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Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the

Washington Irving

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Further remonstrances only provoked taunting replies and sharp altercations. The day passed away without any signs of hostility, and at night the captain retired as usual to his cabin, taking no more than the usual precautions.

On the following morning, at daybreak, while the captain and Mr. M'Kay were yet asleep, a canoe came alongside in which were twenty Indians, commanded by young Shewish. They were unarmed, their aspect and demeanor friendly, and they held up otter-skins, and made signs indicative of a wish to trade. The caution enjoined by Mr. Astor, in respect to the admission of Indians on board of the ship, had been neglected for some time past, and the officer of the watch, perceiving those in the canoe to be without weapons, and having received no orders to the contrary, readily permitted them to mount the deck. Another canoe soon succeeded, the crew of which was likewise admitted. In a little while other canoes came off, and Indians were soon clambe. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Perhaps this was a commercial hack job - but it was a commercial hackjob written by one of my favorites and it covers life in early 19th century Northwestern America like nothing I've come across yet. Irving and his nephew had massive access to journals and materials relating to John Jacob Astor's f

Over the Rocky mountains, up and down the Missouri and Columbia rivers, Indian trade and treachery, shipwrecks and starvation, the cold, cold winters, the desolate plains, and the dreaded grizzly bear--this story follows a group of American pioneers shrugging off hardships of every kind to strike it

4.5 Amazing true adventure story of the American west/Pacific Northwest, pre-Oregon trail. Found myself favoring first, the seafaring expedition, and then the overland voyage. In awe of the experiences these people suffered and survived, or not. Bedrock of America.

I don’t think I ever would have encountered Astoria if not for Edgar Allan Poe’s review of it, which I read several years ago. Astoria’s influence on Poe seems most obvious in The Journal of Julius Rodman, but there are also a couple of scenes in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket that

A lot of info from "Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival" by Peter Stark (which I really liked) came from this by Washington Irving. You should probably read it, like I did, as follow up supplemental material to Stark's book.

This is a great resource for a hisotry paper I am writing as I beging my graduate work. While it took me some time and I often had to read a few pages over again, once I foused this was interesting to see how indivduals lived in what seems, such a long time ago.

"Why are you reading an obscure work by Washington Irving?" a friend asked me. I read it as a followup to Peter Stark's 2016 JOHN JACOB ASTOR AND THOMAS JEFFERSON'S LOST PACIFIC EMPIRE: A STORY OF WEALTH, AMBITION, AND SURVIVAL which I found very interesting.

Part of that interest is that it descri

I ran across this book in the visitor center bookshop at Sunnyside, Washington Irving's home on the Hudson River near Tarrytown, NY. We connect Irving with Rip Van Winkle, Diedrich Knickerbocker, and Spanish stories, so I was surprised he had written anything about the Pacific Northwest. Having visi

I absolutely LOVED this book! Such a fascinating time in history, and gave me so much food for thought!

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