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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific.
Perhaps even contrary to the wish of Mr. Franchere, I have left the above almost word for word as he wrote it.  It is a part of the history of the affairs related as well in Mr. Irving’s ASTORIA as in the present volume, that the reclamations of one of the clerks on that famous and unfortunate voyage of the Tonquin, against the disparaging description of himself and his colleagues given in the former work, should be fairly recorded.  At the same time, I can not help stating my own impression that a natural susceptibility, roused by those slighting remarks from Captain Thorn’s correspondence, to which Mr. Irving as an historian gives currency, has somewhat blinded my excellent friend to the tone of banter, so characteristic of the chronicler of the Knickerbockers, in which all these particulars are given, more as traits of the character of the stern old sea-captain, with his hearty contempt for land-lubbers and literary clerks, than as a dependable account of the persons on board his ship, some of whom might have been, and as we see by the present work, were, in fact, very meritorious characters, for whose literary turn, and faithful journalizing (which seems to have especially provoked the captain’s wrath), now at the end of more than forty years, we have so much reason to be thankful.  Certainly Mr. Irving himself, who has drawn frequently on Mr. Franchere’s narrative, could not, from his well-known taste in such matters, be insensible to the Defoe-like simplicity thereof, nor to the picturesque descriptions, worthy of a professional pen, with which it is sprinkled.


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