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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/218

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210 FREDERICK V. HOLMAN As I have said, Astoria was founded April 12, 1811. The Tonquin, the vessel which brought the party around Cape Horn to the Columbia River, left the river June 5, 1811, on a trading expedition to the north. Shortly afterwards she was captured by Indians at Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver's Island, and was totally destroyed by the explosion of her powder magazine, caused probably by one of the survivors of the massacre, when the Tonquin was cap- tured. July 15, 1811, David Thompson arrived at Astoria, from the upper Columbia, too late to establish a post near the mouth of that river for the Northwest Company prior to Astor's party. He had been dispatched, in 1810, for that pur- pose. Unforeseen difficulties had prevented his earlier arrival. The prior arrival of Astor's party was of great importance. The War of 1812. The war of 1812 frustrated all of Astor's plans. He vainly sought to have the United States Government send a war vessel to protect Astoria or to send troops overland for the same purpose. In October, 1813, the exact day is uncertain, Duncan McDougal, acting for the Pacific Fur Company, in the absence of Wilson Price Hunt, the chief agent for Astor, treacherously sold all the property of that company to the Northwest Company. McDougal's virtue was of a kind which needed constantly to be guarded. In the Message of President Monroe, of January 25, 1823, to the House of Representa- tives, a copy of which, printed at Washington in 1823, I have in my library, there is set forth at length, a copy of a letter, dated New York, January 4, 1823, from John Jacob Astor to John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State. In this letter Astor wrote : That when Hunt returned to Astoria (February 28, 1814), "He then learnt that McDougall had transferred all my prop- erty to the Northwest Company, who were [then] in posses- sion of it, by a sale, as he called it, for the sum of about $58,000, of which he retained $14,000, for wages said to be