Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1915. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VIII THE PASSING OF THE FUR LORDS When Astoria passed to the Nor'westers, with it came, as we shall see, an opportunity of acquiring for Great Britain the whole of the vast region west of the Rockies, including California and Alaska. Gray's feat in finding the mouth of the Columbia, and the explorations of Lewis and Clark overland to the same river, gave the United States possession of a part of this territory by right of discovery; but this possession was practically superseded by the transfer of Astor's fort to the BritishCanadian Company. Yet, to-day, we find Britain not in possession of California, not in possession of the region round the mouth of the Columbia, not in possession of Alaska. The reason for this will appear presently. The Treaty of Ghent which closed the War of 1812 made no mention of the boundaries of Oregon, but it provided that any territory captured by either nation in the course of the wax should be restored to the original owner. The question then arose: did this clause in the treaty apply to Astoria? Was the taking over of the fur-post by the British company in reality an act of war? The United States said Yes; Great Britain said No; and both nations claimed sovereignty over Oregon. In 1818 a provisional agreement was reached, under which either nation might trade and establish settlements in the disputed territory. But it was now utterly impossible for Astor to prosecute the fur trade on the Pacific. The 'Bostonnais' had lost prestige with the Indians when the Tonquin sank off Clayoquot, and the more experienced British and Canadian traders were in control of the field. At this time the Hudson's Bay Company and the Nor'westers were waging the trade war that terminated in their union in 18201821; and when the united companies came to assign officers...
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