An expedition commanded by Robert Stuart left Astoria on June 29, 1812 with dispatches for John Jacob Astor. The Pacific Fur Company Minute Book records:
Resolved that it being necessary to send an express to New York and all the papers and other things being prepared, Mr. Robert Stuart is hereby instructed to have and to take charge of them, with which he is to go as directly to N. Y. as circumstances will admin, and there to be governed by the directions of Mr. Astor as to the time of his returning to the Northwest Coast.
The men, in the first organized eastbound transcontinental crossing after Lewis and Clark’s, reached St. Louis on April 30, 1813 with their “express” missive. They also blazed a new trail, discovering South Pass and the great Platte on Central route which was destined to become the main highway of the covered-wagon migrations of the Oregon Trail.
- More about Astorians by Stella M. Drumm, published in The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1923)
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