The Tonquin and her cruel Capt. Jonathan Thorne make up in melodrama what they lacked in morality. But just as you can't choose your parents, we will soon be lavishing attention on the rogues of 1811 as we celebrate Astoria's 200th birthday.

The Tonquin's story is as familiar to local school children as it is to maritime historians. In James Gibbs' retelling of the story in his classic Pacific Graveyard, Thorne coupled unquestionable courage and endurance with an equal-opportunity contempt for whites and natives alike.