New Mexico

OLD Castaneda, who wrote a belated chronicle of Coronado’s expedition, gave Coronado a black eye and at the same time encouraged new flights of fancy. He made it appear that for some man of destiny the north held prizes. From the resemblance of the Pueblo to the Aztec dwellings the region came to be called […]


IN the sixteenth century Spain, as we have seen, had thrust up into the North the two outposts of Florida and New Mexico. In time foreign intrusion made it necessary to occupy the intervening region called Texas, which embraced a goodly slice of what is now Louisiana. While Spain was busy farther south, other nations […]


THE year 1759 was a fateful one in North America, for it recorded the fall of Quebec, France’s principal stronghold in the Western Hemisphere, and the accession of Carlos III, the ablest king since Philip II, to the Spanish throne. The second of these events tended to offset the results of the first. The continued […]

Fall Of The Fur Kingdom

IT was in 1832 that Nathaniel J. Wyeth, of Boston, crossed the plains to give McLoughlin battle on Oregon soil. Wyeth duplicated Astor’s plan of campaign. He sent out a ship with goods for trade and with provisions; and he himself at the head of a small party of men set off by land. For […]


THE English had made the occupation of Louisiana imperative. Carlos lifted his eyes to the West, and there he saw another menace. Russian fur hunters had overrun Siberia to the Pacific by the beginning of the eighteenth century. Catherine of Russia, continuing the age-old quest for the Strait of Anian, in 1725 had sent Vitus […]

King Of Old Oregon

THE war with Great Britain came to a close with the Treaty of Ghent in December, 1814. It was a peace without victory, and all captured territory, places, and possessions were to be restored to their former sovereignty. Astoria was not mentioned in the treaty, but in negotiations immediately subsequent a demand for its return […]

Oregon – Astor’s Overlanders

THE story of Astor’s Overlanders is a tale of hero-ism which enriches history even while it reveals deplorable ignorance and inefficiency. Here, as in his maritime enterprise, Astor showed unwisdom in his choice of a leader. His own lack of actual experience beyond the frontier was most unfortunate for him, for it led to fatal […]

Oregon – Astoria Under The Nor’westers

THREE immediate tasks faced the Astorians as rainy spring succeeded rainy winter. Dispatches must be sent to Astor, branch trading posts must be established in the interior, and the goods buried in nine caches at the eastern end of the Snake canyon must be recovered. The loss of the Tonquin meant that the letters and […]

Oregon – River Of The West

HISTORIC Oregon emerges from myth. Over the region of those “continuous woods” which shrouded the true River of the West, the romancings of ancient mariners had spread the mirage of a great inland waterway called the Strait of Anian. This waterway threaded the continent from sea to sea, among wondrous isles gorgeous with palaces, and […]

Oregon – The Tonquin

IF in these dawning hours of the Great West the trapper was lord of the land, the ruler of the waters along the Northwest Coast was the Indian hunter Of sea-otter — a dark-skinned Neptune with spear for trident. The sea-otter trade, initiated by the Russians and. advertised by Cook, had grown largely since the […]