The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 213
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The Indians did a thriving business with the emigrants swap-
ping fresh horses for tired-out teams. The course of peaceful
commerce was sometimes upset, however, by thieving Indians
and short-tempered sufferers from their depredations, and at
such times Whitman's tact was strained to the utmost to re-
store peaceful relations and prevent devastating war on all
immigrants. The good doctor was so absorbed in ministering
to the bodies of his red charges, curing their diseases and
teaching them the elements of agriculture, that David Greene,
in distant Boston, ventured to remind him that he must not
forget the spiritual needs of the heathen:
We are aware [he wrote] that you must have many
secular cares on your hands-much to occupy your mind
and time of things which cannot be avoided; but we
fear somewhat, that while you see many things which
it seems necessary should be done, and no one else
seems disposed to do them, you are inclined to under-
take them, and spend strength and time about them,
which it would be more appropriate and really better
for the community around you, for you to spend on
efforts aimed more directly at the spiritual welfare
of the people.... We doubt the wisdom, taking an en-
larged view of the matter, of your spending much time
on exploring routes of travel, making roads, etc. What
is absolutely necessary must be done and it is right that
you should bear your part of the burden of what relates
to the public good in which you share in common with
others. But a man known to be engaged in missionary
work, secures the most respect and confidence and is
the most useful, when he is seen by all to be heartily
and constantly devoted to his appropriate work, labor-
ing seriously and strenuously to accomplish the object
at which he aims. Do not feel that all Oregon is on your
hands. . .. I fear you do not labor as much for the
salvation of the Indians as Christ claims of you, and
that in their estimation you do not magnify their spir-
itual interests above all others, as a missionary teacher
should do. Perhaps I am mistaken here. If so, your let-
ters have led me into the mistake. ....
In the meantime, Whitman had anticipated this impression
and had answered it, in a letter of November 3, 1846:
I feel as though you might think my mind was more
occupied with the temporal and Physical wants of our-
selves and the people rather than care for their spir-
itual wants. I must confess that I am so much occu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/227/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.