November 29, 1847 – The Whitman massacre was the murder on November 29, 1847 of Oregon missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa, along with eleven others. They were killed by Cayuse and Umatilla Native Americans. The incident began the Cayuse War. It took place in present-day southeastern Washington state, near the town of Walla Walla, and was one of the most notorious episodes in the U.S. settlement of the Pacific Northwest. The event was the climax of several years of complex interaction between the Whitmans, who had led the first wagon train along the Oregon Trail, and the local Native Americans. The killings are usually ascribed in part to a clash of cultures and in part to the inability of Dr. Whitman, a physician, to halt the spread of measles among the Native Americans, who then held Whitman responsible for subsequent deaths. The incident remains controversial to this day: the Whitmans are regarded by some as pioneer heroes; others see them as white settlers who attempted to impose their religion on the Native Americans and otherwise unjustly intrude, even allegedly poisoning the natives.