He was a young physician thirty years old when he became stirred by what became known as "The Macedonian Cry."
He and the reverend Samuel Parker traveled to St. Louis. There a group of Indians asked parker to come and preach to them, Parker went with them to Vancouver. While Whitman returned to recruit more help.
Back home Whitman enlisted the reverend H.H. Spalding. The two missionaries, their wives, and two Indians departed toward Oregon.
The group traveled through the wilderness, turbulent rivers, mountains and hostile Indian's territory. They suffered burning heat, bitter cold and many other mishaps.
At a rendezvous point Whitman preached to the fur trappers, and a revival begun among the mountain men.
Eventually they reached Fort Walla Walla in Oregon.
There The Nez Perces and the Cayune Indians wanted possession of the missionaries; this dispute almost ended in a fight, but was resolved by the reverend Spalding going to the Nez Perces, and Whitman going to the Cayune.
At Waiilatpu Dr. Whitman built a mission. He was the preacher and the doctor for the whole region. He also was the carpenter, the farmer, the miller and whatever else the mission needed.
During good weather the missionaries went shopping in Vancouver, but during the harsh season, they survived by eating wild horses.
The Cayune believed that manual labor was beneath their dignity. They lived of hunting and gathering and consequently suffered famines.
Dr. Whitman taught them agriculture, and the Bible, and begun a church. Later other missionaries came to help.
In 1839 he visited the Nez Perces at Alpowa. After his preaching a great revival broke out among them.
But in 1842, Oregon was in danger of becoming British property. So he made a historical ride toward Washington. During this ride, he escaped death often. Arriving in Washington he met with President Tyler and persuaded him not to give Oregon to the British.
To secure Oregon he led a band of 300 families toward Oregon. At much cost and sacrifice the band eventually reached Waiilatpu.
After saving Oregon from the British, Dr. Whitman settled down to preaching and healing.
Because he denounced the catholic priests, they egged an evil fellow named Joe Lewis to spread vicious lies about Whitman.
These lies provoked a band of Indians to murder the doctor and his wife. He was attacked from behind while attending a sick Indian.