SURVIVOR'S GRAPHIC STORY
Events of the Day Clearly
Remembered by Mrs
SAW MRS. WHITMAN DIE
Her Brother Killed Before Her
Eyes - Work of the Blood-
Mrs. Matilda Jane (Sager) Delaney, aged 58 years, was present at the dedication ceremonies. She is now very feeble but is possessed of a very clear memory.
She was eight years of age at the time of the massacre of Dr. Whitman and his hardy little band of western missionaries, and, with her four sisters and two brothers, was an inmate of the Whitman household. both her father and mother died while the family were crossing the plains in 1844, and the children had been adopted by Dr. and Mrs. whitman and were being educated in the Whitman Mission school. Regarding the tragedy Mrs. Delaney said to a UNION reporter yesterday:
"We children had been given very strict training and were required to greet the Doctor and Mrs. Whitman with a polite 'good morning' each day upon coming down to breakfast. Mrs. Whitman always kept us more at a distance and seemed somewhat less cordial than the Doctor, who permitted us to kiss him and would often ask about our welfare and in various ways showed to us that he took a deep interest in our welfare.
"On Saturday before the massacre Dr. Whitman returned from a trip to Umatilla and with the exceptions of the cases of measles, the settlement seemed to be in good shape and everything running smoothly.
"Whether it was only a dream or whether, as I sometimes believe, it was a warning sent by the hand of Divide Providence, I know not: but during Sunday night I dreamed of Dr. Whitman being killed by the Indians and upon bidding the doctor good morning I told him my dream. 'Pahaw! child,' he said, 'it was only a dream! Let us hope that nothing of the kind will occur.' By eleven o'clock that day the butchery had begun.
"This day, Monday, was the opening day of the mission school for the term and at 9 o'clock all the children repaired to the school rooms which were in an 'L' addition to the Whitman residence. My brother Frank had been out on the range after beef cattle that morning and about 9 o'clock a cow was brought up to the corral, a short distance int he rear of the school rooms and some of the men prepared to slaughter her. When the girls went out for their morning recess all seemed quiet, but when they returned to their studies and the boys left the room they had been out but a short time when they came running back crying to us that the Indians were killing the settlers at the corral. We ran to the door where we could see what was going on and found their statements to be true. I saw one Indian struggling with a white man, Mr. Hoffman, who endeavored to defend himself with the ax he was using on the beef. I saw a man named Kimball coming across the open space past the school rooms, with blood upon his arms and I afterward found out that one of his arms had been broken during the fight at the corral. He reached the Whitman house and entered it. Dr. Whitman, as has been told by many before, was shot by an Indian who stood outside the building and fired through the kitchen window. Our teacher, Sanders, attempted to escape by running, but was shot before he could get to cover, and for a time we children were too badly frightened to even think of our own safety. My youngest brother was the first to think of escape and we, about eight or nine in number, ran into the closet leading off from the sleeping room of the teacher, and by piling books and chairs together were able to climb up and secrete ourselves in a sort of attic which was left between the ceiling and the rafters of the house. Here we laid until late in the afternoon, when Joe Lewis and the Indians, who had in some manner found out where we were, ame and told us to come down, saying that they would not hurt us. It was some distance to the floor and I was afraid to attempt to get down alone, but one half-breed told me to drop and he would catch me. I dropped but he did not catch me and I struck the floor with sufficient force to dispossess me temporarily of my mental equilibrium.
"Where is your brother? he said; but I was rather flightly in my reasoning faculties and before I had time to think what an awful sin I was committing in telling the lie that I did, I said, ' I do not know.'
He told me to come with him, but I objected to this, saying that I wanted to go to the kitchen where my oldest brother was.
'There is no one in the kitchen, he said, and your brother is dead.'
Dazed as I was by my fall and the terrible events of the last few hours, I could not realize that this was true until they took us into the kitchen, and sure enough, my brother was lying there on the floor dead.
"Late in the afternoon my brother Frank, the one I left concealed in the loft, came to where we were and said to me:
"My poor little sister! What will become of you? The Indians have killed our older brother and they are going to kill me. What will become of you then!"
