Tongue Point from Astoria, Oregon
Tongue Point from the Waterfront at Astoria
Greg MacGregor photo
f one seeks proof of the extraordinary leadership, and the skill, determination, and resiliance of the enlisted men and civilians that comprised the Corps of Discovery, it is only necessary to look at the story of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company contingent that arrived at the mouth of the Columbia on March 22, 1811.
Almost precisely five years after the Lewis and Clark Expedition left the mouth of the Columbia River, on March 22, 1811, an advance party of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, a party of under-qualified, ill-prepared, and inadequately supplied fur traders representing the great New York entrepreneur, John Jacob Astor, arrived. Eight of them lost their lives in crossing the great Columbia Bar. Three weeks later the trading post they named Astoria began to rise in the rain. Within one year is was abandoned as a hopeless situation. After a brief — 1813-1818 — occupancy by British traders, it continued as a U.S. settlement until Oregon Territory officially became a possession of the United States