Astoria, by Washington Irving, describes the expedition to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon and the ultimate failure of the early 19th century attempts to establish a permanent American-controlled commercial base at Astoria. The 1810 – 13 expedition was financed by New York business man, John Jacob Astor, for the purpose of establishing a trading post for his Pacific Fur Company, in competition with British, and to a lesser extent Russian, interests in the region.
In 1834, John Jacob Astor commissioned Washington Irving – at that time one of the best-known American authors – to write the book as an official history of his company's Astor Expedition to Oregon. The proposal was a continuation of a long-standing relationship between the two men that lasted until Astor's death in 1848. As described in the book, the expedition involved a sea journey by the ship, Tonquin, as well as overland journeys that blazed what would ultimately become the Oregon Trail.
This is the modern day paperback version of the original Washington Irving book with some original peculiarities such as no images or page numbers. Published in late 1836, Astoria became an immediate bestseller. It was translated into Dutch, French and German and went into 25 reprints prior to Irving's death in 1859. For a time, it was required reading in some schools. Not for everyone, but if you have, or someone you know has, a deep appreciation of westward expansion in the US, this would be a great book for you or them.
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