry (huckleberries) emanating from five green leaves. Each huckleberry has reddish points on the bottom, facing away from the serrated-edged leaves. The photo on the right is of a light brown woven cone-shaped basket, wide and round at the top, narrower and flat on the bottom. A darker brown geometric pattern of alternating colors is woven around the top and a large repeating v-shaped pattern wraps around the main body of the basket. 

CAPTION: tmɨš - Chokecherries. cemíitx - Huckleberries. táx̣cik̓ay - Berry basket.

CREDIT: Chokecherries: Doug Waylett. Huckleberries: Mare Joy Smith. Berry basket: NPS.

IMAGE 6 and 7 of 10: Elk and Deer

DESCRIBING: Two colored photographs side by side, one of an elk and one of a white-tailed deer  

SYNOPSIS: The photo on the left is a male elk facing the camera and standing with its long dark brown head and large neck facing sideways. The elk displays a large rack of antlers that extend back from the top of its head about twice the length of the head. The large light brown body is supported by dark brown legs that disappear in the long grass. The photo on the right is of a light brown male deer sideways to the camera. The deer displays a small rack of antlers between its large ears and dark brown eyes and nose. The mostly brown tail is down, but the edge reveals a white underside.  

CAPTION: wewúukiye - Elk; tatáp̓ay - White-tailed deer

CREDIT: Elk: Wendy Shattil / Bob Rosinski; Deer: Tim Buskirk

IMAGE 8, 9, and 10 of 10: Potatoes, Sheep, and Wheat

DESCRIBING: Three color photographs in sequence, one of potatoes, one of sheep, one of wheat grains. 

SYNOPSIS: The photo in the foreground is of a pile of four light brown round and oval potatoes, each with a few darker brown spots. The photo in the middle is of an off-white wooly adult sheep with a white face and short tail standing behind two white lambs with longer tails and light brown legs. The photo in the background is a close-up of light brown wheat grains clustered along the tops of a small bunch of stalks.  

CAPTION: The Whitmans wanted the weyíıletpuu to raise animals like sheep and crops like wheat and potatoes.

CREDIT: Potatoes: Pixabay;  Sheep: Jim Lamb; Wheat: Pixabay


weyíıletpuu spirituality is rooted in tamáalwit, laws that govern use of the land and follow natural cycles of the landscape. The laws dictate how humans relate to plants, animals, water and other natural elements. tamáalwit requires people to move frequently to manage dispersed foods. Abiding by tamáalwit, weyíıletpuu enjoyed stable communities and economic success.

“The Earth says that God tells me to take care of the Indians. . . . God names the roots that he should feed the Indians on. The water speaks the same way. . . . Take good care of the earth and do each other no harm. God said.”—weyíıletpuu leader táwatoy, 1855

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IMAGE and TEXT: Newcomers

DESCRIBING: Contemporary color landscape photo overlooking the Mission site and valley.

SYNOPSIS: This large, square photo stretches from the top to the bottom of the brochure. In the foreground, large green and yellow trees surrounded by grasses make up the bottom half of the landscape. In the center of the landscape, a fence row is situated along a roadside going left to right with a covered wagon midway along the road. Directly behind the road is a secondary row of trees with manicured cut grass with a pond to the far left of the mowed area. A trail makes its way through the mowed area. Behind the second group of trees are plowed agricultural fields and a gray building on the right. Behind the fields is a third row of trees. Rising up from the third row of trees is a mix of high and low brown hills stretching to the horizon. Starting at the horizon, the color of sky transitions from gray to bright blue as it continues upward through the white, puffy clouds. The expansive, cloudy sky covers the top half of the image.

CAPTION: Overlooking the mission site and valley



From time immemorial, the weyíıletpuu (Cayuse) have called this valley and this region home. Intimate with every part of it, they consider each plant and animal to be a relative. Over tens of thousands of years they have managed for the best mix of forest and grassland to support their foods.

Inspired by the religious zeal of the time, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman left their New York home in 1836 to open a Christian mission among the pášx̣apuu band of weyíıletpuu. pášx̣apuu interest in this new lifestyle and religion waxed and waned; few converted. When the mission’s sponsors wanted to end the effort, Marcus Whitman hastened east to petition for continuing the mission. Successful, he returned, leading the first major wagon train through weyíıletpuu land.

