astoria john jacob astor and thomas jefferson s lost pacific empire a story of wealth ambition and survival

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Author : Peter Stark
ISBN : 9780062218315
Genre : History
File Size : 33. 95 MB
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In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation's landscape and its global standing. Six years after Lewis and Clark's began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment's leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Author and correspondent for Outside magazine Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition. Unfolding over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea. Of the more than one hundred-forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast—one crossing the Rockies, the other rounding Cape Horn—nearly half perished by violence. Others went mad. Within one year, the expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it opened provincial American eyes to the potential of the Western coast and its founders helped blaze the Oregon Trail.


Author : Washington Irving
ISBN : UCAL:B4469827
Genre : Astoria (Or.)
File Size : 57. 9 MB
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Astoria And Empire

Author : James P. Ronda
ISBN : 0803289421
Genre : History
File Size : 82. 93 MB
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In late December 1788 a worried Spanish official in Mexico City set down his fears about a new and aggressive northern neighbor. Viceroy Manuel Antonio Florez offered a gloomy prediction about the future of Spanish-United States relations in the West. He already knew about the steady march of frontiersmen toward St. Louis and now came troubling word of Robert Gray's ship Columbia on the Northwest coast. All this seemed to fit a pattern, a design for Yankee expansion. "We ought not to be surprised," warned the viceroy, "that the English colonies of America, now being an independent Republic, should carry out the design of finding a safe port on the Pacific and of attempting to sustain it by crossing the immense country of the continent above our possessions of Texas, New Mexico, and California." Canadian fur merchants and Russian bureaucrats also viewed the young republic as a potential rival in the struggle for western dominion. The viceroy's vision of the future proved startlingly accurate. Within the next two decades an American president would authorize a federally funded expedition to find just the sort of transcontinental route Florez imagined. Equally important, a New York entrepreneur would propose and put into motion an ambitious plan to make the Northwest an American political and commercial empire. John Astor's Pacific Fur Company, with Astoria as its central post on the Columbia River, was Florez's nightmare come true. Astoria had long represented either a daring overland adventure or simply a failed trading venture. The Astorians surely had their share of adventure. And the Pacific Fur Company never brought its founder the profits he expected. But all those involved in the extensive enterprise knew it meant more. Thomas Jefferson once described Astoria as the "germ of a great, free and independent empire," believing that the entire American claim to the lands west of the Rockies rested on "Astor's settlement at the mouth of the Columbia." And John Quincy Adams, the expansionist-minded secretary of state, labeled then entire Northwest as "the empire of Astoria." This book seeks to explore Astoria as part of a large and complex struggle for national sovereignty in the Northwest. The Astorians and their rivals were always engaged in more than trading and trapping. They were advance agents of empire. -- from Preface

Last Breath

Author : Peter Stark
ISBN : 0345449525
Genre : Travel
File Size : 68. 94 MB
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Sudden, extreme deaths have always fascinated us-- and now more than ever as athletes and travelers rise to the challenges of high-risk sports and journeys on the edge. In this spellbinding book, veteran travel and outdoor sports writer Peter Stark reenacts the dramas of what happens inside our bodies, our minds, and our souls when we push ourselves to the absolute limits of human endurance. Combining the adrenaline high of extreme sports with the startling facts of physiological reality, Stark narrates a series of outdoor adventure stories in which thrill can cross the line to mortal peril. Each death or brush with death is at once a suspense story, a cautionary tale, and a medical thriller. Stark describes in unforgettable detail exactly what goes through the mind of a cross-country skier as his body temperature plummets-- apathy at ninety-one degrees, stupor at ninety. He puts us inside the body of a doomed kayaker tumbling helplessly underwater for two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes. He conjures up the physiology of a snowboarder frantically trying not to panic as he consumes the tiny pocket of air trapped around his face under thousands of pounds of snow. These are among the dire situations that Stark transforms into harrowing accounts of how our bodies react to trauma, how reflexes and instinct compel us to fight back, and how, why, and when we let go of our will to live. In an increasingly tamed and homogenized world, risk is not only a means of escape but a path to spirituality. As Peter Stark writes, "You must try to understand death intimately and prepare yourself for death in order to live a full and satisfying life." In this fascinating, informative book, Stark reveals exactly what we’re getting ourselves into when we choose to live-- and die-- at the extremes of endurance.

