Astoria: Or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

land in Mr. Hunt's expedition, were given as his guides and hunters. These were Ben Jones and John Day, the Kentuckians, and Andri Vallar and Francis Le Clerc, Canadians. Mr. M'Lellan again expressed his determination to take this opportunity of returning to the Atlantic States. In this he was joined by Mr. Crooks, who, notwithstanding all that he had suffered in the dismal journey of the preceding winter, was ready to retrace his steps and brave every danger and hardship, rather than remain at Astoria. This little handful of adventurous men we propose to accompany in its long and perilous peregrinations.

The several parties we have mentioned all set off in company on the 29th of June, under a salute of cannon from the fort. They were to keep together, for mutual protection, through the piratical passes of the river, and to separate, on their different destinations, at the forks of the Columbia. Their number, collectively, was nearly sixty, consisting of partners and clerks, Canadian voyageurs, Sandwich Islanders, and American hunters; and they embarked in two barges and ten canoes.

They had scarcely got under way, when John Day, the Kentucky hunter, became restless and uneasy, and extremely wayward in his deportment. This caused surprise, for in general, he was remarkable for his cheerful, manly deportment. It was supposed that the recollection of past sufferings might harass his mind in undertaking to retrace the scenes where they had been experienced. As the expedition advanced, however, his agitation increased. He began to talk wildly and incoherently, and to show manifest symptoms of derangement.

Mr. Crooks now informed his companions that in his desolate wanderings through the Snake River country during the preceding winter, in which he had been accompanied by John Day, the poor fellow's wits had been partially unsettled by the sufferings and horrors through which they had passed, and he doubted whether they had ever been restored to perfect sanity. It was still hoped that this agitation of spirit might pass away as they proceeded; but, on the contrary, it grew more and more violent. His comrades endeavored to divert his mind and to draw him into rational conversation, but he only became the more exasperated, uttering wild and incoherent ravings. The sight of any of the natives put him in an absolute fury, and he would heap on them the most opprobri-

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Astoria: Or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction. 3
  • Contents 7
  • Astoria. 17
  • Chapter II 27
  • Chapter III 31
  • Chapter IV 41
  • Chapter V 47
  • Chapter VI 55
  • Chapter VII 65
  • Chapter VIII 71
  • Chapter IX 75
  • Chapter X 79
  • Chapter XI 87
  • Chapter XII 95
  • Chapter XIII 100
  • Chapter XIV 106
  • Chapter XV 111
  • Chapter XVI 122
  • Chapter XVII 132
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 152
  • Chapter XXI 160
  • Chapter XXII 168
  • Chapter XXIII 172
  • Chapter XXIV 176
  • Chapter XXV 179
  • Chapter XVII 182
  • Chapter XXVII 188
  • Chapter XXVIII 192
  • Chapter XXIX 197
  • Chapter XXX 202
  • Chapter XXXI 205
  • Chapter XXXII 210
  • Chapter XXXIII 216
  • Chapter XXXIV 220
  • Chapter XXXV 229
  • Chapter XXXVI 232
  • Chapter XXXVII 238
  • Chapter XXXVIII 246
  • Chapter Xxxix 251
  • Chapter XL 255
  • Chapter XLI 261
  • Chapter XLII 269
  • Chapter XLIII 273
  • Chapter XLIV 279
  • Chapter XLV 289
  • Chapter XLVI 295
  • Chapter XLVII 301
  • Chapter XLVIII 308
  • Chapter XLIX 313
  • Chapter L 319
  • Chapter LI 325
  • Chapter LII 328
  • Chapter LIII 334
  • Chapter LIV 343
  • Chapter LV 346
  • Chapter LVI 348
  • Chapter LVII 350
  • Chapter LVIII 357
  • Chapter LIX 362
  • Chapter LX 366
  • Chapter LXI 369
  • Appendix. 377
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