Publisher description for The discovery of the Oregon Trail : Robert Stuart's narratives of his overland trip eastward from Astoria in 1812-13 / edited by Philip Ashton Rollins ; introduction to the Bison book edition by Howard Lamar.


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Robert Stuart saw the American West a few years after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and, like them, kept a journal of his epic experience. A partner in John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, the Scotsman shipped for Oregon aboard the Tonquin in 1810 and helped found the ill-fated settlement of Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1812, facing disaster, Stuart and six others slipped away from Astoria and headed east. His journal, edited and annotated by Philip Ashton Rollins, describes their hazardous 3,700-mile journey to St. Louis. Crossing the Rockies in winter, they faced death by cold, starvation, and hostile Indians. But they made history by discovering what came to be called the Oregon Trail, including South Pass, over which thousands of emigrants would travel west in mid-century. Besides Stuart’s narrative, this volume contains important material about Astoria and the fate of the Tonquin, as well as the harrowing account of Wilson Price Hunt, who headed a party of overlanders traveling east to join the Astorians.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Stuart, Robert, -- 1785-1848.
Oregon National Historic Trail.
Tonquin (Ship)
Astoria (Or.) -- History.
Pioneers -- Oregon -- Biography.
West (U.S.) -- Description and travel.
Overland journeys to the Pacific.