Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.
Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
by Peter Stark
The Lark was a fast ship, trying to replenish the Astoria settlement in present-day Oregon, and also communicate with the settlement from Astor, as he hadn't even been able to notify them of the breakout of the War of 1812. This was the very first American settlement on the West Coast.