OREGON. DISCOVERY OF COLUMBIA RIVER. A few years ago, there was still standing in Bowdoin Square, Boston, opposite the Revere House, an ancient mansion, since removed to make room for the granite range called the Coolidge Building. In that mansion, then neither old nor inelegant, but, on the contrary, having good pretensions to rank among the principal residences of the place, was assembled, in the year 1787, a group, consisting of the master of the mansion, Dr. Bulfinch, his only son Charles, and Joseph Barrell, their neighbor, an eminent merchant of Boston. The conversation turned upon the topic of the day, -- the voyages and discoveries of Capt. Cook, the account of which had lately been published. The brilliant achievements of Capt. Cook, his admirable qualities, and his sad fate (slain by the chance stroke of a Sandwich-Islander, in a sudden brawl which arose between the sailors and the natives), -- these formed the current of the conversation; till at last it changed, and turned more upon the commercial aspects of the subject. Mr. Barrell was particularly struck with what Cook relates of the abundance of valuable furs offered by the natives of the country in exchange for beads, knives, and other trifling commodities valued by them. The remark of Capt. Cook respecting the sea-otter was cited: -- "This animal abounds here: the fur is softer and finer than that of any other we know of; and therefore the discovery of this part of the continent, where so valuable an article of commerce may be met with, cannot be a matter of indifference." He adds in a note, "The sea-otter skins are sold by the Russians to the Chinese at from sixteen to twenty pounds each." Mr. Barrell remarked, "There is a rich harvest to be reaped there by those who shall first go in." The idea thus suggested was followed out in future conversations at the doctor's fireside, admitting other congenial spirits to the discussion, and resulted in the equipping of an expedition consisting of two vessels, the ship "Columbia" and sloop "Washington," to make the proposed adventure. The partners in the enterprise were Joseph Barrell, Samuel Brown, Charles Bulfinch, John Derby, Crowell Hatch, and J. M. Pintard. So important was the expedition deemed by the adventurers themselves, that they caused a medal to be struck, bearing on one side a representation of the two vessels under sail, and on the other the names of the parties to the enterprise. Several copies of this medal were made both in bronze and silver, and distributed to public bodies and distinguished individuals. One of these medals lies before the writer as he pens these lines. A representation is subjoined

Tag This Book

This Book Has Been Tagged
It hasn't. Be the first to tag this book!

Our Recommendation

Track It. This book has been $2.99 within the past year.

Notify Me When The Price...

  • $
  • If I'm already tracking this book...

to track this book on eReaderIQ.

Track These Authors

to track Thomas Bulfinch on eReaderIQ.

  • to be notified each time the price drops on any book by Thomas Bulfinch.
  • to stop tracking Thomas Bulfinch.

Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on January 18, 2015.
  • This book was $2.99 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 10 times in the past 3,334 days.
  • The current price of this book is $4.99 last checked 10 hours ago.
  • This book is at its lowest price in the past 90 days.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past six months is $3.99.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past year is $2.99.
  • The lowest price to date was $2.99 last reached on November 17, 2018.
  • This book has been $2.99 4 times since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was $4.99 last reached on March 9, 2021.
  • This book has been $4.99 one time since we started tracking it.
  • This book is currently at its highest price since we started tracking it.


Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled

We last verified the price of this book about 10 hours ago. At that time, the price was $4.99. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.