The Astor Expedition

Caldron Linn (ISHS)

Two hundred years ago, the Astor Expedition led by Wilson Price Hunt, ventured through our part of Southern Idaho and the recorded history of  this area began. The Astorians were on their way overland to the Pacific (although one group also traveled by sea) to create a fur trading post that they hoped to build into an empire. Although ultimately they do not succeed, they did help to open up this territory; Robert Stuart, in particular, helped to blaze what would become the Oregon Trail.

In celebration of the bicentennial of their arrival in our neck of the woods, we’ve compiled a list of books that will help you learn more about the entire expedition. Titles with an * are non-circulating, but can be perused inside the Library:


Across the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail – Laton McCartney

Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813 – Alexander Ross*

Astoria – Washington Irving

Astoria and Empire – James P. Ronda

Astorian Adventure: The Journal of Alfred Seton, 1811-1815 – Alfred Seton*

Astorians in Idaho – H. L. Craig

By Sea on the Tonquin– Cecil Pearl Dryden*

The Columbia River, or Scenes and Adventures During a Residence of Six Years on the Western Side of the Rocky Mountains Among Various Tribes of Indians Hitherto Unknown, Together with a Journey Across the American Continent – Ross Cox*

The Discovery of the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart’s Narratives of His Overland Trip Eastward from Astoria, 1812-1813 – Robert Stuart

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America – Eric Jay Dolin

Furs by Astor – John Upton Terrell*

On the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart’s Journey of Discovery – edited by Kenneth J. Spaulding

The Overland Diary of Wilson Price Hunt – Wilson Price Hunt*

River to the West: A Novel of the Astor Adventure – John Edward Jennings*

Travels in the Interior of America, in the Years 1809, 1810, and 1811 – John Bradbury*

A Voyage  to the Northwest Coast of America – Gabriel Franchere*

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