John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor was a German–American businessman, real estate mogul and investor who made his fortune in fur trade and by investing in real estate in or around New York City. Born in Germany, Astor immigrated to England as a teenager and worked as a musical instrument manufacturer, he moved to the United States after the American Revolutionary War. He entered the fur trade and built a monopoly, managing a business empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada, expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. Seeing the decline of demand, he got out of the fur trade in 1830, diversifying by investing in New York City real estate and becoming a famed patron of the arts, he was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States. Johann Jakob Astor was born in Walldorf near Heidelberg in the Electoral Palatinate, he was the youngest son of Maria Magdalena vom Berg. His three elder brothers were George and Melchior. In his childhood, Johann worked as a dairy salesman.
In 1779, at the age of 16, he moved to London to join his brother George in working for an uncle's piano and flute manufacturer, Astor & Broadwood. While there, he anglicized his name to John Jacob Astor. In 1783 or March 1784, Astor immigrated to New York City, just following the end of the American Revolution. There, he rented a room from Sarah Cox Todd, a widow, began a flirtation with his landlady's daughter named Sarah Cox Todd, whom he would marry in 1785, his intent was to join his brother Henry, who had established a butcher shop there, but a chance meeting with a fur trader on his voyage inspired him to join the North American fur trade as well. After working at his brother's shop for a time, he began to purchase raw hides from Native Americans, prepare them himself, resell them in London and elsewhere at great profit, he opened his own fur goods shop in New York in the late 1780s and served as the New York agent of his uncle's musical instrument business. After gold was discovered, Astor looked for business throughout the United States.
Astor took advantage of the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States in 1794, which opened new markets in Canada and the Great Lakes region. In London, Astor at once made a contract with the North West Company, who from Montreal rivaled the trade interests of the Hudson's Bay Company based in London. Astor shipped them to Europe. By 1800, he had amassed a quarter of a million dollars, had become one of the leading figures in the fur trade, his agents were ruthless in competition. In 1800, following the example of the Empress of China, the first American trading vessel to China, Astor traded furs and sandalwood with Canton in China, benefited from it; the U. S. Embargo Act in 1807, disrupted Astor's import/export business because it closed off trade with Canada. With the permission of President Thomas Jefferson, Astor established the American Fur Company on April 6, 1808, he formed subsidiaries: the Pacific Fur Company, the Southwest Fur Company, in order to control fur trading in the Great Lakes areas and Columbia River region.
His Columbia River trading post at Fort Astoria was the first United States community on the Pacific coast. He financed the overland Astor Expedition in 1810 -- 12. Members of the expedition were to discover South Pass, through which hundreds of thousands of settlers on the Oregon and California trails passed through the Rocky Mountains. Astor's fur trading ventures were disrupted during the War of 1812, when the British captured his trading posts. In 1816, he joined the opium-smuggling trade, his American Fur Company purchased ten tons of Turkish opium shipped the contraband item to Canton on the packet ship Macedonian. Astor left the China opium trade and sold to the United Kingdom. Astor's business rebounded in 1817 after the U. S. Congress passed a protectionist law that barred foreign fur traders from U. S. territories. The American Fur Company came to dominate trading in the area around the Great Lakes. John Jacob Astor had a townhouse at 233 Broadway in Manhattan and a country estate, Hellgate in Northern New York City.
In 1822, Astor established the Robert Stuart House on Mackinac Island as headquarters for the reorganized American Fur Company, making the island a metropolis of the fur trade. A lengthy description based on documents, etc. was given by Washington Irving in his travelogue Astoria. Astor's commercial connections extended over the entire globe, his ships were found in every sea, and he and Sarah moved to a townhouse on Prince Street in New York. Astor acquired sizable holdings along the waterfront. After the start of the 19th century, flush with China trade profits, he became more systematic and calculating by investing in New York real estate. In 1803, he bought a 70-acre farm that ran west of Broadway to the Hudson River between 42nd and 46th streets; that same year, the following year, he bought considerable holdings from the disgraced Aaron Burr. In the 1830s, Astor foresaw that the next big boom would be the build-up of New York, which would soon emerge as one of the world's greatest cities.
