Rich in historical context, beautiful hand-drawn maps, and connected with what was occurring around the world through in-text notes and a running timeline at the bottom of each page, Cheryl Harness' tale of Narcissa Whitman is tragic indeed. On fire like many during the Second Awakening, Narcissa and her companion Elizabeth Spalding became the first white women to ride out to Oregon County, where the Spalding's and the Whitman's set up missions. At the front end of what was to be a massive take-over of Native land, with its accompanying problems of disease, environmental destruction, and cultural ignorance of Native life, the Whitman's arrived at a turbulent. With a number of possible interconnected causes, the Whitman Massacre ended the lives of Marcus & Narcissa Whitman, and 11 others, and would set off the Cayuse War, and the hanging of Tilokaikt, Tomahas, Kiamasumpkin, Isiaasheluckas, and Clokomas. 144 indexed pages, hardcover with dust jacket.
When she was a young girl, Narcissa loved nothing better than to read heroic tales about brave men and women risking their lives to bring Christian ideas to "barbarians" in far-off places. In 1831, her dream of doing the same was about to come true. That's when some Indians arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, looking for the "White Man's Book of Heaven." Their quest was the answer to Narcissa's prayers: She would bring salvation to "those wandering sons of our native forests. "
Narcissa married Marcus Whitman, another missionary want-to-be, and they headed West. She spent her honeymoon riding side-saddle some 2,000 miles across the vast, often perilous trail to Oregon Countrysomething no other white woman had ever done. Then she and Marcus lived happily ever after singing hymns and teaching the Indians about the Bible, right? Wrong! Readers will find out what really happened when East met West at the end of the real-life, legendary Oregon Trail.
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Cheryl Harness is the author and/or illustrator of some 35 books for children. Visit this award-winning author-illustrator on the Web at www.cherylharness.com.
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