Spauldings and Whitmans

In 1836, protestant missionaries sent by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions came west over the Rocky Mountains. While Marcus and Narcissa Whitman moved in with the Cayuse on the Walla Walla River in present-day Washington, Presbyterian missionaries Henry and Eliza Spalding choose to minister to the Nez Perce Tribe in Lapwai in Idaho. Their eldest daughter, Eliza, was the first white child born in Idaho. Although the Spaulding mission closed in 1847 after a group of angry Indians murdered the Whitmans, Henry Spalding continued his missionary activities in the Northwest for most of his life. In 1855, he assisted the Catholic Mission in northern Idaho by providing flour and cornmeal.