Astoria & Empire.
By: James P. Ronda.
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Published: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
In his 1836 account Washington Irving immortalized Astoria, but it has
been a footnote to the history of western expansion--a doleful reminder
of John Jacob Astor's failed attempt to establish a fur-trading empire
at the mouth of the Columbia from 1810 to 1813. Now James P. Ronda makes
clear the importance of the Astoria venture in large and complex
struggle for national sovereignty in the Northwest. Astoria and Empire
is the first modern account and assessment of Astor's enterprise and the
first ever to unravel the tangled skein of Astoria's international
connections. "On the Columbia," Ronda writes, "lines of national
rivalry, personal ambition, and cultural diversity intersected to shape a
larger continental destiny."