January 18, 1803, to Congress, recommending that an expedition be fitted out and sent up the Missouri and across the "Stony Mountains," and down the Columbia to the Pacific, and this recommendation was adopted, and $2,500 appropriated, and the expedition actually under way before the news of the cession of Louisiana was received, though when that news arrived the expedition was halted east of the Mississippi till the spring of 1804, that the formal transfer of the territory might be made before the expedition entered it.
When the Astoria expedition was organizing the project was submitted to the National Government, and according to Gallatin, "met with its full approbation and best wishes for its success." (Cf. letter of Albert Gallatin to John J. Astor, dated August 5, 1835, in appendix to Irving's "Astoria.") Astor himself goes much further in his letter to Benton, dated New York, January 29, 1829, saying: "I was promised by the Administration the protection of the Government, and in fact more, but I regret to say, hitherto nothing has been done." (Cf. Benton's Report on the Fur Trade, being No. 67 of Sen. Ex. Doc., 20 Cong., 2d Sess.)
So far as yet appears, however, there are no contemporaneous documents showing any action by our Government in connection with this expedition.
Though the total results of the war of 1812 (prior to the battle of New Orleans, which was fought after the treaty of peace had been signed,) were so unsatisfactory to us that our Government was willing to end it with the Treaty of Ghent, which did not even mention the impressment of our sailors, the right of search, the inciting of Indians to attack our frontiers, nor the Orders in Council, which the President had announced as the causes of the war, yet so far-sighted were the statesmen of that time and so determined to secure for us at least the greater part of the valley of Columbia's River, that on March 22, 1814, James Monroe, Secretary of State under President Madison--not knowing whether or not Astoria had been captured--gave the following instructions to our plenipotentiaries to negotiate the treaty (who were John Quincy Adams, J. A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell and Albert Gallatin) : "Should a treaty be concluded with Great Britain and a reciprocal restitution of territory be agreed on, you will have it in mind that the United States had in their possession at the commencement of the war a post at the mouth of the river Columbia, which commanded the river, which ought to be comprised in the stipulations should the possession have been wrested from us
May 22, 1818. Albert Gallatin and Richard Rush had been appointed as Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain on five subjects, about which proposals had at intervals been passing between the two governments nearly all the time since the Treaty of Ghent was proclaimed and October 20, 1818, only two weeks after the restoration of Astoria, they signed the convention which is generally called the first Treaty of Joint Occupancy of Oregon, though at that time and for nearly a dozen years afterwards the region in question was not generally spoken of as Oregon, but as the "Columbia River Country," or "the northwest coast of America," and is so indexed in "Annals of Congress" and "Debates in Congress" down to 1828-9. Article 1 of the treaty gave us the right to take, cure and dry fish on certain parts of the coast of British America.
Article 2 fixed the boundary between the United States and British America as the 49th parallel of north latitude from the Lake of the Woods westward to the Stony Mountains (the name Rocky Mountains not being commonly used till many years later).
Article 4 extended for 10 years "all the provisions of the Convention of 1S15 to regulate commerce between the United States and the British dominions."