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

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

saries, receiving peltries in payment at stated prices. They were also, if so requested by the Russian governor, to convey the furs of the Russian company to Canton, sell them on commission, and bring back the proceeds, at such freight as might be agreed on at the time. This agreement was to continue in operation four years, and to be renewable for a similar term, unless some unforeseen contingency should render a modification necessary.

It was calculated to be of great service to the infant establishment at Astoria; dispelling the fears of hostile rivalry on the part of the foreign companies in its neighborhood, and giving a formidable blow to the irregular trade along the coast. It was also the intention of Mr. Astor to have coasting vessels of his own, at Astoria, of small tonnage and draft of water, fitted for coasting service. These having a place of shelter and deposit, could ply about the coast in short voyages, in favorable weather, and would have vast advantage over chance ships, which must make long voyages, maintain numerous crews, and could only approach the coast at certain seasons of the year. He hoped, therefore, gradually to make Astoria the great emporium of the American fur trade in the Pacific, and the nucleus of a powerful American state. Unfortunately for these sanguine anticipations, before Mr. Astor had ratified the agreement, as above stated, war broke out between the United States and Great Britain. He perceived at once the peril of the case. The harbor of New York would doubtless be blockaded, and the departure of the annual supply ship in the autumn prevented; or, if she should succeed in getting out to sea, she might be captured on her voyage.

In this emergency, he wrote to Captain Sowle, commander of the Beaver. The letter, which was addressed to him at Canton, directed him to proceed to the factory at the mouth of the Columbia, with such articles as the establishment might need; and to remain there, subject to the orders of Mr. Hunt, should that gentleman be in command there.

The war continued, no tidings had yet been received from Astoria; the dispatches having been delayed by the misadventure of Mr. Reed at the falls of the Columbia, and the unhorsing of Mr. Stuart by the Crows among the mountains. A painful uncertainty, also, prevailed about Mr. Hunt and his party. Nothing had been heard of them since their departure from the Arickara village; Lisa, who parted them there, had predicted their destruction; and some of the traders of the North

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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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