Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the Years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814, or the First American Settlement of the Pacific.

p. 5-7, in Preface to Second Edition: Without disparagement of Mr. Irving ’s literary fame, I may venture to say that I found in his work inaccuracies, misstatements (unintentional of course), and a want of chronological order, which struck forcibly one so familiar with the events themselves. I thought I could show or rather that my simple narration, of itself, plainly discovered that some of the young men embarked in that expedition (which founded our Pacific empire), did not merit the ridicule and contempt which Captain T horn attempted to

throw upon them, and which perhaps, through the genius of Mr. Irving , might otherwise remain as a lasting stigma on their characters. But the consideration which, before all others, prompts me to offer this narrative to the American reading public, is my desire to place before them, therein, a simple and connected account (which at this time ought to be interesting), of the early settlement of the Oregon Territory by one of our adopted citizens, the enterprising merchant John Jacob Astor. The importance of a vast territory, which at no distant day may add two more bright stars to our national banner, is a guarantee that my humble effort will be appreciated.


It has been the editor’s wish to let Mr. Franchere speak for himself. To preserve in the translation the Defoe-like simplicity of the original narrative of the young French Canadian, has been his chief care. Having read many narratives of travel and adventure in our northwestern wilderness, he may be permitted to say that he has met with none that gives a more vivid and picturesque description of it, or in which the personal adventures of the narrator, and the varying fortunes of a great enterprise, mingle more happily, and one may say, more dramatically, with the itinerary. The clerkly minuteness of the details is not without its charm either, and their fidelity speaks for itself. Take it altogether, it must be regarded as a fragment of our colonial history saved from oblivion; it fills up a vacuity which Mr. Irving’s classic work does not quite supply; it is, in fact, the only account by an eye-witness and a participator in the enterprise, of the first attempt to form a settlement on the Pacific under the stars and stripes.

p. 163-64: Messrs. Halsey and Wallace having been sent on the 23d, with fourteen men, to establish a trading post on the Willamet, and Mr. M’Dougal being confined to his room by sickness, Mr. Clapp and I were left with the entire charge of the post at Astoria, and were each other’s only resource for society. Happily Mr. Clapp was a man of amiable character, of a gay, lively humor, and agreeable conversation. In the intervals of our daily duties, we amused ourselves with music and reading; having some instruments and a choice library. Otherwise we should have passed our time in a state of insufferable ennui, at this rainy season, in the midst of the deep mud which surrounded us, and which interdicted the pleasure of a promenade outside the buildings.