Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813

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Soon after information from Lewis and Clark’s expedition to chart the western region of the United States was shared, investors and explorers sought ways to capitalize on the information. In this work, Alexander Ross details the trials and tribulations of one such expedition, now known as the Astor Expedition. Ross was employed by John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, and this led to the founding Fort Astoria, an American outpost near the Columbia River. Although the title suggests that members of Astoria were “the first settlers” of the region, it fails to consider the numerous indigenous tribes Ross encountered and described in great detail. For example, this work includes an appendix of Chinook vocabulary, highlighting how extensive and advanced the indigenous populations were that had already settled in that region. The fort itself was populated by a variety of people, including French-Canadians, Scots, Hawaiians, Americans, and a variety of indigenous North American peoples, such as Iroquois. Due to the War of 1812, the fort was bought out by the North West Company, which renamed it Fort George.

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