The epic true story Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Adventure and Survival by Peter Stark recounts the harrowing 1810 Astor Expedition in which John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson attempted to establish a colony similar to Jamestown on the West Coast. Their ultimate goal was to transform the new nation into a Pacific trading power. This ambitious three-year experiment was initially successful with the establishment of a trading post on the Colombia River called Fort Astoria, but tragedy repeatedly struck with explorers fighting starvation, madness, nature and Indian attacks to try to survive. Although the settlement failed after only a few years, the efforts of these pioneers was not in vain, for they permanently altered the landscape by opening the Oregon Trail.
This thrilling book about adventure on land and sea illuminates a fascinating, albeit nearly forgotten, chapter of early American history for the modern reader.
Peter Stark is the author of many books including The Last Empty Places: A Past and Present Journey Through the Blank Spots on the American Map.