About Captain Robert Gray

Captain Robert Gray’s discovery of the Columbia River on May 11, 1792, proved to be highly significant to the newborn United States.

In 1803, eleven years after Gray entered the great river of the west on the ship, Columbia Rediviva, the United States acquired the Louisiana Purchase from France.

During the Second term of President James Madison, 1813 – 1817, the United States government sought official confirmation of the discoveries and exploration conducted on the Pacific Northwest Coast by the American trading expedition, commanded by Captain Robert Gray a quarter-century before, thereby laying claim to the entire territory drained by the Columbia River – the Oregon Country.

For more information on Robert Gray, click the links below:

Captain Gray’s First Visit to Oregon,

Columbia’s River: The Voyages of Robert Gray, 1787-1793

Captain Gray’s Widow

Primitive Customs and Religious Beliefs of the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Notes on the Tillamook

Indian Slavery in the Pacific Northwest


The Columbia Redivivia was the first American ship to enter the Pacific Ocean, the first American ship to carry Pacific Northwest trade to China, and the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.

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