Publication: G P Putnam's Sons, 1897, New York and London
First edition thus. Tacoma Edition. Two Volumes. White cloth, titles in gold gilt on front cover and spine, top edges gold gilt, decorations on front cover and spine in gold gilt and maroon, xxi , 389 pp. + xvi , 391 pp. The classic early work on John Astor's Pacific Coast fur trading enterprise, based in part on the journals of Robert Stuart, Wilson Price Hunt, and Ramsay Crooks, along with extracts from Capt. Bonneville's notes on the western Indians. At the request of John Jacob Astor, Washington Irving agreed to write the story of Astor's ill-fated attempt to control the lucrative fur trade of the Pacific Northwest by establishing a fort at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1811. Irving was given access to Astor's huge collection of manuscript material, and in the Introduction, Irving also acknowledges the use of some information from previously published works: "I have, therefore, availed myself occasionally of collateral lights supplied by the published journals of other travelers who have visited the scenes described: such as Messers. Lewis and Clarke (SIC), Bradbury, Breckenridge, Franchere, and Ross Cox, and make a general acknowledgement of aid received from these quarters." "Classic account of the first American attempt at settlement on the Pacific coast, 1811--initial action towards substantiating our claim to Oregon--including the earliest extended relation of Wilson P. Hunt's overland expedition from St. Louis to that settlement."--Wright Howes. The important map of the overland routes of Robert Stuart and Wilson P. Hunt is found here in fine condition, with 1 minor closed tear only affecting the blank margin. Of this map, Carl Wheat gives high praise, "an important milestone in western mapping." "Irving's book is indispensable to the student of early western history..."--George Tweney. Through the combination of Astor's manuscript material and Irving's literary skill, Astoria is a work of historical importance and is truly a pleasure to read. Uniform sunning to spine of both volumes. Previous owner's bookplate. Bright gilt on spine. An exceptionally attractive set. Highly recommended.
Inventory Number: 34346