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Astoria - John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: a Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival-logo

Astoria - John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: a Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

Peter Stark

In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent. At 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 conquest of the North American continent. Astoria is the harrowing tale of the quest 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 States. Astor backed this ambitious enterprise with the vast for-tune 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 west: one by sea around the southern tip of South America and one by land over the Rockies. The Overland Party, led by the gentlemanly American businessman Wilson Price Hunt, combined French-Canadian voyageurs, Scottish fur traders, American woodsmen, and an extraordinary Native American woman with two toddlers. The Seagoing Party, sailing aboard the ship Tonquin, likewise was a volatile microcosm of contemporary North America. Under the bitter eye of Captain Jonathan Thorn, a young U.S. naval hero whose unyielding, belligerent nature was better suited to battle than to negotiating cultural differences, the Tonquin made tumultuous progress toward its violent end.

In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent. At 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 conquest of the North American continent. Astoria is the harrowing tale of the quest 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 States. Astor backed this ambitious enterprise with the vast for-tune 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 west: one by sea around the southern tip of South America and one by land over the Rockies. The Overland Party, led by the gentlemanly American businessman Wilson Price Hunt, combined French-Canadian voyageurs, Scottish fur traders, American woodsmen, and an extraordinary Native American woman with two toddlers. The Seagoing Party, sailing aboard the ship Tonquin, likewise was a volatile microcosm of contemporary North America. Under the bitter eye of Captain Jonathan Thorn, a young U.S. naval hero whose unyielding, belligerent nature was better suited to battle than to negotiating cultural differences, the Tonquin made tumultuous progress toward its violent end.
More Information

Genres:

History

Description:

In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent. At 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 conquest of the North American continent. Astoria is the harrowing tale of the quest 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 States. Astor backed this ambitious enterprise with the vast for-tune 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 west: one by sea around the southern tip of South America and one by land over the Rockies. The Overland Party, led by the gentlemanly American businessman Wilson Price Hunt, combined French-Canadian voyageurs, Scottish fur traders, American woodsmen, and an extraordinary Native American woman with two toddlers. The Seagoing Party, sailing aboard the ship Tonquin, likewise was a volatile microcosm of contemporary North America. Under the bitter eye of Captain Jonathan Thorn, a young U.S. naval hero whose unyielding, belligerent nature was better suited to battle than to negotiating cultural differences, the Tonquin made tumultuous progress toward its violent end.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Michael Kramer

Length:

10h 55m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

13:34


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

44:42


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

29:07


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

24:59


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

28:37


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

25:46


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

22:59


Part 2, Chapter 7
Part 2, Chapter 7

12:39


Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8

38:34


Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9

41:56


Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 10

36:49


Part 2, Chapter 11
Part 2, Chapter 11

21:32


Part 2, Chapter 12
Part 2, Chapter 12

09:57


Part 2, Chapter 13
Part 2, Chapter 13

17:10


Part 2, Chapter 14
Part 2, Chapter 14

15:42


Part 3, Chapter 15
Part 3, Chapter 15

29:24


Part 3, Chapter 16
Part 3, Chapter 16

35:53


Part 3, Chapter 17
Part 3, Chapter 17

18:21


Part 3, Chapter 18
Part 3, Chapter 18

20:44


Part 3, Chapter 19
Part 3, Chapter 19

26:18


Part 3, Chapter 20
Part 3, Chapter 20

20:23


Part 3, Chapter 21
Part 3, Chapter 21

40:17


Part 3, Chapter 22
Part 3, Chapter 22

01:03:02


Part 3, Chapter 23
Part 3, Chapter 23

15:49


Part 3, Chapter 24
Part 3, Chapter 24

01:06