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240 Western American Literature —why did I not carry through? Now only the discovery of fantastic and un­ thought of manuscript materials would justify anyone in undertaking a new edition of this work. And, finally, what can one say of this University of Oklahoma Press book, except it is beautifully made? J o h n F ra n c is M c D e rm o tt, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville Adventure at Astoria, 1810-1814. By Gabriel Franchére. Translated and edited by Hoyt C. Franchére. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967. xxxix + 190 pages, map, illus., index. $5.95.) John Jacob Astor, one-time German butcher boy who had become by the beginning of the nineteenth century the leading fur baron in the United States, sought to extend his fur empire by gaining control of the trade along the Pacific Northwest coast and in the interior through the establishment of a fur depot at the mouth of the Columbia River. To further that end, he simultaneously dispatched an overland party from Montreal and sent out the ship Tonquin, which left New York in early September, 1810. Seven months later, towards the end of March, 1811, the Tonquin, having sailed the length of the Atlantic, rounded the Horn, and plied northward in the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands, succeeded in crossing the hazardous bar at the river’s mouth after eight men gave up their lives in the effort. On board the ship was young Gabriel Franchére, Canadian-born on November 3, 1786, and one of eleven clerks in Astor’s employ. From the time he left Montreal until his eventual departure from Fort Astoria in April, 1814, and six-month’s cross-country journey back to Montreal, Franchére kept a detailed diary in which he recorded events of the long and trying sea voyage to the Columbia under the despotic Captain Jonathan Thorn and of the wavering fortunes and eventual demise of Astor’s hopes in the Northwest. This diary he subsequently published in an expanded form in 1820 as Relation d’un Voyage a la Cote du Nord-ouest de l’Amérique S-eptentrionale, dans les Années 1810, 11, 12, 13, et 14. Edited by Michel Bibaud and pub­ lished in Montreal, this original French version supplied Washington Irving with his richest source for Astoria (1836), the classic account of the complex interplay of forces, continental and even international in scope, which made up the history of events in which Franchére was closely associated. Franchére’s Relation was not translated until 1854, when it was rendered into English by J. V. Huntington and published in Redfield, New York, as Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America. Reviews 241 Now, one-hundred and thirteen years later, Hoyt C. Franchfere, greatgrandson of Gabriel Francbere and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Portland State College, has provided a new and more idiomatic translation of his great­ grandfather’s famous narrative “in order,” he explains, “to bring to American readers the closest possible approximation to Franchise’s original journal in a form that might reach a far wider audience than has had access to it so far . . (pp. xxix-xxx). It is a translation of the original published text as reworked by Bibaud, not of the manuscript of the diary or of the expanded version that Franchfcre prepared at the urging of his friends and family and then turned over to Bibaud. Dean Franchere’s purpose might have been better served and scholar­ ship benefited had he been able to use the original diary, now lost, or the Bibaud manuscript, which has been in the possession of the Toronto Public Library since 1890, the authorities of which denied him the privilege of translating it or even of using a copy so that he might collate the text with the Bibaud edition and the Huntington translation. Making the best of a bad situation, he here notes what other editors, notably Milo M. Quaife, have learned about the original version and supplies this information in footnotes. It is essentially a variorum text that Francbere has provided, for his footnotes introduce matter from Bibaud...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 240-242
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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