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Eminent Astorians

Karen Kirtley.

Published by East Oregonian Publishing Company.

Introduction by Stephen Dow Beckham.

6 × 9 inches. B&W photographs. 272 pages.

2010. ISBN 978-0-87071-631-7. Paperback, $19.95.

Eminent Astorians marks the bicentennial of Astoria in 2011. Each of nine essays presents a literary biography of a figure who looms large in Astoria’s history, from Comcomly, the powerful, one-eyed leader of the Chinook Tribe when Lewis and Clark arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1805, to the “Salmon Kings,” who capitalized on the region’s natural bounty from the 1870s to the 1910s.

Modeled after Lytton Strachey’s literary portraits in Eminent Victorians, these essays are interpretive, engaging, and rich in context. The authors are among the best known and most respected writers and scholars in the Northwest. Stephen Dow Beckham, distinguished historian at Lewis and Clark College, contributed a comprehensive introduction and served as the book’s historical advisor. 

Scholars as well as travelers and lay readers interested in the Pacific Northwest will enjoy the biographical storytelling and gain insights into Astoria’s history as they trace the lives of these quintessential Oregonians.


Comcomly: Chinook Nation CEO by John Terry

John Jacob Astor I: “A Most Excellent Man?” by Robert Michael Pyle 

George Gibbs by Stephen Dow Beckham

Ranald MacDonald and Astoria by Frederik L. Schodt

Captain George Flavel and the Building of Astoria by William F. Willingham

Bethenia Angelina Owens Adair by Jean M. Ward

Silas Bryant Smith by Stephen Dow Beckham

Molding Astoria—The Role of Two Editors by Sandra Haarsager

The Salmon Kings by Liisa Penner

Member of AAUP