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Frank Erfurth Collection

Identifier: 1971-006

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two books, two photographs, and sixteen postcards all relating to the Whitman Mission and the Liksiyu (Cayuse) people in Walla Walla, Washington.


  • Creation: 1886 - 1965


Conditions Governing Access

The Frank Erfurth Collection has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Frank Erfurth Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

The Whitman massacre (also known as the Walla Walla massacre and the Whitman Incident) was the murder of missionaries Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa, along with eleven others, on November 29, 1847. They were killed by members of the Liksiyu (Cayuse) tribe who accused him of having poisoned 200 Liksiyu in his medical care. The incident began the Cayuse War. It took place in southeastern Washington state near the town of Walla Walla, Washington. This was the climax of several years of complex interaction between him and the local Native Americans. The story of the massacre pushed the United States Congress into action concerning the future territorial status of the Oregon Country, and the Oregon Territory was established on August 14, 1848.

The killings are usually ascribed in part to a clash of cultures and in part to the inability of Whitman, a physician, to halt the spread of measles that the missionaries carried among the Liksiyu. The Liksiyu people held Whitman responsible for the subsequent deaths.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder (small collection))

Language of Materials



Frank Erfurth’s small collection of postcards depicts events of the Whitman Mission Massacre of 1847 in Oregon Territory.

Processing Information

The Frank Erfurth Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1971 by Frank Erfurth.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States