Increasing waves of immigrants alarmed weyíıletpuu leaders tílewkeyˀkt, ˀıcıyéeye šıléq̉ıš, and tamáx̣aš. They were convinced weyíıletpuu sovereignty and lands were threatened. Then a measles epidemic killed over half the pášx̣apuu, mostly children and elders. Many suspected that Marcus Whitman’s failure to cure them was an intentional way to acquire their land. Tensions reached a breaking point. Life in the Walla Walla Valley would soon change forever. 

“There’s blood left here by both sides. Our ancestors and the other people — their breath left them here. We both hold this ground sacred and special.”—k̉oỷam̉á šáamqın (Fermore Craig), 2015

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MAP and TEXT: Staying in One Place

DESCRIBING: Large horizontal color aerial perspective 3-D map of the Walla Walla River Valley.   

SYNOPSIS: Map of the vast Walla Walla River Valley from the headwaters of the river in the Blue Mountains on the right side of the map to where it joins the Columbia River on the left side of the map. The valley name is Walawála meaning ‘many small streams’.

The map includes the Snake River and tributaries of the Walla Walla River, historic trails and travel paths of the Cayuse People, and other known sites. On the map are labeled significant places and features with both their Native place names and English translations of these place names.

The map includes shaded relief to show topography and a color gradient to show elevation from darker green in the lower elevations to white in the higher elevations.

The purpose of this map is to share information about cultural and historic uses of the Walla Walla Valley, and it is not meant for navigation.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION:  On the far right side of the map are the Blue Mountains which are the highest point shown.

‘Walawála,’ the Walla Walla River, flows from the Blue Mountains on the right side of the map to its end at ‘Ncí Wána,’ the Columbia River, which curls and meanders around in a backwards “c” shape on the left side of the map. ‘Nax̣íyam Wána,’ the Snake River, fades into the map from the top middle and ends at the Columbia River just above the Walla Walla River.

In the middle of the map, above the Walla Walla River is a dark green dot and label, 1836 Mission (current location of Whitman Mission National Historic Site). This location is also labeled in gray, Weyíilet, Place of waving grass.

Shown in grey crisscrossing the valley in mostly horizontal directions, the trails and historic travel routes are shown in dotted lines. Most of the trails parallel the waterways.

Tributaries of the Walla Walla River meander through the length of the Valley. At the far left of the map Cooyáakinma, the North Fork Walla Walla River, and ˀImtwaha, the South Fork Walla Walla River, join and flow to the left. Left of the 1836 mission site Túuši, the Touchet River, joins the Walla Walla River.

There are 9 places labeled with their native place name on the map in gray. On the Columbia River, just below where the Snake River flows into the Columbia, is tmɨšpa which means ‘at chokecherries.’ At the confluence of the Columbia and the Walla Walla rivers is Walúula, which means ‘little river.’ Just below this confluence is Wáatpatukaykas, which means ‘the Cayuse sisters.’ Roughly halfway between this confluence and the 1836 mission site near the confluence of the Walla Walla and Touchet rivers is Túuši, which means ‘baking salmon on sticks over coals/fire.’ Above the 1836 mission site on an unnamed tributary river is Sitxwsnáma which means ‘where button root grows.’ Right of the 1836 mission site on two unnamed tributary rivers are Waatnuwáš which means ‘spirit power seeking place’ and Pášx̣a which means ‘balsamroot sunflower.’ In the upper right corner of the map on the Touchet River, is Atákšašpo which means ‘come together.’

CAPTION: The Valley As It Was - This map shows some waterways and trails of the mid-1880s. weyíıletpuu followed streams into higher country each summer.


A religious revival in the 1800s, called the “Second Great Awakening,” encouraged Christians to dedicate their lives to missionary work. Inspired by this revival, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the Whitmans and other missionaries throughout the continent to convert American Indians.

The Whitmans introduced the weyíıletpuu to a different spiritual relationship to land. People stayed in one place tending fields and livestock instead of moving with the food. This new way of life conflicted with weyíıletpuu spirituality and tamáalwit, and began to destabilize their society.

