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In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent. Unfolding from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship drawing extensively on firsthand accounts of the men who made the journey. Though Astoria, the colony itself, would be short-lived, its founders opened provincial American eyes to the remarkable potential of the Western coast, discovered the route that became the Oregon Trail, and permanently altered the nation's landscape and global standing.