"All this time the Indians were in the same room with us and would occasionally pont a gun at us and ask if we wanted to die. A little later they took us out and we stood in an alcove formed by the junction of the school room proper with the pantry of the Whitman house. While wer were here I saw Mr. Rogers and Joe Lewis, the half breed, carry Mrs. Whitman out of the house. She was reclinging on a settee and was very badly wounded. Hardly had they gotten beyond the door when the half-breed dropped the end of the settee that he was carrying. this of course made it impossible for Rogers to cary Mrs. Whitman any further and he started to run but was immediately shot. An Indian rushed up to Mrs. Whitman and began beating her about the head with a whip and she was finally killed. After they had done this, they tore my brother from my side and thrusting him out into the open space, shot him to death within 20 feet of where I was standing.
"After spending a most miserable night as the prisoners of the Indians, we were in what was called the Mansion House early next morning when Kimball, the man whom I had seen pass the school rooms the day before with a broken arm, came out of the Whitman house and started to the river for water. He had gone but a short distance when an Indian standing behind me fired over my head killing Kimball instantly. Crocket Bewly, who was sick with typhoid in the doctor's house, was kept by the Indians eight days before being killed. We girls were kept prisoners by the Indians for about a month and during that time I witnessed their attempt to find the poison in Dr. Whitman's medicine chest. We were finally delivered over to the white settlers at Fort Wallula. There were about 50 persons residng at the station at the time of the masacre. Twelve were killed the first day and the rest at intervals thereafter."
DR. WHITMAN'S NEPHEW
Tells the Story of Treacherous Joe Lewis
Who Instigated the Massacre.
The nearest relative of Dr. Whitman, west of the Rocky mountains, is Mr. Perrin B. Whitman of Lewiston, Idaho. Mr. Whitman was living with an uncle, his mother having died a few years before, when Dr. Whitman came west on his return from Boston in 1843. Mr. Whitman was then a lad of 13. He was an energetic, ambitious boy, and certainly made a very favorable impression on Dr. Whitman, for he soon mae a proposition to his nephew to accompany him to Oregon. The boy's consent was given at once, but the father deliberated three days before he consented. Mr. Whitman has lied sicne that time on the Pacific coast. He has made friends with the Indians at the mission and became interested in the Nez Perce language. He has devoted much time to the study of this language and can converse in it as fluently as in English. He was government interpreter for nearly 25 years. He is now an invalid at the age of 67, having suffered two strokes of paralysis. The effects of the last one has confined him to his bed for nearly three years, but his mind is bright and clear and his memory remarkably accurate. He is the most patient of sufferers. In my visit of two weeks at his home, I didn not hear one murmor nor complaint. He is an encyclopedia of history of our three states and is in possession of some interesting facts that have in some marvelous manner escaped publication.
The following leaf from the life of Joe Lewis, the instigator of the Whitman massacre, confirms the fact that he was a most unprincipled wretch. after the massacre he took all the money from the belongings of hte murdered and captives. Then wishing to leave, at the same time fearing that the Indians might suspect him of treachery and disloyalty to them, and that his life might have to pay the penalty for a crime so grave in the eyes of the savage, he proposed to the Indians that four of them accompany him to the land of the Mormons. These people, he represented, would come to the Mission and help them kill the troops that were coming up to fight the Indians. After they killed all of the soldiers it would be an easy matter to go to the Willamette valley, kill the people there and thus rid the country of the whites.
This seemed very plausible to the Indians. They willingly furnished the four attendants. One Indian's name was Wawashtockanin. They journeyed up Snake river. Near LaGrande one Indian was sent back on the pretext that the Mormons might be alarmed and suspect some treachery by so many of them coming. Near Pocatello Joe Lewis killed the three Indians, laid their guns by their sides, took their horses and blankets and went his way. Mr. Whitman has not been able to get any information from the Indians as to what became of Joe Lewis. They do not seem to know.
Angus McDonald, the Hudson Bay clerk at Ft. Hal, as he came down to Wallula on his annual trip with furs, comes upon these three Indians and recognized them. He wondered why these Indians were so far from home at this season of the year and what had befallen them. When he arrived at Wallula and related this fact to the Indians it soon dawned upon the minds of all that this was more of the dastardly work of Joe Lewis. Mr. Whitman obtained this information from Mr. McDonald.
Mr. whitman has felt keenly interested in the changes that have been made in the grave of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, and remarked that everything had been done in accordance with his wishes. It is a gratification to him to know that the resting place of his uncle and aunt will no longer be known as "The Neglected Grave," and that the people of the "Oregon" so dear to the heart of his uncle, have expressed their admiration in this beneficent gift of marble to perpetuate the memory of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.
MRS. NELLIE G. DAY.