Postmarked November 11, 1912
John Jacob Astor emigrated to America from Germany after the Revolutionary War and built a fur-trading empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada. He later expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. In March 1811 officers and employees of Astor’s Pacific Fur Company on the west coast of Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River. By the end of May, they had completed a fort built with bark-covered logs enclosing a stockade, with guns mounted for defense called Fort Astor, the first American settlement on the west coast of the continent. An overland party joined them in February 1812 and helped in the construction of a trading store, a blacksmith’s shop, a house, and a storage shed for pelts acquired from trapping or trading with the local Native Americans. It was sold to the British during the War of 1812 and renamed Fort George. It was returned after the Treaty of Ghent in 1821. In 1912 the centennial of Fort Astor is being celebrated.