Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving




































































































































 -  48 north to the pole, excepting that
portion held by the Russians, for as to the American adventurers
who had - Page 30
Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving - Page 30 of 615 - First - Home

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48 North To The Pole, Excepting That Portion Held By The Russians, For As To The American Adventurers Who Had Hitherto Enjoyed The Traffic Along The Northwest Coast, They Would Instantly Disappear, He Added, Before A Well Regulated Trade.

A scheme of this kind, however, was too vast and hazardous for individual enterprise; it could only be undertaken

By a company under the sanction and protection of a government; and as there might be a clashing of claims between the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Company, the one holding by right of charter, the other by right of possession, he proposed that the two comparties should coalesce in this great undertaking. The long-cherished jealousies of these two companies, however, were too deep and strong to allow them to listen to such counsel.

In the meantime the attention of the American government was attracted to the subject, and the memorable expedition under Messrs. Lewis and Clarke fitted out. These gentlemen, in 1804, accomplished the enterprise which had been projected by Carver and Whitworth in 1774. They ascended the Missouri, passed through the stupendous gates of the Rocky Mountains, hitherto unknown to white men; discovered and explored the upper waters of the Columbia, and followed that river down to its mouth, where their countryman, Gray, had anchored about twelve years previously. Here they passed the winter, and returned across the mountains in the following spring. The reports published by them of their expedition demonstrated the practicability of establishing a line of communication across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

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