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Astoria Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American FrontierWest One by sea around the southern tip of South America and one by land over the RockiesUnfolding from 1810 to 1813 Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship drawing extensively on firsthand accounts of those who made the journey Though the colony itself would be short lived its founders opened provincial American eyes to the remarkable potential of the western coast discovered the route that became the Oregon Trail and permanently altered the nation's landscape and global standing©2014 Peter Stark P2014 HarperCollins Publisher. Astoria is a non fiction book about the Astor Expedition of 1810 1812 and the Wiki link can probably summarize it better than I There were two groups sent to what is now Astoria Oregon one via land and one via sea and both long dangerous journeys It would be nine thousand miles and three and a half months to Cape Horn and that would mark only the halfway point to the Northwest Coast Explored by Lewis and Clark only six years earlier the Missouri was the only known route across the vast terra incognita of this part of the North American continent And once they get there or do they all get there there's still stuff like hostile natives the notorious sandbar at the mouth of the Columbia River to get a ship through enormous trees to cut down before you can build and all that rain And what do you do about supplies when it takes months to wait for the next supply ship And what about those struggling to make it via the Overland route They didn’t realize that the mouth of the Columbia still lay hundreds and hundreds of miles away and nearly five thousand feet below them Even a sextant however couldn’t have told them of the horrors that lay between here and there Even though this book wasn't uite what I expected stupid me I thought it was about the later settlements at Astoria I did enjoy this a lot and learned lots of new to me historical factoids always a plus The author did go off on the occasional lecture or two where I ended up skimming a bit seriously I didn't need a several page lecture on the dangers of scurvy and how to prevent it but overall a very interesting read Loved the author's notes on how he came to writing about this subject plus the what ifs he suggested and how what is now the western US and Canada might have evolved into something completely different than what it is now view spoilerIf the expedition had been wholly successful could Astor have established his own little empire out here What if the English had given up on what is now western British Columbia Would the US stretch from California all the way to Alaska hide spoiler

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summary Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ô At a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the AppaAt a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the Appalachian Mountains two visionaries President Thomas Jefferson and millionaire John Jacob Astor foresaw that one day the Pacific would dominate world trade as much as the Atlantic did in their day Just two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition concluded in 1806 Jefferson and Astor turned their sights westward once again Thus began one of history's dramatic but largely forgotten turning points in the conuest of the North American continentAstoria is the harrowing tale o. Fate can be a fickle bitch when it comes to well laid plans and manifest destiny and all thatA word of caution it’s been awhile since I’ve read this book I really liked it but I’m kind of sketchy on the facts As Casey Stengel was fond of saying “You could always look it up”Over two hundred years ago one of the items that drove the world economy was furs – beaver pelts sea otter furs and the like It kept people warm and Chinese officials had some sort of fetish for them and were willing to pay big bucksThe evil empire of Canada had a thriving fur business and the scheming Jacob Astor wanted to branch out on his own and beat the shiftless Canadians at their own game He was rich but needed some political clout so instead of texting Thomas Jefferson he hopped in his carriage and made the uick three week trip to Washington DC stopping along the way for carriage stop sushiThomas Jefferson had just swindled the French out of the Louisiana Purchase and was game for westward expansion Astor wanted to open up a pelt shop in the Pacific Northwest so it was “Go west rich dude I have your back until I get booted out of office or I make myself king”Astor sent two parties one by land and one by sea The land based pelt shop boys ran into some early problems – they hung around St Louis into autumn and in order to avoid a bunch of thuggish Native Americans they took the scenic route read they got lost “Hey its winter and we didn’t pack enough freeze dried spaghetti so were going to have to drink our own urine for sustenance”The sea party had one big problem the hand picked captain was a dck He hated some of the passengers so much that he simply left some of them on one of the deserted Falkland Islands “Have a swell hunting party and later dudes Oh and I hate you Feh” With a pistol pointed at his head he had a change of heart and went back for them He also had a disagreement with a few of his crew and sent the ringleader to a certain death by trying to navigate some deadly shoals in a leaky rowboatThe ship got there first but view spoiler on an expedition it got attacked by Indians due to Captain Crunch’s hard assed dealings and the only crew member left – suffering from mortal wounds – blew up the ship and a couple hundred Indians too hide spoiler

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F the uest to settle a Jamestown like colony on the Pacific coast Astor set out to establish a global trade network based at the mouth of the Columbia River in what is now Oregon while Jefferson envisioned a separate democracy on the western coast that would spread eastward to meet the young United StatesAstor backed this ambitious enterprise with the vast fortune he'd made in the fur trade and in New York real estate since arriving in the United States as a near penniless immigrant soon after the Revolutionary War He dispatched two groups of men. I was going to write a potentially long winded and comprehensive review of this book but I realized upon finishing it last night This book in its truest and both literal and figurative senses is about a bunch of dicks It's about a bunch of hand selected men and haphazardly formed groups of them setting out to create a new empire in the previously uncharted Coastal Northwest One endlessly and expertly funded expedition to be certain but otherwise foolishly and terrifyingly led It's about Inland and Pacific Northwest history and the way Astoria and so many similar fur trading settlements turned towns were founded which is to say On greed and guns Because the group possessing the most sophisticated and savage weaponry holds the proverbial cards at this Manifest Destiny table This now and always picturesue town lying next to the mighty Columbia River was built upon a foundation of murder savagery survival and endless hunger For power and wealth and land and people to work it food animal pelts goods with which to trade everything The entire two part expedition one by land one by sea was also peppered with cannibalism animal cruelty rape incest pride ridiculously poor decisions on how to treat human beings and especially Native Americans and thus hardship So much hardship And all for the overarching plan of trapping and taking so much than what was needed to supply China and Russia's affinity for animal fur and various other material goods Which of course so perfectly mirrors the way all of of America was founded I will admit I'm happy to know some of this history because my very sugar coated American History classes definitely didn't cover a lot of these stories and John Jacob Astor's expeditions to build his ill conceived empire are so closely connected to so much of this region's and this entire country's history which means passages of this book were definitely eual parts staggering and interesting But to know the Pacific Coast was founded so ruthlessly so foolishly and so lacking necessary forethought is a disturbing and upsetting reality to face What had I expected I've no idea; I supposed I'd just never truly considered Also the flow of this book is mostly terrible It takes forever to get started rambles and makes strange unnecessary connections and conjectures in places and then abruptly ends with the War of 1812 and Astor's death in New York an entire country away from the empire he so valiantly tried to create at all costs Ha ha ha Well then Is this me not being long winded Probably I apparently had to say about this book than originally anticipated But still bunch of dicks Named for a WASP y East Coast ship whose captain and expedition leader ordered the slaughter and burning of an entire Indian village upon his first trip to the region Astor's overland expedition included the French trappers who named the Tetons French for large teats because bunch of dicks remember They also passed Daniel Boone standing on the Missouri River Boone having retreated from the meager settlement he'd help found disturbed by his belief that true wilderness was already back in the late 1700searly 1800s vastly and uickly disappearing Oh if Boone only knew the true wilderness destruction lying in wait And John Day Lost his damn mind during the admittedly insane and ill managed overland expedition Dude tried to shoot himself with two pistols at once and somehow missed with both So I suppose it's fitting he has an eually sad and theatrical dam named after him Looking into the history of names of places monuments and rivers etc is almost universally discouraging Maybe what this country has always needed was less dicks and women like Marie Dorion Allllmost three stars for being historically accurate and in that way interesting and for encouraging me to picture a West almost wholly devoid of people and laden instead with pristine wilderness