Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in History




"Between 1838 and 1848, two New England families interacted and lived among a small band of Spokan Indians. During their time together, both groups learned much from each other. The story of how the Eells and Walkers related to the Spokan is different from other missionary tales. Their peaceful existence and daily cultural exchanges shines a gentler light on this era of transition on the Columbia Plateau. Their story should not distract from what occurred elsewhere in the Oregon Country during the 1830s and 1840s, but its telling gives a fuller and thus a more accurate picture of what took place during the missionary era of the West. The research involved in the telling of this story comes primarily from the written words of the Walkers and Eells. The journals, letters, and memoirs left behind by the missionaries give a detailed accounting of what happened at the Tshimakain Mission Station on a daily basis. To supplement the missionaries' words, I relied on ethnographies written about the Spokan and other peoples of the Columbia Plateau. Taken together they explain how, why, and in what ways the Tshimakain missionaries adopted, adapted, and relied on the lifeways of the Spokan"--Document.


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