In 1809, ruthless businessman John Jacob Astor schemes to send an overland expedition to the mouth of the Columbia River. Destination Astoria reveals the remarkable odyssey of one young fur trapper, Dutch Blackwell, who joins that enterprise.
From Boston, Dutch travels cross-country with his dog and horses to meet up with Astor’s brigade in St. Louis. Along the trail, he encounters Mountain Jack, a seasoned frontiersman. The two men form an alliance, forsaking the Astorians, and cross the continent together. During their tormented passage, the men face death from starvation, dehydration, searing heat and Indians both hateful and helpful. Crossing the uncharted wilderness becomes the ultimate test of their tenacity.
Destination Astoria, an enthralling story steeped in history, moves across the unforgiving heartland with the force of a prairie storm. With vivid descriptions, thoughtful characters and brutal twists, it portrays a lost breed of adventurous frontiersman who helped blaze the Oregon Trail.
A brilliant retelling of a long-lost piece of our nation’s past. Like so much of history, the Lewis and Clark expedition is credited with far more influence than is possible by one event. The fact that the west become a part of the newly created United States of America occurred because enumerable large and small decisions were made at the risk of life and fortune. Much like the story's hero, a part Indian, named Dutch. Dutch embodies the pioneer spirit we all relish.
Robert M Waibel
Brian Ratty, in Destination Astoria, captured my interest from the very first sentence of his Introduction. Excellent writing and portrayal of time period and characters.
P. Johnson, author
In Destination Astoria, Brian D. Ratty brings alive the little-known, troubled period after the American Revolution, but just before the War of 1812… Ratty shows us the unusual mix of people one found west of the Appalachians in those days, from an Amish family to treacherous “river pirates” to frontiersmen. All in all, Brian D. Ratty is a master storyteller, and in his excellent book he makes the West of that long-ago era come alive.