“All are scattered in little groups far and near, digging their kamas root and taking salmon. Here is the missionary’s trial in this country. The people are with him so little of the time, and they are so scattered that he cannot go with them.”—Narcissa Whitman writing about weyíıletpuu seasonal rounds, 1841

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IMAGE and TEXT: A New Mission

DESCRIBING: Infographic showing increased annual migration into and through weyíiletpuu lands between 1840-1847 

SYNOPSIS: A series of eight overlapping circles arranged to represent chronological order, their colors shifting from the smallest dark green on the left to the largest yellow-green on the right. These colors are similar to the trees in the cover photo. From left to right, the smallest dark green circle (0.2-inches) represents 15 immigrants arriving in 1840. The next larger circle (0.3-inches) represents 74 immigrants arriving in 1841. The next larger circle (0.4-inches) represents 105 immigrants arriving in 1842. The next larger circle (1.3-inches) represents 1,000 immigrants arriving in 1843. The next larger circle (1.6-inches) represents 1,475 immigrants arriving in 1844. The next larger circle (2.2-inches) represents 3,000 immigrants arriving in 1845. The next circle (2.1-inches) represents 2,700 immigrants arriving in 1846. The last and largest circle (2.8-inches) represents 4,500 immigrants arriving in 1847, the last year of Whitman Mission.

CAPTION: In 1840, 15 US immigrants entered weyíıletpuu lands. Marcus Whitman escorted 1,000 more in 1843. Over 4,500 newcomers arrived in 1847, the last year of Whitman Mission.

1840: 15

1841: 74

1842: 105

1843: 1,000

1844: 1,475

1845: 3,000

1846: 2,700

1847: 4,500


Originally the missionaries’ calling was to bring their Christian beliefs to the tribes. When Marcus Whitman failed in this calling, he shifted his focus to selling crops and livestock to other missions and ministering to new immigrants. These shifts, along with a growing weyíıletpuu frustration and sense of alienation, transformed the “mission” into an immigrant way station.

“It does not concern me so much what is to become of any particular set of Indians. . . . I have no doubt our greatest work is to be to aid the white settlement of this country and help to found its religious institutions. . . . The Indians have in no case obeyed the command to multiply and replenish the earth, and they cannot stand in the way of others.”—Marcus Whitman in a letter to Narcissa’s parents, 1844

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

The back side of the Whitman Mission National Historic Site brochure is horizontally oriented. It begins  on the far left and the content extends horizontally to the right from there.

The back side of this brochure includes quotes, color photographs, monochrome sketches, a small shaded map of the Columbia River Basin, and a large orientation and trail map of Whitman Mission NHS. The text explains the historical context regarding the Cayuse Nation and the Whitman missionaries.

At the far left is a text section titled "New Dangers" with a sketch. Moving horizontally to the right from there is a small monochrome sketch and a text section titled "The Mission's Last Day." To the right of this section is a double-wide section with two monochrome sketches, text and quotes titled "Revenge and Sacrifice." Moving to the right from there is another section with text, a color photograph, and a small shaded map titled "Trauma and Healing." At the far right is a double-wide section titled "Whitman Mission Today," which includes text and an orientation and trail map for the park.  

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IMAGE and TEXT: New Dangers

DESCRIBING: Graphite illustration of Cayuse people with Marcus Whitman.

SYNOPSIS: Two Cayuse men lie on woven mats. From the left, the first man, shown from the waist up, lies with his back lifted and arched. The second man is to his right and lying prone. A white man kneels with an arm outstretched over the man on the right and administers medicine to the man’s chest.

Nine Cayuse Indians, some sitting, some kneeling, and some standing gather around with furrowed brows, leaning in, arms crossed, with serious, worried expressions. Most have long dark hair and braids, some are wrapped in blankets and shawls. 

CAPTION: American artist Norman Adams depicted weyíıletpuu watching Whitman treating a man.

