The Whitman Mission is established
Whitman was born in 1802 in western New York, and after the death of his father Beza, he was sent to Massachusetts to live with relatives. He believed he was called of God to preach, but was too poor to attend seminary. Instead, he received medical training to pursue a career of service. He apprenticed with a doctor and was awarded a medical degree from Fairfield Medical College. After attaining his MD, Marcus set up a medical practice and became a church elder. In 1835 he joined missionary Samuel Parker and travelled to the far west to assist in bringing the Gospel to the Nez Perce and providing medical help to trappers during an outbreak of cholera.
The Rocky Mountain Rendezvous was an annual rendezvous, held between 1825 and 1840 at various locations, organized by a fur trading company at which trappers and mountain men sold their furs and hides and replenished their supplies
The following year, Whitman married Narcissa Prentiss, a physics and chemistry teacher who believed that God had called her to the mission field, but was denied because she had no husband. Marcus fixed that problem and they began preparations to journey to the Northwest Territories. They adopted eleven orphaned children with the surname of Sager and established a boarding school for settler’s children. Whitman joined a wagon train of fur traders heading for the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, establishing several missions along the way, ending eventually in the Blue Mountains, near modern Walla Walla, in Cause tribal territory. Narcissa became the first white woman to cross the Rockies; they farmed and provided medical care and learned the native languages, as well as establishing a school for native children.