The Whitman Massacre was a horrific event that was a culmination point of a conflict between the Cayuse Indians and Marcus Whitman and his mission in Oregon. This conflict originated because Whitman refused to pay for the land the mission was on, and was worsened when the measles took numerous Cayuse lives. It was also worsened by the misassumption that Whitman was trying to poison the Indians. This incident began the Cayuse War.
“Treasured Grace” by Tracie Peterson is a historical fiction book, that is set around the Whitman’s Mission preceding, coming to, and after the Whitman Massacre. Grace, a widow, and her two younger sisters came to the Oregon Territory to find their uncle after their parents died. Since their uncle did not get back to them yet about whether they could stay with him, they stop for the winter at Whitman’s Mission. Soon after coming to the mission, a measles epidemic breaks out among the Indian and the white alike. This epidemic brings about the death of some of the Indians. Because of these deaths, the Cayuse decide to kill Whitman because they think he is poisoning them and they generally kill a healer if one of their own die. Though the other Indian tribes get the Cayuse to agree not kill Whitman. In the meantime, Grace leaves her sisters to go help a sick friend. Despite this agreement, the Cayuse come and kill Whitman, his wife, and the majority of the men at the mission, and take the women and children hostage, including Grace’s sisters. When Grace hears of the massacre and that her sisters are still alive, she wants to rush back to the mission and rescue her sisters, but a trapper and his Indian friend convince her to wait. After the hostages were released, the time of healing comes. Can Grace and her sisters forgive the Indians for what they have done?
This book was really well written and gave a picture of the what might have happened that fateful day and after. I will recommend this book to others who like this type of book. Thank you Bethany House for allowing me to review this book!!!