Henry H. Spalding was an early Presbyterian missionary in the Pacific Northwest who worked from the 1830s to the 1870s. He is best known for his work with the Nez Perce at Lapwai and for being zealously anti-Catholic. After the Whitman massacre in 1847, he moved to Oregon, where he lived in several locations including Forest Grove and Brownsville. He returned to the Nez Perce lands in 1859 and divided his years thereafter between missionary work, travel, and time back in Oregon.
In 1855, Spalding served as the president of the Preble Wigwam, which was a local chapter of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner. This was a secret society for adherents of the American Party, also called the "Know-Nothings." They were an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, nativist party that arose in the Northeastern United States in the early 1850s. The Preble Wigwam held its meetings at various locations in the southern part of the Willamette Valley, including at Spalding's house.
In 1873, a Protestant member of the Spokane Tribe known as "Spokane Garry" became concerned about Catholic influence in his area. Garry sent several other Spokane Indians to see Spalding in Lapwai, asking him to visit the Spokanes. Spalding, who was then 70 years old, undertook a 3-week tour of the Spokane lands, baptising more than 100 people (see Ruby & Brown, p.160).