CREDIT: NPS / Norman Adams


“We had medicines for diseases from here. Medicines and poultices. But they brought new diseases like smallpox and measles, that my people had no defense against.”—paqaˀlapáykt (Norman Dumont), 2017 

By 1840, native communities along the lower Columbia River had been decimated by malaria. Formerly vibrant communities could no longer defend themselves or their homes. The weyíıletpuu knew this and feared the same result. 

When measles struck the mission community in 1847, most immigrants recovered, thanks to natural immunity. But the weyíıletpuu did not have immunity, and they had already been weakened by other diseases. Thirty of the 50 pášx̣apuu band died within six weeks. Survivors questioned whether Whitman had poisoned them, intentionally introduced the disease, or made mistakes.

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IMAGE and TEXT: The Mission's Last Day

DESCRIBING: Rudimentary, faded line pencil sketch of Whitman Mission

SYNOPSIS: A cluster of several small buildings with peaked roofs, small windows, a few chimneys, and a clump of what might be small shrubs in front. Looping lines on the left and right suggest trees. A few straight lines suggest fences on the left and right sides. In front of the rightmost building, a person with two horses stands next to a fence. In the foreground a person holds the reigns of a small horse. 

CAPTION: Irish-Canadian artist Paul Kane sketched the Whitman Mission three months before the missionaries’ deaths.

CREDIT: Oregon Historical Society


Trained as a physician, Marcus Whitman believed that ministering to the physical health of his followers was an important complement to his ministry of their spiritual health. Similarly, tıwáat (weyíıletpuu doctors) drew upon their spiritual connections for healing power. When Whitman assumed the role of tıwáat, he knew he had to abide by tıwáat ethics, which recognized those with the power to heal also have the power to kill. The weyíıletpuu penalty for malpractice was death.

The night of November 28, 1847, a small group of men led by tílewkeyˀkt met near the mission. They discussed options to halt the spread of death and concluded Whitman was the problem. The next day, Whitman received warnings of a plan to kill him but did not react. By evening, he and Narcissa lay dead. Within days 11 more men were dead. Forty-seven other people, including children, were held hostage until December 24.

Newspaper editors soon reacted: “For the barbarian murderers . . . let them be pursued with unrelenting hostility, until their lifeblood has atoned for their infamous deeds; let them be hunted as beasts of prey; let their name and race be blotted from the face of the earth, and the place that once knew them, know them no more forever.”—Oregon Spectator, January 20, 1848

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IMAGES and TEXT: Revenge and Sacrifice

IMAGE 1 of 2: Young Chief

DESCRIBING: Pencil sketch of táwatoy (Young Chief), a Cayuse Leader.

SYNOPSIS: Portrait bust of a Cayuse man. He is clean-shaven with a prominent nose; long, flowing hair; and a calm expression. He is positioned with his head turned slightly to the left. He wears a round flat cap with fur trimming, only a hint of his shoulder and clothing is suggested with light pencil lines.

CAPTION: táwatoy

CREDIT: Washington State Historical Society

IMAGE 2 of 2: Large group of people

DESCRIBING: Detailed color pencil sketch of large group of people 

SYNOPSIS: A mostly black-and-white pencil sketch with orange and yellow highlights to accent skin tone and clothing. A circular gathering showing the back of a large group of native people with long dark hair sitting close together and facing toward the middle. Over the center of the gathering is a large, raised tent canopy held up by six thin poles. Under the canopy, men wearing formal European-style attire stand in a line intermingled with native people with long dark hair. Around the outside of the group, in the background, are four triangular shaped tents and a few horses on the left next to one of the tents, in a clearing defined by the edge of a forested area. 

CAPTION: German-American artist Gustavas Sohon sketched the crowd at the 1855 treaty council

CREDIT: Washington State Historical Society


In March 1848, immigrant settlers organized a militia to seek revenge for the November killings. For several years they waged what is known as the Cayuse War. They seized horses and cattle, cut off weyíıletpuu from their gardens, and disrupted their seasonal harvest. The weyíıletpuu faced famine. To preserve any future for their people, they surrendered five men for the killings at Whitman Mission: tílewkeyˀkt, ˀıcıyéeye šıléq̉ıš, k̉oỷam̉á šamqíın, tamáx̣aš, and ƚókomut.