Young Washington

Author : Peter Stark
ISBN : 9780062416087
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 26. 63 MB
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A new, brash, and unexpected view of the president we thought we knew, from the bestselling author of Astoria Two decades before he led America to independence, George Washington was a flailing young soldier serving the British Empire in the vast wilderness of the Ohio Valley. Naïve and self-absorbed, the twenty-two-year-old officer accidentally ignited the French and Indian War—a conflict that opened colonists to the possibility of an American Revolution. With powerful narrative drive and vivid writing, Young Washington recounts the wilderness trials, controversial battles, and emotional entanglements that transformed Washington from a temperamental striver into a mature leader. Enduring terrifying summer storms and subzero winters imparted resilience and self-reliance, helping prepare him for what he would one day face at Valley Forge. Leading the Virginia troops into battle taught him to set aside his own relentless ambitions and stand in solidarity with those who looked to him for leadership. Negotiating military strategy with British and colonial allies honed his diplomatic skills. And thwarted in his obsessive, youthful love for one woman, he grew to cultivate deeper, enduring relationships. By weaving together Washington’s harrowing wilderness adventures and a broader historical context, Young Washington offers new insights into the dramatic years that shaped the man who shaped a nation.

Island Of The Lost

Author : Joan Druett
ISBN : 1565124081
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 5 MB
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Describes how the crews of two different vessels became shipwrecked on opposite ends of the same deserted island and the very different experiences of the two groups--one of which through sheer determination and fortitude overcame the challenges of their environment, while the other descended into complete anarchy.

Trapped Under The Sea

Author : Neil Swidey
ISBN : 9780307886736
Genre : History
File Size : 86. 97 MB
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Documents the disastrous 1990s mission during which two members of a five-man diving team were killed while completing construction on a ten-mile tunnel at the end of Boston's Deer Island waste treatment plant.

Meet You In Hell

Author : Les Standiford
ISBN : 0307238377
Genre : History
File Size : 54. 33 MB
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Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry—Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick—and the bloody steelworkers’ strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation, probably to ease his conscience. Frick’s reply: “Tell him that I’ll meet him in hell.” It is a fitting epitaph. Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, a time when Horatio Alger preached the gospel of upward mobility and expansionism went hand in hand with optimism, Meet You in Hell is a classic tale of two men who embodied the best and worst of American capitalism. Standiford conjures up the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of late-nineteenth-century big business, and the fraught relationship of “the world’s richest man” and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. Enamored of Social Darwinism, the emerging school of thought that applied the notion of survival of the fittest to human society, both Carnegie and Frick would introduce revolutionary new efficiencies and meticulous cost control to their enterprises, and would quickly come to dominate the world steel market. But their partnership had a dark side, revealed most starkly by their brutal handling of the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. When Frick, acting on Carnegie’s orders to do whatever was necessary, unleashed three hundred Pinkerton detectives, the result was the deadliest clash between management and labor in U.S. history. WHILE BLOOD FLOWED, FRICK SMOKED ran one newspaper headline. The public was outraged. An anarchist tried to assassinate Frick. Even today, the names Carnegie and Frick cannot be uttered in some union-friendly communities. Resplendent with tales of backroom chicanery, bankruptcy, philanthropy, and personal idiosyncrasy, Meet You in Hell is a fitting successor to Les Standiford’s masterly Last Train to Paradise. Artfully weaving the relationship of these titans through the larger story of a young nation’s economic rise, Standiford has created an extraordinary work of popular history. From the Hardcover edition.

Island Of The Blue Foxes

Author : Stephen R. Bown
ISBN : 9780306825200
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 98 MB
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The story of the world's largest, longest, and best financed scientific expedition of all time, triumphantly successful, gruesomely tragic, and never before fully told The immense 18th-century scientific journey, variously known as the Second Kamchatka Expedition or the Great Northern Expedition, from St. Petersburg across Siberia to the coast of North America, involved over 3,000 people and cost Peter the Great over one-sixth of his empire's annual revenue. Until now recorded only in academic works, this 10-year venture, led by the legendary Danish captain Vitus Bering and including scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers, discovered Alaska, opened the Pacific fur trade, and led to fame, shipwreck, and "one of the most tragic and ghastly trials of suffering in the annals of maritime and arctic history."

Song Of The Vikings

Author : Nancy Marie Brown
ISBN : 9781137073716
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 5 MB
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Much like Greek and Roman mythology, Norse myths are still with us. Famous storytellers from JRR Tolkien to Neil Gaiman have drawn their inspiration from the long-haired, mead-drinking, marauding and pillaging Vikings. Their creator is a thirteenth-century Icelandic chieftain by the name of Snorri Sturluson. Like Homer, Snorri was a bard, writing down and embellishing the folklore and pagan legends of medieval Scandinavia. Unlike Homer, Snorri was a man of the world—a wily political power player, one of the richest men in Iceland who came close to ruling it, and even closer to betraying it... In Song of the Vikings, award-winning author Nancy Marie Brown brings Snorri Sturluson's story to life in a richly textured narrative that draws on newly available sources.

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