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        3-5,13+

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        Oregon | Activity 4.5: John Jacob Astor

        Students read John Jacob Astor’s biography, and discover that Astor was important to the fur trade in Oregon and founded the American Fur Company. They then create a timeline of John Jacob Astor’s life events.

        Lesson Summary

        Students read John Jacob Astor’s biography, and discover that Astor was important to the fur trade in Oregon, and founded the American Fur Company. They then create a timeline of John Jacob Astor’s life events.

        This lesson is part of "Great States: Unit 4: Early Explorers & Fur Trade." In this unit, students will explore how exploration and the fur trade impacted the Native Peoples and set the region on a path toward statehood.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        4.2: Explain how key individuals and events influenced the early growth and changes in Oregon. 

        4.6: Create and evaluate timelines that show relationships among people, events, and movements in Oregon history. 

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Distribute the John Jacob Astor Biography handout and scissors to students.

        1. Have students take turns reading aloud the biography of John Jacob Astor. As they read, have students underline key dates, places, and people found in the biography. If necessary, define tough terms or phrases for students:

          1. monopolize – to get full control of a trade or service

        1. Instruct students to create a timeline of John Jacob Astor’s life events by placing the items in order. For organization purposes, the students may glue the event strips onto construction or printer paper.

        1. Review the correct order of events with the class.

        Answer Key:

        The correct order of events is:

        1. 1763 - Born in Germany

        2. 1786 - Opened a small fur trading shop

        3. 1794 - US government created a treaty allowing trade with Canada

        4. 1800 - Began trading furs for tea with China

        5. 1808 - Founded the American Fur Company

        6. 1811–1812 - Expanded fur trade to Columbia River and the Pacific Coast

        7. 1812 - War broke out between the British and US

        8. 1813 - Sold Fort Astoria to Canadian Northwest Co.

        9. 1816 - Lobbied Congress to prohibit non-citizens from owning fur trading operations

        10. 1822 - Lobbied Congress to close government operated trading posts

        11. 1834 - Sold his fur company

        12. 1848 - Died one of the richest men in the country

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