Astorian Adventure: The Journal of Alfred Seton, 1811-15

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9780823215034: Astorian Adventure: The Journal of Alfred Seton, 1811-15
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This is the journal of a young New Yorker of good family who signed on as a clerk with John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, incorporated in 1808, at a time when the Pacific Northwest was still disputed among the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and Russia. The company was to tap the fur resources of the Northwest as well as to establish trade with both Russian Alaska and Canton in China. The difficulties for the Pacific Fur Company, American-owned but largely Canadian-staffed, brought on by the War of 1812, are described, including the forced sale of Astoria and the company's furs and trade goods to the North West Company, a Canadian rival.
The young clerk recounts life and manners in the areas where he lived and worked: the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Russian Alaska, and Spanish dominions in California and Mexico. He describes the tensions and violence between whites and Indians. His descriptions often reveal that he took a superior attitude toward the French Canadians and Indians with whom he had to deal and, on at least one occasion, he frets that his contact with these rough characters will cause him to lose his gentlemanly ways. By contrast, the beauty and refined manners of young Spanish women in California nearly lead him to "a foolish act" (i.e., to a marriage proposal that would have distressed his parents).
In 1947 the notebook was discovered during the renovation of Washington Irving's home in Tarrytown, New York. It is theorized that Seton himself lent the notebook to Irving who used it as a source of his history of the Pacific Fur Company, Astoria, Or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains.

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About the Author:

Robert F. Jones is Professor of History at Fordham University.

From Publishers Weekly:

Seton, an 18-year-old from an impoverished New York family, recounts his adventures in the fur trade working as a clerk for John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. During his tenure, Seton traveled to Mexico, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest where Astor's fur-trading outpost, Astoria (in present-day Oregon), would eventually play a more important part in bolstering the U.S.'s claim to the Oregon Territory than it did in furthering its founder's fortunes. Seton, who as Jones ( George Washington ) points out "was certainly something of a snob," would spend months at sea weathering Cape Horn storms, then again endure bitter weather trekking and canoeing to trading posts in the Northwest on expeditions that were often challenged by "Savages." Washington Irving used Seton's journal in writing his 1836 history, Astoria , but the journal itself, with its frequent textual gaps and uneven literary quality, is of greater documentary than general interest.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 1993. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This is the journal of a young New Yorker of good family who signed on as a clerk with John Jacob Astor s Pacific Fur Company, incorporated in 1808, at a time when the Pacific Northwest was still disputed among the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and Russia. The company was to tap the fur resources of the Northwest as well as to establish trade with both Russian Alaska and Canton in China. The difficulties for the Pacific Fur Company, American-owned but largely Canadian-staffed, brought on by the War of 1812, are described, including the forced sale of Astoria and the company s furs and trade goods to the North West Company, a Canadian rival. The young clerk recounts life and manners in the areas where he lived and worked: the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Russian Alaska, and Spanish dominions in California and Mexico. He describes the tensions and violence between whites and Indians. His descriptions often reveal that he took a superior attitude toward the French Canadians and Indians with whom he had to deal and, on at least one occasion, he frets that his contact with these rough characters will cause him to lose his gentlemanly ways. By contrast, the beauty and refined manners of young Spanish women in California nearly lead him to a foolish act (i.e., to a marriage proposal that would have distressed his parents). In 1947 the notebook was discovered during the renovation of Washington Irving s home in Tarrytown, New York. It is theorized that Seton himself lent the notebook to Irving who used it as a source of his history of the Pacific Fur Company, Astoria, Or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains. Seller Inventory # BTE9780823215034

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Book Description Fordham Univ Pr, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. first edition edition. 221 pages. 7.00x6.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0823215032

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