Astor withdrew from the American Fur Company, as well as all his other ventures, used the money to buy and develop large tracts of Manhattan real estate. Astor predicted New York's rapid growth northward on Manhattan Island, he purchased more a
Kankakee is a city in and the county seat of Kankakee County, United States. The city's name is derived from the Miami-Illinois word teeyaahkiki, meaning: "Open country/exposed land/land in open/land exposed to view", in reference to the area's prior status as a marsh; as of the 2010 census, the city's population was 27,537. Kankakee is a principal city of the Kankakee-Bourbonnais-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area; the area of Kankakee was inhabited by the Potawatami beginning sometime in the 18th century. Kankakee was founded in 1854. Kankakee is located at 41°7′12″N 87°51′36″W. According to the 2010 census, Kankakee has a total area of 14.62 square miles, of which 14.14 square miles is land and 0.48 square miles is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 27,561 people, 10,020 households and 6,272 families residing within the city; the population density was 2,239.8 people per square mile. There were 10,965 housing units at an average density of 893.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 50.92% White, 41.07% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.50% from other races, 1.90% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.25% of the population. There were 10,020 households, out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 21.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.4% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals, 13.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60, the average family size was 3.28. In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.5% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males. The median income for a household in the city was $30,469, the median income for a family was $36,428. Males had a median income of $30,894 versus $22,928 for females; the per capita income for the city was $15,479. About 18.1% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.3% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
Kankakee is governed by the mayor council system. The city council consists of fourteen members; the mayor and city clerk are elected in a citywide vote. Library service is provided by the Kankakee Public Library. Kankakee is served by the Greater Kankakee Airport, a general aviation facility located in the southern portion of Kankakee; the Kankakee Valley Airport Authority was formed in 1957. The location of the airport was chosen South of Kankakee in 1959; the Greater Kankakee Airport has been serving the Kankakee community since 1962. It is located 50 miles south of downtown Chicago and 70 miles north of Champaign, directly along Interstate 57 at the 308 exit. In 1966 the main runway was expanded attracting a commercial carrier. Air Wisconsin, Inc. began operating in 1967. Due to the commercial operations the Airport was able to build the terminal building in 1968, still standing today; the airport continues to serve the community though general aviation and is home to over 100 private hangars housing helicopter, singe engine aircraft and turbine powered aircraft.
The Greater Kankakee Airport made its Hollywood debut in the 1980 Steve McQueen movie "The Hunter," in which Ralph "Papa" Thorson comes to pick up the Trans Am at the airfield. The Greater Kankakee Airport has received recognition over the years for its outstanding service to Kankakee County; the airport has been awarded the General Aviation – Publicly Owned Airport of the year award by the Illinois Division of Aeronautics in 2001 and 2012. In September 2013 the Army National Guard broke ground on the Army Aviation Support Facility, completed in 2017; the facility houses 13 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. Greater Kankakee Airport covers an area of 950 acres at an elevation of 629 feet above mean sea level, it has two runways with asphalt surfaces: 4/22 is 5,981 by 100 feet and 16/34 is 4,398 by 75 feet. Amtrak provides service to Kankakee from the Kankakee Amtrak Station. Amtrak operates the City of New Orleans, the Illini, the Saluki with each train running once daily in both directions. Interstate 57 runs east-west in the southern part of the city and turns north-south in the eastern part of Kankakee.
United States Highways US 45 and US 52 run concurrently forming, along with Illinois Route IL 50, the major north-south thoroughfares through Kankakee. Illinois Route IL 17 is the major east-west road; the River Valley Metro Mass Transit District operates the region's transit bus system. Service runs seven days a week to locations in Kankakee as well as the nearby cities of Aroma Park, Bradley and Manteno. All of the Kankakee routes are stationed out of the North Schuyler Transfer Station. River Valley Metro operates 2 commuter routes; the Midway and University Park commuter routes were added January 5, 2014, in August 2015 River Valley Metro added a second Midway route to its schedule. In January 2016, a second University Park route was added. Kankakee Valley Park District has 37 parks, comprising a total of 600 acres. Facilities include an outdoor aquatic park named Splash Valley, indoor ice skating rink named Ice Valley, 1000 seat recreation cen
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division; the Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise; the franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 17, 1920, moved to Chicago in 1921. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, also in Chicago; the team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. The Bears have a long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers; the team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. Since 2002, the Bears have held their annual training camp, from late July to mid-August, at Ward Field on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
In March of 1920 a man telephoned me... George Chamberlain and he was general superintendent of the A. E. Staley Company... In 1919, had formed a football team, it had done well against other local teams but Mr. Staley wanted to build it into a team that could compete with the best semi-professional and industrial teams in the country... Mr. Chamberlain asked if I would like to come to work for the Staley Company. Named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team; this was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team; the 1920 Decatur Staleys season was their inaugural regular season completed in the newly formed American Professional Football Association. Full control of the team was turned over to Halas and Sternaman in 1921. Official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
The team relocated to Chicago in 1921. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$100. In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears; the team moved into Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team. Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each; the Staleys/Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL, was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs, split with their crosstown rival Cardinals, but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.
The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player; the franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7 putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo, but the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929. During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated.
The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian. Despite much of the on-field success, the Bears were a team in trouble, they faced the problem of flatlined attendance. The Bears would only draw 5,000–6,000 fans a game, while a University of Chicago game would draw 40,000–50,000 fans a game. By adding top college football draw Red Grange to the roster, the Bears knew that they found something to draw more fans to their games. C. C. Pyle was able to secure a $2,000 per game contract for Grange, in one of the first games, the Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers, 21–0. However, Grange remained on the sidelines while learning the team's plays from Bears quarterback Joey Sternaman. In 1925, The Bears would go on a barnstorming tour, showing off the best football player of the day. 75,000 people paid to see Grange
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
1940 United States Census
The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 people. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, information about wages; this census introduced sampling techniques. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939; this was the first census in which every state had a population greater than 100,000. The 1940 census collected the following information: In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering age at first marriage and other topics. Full documentation on the 1940 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Following completion of the census, the original enumeration sheets were microfilmed; as required by Title 13 of the U.
