Spalding family collection, 1832-1997

Overview of the Collection

Spalding family
Spalding family collection
1832-1997 (inclusive)
5.88 linear feet, (13 boxes)
Collection Number
The Spalding family collection, which dates from 1832 to 1997, primarily holds the personal correspondence and writings of Protestant missionary Henry Harmon Spalding to the Oregon Territory during the nineteenth century. It also includes materials related to Eliza Hart Spalding, Rachel Smith Spalding, and Henry Hart Spalding.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Telephone: 5095275922
Fax: 5095264785
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Protestant missionary Henry Harmon Spalding and his wife, Eliza Hart Spalding, accompanied doctor and missionary Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, westward in 1836. Once out west, the Whitmans and the Spaldings went their separate ways, establishing Christian missions at Waiilatpu and Lapwai, respectively. At Lapwai, Spalding established a school and printing house. Following the 1847 incident at Waiilatpu in which the Whitmans were killed, the Spaldings relocated down the Columbia River in 1848 into what is now the northeastern corner of Oregon state. There, Spalding served as pastor of a local church, postmaster, and school commissioner.

Following his wife Eliza's death in 1851, Spalding married Rachel Smith in 1853. From the late 1850s to early 1870s, Spalding worked with various U.S. Indian Affairs agents, returning periodically to the Nez Perce at Lapwai, and also travelled east to testify in front of Congress. Spalding died in Lapwai, Idaho in 1874. From his first marriage, Spalding and Eliza had four children: Eliza Spalding (Warren), Henry Hart Spalding, Marth Spalding, and Amelia Spalding (Brown). There were no children from his second marriage.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Spalding family collection, which dates from 1832 to 1997, consists of the correspondence, journals, unpublished manuscripts, speeches, and sermons of Reverend Henry Harmon Spalding. Also included are accounts of and investigations into, the death of the Whitmans at Waiilatpu including speeches, questionnaires and notes for United States Congressional hearings. Newspaper clippings, magazine articles and papers by and about Reverend Spalding are also held in this collection. The collection also contains the personal correspondence writings of his wives, Eliza and Rachel, as well as materials related to his son, Henry Hart Spalding.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

This collection was artificially assembled by Archives staff over time. Some materials was donated by the Eells family, others were found in the collection and provenance is unknown.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Personal Names

  • Spalding, Henry Harmon