The trial began May 21, 1850. The men were quickly convicted despite lack of evidence and disagreements over jurisdiction and applicable law. They were hanged June 3. All five men were buried in one unmarked grave. Their descendants still search for them.

“Our Cayuse people were labeled terrorists and murderers because of the events at Whitman Mission. While it is true that people should be held accountable, it disregards the jurisdiction that we had over our own country and our own people.” — sᵻsáawıpam (Roberta Conner), 2019

In 1855, the US met with leaders of the weyíıletpuu and other area tribes to negotiate a treaty. The tribes ensured some of their most important lands were reserved for their exclusive use before they agreed to share some lands with the growing United States. In 1859, the US Senate ratified the treaty. The weyíıletpuu homeland was now part of the United States.

“It is good for the old people to talk together good and straight on account of our children on both sides to take care of each other. . . . Think for year after year for a far way ahead.” — tıwíıteq̉ıš (Old Joseph) at the 1855 treaty council

“The land where my forefathers are buried should be mine. That is the place I am speaking for . . . that is what I love—the place we get our roots to live upon.” — táwatoy (Young Chief) at the 1855 treaty council

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IMAGES and TEXT: Trauma and Healing

IMAGE 1 of 2: Map

DESCRIBING: A small, square map of the Columbia River basin, the ancestral homelands of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Peoples, and the Confederated Tribal boundary of the Umatilla Reservation.  

SYNOPSIS: Map of the Pacific Northwest with state and national boundaries imposed. The Columbia and Snake Rivers are shown flowing into the Pacific Ocean. A large light brown shaded area marks the Columbia River Basin, a second, smaller shaded area shows the ancestral homeland of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Peoples, and an even smaller dark brown area shows the present-day reservation for these three tribes. This map is for general geographic orientation and interpretation and is not meant for wayfinding.  

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This north-oriented map of the Columbia River Basin shows the Pacific Northwest area in light brown shaded relief. States include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and British Columbia labeled north of the Canadian border. The blue line of the Columbia River winds down from British Columbia to the north and turns west before ending at the Pacific Ocean on the left. The Snake River begins on the lower right and winds west, ending at the Columbia River near Walla Walla Washington. Three areas are outlined and highlighted in shades of brown. The largest, lightest-colored area stretches in all directions from Pendleton, Oregon, and covers the entire Columbia River Basin including the Snake River. A much smaller and slightly darker area around Pendleton, labeled Ancestral Homelands, covers only a small portion of the Columbia River Basin in the south-central section. Within the Ancestral Homelands is a tiny area in a darker brown labeled Confederated Tribal Boundary and located just east of Pendleton Oregon.  

CAPTION: In one lifetime, native lands shrunk from the entire Columbia River Basin to one plot of land per family in the dark brown area.

IMAGE 2 of 2: People standing side by side

DESCRIBING: Contemporary color photograph of a group of women of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.   

SYNOPSIS: A curved line descending into the distance from right to left with 20 women of mixed ages in a grassy field. The women wear colorful dresses, shawls, skirts, aprons, headscarves and hats, many holding colorful baskets. Many wear their hair in braids, several wear sunglasses, others squint, most are smiling. Their lower legs and feet are hidden by long tan grasses. 

CAPTION: Plant gatherers from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Spring 2018

CREDIT: Confederated Umatilla Journal


“All people are traumatized by this history. We all have to heal from trauma at some point. Not only the tribal side, but the nontribal side as well.”—wıyáapalašan̉may (Malissa Minthorn Winks), 2015

Those who lived and are buried here are central to this place. Their presence resonates through teachings, graves, and an atmosphere of sacredness. Others, buried elsewhere but forever connected to these events, are no less central. We continue to draw from their tragedy to learn and practice understanding and empathy.

The Cayuse people, one of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, remain strong and sovereign, applying tamáalwıt to the land and their lives.

“This site, these events, were catalysts . . . to the colonization of the Pacific Northwest, established the Oregon Territory, and brought in the treaties. To me, these events created the foundation for all that followed: these events reverberated through the lives of everyone then and continue to impact lives today.”—píitamyanon maqsmáqs (Phillip Cash Cash), 2015

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MAP and TEXT: Whitman Mission Today

DESCRIBING: A horizontal color aerial perspective 3-D map of Whitman Mission National Historic Site.  

