Annals of Astoria: The Headquarters Log of the Pacific Fur by Robert F. Jones

By Robert F. Jones

After we consider the fur exchange within the early days of America's enlargement westward, visions of mountain males with untamed beards, shouldering muskets, and braving an unexplored desert packed with eminent hazard, spring to our minds. This mountain manwas certainly a vital part of the fur exchange in America's northwest territory, yet both vital, and sorely unremembered, have been the service provider and the participants of the buying and selling businesses whose accountability it used to be to take the uncooked product and notice that it chanced on its approach into the hats and coats that graced the population of the most important towns of the realm. Annals of Astoria is the tale of those males. this is often the magazine of Duncan McDougall, supervising accomplice of the Pacific Fur corporation at Astoria. It documents the day-by-day operations on the put up and within the Oregon kingdom from the send Tonquin's arrival at the Columbia until eventually the sale of the publish and the company's resources to the North West Fur corporation in November 1813. Like a lot of the industrial background of the U.S. throughout the early republic, this rfile is heavily linked to John Jacob Astor. An emigrant from Germany in 1763, the formidable formative years got down to forge new territory within the fur alternate and, together with his 1808 constitution for the yankee Fur corporation, created a monopoly within the fur alternate, essentially casting off pageant with Canada and Britain. In 1810, Astor equipped the Pacific Fur corporation with Duncan McDougall as one among its companions. Later that 12 months, McDougall set out with a staff at the send Tonquin towards Vancouver Island as a part of Astor's three-pronged attempt to infiltrate the northwest coast. McDougall was once the manager of the submit throughout the years 1811-1813 and was once exclusively chargeable for what used to be recorded in it. hence, his log is the main exact account of the day-by-day task of the buying and selling post.

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Extra resources for Annals of Astoria: The Headquarters Log of the Pacific Fur Company on the Columbia Rive, 1811-13.

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See also John Denis Haeger, John Jacob Astor: Business and Finance in the Early Republic (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991), especially his discussion in chap. 1 of the various studies of Astor done over the years; the Pacific Fur Company and Astoria are covered in chaps. 4-6; hereafter, Haeger, Astor. The most recent study of the enterprise and one that will be frequently used is James P. Ronda, Astoria and Empire (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990); hereafter, Ronda, Astoria.

A review of the text revealed no significant alterations, additions, or subtractions. Thus, it is probably just what the library title states, a "fair copy," made from the original after that had been completed. If this is the case, it could have been copied from the original by McDougall between the end of the original record and the departure on April 4, 1814, of the remaining Astorians. Work began on the publication of this manuscript in the early 1980s with the preparation of a transcript of the three volumes by Professor Werner L.

Vermilye, 1838; repr. Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press, 1970). See Robert F. Jones, "The Identity of the Tonquin's Interpreter," Oregon Historical Quarterly, 98, No. 3 (Fall 1997), 296-314, for a discussion of the question of the native interpreter's identity. The name of the Tonquin is a variant of "tonka,'' the black, almond-shaped seed of a large leguminous tree, Dipterix odorata, used to scent and flavor various products (Oxford English Dictionary). The tree is found throughout Asia and may have been selected in consideration of where Captain Fanning expected the vessel to sail.

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