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Dr. John McLoughlin
Presbyterian Missionaries


For convenience I shall first mention the Presbyterian missionaries, although they came two years later than the first Methodist missionaries. Rev. Samuel Parker was the first Presbyterian minister to arrive in Oregon. He came in 1835. He started to Oregon with Doctor Marcus Whitman, but Whitman returned East from Green River to obtain more associates for the Mission. These came out with Dr. Whitman in 1836. Parker returned home by sea, reaching his home in 1837. Parker published a book called, "Journal of an Exploring Tour beyond the Rocky Mountains." The first edition was published in Ithaca, New York, in 1838. On page 138 of his book he says: "At two in the afternoon, arrived at Fort Vancouver, and never did I feel more joyful to set my feet on shore, where I expected to find a hospitable people and the comforts of life. Doc. J. McLoughlin, -a chief factor and superintendent of this fort and of the business of the Company west of the Rocky Mountains, received me with many expressions of kindness, and invited me to make his residence my home for the Winter, and as long as it would suit my convenience. Never could such an invitation be more thankfully received." On page 158 he says: "Here, [Fort Vancouver] by the kind invitation of Dr. McLoughlin, and welcomed by the other gentlemen of the Hudson Bay Company, I took up my residence for the winter." And on page 263 he says: "Monday, nth April [1836]. Having made arrangements to leave this place on the 14th, I called upon the chief clerk for my bill. He said the Company had made no bill against me, but felt a pleasure in gratuitously conferring all they have done for the benefit-of the object in which I am engaged. In justice to my own feelings, and in gratitude to the Honorable Company, I would bear testimony to their consistent politeness and generosity; and while I do this, I would express my anxiety for their salvation, and that they may be rewarded in spiritual blessings. In addition to the civilities I had received as a guest, I had drawn upon their store for clothing, for goods to pay my Indians, whom I had employed to convey me in canoes, in my various journeyings, hundreds of miles; to pay my guides and interpreters; and have drawn upon their provision store for the support of these men while in my employ." In 1836 Dr. Marcus Whitman came to Oregon. With him came his wife, Rev. Henry H. Spalding and wife, and W. H. Gray, a layman. They arrived at Fort Vancouver September 1, 1836. Here they were most hospitably entertained by Dr. McLoughlin and the other gentlemen of the Hudson's Bay Company, and all necessary and convenient assistance to these missionaries was freely given. When these missionaries arrived at Vancouver, they had hardly more than the clothes they had on. They concluded to locate one mission near Waiilatpu, near the present city of Walla Walla, Washington; and another at Lapwai, near the present city of Lewiston, Idaho. Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding remained at Fort Vancouver for several months, while their husbands and Gray were erecting the necessary houses at the Missions.


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