Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun was born at L’Islet, Quebec on 17 December 1792. He served the Canadian (British) Voltigeurs (Light Calvary) as a Lieutenant in the War of 1812 before joining the Hudson’s Bay Company as a clerk in 1815. In 1816 Pierre was captured by the bois-brûles (Northwest Company employees) at the Seven Oaks Massacre at Red River (Winnipeg, Manitoba). He spent two years in Montreal and London, testifying in court proceedings brought by the Hudson’s Bay Company to recover damages. Pierre first crossed the Rocky Mountains in 1823, to New Caledonia, now British Columbia. Pierre married Catherine Umfreville in 1838 at Fort Vancouver on the lower Columbia River.
Pierre and Catherine met Marcus and Narcissa Whitman in 1836 at Fort Nez Perce and accompanied them down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver. In 1841, while riding along the Walla Walla River to check his gardens and presumably to visit the Whitmans, Pierre was impaled on the saddle horn of his bucking horse at what is now Nine-Mile Ranch. He was attended by Marcus Whitman and died six days later.
Pierre is portrayed by his great, great grandson, Sam Pambrun, local historian, teacher and past president of the Umatilla Historical Society.