Excavating First-Person Accounts of the Whitman Mission Massacre

Whitman Mission

Publication: Nebraska Anthropologist, Vol. 177

Author: Tamara J. Luce

Date of Publication: 2012

PDF File: Luce-Excavating-First-Person-Accounts-of-the-Whitman-Mi.pdf

URL: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nebanthro/177


A potential tool that can be utilized by historic archaeologists to locate and interpret archaeological sites is historic documents. One example of the ability to use documents to understand an archaeological site is the study the massacre that took place at the Whitman Mission, a former Protestant mission near present day Walla Walla, Washington. While the fact that a massacre took place at the mission is well known, exactly how the events of that day unfolded are unclear. First-person accounts of the massacre hold the most promise for understanding what took place that day, and can be used to help plan and interpret archaeological investigations.