Here are my two favorite lines from Peter Stark's "Astoria," about John Jacob Astor's fur and trading empire:
"I bought two dogs," he recorded with satisfaction at one stop, "and we ate one for breakfast."
"The last time the ill-fated gentleman was seen," wrote Cox, "his head was hanging over the side of a canoe, and three savages, armed with pautumaugans, were battering out his brains."
I though this would be more about the founding of Astoria, but it's mostly about Astor funded expeditions, one by sea and one overland, to the Northwest, both of which met significant obstacles. The guy who wrote it must really like canoes because it felt like there was a lot about canoes. It's very much in the "Undaunted Courage" vein and more about the explorers than Astor, empire, and fur trading. Still, if you're a Northwester, it's worth reading.