The Tide of Empire: America's March to the Pacific by Michael Golay

By Michael Golay

A vibrant tableau of the yankee conquest of the Pacific Coast "With Broughton’s day trip, the american citizens and the British had published competing claims to an unlimited expanse of the Pacific Northwest. the world in competition might surround all of current Oregon and Washington and elements of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and British Columbia. Robert grey, the dour Yankee dealer, and William Broughton, the imprecise British naval officer, nonentities either, sailed clear of the misty coasts of the Columbia in 1792, by no means to come back. they'd no means of understanding, after all, the way it could all finish. however the breathtaking effrontery in their claims set in movement occasions of fateful outcome, touching off a half-century of alternate and diplomatic contention, a flood of Euroamerican cost, and the displacement and digital destruction of the immemorial population of what the contestants might come to name the Oregon Country." –from THE TIDE OF EMPIRE

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Before turning back, Broughton arranged a ceremony ashore. Robert Gray, he concluded, had not sailed into the river at all, only the estuary. The Yankee’s sketch map proved it so. 29 The cutter swept downriver in the moonlight. Did the friendly chief take Broughton’s ceremony seriously? Possibly it struck him as fatuous—a few pale and puny men laying absurd claim to a boundless country. Doubtless he was grateful for the drink. At any rate the chief accompanied the Britons as far as the mouth of the Willamette, the western limit of Clackamas lands.

The second mate, John Mumford, led a detail ashore in search of water. He found none, though he did return with several geese and two seals. With the barometer falling, Thorn stood out to sea that evening. He discovered a safe anchorage on the sixth—Port Egmont, as it turned out. Shore parties reported a flowing spring of freshwater and abundant geese, duck, seals, and penguin eggs. One group came upon the headboards of the graves of two British whalers, the names almost obliterated. The men set to recarving them.

Broughton dubbed it Mount Hood, after the British naval hero Admiral Samuel Hood. ” Even with the salmon, Broughton calculated that he could eke out provisions for only another two or three days. qxd 06/25/03 11:15 AM Page 15 prologue: COLU M BIA ’s river 15 The sun set at 4:59 on October 30. The moon, a day past full, cast a silvery sheen on the river. Before turning back, Broughton arranged a ceremony ashore. Robert Gray, he concluded, had not sailed into the river at all, only the estuary. The Yankee’s sketch map proved it so.

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