Sager Family
Papers, 1855-1908
Finding Aid to Record Group 355
0.03 cu.ft.

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516


Catherine Sager was born in Ohio in 1835, the third of seven children of Henry and Naomi Sager. Sager was a pioneer farmer, blacksmith and workman; Naomi a teacher. Elizabeth, their fourth child, was born in 1837.

The Sagers moved from place to place in Ohio, and in 1838 traveled to Missouri. In 1844, having heard of Marcus Whitman's venture across the Rockies, they decided to follow him to Oregon. During the course of the journey, Henry and Naomi Sager both died, and their seven children (one was born on the journey) were taken by a friend to the Whitman mission, where they were adopted by Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. The mission was attacked by Indians in 1847 and two of the Sager children, John and Louisa, were killed, as were the Whitmans. Catherine Sager married Clark Pringle in 1851. Elizabeth Sager, after spending a few years living with different families as a servant, went to live with the Pringles shortly after their marriage and became a teacher.


This collection consists of two transcripts. Catherine Sager wrote a memoir of the family's trip to Oregon, of the Whitman mission and life with the Whitman family, and of the 1847 massacre. It is a detailed and vivid account of frontier life and hardships in the mid-nineteenth century. The other transcript is of a letter written by Elizabeth Sager to an unidentified uncle, describing the same events in a few pages. The collection is arranged as follows:

Box Folder Description
1 1 Finding Aid to Record Group 355
2 Catherine Sager Pringle Memoirs, 1908 (transcript)
3 Elizabeth Sager Letter, 1855 (transcript)


The original Catherine Sager memoir was transcribed by her granddaughter in 1954. Copies of this transcript were made by a scholar and given to various institutions. Elizabeth Sager's letter was published in the Mitchell (Nebraska) Index.

Collection processed and finding aid prepared: January 1993
Stephanie Muntone, Processing Archivist

Box	Folder	Description