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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/226

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218 FREDERICK V. HOLMAN % were British subjects. Had the majority of the partners been American citizens, especially at Astoria, there would have been no sale to the Northwest Company. It is to the credit of some of the Canadian employees that they refused to enter the service of the Northwest Company after the sale. Among these was Gabriel Franchere, whose private journal was printed, in French, at Montreal in 1820, and the English translation of it was printed in New York in 1854. This journal is simply, but charmingly written and is the first book written and printed on Settlements in Oregon. It should be read by every one desirous of obtaining information concerning early Oregon from original sources. As to whether these Canadian partners would have remained true to Astor's interests in a contest for supremacy with the Northwest Company or with the Hudson's Bay Company, after their consolidation, that is merely a matter of conjecture. Probably they would have been true, but their exceedingly friendly treatment of the visiting parties of the Northwest Company, prior to the sale, raises a doubt. But this matter is really outside the scope of this address. Important Results from Astor's Expeditions. Although these enterprises of Astor's were business failures, there were certain results which were of great national im- portance to the United States. Notwithstanding the discovery of the Columbia River by Gray, the time had come when the mere discovery of the mouth of a river or the exploration of the river itself, as was done by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, should be followed by some kind of actual occupation by the nation or its people who claimed by right of discovery or of exploration. This occupa- tion, in part, at least, of the country drained by the Columbia River, was had by Astor's American Company. The loss of occupancy by the sale to the Northwest Company and by the theoretical capture of Astoria, by the Raccoon, was largely, if not more than completely, offset by the formal restoration of possession to the United States, October 6, 1818.