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


Under all these circumstances, Mr. Astor wrote to Mr. Monroe,
then secretary of state, requesting protection from the
government of - Page 510
Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving - Page 510 of 615 - First - Home

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Under All These Circumstances, Mr. Astor Wrote To Mr. Monroe, Then Secretary Of State, Requesting Protection From The Government Of The United States.

He represented the importance of his settlement, in a commercial point of view, and the shelter it might afford to the American vessels in those seas.

All he asked was that the American government would throw forty or fifty men into the fort at his establishment, which would be sufficient for its defense until he could send reinforcements over land.

He waited in vain for a reply to this letter, the government, no doubt, being engrossed at the time by an overwhelming crowd of affairs. The month of March arrived, and the Lark was ordered by Mr. Astor to put to sea. The officer who was to command her shrunk from his engagement, and in the exigency of the moment, she was given in charge to Mr. Northrup, the mate. Mr. Nicholas G. Ogden, a gentleman on whose talents and integrity the highest reliance could be placed, sailed as supercargo. The Lark put to sea in the beginning of March, 1813.

By this opportunity, Mr. Astor wrote to Mr. Hunt, as head of the establishment at the mouth of the Columbia, for he would not allow himself to doubt of his welfare. "I always think you are well," said he, "and that I shall see you again, which Heaven, I hope, will grant."

He warned him to be on his guard against any attempts to surprise the post; suggesting the probability of armed hostility on the part of the Northwest Company, and expressing his indignation at the ungrateful returns made by that association for his frank and open conduct, and advantageous overtures.

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