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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/225

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RESULTS FROM ASTOR EXPEDITIONS 217 "Acquisition of Oregon." I have made some small use of the original journals of Bradbury and of Brackenridge. I have also been aided by some knowledge of the history of Oregon and of the Pacific Northwest, which I have acquired from a somewhat desultory study, for many years, and from reading original journals, books, pamphlets, and reports, many of which I have in my library. Review of Astor's Enterprises. In reviewing Astor's enterprises at Astoria, and in the Pa- cific Northwest, it must be conceded that they were conceived in sagacity, skill, boldness, and with rare business sense. The plans were admirable and, but for the war of 1812, would probably have been very successful. The selection of Thorn as the captain of the Tonquin was most unfortunate. The destruction of the Tonquin stopped any trade on the coast until the arrival of the Beaver. It also caused the accumulation of furs at Astoria, a part of which were sold to the Northwest Company by McDougal. There is no excuse for the treachery of McDougal. The furs on hand, at the time of the sale, could have been sent easily up the Columbia to a point inaccessible to any war vessel or its officers and crew. The Indians were friendly to the Astor party. But for the war there was an opportunity to make the great profits which were made by Dr. John McLoughlin for the Hudson's Bay Company after his arrival in the Oregon Country in 1824. It is true the Pacific Fur Company might have been forced into a commercial war with the Northwest Company, and later with the Hudson's Bay Company, after the coalescence of these two companies in 1821, but Astor's wealth and business skill should have been a match for any opposition by either of those companies. He had made his fortune in spite of opposition. His choice of his Canadian partners was unfortunate, con- sidering the chance of war with Great Britain, when his en- terprises were inaugurated. A majority of those partners, and of the employees and servants of the Pacific Fur Company,