S. Code, access to identifiable information from census records was restricted for 72 years. Non-personally identifiable information Microdata from the 1940 census is available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. On April 2, 2012—72 years after the census was taken—microfilmed images of the 1940 census enumeration sheets were released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration; the records are indexed only by enumeration district upon initial release. Official 1940 census website 1940 Census Records from the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration 1940 Federal Population Census Videos, training videos for enumerators at the U. S. National Archives Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts from the U. S. Census Bureau Snow, Michael S. "Why the huge interest in the 1940 Census?"
CNN. Monday April 9, 2012. 1941 U. S Census Report Contains 1940 Census results 1940 Census Questions Hosted at CensusFinder.com
American Fur Company
The American Fur Company was founded in 1808, by John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant to the United States. During the 18th century, furs had become a major commodity in Europe, North America became a major supplier. Several British companies, most notably the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, were eventual competitors against Astor and capitalized on the lucrative trade in furs. Astor capitalized on anti-British sentiments and his commercial strategies to become one of the first trusts in American business and a major competitor to the British commercial dominance in North American fur trade. Expanding into many former British fur-trapping regions and trade routes, the company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, became one of the largest and wealthiest businesses in the country. Astor planned for several companies to function across the Great Lakes, the Great Plains and the Oregon Country to gain control of the North American fur trade. Comparatively inexpensive manufactured goods were to be shipped to commercial stations for trade with various Indigenous nations for fur pelts.
The sizable number of furs collected were be brought to the port of Guangzhou, as pelts were in high demand in the Qing Empire. Chinese products were in turn be purchased for resale throughout the United States. A beneficial agreement with the Russian-American Company was planned through the regular supply of provisions for posts in Russian America; this was planned in part to prevent the rival Montreal based North West Company to gain a presence along the Pacific Coast, a prospect neither Russian colonial authorities or Astor favored. Demand for furs in Europe began to decline during the early 19th century, leading to the stagnation of the fur trade by the mid-19th century. Astor left his company in 1830, the company declared bankruptcy in 1842, the American Fur Company ceased trading in 1847. Prior to John Jacob Astor creating his enterprise in the Oregon Country, European descendants throughout previous decades had suggested creating trade stations along the Pacific Coast. Peter Pond, an active American fur trader, offered maps of his explorations in modern Alberta and the Northwest Territories to both the United States Congress and to Henry Hamilton, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec in 1785.
While it has been conjectured that Pond wanted funding from the Americans to explore the Pacific Coast for the Northwest Passage, there is no documentation of this and it is more that he had sent a copy of the map to Congress due to personal pride. Pond became a founding member of the North West Company and continued to trade in modern Alberta. In time Pond had an influence upon Alexander Mackenzie, who crossed the North American continent. In 1802, Mackenzie promoted a plan form the "Fishery and Fur Company" to the British Government. In it he called for "a supreme Civil & Military Establishment" on Nootka Island, with two additional posts located on the Columbia River and another in the Alexander Archipelago. Additionally this plan was formed to bypass the three major British monopolies at the time, the Hudson's Bay Company, the South Sea Company and the East India Company for access the Chinese markets; however the British Government ignored the plan. Another influence upon Astor was a longtime friend, Alexander Henry.
At times Henry mused at the potential of the western coast. Forming establishments on the Pacific shoreline to harness the economic potential would be "my favorite plan" as Henry described in a letter to a New York merchant, it is that these considerations were discussed with Astor during his visits to Montreal and the Beaver Club. Despite not originating the idea to create a venture on the Pacific coast, Astor's "ability to combine and use the ideas of other men" allowed him to pursue the idea. Astor joined in on two NWC voyages charted to sail to the Qing Dynasty during the 1790s; these were done with American vessels to bypass British commercial law, which at the time prohibited any company besides the British East India Company from commerce with China. These were financially profitable ventures, enough so that Astor offered to become the NWC agent for all shipments of furs destined for Guangzhou; however Alexander Mackenzie denied his offer, making Astor consider financing voyages to China without the Canadian traders.
Now a independent international merchant, Astor began to fund trading voyages to China along with several partners. Cargoes amounted to $150,000 in such as otter and beaver pelts, in addition to needed specie. Astor ordered the construction of the Beaver in 1803 to expand his trade fleet. By 1808, Astor had established "an international empire that mixed furs and silks and penetrated markets on three continents." He began to court diplomatic and government support of a fur trading venture to be established on the Pacific shore in the same year. In correspondence with the Mayor of New York City, DeWitt Clinton, Astor explained that a state charter would offer a particular level of formal sanction needed in the venture, he in turn requested the Federal government grant his operations military support to defend against British citizens and control these new markets. The bold proposals were not given official sanction however, making Astor to continue to promote his ideas among prominent governmental agents.
President Thomas Jefferson was contacted by the ambitious merchant as well. Astor gave a detailed plan of his mercantile considerations, declaring that they were designed to bring about American commercial dominance over "the greater part of the fur-trade of this continent..." This was to be accomplished through a chain of interconnected trading posts that stretching acro