Russel Farnham

1784 - October 23, 1832

Farnham, Russel, frontiersman (1784-Oct. 23, 1832). Born in Massachusetts, he was recruited in 1810 for the Astor enterprise and sailed for Oregon aboard the Tonquin. He was given responsibility in various fields, helped build a post among the Spokanes, wintered in 1812-1813 with the Flatheads, and was considered by Ross a "bustling, active and enterprising fellow." When Astoria was sold, Farnham sipped to Sitka, there boarded and English vessel which took him to Kamchatka from where, bearing dispatches and resources due Astor, he crossed Siberia mostly on foot, the journey accompanied by considerable hardships. Farnham reached Copenhagen and sailed for Baltimore, gaining New York two years after the sale of Astoria. He was placed in charge of Mississippi and Missouri operations for the American Fur Company. He died of cholera and was buried at St. Louis.


Stella M. Drumm, "More About Astorians." Oreg. Hist. Quar., Vol. XXIV, No. 4 (Dec. 1923), 335-60.