- Historic Sites
Ordeal In Hell’s Canyon
The first men to follow Lewis and Clark across the continent to the Pacific were John Jacob Astor’s fur traders. They discovered the formidable chasm of Idaho’s Snake River—and almost never got out
December 1966 | Volume 18, Issue 1
As for the full Astorian venture, it fell a victim to the War of 1812 and was eventually abandoned. But it lasted long enough to help establish the claim of the United States to the lower Columbia River and the Oregon country. Back in St. Louis, where he became the operator of a large farm, postmaster of the city, and a successful dealer in furs until his death in 1842, Hunt had the satisfaction of knowing that his trials on the Snake had provided a major basis for the American claim.