SYNOPSIS: A large scale map showing buildings, trees, roads, trails, and water features in a birds-eye view. The extent of the map is roughly 500 meters square. The scale varies in this perspective view map. The purpose of this map is to help visitors orient and navigate trails and sites. The map is oriented with north to the left.  

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The entrance road enters the map from the bottom right corner. The Visitor Center is in the center bottom of the map and is shown as a 3-D structure. The picnic area extends to the left of the visitor center at the end of the parking lot. A yellow dashed trail extends outward from the Visitor Center to the left and right. To the right, the trail crosses a brown line labeled, Spur of the Oregon Trail, and continues into the mission site. The mission site is an open, grassy area with a few trees and a loop trail going past these sites, which include the mission house site, orchard, first house site, grist mill site, restored millpond, emigrant house site, and blacksmith shop site. The trail extending to the left from the Visitor Center provides access to another loop including the Great Grave site and the Whitman Memorial at the top of a hill. Returning down from the Memorial, the trail divides offering options to return directly to the Visitor Center or along the Spur of the Oregon Trail. In the center background are three small tipis and one long lodge representing the Pášx̣apuu (Cayuse) encampment in 1847. The Walla Walla River, obscured by trees, flows across the right side of the map. The Old oxbow channel also flows across the right side of the map. The spur of the Oregon Trail extends away from the mission site off into the distance to the right.    


Whitman Mission National Historic Site commemorates these events and explores how the mission changed this region in ways no one could have imagined. We welcome everyone and encourage you to reflect on the solemnity of this place.

Please visit the park website for park and visitor center hours. The visitor center includes information, museum exhibits, a film, and bookstore.

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TEXT: Things to Do

  • Explore the park using self-guiding trails. 
  • Walk up the hill for a view of Walla Walla Valley. 
  • Earn a Junior Ranger badge.

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TEXT: Safety

  • Watch your children carefully, especially near the pond and on the hill. 
  • Dogs are allowed on the trails if leashed. Do not leave them unattended. 
  • Federal law protects all animal and plant life, and all other features in the park. 
  • Firearms regulations are on the website. 

Emergencies call 911

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TEXT: Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation invite you to Pendleton, Oregon, to learn more about their culture. The route between the park and the institute passes through part of Cayuse homeland. For information, call 541-429-7700 or visit www.tamastslikt.org.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

Whitman Mission National Historic Site strives to be accessible for all visitors. Ensuring and increasing accessibility is an important and on-going process here. The resources we have available to increase access include:

-Braille translations of the park brochure available upon request at the Visitor Center.

-A wheelchair is available for use while at the park. Ask at the Visitor Center.

-Park film has open captions in English and Spanish.

-Park film is audio described.

-Assisted listening devices for park film.

-Large print transcript of the park film audio.

-Tactile cultural items are available in the visitor center when the visitor center is open.

-Reserved parking spots.

-Ramped entrances.

-Accessible water bottle filling stations and water fountains. 

-Accessible stalls in women's and men's restrooms.

-Baby changing stations in both women's and men's restrooms.

-Seating available in the visitor center lobby.

-Picnic shelter is paved.

-Picnic tables that are wheelchair accessible.

-Benches available on trails along the mission grounds, Great Grave, and Monument Hill.

-Service animals are allowed anywhere that individuals are allowed in the park. 

-Trails on the mission grounds, around the Great Grave, along the base of the hill, and to the top of the hill are paved.

-Audio Tour of Whitman Mission trails via the National Park Service App.

-This audio-described brochure

For more information about our services, please ask a ranger, call, or check on our website.

From the brochure: We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to the visitor center, ask a ranger, call, or check our website.

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OVERVIEW: More Information

Whitman Mission National Historic Site is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities, visit www.nps.gov.

Start your journey by getting information at Whitman Mission National Historic Site in Walla Walla, Washington.

Or contact:

PHONE: 509-522-6360

WEBSITE: www.nps.gov/whmi

ADDRESS: 328 Whitman Mission Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362

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