BEYOND THE GREAT WATER tells of the men who established the first American settlement on the Pacific Coast. They were out to make their fortunes and that of their bold, visionary patron, the businessman John Jacob Astor. Yet many of the brigade would never kw the fate of their remote outpost, for the promised land they entered was an inhabited wilderness of elemental force which swept some aside as though they had never existed. The survivors, led by seasoned outdoorsmen, required the skill and endurance of their combined experience to maintain the small trading outpost. And in so doing, those few men t only stimulated the local tribes toward that fatal dependence on European goods which would eventually spell the death of the American aboriginal culture, but the tiny settlement helped assure America's claim over that of England for the Oregon.